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The University of Northampton is a university in Northamptonmarker, Northamptonshiremarker, UKmarker.

Formerly known as Nene College of Higher Education and then University College Northampton the University received full university status in 2005, though it had to convince the Privy Council that a Royal Decree signed by King Henry III in 1265 following the Battle of Lewesmarker, which banned the establishment of a university in Northampton, should be ignored. In the same year it also received the power to validate its own research degrees, which formerly had been validated by the University of Leicestermarker. In the graduation ceremonies in July 2006 seven students received the first doctoral degrees to be validated by The University of Northampton. Recipients of honorary degrees have included Former F1 world champion and president of the British Racing Drivers' Club Damon Hill in February 2009, Kettering born comedian Hugh Dennis in 2008, fashion designer Zandra Rhodes in 2007, broadcaster and film columnist Andrew Collins in 2006, Radio 1 DJ Jo Whiley, who was born in Northampton, in 2002, and singer Joan Armatrading in 2003.


The University of Northampton today occupies two sites, Park Campus at Kingsthorpemarker, a suburb of Northampton, and Avenue Campus, which is situated close to Northampton town centre and opposite one of the largest open parkland areas in Northampton. The site of the latter had at one time been the site of a college of technology.

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

The entrance to Avenue campus

At the beginning of the 1970s, Northamptonshiremarker was one of the few counties in England to lack a teacher training college. A teacher training college in Liverpoolmarker lost its home and was transferred to what is now the Park Campus of The University of Northampton. The education 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 to become Nene College, a College of Higher Education, taking its name from the River Nenemarker in Northamptonshire. This later became known as Nene-University College Northampton. 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 The University of Northampton in 2005.

The Vice Chancellor of the university is currently Ann Tate. Her predecessor in this position was Martin Gaskell. On 10 February 2008 the university appointed Baroness Falkner of Margravine as its inaugural Chancellor.

Prominent alumni include Bill Drummond Stephen Morris, Andrew Collins, Anthony Dunn, Gavin Douglas, Max Griggs, Darren Millstone III, Stephen Richardson and Andrew Harris. In 2008, Hugh Dennis of Mock the Week and My Hero received an honorary fellowship. Damon Hill received the same award in 2009 whilst Lord Judge received an honorary doctorate that year.

Current status

The University of Northampton currently has approximately ten thousand students spread across its two campuses. It is principally divided into the following six schools:

The business school also incorporates the Sunley Management Centre, a dedicated centre for management training and development that also provides a large amount of the university's conference facilities.

It 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 Ph.D. level. It is one of only a handful of universities in the UKmarker that is able to offer two-year fast-track degrees (currently for management and marketing only) though it also offers four-year extended degrees that include a year's placement 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 (essentially a materials science) and lift engineering. Degree programmes in Environmental Science subjects offer overseas fieldwork opportunities for undergraduate to locations such as North America (the USA field course) and the Canary Islands.

Fashion design is also a particularly strong subject at the university, with its annual summer fashion show attracting international attention and students regularly receiving national awards for their designs. It currently has ten designated centres of research excellence which include the SITA Centre for Sustainable Wastes Management, the China and Transitional Economics Research Centre, the Centre for Research on Leather and Materials Science, the Centre for the Study of Anomalous Psychological Processes and the Centre for the Historical Experience of War. It also carries out internationally renowned research into lift engineering and technology, something which reflects the town's now historic role in lift manufacturing. As a result of this research activity, the University is currently investigating the possibility of purchasing the former Express Lift Towermarker in the town to use as a base for future research and study.


Most undergraduates apply to the university via the UCAS system for degree applications in the UK. The average UCAS points range required for entry onto undergraduate degree programmes is 220 - 260. There are occasionally interviews for undergraduate pupils for courses in the School of Education. However, interviews are made through the UCAS application that is required. Applicants for the university's diploma, foundation degree or postgraduate courses apply directly to the university itself. Interviews are not normally conducted for these courses, with the exception of Ph.D. courses, which usually have an interview stage.

Like most universities, competition for places varies from course to course.

Profile and reputation

From its modest beginnings, the University of Northampton is quickly establishing itself as the foremost provider of higher education within the region, with year-on-year improvement in its teaching and research profiles. The Northampton Business School ("NBS") has been placed 18th for its business subjects out of 81 institutions in UK surveyed by the National Student Survey (NSS) 2006 and enjoys student satisfaction scores averaging above four (out of a maximum of five) according to the NSS 2006, just 0.37 behind a top of the table position. NBS also achieved a top 10% ranking for 'Quality of Teaching'. Other subjects with NSS student satisfaction scores of 90% and above include: Education, Biological Sciences, Geography and Environmental Science, History, Languages and Psychology .

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.

The University managed 41st place in the 2007 Green League of university's environmental performance as well as being ranked the 8th cheapest university in the UK to study for a degree.

UK University Rankings]]
2009 2008 2007
Times Good University Guide 84th 82nd 103rd
Guardian University Guide 79th 92nd
Sunday Times University Guide 92nd= 99th
Independent 93rd 95th
Daily Telegraph 96th

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

  • The Centre for the Study of Anomalous Psychological Processes (CSAPP) A Parapsychology research unit investigating alleged instances of Psychokinesis, ESP and a controversial Mediumship study. Located within the school of Psychology.
  • The Centre for Children and Youth
  • The Centre for the Historical Experience of War
  • The SITA Centre for Sustainable Wastes Management
  • Centre for Research on Leather and Materials Science
  • The China and Transitional Economies Research Centre
  • Centre for Learning and Enterprise in Organisations
  • Centre for Special Needs Education and Research
  • The Landscape and Biodiversity Research Group
  • Centre for Practice-led Research in the Arts
  • The Centre for Contemporary Fiction and Narrative
  • The Biosciences Research Group

Student Union

The SU on Park Campus

The student union has various venues across the two campuses. Its main building is at Park Campus and houses a nightclub venue 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.

Both campuses also have a restaurant that is run by the University itself and the building which houses the restaurant on Park Campus has won awards for its architecture, as has the Senate building. Other campus facilities include an independent book shop, (run on association with the University of Leicestermarker), a convenience shop, gym facility and medical centre. Most of these facilities are based at Park Campus, but a free bus service runs between the two campuses.

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

Halls of Residence

The university has various types of halls across both of its campuses and have just over 1,600 rooms in total. Most first years live in halls, though very few second or third years do so. A lot of these students live in the Abingtonmarker area of Northampton. The halls are named after local historic figures and room sizes, facilities and price vary between them. The main halls are:

The most modern but expensive halls to live in. Based at Park Campus, each hall has 300 single en-suite bedrooms. Each flat usually contains six rooms and a communal kitchen. The flats are generally single sex, although there a small number of mixed sex flats. A small number of twin en-suite rooms are available in these halls. The rooms have network access providing links to the University's computer network.

Simon Senlis hall

Slightly cheaper residence at Park Campus, this modern hall offering standard single and standard twin accommodation. Flats comprise 5-8 residents. Kitchen and bathroom facilities are shared. During the summer of 2007, it received some refurbishment.

Based at Park Campus, these are traditional halls located at the heart of Park Campus close to the library and social activities. They have 92 bedrooms (standard single) divided into flats of 5-10 rooms. Each flat has a shared kitchen and bathroom. One hall is designated female only. John Clare also comprises seven small houses. One former ground floor flat in Charles Bradlaugh Hall serves as a Multi-Faith Chaplaincy Centre.

An en-suite Hall at Avenue Campus. Each flat usually has six single en-suite bedrooms and a communal kitchen. The flats are generally single sex. A small number of twin en-suite rooms and self contained twin en-suite rooms are available. The rooms have network access providing links to the University's computer network.

Business links

Northampton University has managed to form several business links with local business and undertakes various other initiatives in this area. 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 lends its expertise in research, academia or development to the business. The University has so far taken part in 25 of these partnerships, achieving high gradings from the DTI.

The Senate building on Park Campus

Most of the University’s business links operate via its dedicated Knowledge Exchange department, which aims to act as one stop-shop for such links. Through this, the University provides support through consultancy and assisting in research projects as well as providing support for other postgraduate projects. Avenue campus is host to the Portfolio Innovation Centre, a unit that houses small or start-up companies by providing office accommodation and administrative support. It currently hosts ten small companies, mainly in the design and arts fields, but also a couple of IT firms.

The University currently has ten approved research centres, ranging from The SITA Centre for Sustainable Wastes Management to The China and Transitional Economics Research Centre and The Centre for Practice-led Research in the Arts. It also provides numerous other business support schemes, such as Business4Women 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”.

Future plans

£74m has been spent over the last ten years developing the campuses at Northampton and a further £80m will be spent over the next ten years developing these campuses further. This has already included the building of a "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. Further plans include a large sports centre and extended development at Avenue campus. A design competition was launched in Autumn 2008 with the RIBA to produce plans for the Avenue Campus development. These plans are to include a new restaurant and cinema as well as extended research and teaching facilities.

It has recently taken ownership of the Grade II listed former Kingsley Park Middle School next door to Avenue Campus which will now undergo a £10m refurbishment before housing most of the School of Applied Sciences, currently split between Avenue Campus and Park Campus. This building will also contain a science and technology research centre, which has backing from partners in the United Statesmarker, and the British Institute for Non-Destructive Testing.

By 2010 it plans to increase its student numbers by 20% and double the income it receives from research activities.

Sporting success

Club Captains Andrew Harris known locally as "MLT" and Lewis Done led The University of Northampton Men's Hockey 1st XI team who 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". The following year, under the captaincy of Luke Meaton, 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 05/06 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, captained by Steve Durning, has also tasted success and in 2009 reached the National Shield Cup final, in which they narrowly lost with a last minute try. In a tightly contested game the 'Gremlins' put the university on the Rugby League map. The club also boasts a proven track record on producing student internationals, most recently Steve Durning, Graeme Spencer, Tommy Andrews and Danny Vento. The club also defeated their union counterparts 29-15 in a full game of rugby union.

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 07/08 and reached the final in 08/09.

External links


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