History of Newcastle University
The university has its origins in the School of Medicine and Surgery, which was established in Newcastle upon Tyne in October 1834, when it provided basic lectures and practical demonstrations to around 26 students. In June 1851, following a dispute among the teaching staff, the School split into two rival institutions. The majority formed the Newcastle College of Medicine, and the others established themselves as the Newcastle upon Tyne College of Medicine and Practical Science. By 1852, the majority college was formally linked to the University of Durham. It awarded its first 'Licence in Medicine' (Lic.Med) in 1856, and its teaching certificates were recognised by the University of London for graduation in medicine. The two colleges amalgamated in 1857 and renamed theUniversity of Durham College of Medicine in 1870.
Attempts to realise a place for the teaching of sciences in the city were finally met with the foundation of the College of Physical Science in 1871. The college offered instruction in mathematics, physics, chemistry and geology to meet the growing needs of the mining industry, becoming the Durham College of Physical Science in 1883 and then renamed after William George Armstrong as Armstrong College in 1904. Both these separate and independent institutions later became part of the University of Durham, whose 1908 Act formally recognised that the university consisted of two Divisions, Durham and Newcastle, on two different sites. By 1908, the Newcastle Division was teaching a full range of subjects in the Faculties of Medicine, Arts, and Science, which also included agriculture and engineering.
Throughout the early 20th century, the medical and science colleges vastly outpaced the growth of their Durham counterparts and a Royal Commission in 1934 recommended the merger of the two colleges to form King's College, Durham. Growth of the Newcastle Division of the federal Durham University led to tensions within the structure and on 1 August 1963 an Act of Parliament separated the two, creating the University of Newcastle upon Tyne.
Coat of arms
As the successor of King's College, Durham, the university at its founding in 1963, adopted the coat of arms originally granted to the Council of King's College in 1937. In the Letters Patent authorising the transfer, the arms are blazoned Azure, a Cross of St Cuthbert Argent and in chief of the last a lion passant guardant Gules (On a blue shield, a silver square cross with flared ends, and on the top third of the shield, which is silver, a red lion walking and looking towards the viewer). There is no motto.
Above the portico of the Students' Union building are bas-relief carvings of the arms and mottoes of the University of Durham, Armstrong College and Durham University College of Medicine, the predecessor parts of Newcastle University.