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The University of Southampton
Working as a Researcher

Local services

In the UK, parents - and their children - can choose from a variety of schools, both state and independent.

Education in state schools is free of charge to families. However you generally have to buy a sweatshirt and other uniform clothing for your child. You may also be asked to pay for activities such as theatre or field trips.

Early education

Children aged three and four have the option of a free early education place for 15 hours per week. Sometimes this can be provided by the infants or primary school that your child will be joining later. GOV.UK provides more information on free early learning. 

Compulsory school age

Depending in when your child's birthday falls, he or she must have started school at five years old. In Southampton and many other areas, infants or primary schools generally accept children aged four. Compulsory education ends at the age of 16.

Choice of schools

These local authority sites offer information about your local school, including Ofstead reports and how to apply: 

If your child does not yet speak English and/or has been through a very different school system in another country, you should discuss this if possible with the chosen school before he or she starts.  

Special educational needs

If your child has a physical or developmental disability, or needs extra help in other ways (for example, behaviour in school) he or she may be said to have a 'special educational need' (SEN). You can find introductions to the SEN system from both Southampton City Council and GOV.UK including assessment and choice of school.


Whether you are simply thinking about walking to work, or planning a trip to a conference on another continent, this page offers you a one-minute overview of transport options from Southampton.


Members of University staff can buy a new bike through the tax-saving Cycle 2 Work.

Secure storage, with swipe card access, is provided on Highfield Campus and other locations.


Uni-link run the award winning Uni-link bus service. Details of routes and timetable are available on the Uni-link website.


Southampton and Winchester are well served by mainline railway stations - Southampton Central and Southampton Airport Parkway and Winchester. The Uni-link U1 bus services connect our campus locations with Southampton Airport Parkway and Southampton Central stations, whilst the Winchester campus is a 15 minute walk from the train station. Swaythling and St Denys stations are approximately a 20 minute walk from the Highfield campus.


Red Funnel provides regular ferry connections between Southampton and the Isle of Wight. Bus connections are available at each end of the journey.


Both family doctors and hospitals provide general services through the National Health Service (NHS). This remains 'free at the point of use'. Some medical or related services can, or must, be provided privately. You may also be charged for other services, including medication. However you, or family members might be able to get help with costs, or be exempted altogether.

Moving to Southampton

If you are moving to the Southampton area, you should register with a General Practioner ('GP' - family doctor) and with a dentist.

Doctor services

To find a GP practice, use the search facility ("Services Near You") on the NHS Choices website. You can find details of local practices, including specialist clinics, the numbers of male and female doctors, and whether other languages are spoken. The site also shows which practices are currently taking new patients.

Nearest surgeries:

Dental services

You can search for a dentist offering NHS treatments on the same NHS Choices site.  Dentists that do only private work will not be listed here.

University employees can cover the cost of routine dental work through the University Dental Plan

Nearest surgery:


The cost of a basic sight test is determined by the NHS, but most adults will need to pay for spectacles and contact lenses themselves. In certain circumstances, the University can fund eyesight tests and provision of basic spectacles for staff using 'Display Screen Equipment' intensively.

You can search for a optician offering NHS tests on the NHS Choices site.

Nearest optician:

  • Portswood 

Occupational health

The University's Occupational Health team will advise if your work is affecting your health, or if your health is affecting your work. They do not provide medical treatment or first aid, and you will need to book in advance.

Medical emergencies

For emergencies only, contact the ambulance, police and fire services on 999. Accident and emergency (A&E) services are available at larger hospitals including Southampton General Hospital and Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester.

For minor injuries and illnesses, including dental emergencies you should call 111 for advice, visit your doctor. dentist or visit a NHS Walk-in Centres or Minor Injury Units.  

You can also obtain advice from qualified staff at your local pharmacy.


There is a good choice of accommodation for researchers at the University of Southampton. It's also not expensive compared to some other parts of the UK.


Highfield & Avenue campuses: Highfield itself, Portswood, Swaythling and St Denys are all within walking or cycling distance. Most of these areas are quite mixed socially with a variety of rented and owner-occupied housing.

Southampton General Hospital: Upper Shirley, Hollybrook and most areas around Winchester Road are reasonably quiet, again with a range of housing stock. 

NOCS: Ocean Village and the City Centre are closest.

Winchester School of Art: The campus is located centrally, with access by bus or rail from most areas.

If you have a car, there is a wide choice of housing both within Southampton itself, nearby residential areas such as Chandlers Ford, and in more rural locations.

University accommodation

Rooms in the University's Halls of Residence (and the various privately-owned halls) are mainly for undergraduate students; a few are reserved for postgrads.

The Residences Service may be able to offer a temporary room in Halls, while you look for a longer-term option. Availability is most likely between January and June each year.

The University has a stock of about 50 houses available exclusively to couples and families, both staff and students. Here, the minimum contract is 6 months. For students with disabilities, the University can offer adapted accommodation.

Private rented accomodation

Southampton is a large, vibrant city with many accommodation options for staff. There are various letting agencies in Portswood and London Road, Southampton.

Serviced apartments

If you are arriving with your family and plan to look for somewhere to live once you have arrived, an apartment may be preferable to a hotel.  Apartments are popular too with senior visiting researchers who may not wish, or be able to, negotiate a rental agreement for less than the normal minimum of six months. Town or Country is one of several providers of serviced apartments in the city.

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