Author Archives: Eleanor House

fruit in a supermarket

How to save money on your food shop

The rising cost of living is difficult for many of our students, and we understand that some extra help may be needed at this time.

If you’re still struggling, please reach out to our Student Support and Wellbeing team for help. You can also access Kent Union’s Campus Pantry at Mandela Student Centre, and can speak to their Advice Service about any extra support or advice you might need. We also offer a range of emergency financial support options.  

In addition to this support, we’ve compiled a list of student tips to help save on your food shop.

(1) Plan your weekly budget

The best place to start is having a weekly budget to work out how much you can realistically afford to spend each week on food. Start by working out your income – whether you have a part-time job or you’re getting money from your parents, every income you have should be accounted for. You’ll then need to make a note of your regular expenses and subtract this from your income. This should then leave you with the amount you have available for food, activities, shopping, and anything else you need to buy over the week. Make sure you set aside a fair amount for food and necessities, and use this weekly budget to inform your spending decisions and plan your food shopping accordingly.

(2) If you can, buy in bulk

Buying in bulk works out cheaper in the long run. For items with a long shelf life that you know you’ll use – like pasta, rice, and washing up liquid – it’s cheaper and easier to buy larger quantities than to keep getting small packets. For example, currently, 1kg of Tesco Penne Pasta costs £1.40, whereas 300g costs £1. Although the 300g packet is cheaper, it works out as £3.34 per kg of pasta when buying 300g packs – which is clearly more expensive than just buying the 1kg bag and using it throughout the term. Therefore, if you can afford it, it’s better to bulk buy at the start of term than to keep buying smaller amounts of items each week.

(3) Do your food shop in the evenings

Most supermarkets start reducing the price of food after about 18.00 so that they can get rid of stock before the end of the day, and make things cheaper that they will no longer be able to sell as ‘fresh’ the next morning. This is great for getting a cheaper food shop – the food will still be fine to eat, just less expensive.

(4) Make a list

Making a list of what you NEED will help to keep you on track with your shopping, and will ensure you don’t waste money on unnecessary items that will just end up going in the bin (which is also far more environmentally friendly as it limits food waste!) Make sure you check your cupboards before you head to the shop so you don’t buy duplicate items that you won’t need, and jot down any ingredients you’re missing.

(5) Keep an eye out for student discounts and cheap deals

There are lots of money-saving discounts online and in stores. As students, you should be able to access student discounts for a range of shops and restaurants, so make sure you always ask if this is available when shopping. For discounts on the Canterbury campus, grab yourself a Totum discount card or a Co-Op membership to access rewards and offers in our two Co-Op stores. It’s also a good idea to do your food shops at cheaper supermarkets (like Aldi and Lidl) if possible, as this will save you a lot of money in the long-run.

For more information on budgeting, check out our Budgeting Guide.

app store on iPhone

Useful apps to download

Here are some useful apps, services and social media channels to download, use and follow as you start your studies at Kent. From getting around to helping you study smarter, here are a few of our suggestions!

Apps to download

Uni Kent Student App – This will hold all the information you need about becoming a student at Kent – a must have! It has quick links to key services such as your Kent email and Moodle as well as other useful features.

Safezone – This is the campus safety app which gives round-the-clock safety reassurance to all students and staff. It’s free to download and easy to use. You can access first-aid, security, or safety assistance via your phone.

Order Up! – Skip the queues with Kent’s app for table service and click & collect. The app can be used in all University of Kent catering outlets. Simply scan the QR code on the table to order.

Bus apps – These apps have a journey planner, live bus information (in real time) and you can even purchase mobile bus tickets at discounted prices. For Canterbury students, download the Stagecoach app. For Medway students, download the Arriva app. Find out more about travel and discount offers available to students.

Train appsSoutheastern. The ‘on Track’ app helps you access (also) real-time information on trains in Kent. Especially helpful if you’re looking to travel to London from Canterbury West and want to find out when the next train is! There is also National Rail Enquiries which provides information on trains for the whole of the UK if you are travelling outside of Kent.

Taxi apps – Only a few of the companies have an app some of which include: Longley’s Private Hire (Canterbury), Computer Cabs (Medway), and Vokes Taxi (Medway). You can find more information about booking a taxi in the UK and the full list of the services the University of Kent uses. If you’re a Canterbury student, check out the Student Safe Taxi scheme

Circuit – This is the campus laundry service app. All launderettes on campus are card or app operated so if you need to do a wash, make sure you familiarise yourself with the app ahead of time. Find out more about laundry services on campus.

Home at Halls – This app is here to make your life easier whilst living on campus. It has a range of great features meaning you can report any accommodation faults you find, complete your room inventory when you arrive, access important information about your accommodation agreement, contact the team for support and receive updates and more all in one place on your phone. The app is free and whilst you should download the app in advance, you won’t be able to sign in with your Kent login until after you have collected your keys from reception. 

Students’ Union app – Get the most from your student experience with Your Students’ Union App! Your one-stop-shop for getting involved with your Students’ Union. It’s your SU – at your finger tips! Discover events, vote easily in elections and join sports and societies with a few quick steps.

Other things to look at 

Who doesn’t want to work and study smarter? Make sure to check out our software finder to discover apps and software for staff and students to help you make the most out of your time at Kent. From helping you stay focused to supporting accessibility needs, we’d highly recommend you have a browse. Did you know, you can download Microsoft Office 365 for free?

For student discounts check out Unidays. From discounts on food and drink to clothes to technology it’s a must to check out! Happy browsing!

medical doctor and patient smiling

Registering with a doctor

It is important to register with a GP close to your term-time address so you can access health services quickly and easily while you’re at University.

Visit the NHS website for more information about getting medical care as a student.

Canterbury

Kent has its own NHS general practice on campus called the University Medical Centre.

Canterbury students can register for the University Medical Practice online.

Medway

You should register with a local doctor near to your accommodation in order to receive treatment under the National Health Service (NHS): Find your nearest NHS Surgery.

NHS services for students

Check out this handy guide for students in Kent and Medway It includes:

  • How to register with a GP
  • What to do if you become unwell during the holidays
  • Registering with a dentist
  • Mental health support
  • Vaccinations
  • Contraception

More support

Find out more about our support services at Canterbury and Medway.

students leaving Drill Hall Library

Support at Medway

Find out how to get support at Medway:

First points of contact

The friendly Colleges and Community Life Team can help you connect with other students in your College community through activities and initiatives, working with your College Committee and Residential Life Assistants. They can offer advice and refer you to other specialist services, whether you are living on- or off-campus or studying remotely.

You can also get in touch with your School or Division if you have a query. They should be able to help you or point you in the right direction for further support.

Support with your studies

Our Student Learning and Advisory Service (SLAS) can help you with everything from perfecting your essay writing to learning how to reference properly.

Don’t forget School is also there to help you with your studies and offer a range of study support.

Might you benefit from contact with Student Support and Wellbeing?

If you have a disability, chronic condition, mental health condition, specific learning difficulty or autism, please contact Student Support and Wellbeing to see how they can help you make the most of your university journey.

We have a team of expert staff who can help you face the challenges of studying, socialising and living independently, whatever else you might be going through, whether it’s something you’re experiencing for the first time at University or have dealt with for a while.

There is also a free confidential counselling service which offers you a safe space to address issues concerning you and can help get thoughts, feelings, behaviour and perspective on life back in balance again.

Kent Union

From money worries to housing issues, academic problems to visa support, Kent Union’s Advice Service is available to help through their free, impartial and confidential advice service. Find out more about Kent Union at The Hub

Financial support

With the cost of living rising, you are probably thinking more about your finances. Our financial help and advice webpage includes tips on budgeting, getting a part-time job and who to contact for further support. Plus, we offer a range of emergency financial support options.

Health services

It’s a good idea to register with a local doctor near to your accommodation in order to receive treatment under the National Health Service (NHS): Find your nearest NHS Surgery. Medway students can call Canterbury Nursing Services on 01227 823503 for telephone advice for minor illnesses/injuries and contraception. Check out this Visual Guide: Finding Health Support and Emergency Services at Medway

Students sat at Canterbury labyrinth

Support at Canterbury

Find out how to get support at Canterbury:

First points of contact

The friendly Colleges and Community Life Team can help you connect with other students in your College community through activities and initiatives, working with your College Committee and Residential Life Assistants. They can offer advice and refer you to other specialist services, whether you are living on- or off-campus or studying remotely.

You can also get in touch with your School or Division if you have a query. Your School should be able to help you or point you in the right direction for further support.

Support with your studies

Our Student Learning and Advisory Service (SLAS) can help you with everything from perfecting your essay writing to learning how to reference properly.

Don’t forget your School is also there to help you with your studies and offer a range of study support.

Might you benefit from contact with Student Support and Wellbeing?

If you have a disability, chronic condition, mental health condition, specific learning difficulty or autism, please contact Student Support and Wellbeing to see how they can help you make the most of your university journey.

We have a team of expert staff who can help you face the challenges of studying, socialising and living independently, whatever else you might be going through, whether it’s something you’re experiencing for the first time at university or something you have dealt with for a while.

There is also a free confidential counselling service which offers you a safe space to address issues concerning you and can help get thoughts, feelings, behaviour and perspective on life back in balance again.

Kent Union

Kent Union are your Students’ Union. From money worries to housing issues, academic problems to visa support, Kent Union’s Student Advice Service is available to help through their free, impartial and confidential advice service.

You can also get in touch with your Kent Union full-time officers who are each responsible for specific areas within the Union.

Financial support

With the cost of living rising, you are probably thinking more about your finances. Our financial help and advice webpage includes tips on budgeting, getting a part-time job and who to contact for further support. Plus, we offer a range of emergency financial support options.

You can also access Kent Union’s Campus Pantry at Mandela Student Centre, and can speak to their Advice Service about any extra support or advice you might need.

Health services

Kent has its own NHS general practice on campus called the University Medical Centre, with an independent pharmacy next to it. Our University Nursing Service provide advice for minor illnesses/injuries and contraception, and is staffed 24 hours a day during term time by registered nurses. Check out this Visual Guide: Finding Health Support and Emergency Services at University

notepad and pen

Reading and note-taking: top tips

Having located, bookmarked and borrowed (from the library) a range of useful and relevant sources, you are now ready to extract the information you need through effective reading and note-taking.

Effective reading

 You can’t read everything on your subject. The following process will help you to locate and select specific information you need for your assignment, quickly and efficiently.

  • Be clear what you need to find out about

Identify key words or terms connected to the information you need from your assignment question or task.

  • Skim read to identify useful sections of text

Read fast, looking for key words in contents pages, abstracts, introductions, conclusions, headings and index pages to identify chapters or sections of text that are most likely to contain the information you need.

  • Scan selected sections to locate the specific text you need

Let your eyes wander around the page searching for the key words or terms, concepts, data, figures, dates and events that you need to learn about. Mark selected passages of text (e.g. using mini post-it notes) for detailed reading later.

  • Read in detail using ‘active reading’

Read your chosen texts carefully, line for line, aware of what you need to understand and analyse e.g. background information, facts, theories and ideas.

Note-taking

Notes are a written summary of the academic information that you read or listen to on your course. You will need to refer to your notes as you undertake assignments, revise for exams, prepare for presentations or seminars. To ensure that your notes work well:

  • Find a note-taking style that works for you, then stick with it

– There are many different note-taking techniques – from writing bullet point lists to drawing spidergrams. For advice and examples go to the SLAS website.

  • Ensure your notes contain key ingredients

Reference details of the source you are using (author, date, title etc)

– Summary of key facts, terms, theories, points made by the author

– Key evidence/examples used by the author to support their ideas

– Your observations about the strengths/weaknesses (critical analysis) of the arguments or ideas contained in the text

  • Write notes mostly in your own words (paraphrased*), but also…

– Jot down short quotations from the author to use later as evidence, or to emphasise key points (noting the page number on which they appear)

– To avoid confusion later, use quotation marks or a highlighter pen to clearly distinguish an author’s exact words from your own in your notes

  • Make sure your notes are legible, for future use

– Use readable fonts/clear handwriting

– Tidy up your notes or redraft, as necessary, to make them easy to follow

  • Ensure your notes are clearly titled (module/topic/title of publication), dated (when you made the notes), and filed with other related materials e.g. assignment brief, for easy retrieval

 

Resources

For guidance on all the topics mentioned above – including Understanding the question, Effective reading, Note-taking, Referencing and Critical analysis – the Student Learning Advisory Service (SLAS) provides 1-1 appointments, workshops and study guides.

I've had my Covid vaccination sticker

Reminder: have you had your vaccines?

Make sure you’re up to date with your measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), MenACWY and Covid-19 vaccines. And if you’re not, book in with your GP Surgery to get the vaccine.

After arriving at university it is important you register with the local GP surgery, who will also be able to advise regarding your vaccinations and provide any vaccines to ensure you’re up-to-date.

Look out for symptoms of measles, meningitis and covid-19.

Facts about measles

  • Measles is circulating in England and in Europe, particularly among 15 -25 year olds.
  • Measles is very infectious, it can cause serious complications and, in rare cases, can be fatal.
  • Measles can be more severe in young people and adults, often leading to hospital admissions.
  • Measles starts with cold-like symptoms and sore red eyes followed by a high temperature and a red-brown blotchy rash. If you experience these symptoms, call NHS 111.
  • The best way to protect yourself against measles is to have two doses of the MMR vaccine. It is never too late to get the vaccine. There are no risks to your health if you get an extra dose.
  • Young people are strongly advised to check if they have had the MMR vaccine. Check if you have had two doses of the vaccine with your GP and arrange a catch up NOW if necessary.
  • If you suspect you have measles stay away from others for at least four days after the rash has appeared.
  • Call NHS 111 if you think you might have measles or have been in contact with someone who has had it.

Facts about meningococcal disease

  • Meningitis and septicaemia can develop suddenly and can kill or leave people with life changing disabilities and health problems.
  • There has been a rapid increase in MenW, a type of meningococcal disease in recent years in the UK.
  • This recent MenW strain has been particularly serious and can be difficult to diagnose because it has been associated with symptoms less frequently seen with meningococcal disease, such as severe diarrhoea and vomiting.
  • Symptoms of meningitis and septicaemia include: 
    • a blotchy rash that doesn’t fade when a glass is rolled over it; 
    • fever and/or vomiting; 
    • severe headaches;
    • aching muscles and joints and a stiff neck;
    • cold hands and feet, shivering;
    • pale or mottled skin, or rash;
    • breathing fast, breathless;
    • dislike of bright lights, seizures;
    • very sleepy, difficult to wake, vacant, confused or delirious.
  • The MenACWY vaccine is available free to students who are going to university for the first time up until their 25th birthday.
  • Any student born after 1 September 1996 who missed the MenACWY vaccine at secondary school can have the vaccine before their 25th birthday
  • Higher Education students are known to be at increased risk of meningitis and septicaemia. Being in confined environments with close contact, such as university halls, hostels when travelling, or attending festivals, increase the chances of infection if unprotected.
  • Students should be aware of the symptoms of meningitis and septicaemia and tell someone if they or their friends feel unwell.
  • It is vital for students to register with a GP and take up the vaccination as soon as possible. You can book an appointment to get the MenACWY vaccine via your GP.

To find out more about meningococcal disease and the Save a Life campaign, scan the QR code below.

meningococcal disease information QR code

Coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccine

Getting vaccinated is an important part of protecting ourselves, our friends, family and community from Covid-19. More information about the UK Covid-19 vaccination programme is available online.

For more information about Coronavirus visit our webpage for latest information.

graduate woman looking excited

Support for mature, commuting and part-time students

If you are a mature, commuting or part-time student (or a combination) there is plenty of additional support for you and ways to connect with those in a similar position to you. This includes a society that runs events and study sessions at convenient times if you have other responsibilities (e.g. job and childcare), and a dedicated student network to help get your voice heard.

Mature Student Society

Kent Union has a Mature Student Society which acts as a forum to promote the challenges and needs of students over the age of 21. As well as being for mature students, the society welcomes students returning to education, part-time or commuting students, and students who have dependants or caring responsibilities. The society meets regularly and is a great way to socialise with other students with similar responsibilities and potential interests.

Mature and Part-Time Student Network

Kent Union has a number of student networks. The Mature and Part-Time Student Network aims to represent and act as the voice for all mature, commuting and part-time Students, and to feed back key issues that affect the mature, commuting and part-time student experience to both the University and Kent Union.

More about support available.

Spaces on campus

The following spaces are open to all and are a great place to make a base on campus for studying, heating up food or just chilling out. 

Community Lounge

The Community Lounge is based at the Canterbury campus as open Monday to Friday. As well as a social room and meeting room, there are two quiet study rooms, lockers, and kitchen access with a refrigerator, microwave, and kettle.

The Community Lounge is located on the ground floor of the Chipperfield Extension side entrance.

Oasis Lounge

The Oasis Lounge can be found in the Rochester building at our Medway campus. It includes a microwave and vending machines, as well as seating and a pool table. 

Hook Lounge

The Hook Lounge is based in the Clocktower building at the Dockyard, Medway. The Hook Lounge has vending machines which also provide free hot water to make your own drinks, plus a TV to help you chill out.

Two students chatting and sitting outside Templeman Library

Welcome to our Postgraduate Taught (PGT) students

The Graduate and Researcher College want to wish you a warm welcome to Kent!

Global Skills Award

The Global Skills Award (GSA) is a programme of lectures and skills workshops designed to broaden your understanding of global issues and current affairs. It also develops your personal skills and enhances your career prospects while you study for your Master’s.

Postgraduate study areas

We have a wide range of study spaces at our campuses, including some study areas specifically for postgrad students.

Postgraduate representation in your students’ union

Your students’ unions have networks which are student-led spaces for students who share an interest or identity. You can join the Kent Union postgraduate student network to connect with other postgraduate students. They promote and raise awareness of postgraduate issues to students, University and Kent Union, as well as to create and support postgraduate campaigns and foster a community here in Kent.

Kent Union also have full-time elected student officers who you can get in touch with if you have concerns or ideas. Ben Bradley is the Vice-President for Postgraduate Experience.

Three people talking in a learning environment

Welcome to our Postgraduate Research (PGR) students

The Graduate and Researcher College want to wish you a warm welcome to Kent!

Kickstart your PhD workshop

PhD students embarking upon their first year as a PhD Researcher will need to attend a compulsory Kickstart your PhD workshop. This workshop explores the PhD journey and focuses on what researchers need to make the most of their doctoral programme. At this session, students will be introduced to the RDA form, which they will need to complete before their first year Probationary Review meeting. Kickstart your PhD sessions running in the Spring term are now available to book via the Graduate and Researcher College training portal Target Connect.

Researcher Developer Program

You may also be interested in our Researcher Developer Program (RDP) which is open to all postgraduate research students. The RDP is designed to equip postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers with a full range of skills. It improves your effectiveness as a researcher and ensures that by the end of your research project, you are both highly qualified and employable in a variety of careers.

New PhD mentoring scheme

Do you want to learn new skills and meet other postgraduate researchers? The Graduate and Researcher College is delighted to announce the launch of its mentoring scheme for PhD students. The scheme is designed to help support the personal development of both mentors and mentees. Applications for the scheme can be made, until 29 January 2021. Contact skills@kent.ac.uk to show your interest.

Postgraduate study areas

We have a wide range of study spaces at our campuses, including some study areas specifically for postgrad students.

Postgraduate representation in your students’ union

Your students’ unions have networks which are student-led spaces for students who share an interest or identity. You can join the Kent Union postgraduate student network to connect with other postgraduate students.

Kent Union also have full-time elected student officers who you can get in touch with if you have concerns or ideas. Ben Bradley is the Vice-President for Postgraduate Experience.