University of Suffolk

University of Suffolk
Established 1 August 2007
Students 5,060 (2014/15)[1]
Undergraduates 4,685 (2014/15)[1]
Postgraduates 375 (2014/15)[1]
Location Suffolk, England
Campus Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds, Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft
Affiliations University of East Anglia, University of Essex, West Suffolk College, Great Yarmouth College, Lowestoft College, Ipswich Borough Council, Suffolk County Council

University of Suffolk
West Suffolk College
Lowestoft College
Great Yarmouth College
Suffolk New College

The University of Suffolk (UOS) is an educational institution located in the English county of Suffolk which was, prior to August 2016, formerly known as University Campus Suffolk (UCS). UOS was granted Taught Degree Awarding Powers by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education in November 2015, and in May 2016 it was awarded University status by the Privy Council. As a consequence of this, UCS was renamed The University of Suffolk on 1 August 2016.[2][3]

UOS was a collaboration between the University of Essex and the University of East Anglia which sponsored its formation and validated its degrees.[4][5] UOS accepted its first students in September 2007. Until then Suffolk was one of only four counties in England which did not have a University campus.[4]

The University operates at five sites with its central hub in Ipswich. Other sites are centred on pre-existing Higher Education centres in Ipswich, Lowestoft, Bury St. Edmunds, and Great Yarmouth in Norfolk.[6] The University operates two academic faculties and in 2014/15 had 5,060 students. Some 30% of the student body are classed as mature students and 68% of University students are female.[7]


In 2003, Suffolk County Council established a "stakeholder group" made up of representatives from the University of East Anglia, the University of Essex, Suffolk College, the East of England Development Agency, the Higher Education Funding Council for England, Suffolk Learning and Skills Council, Suffolk County Council, Ipswich Borough Council, Suffolk Chief Executive's Group and the Suffolk Development Agency. The aim of the group was to investigate the possibility of establishing a university in the county. Following funding pledges from Ipswich Borough Council and Suffolk County Council in 2004, UOS was backed by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) with £15m worth of funding in 2005 and attracted a £12.5m grant from the East of England Development Agency in 2006[8] UOS was officially launched on 1 August 2007[4][9] and welcomed its first students in September of the same year.[10]

UOS was granted taught degree awarding powers by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education in November 2015, and in May 2016 it was awarded University status by the Privy Council. As a consequence of this, UCS was renamed The University of Suffolk in August 2016.[11][12]


The University's teaching is split into two faculties: Arts, Business and Applied Social Sciences; and Health and Science. The faculties work across the UOS network with degrees validated by the University of Essex and the University of East Anglia.[13] This will change from September 2017 with the institution awarding degrees in its own name.


University of Suffolk, Ipswich

Waterfront location of the Ipswich campus

The University Campus is based on the Ipswich waterfront, developed from the former Higher Education section of Suffolk College. The Waterfront building, designed by RMJM Architects,[14] is the centre of the hub, opened in September 2008 and cost £35 million.[15][16] It has three lecture theatres, and 34 smaller teaching rooms.[13] The six-storey James Hehir Building was officially opened in March 2011 at a cost of £21 million[17] It is named after the former chief executive of Ipswich Borough Council and includes Cult Cafe. Part of the old Suffolk College site, now known as "Campus North", was redeveloped at a cost of £2.5 million. This houses the Ipswich library facility or "Learning Resource Centre".[13] Onsite student accommodation is provided in the 600-place Athena Hall, located adjacent to the James Hehir building.[5]

A range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses are offered at Ipswich, including Art and Design, Business and Management, Computing, Education, Film and Media Studies, Health, Nursing and Midwifery, Humanities, Social Sciences and Initial Teacher Training.[4]

University of Suffolk at Suffolk New College

Suffolk New College is located next to the Ipswich campus and was developed from the Further Education centre of Suffolk College.[4] It is a centre for civil engineering degrees and initial teacher training.[4]

University of Suffolk at West Suffolk College

The Bury St Edmunds Centre is located at the site of West Suffolk College. A range of foundation degrees in subjects including Art, Engineering and Logistics and Transport and Management are taught at the site as well as degrees in Business Management, Education, English and History, CIOB accredited Construction Management and initial teacher training.[4] Over 700 students follow degree and foundation degree courses at the site.[18] The site, which was remodelled in 2011,[18] has an industry-standard recording studio.[13]

University of Suffolk at Lowestoft College

The Lowestoft Centre is located at the site of Lowestoft College. Lowestoft offers degrees in Children's Care, Learning and Development, Design, Inclusive Practice and Integrated Working, Operations Engineering, Supporting Inclusive Learning and Practice, and Social Science.

University of Suffolk at Great Yarmouth College

The Great Yarmouth centre is located at the Southtown site of Great Yarmouth College in neighbouring Norfolk.[4] Subjects such as Computing, Counselling, Engineering, Fashion, Music, and Photography are available at the centre, which has a modern recording studio.[4][13]


The on-campus halls of residence, Athena Hall, is located on the Ipswich Waterfront and houses up to 590 students. Athena Hall offers a mixture of cluster flats and studio rooms. There is currently no accredited accommodation for the partner colleges in Bury St Edmunds, Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft.


The University operates as a "Centre for Applied Sustainability". An example of UOSs work with sustainability is the Phase 1 campus development which was assessed as BREEAM Excellent. This signifies that the development is setting the "best practice in sustainable development".[19]

The University is also actively engaged in the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership Green Economy Pathfinder.


The Union was formed on 1 August 2007, the same day UOS was officially launched. It provides support for its students and looks after their well-being during their studies.[5]

The union is the representative of the student body at the management level of the university and as such its positions are manned by paid and unpaid students who are based at the Union office in the heart of the campus' East building. The Union also looks after the university social calendar, with multiple events run during the academic weeks and special Freshers weeks at the beginning of each academic year.

The President and Vice-President of the Union are, subject to a sufficient number of votes, elected every April, and take office for 12 months from July - July overseeing the totality of one academic year. The candidates come from the student body and must compete in the election campaigns in March/April. There is a current two-year maximum term for the positions. The current President is Jordan Bambridge and the Vice-President is Megan King, both newly elected for 2015.


  1. 1 2 3 "2014/15 Students by HE provider, level, mode and domicile" (XLSX). Higher Education Statistics Agency. Retrieved 19 January 2016.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 University Campus Suffolk, University of Essex. Retrieved 2012-09-28.
  5. 1 2 3 University Campus Suffolk guide, Daily Telegraph, 2011-06-21. Retrieved 2012-09-28.
  6. University Campus Suffolk, University of East Anglia. Retrieved 2012-09-28.
  8. University plan wins £12.5m grant, BBC news website, 2006-03-20. Retrieved 2012-09-28.
  9. New university officially opened, BBC news website, 2007-08-01. Retrieved 2012-09-28.
  10. University open to first students, BBC news website, 2007-09-10. Retrieved 2012-09-28.
  13. 1 2 3 4 5 University guide 2013 University Campus Suffolk, The Guardian, 2012-05-31. Retrieved 2012-09-29.
  14. New views of dockside campus plan, BBC news website, 2006-08-03. Retrieved 2012-09-28.
  15. University Campus Suffolk (UCS), The Independent Freshers Guide, 2012, 2012-08-03. Retrieved 2012-09-28.
  16. Flagship university building open, BBC news website, 2008-09-29. Retrieved 2012-09-28.
  17. UCS opens £21m James Hehir Building in Ipswich, BBC news website, 2011-01-27. Retrieved 2012-09-28.
  18. 1 2 West Suffolk College unveils £1.2m facelift, BBC Suffolk news, 2011-11-21. Retrieved 2012-09-28.
  19. News story, 2008

External links

Coordinates: 52°03′09″N 1°09′49″E / 52.0525°N 1.1635°E / 52.0525; 1.1635

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