The University of Southampton
University life

Life in Southampton

Southampton is a vibrant and well-connected, dynamic city. Home to two universities, there is a population of over 30,000 students. Students at the University of Southampton benefit from campuses based in and around the city, all connected with award-winning transport links.

Southampton has a range of entertainment venues for the latest in mainstream and art house films
Harbour Lights Picture House

One of Britain’s top five cities for economic growth.

Southampton has spent £1.6bn to develop the city, which includes building a new Cultural Centre, a new arts centre alongside Guildhall Square as well building a new £70 million leisure centre within the city centre. This centre will include new entertainment venues, restaurants, cafes, a luxury cinema and shops. This is part of a £3bn masterplan to help develop and improve the city.

Excellent for sailing and water sports.

As part of the Solent, Southampton is a great place to take part in a variety of water and sailing sports. You can take a ferry from Southampton to the Isle of Wight for Cowes Week, one of the biggest sailing events of the year in the south. Explore sailing and water sport societies through the university.

Central hub for travelling

The city is connected to a vast number of locations, accessible by train or ferry. Locations such as Bournemouth, Brighton, London and Portsmouth can be travelled to from the city’s main train station, while travelling to European destinations are available from the nearby airport. As part of the £3bn masterplan, Southampton Central Station will also be developed.

What's going on in Southampton

Student life in Southampton

Southampton’s academic reputation has drawn in students from a wide range of countries, bringing their unique cultures to both the city and the university. This has resulted in the diverse culture within the university and has allowed for the creation of various clubs and societies, all found through the Student Union.

Outside of the University is WestQuay, one of the largest shopping centres in Europe, 40 live music venues and 550 unique bars and restaurants. Discover Southampton gives you an insight into the locations and events across the city.


WestQuay is located within the town centre of the city and is perfect for those looking for a bargain. The shopping centre offers three floors of shops and restaurants, and make sure you bring your NUS card, as many stores offer student discounts.

Portswood Highstreet, a short walk from the campus, offers everything that a student may need for their time at university. From local shops that provide an excellent range of cultural delicacies and groceries.

Entertainment and culture

Southampton is home to four venues where you can see plays, performances and musicians: The Mayflower, The Guildhall, The Point and the Nuffield Theatre which is supported by the University of Southampton and located at Highfield Campus. The O2 and The Joiners have hosted some of Britains popular bands and is are popular student venues.

Students studying a film degree may find the Harbour Lights cinema essential to their studies. The venue features films, from mainstream to independent art shows and is located in Ocean Village, easily accessed by public transport.

Food, drink and nightlife

Students can find a range of cafes, all within walking distance from the University. Portswood Highstreet contains unique cafes that serve speciality coffees and are ideal to quietly study in.

Students will find that Southampton has a very active nightlife, there are a number of clubs and pubs across the city that provide a great student atmosphere. On campus, students can find the Student Union run ‘Stags Head’ that hosts karaoke nights and sports screenings. The Bridge also runs evenings of alternative music and stand-up comedies.

Outside of campus, the city centre provides student friendly venues, with fifteen minute bus rides from most halls. Nearer to campus, Portswood offers plenty of late night cafes such as The Trago Lounge, all a short walk from Highfield campus.

If you prefer traditional pubs, then you might want to visit The Hobbit, a popular student destination.

Easily accessible locations

Most venues and events are within easy walking distance from most halls, allowing you to enjoy walks through spacious, green parks. There is also the Unilink bus service that travels to most locations along with a late night service.

A majority of the locations are situated within the city centre, and are within close proximety of each other, allowing you to take a leisurely stroll and enjoy what the city has to offer.

Southampton is the commercial capital of the south
Dancing Man Brewery
Discover local pubs with great food and drink
See the latest films
Trago Lounge
Take a coffee break with friends at a range of unique cafes
Student at Tudor House
Southampton is known for its historic Grade I buildings
Picture of students
Take a walk down Oxford Street
Students eating icecream
Enjoy a range of delicious icecreams at Sprinkles
Ocean Village Harbour
Southampton has some of the best waterfront views


Southampton is ranked in the top 10 of Russell Group universities in England and Wales (excluding London) for low levels of student-relevant crime, by the Complete University Guide.

Find out more
Find out about the cost of living as a student

Plan your living cots

Learn about the cost of living in Southampton, named England's most affordable student city

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.