What’s it like to study a Masters in Stoke-on-Trent?
Stoke-on-Trent has been a centre for ceramics since the 17th century, when the region became known as the Staffordshire Potteries. The coal mining and steel industries were also significant parts of the local economy. Nowadays, famous potteries such as the Emma Bridgewater factory attract tourists from across the country and beyond, offering the chance to experience the area’s ceramic heritage and to have a go at designing a pot yourself.
It wasn’t until 1910 that modern-day Stoke-on-Trent took shape, when the six districts and boroughs that formed the North Staffordshire Potteries joined together in a federation: Hanley, Stoke-upon-Trent, Burslem, Longton, Tunstall and Fenton. Stoke is unique for being the only such federation in the UK, having gained its royal charter as a city in 1925.
Stoke has a proud footballing tradition, with two league teams in the region: Stoke City FC and Port Vale. Stoke City are the more successful of the two, having enjoyed a European adventure as recently as the 2011-12 season. The legendary Stanley Matthews was born in Hanley and spent most of his career at Stoke City, becoming the oldest footballer to have played in the English first division at a sprightly 50 years old.
Thrill-seeking postgraduates will be interested to know that Alton Towers is a 45-minute drive away, making its stomach-churning rollercoasters an ideal weekend destination. Elsewhere in Staffordshire, V Festival regularly welcomes some of the biggest names in pop music. Those looking for a more sedate study break can visit the Peak District, which is about an hour north-west of Stoke and is the most visited national park in the UK.
The cost of living in Stoke is relatively low compared to other parts of the country, which can be a big advantage when on the hunt for student accommodation. Housing ranges from university halls and apartments to private lets.
Universities in Stoke-on-Trent
There are two universities in North Staffordshire: Staffordshire University and Keele University. Based in Stoke (and with several campuses elsewhere in the region), Staffordshire University was granted university status in 1992 and offers Masters programmes across many disciplines.
Keele University is located on a rural campus just outside the neighbouring market town of Newcastle-under-Lyme, also offering a range of different postgraduate courses.
Careers in Stoke-on-Trent
Stoke is still a major centre for pottery, home to famous ceramics companies like Emma Bridgewater and Royal Worcester. Online gambling company Bet365 was founded by a local business and is still based in the city, lending its name to Stoke City FC’s stadium.
Other organisations with a presence in Stoke include Michelin, Vodafone and Sainsbury’s.