University of Sunderland

University of Sunderland

Infobox University
name = University of Sunderland

motto = "Scientiam Dulce Hauriens"
mottoeng = "Sweetly absorbing knowledge"
established = 1992 (1901 as "Sunderland Technical College"; 1969 as "Sunderland Polytechnic")
staff =
chancellor = Steve Cram
vice_chancellor = Prof. Peter Fidler
head_label = Deputy Vice Chancellors
head = Prof. David Fleming, Beatrice Ollerenshaw; Estelle Morris (Pro-Vice-Chancellor)
city = Sunderland
state = Tyne and Wear
country = United Kingdom
campus =
students = 20,325cite web|url=|title= Table 0a - All students by institution, mode of study, level of study, gender and domicile 2006/07|accessdate= 2008-04-12|format= Microsoft Excel spreadsheet|publisher= Higher Education Statistics Agency]
undergrad = 17,020
postgrad = 3,195
other = 110 FE
campus = Multiple campuses
former_names = Sunderland Technical College (1901-1969), Sunderland Polytechnic (1969-1992)
colours = Nasturtium & Dark Blue color box|#FFA500 color box|#00335B [ Academic Colours] Sunderland University Academic Dress ]
type = Public
affiliations = Coalition of Modern Universities
website =

The University of Sunderland is located in Sunderland, North East England. The University has more than 16,000 students, including 1,000-plus international students from some 70 countries.

The University was named the 'Best English University for student experience' by the Times Higher Education Supplement in December 2005. [ [ Sunderland voted "Best Student Experience", Times Higher Education Supplement, December 2005]

The University is also one of the 31 United Kingdom Universities providing the New Route PhD as an alternative to the traditional Ph.D., although Sunderland also provides the latter.


The University’s roots can be traced back to 1901, when Sunderland Technical College was established as a municipal training college on Green Terrace (the site of the current Priestman Building). It was the first to offer sandwich courses. Naval architecture and pharmacy were introduced between the two World Wars.

In the late 1950s, the college was the first educational centre in the region to install a digital computer. In the 1960s a PDP-8 hybrid computer was installed at the Chester Road site.

A new complex of buildings, including Students Union and Hall of Residence facilities, on nearby Chester Road was opened by the Duke of Edinburgh in 1964.

Sunderland Polytechnic was established on 1 January 1969, incorporating the Technical College, the School of Art (which was also established in 1901) and the Sunderland Teacher Training College (established in 1908). In 1992 the Polytechnic gained University status. [cite web
url =
title = Our History
work = The University
accessdate = 2008-06-16
publisher = University of Sunderland
quote =

The University was recognised by "The Guardian" as England's best new university in 2001, and in 2005 was named by "The Times Higher Education Supplement" as the top university in England for providing the best student experience.

Lord Puttnam became the university's first Chancellor in 1998. The Sunderland Empire Theatre was the regular venue for the graduation ceremonies, although they have been hosted at the Stadium of Light since 2004. In July 2007, he stepped down as Chancellor to become the Chancellor of the Open University.cite web
last = Hale
first = Dean
publisher = University of Sunderland
date = 2006-11-02
work = AblogUS - University of Sunderland blog
url =
title = Lord Puttnam to step down as Chancellor
accessdate = 2008-06-16
quote = Lord Puttnam has been appointed to the post of Chancellor at the Open University, and will step down from his role of Chancellor at the University of Sunderland following the July 2007 awards ceremonies. When Lord Puttnam presides over his final degree ceremony in July 2007 it will mark ten years since his appointment as the University of Sunderland’s first Chancellor.
] cite press release
publisher = Open University
date = 2006-10-03
url =
title = Lord Puttnam is appointed Chancellor of The Open University
accessdate = 2006-10-08
quote = Speaking about the appointment, Lord Puttnam said: "Having enjoyed an incredibly fruitful decade as Chancellor of the University of Sunderland, I’m delighted to have been offered the chance to make a similar contribution to the institution that most clearly mirrors my own academic journey."
] On 23 May 2008 the University announced that former Olympic athlete Steve Cram had been appointed as Chancellor and would be officially installed at a ceremony on 27 June 2008.cite press release
publisher = University of Sunderland
date = 2008-05-23
url =
title = Steve Cram named new Chancellor
accessdate = 2008-06-16
quote = Steve has a strong relationship with the university, going back 25 years, so he was an obvious choice for Chancellor. In 1983 Steve received his sports studies degree from Sunderland and three years later the former 1500m world record holder was back at the university to receive an Honorary Fellowship for his outstanding contribution to sport. In 1994 he became Honorary President of the University of Sunderland Alumni Association.


There are currently two main campuses, City Campus and the Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter's, with other buildings in Ashbrooke. St Peter's opened during the 1990s on the northbank of the River Wear, the site of St. Peter's Church and monastery built by Benedict Biscop in 674AD. In September 2002 the campus was renamed "The Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St. Peter's" after the local businessman who was one of the University's primary supporters. The Sunderland Business School is similarly named "The Reg Vardy Centre", and another building, primarily used by the School of Computing and Technology, is "The David Goldman Informatics Centre".

"The Media Centre", housing television and radio production facilities for the School of Arts, Design Media and Culture, along with a small local base for Tyne Tees Television, opened in 2003 at St. Peter's. It was officially opened in March 2004 by Estelle Morris. Morris has been the pro vice-chancellor since June 2005.

The City Campus complex is still used, with buildings constantly being redeveloped. The Edinburgh Building was extensively redeveloped in 2004, and given a modern frontage. A lift was installed in Forster Building in 2003 when it started to house the School of Education and Lifelong Learning. Wearmouth Hall, built as a student residence, catering hall and lecture theatre closed at the end of the 2006/2007 academic year and will be demolished bringing to end one of the City's most distinctive tall buildings.

In June 2007, the first part of a three-stage refurbishment began in The Murray Library on the City Campus. [cite web
publisher = University of Sunderland
work = About Murray
url =
title = The Murray Library refurbishment blog
accessdate = 2008-06-16

In May 2008, plans to invest £75million in the vision to dramatically change the face of the University of Sunderland’s City Campus was unveiled, including a new £11million sports and recreation facility, "CitySpace".cite press release
publisher = University of Sunderland
date = 2008-05-12
url =
title = University unveils £75m new City Campus
accessdate = 2008-06-28
quote = An ambitious multi-million pound vision to dramatically change the face of the University of Sunderland’s City Campus has been unveiled.
] CitySpace has also been named as an official Paralympic training base for the London 2012 Olympics.cite press release
publisher = University of Sunderland
date = 2008-05-28
url =
title = Sunderland’s newest sporting venue to host Paralympic stars
accessdate = 2008-06-28
quote = CitySpace been named as an official Paralympic training base for the London 2012 Olympics


The University has five academic departments (or "Schools"), responsible for teaching and learning, academic development and research, and working with partners in business and industry. The University also has a Graduate Research School which provides a focus and catalyst for research, especially in cross-School developments and activities, for research students and as a vehicle for enhancing the level of intellectual debate within the University.

The Schools are supported by a number of service departments responsible for a wide range of activity such as student welfare and accommodation for example, right through to teams responsible for managing the University estate, financial matters, and human resources.

*Arts, Design, Media and Culture : Creative and Performing Arts, Culture, Design, English, History, Humanities, Combined Subjects, Journalism & Tourism
*Business, Law and Psychology : Accounting, Business and Management, Combined Subjects and Law
*Computing and Technology : Computing, Engineering and Combined Subjects
*Education and Lifelong Learning : Education and Combined Subjects
*Health, Natural and Social Sciences : Environment, Combined Subjects, Medically Orientated Sciences, Social Sciences and the Caring Professions, and Sport and Exercise Sciences

Halls of residence

The University of Sunderland has six halls of residence; Scotia Quay, Panns Bank, Clanny House, The Precinct, The Forge and All Saints

Scotia Quay and Panns Bank student halls of residence are based across the River Wear from St. Peter's Campus, across the road from The Bonded Warehouse. The location of these halls used to be one of the many locations on the river that were used by the old ship building industry.

The Precinct is located on Chester Road and is a five minutes walk from the City Campus campus.

Clanny House is located on Hylton Road across the road from the Sunderland Royal Hospital.

The Forge is near Clanny House and was closed in 2006 but has re-opened for the 2008/9 year due to high housing demand.

tudents Union

At the end of the 2007 term, the University of Sunderland Students' Union had 3 large bars, the Bonded Warehouse, Manor Quay and Wearmouth Bar. However, in July 2007 Wearmouth Bar was closed pending the demolition of Wearmouth Hall, and Manor Quay has also been vacated. The student magazine is called "DN" ("Degrees North") magazine and it's student union run radio station is called "Utopia FM"

Getting around

The University's City Campus and St. Peter's Campus are both served by Tyne and Wear Metro stations. The stations are called University and St. Peter's respectively. The University of Sunderland Students' Union also provide a free Campus Bus service throughout the day and evenings, with an extended service operating on event nights, and reduced service during the University vacation.

87.7 Utopia FM

Utopia FM is a student radio station broadcasting on the internet and, at times, on 87.7FM. It has been broadcasting under the Utopia name since November 1997 on twice-yearly short term licences, known as RSLs.

Its origins can be traced back to Wear FM, a community-oriented service for Sunderland which launched in 1990. It broadcasts from studios in the new Media Centre at the St. Peter's Campus, although transmission facilities are still located the other side of the river in the Forster Building on Chester Road (home to the University's media department until summer 2003).

Over the station's lifetime, it has secured many nominations in the annual Student Radio Awards, winning a gold and a silver in 2004, and three bronze awards in 2005.

The station has now been awarded a full Community Radio licence from Ofcom and is expected to start broadcasting full time early in 2009.

Commercial enterprises

The University has formed a number of commerial enterprises over the years.

* Integra, was originally established as an environmental consultancy in 1993. It now provides health and safety training & consultancy services.

* MTC, the North East England's leading provider of accredited IT training for Microsoft, Novell, Citrix, VMware, ITIL, PRINCE2, Cisco and EC-Council, was established in 1984.

* University of Sunderland Enterprises Ltd.

* University of Sunderland Services Ltd.

University of Sunderland in overseas

To support its global reach, the University of Sunderland has branch offices around the world.

The Hong Kong office supports many local cooperations. One of the co-operations is with the Sunwah - PearL Linux in delivering BA (Hons) Graphic Design Top Up degree.


External links

* [ University of Sunderland]
* [ Sunderland Student Union]
* [ Integra Training and Consulting]
* [ MTC Training]

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