University of Northampton

University of Northampton
The University of Northampton
Motto Transforming lives, inspiring change
Established 2005 (gained University status)
Nene College established 1975
Type Public
Endowment £1,156,000[1]
Chancellor Baroness Falkner of Margravine
Vice-Chancellor Professor Nick Petford
Chairman of Governing Council Mr Milan Shah[2]
Admin. staff 1,048[1]
Students 13,925[3]
Undergraduates 11,415[3]
Postgraduates 2,510[3]
Location Northampton, Northamptonshire, UK

The University of Northampton is a university in Northampton, Northamptonshire, England.



In 1924, Northampton Technical College was opened at St George's Avenue, site of the current Avenue Campus. A new building for the college was formally opened by the then Duke and Duchess of York in 1932. A School of Art opened later in 1937.

The entrance to Avenue campus

At the beginning of the 1970s, Northamptonshire was one of the few counties in England to lack a teacher-training college. A teacher-training college in Liverpool lost its home and was transferred to what is now the Park Campus of the University of Northampton. The college was opened by the then Secretary of State for Education and Science, Margaret Thatcher, in 1972.

In 1975, this teacher-training college amalgamated with the college of technology and art to become Nene College of Higher Education, taking its name from the River Nene in Northamptonshire.

In 1993, the college incorporated St. Andrew's School of Occupational Therapy and was granted taught degree awarding powers. In 1994 it took in the Leathersellers College and in 1997 the Sir Gordon Roberts College of Nursing and Midwifery. It became University College Northampton in 1999 and gained full university status as The University of Northampton in 2005. In order to gain university status it had to convince the Privy Council that a Royal Decree, signed by King Henry III in 1265 following the Battle of Lewes, should be repealed. This decree banned the establishment of a university in Northampton.

In 2005 the university also received the power to validate its own research degrees, which had formerly been validated by the University of Leicester. In the graduation ceremonies in July 2006 seven students received the first doctoral degrees validated by the University of Northampton.

In January 2010, the School of Applied Sciences was renamed the School of Science and Technology and moved into the newly refurbished Newton Building at Avenue Campus. The Newton Building itself was officially opened in September 2010 by HRH The Princess Anne who is the Royal Patron of the Women Into Science and Engineering (WISE) campaign.


The university has two sites: Park Campus at Kingsthorpe, a northern suburb of Northampton, and Avenue Campus just north of the town centre and opposite a large open park known as the Racecourse.

Avenue Campus was from 1924 the site of a college of technology which became part of the university.

The university has various types of halls of residence in its two campuses, with just over 1,600 rooms in total. Most first year students live in halls though few second or third years do so. Many of them live in the Abington area, north-west of the town centre. The main halls are:

Simon Senlis hall

The university also offers accommodation at Belinda Ferrison house in the Mounts area of the town centre of Northampton.

New buildings include a Santander Bank, "one-stop" student centre on Park campus, an innovation centre at Avenue campus for small and start-up businesses and a complete re-fit of the editing and sound studios at Avenue campus.

The university recently took ownership of the Grade II listed former Kingsley Park Middle School next door to Avenue Campus. This has undergone an £11m refurbishment and now houses most of the School of Science and Technology, which was formerly split between Avenue Campus and Park Campus. The building has been renamed the Newton Building after Sir Isaac Newton.

The university achieved the Ecocampus Silver award[4] in 2011.

Organisation and structure

The current Vice Chancellor is Professor Nick Petford, who was preceded in the post by Ann Tate (who received an honorary degree from the university in 2011) and Martin Gaskell. On 10 February 2008 the university appointed Baroness Falkner of Margravine as its first Chancellor.

Academic profile

The university has approximately 10,000 students spread across its two campuses. It is divided into six schools:

There is a separate business centre, the Sunley Management Centre. This is a dedicated centre for management training and development that also provides a large amount of the university's conference facilities.

The university offers a wide range of undergraduate degrees with over 250 courses as well as foundation degrees, diplomas and a variety of postgraduate opportunities up to PhD level. It is one of only a handful of universities in the UK able to offer two-year fast-track degrees (currently for management and marketing and law) though it also offers four-year extended degrees with a year in industry. The university is internationally renowned for Waste Management education and research. Other centres of excellence include Centre for Children and Youth (childhood and Children's Geographies), Transpersonal Psychology, leather technology and lift engineering. Degree programmes in Environmental Science subjects offer overseas fieldwork trips for undergraduate students to locations such as North America and the Canary Islands.

The annual summer fashion show attracts international attention.


The average UCAS points range required for entry into undergraduate degree programmes is 260 - 300.

Reputation and Rankings

In the 2012 Guardian University League Table, the university was ranked first for 'value added' and climbed 31 places.[5]

In February 2010 it was accredited with Fairtrade status, achieving a 'good' report from the Fairtrade Foundation.[6].

UK University Rankings
2012 2011 2010 2009 2008
The Times Good University Guide 92nd[7] 89th[7] 92nd[8] 104th 102nd
Guardian University Guide 63rd[9] 94th[9] 100th[9] 109th[10] 92nd
Sunday Times University Guide 108th[11] 104th 100th 92nd[12] 99th[13]
Independent / Complete 105th[14] 100th[14] 105th[14] 93rd[15] 95th[15]

Business links

The university has formed several links with local businesses. It has been particularly successful with an initiative backed by the UK Government’s Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (formerly known as the Department of Trade and Industry) called Knowledge Transfer Partnerships. Through this scheme, the university links up with a business and provides expertise in research and development.

The Senate building on Park Campus

Most of the university’s business links operate via its Knowledge Exchange department. The Portfolio Innovation Centre at Avenue campus houses small or start-up creative companies with administrative support. The NVision Business Centre in the Newton Building at Avenue Campus offers space for small and medium sized technology companies, with access to state-of-the-art three dimensional immersive visualisation and modelling equipment.

Social enterprise

Social enterprise is increasingly being integrated across student courses at the University. The University aims to become the number one university in the UK for social enterprise by 2015 and was awarded 'The Outstanding HEI (higher education institution) Supporting Social Entrepreneurship Award' at the UK’s ‘Dare to be Different’ national conference in June 2011.[16]


In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) the university achieved significant ratings in Business and Management; Health; Education; History; Metallurgy and Materials; English; Drama, Dance and Performing Arts; Art and Design; and Asian Studies.[17]

Research, consultancy and knowledge transfer at the university is centred around a number of cognate research groupings, including:

It also carries out internationally renowned research into lift engineering and technology, using the Express Lift Tower in the town, reflecting the town's now historic role in lift manufacturing.

It also provides numerous other business support schemes and programmes for new companies. These are often run through the university’s Sunley Management Centre. Other schemes run by the university include an art loan facility for offices or conferences. The university has also provided lab facilities for the Channel 4 programme “How Clean Is Your House”.

Student life

Students' Union

The SU on Park Campus

The Students' Union has various venues across the two campuses. Its main building is at Park Campus and houses a nightclub venue 'NN2', that is also used as a student diner during the day as well as small shop and deli/bar downstairs.

Avenue Campus has the St George's bar, so called because of Avenue Campus's location on St George's Avenue. This plays host to a rather eclectic mix of DJ's and like the Park Campus union, reverts to a student diner during the day.

The union voted to disaffiliate itself from the National Union of Students (NUS) in 2001, but re-affiliated in October 2007.


The University of Northampton Men's Hockey 1st XI team had a highly successful 2005/06 season, leading them to the Universities European Cup final (also known as the Calella Plate). The team lost but the performance was described as a "heroic performance of the highest standard".[18] The following year they went on to win the European Final.

The university also has strong football teams, with four men's and one women's team. The men's 3rd team, also known as Stanhope Wanderers, won the 2005/06 Calella 7's Plate. The participation in lacrosse is very popular amongst the students. The university's golf team also tasted success in 2007, reaching the national final held at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club.

The Rugby League team in 2009 reached the National Shield Cup final, in which they narrowly lost with a last minute try. The club has also produced a number of student internationals.

The university also enters two football teams into the local Northampton league. These teams are called the Northampton Llamas. They won the Gorell Barnes trophy 2007/08 and reached the final in 2008/09.

The university now has an American football team set up in October 2010 and will be competing in the BUAFL for the 2010/11 Season

Notable people

Honorary degrees


Prominent alumni include:


  • Henry Bird taught drawing at the Art school; his students included the architect, Will Alsop.[19]

See also


  1. ^ a b "un-full-accounts-2010.pdf". Retrieved 2011-08-17. 
  2. ^ "Membership of the Governing Council – Downloads – The University of Northampton". Retrieved 2011-08-17. 
  3. ^ a b c "institution0910.xls" (Microsoft Excel spreadsheet). Higher Education Statistics Agency. Retrieved 2011-08-17. 
  4. ^ "Ecocampus register". Retrieved 2011-10-27. 
  5. ^ "Guardian University League Tables". The Guardian. Retrieved 2010-02-22. 
  6. ^ "Northampton university news". Northampton Uni. Retrieved 2010-02-22. 
  7. ^ a b [1]
  8. ^ Watson, Roland; Elliott, Francis; Foster, Patrick. "Times University Guide". The Times (London). 
  9. ^ a b c "The Guardian University Guide". The Guardian (London). 2011-05-17. Retrieved 2011-05-27. 
  10. ^ Guardian university tables 2009
  11. ^ Sunday Times University Guide 2012 (pub. 11 September 2011
  12. ^ Sunday Times University Guide 2008
  13. ^ name=st10y>"University ranking based on performance over 10 years" (PDF). London: Times Online. 2007. Retrieved 2008-04-28. 
  14. ^ a b c [2]
  15. ^ a b "The Independent University League Table". The Independent (London). 2008-04-24. Retrieved 2010-05-27. 
  16. ^ "The University of Northampton wins top Social Entrepreneurship Award". Retrieved 2011-10-31. 
  17. ^ "RAE 2008 results". Retrieved 2008-12-24. 
  18. ^, April 2006
  19. ^ Alsop W. (June 28, 2001). Drawing on the experiences of life help create better work. Architects Journal

External links

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