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Brighton Polytechnic

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Brighton Polytechnic

University of Brighton
Established 1858 (as Brighton College of Art)
Type Public
Endowment £0.4m[1]
Vice-Chancellor Julian Crampton
Admin. staff 2,600[2]
Students 21,000[3]
Undergraduates 17,005[3]
Postgraduates 4,005[3]
Location Brighton, Eastbourne, Hastings, England, United Kingdom

The University of Brighton is a UK university of over 21,000 students and 2,500 staff based on five campuses in Brighton, Eastbourne and Hastings on the south coast of England. Its roots can be traced back to 1859 when the Brighton School of Art was opened in the Brighton Royal Pavilion.

The university focuses on professional education, with the majority of degrees awarded also leading to professional qualifications in areas including Pharmacy, Engineering and Information Technology.

In 2012 the University of Brighton came third in the People & Planet's Green League table of UK universities ranked by environmental and ethical performance.[4]


  • 1859: The Brighton School of Art opens its doors to its first 110 students. The school's first home is in rooms adjacent to the kitchens of the Royal Pavilion.
  • 1876: The School of Art moves to its own building in Grand Parade. The Prime Minister, William Gladstone, witnesses the laying of the new building's foundation stone.
  • 1897: The Municipal School of Science and Technology opens in Brighton with 600 enrolled students.
  • 1898: The Chelsea School opens in London as an institution training women and girls in physical education.
  • 1909: The Municipal Day Training College, forerunner of the School of Education, opens in Richmond Terrace, Brighton.
  • 1949: The Chelsea School celebrates its fiftieth anniversary by moving to Eastbourne.
  • 1960s: Construction of new buildings for Brighton College of Technology begin in Moulsecoomb.
  • 1970: The School of Art and Brighton College of Technology merge to form Brighton Polytechnic.
  • 1976: Brighton College of Education (the teacher training college) merges with Brighton Polytechnic, giving the polytechnic a campus at Falmer.
  • 1979: The East Sussex College of Higher Education, including the Chelsea School, merges with Brighton Polytechnic, creating a campus in Eastbourne.
  • 1992: Along with many other polytechnics Brighton is granted university status and becomes the University of Brighton under the provisions of the Further and Higher Education Act, 1992.
  • 1994: The Sussex and Kent Institute of Nursing and Midwifery becomes part of the university, increasing the number of students based in Eastbourne.
  • 2003: The Brighton and Sussex Medical School opens as a partnership between the University of Brighton, the University of Sussex and the Universities Hospitals Trust. It is the first medical school in the south-east outside London.
  • 2004: University Centre Hastings is opened, managed by the University of Brighton.[5]
  • 2011: The University of Brighton's International College opens on the Brighton campus, to provide international students with preparatory academic tuition for undergraduate and postgraduate courses.
  • 2011: The

Campuses and facilities

The university has five campuses. Three in Brighton at Grand Parade, Moulsecoomb, and Falmer, one in Eastbourne and one in Hastings.[7]

Grand Parade, Brighton

  • Grand Parade campus in Brighton city centre is home to the Faculty of Arts, the University of Brighton gallery and Sallis Benney Theatre.[8]
  • The School of Architecture and Design, Schools of Arts and Media and School of Humanities are based at Grand Parade.[8]
  • Phoenix halls of residence provides accommodation for 298 students.[8]
  • Phoenix Nursery provides childcare for students, staff and local parents.[9]
  • Students at Grand Parade use specialist art and design facilities including letterpress, printmaking and book binding workshops; performing arts and music studios; industrial textiles looms; knitting machines; traditional and digital textile printing; a laser cutter and rapid prototyping facilities.[8]
  • The faculty's archives include collections from the Design Council and a range of other British and global design organisations and the moving image archive Screen Archive South East.[10]
  • Staff and students have access to the specialist humanities, art and design library at St Peter's House, computer pool rooms, a media centre, a restaurant and cafe.[8]

Falmer, Brighton

  • The Falmer campus is located approximately three miles from Brighton city centre.
  • The Faculty of Arts (Literature, Linguistics), Faculty of Health and Social Science, Faculty of Education and Sport, School of Nursing and Midwifery, School of Applied Social Science, Centre for Nursing and Midwifery Research, International Health Development and Research Centre, Social Science Policy and Research Centre, School of Education, Education Research Centre, the Centre for Learning and Teaching and the Brighton and Sussex Medical School are all based on this campus.
  • The campus is served by a number of bus services[11] and Falmer railway station is immediately adjacent. There are also cycle lanes leading to the campus from the city centre. There is limited permit-controlled car-parking on site. Staff and students are encouraged to use public transport.
  • The campus includes the Great Wilkins and Paddock Field halls of residence.[12]
  • Other facilities on the Falmer campus include a library, computer pool rooms, a restaurant and café/bar, a Students' Union cafe and a shop.
  • Sports facilities on the campus include floodlit 3G Astroturf pitch, netball and tennis courts, and a new sports centre which opened in October 2010. The new sports centre includes a fitness suite, two activity studios and a sports hall with six badminton courts.[13]
  • Student services on the Falmer campus include a careers service, counselling service, student advice service, disability and dyslexia service and chaplaincy.
  • The campus is adjacent to the new Brighton and Hove Albion, which opened in 2011.

Moulsecoomb, Brighton

  • The Moulescoomb campus is located to the north of Brighton city centre.
  • It is the largest of the five campuses with over 8,000 students.[14]
  • Brighton Business School, School of Architecture and Design (architecture and interior design courses), School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics, School of Environment and Technology and School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences are based on Moulsecoomb campus.
  • The University of Brighton's International College is located in the Watts building.
  • Facilities include Aldrich library, computer pool rooms, two restaurants and five cafes.
  • Accommodation, careers, childcare, counselling and wellbeing, disability and dyslexia support, and chaplaincy are provided on campus.
  • Moulsecoomb Place halls of residence provide accommodation for 160 students.
  • The campus is served well by bus services[11] and Moulsecoomb Station.


  • The Eastbourne campus is located at the foot of the South Downs National Park, about ten minutes walk from the seafront and twenty minutes from the pier and Eastbourne town centre.
  • Almost 3,000 students are based here studying at The School of Sport and Service Management (Formed in 2012 as a result of a merger between the Chelsea School and The School of Service Management), School of Health Professions and The School of Nursing and Midwifery.[15]
  • Teaching and learning facilities at Eastbourne campus include exercise physiology laboratories, an environmental chamber, a human movement laboratory, culinary arts studio and the Leaf Hospital podiatry and physiotherapy clinic.[15]
  • Study facilities in Eastbourne include Queenswood library, computer pool rooms, a learning and technology suite, restaurants, and a Students' Union shop.
  • Sports facilities include a 25-metre swimming pool, sports hall, artificial outdoor pitch and dance studio.
  • A new gym opened in January 2011.
  • Welkin halls of residence provides accommodation for over 350 students.
  • Accommodation, careers, counselling, student advice, disability and dyslexia, and chaplaincy services are available on campus.
  • The campus is served by a number of bus services and is in walking distance of Eastbourne railway station. Staff and students are encouraged to use bikes and other alternatives to car travel. Bike storage is provided on campus.


  • The University of Brighton campus in Hastings is three minutes south of the station and about the same distance from the seafront and the shopping district.
  • Students can study applied social science, broadcast media, business and management, community history, computing, education, English literature, environmental biology, human biology, mathematics, media studies and sociology.[16]
  • Campus facilities include TV and radio studios, a library, computer pool rooms, a cafe and a Students' Union office.
  • The university's student-run radio station, Burst Radio, is based on the Hastings campus.
  • Robert Tressell Halls provide accommodation for 65 students.
  • Accommodation, careers, counselling, student advice and disability and dyslexia and chaplaincy services are available on campus.
  • The new is scheduled to open in 2012 and will provide a 160 seat lecture theatre and a suite of laboratories for science courses.


The university's libraries (with 1,400 work places) contain over half a million books, journals and audio-visual materials and, additionally, have subscriptions to around 8,000 electronic journals. In a year, there are around one million loans – and, on an average day, over 6000 student visits. Combined, the university's libraries are open for 250 hours per week, with each library typically open between 55 and 68 hours per week, including evenings and weekends.[18] The university has six libraries spread around its campuses.

  • Aldrich Library
  • Falmer Library
  • Health Sciences Library
  • UCH Library
  • Queenwood Library
  • St. Peter's House Library

Organisation and administration

  • Brighton Business School
Faculty of Arts
  • School of Architecture and Design
  • School of Arts and Media
  • School of Humanities
  • Centre for Learning and Teaching
Faculty of Education and Sport
  • School of Education
  • School of Sport and Service Management
Faculty of Health and Social Sciences
  • School of Applied Social Science
  • School of Health Professions
  • School of Nursing and Midwifery
Faculty of Science and Engineering
  • School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics
  • School of Environment and Technology
  • School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences
Brighton and Sussex Medical School
  • Brighton and Sussex Medical School
  • Institute of Postgraduate Medicine

Faculty of Arts

The Research Assessment Exercise (RAE 2001).

The faculty has supported and educated many key figures in the arts. In 2009 an Exhibition, From Art School to University: Art and Design at Brighton 1859–2009, paid tribute to many of them and included Turner Prize winners, iconic design work, cutting-edge dance for camera and classic rock and pop imagery.

The Faculty of Arts at the University of Brighton has an international reputation for being one of the UK's leading design institutions[19] and it has educated many key figures in the Arts. Turner Prize winners Keith Tyson and Rachel Whiteread studied at the Faculty of Arts, as did Keith Coventry, the winner of 2010 John Moores Painting Prize. Key figures also include the artists Alison Lapper and Paine Proffitt, Cliff Wright, illustrator of the Harry Potter books, the designer Julien Macdonald and writer-illustrator Emily Gravett.[20]

It is also home to the University of Brighton Design Archives and Screen Archive South East, and hosts the Victoria & Albert Museum.

Faculty of Health and Social Science

The Faculty of Health offers degree programmes in nursing, midwifery and paramedic practice; social policy, social science, social work and health promotion; medicine and primary care; and occupational therapy, physiotherapy and podiatry.

Research centres within this faculty include the Clinical Research Centre for Health Professions, Social Science Policy and Research Centre, Centre for Nursing and Midwifery Research and the International Health Development Research Centre, which has several on-going research projects on health promotion. The Faculty of Health and Social Science also sees to the development of the Brighton and Sussex Medical School, which is a collaborative effort of the Universities of Brighton and Sussex.[22]

Brighton Business School

Brighton Business School delivers a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, part-time courses for professionals, and tailor-made programmes for commercial organisations. The school has around 1,500 full-time students, 1,000 part-time students and 120 members of academic staff. It provides teaching, research and consultancy in accounting, economics, finance, business, human resources, management, marketing and law.

Formerly part of Brighton Technical College, the school has been teaching business and management courses since the 1960s. It took its current name in 1986. The school is located in Mithras House on the Moulsecoomb campus.

Brighton Business School has built strong links with local, national and international businesses and many of these companies offer placements to students. It is argued that such placements improve students' employability, and this is borne out by the school's employability record: over 90% of Business School students are employed or continuing their studies within six months of finishing their course.[23]

The school runs a number of accredited degrees which lead to some exemptions from professional examinations. Professional bodies affiliated to the school include the The Law Society.

Brighton Business School hosts two research centres: the Centre for Research in Innovation Management (CENTRIM) and the Centre for Research on Management and Employment (CROME). In the latest UK Research Assessment Exercise (2008), it was ranked as one of the top 15 business schools in terms of world-leading research outputs.[24] 70% of the school's business and management research was found to be of international standing or higher.[25]

Faculty of Science and Engineering

The Faculty of Science and Engineering offers a wide range of accredited programmes for undergraduates and postgraduates in chemistry, biology, earth science, and the physical sciences. It presently has over 2,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students, more than 100 research students, and a staff of 200.[22]

The faculty hosts STEM Sussex which works in partnership with schools, businesses and other organisations to enhance delivery of the science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) curricula at all key stages and to improve achievements in these subjects.[26] The faculty also hosts the Sustainable Development Coordination Unit (SDeCU)[27] which aims to co-ordinate sustainable development activities across the university. The unit also has its own specific sustainability research and community engagement projects.[26]

The university is known for its contributions in automotive engineering, for example developing the 2/4 SIGHT Engine.[28][29] The automotive engineering course is offered jointly with the University of Sussex,[26] participants benefiting from the research expertise and industrial links of both universities. The Internal Combustion Engines Group at the University of Brighton has strong links with Ford, ND Marston, Delphi, and Ricardo Consulting Engineers. The Ricardo Universities IC Engines research facility is located at the University of Brighton.

In the RAE2008, The Automotive Engineering research group achieved an excellent rating with 70% of its research rated internationally excellent or world leading and 95% deemed to be internationally recognised.[30]

Faculty of Education and Sport

The Faculty of Education and Sport offers undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in initial teacher training, education, physical education, sport coaching, sport and exercise science, sport journalism, sport and leisure management, sport studies, events, hospitality, travel, tourism and retail. It currently has over 4,000 students and 200 members of staff.

Research centres within the faculty include the Education Research Centre, Centre for Sport Research, Centre for Tourism Policy Studies (CENTOPS), and Brighton Hospitality Research (BHR).

In the RAE2008, it was the highest institution in the south-east of England for sport-related studies. 65% of research was judged to be of international standing with 15% world-leading.[31]

The Faculty of Education and Sport was given the highest possible rating for its primary and secondary initial teacher education provision in its most recent Ofsted inspection.[32]

Brighton and Sussex Medical School

The Brighton and Sussex Medical School is one of four new medical schools to have been created as part of the UK government's strategy of increasing the number of qualified doctors from the UK working in the NHS.[33] As its name suggests, Brighton and Sussex Medical School is a joint school of the University of Brighton and the University of Sussex.[34] The curriculum is a careful blend of the best of new and traditional teaching methods, with firm foundations on the established strengths of the two universities in educating and training health professionals and in science teaching and research.[33]

The University of Brighton provides professional aspects of the course through its faculties of health, sciences and engineering, while the University of Sussex provides biological science teaching. The medical school requires human dissection of cadavers as a compulsory part of the course. This means the course is far more anatomically based than that of most other modern UK medical schools. As well as the emphasis on anatomy, BSMS also gives early clinical exposure, with students from preclinical years occasionally going on placements.[33]

Academic research

University of Brighton's International College

The International College provides academic preparatory programmes for students outside the EU. On successful completion of their programme and achievement of the required grades, students can progress to undergraduate and postgraduate degrees offered at the university.

University of Brighton Doctoral College

The university's Doctoral College provides academic, administrative and practical support for the university's community of postgraduate research students. There are Doctoral College campus centres on the Eastbourne and each of the Brighton campuses.[35]

Hybrid Vehicle Experimentation Laboratory

Developed with Interreg partners Rouen Ecole Superieure (irseem) and University of Picardie Jules Verne, the CHAMP project (low-Carbon Hybrid Advanced Motive Power) is providing a series hybrid topology for control strategy experimentation.[36]

The Sir Harry Ricardo Laboratories

The University of Brighton and Ricardo UK jointly opened the Sir Harry Ricardo Laboratories on 14 November 2006.

The SHRL are one of the largest UK research teams dedicated to internal combustion engines, the development of laser-based measurement techniques, fundamental modelling and computational simulation. It is regarded as one of the foremost centres for automotive engine research in Europe. The group's international esteem is demonstrated by its breadth of collaboration with over 40 academic institutions and industrial partners across the world.[37]

The University of Brighton submitted research in its Sir Harry Ricardo Laboratories (SHRL) to the Unit of Assessment for Mechanical, Aeronautical and Manufacturing Engineering in RAE2008.

95% of this research was judged to be of international standing, with 70% rated internationally excellent thanks to its strong integration with the automobile industry. The SHRL's strong industrial links with Ricardo, its investment in new instrumentations and laboratory space and the number of doctorates awarded per staff member helped the SHRL research environment to be judged as being of international standing.[38]

Research Themes-

  • Optical Diagnostics[39]
  • Modelling and Simulation[40]
  • Engine Performance[41]
  • Heat Transfer[42]

Research rankings

Results from the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) have confirmed that 79 per cent of the university's research output is of international standing. Taking the top three grades, the results show that 15 per cent of the research is 'world-leading' (the highest grade), 29 per cent is internationally excellent (the second highest grade) and 35 per cent is internationally recognised (the third highest grade).[43]

Among the highlights at the university, 65 per cent of research in art and design was classified as either 'world leading' or 'internationally excellent'. This places Brighton amongst the leading research centres in the country for art and design and Research Fortnight ranked the submission second in terms of the volume and quality of research.[43]

Postgraduate research students at the university are supported by their schools and by the University of Brighton Doctoral College.

Reputation and rankings

(2014, national)
The Guardian[45]
(2014, national)
Times/Sunday Times[46]
(2014, national)

The University's Community University Partnership Programme received an honourable mention at the 2010 Community-Campus Partnerships for Health awards[47] and was highly commended in the Social Responsibility category at the 2009 Green Gown Awards.[48]

The 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) confirmed that 79% of the University of Brighton's research output is of international standing. Brighton is also ranked as one of the leading modern universities in terms of the quality of its research by the Research Fortnight newsletter. The university's RAE ranking rose from 80th place in 2001 to 59th in 2008, leading it to be described as one of the "rising stars" in the UK.[49] Sixty-five per cent of research in art and design at the Faculty of Arts was classified as either "world leading" or "internationally excellent". This places Brighton amongst the leading research centres in the country for art and design and Research Fortnight ranked the submission second in terms of the volume and quality of research.[50]

In June 2010 the Faculty of Education and Sport retained the highest possible rating of 'Outstanding' for its primary and secondary initial teacher education (teacher training) provision, following inspection by Ofsted.[51] In 2008 Brighton was the first university in the country to achieve an 'outstanding' rating for management and quality assurance across the full range of primary, secondary and post-compulsory (16+) teacher education courses.

In 1999 The University of Brighton was named as the first Sunday Times University of The Year.

Educational partnerships

As part of its commitment to widening access to Higher Education the University of Brighton validates degree-level courses taught at a number of partner colleges in Sussex and Surrey.

The University of Brighton also validates higher education courses taught at the KLC School of Design, London and the London School of Osteopathy.[52]

Student life

Halls of residence

  • Moulsecoomb campus
    • Moulsecoomb Place
  • Falmer campus
    • Great Wilkins
    • Paddock Field
  • Grand Parade campus
    • Phoenix Brewery
  • Varley Halls
    • Woodland Lodge and Downland Lodge
    • Ashdown House
    • Balcombe, Chailey and Ditchling
    • Framfield, Selsey, Kingston and Chalvington
  • Eastbourne campus
    • Welkin Halls
  • University Centre Hastings
    • Robert Tressell Halls
    • Robertson Terrace (Private)
    • Havelock Road (Private)

Promoting Israeli-Arab coexistence

In April 2011, fifty football coaches from Israel were trained in Israeli-Arab coexistence skills as part of the Football 4 Peace program, in the UK, so that they will be able to run Football 4 Peacecamps during the summer in Israel. It was developed by the British Council, the Israel Sports Authority, the University of Brighton and the Sports University in Cologne, Germany and is funded by the European Union. Coaches from Jordan and Ireland are also part of this program. The Chelsea School of Sport, part of the University of Brighton, hosts the program.[53]

In addition, the Film and Moving Image department runs an exchange program with The International Academy of Art, Ramallah.

Notable alumni, staff and associates

Many prominent figures in the arts have attended the university, or the institutions from which it was formed. These include Turner Prize winners Keith Tyson and Rachel Whiteread (1982–85)[54] studied at the Faculty of Arts, Brighton, as did Keith Coventry, the winner of 2010 John Moores Painting Prize, the photographer Ewen Spencer, the artist Alison Lapper, the designer Julien Macdonald and the writer-illustrator Emily Gravett.

The list of world-renowned students, lecturers and researchers once at Brighton includes Kate Greenaway Medal winners Emily Gravett, Raymond Briggs and Quentin Blake; children's writer-illustrator Lucy Cousins; Magnum photographer Mark Power; and fashion designer Barbara Hulanicki.

Contributions made to modern visual culture by Brighton Faculty of Arts and Architecture members include Royal Designer for Industry George Hardie's cover designs for Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon, and several series of Royal Mail stamps, and John Vernon Lord's sleeve for Deep Purple's Book of Taliesyn.

The longer history of the school of art in Brighton includes the artists Conrad Heighton Leigh, curator David Crowley, and poster designers Paula Cox and John Bellany. The artist Helen Chadwick took the sculpture course at Brighton Polytechnic (1973–76) and later returned to the institution to teach.[55] The sculptor/woodcarver Robert Koenig, author of the woodcarving project Odyssey also studied on the sculpture course at the same time as Helen Chadwick. The sculptor Antony Gormley formerly taught at Brighton.[56]

See also


External links

  • University of Brighton
  • University of Brighton Students' Union
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