Staffordshire University

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Staffordshire University
Staffordshire University logo.png
Former names
Central School of Science & Technology
North Staffordshire Technical College
Staffordshire Polytechnic
North Staffordshire Polytechnic
Motto Latin: Sapere Aude
Motto in English
Dare to know [1]
Type Public
Established1906 – School of Mining
1914 – Central School of Science & Technology
1926 – North Staffordshire Technical College
1971 – North Staffordshire Polytechnic
1988 – Staffordshire Polytechnic
1992 – gained university status as Staffordshire University
Endowment £70 million (2015) [2]
Chancellor Francis Fitzherbert, 15th Baron Stafford
Vice-Chancellor Liz Barnes [3]
Administrative staff
Students15,675 (2019/20) [4]
Undergraduates 13,295 (2019/20) [4]
Postgraduates 2,380 (2019/20) [4]
Location, ,
England, United Kingdom
Campus Urban and rural
Colours Red and white   
Affiliations MillionPlus
Association of Commonwealth Universities
Universities UK

Staffordshire University is a public research university in Staffordshire, England. It has one main campus based in the city of Stoke-on-Trent and three other campuses; in Stafford, Lichfield and Shrewsbury. [5]



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. In 1907, pottery classes followed, being transferred from Tunstall into temporary buildings, and in 1914 the building now known as the Cadman Building was officially opened as the Central School of Science and Technology by J. A. Pease, President of the Board of Education. A frieze over the entrance depicts potters and miners. In 2013, the Library Conference room in the Cadman Building was renamed the Alfred Bolton Room. [6]

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 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. In 1977, the polytechnic absorbed Madeley College of Education, formerly County of Stafford Training College, a teacher training facility in Madeley, Staffordshire specialising in physical education. [7] [8]

The polytechnic developed traditional strengths of the component institutions, e.g. ceramics (Stoke-on-Trent), [9] computing (Stafford) [10] 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 among 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 1988, the institution changed its name to Staffordshire Polytechnic. In 1992, it became Staffordshire University, one of the new universities based on former polytechnics.


Staffordshire University, College Road, Stoke. The building shown is the former technical college, opened 1914 Staffordshire university stoke campus frontage.jpg
Staffordshire University, College Road, Stoke. The building shown is the former technical college, opened 1914

The university has two main campuses, four smaller campuses, [11] 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, having fully furnished small office spaces with internet access. [12]

In the 2012/13 academic year, the then Vice-Chancellor, 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. 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. [13] 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. [14]


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 (on the site of the former County Cricket Ground), 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. [15] The Mellor Building on the College Road campus, formerly housing science teaching, has been refurbished to become the new home of the School of Engineering (which moved from Stafford Beaconside) in 2013 and of Applied Computing, which moved from the 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. 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, which 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. [16] 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. [17] The new £1 million development features up-to-date technology and industry specification equipment.

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]

Staffordshire University London: Digital Institute

Located at Here East in East London, the Digital Institute opened in 2019 and is a state-of-the-art facility focused on new and emerging technology, primarily based around Games and Computing courses, key specialisms of the University since the 1960s. It houses studio-style learning environments with a fully-equipped control room and other high-tech facilities including a dedicated esports arena.

Stafford and Shrewsbury

Nursing, midwifery, operating department practice and paramedic science courses are taught at the "Centre of Excellence" in Stafford on Blackheath Lane and at the "Centre of Excellence" in Shrewsbury which is situated at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital.

Staffordshire University has closed the Stafford campus but have kept the "Centre of Excellence" in Stafford on Blackheath. [20]


The main entrance to the Lichfield Campus building Lichfield Campus.jpg
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. [21]

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 the neighbouring county of Shropshire. [22]


The university has many overseas students studying for Staffordshire University awards in Belgium, China, Vietnam, France, Greece, India, Kosovo, Malaysia, Nigeria, Singapore, Spain, and Sri Lanka. The university also conducts a twinning programme with DISTED College in George Town, Penang, Malaysia.

Staffordshire University offers programmes in Hung Yen, Ecopark Township, [23] Vietnam through the British University Vietnam. The university has a strong partnership with the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium.[ citation needed ]

Halls of residence

The university offers guaranteed accommodation for all first-year students, provided the university is their firm UCAS choice. [24] 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. [25]


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, each of about 30 students over three floors, each hall 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, each of which accommodates up to 6 people each. [26]

Carlton House, Etruscan 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.

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 College Court Halls, which are privately run but operate in a similar way to university-run halls. They are situated opposite Hanley Park and are close to the university.[ citation needed ]

Academic profile

The university is noted for its science departments; in 2002 Staffordshire's Psychology Department 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. [27]

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 later moved to a purpose-built building on the Beaconside campus, the Octagon, constructed in 1992 when university status had been achieved. The Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Sciences (FCES) is a Cisco Networking Academy. [28]

National rankings
Complete (2021) [29] 75
Guardian (2021) [30] 55
Times / Sunday Times (2021) [31] 76
Global rankings
THE (2021) [32] 1000+
British Government assessment
Teaching Excellence Framework [33] Gold

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. [17] 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. [34] 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 [35]

Student life

Students' Union

Staffordshire University Students' Union aims to represent students at the university. Constitutionally it is governed by the student body, who annually elect a student council which is responsible for the organisation of the Union. The day-to-day operation of the union is handled by four Sabbatical Officers and four student trustees, who are held to account by the Council. All officer positions, bar the four sabbatical officers, work on a part-time basis. [36]


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 engaged in an annual varsity match.

Notable alumni

Academia and Science

Arts and Media

Politics and Service


Arts 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.

Related Research Articles

Staffordshire County of England

Staffordshire is a landlocked county in the West Midlands of England. It borders Cheshire to the northwest, Derbyshire and Leicestershire to the east, Warwickshire to the southeast, the West Midlands County and Worcestershire to the south, and Shropshire to the west.

Lichfield Cathedral city in Staffordshire, England

Lichfield is a cathedral city and civil parish in Staffordshire, England. Lichfield is situated roughly 16 mi (26 km) north of Birmingham, 8.1 miles (13.0 km) southeast of Rugeley, 9 miles (14 km) northeast of Walsall, 7.9 miles (12.7 km) northwest of Tamworth, 13 miles (21 km) southwest of Burton Upon Trent and 18 miles (29 km) southeast of the county town of Stafford. At the time of the 2011 Census the population was estimated at 32,219 and the wider Lichfield District at 100,700.

Stoke-on-Trent City and unitary authority in England

Stoke-on-Trent is a city and unitary authority area in Staffordshire, England, with an area of 36 square miles (93 km2). In 2019, the city had an estimated population of 256,375. It is the largest settlement in Staffordshire.

Middlesex University Public research university in Middlesex, London, England

Middlesex University London is a public research university in Hendon, northwest London, England. The name of the university is taken from its location within the historic county boundaries of Middlesex.

Keele University Public research university in Keele, England

Keele University, officially known as the University of Keele, is a public research university in Keele, approximately 3 miles from Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, England. Keele was granted university status by Royal Charter in 1962 and was founded in 1949 as the University College of North Staffordshire.

Stafford County town of Staffordshire, West Midlands, England

Stafford is a market town and the county town of Staffordshire, in the West Midlands region of England. It lies about 15 miles (24 km) north of Wolverhampton, 15 miles (24 km) south of Stoke-on-Trent and 24 miles (39 km) north-west of Birmingham. The town population in 2011 was 68,472 and that of the wider borough of Stafford was 122,000, making it the third largest in the county after Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle-under-Lyme.

Sheffield Hallam University British university

Sheffield Hallam University (SHU) is a public research university in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England. It is based on two sites; the City Campus is located in the city centre near Sheffield railway station, while the Collegiate Crescent Campus is about two miles away in the Broomhall Estate off Ecclesall Road in south-west Sheffield.

Hanley, Staffordshire Human settlement in England

Hanley is one of the six towns that, along with Burslem, Longton, Fenton, Tunstall and Stoke-upon-Trent, amalgamated to form the City of Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire, England. Hanley was incorporated as a municipal borough in 1857 and became a county borough with the passage of the Local Government Act 1888. In 1910, along with Burslem, Tunstall, Fenton, Longton and Stoke-upon-Trent it was federated into the county borough of Stoke-on-Trent. Hanley was the only one of the six towns to be a county borough before the merger; its status was transferred to the enlarged borough. In 1925, following the granting of city status, it became one of the six towns that constitute the City of Stoke-on-Trent.

University of Wolverhampton

The University of Wolverhampton is a public university located on four campuses across the West Midlands, Shropshire and Staffordshire in England. The roots of the university lie in the Wolverhampton Tradesmen's and Mechanics' Institute founded in 1827 and the 19th-century growth of the Wolverhampton Free Library (1870), which developed technical, scientific, commercial and general classes. This merged in 1969 with the Municipal School of Art, originally founded in 1851, to form the Wolverhampton Polytechnic.

Newcastle College is a further education college in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, England. It is part of the Newcastle and Stafford Colleges Group (NSCG). The College has grown significantly over the past 10 years and is currently home to a population of over 3,800 full-time students and around 450 students on higher education programmes. There are over 2,600 part-time/adult learners, and 1,500 apprentices working with around 850 individual employers.

Stoke-on-Trent railway station Railway station in Staffordshire, England

Stoke-on-Trent railway station is a mainline railway station serving the city of Stoke-on-Trent. It lies on the Stafford to Manchester branch of the West Coast Main Line. The station also provides an interchange between various local services running through Cheshire, Staffordshire and Derbyshire.

Madeley, Staffordshire Human settlement in England

Madeley is a village and ward in the Borough of Newcastle-under-Lyme, North Staffordshire, England. It is split into three parts: Madeley, Middle Madeley, and Little Madeley. Madeley Heath is also considered by many to be part of Madeley. In the 2001 census, the population was recorded as 4,386, decreasing to 4,222 at the 2011 Census.

Stafford College is a large provider of further and higher education based in Stafford, England.

The Stoke-on-Trent Regional College of Art was one of three colleges that were merged in 1971 to form North Staffordshire Polytechnic. The College of Art had achieved Regional Art College status after the Second World War, but its roots lay in the nineteenth century as it was formed from three of the Potteries´ art schools. Although the six towns which make up Stoke-on-Trent were a relatively small conurbation, each had its own art school: those at Fenton, Hanley and Tunstall had closed by the time the Regional College of Art was created, leaving Burslem, Longton and Stoke.

Burslem School of Art

Burslem School of Art was an art school in the centre of the town of Burslem in the Potteries district of England. Students from the school played an important role in the local pottery industry. Pottery was made on the site of the school from the early Middle Ages. The venue was refurbished and re-opened for the arts in 1999.

Stoke-on-Trent College General further education school in Shelton, Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire, England

Stoke-on-Trent College is a provider of further and higher education based in Stoke-on-Trent. The college's main campus, known as Cauldon Campus, is in Shelton and it has a second campus in Burslem.

The City of Stoke-on-Trent Sixth Form College is a mixed sixth form college on Leek Road, Stoke-on-Trent. It opened its new building on Leek Road in September 2010 having previously been located on Victoria Road, Fenton. The college is also known as Stoke-on-Trent Sixth Form College, and - prior to its relocation - Fenton Sixth Form College.

Longton High School Former school in Stoke-on-Trent, England

Longton High School was a school in Longton and later Meir, Staffordshire from 1760 to 2010.


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Coordinates: 53°00′35″N2°10′54″W / 53.0097°N 2.1817°W / 53.0097; -2.1817