The Campus is the centre of life at Warwick University for its 17,000 students, with academic, social, cultural and sports events running at practically every hour of every day. The University website offers an Interactive Campus Map which is useful to get your bearings before you arrive, as well as a Tour of Campus which should help too!
The Students’ Union is an organisation independent of the University that is run for the students by Sabbatical Officers (“sabbs” - Warwick students who have taken a year out to work at the SU) and the SU staff. This organisation is based in two large buildings situated at the centre of the University’s campus, by the piazza. One of these buildings hosts all the organisation’s administration, whilst the other (simply known as ‘the SU’) is a multi-purpose building which serves as a focal point of life at Warwick University.
Within the SU building you can find several banks and ATMs (ground floor) as well as a hairdresser’s, pharmacy and a travel agency. There is also the tea shop Curiousitea and on the first floor: the Bread Oven, the Terrace Bar and a space to play pool. The atrium is also the venue for a weekly indoor market. The SU also has a nightclub, 'The Copper Rooms', which is a three room venue that stretches across 2 floors (this space is also used for other events such as society classes and poster sales during the day), its own pub: the Dirty Duck and bistro - restaurant: Cafè Xanana’s.
See the World@Warwick: ‘Nightlife’ and 'Food & Drink' pages in this section for more information on nights out at the SU, and the cafés, bars and restaurants found here.
At the end of the year the SU put on a Summer Party which is well worth attending right after exams and once a week there is a pub quiz - a tradition in British culture. The SU publishes timetables of its events all over campus, and online.
As well as organising events and looking out for students’ welfare, the SU organises events and is an easy place to go for information and advice. The SU reception is the place to go for advice on anything related to student life from housing problems to lost property. The staff there will be able to point you in the right direction to whoever can help you. For example, the SU have lawyers who will read through contracts for you completely free of charge.
As a member of the SU you can get discounted rates for events at the SU and a valid student card or NUS (National Union of Students) can also get you a student discount in certain shops. Members of the SU can also vote in SU elections and referendums, for example, electing the Sabbs for the next year.
The piazza is at the centre of the leisure facilities on campus. It is surrounded by Warwick Arts Centre, the SU, Rootes Social Building and the main bus stops. There is usually something going on in the piazza from demonstrations, performances or just students enjoying the sunshine. You can see what’s going on in the piazza via the Warwick webcam.
The library lies at the heart of the campus and plays a large role in the academic life of most students at Warwick. The entrance is on the first floor and to get in you need your uni-card, which you’ll receive upon registering at Warwick. The library is open from 8am until midnight every day, with hours extended during the 3rd term, in the run up to exams.
With no bookshelves and no silence rules, the first two floors are designed for group work and are more informal places to study. Having previously undergone a refurbishment, this space is extremely modern, where you can find whiteboards, PCs, scanners and photocopiers for students’ use. There is also a coffee shop and a help desk at the entrance, as well as a ‘lounge’ space with sofas. On this floor, you can find stands full of today’s newspapers from around the world, which you can read for free.
The remaining three floors and their extensions are aimed at individual study. As well as desks, these floors contain thousands upon thousands of books that are available for students to borrow. There are signs telling you the code and location of each book theme, but if you know the author, title or just a key-word, on every floor there are computers that can tell you exactly where to find the book you’re after. Ask one of the library stewards at the help-desk for help if you can’t find what you’re looking for. At the start of the year the library staff run tours of the library in order to help you find your feet and each subject has a subject librarian who you can turn to for help at any point in the year.
On the ground floor, there is the Library Café where you can buy sandwiches, snacks, hot meals or drinks to eat-in or takeaway. Here, there are also more computer rooms. As an alternative to the Library, read about the Learning Grid, which is open 24 hours a day, in our University House section below.
Undergraduates can take out 10 books which can be borrowed for two weeks. Books that are on high demand can only be taken out for three days. You can also reserve books which are already taken out by another student, which you can then claim as soon as it has been returned. This is all explained in detail on the Library's website, and the library stewards wondering around the place all day will always be able to help you.
University House is the centre for the majority of Warwick’s administration, but also hosts various student-related services, a large study-space and a café selling hot meals, sandwiches, snacks and drinks.
The learning grid
The learning grid offers an alternative place of study to the library and is open 24 hours a day. University House was once home to the headquarters of the UK’s electricity network called ‘the National Grid’ and it is from here that the Learning Grid gets its name. Here, one can find core subject textbooks, PCs, interactive whiteboards, work-spaces and meeting rooms available for student use. There is also a careers suite here, with dedicated staff able to advise you on finding jobs and internships, or help you prepare your CV and applications.
The place to go for help
University House is home to Student Services, the Academic Office and the International Office. Every student has to visit here at some point during their time at Warwick for one reason or another, so it is important you know where to go. As international students, the International Office, who (as well as your Warwick University department of study) can help with transcript/records and answer any questions you may have. If you have not had your tuition fees wavered under an exchange scheme such as ERASMUS, or if you live on campus, you can pay your fees at Student Services. They can also help with other financial matters, or provide letters of student status. If you lose your university card, or if it stops working, you can buy a new one at the University House reception. Student Support.
Rootes Social is a large building close to the Student Union, just south of the Piazza. Here, the reception desk can help with problems of accommodation and is also where to get your Eating@Warwick cards. Just outside, there is a Costa Coffee shop, whilst upstairs there is a large cafeteria (though this is a little hidden), an oriental themed restaurant and a large bar. Here, there are TVs and a large screen where sporting events (and the X-factor!) are shown. Unfortunately, the prices are not very student-friendly. Although Rootes Social is always open to everyone, aside from during sports events, it tends not to be used by many students and is instead preferred by businessmen at Warwick for conferences.
The ‘Panorama Room’ at the top of the stairs is often used for careers fairs, where some of the largest graduate employers come to provide information on jobs available and to attract Warwick students. These usually take place in the first term and information about them can be found on the Warwick Careers site. If nothing else, these events provide a great opportunity to pick up free pens, sweets and other goodies such as frisbees!
Warwick Arts Centre:
Located right in the middle of campus, Warwick Arts Centre is the biggest arts centre in the country outside of London, and is highly regarded. It is used as much by the general public as by Warwick students, and offers theatre, dance, cinema, comedy, opera, and art displays throughout the year.
Often attracting some of the world’s highest calibre names in all genres of the arts (such as bands like The Bears, The Proclaimers and The Eagles, and comedians including Dara O’Briain, Jimmy Carr, Ruby Wax, and Russell Howard), prices are sometimes outside the budget of a typical student. However, for many events, there are a limited number of reduced-rate tickets available at the reception to Warwick students for £5, so get there quick! The theatre can also boast regular performances of many of the big names on the British Comedy Scene, such as Jimmy Carr. Again, look out for showings in advance. There are often performances of plays and musicals put on by Warwick students, which can often be much cheaper but still very much enjoyable. For performance listings and to buy tickets, see the Arts Centre website. The centre also has its very own cinema, where students can buy cheap tickets to see current films as well as classics that are no longer shown in most normal cinemas, such as Amélie or the Baader Meinhof Complex. Students can pay as little as £2.50 for a cinema ticket.
The Arts Centre is home to the University’s only book shop. Although prices are often cheaper online (try Amazon.co.uk!) this is not always the case and in general they are fairly reasonable. If you need a book quickly, this is the place to go, and the bookshop can even order it in for you. If you want to make some money at the end of the year by selling your old books you can take them to the bookshop where they will give you two thirds of the original price if they are in good condition. Here, you can also buy University of Warwick memorabilia; a hoody is an absolute must!
Elsewhere in the Arts Centre is a café and a music-record shop, Rise.
For students looking for a space to practice instruments, the Music Centre is also located here. The music centre practice rooms are open to everyone, free of charge. Although it is rare, some may need to be booked in advance.
The Arts Centre is also home to Butterworth Hall, where graduation ceremonies are held. It is also the venue for some of the biggest performances, such as those by the London Symphony Orchestra or even by OneWorldWeek.
See our Sports page in the 'Life at Warwick' section.
The Chaplaincy is open to all members of the University community, and is home to the Anglican, Roman Catholic, Free Church and Jewish chaplains, who are always glad to meet students socially and pastorally. There are regular services for all denominations as well as social events. Christian groups meet several times a week for prayer, Bible study and discussion. On Friday nights Jewish students meet for the Shabbat meal; a kosher kitchen is available in the building. The Islamic Society organises worship for Muslim students in the dedicated prayer room on campus, and halal food is readily available in the local area. The Chaplaincy is situated in between the Arts Centre and the Social Sciences Building. The university’s very own gospel choir, Warwick Rock Revelation, also rehearse here once a week.
The Campus also has its very own doctor’s surgery. The Health Centre is a National Health Service General Practice and offers free primary medical care to students. It is located between the Jack Martin and Whitefields residences on the imaginatively named ‘Health Centre Road’. Eligibility is based on proximity and those living on the Campus or nearby (such as in Earsldon) are encouraged to register when they arrive at Warwick. Those living in Leamington will have a closer NHS doctor’s practice - you can find one near to you through the NHS Website. There is also a pharmacy on campus, which is located inside the Students’ Union.
See our 'Living in the UK' page for more details concerning health.
There is a Costcutter’s on campus next to the Students’ Union that as well as selling basically groceries also sells stationary and newspapers (both national and international) and houses a small Post Office. Although not actually on campus there is a Tesco supermarket as well as several smaller shops selling clothes, toiletries and other items at Canon Park, about a 5 minute walk from the sports centre. See the food and drink section for more information on eating on campus.
It is worth noting that Warwick University has its own night-time shuttle bus which runs around campus during the night and is free of charge to assist people in getting back to their accommodation safely.