University of Worcester

University of Worcester
University of Worcester – Logo
Motto Ad Inspirandum Aspiramus
Motto in English
Aspire to Inspire
Type Public
Established 2005 – University Status
1997 – University College Worcester
1976 – Worcester College of Higher Education
1948 – Worcester Teacher Training College
1946 – Worcester Emergency Teacher Training College
Chancellor Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester [1]
Vice-Chancellor Professor David Green [2]
Academic staff
Administrative staff
700 [3]
Students 10,065 (2014/15)[4]
Undergraduates 8,520 (2014/15)[4]
Postgraduates 1,545 (2014/15)[4]
Up to 30 at any time
Location Worcester, Worcestershire, United Kingdom
52°11′52″N 2°14′35″W / 52.1977°N 2.2431°W / 52.1977; -2.2431
Campus Urban
Colours Blue and White          

The University of Worcester is a British public university, based in Worcester, England. With a history dating back to 1946, the institution was granted university status in September 2005. Worcester is the only university serving the English counties of Worcestershire and Herefordshire. The University of Worcester is well known for its teaching degrees, and was one of the most improved Universities for research in the Research Excellence Framework 2014, climbing 32 places in the Research Fortnight rankings. Researchers at Worcester were recognised as carrying out world-leading work in History, Art and Design, Health, Education, Biological Science, Psychology, Sport, Geography, Archaeology & Environmental Studies, and English Language & Literature.[5]


In 1946 an Emergency Teacher Training College for the University of Birmingham was established in Worcester on the site of one of the former RAF bases used during the Second World War. Henry Hines came to Worcester from the Canterbury Technical Institute as the principal of the College. E.G. Peirson followed Hines’s lead as the principal of the College from 1951 to 1978. During his time at the College, in the 1970s the Council for National Academic Awards validated the degrees for the Worcester College of Higher Education and the former Peirson Library, now The Peirson Study and Guidance Centre was opened. The third principal of the College, David Shadbolt, started his leadership in 1978 bringing a new system of organisation, based around three schools – Education and Teaching Studies, Arts and Sciences. In 1992, Dorma Urwin became the new principal and Coventry University agreed to validate the Institution’s degree courses.[6] The Herefordshire and Worcestershire College of Nursing and Midwifery was absorbed in 1995. In 1997 the Privy Council affirmed the institution's degree-awarding powers and it subsequently became known as University College Worcester. In 2003, David Green was appointed as Dorma Urwin’s successor and later became the Vice Chancellor of the institution. In 2005 the Privy Council granted university status. The institution was renamed "University of Worcester" in September of that year. In 2010 the HM Privy Council conferred Research Degree Awarding Powers on the University. In the same year, the University opened the City campus in the renovated former Infirmary to create a home for the Business School. Two years later, in 2012, the University opened The Hive, a £60 million facility focused on learning resources, technology, social and study spaces. This facility is a joint venture between the University and Worcestershire County Council and was officially opened by Her Majesty The Queen.[7]


Since 2005, the University has expanded greatly and acquired many new sites across the city of Worcester. Its long term strategy includes building joint community and University facilities, and expanding to a 3rd campus.

St John's Campus

The university's main campus is known as St John's and is the main base for all courses, support departments and academic institutes, except those related to business, computing, marketing or management. The site contains Halls of Residence with over 800 rooms, a sports centre, sports pitches, facilities for training nurses, midwives, and physician associates, a commercial standard digital arts centre and motion performance centre. The Peirson Centre provides study spaces, as well as ICT facilities and support; a new Student Guidance Centre is set to open shortly. The campus is located close to the local area of St Johns, Worcester.

City Campus

The university's second campus is known as City Campus, and is the home of the Worcester Business School. The campus opened in September 2010 on the site of the former Worcester Royal Infirmary in Infirmary Walk. The buildings of the original infirmary, which remain, are the work of the noted eighteenth-century architect Anthony Keck.[8] Work began in January 2007, and cost approximately £120 million. Phase 1 was completed in time for the 2010 academic year. As part of this, new Halls of Residence with accommodation for 250 students were completed on the site as well as the restoration of the main buildings. All Worcester Business School courses are run here, including undergraduate and postgraduate courses. The Jenny Lind Chapel has been refurbished to its original state[9] as has the Boardroom in which the British Medical Association was founded in 1832. The history of the building inspired the development of an interactive exhibition, The Infirmary, which opened on City Campus in 2012.[10] Phase 2 has had to be reviewed due to deep cuts in government funding and caps on student numbers, but is still planned to be completed.

Riverside and Worcester Arena

In addition, the University occupies a large site adjacent to the River Severn, now known as "Riverside". This includes an Art Space & Exhibition building and a 2,000-seat capacity Sports Arena built as a new facility for sports, events, a base for the Worcester Wolves basketball team, a national centre of excellence for disability sports and as a further teaching and office space. The facility, known as Worcester Arena is also accessible to the local community.

The Hive (Library & Study Facility)

Main article: The Hive, Worcester

The Hive, a joint venture between the University of Worcester and Worcestershire County Council, was officially opened by Her Majesty The Queen in July 2012. The Library is adjacent to the City Campus site in the centre of Worcester and brings a range of services under one roof including a fully integrated public and university library with adult, children's and academic sections, the Worcestershire Archive and Record Office, the Worcestershire Historic Environment and Archaeology Service, the County Archive record store and the Worcestershire County Council Hub Customer Service Centre.

The Hive contains over a quarter of a million books and 12 miles of archive collections, together with meeting rooms, exhibition spaces and a studio theatre. Individual and group working areas are provided throughout the five floors together with over 500 desktop computers.

University Park

The University plans to develop a third campus on the disused Grove Farm, a 47-acre (190,000 m2) piece of land 1-mile (1.6 km) from St John's campus. It is adjacent to the A44 and well connected to the City’s transport network. This third site is expected to take fifteen years to complete and will form part of a Business and Enterprise Park alongside expanded science, business and sport institutes.[11] Parts of the site will also develop the University’s work in healthcare and wellbeing, again in partnership with local providers.[12]

Other locations

The university also owns or operates various other halls and sports facilities across the city of Worcester, but these are not major university sites or campuses.

The university is one of the official venues to be included in the London 2012 Pre-Games Training Camp Guide.[13] The guide features facilities and venues across the UK suitable for use by international sporting teams as a training base in the run up to and during the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012.[13]

Environmental standing

The institution has been awarded the Carbon Trust Standard.[14][14] and it was the first university in England to receive a Gold EcoCampus Award for the whole organisation, just shortly after being awarded the Silver Eco-Campus status in 2008.[15] The Green League awarded the university 16th position out of 18, for the First Class award among a total number of 126 contenders for the First Class, Upper Second Class, Lower Second Class, and Third Class awards.[16][17]

Organisation and structure

On Thursday 10 April 2008, HRH The Duke of Gloucester, was installed as the founding chancellor of the university in a ceremony at Worcester Cathedral. The duke officiates at degree ceremonies, attends major events (including the Duke of Gloucester Lecture Series)[18] and promotes the University overseas. The College of Fellows was established in 2008 to bring together high-profile "ambassadors" for the University. New Fellows are appointed at the annual Graduation Ceremonies in Worcester Cathedral. The Board of Governors meets regularly and is composed of appointed governors, staff governors, student governors and co-opted governors from a wide range of business and community areas. An Executive Management Board meets weekly, and this is the primary decision making body of the institution.

The six faculties include, Institute of Education, Institute of Health and Society, Institute of Humanities and Creative Arts, Institute of Science and the Environment, Institute of Sport and Exercise Science, and the Worcester Business School. Each Academic Institute hosts an Academic Support Unit which assists both lecturers and students with administration issues directly relevant to the department.

Academic profile

The University of Worcester is the UK's fastest growing University.[19] Applications increased by 10.6% in 2009 and by 100% since 2004.[20] The University has consistently recorded the largest increases in applications of any UK University for 7 years in a row.


In March 2010 the University of Worcester was awarded the biggest increase in funding of any institution in the UK (13%), despite national trends of cuts.[21] This was accompanied by an approved rise in student numbers of 410, more than any other UK University.

Applications have risen 100 percent over the last 5 years, and the student population will be allowed to grow a further 1,500 places in 2010, despite national trends.[22]

As of April 2011, the University of Worcester has proposed to set its undergraduate Tuition Fees at £8,100 under the new regime announced by the Coalition Government.

Reputation and rankings

The university guide of the Times newspaper rates the university at place 81 (shared with Teesside University) out of 114 institutions.[23]

An Ofsted report for the overall standard of the Institute of Education's teaching programme rated the University as "Excellent".[24] The training of teachers was rated ‘Outstanding’ by OFSTED in June 2010.[25] Results in the first four National Student Surveys have placed Worcester in the top 40 universities for student satisfaction in 2008, the most satisfied being in English, History and Teacher Training.[26]

In the National Student Survey students from the University rated their overall satisfaction at 80% in 2008/09. A number of subject areas received excellent levels of satisfaction, with an overall student satisfaction of 92% in Sports Science and 89% in Initial Teacher Training.[27]

In March 2010, the University was ranked 54th of the top public sector places to work.[28]

The Complete University Guide 2015 ranks the University 104th out of 123 institutions.


In August 2010 the University was granted Research Degree awarding powers, enabling it to confer the awards of MPhil and PhD.[29] Before this the Coventry University assisted in the academic awarding of these degrees. The university includes eight national research centres:

Student life

Worcester Students' Union is the representative body for students studying at the University of Worcester, and a member of the National Union of Students. It is based in a building on the St Johns Campus. It provides a number of services and facilities.[35] The Union is led by a team of elected officers the President, a Vice-President (Education), a Vice-President (Student Activities), and 7 non-sabbatical officers with varying portfolio responsibilities. The official Students' Union newspaper for the university is called The Voice.

Sports activities

The University is home to the Worcester Wolves basketball team, the league winning Worcester Allstars Football team and the Worcester Royals, an American Football team. The University has England Blind Footballers as some of its students.[36]

Notable alumni


  1. "Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester". Retrieved 18 March 2013.
  2. "Professor David Green". Retrieved 18 March 2013.
  3. "Facts and Figures". Retrieved 18 March 2013.
  4. 1 2 3 "2014/15 Students by HE provider, level, mode and domicile" (XLSX). Higher Education Statistics Agency. Retrieved 19 January 2016.
  6. The University Of Worcester An Illustrated History.: Paul Cheeseright: Books. Retrieved on 8 March 2014.
  7. University history – University of Worcester. Retrieved on 8 March 2014.
  8. Worcester Royal Infirmary Main Building and Chapel, Former Outpatients, Department and King Edward V – Worcester – Worcestershire – England. British Listed Buildings. Retrieved on 8 March 2014.
  9. "Appeal for £15,000 to remember nurses with stained glass window".
  10. "History of Worcester Royal Infirmary to Be Brought Back to Life
  11. News – University of Worcester. (4 March 2014). Retrieved on 8 March 2014.
  12. University Park – University of Worcester. Retrieved on 8 March 2014.
  13. 1 2 Podium News, 1 May 2009 Retrieved 14 January 2010
  14. 1 2 Worcester University Retrieved 14 January 2010
  15. Worcester University Retrieved 14 January 2010
  16. Green league Retrieved 14 January 2010
  17. Green League test results for Worcester University Retrieved 14 January 2010
  18. The Duke of Gloucester Lecture Series: Flood Risk and the Built Environment. Flood Risk Management: Future Directions. RUSI (15 March 2010). Retrieved on 8 March 2014.
  19. News – University of Worcester. (4 March 2014). Retrieved on 8 March 2014.
  20. The Guardian 10 May 2009 Retrieved 14 January 2010
  21. Harrison, Angela. (18 March 2010) Universities facing 'first budget cuts in years'. BBC News. Retrieved on 8 March 2014.
  22. University is awarded extra 1,500 places. (12 July 2009). Retrieved on 8 March 2014.
  23. TimesOnline. Retrieved 14 January 23010
  24. Ofsted Retrieved 14 January 2010
  25. 13 July 2010
  26. "Profile University of Worcester". The Times. London. 19 June 2008.
  27. BBC News Retrieved 14 January 2010
  28. Pollen UK. Pollen UK. Retrieved on 8 March 2014.
  29. Centre for Rural Research – University of Worcester. (22 November 2013). Retrieved on 8 March 2014.
  30. Motion & Performance Centre – University of Worcester. (22 November 2013). Retrieved on 8 March 2014.
  31. Archived 27 May 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
  32. Home. Retrieved on 8 March 2014.
  33. University of Worcester students selected for GB blind football team – British Universities & Colleges Sport. (29 June 2009). Retrieved on 8 March 2014.
  34. Glittering prizes | General. Times Higher Education (2 November 2001). Retrieved on 8 March 2014.

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