Your Guide to First Year

Congratulations on getting into Southampton Medical School!

Freshers Checklist

Moving in

What you need:-

Food: Try and have a few easy meals ready for your first few days so you can concentrate on having fun and meeting new people.

A few home comforts: Your new room walls might seem a bit bare and unhomely when you first move in, so if you want to liven it up a bit: bring photos, posters, etc.

Printer: not essential but saves on printing costs in the library, especially if you want to print lecture slides out.

A lab coat: You will need this for the anatomy lab. If you don’t already have one you can purchase them at the freshers’ fair. The lab staff will also lend you one for the first two weeks to give you time to purchase one.

Fancy dress: The crazier the better! Freshers’ fortnight is packed with themed nights, as are Medsoc events throughout the year.

What you don’t need: -

Toasters/kettles: These aren’t provided in halls but there is no point in everyone turning up with a brand new kettle each. Unless you have a spare one at home hanging around, it's best to sort this out and get one with your flatmates once you arrive.

Textbooks: Although a list of recommended textbooks is sent out, PLEASE don’t go out and buy them before you start. There are two libraries full of books you can borrow, so it might be worth trying a few out before investing in any. There’s also the MedSoc ‘bring and buy’ sale for books in the first term so watch out for that.

Fancy medical equipment: You won’t be expected to use a stethoscope until the second half of first year so there is no rush to purchase one (and even then there are spares or you can share!). Discount vouchers for Littmann® stethoscopes are available at the external organisations fayre during induction week at the hospital.

Freshers’ fortnight top tips

Get a door wedge: It’s a great way of getting involved in what’s going on in halls, people will be much more likely to come and talk to you in your room if your door is open so it’s a fab way of making friends.

Don’t burn out: Medics often have lectures that start before freshers’ fortnight fun has ended so you don’t have the luxury of sleeping off the night before during the day. Don’t feel that you have to go out every single night as you’ll just wear yourself out.

Go to the introductory lectures: Dull as they sound, lectures such as the fire safety and library lecture are registered. Best to get them out of the way otherwise you’ll be asked to do it later. Take time to wander around the university/hospital to get your bearings.

Get involved: Societies are a fantastic way to meet new people so get yourself down to the Student Union and Medsoc bunfights on Highfield campus and sign up to as many things as you can. It’s important not to spread yourself too thinly but you can always try a few societies to see which ones you enjoy the most.

Make the most of MedSoc families: You have been assigned your very own MedSoc family. Please make contact with your families. Your ‘parents’ are older medics who have volunteered to help you settle in and you’ll also have siblings who are fellow freshers. Some of you may have an extended family with brothers and sisters in older years too. Your parents will be full of medical school wisdom- they may even give you a helping hand by checking over your essays if you’re lucky.

Getting to your first lectures

For many of you, this will be your first experience of living away from home and in a new city, which can be daunting. In first year, your lectures will be based at Southampton General Hospital (affectionately called SGH), in the South Academic Block, or they will be on Highfield Campus (the main University campus). Most of you will be living in halls, the majority of which split between Glen Eyre, Wessex Lane and Mayflower, three of the largest Southampton University halls. The UniLink bus service has a great service to many locations around Southampton, with Highfield campus as it’s main hub (Highfield Interchange). Aside from that, most places are within half an hour walk on a nice day and many students cycle, especially to the hopsital

PLEASE WEAR A HELMET WHEN CYCLING – we like our medics without head injuries.

Here are a few tips on how to get to lectures once you arrive (so that’s one excuse for missing lectures on your first week you can’t use!)

Highfield campus

Lectures are usually in the Nightingale Building (indicated by yellow star)


From Glen Eyre

  • Walk! – Glen Eyre Road, cross by Shell garage enter campus ~14mins

  • Bus – U2C at the top of Glen Eyre Road gets you to the Highfield interchange if you’re feeling REALLY lazy (and U2B will get you home) ~3mins

  • Cycle ~10mins

From Wessex Lane

  • Walk – turn right outside of Wessex Lane main entrance, walk along Langhorn Road until you get to Burgess lane, turn left and keep walking until you reach Highfield campus ~20mins

  • Bus – U1C from the bus stop opposite Wessex Lane main entrance, get off at highfield interchance

  • Cycle (same as walking route) ~10mins

From Mayflower

  • Walk ~46mins

  • Bus - U2B to highfield interchange ~25 mins

  • Cycle ~14mins

Top tips for lectures at SGH

  • You do not need to dress smart or wear your ‘medical student’ badge when just attending lectures – but you will for MiP

  • Lecture theatres (LT) 1 and 2 are on the 2nd floor (but if you arrive late, pop up to the 3rd floor and take the back entrance to show respect to/ minimise embarassment from lecturers)

  • Bring a jumper to LT1/2 – they can be very chilly!

  • If taking the U6H to SGH, get off at the bus stop at the top of the hill at Dale road for a quicker route to the South Academic Block (or wait until the main hospital entance if you want a cheeky frappucino to get you through lectures)

  • If you are cycling to SGH, there is a VERY steep hill, Dale Road, just as you arrive at the hospital. There have been a few incidences of medical students and hospital staff getting injured on this road so wear a helmet and be sensible and careful. Also to note for cyclists – invest in a good bike lock. Unfortunately many a bike has been stolen from SGH bike sheds. It doesn’t stop the many students and hospital staff from cycling in but those few extra pounds could make a big difference!

  • Remember you’re at a hospital so no talking about patients in public places whether this is in subway, costa or on the bus!

Nights Out

In freshers’ fortnight the students union offers some great nights out but once freshers’ fortnight is over you may want to venture further afield...

Jesters aka ‘the palace of dreams’, once ranked as Britain’s worst night club, is loved by all medics and you’ll soon learn why. It’s cheap (60p shots on a Monday), it’s messy, and it’s always full of medics. Warning: set aside a pair of shoes as your ‘Jesters shoes’ and be prepared for them to get ruined by suspicious-looking substances (ladies – definitely no heels).

Bedford Place: A hub of clubs to choose from if you fancy dressing up a bit: Buddha Lounge, Revolution, Orange Rooms, 90 degrees, TOKYO BAR, Popworld... I could go on!

Club nights: Monday night? Jesters. Tuesday night? Sobar. Wednesday night? Oceana. Thursday night? Café Parfait. Friday night? Switch. Saturday night? Jesters.

If you’re not a fan of clubbing THEN HAVE NO FEAR... Southampton has loads to offer, we’re talking restaurants, cinemas (including the Union Films at the Students’ Union), theatres, museums, open-mic nights, and art galleries! Plus lovely historical cities, such as Winchester and Salisbury, and beach cities, such as Brighton and Bournemouth, are only a short train journey away. Also, the beautiful New Forest National Park is in easy reach and the Isle of Wight is a short ferry ride away!

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Southampton General Hospital (SGH) – lectures are in South Academic Block


From Glen Eyre

  • Walk ~ 40mins

  • Bus – U6H from the bottom of Glen Eyre Road, or campus (allow 40mins to get to the hospital for a 9am – traffic is busy!)

  • Cycle ~15mins

From Wessex Lane

  • Walk ~ 1 hour

  • Bus – U6H from Langhorn Road (or U1C to campus and switch to U6H)

  • Cycle ~20 mins

From Mayflower

  • Walk ~47mins

  • Bus – bluestar 17

  • Cycle ~15mins


Facilities at SGH

  • MedSoc office and health services library - Both are located on the ground floor of the SAB – opposite each other. There is usually someone from MedSoc committee in the office at lunchtime any questions, comments, concerns or if you just want a chat pop by and we’ll always be happy to help!

  • The library is open from 8am-6pm daily, so feel free to do your work in here (although in the first few weeks I’d advise spending your lunchtimes getting to know your coursemates rather than in the library!)

  • The common room where you can chill, eat your lunches, chat with friends etc. This is also located on the ground floor of the SAB. We will give you the common room door code at the start of the year.


Keeping safe

Don’t walk home alone.
If you’re walking home make sure you go in a group!

Get a taxi: Make sure you have a hidden stash of money for a taxi so you don’t get caught out. The clubs aren’t far away from any of the student accommodation so taxi fares are reasonable.

Don’t take short cuts: There are a few alleyways around campus and Portswood- these are best avoided, especially at night! Crossing the common in the dark is definitely not recommended!

Use the safety bus: This is run by the University and goes from the SU, Jesters and Sobar on busy nights.

If someone in your halls is making you feel uncomfortable seek help; there are many people you can call. You are entitled to feel safe where you are living.