University of Cumbria

University of Cumbria
Former names
Charlotte Mason College, St Martin's College, Cumbria Institute of the Arts
Type Public
Established 1 August 2007
Chancellor The Rt Hon John Sentamu, Archbishop of York
Vice-Chancellor Julie Mennell
Students 9,065 (2014/15)[1]
Undergraduates 6,955 (2014/15)[1]
Postgraduates 2,110 (2014/15)[1]
Location Carlisle
Tower Hamlets, London
, England
Affiliations Cathedrals Group

The University of Cumbria (UoC) is a public university in Cumbria. Its headquarters are in Carlisle.[2][3] Other major campuses are at Lancaster, Ambleside, and London. It was established in 2007, following the merger of St Martin's College, the Cumbria Institute of the Arts and the Cumbrian campuses of the University of Central Lancashire. Its roots extend back to the Society for the Encouragement of Fine Arts established in 1822 and Charlotte Mason teacher training college in the 1890s.[4][5]

The university is continuing to grow, expanding in geographical terms as well as academic scope.


The University of Cumbria was formed by the merger of St Martin's College, Lancaster, the Cumbria Institute of the Arts (CIA), formerly Cumbria College of Art & Design (CCAD), and the Cumbrian campuses of the University of Central Lancashire on 1 August 2007.[3][6] These institutions formerly ran degree programmes accredited by Lancaster University and the University of Central Lancashire. In order to facilitate the change, St Martin's College applied for independent degree-awarding powers in March 2005 and was successful in July 2006 after nine months of scrutiny by the Quality Assurance Agency.[7] In January 2007 official university status was granted by the Privy Council.


Brampton Road campus, Carlisle.

The university is based upon the findings of a report by Sir Martin Harris.[6] This plan envisaged a university based upon a "distributed learning network", so that teaching will take place both at the University's main campuses, and at colleges of further education around the county. This solved a problem for remote areas that did not previously have direct access to higher education.

The headquarters of the university are in Carlisle. Its other major campuses are at Ambleside, Lancaster (formerly St Martin's College) and it has classrooms and open workspace in the 'Energus' facility in Blackwood Road, Lillyhall, Workington. The university previously also had sites in Penrith (formerly University of Central Lancashire in Cumbria and before that Newton Rigg Agricultural College) and London. Newton Rigg has since been transferred to Askham Bryan College and the Tower Hamlets provision has moved to East India Dock Road. Furness College in Barrow-in-Furness has developed close links with the university and they share some facilities.

Carlisle campus, Fusehill Street

The site started its life as The Carlisle Union Workhouse[8] in 1863. During World War I, from October 1917 to June 1919, the buildings were used as a military hospital, in which time nearly 10,000 soldiers were treated. In 1938, it was converted into a municipal hospital, then a military hospital once more during World War II, after which it became City General Hospital, until it closed in 1999.[9]

Carlisle campus, Brampton Road

The Brampton Road campus was formerly the Cumbria Institute of the Arts, founded in October 1822 as the Society for the Encouragement of the Arts, later Carlisle Art College and College of Art and Design.

The Brampton Road campus is now home to the university's Institute of the Arts, with over 1000 full-time arts students.

Lancaster campus, Bowerham Road

The site was formerly Bowerham Barracks, the depot of the King's Own Royal Regiment (Lancaster). In 1962 it became a teaching college.[10]

From the start, the college planned to teach degrees as well as Certificates of Education and pioneered the four year BA Hons with QTS. By 1966 the college was teaching PGCE students.

The college then developed courses in nursing and later radiography, occupational health, social work and continuing professional development courses for health professionals. Strong relationships were forged with NHS trust training departments, and many health professionals can be seen proudly wearing both St. Martin’s and University of Cumbria badges on their uniforms to this day.

The college developed further courses in humanities, arts and sport, and a mini building boom ensued in the late 1990s with the development of the Sports Centre, Humanities building, Hugh Pollard Lecture Theatre, as well as student accommodation.


On 1 December 2009, it was announced that the Ambleside campus would be 'mothballed' at the end of July 2010, and would no longer take new undergraduate students. The action by the University of Cumbria interrupted over 175 years of heritage and a protest was held on the 1 December 2009 by the student body.[3] The closure was in the face of fierce opposition from the Ambleside students,[11] the townspeople of Ambleside, and in spite of support pledged from Tim Farron MP for the campus and its students. The timing of the closure had led many to believe that the decision had been made some time ago.[12][13][14]

In July 2011, the university announced a plan to reopen the campus and increase student numbers at the Ambleside campus and this began in 2014.[15] Ambleside continues to host courses in outdoor studies, business, leadership and sustainability.


Degree programmes including Forestry, Conservation, Outdoor Studies, Outdoor Leadership and Applied Sciences were taught from the Penrith campus based at Newton Rigg.[16] The National School of Forestry was set up here in the 1960s and has a long history of educating forest managers, which continues to the present day. Programmes moved to their new home in Ambleside in 2013 (Outdoors programmes) and 2014 (Forestry, Conservation, and Applied Sciences).

Further education provision and assets of the Newton Rigg campus were transferred to Askham Bryan College in March 2011, but the university continued to run higher education courses there for 3 years.[17]


The university has space at the Energus facility in Blackwood Road, Lillyhall, Workington. The facility opened in June 2009 and was the university’s first presence in West Cumbria.[18]

Organisation and structure

Previous vice-chancellors have included;

The current vice-chancellor is Julie Mennell, formerly deputy vice-chancellor (development) of University of Sunderland.[23]

At one stage the university had debts totalling £13,000,000 and in March 2010, it received a cash advance from HEFCE to enable it to pay staff.[24][25] It has since pulled itself out of debt and is profitable.[26]

Academic profile

(2017, national)
The Guardian[28]
(2017, national)
Times/Sunday Times[29]
(2017, national)

The university has seven specialist departmental areas that offer a range of flexible, multidisciplinary courses:

The University of Cumbria provides education in Medical Imaging, Sports Development, Arts, Law, Education, Leadership and Economic Development, Conservation, Forestry, and the Uplands, and Mental Health and Wellbeing, among other subject areas.[30]

Student life

The University of Cumbria prides itself on the 'community feel' of their campuses. The campuses all have easy access to the centres of their respective city and town locations, and there are sports facilities, food and drink outlets and study facilities for students to utilise.


The majority of University of Cumbria campuses have sports teams which represent them in the BUCS leagues. Teams include: Cricket, Netball, Football, Hockey, Rugby League, Rugby Union, Badminton and Pool. All teams play their home games on Wednesdays afternoons at various University's sport venues.

Notable alumni


  1. 1 2 3 "2014/15 Students by HE provider, level, mode and domicile" (XLSX). Higher Education Statistics Agency. Retrieved 19 January 2016.
  2. MacLeod, Donald (1 February 2005). "Green light for University of Cumbria plans". The Guardian.
  3. 1 2 3 "County university opens its doors". BBC News. 1 August 2007.
  4. "Cumbria Institute of the Arts". University website.
  5. "Charlotte Mason". University website.
  6. 1 2 "Proposal for a new University of Cumbria welcomed by HEFCE". The National Archives.
  7. MacLeod, Fiona (19 July 2006). "College wins right to award own degrees". News and Star.
  8. "The Workhouse in Carlisle, Cumberland". Retrieved 2015-10-19.
  9. Eve, Kelly (29 September 2009). "Memories wanted of Carlisle's former City General Hospital". News and Star.
  10. "St Martin's College". University website.
  11. "Facebook Petition Group". Facebook.
  12. "MP recruits new students in fight to save Ambleside campus". Tim Farron MP. 22 September 2008.
  13. "MP takes Ambleside campaign to Westminster". Tim Farron MP. 10 November 2008.
  14. "MP asks new Vice Chancellor of University Cumbria to scrap plans to downgrade Ambleside campus". Tim Farron MP. 18 March 2009.
  15. Eve, Kelly (28 September 2011). "Cumbria university plan to reopen mothballed Ambleside campus". News and Star.
  16. "Courses by location - University of Cumbria at Newton Rigg College, Penrith". University website.
  17. Eve, Kelly (9 December 2011). "£500,000 paid to pair who 'rescued' Cumbria university from cash problems". News and Star.
  18. "Secretary of State opens Energus". Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. 19 June 2009.
  19. "Vice Chancellor retires from university". ITV Border News. 22 July 2015. Retrieved 15 September 2016.
  20. "Debt university executive leaves". BBC News. 19 May 2010.
  21. "Cumbria university appoints acting vice-chancellor". News and Star. 21 May 2010.
  22. Morgan, John (3 February 2011). "Cumbria chooses new v-c". Times Higher Education.
  23. "New vice-chancellor for University of Cumbria". News and Star. 25 February 2016. Retrieved 15 September 2016.
  24. "Cumbria University got cash advance to pay staff". BBC News. 19 April 2010.
  25. Newman, Melanie (15 April 2010). "Cumbria admits 'unacceptable' financial results". Times Higher Education.
  26. Eve, Kelly (3 December 2011). "University of Cumbria makes 'profit' for first time". News and Star.
  27. "University League Table 2017". The Complete University Guide. Retrieved 25 April 2016.
  28. "University league tables 2017". The Guardian. 23 May 2013. Retrieved 23 May 2016.
  29. "The Times and Sunday Times University Good University Guide 2017". Times Newspapers. Retrieved 23 September 2016.
  30. "Fields of study - University of Cumbria". Retrieved 16 July 2015.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to University of Cumbria.

Coordinates: 54°53′27″N 2°55′20″W / 54.89083°N 2.92222°W / 54.89083; -2.92222

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/14/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.