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Newcastle University is a major research-intensive university located in Newcastle upon Tynemarker in the north-east of Englandmarker. It was established as a School of Medicine and Surgery in 1834 and became the University of Newcastle upon Tyne by an Act of Parliament in August 1963. Newcastle University is a member of the Russell Group, an association of leading research-intensive UK universities. The University has one of the largest EU research portfolios in the UK. The post-nominal letters of graduates commonly have N'cle attached to indicate the institution.


The University has its origins in the School of Medicine and Surgery which was established in Newcastle upon Tynemarker in October 1834, providing basic lectures and practical demonstrations to around 26 students. In June 1851, following a dispute amongst the teaching staff, the School was split into two rival institutions: the majority forming the Newcastle College of Medicine, with the others establishing themselves as the Newcastle upon Tyne College of Medicine and Practical Science. By 1852 the majority college was formally linked to the University of Durhammarker and its teaching certificates were recognised by the University of London for graduation in medicine. The two colleges amalgamated in 1857 and renamed the University 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.


The university occupies a campus site close to Haymarket in central Newcastle upon Tyne. It is located to the northwest of the city centre between the open spaces of Leazes Parkmarker and the Town Moormarker. The University has a core population of 19,700 students (2006–2007), including more than 2,000 overseas students from over 100 countries.

The current Chancellor is Sir Liam Donaldson. Donaldson is also currently the Chief Medical Officer for Englandmarker. Donaldson assumed the position of Chancellor on 1 August 2009. The vice-chancellor is Chris Brink, a mathematician and lately vice-chancellor of the University of Stellenboschmarker.

The university enjoys a friendly sporting rivalry with local universities:the Stan Calvert Cup is contested by major sports teams from Newcastle and Northumbria University, and the Northumbrian Water University Boat Race takes place each year between the rowing clubs of Newcastle and Durham Universitymarker.

It holds a series of public lectures, named Insights, each year in the Curtis Auditorium in the Herschel Building.

Newcastle was the only UK university to formally back the Jubilee Debt Campaign for the cancellation of debt in developing countries, and it has a strong ongoing commitment to the Make Poverty History campaign. At a high-profile honorary degree ceremony in January 2007, the University awarded honorary degrees to Bob Geldof, Gordon Brown MP, and Benjamin Mkapa (former president of Tanzania) among others, at an event which promoted debate on current debt-relief issues.

In 2006, the University was granted Fair trade status, and from January 2007, it became a smoke-free campus. Plans for additions and improvements to the campus were made public in March 2008 and scheduled to be completed by 2010 at a cost of £200 million. They include a redevelopment of the south-east (Haymarket) facade with a five-storey King's Gate building and sculpture as well as new student accommodation. Two additional buildings for the school of medicine were also announced.

In September 2008 the university's first overseas branch was opened in Singaporemarker, a Marine International campus called, NUMI Singapore. In 2011 the university Medical School are to open a campus in Malaysia, called Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia (NUMed).

The University has also been actively involved with several of the region's museums for many years; the Hancock Museummarker - recently refurbished and re-opened in May 2009 - is one such example.

Coat of Arms

As the successor of King's College, Durham, the University has adopted as its coat of arms those which were granted to the Council of King's College in 1937. In the Letters Patent authorizing the transfer the arms are blazoned Azure, a Cross of St Cuthbert Argent and in chief of the last a lion passant guardant Gules.

Faculties and Schools

Teaching schools within the University are based within three faculties. Each faculty is lead by a Provost/Pro-vice chancellor and a team of Deans with specific responsibilities.

  • Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
    • School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape
    • School of Arts and Cultures
    • Newcastle University Business School
    • Combined Studies Centre
    • School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences
    • School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics
    • School of Geography, Politics and Sociology
    • School of Historical Studies
    • The Language Centre
    • Newcastle Law School
    • School of Modern Languages

  • Faculty of Medical Sciences
    • Newcastle Biomedicine
    • School of Biomedical Sciences
    • School of Dental Sciences
    • School of Medical Sciences Education Development
    • Postgraduate Institute for Medicine and Dentistry
    • School of Psychology

  • Faculty of Science, Agriculture and Engineering
    • School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development
    • School of Biology
    • School of Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials
    • School of Chemistry
    • School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences
    • School of Computing Science
    • School of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering
    • School of Marine Science and Technology
    • School of Mathematics and Statistics
    • School of Mechanical and Systems Engineering

Research Institutes

The Herschel Building, home to the Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology, the School of Mathematics and Statistics, and the School of Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials.
  • Informatics Research Institute (IRI)
  • Institute for Ageing and Health (IAH)
  • Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences (ICAMB)
  • Institute of Cellular Medicine (ICM)
  • Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology (INSAT)
  • Institute for Policy and Practice (IPP)
  • Institute for Research on Environment and Sustainability (IRES)
  • Institute of Health and Society (IHS)
  • Institute of Human Genetics (IHG)
  • Institute of Neuroscience (IoN)
  • Newcastle Institute for the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (NIASSH)
  • Northern Institute for Cancer Research (NICR)
  • North-east England Stem Cell Institute (NESCI)
  • Sir Joseph Swan Institute for Energy Research (SWAN)

Reputation and rankings

The University Quadrangle, facing the arches of the Fine Art building.
The university won the Sunday Times University of the Year award in 2000 and is ranked 9th best in the UK by the Webometrics Ranking of World Universities in 2007. The majority of undergraduate subjects were also ranked in the top 10 or top 20 in the Times Good University Guide 2008 and all of its subjects are awarded at least 20 points out of 24 by the Quality Assurance Agency. The University is also ranked highly for its research, and in the publication Research Fortnight Newcastle University was named as fifth best in the UK for its research carried out across departments in 2007. It was also been named the second friendliest university by the Friends Reunited website in 2006. The University Librarymarker is the only one in the UK to have been awarded the government's Charter Mark for excellent customer services five times in a row. The University has one of the best track records for graduate employment in the country, and the Careers Service has won seven prestigious national careers awards in recent years by the Institute of Career Guidance.

Student life

In 2008 a survey conducted by ranked Newcastle as the number one student city in the UK, with a score of 63% across the categories of going out, shops, transport, community and facilities. In another 2008 survey, by MSN Travel, Newcastle was named as the number one university.

Rankings tables

The award winning Devonshire Building.
UK University Rankings]]
2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 1997 1996 1995 1994 1993
The Times 20th 23rd 25th 19th 18th 17th= 16th 13th 17th 17th 19th 19th 22nd 17th 29th 28th= 23rd
The Guardian 40th 43rd 40th 38th 38th 43rd 56th 30th
The Sunday Times 24th 23rd 25th 26th 26th 21st 22nd 23rd 18th 20th 22nd 26th
The Daily Telegraph 23rd
FT 26th 23rd 23rd 21st
The Independent / Complete 24th 27th 23rd

World Universities
2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003
THES - QS World University Rankings 162nd 129th 133rd 168th 179th N/A
Academic Ranking of World Universities 201–302nd 203–304th 151–200th 203–300th 202–301st 152–200th

Newcastle University Business School

In 2002, Newcastle University Business School established the Business Accounting and Finance or 'Flying Start' degree in association with the ICAEW and PricewaterhouseCoopersmarker. The course offers an accelerated route towards the ACA Chartered Accountancy qualification and is the Business School's Flagship programme. Its success has since resulted in Lancaster Universitymarker and Ernst & Young collaborating to establish a competing degree programme in 2005.

Newcastle University Medical School

The Medical School gained 143 out of a possible 144 points in its six subject areas in the Teaching Quality Assessment and was also the first institution in Europe, second in the world, to be given permission to pursue stem-cell research in human embryos. According to UCAS, Cambridgemarker, Oxfordmarker and Newcastle are the most academically selective universities for entry to study medicine in the United Kingdom. The BMC Medicine journal reported medical graduates from Oxford, Cambridge and Newcastle performed better in postgraduate tests than any other medical school in the UK. In 2008 the Medical School announced that they were expanding their campus to Malaysiamarker.

Newcastle Law School

The Newcastle Law School is the longest established law school in the north-east of England. It is ranked 14th of law schools nationally according to The Times Good University Guide 2009. It boasts a number of recognised international and national experts in a variety of areas of legal scholarship ranging from Common and Chancery law, to International and European law, as well as contextual, socio-legal and theoretical legal studies.

Cavitation tunnel

Newcastle University is also home to the second largest cavitation tunnel in the UK. Founded in 1950, and based in the Marine Science and Technology Department, the Emerson Cavitation Tunnelmarker is used as a test basin for propellers, water turbines, underwater coatings and interaction of propellers with ice.

Museums and galleries

The Hancock Museum.
The University is associated with a number of the region's museums and galleries, including the Great North Museummarker project, which is primarily based at the world-renowned Hancock Museummarker. The Great North Museum: Hancock also contains collections from two of the University's other museums, the Shefton Museummarker and the Museum of Antiquitiesmarker. The University's Hatton Gallerymarker is also a part of the Great North Museum project, but remains within the Fine Art Building.

Student organisations

The King's Gate building.
The University has a vast number of student organisations, including:


Newcastle University has many catered and non-catered halls of residence available to first-year students, located around the city of Newcastle.

Notable alumni

Newcastle University has many notable alumni, including politicians, business people, authors, actors, musicians and sports people.

See also


External links

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