University of Lancaster

Lancaster, United Kingdom
Site: Founded: 1964 year Type of University:Public StudyQA ranking: 1443 pts. No. Students: 11770 Frgn. Students: 3386 No. Staff: 2355 Languages: English Phone: +44152465201 Fax: +441524593907

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About Lancaster University

Lancaster University, also officially known as the University of Lancaster, is a public research university in Lancaster, Lancashire, England. The university was established by Royal Charter in 1964, one of several new universities created in the 1960s.

The university was initially based in St Leonard's Gate in the city centre, until moving to a purpose-built 300 acres (120 ha) campusat Bailrigg in 1968. The campus buildings are arranged around a central walkway known as the Spine, which is connected to a central plaza, named Alexandra Square in honour of its first chancellor, Princess Alexandra.

Lancaster is one of only six collegiate universities in the UK; the colleges are weakly autonomous. The eight undergraduate colleges are named after places of interest in the North West of England, and have their own campus residence blocks, common rooms, administration staff and bar.

It is currently one of only seven universities to be ranked in the top 10 across all national league tables of UK universities. Along with the universities of Durham, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield and York, Lancaster is a member of the N8 Group of research universities. Elizabeth II, Duke of Lancaster, is the Visitor of the University. The Chancellor is Alan Milburn.

  • Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

    The Faculty is consistently ranked amongst the world’s top 50 Arts & Humanities Faculties and is home to over 20 disciplines, many ranking in the top 10 in the UK. 

    The Faculty is diverse, with research and teaching strengths across the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. Each Department has unique strengths and an international reputation, and collectively they are part of a faculty that challenges established thinking, champions new ideas, works creatively across academic borders and actively responds to local and global challenges. We are dedicated to exploring and maximising the benefits of interdisciplinary research with the sciences and medicine.

    As a Faculty, we are committed to educating the brightest students to the highest standards, generating knowledge that inspires and matters globally, engaging and influencing beyond the University and encouraging all members of our community to reach their highest potential. 

    Our commitment to connectivity, inquiry and transformation is part of the DNA of Lancaster, glimpses of which you will find in the following samples of our intellectual programme. 

  • Faculty of Health and Medicine

    The Faculty is committed to pursuing world-class research. It brings together biomedical, medical, and social science researchers to tackle key challenges of the 21st Century within health and medicine.

    Ranked third in our field in the 2014 Research Assessment Framework on the 'intensity weighted' score, equal first in 'research environment' and in the top 10 for 'research power', the Faculty offers an ideal academic environment to study or to develop your research career.

    Our high quality research and our commitment to teaching and to working with the health and care sectors means that the Faculty is influencing practice and thinking across a broad spectrum – for example:

    • how best to support people as they age and reach the end of their lives
    • interventions to address serious mental illness
    • how health inequalities can be addressed
    • how best to model the spread of communicable disease
    • improving our understanding of infections that have huge global impact

  • Management School

    Lancaster University Management School is typically ranked in the UK's top ten and among the world's top 100 business schools.

    • Lancaster University was ranked 9th nationally, 2nd forMarketing for the second year running, 9th for Accounting and Finance, 9th for Business and Management Studies, and 14th for Economics by the Complete University Guide for 2017.
    • Lancaster University was ranked 8th nationally, 8th forAccounting & Finance, and 8th for Business, Management and Marketing by the Guardian University Guide 2017.
    • Lancaster has climbed to 9th position in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017, to achieve its elite target of top ten positions in all the UK’s major university league tables. In addition, Lancaster is ranked 2nd for Accounting and Finance and 5th for Business Studies
    • The Lancaster MBA was ranked 4th in the UK and 35th in the world in the Financial Times 2016 Top Global Full-time MBA Programmes. 
    • Ranked 9th in the UK as reported in Financial Times Masters in Management 2016 ranking survey
    • Forbes magazine ranked the Lancaster MBA 9th in the worldand 5th in the UK in its 2015 ranking of the best non-US one-year MBA programmes. Forbes uses Return on Investment (ROI) as the main measure.

  • Faculty of Science & Technology

    Our roots in delivering education in the sciences, mathematics and engineering stem back 50 years to when Lancaster University was first established.

    Recently, we have extended the Faculty by introducing the Department of Chemistry with over £26 million invested in staffing, equipment and laboratories. We have a strong and growing international profile, and we welcome students from around the world which creates a vibrant atmosphere and culturally diverse community.

    With nearly 700 staff and 600 research students, the breadth and depth of research across our departments is extensive. In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, over 80% of our research activity was rated as world-leading and internationally excellent. Underpinned by research, we offer a range of undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes taught by leading academics, at the cutting edge of their field. Through our programmes we are developing the next generation of science and technology graduates to meet the needs of future global challenges.

    Preparing you for your future career is important to us. Science and technology degrees open up a wide choice of career options and our graduates are highly regarded by employers due to their aptitude for problem solving, logical analysis and skilled communication. Demand for our graduates is very high, with over 90% going on to employment or further study within 6 months. Our programmes have professional experience embedded into them and our industry links provide opportunities to take up salaried internships where you can apply the skills and knowledge you have learned.

    We are committed to delivering a first-class experience to our students. Over £45 million has been invested in the Faculty to provide state-of-the-art facilities, including modern workshops and laboratories, and highly specialised, cutting-edge equipment alongside dedicated computer rooms and social spaces.

History of Lancaster University

After the Second World War higher education became an important concern of government as it tried to cope with the demands of an expanding population and the advent of a new technological age. Between 1958 and 1961 seven new plate glass universities were announced including Lancaster.

The university was established by royal charter in 1964. The charter stipulated that Princess Alexandra of Kent be the first chancellor. She was inaugurated in 1964. The ceremony also saw the granting of various honorary degrees to dignitaries including the Prime Minister, Harold Wilson. Princess Alexandra retired as chancellor in 2004 and was the longest serving chancellor of any British university. On her departure, she gave approval for the Chancellor's Medal to be awarded for academic merit to the highest-performing undergraduates and postgraduates. Each year presentations are made to up to five graduates of taught masters' courses and up to six to the highest-performing undergraduates.

The university accepted its first students in October 1964 and there were initially 13 professors, 32 additional members of teaching and research staff, 8 library staff and 14 administrators on academic grades. The motto, "patet omnibus veritas", ("Truth lies open to all"), was adopted. The first science students were admitted in 1965.

The university was temporarily based in the city. A lecture theatre and the university's first Junior Common Room were based in Centenary Church, a former Congregational church beside the old factory premises of Waring & Gillow, which were used to accommodate the new students. Many new students were housed in Morecambe. The Grand Theatre was leased as a main lecture room and 112 and 114 in the St Leonard's Gate area became teaching and recreational rooms. The library occupied the old workshops of Shrigley and Hunt on Castle Hill.

In 2014, Lancaster University celebrated its 50th anniversary with a series of events throughout the year, involving alumni, staff, students and local community members.


  • Institutional Accreditation or Recognition - Privy Council
  • Year of first Accreditation - 1964
  • Other Specialized or Programmatic Accreditations - Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International); European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD-EQUIS)


  • At the time of writing (2016) Lancaster University has for some years been placed within the top 10 by UK newspaper league tables and in the top 150 worldwide by the main global rankings.
  • It was also ranked the top university in the north-west of England for all nine years of recordings by The Complete University Guide.
  • The average entry standard at Lancaster is around 439 UCAS points, with almost all courses requiring at least AAA or AAB at A-level as of 2016.
  • In 2014, its 50th year, Lancaster University was ranked 10th in the THE 100 Under 50, a list of the world's best universities under 50 years old.
  • It also appeared in the lists of QS 50 under 50 in all the years before 2014 when it was under 50 years old.

Student life at Lancaster University

Students' Union

Lancaster University Students' Union ("LUSU") is the representative body of students at the university. Unusually, there is no main union building – instead the union is organised through the eight college JCRs, each of which has its own social venues and meeting spaces. The union is, however, allocated an administration building by the university. SCAN (acronym for Student Comments And News) is the Students' Union newspaper and was established in 1967, making it the oldest student media on campus. LUSU owns a nightclub in Lancaster called The Sugarhouse, operates two shops on the campus, namely LUSU Shop and LUSU Central and also an off campus housing agency LUSU Living.

LUSU also helps to support LUSU Involve, a volunteering unit allowing Lancaster University students to become involved with communities locally and internationally.

There are over 200 different societies operating within Lancaster University. Common areas include sports, hobbies, politics, academic, culture and religion. There are several fairs during the Freshers period in which various clubs and societies promote themselves. Bailrigg FM is the student radio station and Take 2 Cinema is on-campus cinema, based in Bowland College Lecture Theatre.


Every summer term the students take part in the Roses Tournament against the University of York. The venue of the event alternates annually between Lancaster and York. The competition takes its name from the 15th-century civil war, the War of the Roses, and is organised by the universities' respective student unions, LUSU and YUSU.

Other sporting activities are focused on inter-college competition. All colleges at Lancaster have teams who compete in football, netball and pub sports on a weekly basis. The colleges also compete for the Carter Shield (a large variety of sports, involving all nine colleges) and the George Wyatt Cup (involving all colleges competing in pool, darts and dominoes). In 2004, the Founder's Trophy was played for the first time between the university's two founding colleges, Bowland and Lonsdale. The university also has a representative club, Furness Rovers, in division 2 of the North Lancashire and District Football League.

Lancaster University Athletics Club (LUAC) was formed in May 2011. The start of the 2011/12 academic year saw the first athletes join the club and by the end of the year receive awards for LUSU 'Society of the Year 2012' and were winners of the Lancaster Athletics Cup 2012. In the 2012/13 academic year the club was given the opportunity to compete in BUCS and Roses along with other sporting societies at Lancaster University.

Religious groups

The Lancaster University Chaplaincy Centre is located at the north end of campus incorporating various religious groups such as Christian (Anglicans, Catholics, Orthodox, Quakers), Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, as well as various religious societies such as the Bahá'í, the Chinese Christian Fellowship, the Postgrad and Mature Students Group and the Pagan society which hold regular events and meetings. The Islamic Prayer Rooms are located across from the Chaplaincy Centre, in Ash House.

Services of Lancaster University

The Bailrigg campus hosts a range of shops and services. Services on campus include Bailrigg post office, Barclays Bank, Santander Bank, UNI TRAVEL (a travel agent which sells rail and bus tickets), a health centre, a pharmacy and a dental practice. Shops on campus include a SPAR supermarket, LUSU Central (a convenience store), a Subway, acharity shop (the proceeds of which go to Cancer Care and St. Johns Hospice), a WHSmith, a Greggs, a Costa Coffee, a book shop and an ice cream parlour open in the summer months.

Chancellors Wharf

Chancellors Wharf is the name of Lancaster University's off-campus accommodation for students. It consists of three buildings by the Lancaster canal on Aldcliffe Road. The location is near "The Water Witch" pub, B&Q, central bus routes, Lancaster Royal Infirmary and the city centre. It is open to members of all of the University's colleges. Residents remain members of their various colleges, with Chancellors Wharf itself being only a hall of residence.

Cultural venues

At the north end of campus, the University’s Great Hall Complex comprises three venues open to both students and the public; the Peter Scott Gallery, the Nuffield Theatre and the Lancaster International Concert Series. In 2009, these three organisations were combined as one department by the University – initially termed ‘The Public Arts’ but later renamed ‘Live at LICA’ – with Matt Fenton overseeing this unification.[19] In August 2015 Live at LICA was rebranded to 'Lancaster Arts at Lancaster University' to avoid confusion with the department of LICA, then director Jamie Eastman stated that; "This new name and logo communicates who we are, where we are and what we’re offering.

The Peter Scott Gallery is open to the public free of charge. The Gallery is located on the Bailrigg campus and houses the University's international art collection, which includes Japanese and Chinese art, antiquities, works by twentieth century British artists including works by artists from the St Ives School, Sir Terry Frost, Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, Barbara Hepworth and William Scott. Among other British artists whose work is represented are Norman Adams, Patrick Caulfield, Elizabeth Frink, Kenneth Martin and Winifred Nicholson. Within the last fifteen years works by Andy Goldsworthy, Peter Howson and Albert Irvin have been acquired. The university collection also includes prints by significant European artists such as Dürer, Miró, Ernst and Vasarely.

Lancaster International Concert Series is the main provider of classical music in north Lancashire and Cumbria. Concerts are held within the Great Hall. Between October and March each year the series offers a varied diet of music which includes: orchestral concerts, chamber music, events for young people, jazz, family concerts and world music. Under the leadership of Professor Tony McEnery, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, music as a subject for study at Lancaster was abandoned in 2009.

The Nuffield Theatre, a black-box theatre, is one of the largest and most adaptable professional studio theatres in Europe. It presents public performances in the fields of theatre, contemporary dance and live art from some of the best-known and respected companies from the UK and abroad. The focus of the work is new and experimental practice, a focus it shares with many of the teaching and research interest of Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts (LICA). The Nuffield presents up to 30 visiting professional shows a year, plus public performances by students from Theatre Studies, and the University’s student theatre and dance societies and a range of local community organisations.

The Ruskin Library houses archive material related to the poet, author and artist John Ruskin. It is open to the public, although only a small part of the collection is on public display at once. The building was constructed in 1997 by architect Richard MacCormac. The Whitehouse Collection housed in the Ruskin Library is the largest holding of books, manuscripts, photographs, drawings and watercolours by and related to John Ruskin in the world.

Lancaster University Chaplaincy Centre

Lancaster University Chaplaincy Centre was dedicated on May 2nd 1969. It was "for the worship of God and the service of man, for refreshment and informal meeting, for acquiring fresh knowledge, and a place where counsel and help could be given" (Act of Dedication).

This was no ordinary act of dedication. It was conducted by representatives of many different Christian churches (an event rare enough even thirty years later), together with members of the Jewish community, with whom they had joined to provide the building. During the years since its Dedication the Centre has provided a unique facility for University members of many different religious traditions. Those using the building in that time have been drawn not only from every Christian tradition, but almost every major World faith.

The first approach to the University had been made by the Roman Catholic Bishop of Lancaster, Brian Foley. His enquiry about the provision of facilities for Roman Catholic students had rapidly become a joint enterprise which had united Catholic, Anglican, Methodist, Presbyterian, Congregational, and Baptist churches. Then they were joined not only by a Jewish partner, but also by sympathizers from the local Quaker community and the Unitarian church. Only the absence of a Muslim representative with whom to negotiate, prevented purpose-built accommodation for Muslims being added to that of the Jewish and Christian founders. A fund-raising appeal raised nearly £ 150,000 which was presented to the University so that the Chaplaincy Centre could be built.

Lancaster University Medical Centre / King Street Practice

Situated on the perimeter road near to the Pre-School Centre, the King Street & University Medical Practice provides a service for students and staff registered with the doctors' practice, who may be seen either at Lancaster University Medical Centre or at the central surgery (38 King Street, Lancaster tel. 01524 541651). Students living on campus, in Lancaster or in Morecambe mayregister. If you live further away, please ask at reception for details of the practice boundaries.

Appointments may be made with the receptionist who is available between 8:30am and 6:00pm Monday to Friday. If you are too ill to attend the surgeries, contact should be made with the King Street Surgery (01524 541651) and a visit will be arranged.

A full range of services is provided via the Practice and there is access to a Community Psychiatric Nurse service.

Repeat Prescriptions - If you require regular medication the doctor may agree to you having repeat prescriptions without the need to be seen. These should be ordered at the Medical Centre between 10.00 and 4.00 pm at least 48 hours before they are required.

If you are unhappy about any aspect of your contact with the Medical Practice please speak to the Senior Medical Officer; the Practice also welcome suggestions for improvement to their service.

Dental Services

Dental Access Helpline

The PCT has set up a dental helpline for patients wishing to access an NHS dentist. Callers are asked to leave their details, which will be entered on to a database in order and passed to dentists on request. The patient is then contacted when an NHS dentist becomes available. This system also assist the PCT in assessing patient demand for dental services. The number to call is 01253 306378. Arrangements for emergency dental treatment remain the same - ie Lancaster residents call 01539 716822.

Dental Clinic

A BUPA accredited dental clinic on campus offers private treatment between the hours of 9:00am - 1:00pm and 1:30pm - 5:00pm on Monday, Thursday and Friday. The dental clinic premises are adjacent to Bailrigg House. An emergency call-out service is available to registered patients. Appointments may be made by telephoning 01524 594595 (internal extension 94595).


Tel: 01524 36815

Situated just off Alexandra Square, the pharmacy is available to dispense prescriptions and for pharmacy medicines and advice.

Normal opening hours are 09:00 - 18:00 Monday to Friday (10:00 - 13:00 Saturday) in term times, and 09:30 to 13:00 Monday to Friday outside of term time.

Natural Health Care Centre on Campus

Situated in the Chaplaincy Centre.

For those who prefer alternative therapies, there are a number of natural health care practitioners based in the Chaplaincy Centre. At present they offer acupuncture, holistic massage, reflexology, shiatsu, medical herbalism, aromatherapy and homeopathy. For further information and booking contact the individual therapists direct. Lists of their names and contact numbers are displayed around the university.

Lancaster University has been named University of the Year by The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018.

It has also taken the top spot for Best Campus University and Best University in the North West.

Alastair McCall, editor of The Sunday Times Good University Guide, said: “In the 19 years of our University of the Year awards, there has rarely been a more clear-cut winner.”

Lancaster has been the top university in the northwest of England for over a decade and this year rose three places to finish sixth place in the national league table, securing it a top 10 finish for the second consecutive year and its highest ever ranking.

Its sixth-place ranking in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018, as well as the winning of the coveted University of the Year award, cements its place as an elite UK university.

Commenting on the decision to make Lancaster The Times and The Sunday Times University of the Year and Campus University of the Year, Alastair McCall, editor of The Sunday Times Good University Guide, said: "Rising to its highest ever ranking in our league table this year, Lancaster is at the top of its game. It knows the university it wants to be and as a result makes a distinctive offer to students.

"The modern interpretation of a collegiate structure, coupled with flexible degree programmes and academics committed to teaching as well as research has been recognised in consistently good outcomes in the annual National Student Survey. Students love Lancaster. 

"Dynamic course content and structure, plus the opportunities many students get to work abroad, is reflected in outstanding graduate prospects once they leave. In the 19 years of our University of the Year awards, there has rarely been a more clear-cut winner."

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