University of Salford

University of Salford
Motto Altiora Petamus
"Let us seek higher things"
Type Public
Established 1850 - Pendleton Mechanics Institute
1896 – Royal Technical Institute, Salford
1967 – gained University status by Royal charter
Endowment £0.49 m (2015)[1]
Chancellor Jackie Kay
Vice-Chancellor Helen Marshall
Administrative staff
Students 18,920 (2014/15)[2]
Undergraduates 14,895 (2014/15)[2]
Postgraduates 4,025 (2014/15)[2]
Location Salford, Greater Manchester, UK
Campus Urban, Parkland
Colours Blue and Gold
Affiliations University Alliance
Association of Commonwealth Universities
North West Universities Association
Northern Consortium

The University of Salford is a public research university in Salford, England, 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometres) west of Manchester city centre. The Royal Technical Institute, Salford, which opened in 1896, became a College of Advanced Technology in 1956 and gained university status, following the Robbins Report into higher education, in 1967.

It has 18,920 students and is in 60 acres (24 hectares) of parkland on the banks of the River Irwell.


Origins of the Royal Technical Institute

The oldest surviving building, housing the Royal Technical Institute upon its foundation and is now known as the Peel Building.

The university's origins can be traced to 1896 with the opening of the Royal Technical Institute, Salford, a merger of Salford Working Men's College founded in 1858 and Pendleton Mechanics' Institute founded in 1850.[3] The Royal Technical Institute, Salford received royal letters after the then-Duke and Duchess of York (later King George V and Queen Mary) officiated at its opening ceremony, an event commemorated in the university's Redbrick Peel Building and which allowed 'Royal' to be appended to the name of the institute.

At the start of the 20th century, mechanical engineering, chemical works, textiles and construction dominated the industrial scene in Salford. This heavily influenced the choice of subjects offered in the nine departments initially opened. These were Engineering, Electrical Engineering & Applied Physics, Mathematics, Chemistry, Building, Dyeing, Spinning & Weaving, Domestic, and Art. Some 1,240 students registered for the first session in these departments. There were originally 19 members of staff.

In 1921 the Institute was renamed the Royal Technical College, Salford. In 1958 the institution split into two organisations: the remaining Royal Technical College and a breakaway institution, Peel Park Technical College. This changed its name first in 1961 to Salford Technical College, before becoming the Salford College of Technology in 1970, and finally University College Salford in 1992.

Royal College of Advanced Technology

The Royal Technical College became a CAT in 1956, and became known as the Royal College of Advanced Technology. In 1963 the government completed an inquiry into the state of higher education in the United Kingdom and produced the Robbins Report, which paved the way for the Royal College of Advanced Technology (and other Colleges of Advanced Technology) to assume university status by Royal Charter.

University status

The Royal College of Advanced Technology became the University of Salford on 10 February 1967 when Her Majesty The Queen handed over the institution's Royal Charter. The first Vice-Chancellor was Clifford Whitworth, after whom the university's main library is named. The first chancellor was HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, who remained the university's chancellor until 1991. Prince Philip took a keen interest in the university whilst in office which has continued since and he visited the university's award-winning acoustics laboratories in 2008.[4] In 1996 the breakaway University College Salford merged with the University of Salford, to form a single institution.

In 2012 the University of Salford announced a partnership with the UK's biggest arms company, (BAE Systems), and four other universities in northwestern England (Liverpool, Manchester, UCLAN and Lancaster) in order to work on the Gamma Programme, which aims to develop "autonomous systems". According to the University of Liverpool, "autonomous systems are technology based solutions that replace humans in tasks that are mundane, dangerous and dirty, or detailed and precise, across sectors, including aerospace, nuclear, automotive and petrochemicals".[5] As has been pointed out by Campaign Against the Arms Trade, military drones come under this definition of autonomous systems, which the University of Liverpool calls "a new and emerging sector".[5] On 5 September 2015 Salford was represented for the third time on University Challenge.



The Maxwell Building on the edge of the Peel Park Campus


Campus and facilities

University of Salford Building MediaCity UK
The Old Fire Station, used for conference events
Clifford Whitworth Library

The main Peel Park campus is less than 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometres) from Manchester city centre on the banks of the River Irwell, adjacent to Peel Park, possibly the first public park in the world, which opened on 22 August 1846.[8] A former president of the Students' Union described Salford in 2007 as "a relaxed campus close to Manchester, but cheaper and greener."[9] Salford Crescent railway station is adjacent to the campus, and high frequency bus services operate to Manchester, Salford and Bolton and Liverpool. There are other university facilities within a mile of the main campus, namely the Frederick Road and Adelphi campuses. Most of the university administration buildings are along Salford Crescent, opposite the Peel Campus. The Salford Museum and Art Gallery, said to be the first unconditionally free public library in England.[10][11] is located on the Peel Park Campus.


In October 2011 the university opened a learning, teaching and research space at MediaCityUK. Over 1,500 students will have opportunities to work near media professionals using the latest industry specified equipment, studios and laboratories.[12] They will study on 39 undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.[13]

Major investment projects

Aerial photograph of the campus in 2011, with proposed new buildings added digitally.

The university embarked on a £150 million programme of investment in 2004, to deliver new buildings and carry out major refurbishment projects. These included:

In summer 2013 construction work started on the £55 million New Adelphi building, due to open in September 2016, housing music, performance, art, design and architecture students. Facilities will include a 350 capacity theatre, 140sqm studio theatre, 2 large TV acting studios, 36 dedicated rehearsal rooms, 6 industry standard recording studios, 12 amplified performance spaces (music ensemble rooms), 2 dance studios, 3 floors of dedicated wood, metal, textiles, print and plastics workshops, 7 photographic studios, 14 instrumental tuition rooms, a double height 100sqm band-room/live room and a suite of flexible performance and studio spaces.

The Library Development Project is being conducted in two stages in 2016 and 2017, encompassing an extension and refurbishment of the Clifford Whitworth Library along the theme of 'the library in the park'.

In May 2016 an extension to the existing Newton Building, which houses the School of Computing, Science and Engineering, was awarded planning permission. The £16 million project, known as the Engineering Showcase, will feature exhibition space to display engineering solutions, research/demonstration spaces, open-plan collaborative learning spaces, informal and formal presentation spaces, a café and ‘maker-space’.

Research and development centres

The United National Institute for Prosthetics and Orthotics Development [16] is located in the University's Prosthetics & Orthotics division of its School of Health, Sport & Rehabilitation Sciences. It is the only prosthetics and orthotics higher education provider in England.

The KidsCan Children's Cancer Research Centre is in the University's John Armstrong Welsh Laboratories at the Centre for Biochemistry, Drug Design and Cancer Research.[17] It was established in 2002 to develop treatments with fewer side effects for children and young adults.[18]


Peel Hall has seating for nearly 400 people, hosts many musical performances and is the main venue for the midday recitals. The hall is housed in the Peel Building, a red brick and terracotta Victorian building on the Peel Park Campus.

The university's Robert Powell Theatre, named after the Salford-born actor, mostly stages live performances of modern works and participatory work for younger audiences.

At the heart of the Peel Park Campus, the Chapman Gallery hosts a wide range of modern and contemporary art exhibitions which showcase the work of up and coming artists, university staff, students and the community of Salford.

The Tom Husband Leisure Centre is on the Peel Park Campus and adjacent to the Students' Union. It contains a gym, 25m swimming pool, sauna and spa, squash courts, climbing wall, and a multi-use sports hall.

The Adelphi Studio Theatre is a small theatre venue based in the School of Music, Media and Performance's Adelphi Building.


The university is organised into seven schools:[19]

International students come from China, India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Cyprus, Greece, Nigeria, the Republic of Ireland, Romania, Malaysia and Bulgaria. With its three colleges, 12 schools, nearly 20,000 students, and over 2,500 staff, Salford had a turnover of some £156m in 2006/07.

The university is a founding member of the Northern Consortium of universities.

In October 2008 it was announced that compulsory redundancies were likely at the university, as part of a plan to save £12.5 million over three years. A notice by the university registrar said that Salford needed to invest £300 million in university estate and £40 million in moving the arts and media faculty to the "MediaCityUK" site at Salford Quays, where the BBC is to establish its northern headquarters. The notice went on to say that these additional costs came in the context of a number of pressures: salary bills that had "exceeded the university's expectations"; a "serious problem" with student retention; the "credit crunch"; and three "seriously underperforming" schools. Affected schools include the School of Nursing, Salford Business School and the School of Community Health Sciences and Social Care .[20]

Teaching quality and rankings

(2016/17, national)
(2016/17, world)
(2016/17, national)
(2016/17, world)
(2017, national)
The Guardian[26]
(2017, national)
Times/Sunday Times[27]
(2017, national)

In the 2017 Guardian University League Tables, the University of Salford placed 83rd, up from 90th in 2016.[28] The Times newspaper ranked Salford 105th out of 123 UK institutions in 2015, from 84th of 114 in 2010.[29][30]

Student life

Students' Union

University House on the Peel Park Campus is home to the University of Salford Students' Union (USSU). As well as representing students, the union plays host to a number of services, including shops and a bar.

The Two Cities Boat Race is an annual boat race which has been running since 1972. It is now an established event in the sporting and social calendar of Salford and Manchester. The event is also significant for the amount of work put in by volunteers from both universities, to help with event set-up, stewarding, and programme selling, raising money for many different charities. In 2007 the recipient of the proceeds was SPARKS, a charity which supports medical research for children.

In 1971–72, the University Rugby League club won the UAU Championship, beating Sheffield University in the final at The Willows, then home of Salford Rugby League Club.


Horlock and Constantine Courts on the Peel Park Campus, now demolished after the completion of Peel Park Quarter

There are five self-catered halls of residence:

Peel Park Quarter encompasses nine buildings of flats owned by Campus Living Villages, comprising a total of 1,367 rooms.[31] There are six variations of rooms, including wheelchair accessible en-suite rooms. This complex opened for students in Summer 2015.

Eddie Colman and John Lester Courts are two blocks of flats containing 755 rooms in total, and each flat is shared between two, three or four people. The flats are the closest accommodation to Salford Shopping City in Pendleton – colloquially referred to as the Precinct. Eddie Colman and John Lester Courts were sold by the University of Salford to Campus Living Villages in December 2008. These became CLV's first British properties. Eddie Colman was a resident of nearby Archie Street, the model for the television series 'Coronation Street' and was a player for Manchester United. He was killed in the Munich Disaster of 6 February 1958 along with seven other players.[32][33]

Constantine Court was the only en suite university-owned accommodation, which consisted of 80 rooms in seven houses. This accommodation was in the centre of the main university campus, close to the Students' Union shop, a bank and Salford Crescent railway station. Adjacent Horlock Court comprised 168 rooms in 14 houses.

Bramall Court contains flats close to the Adelphi Campus. The flats are shared between two, three or four. Bramall Court is now owned by Campus Living Villages.[34]

Castle Irwell Student Village was the largest area of accommodation, housing up to 1,600 students, and is on the site of the old Manchester Racecourse.[35] Castle Irwell was a popular choice for first years, due to the cheap rent, however Castle Irwell is no longer in use and has been superseded by the on-campus Peel Park Quarter.

iQ Salford, Seaford Road is owned and run by iQ Student Accommodation in partnership with the university. This accommodation site consists of a square of houses around a central reception, lounge and laundry building, with an independent gym. Each house contains six flats, which are typically shared by six people with en suite bathrooms. The site also has deluxe rooms available for an extra cost. This accommodation is very close to Castle Irwell. The site includes purpose built SPAR, Subway and Greggs shops.

Tramways, Seaford Road is independently run by Sanctuary Students. Its name originates from the old tram depot, run by Manchester Corporation Tramways, that was located on the same site.

Academic staff

Notable alumni



Media, entertainment and design



The University has held a link for Physiotherapy with the Professional Footballers' Association since 1991.[39] As of 2007 over 70 former professional footballers have graduated from Salford. In 2009 the PFA reported that they had 33 members undertaking the programme at the University.[40]





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