Don't just take our word for it – here's what students say about what it's like to study at Kingston University.
Name: Graham Lewis
Course: BSc Environmental Science
Level: In final year
Route to University: Mature student
Accommodation: Living with parents
"I used to work as an insurance underwriter. But after working in the city for 11 years, I decided that I didn't want to be doing that job for the rest of my life. However, I had left school at 17 and wasn't qualified for anything else. I wanted to be able to get a job that would allow me to work outdoors and outside London and so, after much consideration, I decided to study environmental science.
"To save money I moved back to my parents' house for the duration of the degree. Kingston was convenient to their home and I also felt it catered well for mature students.
"I was apprehensive about going to university. Many of my peers told me I was mad to consider it at my age. This led me to put off enrolling for three years. However, in hindsight, my only regret is actually that I didn't start the degree sooner.
"I have really enjoyed learning about things I am interested in. Being here makes you realise your own capabilities. Higher educational is not unobtainable, it really is for everyone.
"The field trips have been excellent. That's where Kingston excels. It does the practical stuff extremely well. The Spanish trip was especially good. We made so many connections, talked to so many interesting people and saw so many things.
"I have also found Kingston extremely flexible. I decided to spend a year in Cape Town. It was a private arrangement, which has meant my degree has taken four years rather than three. However, the course director was very helpful and sorted it all out for me. I am really grateful to her for that.
"The only part of the course I have struggled with is chemistry, because I didn't have background knowledge in this area. I have to say the chemistry lecturers were very helpful and really took the time to explain things so that I could keep up and understand.
"I feel that studying environmental science was an excellent decision for me. The way pensions are going, people are likely to have to work a lot longer. I don't want to spend the next 40 years doing something I don't want to be doing. If you're not happy with what you do for a living, then you've got to do something about it."
Name: Ying Tang
Course: Environmental Science with Business BA/BSc(Hons)
Level: Completed 2nd year
Route to University: Foundation course (international student)
Accommodation: Halls of residence 1st year, rents privately 2nd year.
"I am an overseas student from China. I decided to study in the UK to improve my English language skills and widen my outlook.
"I chose this degree because I thought it would be interesting and offer a wide range of career options in the future. I had heard about Kingston from friends, but decided to visit before making up my mind. I found the University provided an excellent study atmosphere and met friendly teaching staff.
"On the course, I have enjoyed making friends and liked the well-organised teaching team. The lecture notes are all shown on Blackboard (a web-based learning system), which is good for revision. The lecturers are very helpful and always able to meet when I need to see them. The course director especially has given me lots of support.
"I think the laboratory lessons have interested me most. This is where you relate the theory into practice. The group projects help us learn to study independently and I've enjoyed the field trips. They offer the chance to get to know classmates and teachers better. This has made me much more confident in discussions and able to ask the teachers for help whenever I want.
"Compared to my college, I have found there are more free choices at university. You can choose to study the subjects you are really keen on. There is also more focus on independent study.
"But there's still lots of extra support available for those who don't speak English as a first language. If you have any language problems in class, my advice is to talk to your lecturers and classmates until you're sure you understand. Questioning all the time breaks down any barriers that you might have."