University of Chichester

University of Chichester
Former names
West Sussex Institute of Higher Education (1977-1995), Chichester Institute of Higher Education (1995-1999), University College Chichester (1999-2005)
Motto Latin: Docendo discimus
Motto in English
By teaching, we learn
Type Public
Established 2005
Vice-Chancellor Clive Behagg
Administrative staff
Students 5,445 (2014/15)[1]
Undergraduates 4,645 (2014/15)[1]
Postgraduates 800 (2014/15)[1]
Location Chichester, West Sussex, UK
50°50′41″N 0°46′28″W / 50.844674°N 0.774429°W / 50.844674; -0.774429Coordinates: 50°50′41″N 0°46′28″W / 50.844674°N 0.774429°W / 50.844674; -0.774429
Campus Semi-urban
Affiliations Cathedrals Group
Crest of the University of Chichester

The University of Chichester is a public university located in West Sussex, England and became a university in 2005. Campuses are based in the city of Chichester and the nearby coastal resort of Bognor Regis.

Today its many teaching and research specialisms include: Humanities (History, English, Theology); Social Sciences (e.g. Psychology; Childhood Studies); Music and Performing Arts; and Sports Studies and Education. Its heritage stretches back into the nineteenth century when, in 1839, Bishop Otter College was established.


In 1839, a school for training 'Masters' was founded by William Otter, Bishop of Chichester, known as the Bishop Otter College. The original buildings, created in a neo-Tudor style, were designed by the architect J. Butler.[2]

In 1873, the campus became a training institute for women teachers due to the activism of Louisa Hubbard after the Elementary Education Act 1870 created demand for school teachers.[3] Men were later admitted to the college in 1960.

In the 20th century the campus was gradually expanded to meet demand. There was a large extension in the 1960s, including a steep gabled cruciform chapel, designed by the architect, Peter Shepheard. [2]

During the 1970s Bishop Otter College was regarded as one of the most successful teacher training colleges in the country. During that period, the Principal of that establishment was Gordon McGregor, who went on to be Principal of Ripon and York St John and latterly Emeritus Professor of Education at the University of Leeds.

At Bognor Regis a teacher training college was founded in the 1940s to support the expansion of education.

In 1977 Bishop Otter College and the Bognor Regis college were merged to form the West Sussex Institute of Higher Education (WSIHE), with degrees being awarded by CNAA and later the University of Southampton. Alumni from this period include the actor Jason Merrells and the author Paula Byrne. Between 1995 and 1999, it was known as Chichester Institute of Higher Education. It gained degree-awarding powers in 1999, becoming known as University College Chichester, and became recognised as a full university in October 2005.

In 2015 Chichester University secured government and lotteries commission funding to the value of approximately £8millions and embarked on a plan of expansions at both academic sites, involving the demolition of several smaller collegiate structures, that were no longer suitable for purpose and the construction of facilities for Academic, Administration, Sports and future Media Production. By the end of Summer 2016 Students and staff at the Bishop Otter site will have access to two major new facilities. By 2019 It is foreseen that the new purpose-built film and TV digital media production studio will come online. This would mean that new University of Chichester Bognor campus would have the largest media production facilities in the South-East of England.


'The Dome', home of the Business School at the University of Chichester, built as a Royal Palace in 1787

College Lane

University House

The main campus at College Lane, Chichester and is set in surroundings which include historic buildings and modern facilities. It is a five-minute walk from Chichester city centre. The famous Chichester Festival Theatre is housed adjacent to the campus.

The campus is currently part way through major redevelopment to improve key facilities. Some of the developments include: construction of a sports dome, chapel extension, courtyard, Sports Hall and Gym refurbishment, as well as major development work on the Library (LRC).

The Learning Resources Centre (LRC) is equipped with two floors of library resources and is an award-winning, modern facility. The Otter Gallery is within the LRC and runs public art exhibitions throughout the year.

Bognor Regis

The Dome Bognor

The Bognor Regis campus is five minutes from the sea, and has three grand mansion houses with Georgian architecture: St Michael’s, the Dome and Mordington House.

The campus underwent extensive redevelopment during 2010-11. £8m has been invested to transform the Dome into a business and research centre, and to create a Learning Resource Centre. The campus is set in a leafy environment and has modern facilities with teaching and study rooms.

Most of the student halls of residence are on campus (both catered and self catered), with the exception of the Stockbridge Road Halls of Residence about a half hour walk away on the other side of the city, and some University managed houses throughout the city in places such as Graylingwell Drive.

The Students’ Union runs the Zee Bar on the Bishop Otter Campus and The Hub bar on the Bognor Regis Campus where a number of different social events are hosted throughout the week. A University run "Safety Bus" can be called by students to pick them up from anywhere and take them to any destination within each city.

The Bognor Regis campus is close to Hotham Park. The park surrounds Hotham House, built in 1792 by Sir Richard Hotham. Also nearby is the Ice House – the original 18th Century refrigerator of Hotham Park Estate.

The famous Butlins Bognor Regis resort lies at the eastern end of the promenade.


The university department structure can be found below.[4]

  • Adventure Education
  • Dance
  • Early Years
  • Education
  • English & Creative Writing
  • Fine Art
  • History & Politics
  • Media
  • Music
  • PE
  • Theatre (Performing Arts)
  • Psychology & Counselling
  • Configure
  • Enterprise, Management & Leadership
  • Social Work & Social Care
  • Sport & Exercise Sciences
  • Sport Development & Management
  • Theology & Religion, including Philosophy and Ethics

Academic profile

(2017, national)
The Guardian[6]
(2017, national)
Times/Sunday Times[7]
(2017, national)

See also


  1. 1 2 3 "2014/15 Students by HE provider, level, mode and domicile" (XLSX). Higher Education Statistics Agency. Retrieved 19 January 2016.
  2. 1 2 Nairn, Ian; Pevsner, Nikolaus (1965), Sussex, The Buildings of England, Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, p. 173
  3. Kelley, Serena (2004), "Hubbard, Louisa Maria (1836–1906)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press
  4. University of Chichester website
  5. "University League Table 2017". The Complete University Guide. Retrieved 25 April 2016.
  6. "University league tables 2017". The Guardian. 23 May 2013. Retrieved 23 May 2016.
  7. "The Times and Sunday Times University Good University Guide 2017". Times Newspapers. Retrieved 23 September 2016.
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