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Staffordshire University


Staffordshire University

Staffordshire University
Former names
North Staffordshire Polytechnic
Motto Create the difference
Established 1992 - gained university status
1971 - North Staffordshire Polytechnic
Type Public
Endowment £374,000
Chancellor Francis Fitzherbert, 15th Baron Stafford
Vice-Chancellor Michael Gunn [1]
Administrative staff
Students 19,190[2]
Undergraduates 15,795[2]
Postgraduates 3,395[2]
Location Staffordshire (Stafford; Stoke-on-Trent; Lichfield), Shropshire (Shrewsbury), United Kingdom
Campus Urban and Rural

Red and Silver

Affiliations million+,
Association of Commonwealth Universities

Staffordshire University is a university in Staffordshire, England. It has two main campuses based in the city of Stoke-on-Trent and in the county town of Stafford, with other campuses in Lichfield and Shrewsbury.[3]


  • History 1
  • Campuses 2
    • Stoke-on-Trent 2.1
    • Stafford 2.2
    • Lichfield 2.3
    • Shrewsbury, Telford, and Oswestry 2.4
    • Overseas 2.5
    • Regenerating Stoke-on-Trent 2.6
    • Halls of residence 2.7
      • Stafford 2.7.1
        • On-campus
      • Stoke 2.7.2
        • On-campus
        • Off-campus
      • Private sector 2.7.3
        • Off-campus - Previously Existing Accommodation
  • Academic profile 3
    • League table rankings 3.1
  • Student life 4
    • Students' Union 4.1
    • Sports 4.2
  • Academic collaboration 5
  • Notable alumni 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


In 1901 industrialist Alfred Bolton acquired a 2-acre (8,100 m2) site on what is now College Road and in 1906 mining classes began there. By 1907 teaching of pottery classes followed, being transferred from Tunstall into temporary buildings. In 1914 the building now known as the Cadman Building was officially opened as the Central School of Science and Technology by Rt. Hon J A Pease, President of the Board of Education. A frieze over the entrance depicts potters and miners. In 2013 the Library Conference room located in the Cadman building was renamed the Alfred Bolton room[4] in recognition of Alfred Bolton importance in the history of the university.

In 1915 a department was established for the commercial production of Seger cones (used to measure and control the temperatures of ceramic furnaces) based upon research completed by the principal, Joseph Mellor. Grants from the Carnegie United Kingdom Trust, the second in 1924, were used to develop the ceramics library and in 1926 the name of the institution was changed to North Staffordshire Technical College. By 1931 extensions to the Cadman Building ran along Station Road and housed the Mining Department. A grant was awarded from the Miners’ Welfare Fund to fund the building work. The new extension also housed the library, which by now had 35,000 volumes. By 1934 the college consisted of four departments: Engineering (nearly 800 students), Pottery (just over 600 students), Mining (just under 500 students), and Chemistry (under 300 students).

In 1939 new engineering workshops were occupied for the first time and the land opposite the Cadman Building was purchased. By 1950 Victoria Road changed its name to College Road and the site now extended over 12 acres (49,000 m2). The Mellor Building and ‘Experimental Production Block’ (now Dwight Building) were constructed for the North Staffordshire College of Technology by 1960.

Various faculty movements and further building work resulted in North Staffordshire Polytechnic being formed in 1970 with the merger of Stoke-on-Trent College of Art, North Staffordshire College of Technology (both based in Stoke-on-Trent), and Staffordshire College of Technology in Stafford. The polytechnic later (in 1977) absorbed a teacher training facility in Madeley.

The polytechnic developed traditional strengths of the component institutions, e.g. ceramics (Stoke-on-Trent),[5] computing (Stafford)[6] and sports education (Madeley). The mining department closed as result of the decline of coal mining in the 1980s. New subjects were developed. North Staffordshire Polytechnic was amongst only a handful of third-level institutions in the UK to offer International Relations as a dedicated degree. The 1992 UK government Research Assessment Exercise placed the International Relations Department as the highest-rated in the institution.

In September 1988 the institution changed its name to Staffordshire Polytechnic. In 1992 it became Staffordshire University, one of the new Universities.


Staffordshire University, College Road, Stoke. The building shown is the former technical college, opened 1914

The university has two main campuses, four smaller campuses,[7] and extensive links with National, European and Transnational academic institutions.

The two main campuses (Stoke-on-Trent and Stafford) and the Lichfield campus all have purpose built Business Villages. These have fully furnished small office spaces with internet access.[8]

In the 2012/13 academic year, the VC, Michael Gunn, announced that a consultation exercise would be undertaken on whether to keep both campuses (Stafford and Stoke) open or whether to close one. As yet no definitive conclusion has been made and the ultimate result will based on many decisive factors including student feedback and financial viability. It is anticipated that the review will take a year to carry out. The university announced the result of their Estates Strategy on 30 January 2014 after the Board of Governors met at a special meeting to decide on it the night before.[9] The decision was made to move the computing and entertainment technology courses to the Stoke-on-Trent campus by 2016 and health courses in Stafford will remain.[10]


The main campus is in Shelton, Stoke-on-Trent, and primarily offers law, business, sciences, applied computing, engineering, arts, design, journalism and media production courses. These are split into two areas, one on College Road, and the other on Leek Road. A new Science and Technology facility was opened in 2012 as part of a major redevelopment adjacent to Stoke-on-Trent railway station.[11] The old science building on the College Road campus, Mellor building has since been refurbished to form the new home of the School of Engineering (which moved from the Stafford Beaconside campus) in 2013 and applied computing which moved from Brindley building in 2013. A large section of the campus is supported by AirNet, the university's free wireless connection.

The Stoke campus also features its own student nightclub called the "LRV" short for the Leek Road Venue. This nightclub hosts a variety of student nights on various days of the week but its main open nights are on a Wednesday and Friday.

A public film theatre is situated on the side of the Flaxman building on College Road, and shows mainstream and independent films on a regular basis to an audience of up to 180 people, as well as being used for large lectures.[12] In 2006, a new TV studio facility was opened by former BBC Director General Greg Dyke in the Arts, Media and Design faculty building on College Road, Stoke.[13] The new £1 million development features up-to-date technology and industry specification equipment.

The university also participated in the Stafford Film Festival, held at its Stafford venue, until the County Council ceased to show sufficient interest and effort in organising the 2009 festival. Festival organisers are planning to create a new festival at the Stoke campus to replace it.


The Beaconside campus in the town of Stafford offers technology and computing courses, nursing, midwifery and mental health on the campus. The Beaconside campus consists of the Octagon building which houses the computer facilities, The Beacon Building (which was fully renovated through the spring/summer of 2008), the new Ruxton Technology Centre (named after the previous Dean of School, Professor Tom Ruxton). The Beacon Building covers an array of technology subjects such as computer games design, music, film, design technology, digital film, 3D animation, and sports technology and a new television studio centre opened by the H.M. The Queen on 31 March 2006 as part of the university's commitment to media technology, in particular Film Production Technology and associated courses.[14]

Nursing courses are taught just around the corner from Beaconside on Blackheath Lane following the integration into the university in 1995 of the Shropshire and Staffordshire College of Nursing and Midwifery, which also has bases in Shrewsbury, Telford and Oswestry.

Staffordshire University currently intend to close the Stafford campus, moving the students to Stoke-on-Trent - although the Blackheath Lane site will remain.[15]


The main entrance to the Lichfield Campus building

In 1998, in partnership with Tamworth and Lichfield College, the university opened a newly built campus in Lichfield near Lichfield City railway station.[16]

Shrewsbury, Telford, and Oswestry

This part of the university is mainly for nursing and midwifery courses, and is still part of the university despite all three settlements being located in neighbouring county Shropshire.[17]


The university has around 5,000 students studying overseas for Staffordshire University awards in China, Vietnam, France, Greece, India, Kosovo, Malaysia, Nigeria, Singapore, Spain, and Sri Lanka.

There is a twinning programme in Penang, Malaysia with DISTED college. Students are taking degree courses undergoes Staffordshire University's Program.

Staffordshire University offers programmes in Hanoi, Vietnam through the British University Vietnam.

Regenerating Stoke-on-Trent

The university wants to develop a partnership with Stoke-on-Trent College and Stoke-on-Trent 6th Form College and with the co-operation of the local education authority and the city council, a "University Quarter" in the urban area to the north-east of Stoke-on-Trent railway station that is already home to the university and the two colleges. The vision is that the University Quarter (located between College Road and Leek Road) will attract both students and developers and become a gateway to the city and to the region.[18]

Commercial activities include a spin-off company Flux Stoke-on-Trent which was launched in 2011 to produce decorated bone china designed by students on the university's MA Ceramic Design course. The company has won two national awards and designs are exported to 20 countries.[19]

Halls of residence

The university offers guaranteed accommodation for all first year students, provided the university is their firm UCAS choice.[20] All accommodation is situated close to all teaching, sporting, and Union venues.



The Stafford campus has its own halls of residence, Stafford Court, comprising over 264 en-suite single study bedrooms and 290 single study bedrooms with shared facilities. The various houses take their names from villages in Staffordshire: Brocton, Derrington, Eccleshall, Gnosall, Haughton, Knightley, Levedale, Milwich, Norbury, Ranton, Shugborough and Weston.

A separate block of larger flats, named after the village of Yarlet (previously Beckett Hall), is also on the same site. This comprises an additional 51 single-study bedrooms over three floors, each accommodating 17 residents, who share a kitchen, dining room and four shower rooms. All of these halls are directly opposite the Stafford campus buildings on Weston Road.

By September 2016 only the midwifery, nursing, paramedic science, operation department practitioners and other allied and public health courses will remain at the Blackheath Lane site (Stafford) with the rest moved to Stoke.[21]



At Stoke, halls of residence are primarily situated on the Leek Road campus. The shared-bathroom accommodation was sponsored by various local potteries, and halls are therefore named after them, for example Royal Doulton, Coalport, Mintons, Spode, Aynsley and Wedgwood halls.

The on campus en-suite accommodation is contained within Clarice Cliff Court, comprising seven halls of about 30 students over three floors, each named after female ceramicists: Rachel Bishop, Eve Midwinter, Jessie Van Hallen, Charlotte Rhead, Jessie Tait, Millicent Taplin and Star Wedgwood. Along with the halls and en-suite, the university also offers 32 houses known as the Leek Road Houses which inhabit up to 6 people each.[22]


Carlton House, Caledonia Road, Queen Anne Street Flats, Cromwell Court, Church Street and Sovereign House are situated off campus. They are all within 2 kilometers (1.2 mi) of the Stoke Campus, and are reserved for postgraduate and returning (second and third year) students.

Private sector

The Shelton area of Stoke is where many students choose to live after their first year. The proximity of Shelton to the university and the large quantity of student accommodation has effectively turned it into a mini-student village. Alternatively, there are also the popular College Court Halls, which are privately run and operate in a similar way to halls. The Halls are situated opposite to Hanley Park and are within close range to the university.

Off-campus - Previously Existing Accommodation

Stafford possessed two high-rise blocks of flats in the Highfields estate of Stafford up until the late 1990s. These were "Brooke Court" and "Binyon Court".[23] The accommodation in these was seen by the University students as being sub-par and after being condemned in the mid-90s, Brooke Court was demolished and Binyon Court was sold off.

Academic profile

The university is noted for its science departments; in 2002 Psychology was among the top ten in the country, while Molecular Biochemistry and Biosciences were rated as 'excellent' by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education. The Science Faculty together with most of the university also does consistently well in the National Student Survey and measures of graduate level employment after graduation.[24]

The School of Computing was originally situated at Blackheath Lane on the edge of Stafford in GEC's former Nelson Research Laboratory. It offered one of the first BSc courses in computing in the United Kingdom and its first major computer was a second hand DEUCE. The School of Computing has now moved to a purpose-built building on the Beaconside campus and the newly refurbished Brindley Building in Stoke. The Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Sciences (FCES) is a Cisco Networking Academy.[25]

The university was the first institution to introduce a single honours degree in Film, Television and Radio Studies in 1990. A new Media Centre was opened by Greg Dyke in 2005, comprising radio studios, television news desk and broadcast journalist suite.[13] Courses in print, broadcast and sports journalism are nationally accredited by the National Council for the Training of Journalists and the Broadcast Journalism Training Council.

The Forensic Science degrees (Forensic Science, Forensic Science and Criminology and Forensic Science and Psychology) were accredited by the Forensic Science Society (FSC) in 2007, one of four universities whose courses have been acknowledged for teaching services and high academic quality.[26] The Forensic theme is continued with a specialist Forensic Biology degree and on the Stafford Campus the Faculty of Computing Engineering and Technology was one of the first university faculties in the UK to offer undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in the new field of Forensic Computing.

League table rankings

The university's world ranking is 1,354 in 2010, according to[27]

UK University Rankings
2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 1997 1996 1995 1994 1993
Guardian University Guide 92 96 77 69[28] 55 67[29] 74 - 85[30] 81 91[31] 87
Times Good University Guide 100[32] 89 81= 74= 67[33] 64 75 80= 85= 86 81= 82 75 75 83= 88 88 77= 76 75 91
Sunday Times University Guide 101[21] 107= 105 96 95 77= 79 81 79 81 79= 76 75 75 76 88
The Complete University Guide 108 100 80[34] 80 80[35] 80
The Daily Telegraph 80[36] 80[37] 68
FT 77 88 79 90

Student life

Students' Union

Sabbatical Officers and four student trustees, who are held to account by the Council. All officer positions, bar the five sabbatical officers, work on a part-time basis.[38]


Since 2007, Staffordshire University (Stoke Campus) and Keele University have engaged in an annual varsity match. In 2013 Staffordshire University (Stafford Campus) and Wolverhampton University have engaged in an annual varsity match.

Academic collaboration

  • Tas Tuhin

Notable alumni

Many famous artists produced by the former art schools of Stoke-on-Trent can be regarded as alumni, as the university is the successor institution.

Burslem School of Art
Fenton School of Art
Stoke School of Art


  1. ^ "Professor Michael Gunn". Staffordshire University. Retrieved 2011-02-25. 
  2. ^ a b c "Table 0a - All students by institution, mode of study, level of study, gender and domicile 2006/07" ( 
  3. ^ "Campuses and Maps". Retrieved 16 July 2015. 
  4. ^ "Library refurbishment". Staffordshire University. Retrieved 13 February 2014. 
  5. ^ "Ceramics Workshops". Staffordshire University. Retrieved 29 July 2010. 
  6. ^ "Computing". Staffordshire University. Retrieved 29 July 2010. 
  7. ^ "Campuses and Maps". Staffordshire University. Retrieved 29 July 2010. 
  8. ^ "Business Villages". Staffordshire University. Retrieved 29 July 2010. 
  9. ^ Retrieved 13 December 2013. 
  10. ^ "University relocation decision is in best interests of students". Retrieved 16 July 2015. 
  11. ^ "UniQ - A unique solution for a unique city". Staffordshire University. Retrieved 29 July 2010. 
  12. ^ "Film Theatre". Staffordshire University. Retrieved 29 July 2010. 
  13. ^ a b "Studios & facilities". Staffordshire University. Retrieved 29 July 2010. 
  14. ^ "Royal visit to Staffordshire University". Staffordshire University. Retrieved 29 July 2010. 
  15. ^ "Staffordshire University to close Stafford campus". BBC News. Retrieved 16 July 2015. 
  16. ^ "Staffordshire University Lichfield Centre". Staffordshire University. Retrieved 29 July 2010. 
  17. ^ "Shrewsbury Campus". Staffordshire University. Retrieved 29 July 2010. 
  18. ^ "Maps and further information on the Stoke-on-Trent University Quarter". 
  19. ^ University of Staffordshire,
  20. ^ [3]
  21. ^ a b The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2015, accessed 15 October 2015
  22. ^ [4]
  23. ^ "Binyon Court, from Stafford Castle". Flickr - Photo Sharing!. Retrieved 16 July 2015. 
  24. ^ "Forensic and Crime Science". Staffordshire University. Retrieved 29 July 2010. 
  25. ^ "Cisco Training". Staffordshire University. Retrieved 29 July 2010. 
  26. ^ "Degree Course Accreditations Faculty of Sciences". Retrieved 16 July 2015. 
  27. ^ "Ranking Web of World universities: Top 12,000 World Ranking". Retrieved 2010-12-29. 
  28. ^ "University guide 2011: University league table". The Guardian (London). 8 June 2010. 
  29. ^ "Search". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 2010-07-27. 
  30. ^ "Search". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 2010-04-26. 
  31. ^ "Univ2004~subject~subjects~Institution-wide~Institution-wide~~~3". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 2010-04-26. 
  32. ^ 
  33. ^ Bennett, Rosemary; Watson, Roland. The Times (London) Retrieved 2010-04-26. 
  34. ^ "University League Table 2011". The Complete University Guide. 2010-05-20. Retrieved 2010-12-29. 
  35. ^ "League Table of UK Universities 2009". The Complete University Guide. Retrieved 2010-12-29. 
  36. ^ "University league table". The Daily Telegraph (London). 30 July 2007. 
  37. ^ 30 Jul 2007 (2007-07-30). "University league table". London: Telegraph. Retrieved 2010-12-29. 
  38. ^ "Staffordshire University Student's Union Constitution" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-12-29. 
  39. ^ "Students' Lego Inception film trailer is a global hit". Retrieved 16 July 2015. 

External links

  • Staffordshire University web site
  • Media related to at Wikimedia Commons
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