Category Archives: Returners

Student doing food shop

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. Here are some student tips to help you 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) Take stock and make a list

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. This also helps you use up food before it goes out of date. Try to plan what meals you might like to have for the week and make a list of what you need. It can also be helpful to make extra food so you have leftovers for the next day’s lunch. Making a list of what you actually need will help to keep you on track with your shopping.

(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) If you can, buy in bulk

Buying in bulk can work 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. Look out for the price per kg or per litre on these items to make sure you’re getting a good deal. If you can afford it, it can make more sense to bulk buy items once rather than buying smaller amounts of items each week.

(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.

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.  

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 free apps and software for students and staff 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!

calendar with yellow marker pen

Managing your studies

Good time management and organisation are key to staying on top of your studies. You will need to plan your time and your assignments, maintain a good filing system for all your study materials, and ensure that you keep pace with your course.

Plan your time

Use a time planner

Use a time planner to take control of your time. This will involve organising your studies (lectures, seminars, reading and assignments) along with all other activities and commitments in your life (work, family etc) throughout the year. Try colour coding different activities on your planner to help keep track of them.

Plan each assignment

Start each assignment as early as possible. Working backwards from the deadline, consider the stages of work needed to complete each one and estimate how long you have to dedicate to each, then plot them on your time planner. Complete each stage of work on time to avoid last minute panics and to meet your deadlines. For a sample of stages in one type of assignment, see managing your essay.

Set achievable goals and prioritise tasks

Divide individual days into bitesize chunks of time and allocate an achievable task to each session e.g. 9-11am – Read/make notes on Journal article x; 11-12am – Draw up essay plan for assignment y; 12-1pm – Proof-read report z… etc. This will keep you focussed and productive, and ensure constant progress.

Consider which tasks are both important and urgent – e.g. Proof-read and submit assignment x – and prioritise these on your daily schedule.

Set up a filing system

Group, organise and store information and work in a logical order

  • Think about where and how you will group, organise and store course information, handouts, research and your notes so you can find them easily e.g. ‘Module X: Topic A/B/C/D’ or ‘Assignment Y: Research/Notes/Drafts’.
  • Number assignment drafts (essays, project reports etc) to keep track of the most recent version.
  • Use ring binders with labelled dividers, computer folders/files or a mixture both to stay organised and save time.

Back-up work regularly on your computer to avoid any risk of losing it


Keep on top of your work

Be pro-active

If you find yourself falling behind with your studies don’t ignore it, reflect on the reasons, consider solutions and take action – action can even be seeking advice if you are struggling or not sure of what you are doing

Seek help in plenty of time if you need it

Ask your lecturer or seek advice from relevant university services which may include:


For more information on all topics mentioned above and more visit the Student Learning Advisory Service – University of Kent (SLAS) we also offer appointments and workshops.

Student on laptop

Don’t forget to enrol or re-register by 16 Oct

New students, if you haven’t already, please remember to enrol online by 10:00 on 16 October 2023.

Returning students, you also need to complete Returning Registration by 10:00 on 16 October 2023.

This is to let us know you will definitely be studying with us this academic year. If you can’t register for financial reasons, visit the Financial Aid team in the Arrivals Hub (Canterbury campus).

Find out more on the How to enrol webpage.

Rutherford Wok bar noodles

Campus food: more choices, greater savings

New tasty Grab & Go range, expansion of £3 Meal Deals, extra Flex Meal Plan options and more savings!

Over the summer Kent’s Catering Team have been working hard to bring you some new and exciting ranges across our outlets, while reducing meal prices on average by 20% to help with the cost of living.

See some of the great new offers, price reductions and new catering ranges we have on campus this academic year…

£3 Meal Deal expansion: more choices, greater savings

Students eating in Rutherford Dining Hall

From Saturday 16 September, the popular £3 Hot Meal Deal returned to Rutherford Dining Hall, offering you a choice between a freshly prepared plant-based or meat dish.

Plus, the popular £3 Sandwich Meal Deal, a hit during the summer break at Dolche Vita and Gulbenkian Café, has now expanded to include Sibson Café and Mungo’s.

In addition to this exciting meal deal expansion, the catering team have reduced hot food price on average by 20%. Through reducing food waste, collaborating closely with our primary food supplier, simplifying operations, and managing food expenses effectively, prices across campus have been significantly reduced. For instance, a Gulbenkian breakfast, once priced at £5.95, is now available at just £4.50, a Mungo’s burger and chips was £6.00, now £4.50, a Hut8 9” Margherita pizza was £7.00, now £4.00! Our hot main meals now start at £4.00 across our seven outlets and have reduced the lowest price coffee to £1.85 in Gulbenkian Café, Dolche Vita and Sibson Café.

This reduction in hot food prices shows our commitment to offering affordable dining options while fostering sustainability. By making meals more accessible and cost effective, we are endeavouring to enrich the campus dining experience and encouraging a culture of appreciating wholesome, budget-friendly choices.

New Grab & Go range

Hellas Kitchen (Greek street kitchen), Kerala Curry (Indian street food), Silence of the Tams (plant-based street food) and Three Little Birds (Caribbean street food)

An exciting new grab-and-go range has been introduced on campus, promising a tasty and convenient dining experience for you. The range offers a diverse selection of sandwiches, salads, snacks, fruit, desserts, and reheatable items, carefully designed to cater to a variety of tastes and dietary preferences.

The expanded range brings in delicious new additions such as Jamaican patties, granola pots, burritos, and pasta pots. These additions not only promise convenience but also introduce a burst of flavours to liven up mealtimes. Adding to the excitement, the menu showcases items from global micro brands, including Kerala Curry (Indian food), Hellas Kitchen (Greek food), Three Little Birds (Caribbean Food), and Silence of the Yams (plant-based food), providing a taste experience from around the world.

These tasty grab-and-go items are conveniently located across multiple campus locations including Rutherford Dining Hall, Gulbenkian Café, Mungo’s, Sibson Café, and Dolche Vita.

The introduction of this exciting grab-and-go range at Kent underlines a commitment to providing a diverse, flavourful, and accessible dining experience.

New Flexible Meal Plan options

Rutherford Wok bar noodles

We launched some new Flex Meal Plan options this September.  In addition to the annual Flex Meal Plan, we now have Termly and Mini Flex options which allows you to plan ahead, eat when it suits you, spend less time cooking and more time studying and socialising – all while saving you up to 50% on food.  Our Mini Flex Meal Plan is a great option for commuting students who only want to eat on campus in the day and during the week, rather than paying for evenings and weekends when you aren’t here.

New hot drink loyalty offer

We have launched a new hot drink loyalty offer – buy 9 hot drinks and get your 10th free.  Available in Dolche Vita, Gulbenkian Café, Rutherford Dining Hall and Sibson Café. We are also continuing with our offer if you bring your own keep cup / travel mug into our outlets for a hot drink, you save 10% on your drink order.

Keep an eye out on our catering webpages and UniKentFood Instagram for catering offers, new ranges, new opening times across our outlets and more.

Campus shuttle bus

Campus Shuttle: book a seat system now live

The Campus Shuttle is our free coach service between Canterbury and Medway campuses. The service is available to University of Kent students and staff only.

We are pleased to announce that the Campus Shuttle booking system in now live.

It is essential that you book a seat prior to travelling.   

Once you have your annual pass, there are two Shuttle services that you can book onto:

  1. UniKent Travel – this service operates during the day from 07:30hrs to 20:00hrs (8pm)
    You can book onto these services at anytime up to 5 minutes before departure.
  2. UniKent Overnight – this service operates after 20:00hrs (8pm) and prior to 07:00hrs (7am)
    You can book onto these services from 36 hours prior to departure and up to 5 minutes before the departure time.

For guidance on how to apply for your Annual Pass and booking a seat refer to ‘Booking Guide’.

Students and Kent Bunny at Welcome Fair

Welcome Week events roundup (18-24 September) 

A massive welcome or welcome back to Kent! This week is Welcome Week so there’s a ton of events happening to help you meet new people and try out new things. Here’s a taster of what’s on: 

Monday 18 September: Monday Funday activities 

We kick off the week with Monday Funday at both Canterbury and Medway campuses. At Canterbury you can give rock climbing or laser tag a go. You can also join in with the chaos of Hungry Hippos inflatable game on the Library Lawn. At Medway there’s a giant ball bit and you can have a go on the Rodeo Sheep! 

Tuesday 19 September: Global Hangout, Picnic and Pets and much more 

International students are invited to join our Welcome Week Global Hangout event in Darwin Conference suit, Canterbury campus. You can sample food from different cultures, join an African drumming workshop and take part in crafts and games. Book your free ticket now.

There’s lots happening on Tuesday at Medway campus with the Picnic and Pets meeting cute animals, games of laser tag and a freshers quiz with prizes! 

Join the Gulbenkian’s outdoor cinema for their free screening of ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ on Wednesday evening. You can get some food and drink from 20:00 and the film will start from 21:00 (ish) once the sun sets.  

Wednesday 20 September: Medway Welcome Fair, Campus Pantry ‘pop up’ and Vensday 

On Wednesday it’s the Medway Welcome Fair, one of the biggest events of the year. Find out about all the societies, groups and support services. Try something new and meet lifelong friends with similar interests to you.

On the Canterbury campus you can go along to the Campus Pantry ‘pop up’ and collect items you might need for the new academic year that have been donated by previous students. Items include things like bags, crockery and pots and pans.

Canterbury’s biggest weekly student night returns with Vensday Freshers Neon Carnival at the Venue, Kent Union’s nightclub on campus. Grab your glowsticks and UV paint! 

Thursday 21 September: Canterbury Welcome Fair day 1 and Medway Try it Out Day 

Canterbury Welcome Fair is the biggest and best opportunity to meet all our amazing student groups and grab some freebies. Have a walk around all the stalls and discover which activities and sports you can take part in throughout the year.

At Medway join the Try it Out Day for Sports and Societies. Get a taster of what is on offer when joining a club on campus. Plus, in the evening there’s UV games in the Hub including table tennis and badminton.

Friday 22 September: Canterbury Welcome Fair day 2 and Freshers Ball – Bollywood Night, Medway 

Canterbury Welcome Fair continues on Friday. And remember, returning students are also welcome to come along to the Welcome Fairs! Chat to all the different societies and student groups and try something new.

On Friday evening it’s the Freshers Ball – Bollywood night at The Deep End, Medway campus. Step into the vibrant world of Bollywood as you dance the night away to the hottest Bollywood tracks mixed in with the latest chart-toppers.

Saturday 23 September: Canterbury Tour and alternative club night

On Saturday you can join the elected Kent Union Officers for a tour of Canterbury city centre, showing you the best routes to go and some of the places you should visit.

In the evening, enjoy an evening of classic cocktails with friends new and old at K Bar. Or try out Canterbury’s brand new monthly alternative club night at Woody’s, featuring all your favourite indie, rock and punk anthems.

Sunday 24 September: Disney Pub Quiz 

From Micky Mouse to Marvel, let your Disney knowledge shine at the Disney themed quiz at K Bar on Sunday evening.

This is just a small selection of what’s on! See all Welcome Week events.

And don’t forget to prioritise your School and Division Welcome Week events so you’re ready for when teaching begins.



Students eating in Rutherford Dining Hall

£3 Meal Deal returns to Rutherford Dining Hall

Our popular £3 Meal Deal returns to Rutherford Dining Hall from Saturday 16 September 2023. 

Available Monday to Sunday: 

  • Lunch 12.00 – 14.00 
  • Dinner 17.00 – 21.00 

Choose from a freshly prepared plant-based or meat option. 

We also have a £3 sandwich Meal Deal running from 16 September – a great Grab and Go offer for in between lectures.

A great meal at a great price.  

More support with cost of living 

You can see all the financial support available to students on our Cost of Living Support webpages. 

And please remember, if you are struggling financially, get in touch for support. 


Group of students laughing in class

Timetable ready for returning students

Stage 2 and 3 timetables are ready to view in KentVision.

New students (Foundation and Stage 1) and Postgraduate Taught students will get their timetables next week (from 18 September).

All timetables will be fully published by 21 September.

Make sure:

If you have any questions about your timetable, speak to your Division’s Programmes Administration Team.

Living Black at Kent booklet

Living Black at Kent booklet now live! 

In 2022 Unite Students, alongside Halpin Partnership, investigated and released a report that shone a light on the experiences of Black university students in UK student accommodation.  

At Kent, the Accommodation Team read that Living Black at University report and decided we needed to do better too.  

As one of Kent’s first projects a new ‘Living Black at Kent booklet has been produced to act on one of the report’s recommendations. Collaborating with current Black students and staff for recommendations, the ‘Living Black at Kent’ booklet aims to highlight local services and businesses close to our campuses that may help give new Black students a head start in getting settled into their new surroundings and finding their feet in their new home at university.  

Speaking on the booklet, Laura Maclean, Head of Accommodation and Customer Services said “I’m passionate about improving the lived experience of our students here at Kent. This booklet is just one of the initiatives that has been developed in response to the report’s recommendations, and we hope that we can build on this in the future to ensure all our students are well supported, particularly when they are moving to Kent for the first time”. 

The Living Black at Kent booklet is now available online and in Canterbury college receptions from Arrivals Weekend.  

If you’re interested in reading the full Living Black at University report you can do so online at