Don't just take our word for it – here's what students say about what it's like to study at Kingston University.
Name: Fay Martin
Course: Environmental Management BSc(Hons) 4-year sandwich course
Level: Completed first year
Route to University: Mature student
Accommodation: Rented privately
"I had been working in magazines as an art director for 12 years when I decided on a drastic career change. I knew I wanted to work in the environment and Kingston was the only London university to offer this degree. I liked that it allows me to influence the direction of my course by choosing the modules that interest me most.
"With only a BTEC in Graphic Design, I prepared for University by doing a part-time science certificate, which covered chemistry and biology to A-level standard. Now I am finally doing my degree, I love everything about it. As a mature student who had never gone to university, I had no idea what to expect, but it really has been great.
"One of the best things is the variety of subjects that are covered. In the morning you could be learning about plate tectonics and, in the afternoon, tropical rainforests. I've also really enjoyed the practical side of the classes – seeing how what I'm learning relates to future employment by looking at case studies or listening to a guest speaker who is working in the industry.
"So far I've been on two field trips, one to the Isle of Wight and one to the Peak District. I've loved both. In the Peak District we worked in groups and were given projects to investigate and report to the rest of the group. The highlight was being out in the field and getting my hands dirty!
"The lecturers have generally been fantastic and the teaching stimulating. It wasn't easy getting used to studying and taking in so much new information. Time management was also an issue at first, but the tutors are patient and it doesn't take long to pick things up.
"In the summer of my first year, I did a two-month work experience placement at Kew Gardens, writing a report on badger activity in the grounds. It was great doing something for real. The course has taught me how to do the research and write reports so I didn't have a struggle with this.
"During my sandwich year, I plan to do a placement with a good, international company. I'd like to get as many contacts as possible. That way, I increase my chances of getting the job I want after graduating.
"I've gone from having no idea which modules to take or what type of environmental work I'd like, to having clear ambitions. I've researched various jobs in different sectors and decided I would like to get into environmental impact assessment and be able to work overseas. The course has helped me to recognise my ambitions. I feel confident that I have made the right degree choice."