Living in Southampton
Southampton is a vibrant city with a large student population. From shops and cafes to bars and restaurants, parks, sport and culture, there’s something for everyone!
Want to listen to up and coming bands? Head to the Joiners on St Mary’s Street. Looking for a bite to eat? Try Mettricks at Guildhall Square. Searching for that perfect outfit? Westquay has tons of high street brands. Or why not stop into Solent’s own retail outlet, Re:So, in the Marlands shopping centre, for unique items created and sourced by our students. And you can spend quality time with your friends just relaxing by the water at Ocean Village marina, or picnic-ing on the Common.
Read Solent student Carolina's favourite things about Southampton
Solent University is located in the heart of the city, making it an ideal place to study. But, if you want to travel a little further afield, Southampton has great public transport links to get you to where you want to go.
There are lots of different bus companies who operate services in and around Southampton, but the two main ones are Bluestar (which also operates Unilink) and First.
If you decide to travel out of the city, you can take a National Express coach, or use the train.
The Students’ Union, in partnership with Radio Taxis, offers the Safe Solent taxi service for those studying at the library late into the night when the library is open 24 hours. The service is free and can be booked from the library reception.
Find out more
Southampton Central train station is just down the hill from the Civic Centre. From here you’ll find regular trains to London, Bournemouth, Portsmouth and Brighton, as well as many other interesting destinations.
Check out www.nationalrail.co.uk or call 0845 748 4950 for enquiries.
You’ll find official taxi ranks in the city on London Road, Lower Bannister Street, and at Above Bar. Check your taxi is licensed before you get in, or pre-book through the companies below.
- Radio Taxis: 023 80 666 666
- West Quay Cars: 023 80 999 999
Solent Students' Union
Solent Students' Union (SU) is run by you! Yes, that's right! Student unions are run by students, for students. Being at university is an amazing experience, but if you don’t like something and it’s impacting your higher education experience, Solent Students’ Union is here to help and support you to make positive changes.
Solent students elect four sabbatical officers to represent the student voice each year. The sabbatical officers then lobby the University at the highest possible level to make changes. This can cover a wide variety of topics, such as education, housing, engagement, environment, accessibility, health, wellbeing, and more. You can also nominate yourself to be a faculty rep, course rep, a part-time voluntary officer, or attend Student Council meetings to submit motions for change! These are all great ways to get involved with your SU. More information can be found on the SU website.
But the SU is more than just elections. You can also join societies or even start a new one if you can't find something that piques your interest! These are a great place to make friends, learn new skills and build upon your CV.
The SU provides various services for students to use, including the free academic advice service that's run in-house at the SU. It’s completely free and independent from the University. This is where all students can come and speak to one of our academic caseworkers. The issues they can help with include academic misconduct, extenuating circumstances, appeals, complaints, and more. Contact the SU advice team by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Safe Solent is a free taxi service, run by the SU. It's available so students can make use of Solent Library's opening hours (usually 24 hours) with the added comfort of knowing they can get home during the evenings, nights, and early mornings. It's simple and free to use and more information can be found on the SU website.
Did you know the SU also has its own shop on campus? Next to the East Park Deli in the JM building you’ll find the Students' Union shop; it is the best place to get information on everything happening at the Students’ Union, as well as all your essential university items like stationery, memory sticks, and Solent branded clothing. The shop also accepts TOTUM cards, which gives you 10% off any purchase.
This is just a small taste of what the SU offers. Check out its website to find out more about the great events the SU puts on, not to mention the discounts it offer and, of course, how the Union represents Solent students.
Find out more
Follow our simple tips to stay safe while you’re in Southampton to get the most out of your University experience:
- Take a mate when you’re walking home from campus or a night out.
- Keep your cash in your pocket or bag out of sight, and your phone, too.
- Stick to brightly lit streets and steer clear of shortcuts through parks in the evenings.
- Make use of the Students’ Union Safe Solent taxi service, which runs when the library is open 24 hours..
- Grab a cab from one of the official ranks in the city, or book a taxi through Radio Taxis, Solent SU’s official taxi partner, by calling 023 8066 6666.
- Cyclists - always use a D-lock to secure your bike, and look out for our ‘Bike Doctor’ events on campus where you can get a free bike check-up. Find out where you can pick up a D-lock at a discounted rate, and how you can register your bike.
- Call the police if you’re worried you’re being followed. If there’s an ongoing problem, speak to your local community support officer.
Ask for Angela
Ask for Angela is a safety awareness campaign offering support to people across Southampton who may find themselves in a difficult or unwanted situation during a night out. Posters are placed on the back of toilet doors or within the toilet spaces of supporting bars and venues advising people that support is available should you need it.
You'll find the Ask for Angela poster in a number of popular bars and venues across Southampton, including Junk, Orange Rooms, Buddha Lounge, Tokyo, Sobar, The Edge and Box Bar, Pre Bar, The Shooting Star, PopWorld, Union Southampton and Solent Students Union.
The Ask for Angela campaign is based on the UK SAYS NO MORE’s national campaign to raise awareness to end sexual assault and violence and domestic violence. Following the success of the campaign, which was originally launched by Lincolnshire County Council in 2016, Solent University is leading the effort to deploy the Ask for Angela campaign in Southampton.
The Ask for Angela campaign is also supported by Solent Students’ Union and Union Southampton.
For further information on the Ask for Angela campaign, please email email@example.com.
Stay active and healthy at university
Regular exercise stimulates the brain as well as the body.
Whether you’re looking to join a sports team, want to try a fitness class or recreational sport, or add some sport coaching qualifications to your CV, Solent Sport will have something for you!
Team Solent has over 30 clubs competing nationally and internationally in BUCS competitions, as well as in local, regional and national leagues. And for top-level athletes studying at Solent, our performance sport programme can help you balance your university studies with competing on the national or international stage.
You’ll be able to use our excellent facilities including multi-use indoor sports halls and gyms, as well as a state-of-the-art football venue.
Gym membership offer for students
Our sports complex offers fantastic gym and fitness facilities, including over 40 pieces of cardio equipment, two fitness studios, and indoor cycling studio, a multi-use sports hall, and more.
Check out our great membership options for Solent students - there's no commitment and no joining fee.
Find out more
Look after your mind
Stressed, depressed, anxious, or feel like there’s no one to talk to? Find confidential local counselling, or more information about mental health at www.mind.org.uk, or visit Solent's Wellbeing Team.
Don’t forget to leave yourself some down time between your studies, sport, jobs and socialising. Unwind in front of the TV, or head to the library for some peace and quiet to enjoy a good read.
Safely does it
You can order free condoms from www.letstalkaboutit.nhs.uk, where you’ll also find further information about safe sex and contraception.
Morning after care
Emergency contraception is available from your GP, chemist, or clinic up to 72 hours after the act. If you’re worried about STIs, your local walk-in is at Royal South Hants Hospital, SO14 0YG.
Finding part-time work
There are many part-time jobs available in Southampton. Over the summer, Solent Futures staff will be finding lots of part-time jobs for you to apply for once you are here. Register on Solent Futures Online and set up an alert for part-time work so you'll be notified when a job becomes available.
Top tip: if you already have a part-time job with a national company or retailer, see if they have a Southampton branch and ask for a transfer.
Solent Futures is the name of the University's career service. They're available for advice while you're studying here, and after you graduate. Feel free to get in touch with them before you arrive on campus too - you can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org or call them on 023 8201 3883 during office hours.
Students and graduates can find work through Solent Futures Online jobs board. You'll get details of how to register when you arrive on campus. Contact Solent Futures for more information: email@example.com
See them at the Student Life Fayre
Look out for Solent Futures staff at the Student Life Fayre, where they'll have job info and advice. Find out how you can update your CV, and get support in finding placements while you study.
Job opportunities throughout the year
There are often jobs on campus, working for the University. These are exclusively advertised on Solent Futures Online. Only current Solent students can work for campus jobs.
Starting your own business
Solent Futures can help with this too. If you're considering working as a freelancer or running your own business, they can not only offer advice, but they can help with start-up funding too. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
Southampton military service units
Sign up to one of Southampton’s service units for a taste of military life while you’re at university. You’ll attend drill nights, take part in sport, attend social events and go on adventurous training expeditions. You’ll even be paid for the majority of activities you do, and you’ll have something else to add to your CV.
University Royal Naval Unit
Drill nights: Thursday
Get involved and find out how to sign up here
University Air Squadron
Back to top
Town nights: Monday
Flying: Monday – Friday
Find out more
University Officers Training Corps
Drill nights: Tuesday
More info here
The service units are only open to British, Commonwealth or Republic of Ireland citizens.