Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
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. Our students benefit from campuses based in and around the city, all connected with award-winning transport links. Watch our video to see just some of the highlights of Southampton and the surrounding area:

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

£1.6bn has gone to develop the city, with a Cultural Centre being built and a new £70 million leisure complex. This facility includes new entertainment venues, restaurants, cafes, a luxury cinema and shops. This is part of a £3bn master plan 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 visit the Isle of Wight for Cowes Week, one of the biggest sailing events of the year in the south. The University's Water Sports and sailing centre page lists all the available watersports activities and courses. 

Escape to the park....or the forest.

Southampton has over 50 parks and green spaces. Our Central Parks have recently been awarded the prestigious Grade II* listed status on the Historic England Register of Parks and Gardens of special historic interest.

Southampton is just 15 minutes away by train to the heart of the New Forest National Park, known for its heathland, forest trails and native ponies.

Central hub for travelling

Students can travel to cities across the south by train or ferry. You can visit popular cities such as Bournemouth, Brighton, London and Portsmouth from Southampton Central train station. Southampton Airport and Red Funnel ferries give access to international locations.

Student life in Southampton

Emily and Tom's favourite things

Students Emily and Tom share their favourite things about Southampton

More Emily and Tom tips

A rich and diverse community

Southampton’s academic reputation has drawn in students from more than 135 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 a rich and vibrant range of clubs and societies, run through out students' union.

Our student union, SUSU, was recently voted a top 25 student union in the Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2019.



West Quay is located in the city centre and has three floors of shops and restaurants. Make sure you take your NUS card, as many stores offer student discounts.

Portswood High street is a 15-minute walk from Highfield and Avenue campus and you can find local shops that provide a 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 Britain’s popular bands and are popular student venues.

There are four cinemas in the city centre and one on Highfield Campus, all connected by Unilink bus network. If you study a film degree, you may find this essential to your studies.

Visit Discover Southampton to find out more about events in the city.

Food, drink and nightlife

During the day, you might want to visit Portswood High street and other locations in the city which have a range of cafes and restaurants. These can be a convenient alternative if you want to meet friends or study away from campus.

Southampton has a very active nightlife. There is a great student atmosphere due to the number of nightclubs and pubs across the city. The student union run Stags Head pub on Highfield Campus hosts karaoke nights and sports screenings. The Bridge also runs evenings of alternative music and stand-up comedies.

Easily accessible locations

Many of the venues and events are situated within the city centre and are within a short walking distance of each other. If you are living in halls for the first year, the Unilink bus network provides transport to most locations and has a late night bus service.

Things To Do In Southampton

Find out from more students about what they like to do in Southampton

Find out more
West Quay
Southampton is home to West Quay, as well as a new £70 million leisure complex
Dancing Man Brewery
Enjoy food from a range of local eateries and popular chains
Southampton has a wide selection of mainstream and independent cinemas
Trago Lounge
Take a coffee break with friends at a range of unique cafes
Student at Tudor House
The city is well known for its Grade I historic buildings
Picture of students
You can find independent shops and cafes down Oxford Street
Students eating icecream
Sprinkles is a well-known student location
Ocean Village Harbour
Southampton has some of the best waterfront views

Life in Southampton

Fri, 31 May 2019

Doing and seeing sports in Southampton

I am not the biggest sports watcher. I can’t even blame it on not owni...

Read more
Wed, 24 Apr 2019

Waste Not

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve been an environmentalist, sustainable-ist(?),...

Read more
Thu, 20 Dec 2018

Winter in Southampton

The Christmas lights have been switched on. The family Christmas event...

Read more

A safe city

Southampton is ranked in the top 10 safest cities in the UK (Provident Personal Credit community survey 2018)

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

Plan your living costs

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

Privacy Settings 必威官网