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Lord Puttnam on 10 July 2006 at the School of Computing and Technology Awards Ceremony.
The University of Sunderland is located in Sunderlandmarker, North East England. The University has more than 10,000 students, including 7,000-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.

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 former Galen Building). It was the first to offer sandwich course. Naval architecture and pharmacy were introduced between the two World Wars.

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.

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 Theatremarker was the regular venue for the graduation ceremonies, although they have been hosted at the Stadium of Lightmarker since 2004. In July 2007, he stepped down as Chancellor to become the Chancellor of the Open Universitymarker. 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.


There are currently two main campuses, City Campus and the Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter's, with other buildings in Ashbrookemarker. St Peter's opened during the 1990s on the northbank of the River Wearmarker, 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.

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. CitySpace has also been named as an official Paralympic training base for the London 2012 Olympics.


The University has four academic faculties, 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 Faculties 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 : Creative and Performing Arts, Design, Humanities, Combined Subjects, Journalism
  • Business & Law : Accounting, Business and Management, Combined Subjects, Law and Tourism
  • Education and Society : Education and Combined Subjects, Culture and Society
  • Applied Science : Computing, Engineering , Psychology, Environment, Pharmacy, Health and Sport and Exercise Sciences

Main buildings

City Campus: Forster Building, Wearmouth Hall, Centre for Sport & Recreation, Darwin Building, Darwin Annexe, Ecology Centre, Dale Building, Pasteur Building, Fleming Building, Johnson Building, Hutton Building (inc. Learning Development Services and Sony Media Centre), Edinburgh Building, St Mary's Building, Technology Park, Murray Library, Priestman Building and formerly the Galen Building.

St Peter's Campus: Manor Quay, Wearbank House, Reg Vardy Centre, St Peter's Library, David Goldman Informatics Centre, Prospect Building (including Sir Tom Cowie Lecture Theatre), Media Centre, North Sands Business Centre.

Other buildings: Ashburne House (including Ashburne Resource Centre and The Vardy Gallery), Langham Tower, Thornhill Park, Bede Tower, St George's House (derelict). Formerly: St Michael's Couty and Hammerton Hall (now flats), Benedict Building (demolished) and Armstrong James Building (destroyed in a fire).

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. All Saints is the only halls situated on the north side of the river Wear, at Roker near St Peter's Campus.

Clanny House is the largest halls of residence and 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.

The Precinct is located on Chester Road and is a short walk from the City Campus.

Scotia Quay and Panns Bank 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 former ship building industry.

Students' Union

The university of Sunderland Students' Union is headed by 5 sabbatical officers who run the Union and are elected into the roles by their peers for a period of 1 year. The current officer positions are President, Vice President, Education and Welfare Officer, Sports and Activities Officer and Entertainments and Media Officer.

The Students' Union are responsible for providing events, offering support and advice, fundraising and supporting campaigns and being the 'voice' of the student body.

The Students' Union currently has two bars, one being The Bonded Wearhouse, located near the Panns bank and Scotia Quay halls of Residence, and CAMPUS (formerly Manor Quay) located on the St. Peters campus. Both venues offer cheap food and drinks, and have a variety of theme nights throughout the course of the academic year.

The student magazine is called DN (Degrees North) magazine and its student union run radio station is called Spark FM.

Spark FM

Spark FM is a community radio station, The station has been awarded a full Community Radio licence from Ofcommarker and is expected to start broadcasting full time in September 2009 under the new name of Spark FM.

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 under the name of Utopia FM.


The University has formed a number of commerial enterprises over the years. Its wholly owned subsidiaries include:

  • Globalscreen Ltd.

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

  • Learning North East Ltd.

  • Learning World Ltd.

  • University of Sunderland Enterprises Ltd.

  • University of Sunderland Services Ltd.

  • Usefine Ltd.

See also


External links

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