Surrey Institute of Art & Design

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Surrey Institute of Art & Design

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Review of "Surrey Institute of Art & Design"

published 13/07/2001 | charis18uk
Member since : 26/06/2001
Reviews : 43
Members who trust : 21
About me :
Finally wrote my first review in just over three years!
Pro Close Knit Community Environment
Cons Living In a Small Village/Town can at times be boring
very helpful

"Largest Art College In Europe"

Never heard of Surrey Institute of Art & Design, well check it out here!!

I spent 4 years at the Surrey Institute of Art & Design (or SIAD, as I will call it from now on)!!!

SIAD is actually split into 2 sites Epsom & Farnham. I will deal firstly with Farnham as it is the larger campus.

SIAD - Farnham Campus

2 long years spent at Farnham!! Farnham itself is a small town/village with quaint little shops, boutiques and coffee shops. At times it can feel a lot like one of those cream tea and scone villages. However, ever present is the large number of students who make Farnham their home. It is quite expensive to live in Farnham and the rents reflect this. This coupled with a general dislike of private letting agencies to rent to students can make housing one of the first and biggest problems you encounter.

SIAD does offer a good level of student accommodation and the majority of it is actually very new having been built around 1997. But you can still expect for the best part of your money to go on rent.

The Student Union offers a great range of entertainment’s. When you first arrive at SIAD you are greeted with a week long (if not longer) programme of entertainment’s. The Student Union has its own bar and club license so you can party on until the early hours of the morning. The line up of bands is terrific on the whole. There is a wide range of clubs & societies and you can always get together with other students to form a group that does not already exist.

There are some down sides to being a student at Farnham and they mainly centre around the fact that you can at times feel a little cut off. I remember buses finishing at 6pm and having to walk miles just to get to the bar/entertainment’s. The nearest decent cinema & night-clubs are in Guildford which is at least 30 mins drive away. Which can be annoying.

On the whole Farnham can be an expensive place to be a student. However, if you want to buckle down and get a really good degree then this is definitely the place to come for those of you interested in studying and art related subject.


The Epsom campus is situated about an hours drive from the main campus and apart from the occasional organised night out to the Farnham Campus entertainment’s/bar the two campuses of students have very little real contact with each other on a day to day basis.

Epsom is even more expensive for accommodation than Farnham, with rents being similar to those in London. The accommodation is also very hard to come by and can be of poor quality or living in cramped conditions. A popular thing that students do is rent a 4 bedroom house and convert the sitting room into another bedroom to get another person to share the rent. SIAD itself does not currently offer student accommodation at the Epsom campus despite many discussions on the great need by students for this facility.

The student union at the Epsom campus has developed a lot of recent years. They have their own bar, office and programme of entertainment’s and clubs and societies. The level of entertainment’s offered is nowhere near the level of the Farnham campus, mainly due to the size of the campus and the student union facilities.

Life in general is a lot different at Epsom than it is at Farnham. The students are a close knit group on the whole, which mainly stems from it being a very small campus.

One of the good things about studying at Epsom is the links with other cities/towns such as London, Sutton, Kingston and Guildford all being very easy to reach by train.

On the whole I enjoyed my time at SIAD. Although at times you really wish that you could have some of the facilities and advantages that come from being part of a large university campus. However, the SIAD experience can offer you a community spirit and environment that to some is very appealing

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Comments on this review

  • bigbtommy published 12/10/2002
    Thanks. I'm considering going there to do Photography.
  • RuthHolohan published 14/07/2001
    Sounds like fun, you are a good advert for the college! Ruth.
  • Cazz published 13/07/2001
    Hi, welcome to Ciao, if this is a first opinion it's a terrific start. This would be much more use to a new or potential student than most official prospectuses! Cazz xx
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Product Information : Surrey Institute of Art & Design

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Listed on Ciao since: 13/07/2001