Study at a university by the sea

There are so many great universities by the sea allowing students to get both an excellent education, as well as a place to relax and enjoy nature. 

University by the sea

Study at a Coastal University

Why study at a university by the sea?

Do you aspire to live and study at a university by the sea? If you have hobbies where you like to get out on the water. Or aspire to do so. Selecting study destination in a coastal location is a great idea. You may be passionate about sailing, surfing SUP-ing or wild swimming. There are many universities that offer a range of courses situated in towns and cities close to the seaside. Below we present a few options from around the world.

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Best Universities by the sea - Case studies

Falmouth University, Falmouth, UK

A coastal town in the southwest of the UK. Falmouth and the surrounding beaches are a hub of water sports activities. Including everything from world class surf beaches, to kite surfing, kayaking, SUP-ing and sailing communities. Falmouth beaches are often full of students swimming after lectures. Having a BBQ on the beach or at the Gylly beach café having a beer or glass of wine.

Falmouth University offers a wide range of degree courses at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Falmouth if well connected with four flights a day from London to Newquay in Cornwall. Check it out and see if this lifestyle is for you.

study by the sea
study at a university by the sea

California State University Monterey Bay, USA

California State University Monterey Bay offer a wide range of degree courses at different levels. Their marine biology degree has one of the highest ranks in the USA. The university is located in the city of Monterey Bay. A small, safe, and supportive community with amazing scenery and wildlife.

The campus has to be a top university by the sea. A short distance to beautiful beaches, mountains, and redwood forests. The area has great shopping, an excellent aquarium, abundant outdoor activities, and is a major tourist destination. Monterey is located in the centre of the California coastline. Making trips to famous destinations quick and easy. It is conveniently located near some of the best attractions in the USA including:

  • 2.5 km to Monterey Bay beaches
  • 12 km to downtown Monterey
  • 50 km to Big Sur
  • 105 km to San Jose/Silicon Valley
  • 180 km to San Francisco
  • 500 km to LA/Hollywood/Disneyland

La Rochelle Business School, La Rochelle, France

La Rochelle is a very pretty coastal city. It has has a wide range of sporting and water sports activities on your doorstep. La Rochelle business school offer courses taught in English. Courses include: business, tourism and hospitality, digital and executive education. They have associate campuses in China and the USA and a wide range of partner universities in 49 countries, providing opportunities to study part of your degree abroad.

Not only is the La Rochelle Business School a great university by the sea with and range of degree courses. It is well worth mentioning that graduate starting salaries average Euros 38,000!

university by the sea

Universities by the beach

Do you aspire to study at a seaside university in the UK?

Let’s look at options where you can complete your academic studies and spend your free time at the beach in the UK.

Bournemouth University and the University of Plymouth have been mentioned above, both have access to south coast UK beaches with a plethora of water sports activities.

Falmouth University in Cornwall has to be mentioned as having access to top Cornish beaches with water sports activities, where students gather in the evening and on weekends to enjoy summer BBQs and to swim in the clear water.

Brighton has two universities – the University of Sussex and Brighton University and both have easy access to Brighton beach.

At the University of Newcastle you can access beautiful beaches in Northumbria and the University of Edinburgh has access close by to beaches in Fife. The University of Aberdeen is coastal and has surf and water sports activities.

Across the water in Belfast, Strangford Lough is incredibly scenic and has picturesque beaches and access to the Atlantic highway as you head north. The University of Belfast has a great campus and the city of Belfast is very beautiful.

In Wales, the University of Bangor, Swansea University and Cardiff University are all unis by the sea with a range of water sports clubs for you to join.

Or maybe consider studying in Europe

Below we are focusing on unis by the sea, starting with sunny Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

EU Business School has their main campus in Barcelona, Spain, offering a range of foundation, Bachelor, Masters and MBA programmes taught in English. Barcelona has a reputation for creativity and growing business ventures. For tourists and students alike, the city has so much to offer with Gaudi architecture and designed parks to white sand beaches in one of the chicest coastal based university. The Sagrada Familia is the jewel of Barcelona and the universities by the sea. It is a giant Basilica and Gaudi’s greatest work and probably the most visited attraction in Barcelona. Living costs in this uni by the sea are generally quite low and you can still pick up a bistro style meal for exceptional value and quality.

EU Business School offer a range of business and management related degree programmes, as well as degree in marketing, tourism and business analytics.

IE University has great QS world university rankings and also has a campus in Barcelona, as does Esade University. Both universities are very prestigious and offer a range of business and management related programmes taught in English in the beautiful location of Barcelona (cross link to our blog on IE and Esade which I don’t think has been put up yet

Do you want to surf and study at universities by the sea in the UK?

Below we review Unis by the sea and coastal universities UK, where you have surf on your doorstep

Bournemouth University Surf Club uses Boscombe pier as their local wave, but hosts trips further afield. They arrange lots of social events at this excellent uni by the sea, catering for all abilities and offer beginners surf lessons, as well as providing wetsuits, surfing taster sessions and surf board rental. A great option if you want to enjoy universities by the beach with a surf break.

Swansea University Surf Club has an excellent surf location and is close to the beautiful surf breaks on the Gower Peninsula near Swansea. You can surf in Swansea Bay on occasions, however, spots on the Gower like Langland and Caswell Bay are only a 15 minute drive by car. Swansea also has a comparatively lower cost of living than many other UK destinations. A great surf location and seaside university in the UK.

Plymouth University Surf Club has Devon and Cornwall surf breaks on its doorstep and has been national student champions for a long time! Plymouth University enter pro surfers in the annual BUCS surf trials and arranges lessons in nearby breaks for beginners and intermediates. Surf film nights and social activities ensure everyone is included in a wide range of activities and they arrange trips to amazing surf spots in Devon and Cornwall on a regular basis.

Fear not, even if your university is not by the seaside, they may still have a surf club. The surf club at the University of Oxford, for example, arranges trips to top UK surf breaks at least once a term and they also arrange an annual trip abroad, where they recently visited surf breaks at Morocco. LSE also has a surf club and arranges regular trips for beginners and experts’ alike, as well as taking part in BUCS surfing competitions and events like the London Surf Film Festival. They host an annual surf trip to Portugal or France and a range of social activities throughout the year.

Are you keen on cold water wild swimming?

Below we have outlined top destinations at UK universities by the sea

The University of Bristol has embraced the cold water swimming culture that is now very popular in the UK. The University of Bristol Wild Swimming club organises regular meetups for students who enjoy swimming in rivers, lakes or the sea. Think picnics on sunny days or swimming in waterfalls in the icy cold rivers of south Wales, join like-minded people to experience the great British outdoors and trips to wild swim in scenic beauty spots close to Bristol and further afield around the UK.

Aberdeen University in north-east Scotland has a wild swimming society for all abilities, from skilled swimmers to beginners; wetsuits are optional! Club membership includes regular socials, weekly swims in local destinations and monthly trips across Scotland to scenic beauty spots. On the west coast of Scotland, beaches are comparable to Caribbean white sand beaches (weather pending)!

Other water sports offered at coastal universities UK

Plymouth University also has a SUP Club (Stand-Up Paddleboard club), capitalising on being a seaside university UK!

The British Universities Sailing Association (BUSA) is the governing body for sailing activities at all UK universities and coordinates UK wide events. Coastal Universities UK where sailing is easily accessible include; Plymouth, the University of Exeter, the University of Portsmouth, Southampton University, Cardiff University, Bournemouth University, Sussex University and the University of Brighton. Many other inland universities do have sailing clubs, however, these locations are universities by the sea and are coastal based universities in the UK.

Many Universities by the sea also host scuba diving clubs and societies where you can learn to scuba dive locally or join in scuba diving trips with your friends to other countries. Oxford Brookes University organises scuba diving activities within its water sports club. Other unis by the sea with scuba clubs are; Falmouth University, Edinburgh University, the University of Plymouth, Southampton University, and Cardiff University.

There are many other universities in the UK with water sports clubs that offer you the chance to partake in a wide range of activities, including; rowing, water polo, windsurfing, wake-boarding and canoeing. The activity level in all clubs caters for beginners and experts alike, so there is something for everyone. If you are keen to study at universities by the sea and want to partake in one of these sports, let us know and we can find you great options at unis by the sea.

If you would like to find out more please contact us to speak to one of our advisers.