University of Bath

University of Bath
Former names
Bath University of Technology
Motto Generatim discite cultus (Latin. Virgil, Georgics II)
Motto in English
"Learn each field of study according to its kind"
Type Public
Established 1966 (1966)
Endowment £5.1 million (2015)[1]
Chancellor HRH The Earl of Wessex
Vice-Chancellor Dame Glynis Breakwell
Students 16,820[2]
Undergraduates 11,439[2]
Postgraduates 4,498[2]
Location Bath, Somerset, England
51°22′47″N 2°19′41″W / 51.3796°N 2.3280°W / 51.3796; -2.3280Coordinates: 51°22′47″N 2°19′41″W / 51.3796°N 2.3280°W / 51.3796; -2.3280
Campus Suburban
Affiliations ACU
Universities UK
Wallace Group

The University of Bath is a public university located in Bath, Somerset, United Kingdom. It received its Royal Charter in 1966 and can trace its roots to a technical school established in Bristol in 1856.

According to The Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey 2015 the University of Bath is the best university in the UK for student experience.[3] In The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2014 the university was awarded the title of "Best Campus University in Britain".[4] Bath was awarded the title of ‘University of the Year 2011/12’.[5] In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, 32% of Bath's submitted research activity achieved the highest possible classification of 4*, defined as world-leading in terms of originality, significance and rigour. 87% was graded 4*/3*, defined as world-leading/internationally excellent.[6]

The university is a member of the Association of Commonwealth Universities, the Association of MBAs, the European Quality Improvement System, the European University Association, Universities UK and GW4, a grouping which brings together the South West and Wales’ four leading, research-intensive universities (Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter). Until 30 October 2012, it was also a member of the 1994 Group.


The University of Bath can trace its roots to a technical school established in Bristol in 1856, by the honourable Cameron Smart Meng, MIET. In 1885 the school became part of the Society of Merchant Venturers and was renamed the Merchant Venturers' Technical College (whose alumni include the physicists Paul Dirac and Peter Higgs), an institution founded as a school in 1595.[7] Meanwhile, in the neighbouring city of Bath, a pharmaceutical school, the Bath School of Pharmacy, was founded in 1907. This became part of the Technical College in 1929.

The college came under the control of the Bristol Education Authority in 1949; it was renamed then the Bristol College of Technology, and in 1960 the Bristol College of Science and Technology, when it became one of ten technical colleges under the umbrella of the Ministry of Education. The college was mainly housed in the former Muller's Orphanage at Ashley Down in Bristol, which still houses part of the City of Bristol College whilst the remainder has been converted into residential housing.

University status

In 1963, the Robbins Committee report paved the way for the college (along with a number of other institutions) to assume university status as Bath University of Technology.

Although the grounds of Kings Weston House, in Bristol, were briefly considered — which then, and until 1969, accommodated the College's School of Architecture and Building Engineering — the City of Bristol was unable to offer the expanding college an appropriately sized single site. Following discussions between the College Principal and the Director of Education in Bath, an agreement was reached to provide the college with a new home in Claverton Down, Bath, on a greenfield site overlooking the city.

Construction of the purpose-built campus began in 1964, with the first building, now known as 4 South, completed in 1965, and the Royal Charter was granted in 1966. In November 1966, the first degree ceremony took place at the Assembly Rooms in Bath. Over the subsequent decade, new buildings were added as the campus took shape.

The city records reveal that there were plans in the mid-19th century to build a college of the University of Oxford on the very same site, which would have resulted in a university of a very different character. Such plans, however, did not come to fruition.

The university logo features the so-called Gorgon's head which is taken, via the university's coat of arms, from a Roman sculpture found in the city.[8]

Campus and facilities

The Parade, a central pedestrian thoroughfare connecting most academic blocks

Main campus

The university's main campus is located on Claverton Down, a distance from the centre of Bath. The site is compact; it is possible to walk from one end to the other in fifteen minutes. The design involved the separation of vehicular and pedestrian traffic, with road traffic on the ground floors and pedestrians on a raised central thoroughfare, known as the Parade. Buildings would line the parade and student residences built on tower blocks rise from the central thoroughfare. Such plans were mostly followed.

At the centre of the campus is the Library and Learning Centre, a facility open round the clock offering computing services, information and research assistance as well as books and journals. A number of outlets are housed around the parade, including restaurants, bars and fast-food cafés, plus three banks, a union shop, and one small general and one oriental supermarket, as well as academic blocks. Building names are based on their location and distance vis-à-vis the library (e.g. 1 East, 2 East). Odd-numbered buildings are on the same side of the parade as the library, and even-numbered buildings are on the opposite side.

Buildings along the east-west axis are mostly directly accessible from the parade, which is generally considered to be "level two", but later additions, such as 7 West, 9 West, 3 West North and 8 East, follow the rule less strictly. 7 West is generally accessible only via 5 West or 9 West, and 3 West North, 9 West and 8 East have entrances at ground level at varying distances from the main parade. Buildings on the south of the campus, 1 South to 4 South, are accessible via roads and pedestrian walkways by the university lake and gardens.

Buildings, as in many of the so-called plate glass universities, were constructed in a functional modernist style using concrete although such designs were later derided for lacking the charm of the Victorian red-brick universities or the ancient and medieval ones. In Bath, there is a particular contrast between the concrete campus and the Georgian style architecture of the World Heritage City of Bath.

The eastern part of the campus is dominated by the Sports Training Village, built in 1992 and enhanced in 2003 with an extension.

The northern perimeter of the university is bounded by student residences Westwood, Eastwood, Brendon Court, Polden Court, Solsbury Court, Marlborough Court and Woodland Court. The original plan for students to be housed in tower blocks above the parade continues with a small number of rooms (110) in Norwood House. However, the second tower block, Wessex House, now hosts a number of offices rather than residences.

The university also owns buildings in the City of Bath, mostly student residences dotted around town, although Carpenter House is also home to a lifelong learning centre and a business facility (the Innovation Centre).

University of Bath (Claverton Down Campus)

Over several years, the grounds have received recognition for their outstanding beauty with awards from Bath in Bloom.[9]

Campus developments

The university continually upgrades its Claverton Down campus with new teaching blocks. A proposal to move the boundary of the green belt away to the edge of the campus to facilitate further development was agreed in October 2007 by the local council following a public inquiry, although the boundary of the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty still crosses the site. In July 2005, building 3 West North (officially opened on 27 October) was completed. The deconstruction of the asbestos-contaminated 4 West was completed in mid-2005 and the 4 West building opened in April 2010 providing additional teaching and office space.

Completed projects
Current building projects

University of Bath in Swindon

The university opened a second site, Oakfield Campus, in 2000 on Marlowe Road Swindon, on a site leased from the Council. Formerly Oakfield School, the site was jointly funded by the university and Swindon Council. Officially The University of Bath in Swindon, the campus offered undergraduate courses in childhood studies and social work.[15] The campus was closed in the summer of 2008.[16]

Under the Gateway Project, the university had planned to build a major new campus next to the Great Western Hospital and the Coate Water nature reserve. The project had met opposition from environmentalists and locals[17] but had met with Government approval.[18] The university withdrew from the project in March 2007 citing "prevailing planning and funding conditions".[19]


The university is divided into four faculties and each faculty into various departments.

Faculty of Engineering & Design
Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences
Faculty of Management
Faculty of Science

Academic profile

The university's major academic strengths have been engineering (particularly electronic and electrical and mechanical), the physical sciences, mathematics and technology. Today, the university is also strong in management, humanities, architecture and the social sciences. Courses place a strong emphasis on vocational education; the university recommends students to take a one-year industry placement in the penultimate year of the course, although there is no formal recognition of these placements on students' final degree certificates.

According to the latest government assessments, Bath has 15 subjects rated "excellent" (the highest on the scale). These are: Pharmacy and Pharmacology; Business and Management (AMBA accredited); Architecture and Civil Engineering; Economics; Computer Science; Electronic and Electrical engineering; Mechanical Engineering (IMechE accredited); Mathematics, Statistics and Operational research; Education; Molecular Biosciences; Biosciences; Physics and Astronomy; Politics; Sport; Social Policy and Administration.[20]


Bath was ranked joint 12th in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (excluding specialist institutions). Over half of the submissions were ranked in the top 10 nationally in their Units of Assessment. 6 out of 13 submissions were ranked in the top 20.[6]

Bath has been awarded the Queen's Anniversary Prize twice. In 2011, the university received the award for the Department of Social & Policy Sciences' 'Influential research into child poverty and support for vulnerable people'.[21] The university also received the prize in 2000 to recognise the 'invaluable services to industrial and scientific communities' of the Centre for Power Transmission & Motion Control.[22]


(2016, national)
(2016, world)
(2016/17, national)
(2016/17, world)
(2016/17, national)
(2016/17, world)
(2017, national)
The Guardian[30]
(2017, national)
Times/Sunday Times[31]
(2017, national)

Bath is 11th in the Complete University Guide League table and has 18 subjects placed within the top 10 in the UK. Architecture and Marketing are ranked number one.

The university is ranked 10th in the Guardian University Guide 2017.[32]

Bath is ranked 12th of 123 universities across the UK in the Good University Guide.[33] The university is ranked second overall in the student satisfaction criteria and third for graduate prospects (the percentage of graduates in professional jobs or postgraduate study six months after leaving university).

Bath is ranked joint 7th in the world and 1st in Europe in the ‘QS top 50 universities under 50’[34] table for 2015. The rankings are based on the same criteria as for the QS World University Rankings – size, subject range and research intensity – but with the fourth aspect, age, restricted to those less than 50 years old.

The university is ranked 42nd in the Times Higher Education ‘100 under 50’ table.[35] This table was compiled using the same criteria as their World University Rankings but with the weighting for academic reputation reduced to recognise the fact that older universities have deeper and more established alumni networks.

Bath was ranked first out of 113 UK institutions in the latest Times Higher Education (THE) Student Experience Survey, published on 9 April 2015.[36] The university finished top or equal first in five of the criteria on which universities were judged, including good industry connections and good community atmosphere.

The university is ranked 154th in the 2016 Leiden Ranking. The Leiden Ranking measures the scientific performance of 750 major universities worldwide. Using a sophisticated set of bibliometric indicators, the ranking aims to provide highly accurate measurements of the scientific impact of universities and of universities’ involvement in scientific collaboration. The ranking is based on over 25 years of bibliometric experience at the Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS) of Leiden University.

Bath was ranked number 1 in the UK for best University Careers Service by review platform StudentCrowd.[37]


Admissions at Bath are competitive with 7.4 applications for each place for 2013 entry and the number of applications rising by 12 per cent in 2014. Its students have the 9th highest UCAS Points in the UK at 489 points (the equivalent of AAA at A Level and AA at AS Level) in 2014.[38]

The university has grown rapidly, particularly in the last few years. As of December 2014, 15,937 students were studying at the university; of whom 11,439 were undergraduates (full-time and part-time) and 4,498 were postgraduates.[2]

Over 30% of students are international students (those with non-British domicile), reflecting the university's strong international reputation, with the largest number coming from China (including Hong Kong), France, India and Malaysia.[2]

Student life

Sports and TeamBath

Main article: TeamBath

TeamBath is the University of Bath's sporting organisation. The university is host to Team Bath F.C. as well as some of the UK's top Olympic athletes.[39] It has one of the best sports facilities in a United Kingdom university,[40] spread over three main sites: two on the Claverton Down campus, known as the Founder's Hall and Sports Training Village (which also hosts the English Institute of Sport for South West England); and at the Sulis Club, a few miles away in Combe Down.

In 2009, Malaysia signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the University of Bath to enable Malaysian athletes preparing for the 2012 London Olympics to train there. The University of Bath was used to prepare athletes for the London Olympics and other sports events like the 2014 Commonwealth Games, the badminton Super Series and cycling circuits in Europe. It continues to be used as an important venue for elite athletes.

Indoor tennis courts at the university

Facilities at the university include a fitness suite, four squash courts, indoor (110m) and outdoor (400m) athletics tracks, multi-purpose sport halls (including basketball, netball and badminton courts), an eight-court indoor tennis hall, a judo/karate/ju jitsu dojo and centres for sports science and sports medicine.[41] Outdoor synthetic and natural pitches and grounds cater for football, rugby union, field hockey, lacrosse, and American football. A rowing shed on the River Avon for the rowing club was built in 2008. As of late April 2015, a London 2012 Games Legacy 50m swimming pool was installed.

Limited free use of these facilities, with restrictions on times, bookings and frequency of use, can be obtained by students with a membership of the university's sport association.[42] Alternatively, reduced prices are available to students and staff.

There are also semi-competitive, recreational sporting events.

Students' union

The University of Bath Students' Union (formerly BUSU, now Bath SU) has been recognised by the NUS as one of the top three in the UK.[43] It runs over 100 clubs and societies including sports clubs, cultural, arts, interest and faith societies. Some notable examples are:

Notable alumni

Arts and media
Anne McClain, NASA astronaut
Politicians, lawyer, and civil servants
Business people
Heather Stanning, gold medallist in rowing
Sports personalities

See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 "Statistics from the Student Records & Examinations Office (SREO)" (PDF). University of Bath. Retrieved 25 February 2016.
  2. "Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey 2015 results". 9 April 2015. Retrieved 9 April 2015.
  3. "University of Bath rankings".
  4. "Alastair McCall, 'University of Bath University of the Year', ''The Sunday Times'', 11th September 2011, University Guide 2012 section". Retrieved 8 June 2012.
  5. 1 2 "REF results". HEFCE. 18 December 2014. Retrieved 24 March 2015.
  6. "Education". Merchant Venturers. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
  7. Eva London / Bath graduation rings
  8. "Bath in Bloom Competition". BANES Council. Archived from the original on 3 May 2008. Retrieved 14 October 2008.
  10. "Centre for the Arts". University of Bath. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
  12. "4 East South". University of Bath. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
  13. "10 West". University of Bath. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
  14. "University of Bath in Swindon".
  15. Wallin, James (7 May 2009). "University's Oakfield campus may be demolished". This is Wiltshire.
  16. Hayward, Alan. "Swindon Civic Trust Town Centre University Proposal" (PDF). Swindon Civic Trust. Retrieved 12 December 2010.
  17. Osborne, Anthony (20 October 2004). "Coate gets the vote". Swindon Advertiser. Retrieved 22 March 2007.
  18. "University of Bath withdraws from Gateway project" (Press release). University of Bath. 1 March 2007. Retrieved 22 March 2007.
  19. David Brown Cracow Last updated at 2:23PM, 8 June 2012 (23 May 2012). "''The Times''". Retrieved 8 June 2012.
  20. "Winners of the Queen's Anniversary Prizes announced". The Royal Anniversary Trust. 25 November 2011. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
  21. "Previous Prize-winners". The Royal Anniversary Trust. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
  22. "Academic Ranking of World Universities 2016 - UK". Shanghai Ranking Consultancy. Retrieved 15 August 2016.
  23. "Academic Ranking of World Universities 2016". Shanghai Ranking Consultancy. Retrieved 15 August 2016.
  24. "QS World University Rankings 2016/17 - United Kingdom". Quacquarelli Symonds Ltd. Retrieved 7 September 2016.
  25. "QS World University Rankings 2016/17". Quacquarelli Symonds Ltd. Retrieved 7 September 2016.
  26. "World University Rankings 2016-17 - United Kingdom". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 21 September 2016.
  27. "World University Rankings 2016-17". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 21 September 2016.
  28. "University League Table 2017". The Complete University Guide. Retrieved 25 April 2016.
  29. "University league tables 2017". The Guardian. 23 May 2013. Retrieved 23 May 2016.
  30. "The Times and Sunday Times University Good University Guide 2017". Times Newspapers. Retrieved 23 September 2016.
  31. "University league tables 2017". the Guardian. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  32. "Login". Retrieved 29 May 2015.
  33. "The QS top 50 universities under 50 2015". Retrieved 24 November 2015.
  34. "THE 100 Under 50 universities 2015". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
  35. "THE Student Experience Survey 2015". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
  37. Profile: University of Bath, The Times, 15 July 2015, accessed 25 July 2015
  38. "Bath's role talked up as one-year countdown to Olympics begins". Bath Chronicle. 27 July 2011. Retrieved 1 September 2011.
  39. David Brown Cracow Last updated at 2:23PM, 8 June 2012. "". Retrieved 8 June 2012.
  40. "Teambath". University of Bath. Retrieved 8 October 2012.
  41. "". Retrieved 8 June 2012.
  42. 1 2 "University of Bath - Facts and Figures 2010". Retrieved 18 January 2011.
  43. "". Retrieved 8 June 2012.
  44. "University Radio Bath". University Radio Bath. Retrieved 5 October 2014.
  45. "CTV • Uni of Bath Students Union Campus Television". Retrieved 8 June 2012.
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