Many university students choose to study close to home, whether it's to save money, stay near friends and family or simply because they love where they live.
Luckily, Gloucestershire students have one of the country's top universities right on their doorstep — with Hartpury University being named the number one university in England for academic support by the National Student Survey 2023, and in the top 10 UK universities for teaching quality in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024.
Just a short 15-minute drive from Gloucester and around 20 minutes from Cheltenham, local students have an easy commute to Hartpury's 360-hectare campus, with free parking for students and a shuttle bus to Gloucester, too.
And to give prospective students more options for the next academic year, Hartpury has recently expanded its portfolio of undergraduate courses, with a brand-new BSc (Hons) Business Management degree and BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences degree launching in September 2024.
The Business Management course is the first standalone business degree that Hartpury is offering outside of its traditional land-based and sport specialisms.
Despite this, the university already has a strong reputation for delivering high-quality business degrees within its specialist subject areas, with 97 per cent of its graduates in employment, further study or purposeful activity according to Graduate Outcomes 2023.
The new course has been created with leading business professionals and features business management modules to give students an understanding of the core principles of business and help them develop their own unique leadership style. It's also complemented by a new top-up MBA course for anyone hoping to progress their business career or build on their existing postgraduate qualifications.
The undergraduate programme gives ambitious students access to a world of career opportunities, preparing them to become part of an international business network and make a difference in roles all over the globe.
Hartpury's own Innovation, Careers and Enterprise (ICE) Centre is dedicated to helping students forge connections with over 3,000 regional, national and international employers for work experience or graduate opportunities — and there's the option of completing an integrated placement year and even a semester or full year abroad, studying at a partner institution.
Students also benefit from a small cohort experience and really get to know their lecturers, with small class sizes that enable teachers to nurture each and every student to achieve their potential.
Not to mention, they'll have access to Hartpury's 11 commercial businesses, which all operate on campus, giving them real-world experience to impress future employers.
From engaging with the commercial operations of the canine and equine therapy and hydrotherapy centres; learning about agri-technology at the Digital Innovation Farm and Tech Box; to honing their event management skills at international equestrian events, there's the flexibility for students to apply their knowledge and explore their interests in different areas of business management.
Meanwhile, the Biological Sciences course is the newest addition to Hartpury's portfolio of animal degrees, designed for students that want to develop their scientific knowledge.
With learning taking place inside the laboratories and outside in the fields, the stand-out benefit of studying biological sciences on Hartpury's specialist campus is the chance to gain hands-on experience.
The university has its own commercial farm spread across 380 hectares; a large equine centre; professional laboratories; and a 70-species collection of domestic and non-domestic animals — with this course designed to help students advance their understanding of living systems, covering everything from anatomy and physiology to plant science and epidemiology.
Ideal for anyone interested in a biology career, from pharmaceuticals and environmental science to clinical research and animal health professions, the course encourages students to put theory into practice, dissecting in the microbiology labs and observing British wildlife in the field; as well as studying core topics like genetics and cell biology.
The course include external field trips — with previous excursions for Hartpury students including outings to the Royal Veterinary College and the Three Counties Equine Hospital — and attend inspiring talks with guest speakers, spanning conservationists and sustainability experts to plant breeders and reputable academics.
Those studying these new degrees will benefit from improved campus facilities, including Hartpury's £12.75 million University Learning Hub, which is due to open in the 2023/24 academic year.
The BSc (Hons) Business Management degree and BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences degree will welcome their first cohorts of students in September 2024.