Two female students sitting in a local rustic cafe having smoothies and talking

Life in Staffordshire

Staffordshire, 'the Creative County' has a unique heritage and a strong cultural presence worth celebrating. It has something for everyone whether you’re a lover of the great outdoors, a history buff or a thrill seeker, there's plenty of ways to relax and have fun.

Why Staffordshire University?

Well connected

Staffordshire University is ideally located near a mainline railway links making it easy to travel around

Fusion of urban living and countryside

Enjoy the convenience of city life while being a stone's throw away from tranquil green spaces

Student budget

Staffordshire is one of the most affordable places to live and study in the UK

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Where is Staffordshire University?

The main campus is in the heart of Stoke-on-Trent where you'll experience the buzz and convenience of city life without needing to go far to party, shop or unwind in green spaces.

Our Centre of Health Innovation campus is in Stafford, a country town that's steeped in heritage and culture, with a modern edge and eclectic mix of shops, bars, restaurants and places to relax. Both campuses are surrounded by picturesque towns and beautiful countryside with plenty of attractions for you to enjoy your time here as a student.

The University is ideally located, we're just under an hour away from Manchester and Birmingham by train!

Life at Staffs feels more than an education, it’s a community filled with inspiration, encouragement, and creativity

Nunika Khungar

BA (Hons) Fashion

 Explore iconic places

The bottle kilns and vintage ceramics buildings in Stoke-on-Trent


Our main campus is based in Stoke-on-Trent, a diverse city woven with history, modern culture and contemporary experiences and places to explore, party, shop and dine. Known as 'The Potteries', Stoke-on-Trent is a unique city made up of six distinct towns which have a rich heritage of ceramics and industrial art.

Find out about local events and must see attractions on the Visit Stoke tourism site.

Visit Stoke tourism site
Scenic view of Stafford Castle surrounded by grass on a cloudy day


If you’re studying at our Stafford campus, you’re a short walk from the county town. With it’s very own castle, Stafford is a haven of heritage with a twist of modern. It’s historic high street harbours an abundance of shops, restaurants, bistros and quaint coffee shops, as well as a great selection of bars.

Visit Stafford Borough tourism site
A group of six students sitting in a lounge chatting with a selection of beverages


Close to both campuses is student-friendly town Newcastle-under-Lyme. Great for student nights out, whether you're seeking a movie and cosy cocktail lounge or a lively happy hour bar and fun activities. There's selection of bistros and restaurants serving up world cuisines, popular chain eateries, and the convenience of shops and supermarkets.

Visit Newcastle-under-Lyme tourism site

Wider Staffordshire

There's so much to enjoy in the historic and diverse county of Staffordshire. From exploring the charming countrysides and national parks, strolling through picturesque towns, to riding some of the world's best rollercoasters - there's plenty of fulfilling activities to keep you busy outside of lectures.

For inspiration on things to see and do, along with events and festivals, visit the Enjoy Staffordshire tourism site.

Visit Enjoy Staffordshire tourism site
A tram in motion at Manchester city centre with city buildings in the background

Beyond Staffordshire

Stoke-on-Trent campus is on the doorstep of a mainline railway, and Stafford campus is a short-distance to the mainline train station, making it easy to travel. Both stations offer direct links to major cities - perfect for a day out further afield!

Be in Manchester or Birmingham in less than an hour, or arrive in London in 90 minutes by train.

Attractions and activities

Ready to explore Staffordshire and make the most of student life? We've selected some of the best things to do and see as a student for all interests!

Days Out

Staffordshire has lots to offer if you're in need of a day away from lectures. If you love strolling, hiking and biking you'll wind up in national parks, picturesque gardens, untamed countryside and welcoming green spaces. For thrill seekers, we have the country's best theme parks and water parks. For retail enthusiasts, there's an abundance of shops in the city and hidden retail gems tucked away in market towns, and for the foodies, you'll find your favourite restaurants and indulgent bistros.

A male hiker standing on top of a rock taking in the scenic peak district view on a sunny day
Theme parks & water parks
The Nemesis rollercoaster in motion at Alton Towers
Staffordshire has one of the best theme parks in Europe - Alton Towers Resort. The resort is located in spectacular countryside and has a diverse range of rollercoasters, rides and themed events all year round. It also has the Alton Towers Waterpark if you dream about drifting down lazy rivers and relaxing by the lagoon. If you're wanting to make a splash at an indoor tropical aqua park with exciting slides then Waterworld is on the doorstep.
Wildlife, countryside & parks
A baby monkey sitting and gripping onto a tree branch

Make a day of exploring the stunning Italian gardens and spoil yourself with shopping and dining at bistros at the Trentham Estate. You can also meet the fascinating Barbary macaques roaming free in 60 acres of beautiful forest at the Monkey Forest located next door to the estate.

In Stafford you can visit the Stafford Castle, an ancient Grade II listed standalone ruin which is a relaxing spot for a stroll and picnic, and close to town is the Shugborough Estate, a historic house with beautiful interiors and Grade I listed parkland boasting formal gardens and woodlands.

Adventure seekers will love Staffordshire Peak District, famous for its stunning valleys, rocky outcrops and rolling hills. Breathe in nature at Cannock Chase an area of outstanding national beauty, or come face to face with exotic animals from around the world at Peak Wildlife Park.

Towns & shopping


Two females walking together holding shopping bags at Trentham retail village

Whether you're a high-street browser or a vintage treasure seeker, Staffordshire has a range of places to shop. The Potteries Shopping Centre is located in the city centre has some of your favourite high-street stores with the Hanley indoor market located underneath, and dotted around outdoors are various shops selling books, music, hobbyist and thrift items. Closeby is Festival Retail Park where you can pick up fashion, outdoors wear and homeware, and if you're looking for a unique retail experience then the Trentham retail village has over 80 timber lodges housing outlets and boutiques.

If you're in Stafford then take a stroll through the historic high street and browse the independent shops and pick up your essentials from well-known stores. The Riverside Shopping Centre has some of the nation's favourite fashion stores and Queen's Shopping Park has convenient stores selling fashion and homeware.

At Staffordshire University you're just under an hour away from big city shopping at Manchester and Birmingham, so don't forget to grab your student discounts!

Staffordshire's idyllic towns offer a quaint shopping experience, each with their own high streets, markets, independent shops and relaxing cafes for eating and drinking. If this sounds up your street, then we recommend exploring Newcastle-under-Lyme, Stone, Uttoxeter, Burton-upon-Trent and Lichfield.

Arts and Culture

Stoke-on-Trent is known as 'the World Capital of Ceramics' and this rich and diverse heritage is weaved into our identity. In the city, you'll find a selection of unique museums and galleries with fascinating collections where you can unravel Stoke-on-Trent's remarkable story. Embark on heritage tours and admire the bottle kilns where some of the world's finest bone china was created, or get hands-on and create your own piece of pottery art. The city has excellent entertainment venues whether you love legendary musicals, quirky variety acts, or laugh out loud comedy.

Drama and comedy masks on the floor on a theatre with ambient background lighting
Museum & galleries
The exterior front building of the Potteries Museum and Gallery in Hanley at daytime

The Potteries Museum and Gallery has collections of some of the world's finest pottery and 'the Staffordshire Hoard', a local artefact. At the Spode Museum you can view collections of ceramic items and antique factory tools, or watch daily demonstrations of pottery skill and partake in throwing your own pot at the Gladstone Pottery MuseumAirSpace is a gallery ran by artists to deliver engaging contemporary visual arts, and Etruria Industrial Museum is a nineteenth century British steam-powered potter's mill museum, home of the 'bone and flint mill'.

Located in the beautiful Barlaston area is World of Wedgwood where you can discover the secrets of the Wedgwood factory on a guided tour, view the V&A collection, play with clay in the creative studios and explore the surronding nature trails. Situated in a charming park in Newcastle-under-Lyme is the Brampton Museum which showcases interesting art and Victorian history collections.

Pottery experiences
Two females throwing a pot in a pottery making studio
If you're looking for something different and keen to learn more about Stoke-on-Trent's heritage, then have a ceramic experience at Middleport Pottery or the Emma Bridgewater Factory where you can tour the ceramic factories and shop at the outlets. Or you can level up your pottery making skills at LoveClay.
Theatres & shows
A group of females sitting and talking outside the Regent Theatre in Hanley
At the heart of the Cultural Quarter in the city centre is the Regent Theatre and Victoria Hall, both hosting a wide variety of world-class performances for all audiences. In Newcastle-under-Lyme you'll find the New Vic Theatre, a distinctive purpose built theatre-in-the-round with a programme of interational class acts, and at ROFL Comedy Club you can enjoy top quality comedy live on the stage. Stafford has the Gatehouse Theatre where you can experience a range of exciting shows and the Annual Stafford Shakespeare production.
For adventure, head to the VR experiences or Ninja Warrior. There are also peaceful activities like Trentham Gardens & Potteries Museum

Nokwanda Siyunyi

Aeronautical Engineering Student

Music and Nightlife

Party hard and dance the night away at Staffordshire's memorable nightlife venues. Stoke-on-Trent has a thriving music scene where you can soak up the electrifying energy of live music and discover breakthrough bands, or perhaps you prefer to get nostalgic at throwback club nights. The local area has got you covered if you're looking for cosy spots to enjoy craft beers, decadent cocktails, exquisite gins, or good old-fashioned pints!

A group of male and female students walking and talking in the Cultural Quarter in Hanley in the evening
Students walking outside of the Fiction nightclub in Hanley in the evening

You'll find Stoke-on-Trent's local clubbing scene in Hanley where you can rave at Electrik, party at Stoke's premier LGBT+ nightclub Gossip, or dominate the dancefloor to your favourite throwback anthems at Reflex. Stafford also has a lively nightlife with themed club nights and contemporary cocktail bars at the Courture and Casa venues.

Live music
Live music concert with people standing in front of a band with ambient light effects

The Sugarmill and Underground are music venues known for hosting many successful rock, metal and indie bands and they also hold alternative club nights. In Newcastle-under-Lyme you can enjoy live music from local bands and watch performing arts acts at The Rigger

For the Festivalgoers out there, you'll be thrilled to know that Staffordshire University is not far away from Download, Creamfields North and Parklife!

Bars & pubs
A group of students sitting in a pub drinking and socialising with the bar behind them

If you're in Hanley then these contemporary and rustic bars are worth a visit, especially if you fancy trying a craft beer or cocktail - BottlecraftGin RummyBloom and Captain's Bar. Stafford has mix of modern and sophisticated bars and pubs if you're looking to make a toast to student life - RevolutionTreehouse and Bod.

Our students also enjoy touring the bars in Newcastle-under-Lyme where you'll find lots of diverse lounges for drinking and socialising - The CrosswaysThe Ten Green Bottles CoSlug and Lettuce and Hogarths.

If pubs are more your thing then Stoke-on-Trent and Stafford both have an abundance of traditional and modernised pubs where you can watch sports and relax.

Leisure and Sport

If you love spending your free time getting active, trying new hobbies, or socialising then Staffordshire has something for everyone. There's a wide selection of activities to stimulate your mind and physical state, whether you prefer the exhiliration of a workout or having a cosy movie night at the cinema. From strategic tabletop games to immersive VR and old-school arcades to table-tennis, Stoke-on-Trent has gaming hotspots where you can enjoy your hobbies. Also not forgetting our glorious surrounding countryside which is perfect for scenic walks, jogging and biking.

Group of four students dressed in active clothing walking in a park carrying a football
Gaming cafes & bars
A group of people playing a table top card game on a wooden table with a selection of beverages

In Stoke-on-Trent you'll find the Geek Retreat, a space to play board games, console games and trading card games, and at the Long Rest Boardgame Bar + Cafe you can eat, drink and play over 400 board games in a cosy setting. If you're seeking an immersive experience then check out Game Grid, West Midland's largest VR and e-sports gaming hub.

Cocktails meet gaming at The Clubhouse, where you can play crazy golf, table tennis, shuffleboard, beer pong, cornhole and video games. Stafford's gaming bar, The Emporium, is where can have fun playing darts, crazy golf, bowling and more!

Escape rooms, laser tag & bowling
A male and female enacting in a horror themed escape room

Escape the real world and work as a team to solve problems before time runs out at these terrifying themed escape rooms in Stoke-on-Trent - Escape StokeParalysis Escape RoomsMscape. If you're in Stafford then check out Escape Nation and Houdini's Escape Room Experience

Zap your opponents on the battle field in a match of laser tag at Sector 7 Laser Tag in Stafford, or Laser Quest in Stoke. If you fancy bowling and partying in a fun environment then visit Tenpin (Stoke-on-Trent) or Superbowl (Stafford).

Indoor and outdoor sports & adventure parks
A female and a male at the Trentham Treetop Adventure wearing equipment for the high rope course

Have an active day of fun skiing or snowboarding and show off your skills on challenging slopes at SnowDome or Stoke Ski Centre, or unleash your inner ninja at Ninja Warrior UK. If you're seeking an exhilirating thrill then these indoor sports and adventure parks will help you let off steam - Inflato StokeAwesome WallsFlip Out and Go Ape. There are plenty of parks and canals in Staffordshire where you can take a breather and go for a walk, jog or cycle too.

For the football fanatics, Stoke-on-Trent has two professional teams Stoke City FC and Port Vale FC, so you can join in the infectious atmosphere and watch the game. Staffordshire is also home to St. George's Park, surrounded by stunning countryside this park is home of the English Football Association's training group and England's 27 national teams.

Life on campus

Living on a student budget can be challenging and you may not want to travel far from campus to take a breather from studying. That's why we have plenty of facilities and spaces on campus where you can exercise, socialise and party, while being in a safe and welcoming environment. You can also get food and drink, and attend students events at cheap rates!

You'll find the Students' Union where you can join a range of clubs and societies, check out exciting events, and you can explore our social spaces where you can meet like-minded people and learn new skills.

Visit Students' Union
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