University of East Anglia: What it's really like
Find out more about the University of East Anglia
If you want to study at a green university in a creative city, UEA could be for you!
UEA at a glance:
|Locations||Norwich, Norfolk, UK|
|Undergraduate course length||Three years|
|Courses||The university has four faculties: Arts and Humanities; Medicine and Health Sciences; Science; and Social Sciences.|
|Great for||Students looking to live and learn on a green, mid-size campus with a community feel.|
|Not for||Students who want a ‘big city’ student experience with an emphasis on nightlife.|
Emily, who’s a Business Management student at UEA currently working for the university on her placement year, tells us what student life at UEA is like.
What is the University of East Anglia (UEA)?
UEA is a campus university based in the city of Norwich, UK. You can reach the university in about two hours by train from London, or one hour from Cambridge. The university is ranked as one of the top 30 in the country, and has recently been ranked one of the top 20 for its research quality.
UEA has around 17,000 students, with 20% of those being international students. The university teaches a wide range of degrees, from medicine and healthcare subjects, to creative writing and English literature.
Why apply to UEA?
A great reason to apply to UEA is the sense of belonging that you’ll feel as a student here. Being a campus university, you’ll likely spend lots of time outside your lectures with other students, taking advantage of our sports and societies or just enjoying the green campus. On my Applicant Day, I instantly felt at home, and I even made friends who I still spend time with now.
For international students, Norwich itself is particularly attractive due to its close connections to the rest of the country. London is just two hours away by train, so it’s easy to access a number of airports.
Norfolk itself is also a beautiful, historic city to explore. On weekends, you can get a boat along the Norfolk Broads, or go to the seaside for ice cream or fish and chips.
Who isn’t the right fit for UEA?
If you’re looking to go to university in a big cosmopolitan city, UEA may not be the one for you. Norwich is a medium-sized city, with not as much nightlife as some, so it may be worth looking elsewhere if you’re keen for lots of nightlife as a student.
Any application tips?
When you apply to UEA, the uni will look at predicted and existing grades, alongside your Personal Statement.
When it comes to predicted grades, we can sometimes offer a grade boundary lower than the standard entry requirements for your course if you’ve got an Extended Project Qualification (EPQ). This shows off your interest in your subject, and that you’ve gone above and beyond to explore it, so this is definitely worth considering.
In your Personal Statement, make sure you include activities, work experience, or any volunteering experience you have, and tell the university how those things make you a good candidate for your subject. UEA is looking for well-rounded students who take interest in their subject outside of school or college, so make sure your application shows this off.
That said, be careful not to include too many examples! It’s better to choose a few very strong examples in detail, rather than listing everything you have done in your spare time over the past few years.
What’s the location like?
UEA has a beautiful green campus, including a lake where students love to sit in the summer and have barbecues. You can access the city centre by bus in just 20 minutes.
Norwich is known as the ‘city of stories’, so it’s a very creative place. If you like indie music, independent shops, cafes, and bars, you’ll feel at home here. If you’re into trying new food, Norwich market is worth checking out too.
What facilities does UEA have to offer?
The university is always investing in new facilities for its students. For example, in 2021, UEA opened Productivity East, which is a new regional hub for engineering technologies. There’s also Broadcast House in the city, with broadcast facilities for our journalism and media students; plus the university is a part of Norwich Research Park, so healthcare students can access world-class research on their doorstep.
We have a 24-hour library, open 365 days a year, so you’ll always have somewhere to study independently.
If you’re into sports, our sports park has an Olympic-size swimming pool, gymnastics space and a gym, and we offer 57 sports clubs to choose from. Elsewhere on campus, there are bars, cafes, launderettes, and a groceries shop.
Our students’ union hosts over 200 societies and has a club and music venue on-campus, where exciting guests like George Ezra, Rex Orange County, and Charli XCX have all performed.
What is the accommodation like?
We have a few different types of accommodation at UEA, so you can base your choice on what’s important to you. 60% of our accommodation on-campus is en suite, but there are shared bathroom and studio options as well. Most shared flats have between six and 13 students. All accommodation is self-catered.
Most students choose to live off-campus in second and third year, in private rented accommodation with their friends.
How does UEA meet the needs of students with different accessibility requirements?
UEA is a fully accessible campus, with an accessible route running the whole way around it, signposted by a dotted pathway you can follow. Accommodation on-campus is also accessible and you can apply for a parking permit if you need one.
At UEA, we want all students to be able to learn as effectively as they can, and there’s lots of support in place to enable them to do that. We have a dedicated team to support you 24/7 when you’re on campus, whether you need support with your studies, your wellbeing, or just adjusting to university life.
The Disabilities team will be on-hand to support you in your studies. For example, in exams, you can request adjustments like medical rest breaks, a scribe, and extra time.
We offer scholarships in subjects like music and sport, as well as bursaries for those who, for example, have care responsibilities or who require income support.
Want to explore more UK universities? Remember, Unifrog’s Shortlisting tool can help you put together a list of great potential courses.
Unifrog Insights monthly email
Progression-related teaching materials, and insight from the Unifrog platform, emailed to you once a month.