A guide to food and drink in Shelton

by Walter Vundla (international student)


PAK FOODS is a supermarket that offers a variety of international products. It first opened in 1989 as a convenience store under the name Pricewise in Lenton, Nottingham and then changed to PAK FOODS in 1996.  

The Stoke-on-Trent, Shelton branch opened in 2007. The organisation offers ethnic, hard-to-find and great tasting foods (parkfoods.net, 2023). The products are at an affordable price as the concept of value is important to the consumers and the organisation. The store is located at 50 Stoke Road, Shelton, ST24 2QX. The store is opened Monday to Saturday from 08:30am to 20:00pm and from 11:00am to 17:00pm on Sundays.  

Pak Foods on the Stoke Road – fresh veg, meat and lots more

Product Range 

Meat and Poultry  

PAK Foods sell quality fresh meat and poultry and has had excellent prices for at least 10 years. PAK Foods offers 100% Halal meat and poultry and believes in quality, value, and an exceptional customer service. All the meat suppliers are carefully chosen, and local suppliers are chosen wherever possible. PAK Foods also offer marinated chicken and other selected meats ready for either barbecues or making a tasty meal.  

 Fruit and Vegetables  

All the fruits and vegetables are delivered daily to ensure quality and its freshness. PAK Foods prides itself at having a vast range that are rarely found in other supermarkets. Fruits like sweet Pakistani mangoes, Greek watermelon, Mirabelle plum, India cactus figs, yellow dragon fruits and many others. Vegetables like, kale, spinach, cabbage, lettuce, yellow pumpkin, green pumpkin, okra, chilli, and other products. PAK Foods is always on the lookout for some ways to improve on its local suppliers.  

World Foods 

PAK Foods has food ingredients to cover most of the worlds famous recipes. Herbs, spices, and sauces to bring the recipes to life and the taste that the consumers may need. A fantastic range of Asian, African, Europeans and Mediterranean to choose from depending on a consumer taste. Other world foods include, Basmati and Tilda rice, Iwisa maize meal.  

Hair products 

PAK Foods also has hair products suitable for all types of hair.  

Contact details 

Telephone – 01782 749555 

Instagram – @pakfoods_official   Facebook – @PAK FOODS     

Website – pakfoods.net  Email – stokeontrent@pakfoods.net  


Chaiiwala is food and drink restaurant that offers a variety of cuisines. However, it is known for its Karak Chaii tea that has made the brand to be known globally. The organisation was found in 1927 on the streets of New Delhi. It has 100 years of history and tradition (chaiiwala.co.uk, 2023). Chaiiwala has over 50 stores across the UK (United Kingdom) and has potential to expand. The organisation is on its way to become a global brand with franchise opportunities around the world (chaiiwala.co.uk, 2023).  

Chaiiwala differentiate itself through not compromising on quality and service. The committed has enabled the organisation to become a brand and be one of the fastest growing businesses. The Stoke-on-Trent branch is in Shelton, 119 College Road, ST4 2EE. The store is open Monday to Friday from 08:30am to 00:00am and Saturday and Sunday from 09:00 to 00:00am. Consumers can order food and get them delivered to their home.  

Chaiiwala Menu  

Hot Drinks  

Karak Chaii – it is a well brewed strong tea. Can be served in regular or large. It is gluten free and suitable for vegetarians.  

Pink Chaii – it is a creamy, milky pink tea with aromatic spices.  

Mint Tea – black tea with fresh mint leaves.  

English Tea – the everyday cup with a splash of milk.  

Cold Drinks  

Mango Falooda – mango milkshake with ice cream.  

Limbu Pani – a cloudy refreshing lemon drink. 

Iced Karak Chaii – strong brewed tea with ice and caramel  

Iced Karak Coffee – Milky coffee with ice and caramel  

All Day Breakfast 

Desi Breakfast – Masala omelette with masala beans, daal or chana with your choice of two classic rotis/parathas/toast and a karak chaii or karak coffee.  

English-Ish Breakfast – masala omelette with masala beans, two lamb bacon rasher, two sausages, and two slices of toast.  

Omelette Wrap – Fresh masala omelette wrapped in a classic roti.  

Shakshuka – Soft running eggs in tomato and onion curry, served with flaky paratha perfect for dipping.  

The menu has a variety of other foods and dessert that consumers can enjoy. Street food like vegetarian kebab roll, masala chips, Mumbai Mac ‘N’ Cheese. Meals can be served as vegan or vegetarian, depending on the consumer’s choice.  

Contact details  

Telephone – 01782 498749    Instagram – @chaiiwala   Facebook – @Chaiiwala Twitter – @chaiiwala 

Hawasana Afghan Cuisine  

Hawasana Afghan Cuisine is an online takeaway delivery service and a dine in restaurant that is based in Stoke-on-Trent. The restaurant’s mission is to bring value for money for money, services, and food, However, the restaurant is working on improving its services in Staffordshire.  

Hawasana offers a wide range of starters, kebabs, rice, drinks, desserts, biryani, and many other cuisines that may be of interests to consumers. The Stoke-on-Trent branch is based at 77 Stoke Road, Stoke-on-Trent, ST4 2HQ. The restaurant opens Monday to Sunday from 14:00pm to 23:00pm.  

Hawasana Afghan menu  


Starters include Tandoori Mix Kebab, Lamb Tikka Kebab, Chicken Tika Kebab, Koffta Kebab, Bolani and many others to choose from.  


Qabuli Pilau – A mixture of lamb or chicken, rice, sultanas, and carrots which are cooked in a steamed dish to give it a special flavour and taste.  

Qurma Pilau – Boiled rice steamed with a touch of oil and cumin to give a delicious taste, served with any qurma dish.  

Pacha Pilau Special – this dish is served with pilau and fresh salad.  

Afghan Traditional  

8 Pcs Mantoo – steamed pasta filled with mince, onion, and herbs, served with special sauce.  

Shorba – lamb, potato, and carrot soup. A simple and tasty dish Afghan Shorba served with naan bread.  

Half Kg Lamb Karahi – Slowly cooked in our special spice, fresh tomatoes, green chilli, garlic served with fresh naan bread.  

One Kg Chicken Karahi – Slowly cooked in our special spice, fresh tomatoes, green chilli, garlic served with fresh naan bread. 

One Kg Lamb Kahari – Slowly cooked in our special spice, fresh tomatoes, green chilli, garlic served with fresh naan bread. 

Kebabs (in Afghan style)  

Choppan Kebab (on the bone), Lamb tikka kebab, koffta kebab, chicken garlic and pepper kebab, tandoori mix kebab and 5-piece lamb chop.  

https://www.hawasana.net/storemenu this is link to the restaurant menu.  

Contact details  

Facebook – @Hawasana Afghan Cuisine Telephone – 01782911141 

Here’s a detailed review of Hawasana by Moorlands Eater (the best food blogger in the area) – note it is from 2019 so prices have probably changed a bit

Rice N 3 

Rice N 3 is a restaurant based in Stoke-on-Trent that sells Indian street food. Rice N 3 strive to improve their services and quality so that they can provide an exceptional customer experience. Consumers can order their food online and be delivered to their homes. This is a new development to make consumers to order and get their food delivered. Rice N 3 also offers affordable prices. 

The restaurant is in Shelton, 78 Ashford Street, Stoke-on-Trent, ST4 2EN. It is a walking distance from the campus and from the train station. It is opened Monday to Saturday from 12:00pm to 22:00pm and closed on Sundays. 

Rice N 3 menu  

Rice N 3 – rice and any three of the curries freshly cooked (lamb on bone, chicken on bone with spinach, tarka Dall, mixed vegetable jalfrezi, keema and peas and boneless chicken Kahari.  

Desi thug munch box – Comes on naan bread, 2 Seekh kebabs, 2 meat samosas, chips, sizzling chicken tikka and donner, salad and sauce of your choice and two drinks.  

Fully Loaded fries – can choose from any combination of your choice.  

Authentic biryani – can choose from meat samosas, vegetable samosas, kebab chaat, keema biryani, vegetable pakora portion.  

https://foodhub.co.uk/stoke-on-trent/Rice-N-3/ordernow this link will take you to the FOODHUB where they can see the menu. 

Contact details  

Telephone – 01782911323  Facebook @Rice N 3   Instagram @rice_n_3 

Other Places on Campus 

The Catalyst kitchen – it is in the Catalyst building and it offers hot drinks, salads, soup, shakes and smoothies, jacket potatoes, etc.  

In the Catalyst Building, Leek Road campus

Verve – it is in LRV, opposite the Catalyst building. It offers a wide range of foods and alcoholic beverages as well.  

The Verve on Leek Road Campus – student union

Ember lounge – it is next to the Student Union building in College Road.  

Ember Lounge, Stoke Road campus

Pavilion – it is in College Road. It offers burritos and wraps.   

Pavilion on College Road

Squeeze Box, College Road drinks and snacks

Squeeze Box, College Road campus

Sweet and Spice – It is a takeaway shop based 128 Boughey Road, Stoke-on-Trent, ST4 2BB.  

Sweet and Spice – Leek Road

Hanley Park: an oasis next to the Staffordshire University campus

by Walter Vundla (recent international student)

Hanley Park is one of Stoke-on-Trent’s heritage parks, it is close to the university and you can walk through it to the city centre. The park underwent a multi-million-pound restoration after a successful bid for £4.5 million from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the National Lottery Community Fund in 2015 (visitstoke.co.uk, 2023). The restored facilities include public art sculptures, lake and fountains, boathouse, pavilion and floodlit sports zone for football tennis, basketball, and hockey.

Lots of all weather pitches in the Park for football, tennis, basketball, and cricket

The park is found in Shelton, Cleveland Road, Stoke-on-Trent, ST1 4DX. It is within a 10 minute walking distance from the Stoke-on-Trent train station. It is a 5-minute walk from the university campus on College and Leek Road. There are two car parks near the park for the public’s convenience, named Hanley Park Northern Car Park, The Parkway and Hanley Park Southern Car Park, Ridgway Road. Then there is Cannon PI car park which is about 13 minutes’ walk to the park.

Sports Zone

Hanley Park sports zone include artificial football pitch, four tennis courts, basket court and cricket wickets with nets. On every Saturday at 9am, Vitality parkrun holds a 5km run where anyone can register and take part.

Every Sunday morning, there is a group of people that meet up and play football. They play from 9am till around 12pm. Anyone is welcome to join as the group is very welcoming.

Community Hub

The community hub is open Monday to Thursday from 0830am to 1500pm. However, open day vary due to the weather. The community hub supplies activities for both children and adults.

Community hub

Hanley Vitality Parkrun

It is a friendly, free and fun 5km community event that participants can walk, jog, run or volunteer to help to ensure that the event is a success every week. It is free to join in, however, one will have to register before attending the event. Once registered with parkrun, a scannable barcode will be issued so that you can get results after the run. You can run without the barcode, but you will not be able to get your finish time sent over to your email.

The entire event is organised by volunteers. If one wants to volunteer at one of the events, they can email: hanley@parkrun.com to help. All help is acceptable as there are marshals to guide and encourage everyone that takes part. All the volunteers are friendly and welcoming to everyone. The participants are also friendly and encouraging as well. It is easy to network and make friends as everyone is friendly and willing to have a conversation.

Park Run in Hanley

Parkrun social media platforms

Facebook Parkrun UK – Twitter Parkrun UK Instagram Parkrun Youtube Parkrun

Art in the Park

Entrance to the park at the top of Boughey Road

A canal runs through Hanley Park and you can walk or cycle out of the city on it

There’s three play areas for different age children in the Park
Lots of play space

Rope pyramid and zip line also available

Facebook group for the Park

A successful digital marketing placement at Middleport Pottery

by Tselmeg Bat-Erdene (international student on the MSc in Digital Marketing Management)

One of the great opportunities Staffordshire University offers is an encouragement to develop practical skills. I, a postgraduate student of the MSc Digital Marketing Management, had the opportunity to test my skills at a workplace during my 4 month work placement module. With the help of our course lecturers, I had the chance to complete my work placement at Middleport Pottery, an industrial heritage site and one of the hidden gems in Stoke-on-Trent.

Main entrance to the site

Stoke-on-Trent is known to be an industrial area focusing on Pottery. Middleport Pottery, a Grade II* listed heritage site, stands out from any other visitor site as it is the UK’s last working Victorian pot bank, which is still operating in the original building of 130 years. Middleport Pottery is managed by Re-Form Heritage, an independent charity that specializes in the restoration and rejuvenation of heritage buildings at risk.

Working at Middleport Pottery has given me a chance to challenge various skill sets, such as beginner’s web development, data analysis, basic photography, and social media skills etc. In the first few weeks of starting my placement, I researched what our competitors are working on and how we can match up their levels of digital exposure. The Middleport Pottery website hasn’t been updated after the COVID-19 pandemic, therefore I have added new information, along with improving the SEO of each page and restructuring the layout of the website to be more user-friendly. Also, I have created and updated the former interactive map, which lacked information on the newly added part of the heritage tour, the Regeneration of Harper Street.

Several creative businesses are on the site

Middleport Pottery is not only a visitor attraction but also offers many services like venue hire, different activities and events happening every other weekend. It has allowed me to try different methods of promoting Middleport Pottery on social media. You can keep up with our events here or sign up to our newsletter here

Tselmeg is far right with the other volunteers and workers

Middleport Pottery has been and is a welcoming environment full of great colleagues, volunteers, and visitors. My work placement has been a great experience – working on new challenges every week with Middleport Pottery has allowed me to put into practice what I have learnt on the course. The warm welcome from the team has been a good motivation to achieve more during my placement.

It is my pleasure to give a big shout-out to Middleport Pottery, full of a unique experience for anyone to visit, enjoy the history and culture of Stoke-on-Trent, and enjoy a famous oatcake by the canal side.

Tselmeg Bat-Erdene

InstagramFacebookTwitter – for Middleport Pottery

International student Walter Vundla provides hints and tips for new students

by Walter Vundla (recent International student)

Having been born in Zimbabwe and moving to South Africa at an early age with my family to seek a better life, we faced a lot of adversity. Having to adapt to diverse cultures and getting used to different school syllabuses was a challenge. I was in grade 6 which is equivalent to Year 6. The teaching systems were completely different, languages were different (only one was similar which is Ndebele and Zulu) as South Africa has 11 official languages. I had to learn at least the basics of other languages to be able to communicate with other people which was a lesson I was determined to learn.  

Walter on graduation day

We then moved to the UK (United Kingdom) on a family reunion visa in 2014 August. It was around 1pm when we landed at Birmingham Airport and we were welcomed by cold rainy weather which I was not used to. We were then told that this was the summer!

It took some time to get used to the weather and to be honest, at times I still feel like I have not yet adapted to the weather yet. I only had about two weeks to enrol at college and one week to get ready to start a new academic journey in the UK. It was overwhelming. However, the four academic years I spent at college went by fast and soon I found myself applying for university. The first tip I would give to international student is to come prepared for the wet weather, especially towards the end of September to January.  

I knew I wanted to go to Staffordshire University and made sure that it was my first preference. I studied Business Management from 2018 to 2022 where I obtained a 2:1 (Upper second class) and was the first grandchild to graduate in my family. I received a lot of help throughout the academic years especially my last year with my dissertation. University resources and lectures were always available when I needed to use them or needed help. The second tip for the student is, make sure that you attend the sessions in the first few weeks of the academic year as the layout and introduction of the courses will be given out. These will also help you to meet the lecturers and get to know them as it will make it easier to ask for help.

The third tip is, attend all the Welcome Week activities, if possible. It is a chance to network with other students and make friends with people from different courses and backgrounds. Having diverse friendships can provide a deeper level of support to help with any challenges that one may face.  

In 2016 I joined Stafford Town FC where I spent at least five years playing as a semi professional football player. While at Stafford Town FC I was named the vice-captain of the team and later became captain. I was voted the management player of the year, we won a league cup and got promoted to the league above. I then stopped playing football to focus on my last year of university as I looking to obtain good grades. The fourth tip is, join student union as there are activities that one can partake in throughout the academic year.  

Walter played as semi pro whilst here

The fifth and final tip I would give is, make sure that all assignments are submitted on time and not left to the last minute. This will give you enough time to ask the lecturers to scan through the assignments and give you some feedback to point you to the right direction.

You might also be interested in these blogs

Advice from a Lecturer who was once an international student

Useful websites and social media for Stoke and Staffordshire

Find out more about our courses here

In-depth advice for International student think of studying at Staffordshire University


Advice from a once International Student who is now a Lecturer to International Students

by Dr Itoro Ekpo

After my first degree in Nigeria, my next step was to proceed with a Master’s degree and UK was my first and only choice. Before coming to the UK, the only country I had visited was South Africa. Although that is an African country, I still had the culture shock, for example, their cars are right-hand drive, and the weather was very cold. Let’s proceed to me arriving the UK for my Masters; the first thing that greeted me was the cold weather in October and the confusion on how to cross the road. Regarding the weather, South Africa was a learning ground for me. First advice for students, come prepared with winter wears because the weather will be cold for those starting in September or January.

Dr Itoro Ekpo –

In my first class, I addressed my lecturer as Sir, and he told me to call him Nick. I was shocked by that because back home you are not allowed to call your lecturer by name. Now as a lecturer in a UK University, I understand when student address me as Ma or anything else because I was once in their shoes. I encourage them to address me by my first name. Some students tend to adjust immediately, while some can’t just accept it. The second advice for the students is it is okay to call your lecturers/tutor/teacher by their first name and you will not be penalised. For academics, don’t be fussy about how you are addressed as the international students are from different environments, give them time and grace.

I resumed late for my MSc programme; hence, I needed all the support to be able to submit my first formative assessment but what did I do? I went to my colleagues for help, although my lecturers had told me to contact them for support since they were aware that I resumed late. I submitted my first assessment, and the feedback made me realise that my writing style needed to change, I needed to be critical and avoid copy and paste. I realised that I had a long way to go as I was use to producing what I was taught word for word and give back what I read from a textbook or article word for word without paraphrasing. The third advice for students is never copy and paste as you will be penalised, you need to paraphrase your work to avoid plagiarism. Now as a lecturer, I encourage students from the first class to start the practice of paraphrasing because they can easily plagiarise their assessment.

One of the comments on my first feedback was to ask for support from the tutor. While I was trying to figure out how I was going to approach my tutors for support I was surprised when one of them requested to see me after the class and mentioned that he had still not received my support session request. This made me realise that the necessary support is there, but I just needed to ask and that my tutors are approachable. The fourth advice is, always ask for help and do not leave it to the last minute (submission deadline)

All work and no play makes Itoro a dull girl. I signed up for school trips and networking events on campus to widen my network and make friends with people from other cultures. As a lecturer, I noticed that international students tend to walk and work with colleagues from the same country. Final advice is get out of your comfort zone and make friends with people from other countries. The new friend may be the person that will take your project/ work/ business to the next level. Expand your circle but ensure to do that wisely.

Other articles that may interest you

How Staffordshire University is a top choice for international students by Onkar Chavan

Interesting places in Stoke on Trent for an international student to visit by Onkar Chavan

Interesting places to visit in Stoke-on-Trent if you’re coming as an International Student

by Onkar Chavan international student on the MSc Digital Marketing Management

Stoke-on-Trent is a city located in the central region of England, specifically in Staffordshire County. As of the 2021 census, the city’s population exceeds 258,400 individuals. “The Potteries” is the collective name for the city’s five towns: Tunstall, Burslem, Hanley, Stoke, Fenton, and Longton. This name originates from the city’s rich history in pottery production. 

The city is the World Capital of Ceramics. For centuries, the city has been moulded by its pottery production, fostering a globally renowned reputation for innovation, science, art, culture, and entrepreneurial spirit. Even today, the city remains an irresistible destination for pottery enthusiasts! 

With engaging factory tours, exceptional visitor centres, and captivating museums, you’ll be immersed in the rich history and tradition of this time-honoured craft. Moreover, you can get hands-on experience, trying your hand at the potter’s wheel for a truly entertaining insight. 

Make your university experience even more exciting in Stoke-on-Trent city as we show you four interesting places to visit in the city that will make your experience more unique! 

  1. The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery 

One of the top attractions for Art and History lovers is the Potteries Museum & Art Gallery. Located in the Town of Hanley and within a walking distance of 20 minutes from Staffordshire University. A major highlight of the Museum is the impressive Spitfire Gallery, dedicated to the renowned aircraft. 

Back in 1972, the City of Stoke-on-Trent received a generous donation of Spitfire RW388. This exceptional plane serves as a tribute to Reginald J. Mitchell, the brilliant mind behind the Spitfire’s design, who hailed from North Staffordshire and became one of the most illustrious aeronautical engineers of his time. After a meticulous three-year restoration project, the iconic Spitfire has been restored to its former splendour and now commands the 3800 sq ft, glass-fronted gallery, offering the privilege of 24/7 viewing. Alongside the RW388 Spitfire, the permanent exhibition also showcases captivating displays that celebrate the life and achievements of the iconic designer, Reginald Mitchell. 

Step into Stoke-on-Trent’s rich history at the Local History Gallery. Explore recreated room settings, from a nostalgic schoolroom to a charming pub and a cosy chip shop, immersing yourself in the past. 

Nature lovers will be captivated by the Natural Science gallery’s vivid depiction of the Potteries’ geology and wildlife. Discover the beauty of moorlands, forests, and wetlands with meticulous detail. Don’t miss the interactive Discovery Zone, where you’ll learn about preserving our diverse natural world. 

  1. Trentham Estate Gardens 

The Trentham estate, located in Staffordshire, England, became a showcase of Brown’s genius, featuring sweeping lawns, serene lakes, and strategically placed groves of trees that seamlessly blend with the surrounding countryside. Capability Brown, a renowned English landscape architect of the 18th century, left an indelible mark on Trentham Estate gardens. 

Trentham Gardens

Fast forward 250 years, and today you’ll witness one of the most remarkable garden restorations of the past half-century. The great Italian Garden has been lovingly restored by Tom Stuart-Smith, boasting an array of plants, fountains, and enchanting walkways. Alongside, a pergola adorned with diverse rose varieties adds to the charm. Visitors can either enjoy a circular walk around the lake or opt for boat trips to savour this natural masterpiece. 

  1. Factory Tours and Shops 

Being the World Capital of ceramics, the city has many factories and shops Observe the fascinating process of crafting products, as 20 skilled pairs of hands meticulously contribute to the creation of each item. Step into the shops, where you can find a splendid collection of fully sustainable, UK-made fine bone China items.  

For a mere £7.50, the Moorcroft Heritage Visitor Centre offers an unforgettable experience, encompassing a captivating factory tour, the exploration of a Grade II listed bottle oven, delightful shopping, and an enriching museum visit. 

The factory tour is a mesmerizing journey, revealing the intricate processes behind each unique, hand-crafted Moorcroft piece. Remarkably, these time-honoured techniques have remained unchanged for over a century. Crafted by hand for collectors worldwide, the designs boast rich, deep colours, resulting in stunning works of art available for viewing and purchase at the Moorcroft shop. 

You can also visit LoveClay Ceramics Centre, Duchess China 1888 and Emma Bridgewater Factory

  1. Trentham Monkey Forest 

Looking for some wildlife experience? Trentham Monkey Forest is your place to go. 

The enchanting Trentham Monkey Forest is a haven for 140 free-roaming Barbary macaques. Nestled in the serene woodlands of Staffordshire, this extraordinary sanctuary allows the monkeys to thrive without cages or bars. Embark on a mesmerizing 3/4-mile woodland path, where you can witness these playful creatures living freely, just as they would in the wild. Be captivated as they frolic on the ground and swing from the trees, displaying their natural behaviours in all their glory. Don’t be surprised if they venture right in front of you! 

Next-Gen Business: How Staffordshire University is becoming a top choice for National and International Business Students 

by Onkar Chavan – International student

The statistics from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) reveal that 19% of students in the UK are enrolled in business and management courses, making it the most popular field of study. In response to this demand, Staffordshire University’s business school has launched new undergraduate and postgraduate programs. But first, let’s explore why this university has become a sought-after destination for both local and international students.

Next-Gen Business

The Business School aims to become a leader in business education by providing Next Generation Business Education, Experience, Environment and Engagement. The business degrees in the university have been designed with the careers of tomorrow in mind and developed in collaboration with leading industry partners.

The university guarantees the opportunity to undertake work placements both in the UK and abroad along with your studies to get you the real-world working experience that sets you apart and enhances your academic journey. The university has a state-of-the-art new £40m Catalyst building designed to emulate real-world working environments. The building is equipped with high-quality, digitally enabled spaces that foster collaboration, creativity, and Engagement with the business community. 

Some of the current international students on a visit to a major business

Good Connectivity to Metropolitan Cities

The university is situated in Stoke-on-Trent, a central location in the UK. This advantageous geographic location provides easy access to other parts of the country, such as Manchester and Birmingham, with only a one-hour train ride from Stoke-on-Trent railway station. This is especially beneficial for business students who may not be able to afford living in those cities for work, as they can find more affordable living and commuting options here. 

Low Cost of Living

Staffordshire University is located in Staffordshire, within the West Midlands region of England. It is situated in the city of Stoke on Trent, which makes it one of the most affordable places to live and study in the UK. However, managing finances has become challenging due to the increasing inflation and interest rates. This location provides cost-effective rental housing compared to other regions in the country, making it a preferred choice for numerous national and international students to pursue their studies. As a result of the affordable property rates, food and other expenses are also comparatively cheaper than other parts of the UK. Despite the UK’s economic cost of living crisis, where several shops and businesses are shutting down, Stoke-on-Trent is thriving with the emergence of new businesses, establishing itself as a powerhouse for SMEs and startups. 

Visitor Attractions & Parks – 

In the central part of England, there are several visitor attractions that students can visit, including Alton Towers and Peak District National Park. Alton Towers is the UK’s largest theme park, and students can benefit from discounted rates to enjoy its rides and attractions. Although it may be a small town, there are two city centres located just a few miles from the University, where students can indulge in a variety of leisure activities, such as watching movies, clubbing, and shopping. 

If you are an international student considering studying Business in the UK, Staffordshire University may be your top pick. 

Below are the new business courses the university has introduced for the year 2023-24 that are available in Clearing. 

Postgraduate courses taught

How Influencer Marketing Could Benefit Your Business

Influencer marketing focuses on using key leaders to drive your brand’s message to the market. Rather than marketing directly to this large group, you instead hire or pay these influencers to inspire and get the word out for you.

According to McKinsey, Influencer Marketing generates double the sales of paid advertising, as well as three times the amount of “word of mouth” messages. Furthermore, it results in recommendations – where people are up to fifty times more likely to purchase.

Influencer marketing could benefit your business in a number of ways, and you should consider using it because:

  • It’s more authentic than an advert.
  • It’s more cost effective than many other marketing channels.
  • It provides shareable content, which could amplify results exponentially.
  • You can effectively target a new audience.
  • It’s a way to create real-time engagement.
  • It’s an easy way to build trust with your customers and future customers.

Two cases come to mind where Influencer marketing benefited the business and the influencer, such as Youtube star PewDiePie teaming up with the makers of horror film ‘As Above, So Below’ – creating a number of videos in which he completed challenges and tasks set in the catacombs in which the film was set. This resonated with his then 27 Million subscribers, and received nearly double the views that the trailer for the film did.

The other, according to Neoreach, is American retail giant Walmart teaming up with former Vine star Meghan McCarthy. Meghan posted on Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter and Youtube, putting her stamp of approval on the promotion that she was promoting. Her posts gathered hundreds of follow up posts and tweets, an impact that no television ad campaign could make.

The Big Influencers for 2018

According to Forbes, some of the top influencers of 2017 are going to be even bigger in 2018. 

If the budget is there, then these are the kind of people that you want influencing customers to buy into your product or brand.

These include gaming maestro Markiplier, Keynote speaker and entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk, cooking whiz Rosanna Pansino, six-year-old Ryan ToysReview and powerful lady Lilly Singh.

Whilst all of these people have the majority of their following on YouTube, they are also influencers on the likes of Instagram and Facebook and could cost a hefty sum.

Some of these people may be out of your price range, but if you can find a local influencer to promote your product, then that may be worthwhile to your business.


Regan Foy (Twitter / LinkedIn)

Staffordshire University Students’ Union

MSc Digital Marketing Management Student (Full Time)

Why Email Marketing Should Be a Focus for Your Business

When consumers thought the internet was shiny and new, email was the top dog in connecting with friends. Nowadays, email is used for much more – it’s used to share content from companies, and allow the consumers to connect with brands, be it through purchasing products or simply feeling part of the brand’s story.

There are issues with email of course, and for years it has been used to scam unwise users for their hard earned money and fill inboxes with unsolicited spam.

In this day and age, people beg the question of is it still worthwhile for business owners and marketers to connect with consumers via email?

The answer is yes, and there are an abundance of reasons why:

Reaching Mobile Customers

Email marketing shows it’s value for business owners in it’s ease-of-access in connecting with and reaching mobile customers without the investment in new technology. A study by Forrester Research in 2014 showed that 42% of email opens from retailers happen on smartphones – a number which is likely to have improved since then.

It’s also a better way to connect with mobile users than something like SMS for example, as it works on mobile devices other than phones, and there is far more space for content. According to Litmus, around 51% of email opens now happen on mobile, so it’s always important to ensure your content is mobile friendly so you can connect with mobile-users better.

It’s Better Than Social Media for Customer Acquisition

Whilst social media is an important part of any business’s marketing, and it is a great way of interacting with your audience, it’s not a sound way of converting these people into customers or members.

Social Media is important as a first step towards customer acquisition, but email marketing is the way forward in terms of conversion. A study by Custora in 2013 showed that customer acquisition via email had quadrupled over the four years from 2009, and reinforced that it was a growing trend in e-commerce.

Cost Effective

Email marketing is great for allowing business owners to reach a large amount of consumers, or potential customers for next to nothing in costs. This makes it a high choice for smaller businesses instead of channels like TV or Radio.

As well as this, with the correct maintenance of an email list, the return on investment increased through the close relationship that is established with the recipients. Emails generally get a high response, be that opens, clicks or more – so your company or brand is receiving better responses at a lower cost and at a quicker rate.

Easy A/B Testing

 A/B testing is the idea of sending one variation of your campaign to one set of your subscribers, or email list, and a different variation to another set.

The ultimate goal of this is to work out which variation of the campaign generates the best results.

This can vary in complexity and can include different subject lines to see which has more opens, whilst more complex testing could include completely different results. This is available through email clients such as Campaign Monitor and MailChimp.

Application & Examples

To start in the world of email marketing, you’re going to need to do some research. Firstly, you’re going to want to pick the email client that’s going to let you apply your ideas in the manner you want. Then you’re going to need to find contacts to send the email to – by lead generation through your website. Finally – you’ll need to produce content and send this out to the contacts, sometimes segmenting specific content to specific recipients.

An example of email marketing at work comes from InternetRetailing, who reported that leading online chemist ChemistDirect had a 30% increase in revenue in 2013 from email campaigns after changing to an email client.


So, there you have it. There are many, many more reasons for businesses to get involved in email marketing that haven’t been mentioned, such as the ability to personalise.

According to Pure360, it’s time you should be taking email seriously.



Regan Foy (Twitter / LinkedIn)

Staffordshire University Students’ Union

MSc Digital Marketing Managament Student (Full Time)

Esports. Is it a game changer for UK education?

Staffordshire University Business School has become the first British University to launch an esports degree. The course focuses on the business and culture of esports from developing teams, communities and a fan base to hosting esports events.

Staffordshire University has invested heavily in new facilities as part of a £40m transformation of its Stoke-on-Trent campus and academics feel the University is well placed to plug into rapidly growing sectors like esports which is the practice of playing video games competitively over the internet or via networked computers in venues and stadiums.

Already Staffordshire University has responded to the Association for UK Interactive Entertainment’s (Ukie) white paper on esports by introducing a module on esports in their Games Degree.

Back in January, Dr Fletcher, Head of the Games and Visual Effects at Staffordshire University said:

“The module which is available to students on our Games Studies course is a fascinating branch of cultural studies. It looks at the national, and international market for esports, and the cultural aspects that drive it as well as the darker side of cheating and doping by esports players. Games designers are growing up and that brings with it new trends in gaming which comes with its own set of ethical dilemmas.”

Other countries around the world have recognised esports as part of the curriculum for some years.  In South Korea, where the first esports association was set up 17 years ago, they have been accepting esports players onto their sports programmes for four years. At the Asia Pacific University in Malaysia, students can complete certificates in League of Legends, DOTA 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. In Norway,  the Garnes Vidaregaande high school pupils can opt for esports and can study for up to five hours per week, they focus not just on game play but also combine physical exercise in the mix.

One thing all these esports educators have in common is an agreement that esports provides a vast amount of transferable skills to the participants.

Top skills for esports:

  1. Teamworking
  2. Resilience
  3. Stamina
  4. Problem Solving
  5. Communication
  6. Endurance
  7. Decision Making
  8. Leadership
  9. Critical thinking
  10. Analytical

The students on Staffordshire University Business School’s BA (Hons) esports will also have classes in event management, digital marketing, the legal side of esports and streaming techniques. This will make sure that when they leave university they’ll have all the right skills to prepare them for a great career. With huge growth predicted in this area there are lots of job opportunities.  Many recruitment agencies, like Odgers Berndston have set up separate divisions to deal with esports careers and there are even some new sites that have sprung up like ‘esports Careers’ who are currently listing almost 500 vacancies.  The British esports Association lists over 12 career paths on its website, here are a few:

  1. Shoutcaster/host
  2. Coach/analyst
  3. Journalist/content creator
  4. PR/Marketing executive
  5. Community/social media manager
  6. Broadcast/production crew
  7. Event manager

To find out more about esports at Staffordshire University Business School visit the website staffs.ac.uk.

Rachel Gowers MBA
Associate Dean
Staffordshire University Business School