Welcome to I Love Student Radio – a campaign from the Student Radio Association. We’re aiming to promote the activities of Student Radio across the UK, highlighting the variety, diversity and quality of what is surely one of the most vibrant and interesting sectors of the UK media landscape.
Student radio stations are usually based at an educational institution and are entirely student-focussed with their programming and events aimed at that university or city's student population. The focus of student radio is mostly on contemporary music – especially from up and coming bands – however most stations also feature specialist music, current affairs, comedy and drama in their schedules. One of the main benefit of student radio for those involved is the freedom for anyone to have a go at any type of show they wish to do.
All student stations have their presenters, newsreaders, producers, sales staff, managers and programmers just like any other radio station. The participants at most of these stations are entirely drawn from full-time students and others affiliated with Universities, Schools or Colleges. That’s not to say student radio is just for students – some student stations draw their membership from Alumni, University Staff and members of the local community in addition to full-time students.
If you're interested in getting involved in a station near you - click here.
The programming on student radio is probably the most varied you’ll hear anywhere – from cutting edge new music shows playing artists before more mainstream stations have even heard of them to hard hitting drama and topical satire there’s room for all kinds of programming on the student airwaves. Bands such as Feeder and The Mystery Jets were receiving Student Radio airplay long before appearing on any other Stations in the UK.
Despite having a reputation for playing mostly breakthrough indie and alternative music – the range of music
found on student radio is huge. From hardcore drum and bass to traditional jazz – on most student stations literally anything goes in specialist music. The longest running student radio show (that we’re aware of) plays 'The Best in Quality Reggae' to the students of the University of Bath.
You can sample some student radio programming in our media section.
Student stations are available through a variety of broadcast platforms. Some have an AM licence - they covering a university campus or other defined area. Some more remote stations, such as Lancaster, with an LPFM licence. However, the most common licence arrangements for student stations are Restricted Service licences, which allow the station to broadcast on an FM frequency 24 hours a day for up to 28 days. Most stations now broadcast on the Internet (regardless of whether they also broadcast on another platform), or just across their campus's computer network – you can hear student stations broadcasting online – by visiting our 'Listen
' section, which also has details for all of the student stations broadcasting in the UK.
Some stations have recently been granted Community Radio Licences by OFCOM to operate fulltime on FM. Notable successes are CSR in Canterbury and Siren FM in Lincoln.
You can find out about the Student Radio Association - who represent student radio in the UK here.