Looking round our colleges and halls of residence from wherever you are in the world

Our virtual tours project aims to help prospective students look around our colleges using online tools (as opposed to coming for a real tour on an open day).

This is great news because many of our prospective students are unable to come to an open day due to cost of travel or other reasons. Giving them the opportunity to ‘see’ around our college buildings and halls of residence will enable them to get a good idea of the facilities we offer and the cultural feel of the University, ahead of their application.

And they’ll not be the only ones who can take a sneak peak.  Local residents and other members of the community will also be able to ‘look’ inside our buildings; building that they may live next to but have never been into.

Phase 1 of the project will bring us up to speed with many other HE institutions by delivering Google-integrated 360 degree tours.  So, for example, in Google Street View you’ll be able to walk off John Prince’s Street through the front doors of LCF and take a tour around the key college spaces (including the library, canteen, workshops, studios and gallery spaces). We’ll do the same for all our buildings, including nine of our halls of residence. Two of our new halls of residence already have Google-integrated tours (arranged by Accommodation Services last year), so have a look at Sketch House to see what we’re talking about.

We’ll shortly be defining Phases 2 and 3 but areas we’ll be exploring are: embedding videos into our tours and student narrated tours alongside virtual reality – for use with the VR headsets – for full immersion in college surroundings.

June is our target launch date

We’ve just completed building surveys which have enabled us to identify the key spaces for each building, and a logical route to take around them.  We’ve appointed IdealInsight as our photographer and are looking forward to working with them and the colleges to schedule and complete the photo-shoots. We expect to be visiting every campus/building (23 in total, with over 350 spaces to photograph) between April and May and we aim to make the tours available in Google by mid-June.

Of course, not all spaces will be available in April and May and we know that our galleries will look more stunning with our summer show exhibitions and some of the external views may look better in the summer. So there will be some updates to the tours in the summer term.

As part of the stage 1 deliverables we’ll receive a set of stand-alone 360 degree images and a set of stills for each college. They’ll enable us  to refresh the current facilities pages with more high quality images that will match the views in the Google tours, making all of our great college facilities visible regardless of whether you use Google or not.

We’ll be putting the Google 360 degree images onto the website as soon as they become available, so keep an eye out for them!