University of Bath

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University of Bath
Motto Generatim discite cultus (Latin. Virgil, Georgics II)
Motto in English "Learn each field of study according to its kind"
Established 1966 (1966)
Type Public
Endowment £4.4 million[1]
Chancellor HRH The Earl of Wessex
Vice-Chancellor Dame Glynis Breakwell
Students 15,449[2]
Undergraduates 10,690[2]
Postgraduates 4,759[2]
Location Bath, Somerset, England, UK
51°22′47″N 2°19′41″W / 51.3796°N 2.3280°W / 51.3796; -2.3280Coordinates: 51°22′47″N 2°19′41″W / 51.3796°N 2.3280°W / 51.3796; -2.3280
Campus Suburban
Colours      Bath Stone[3]
Affiliations ACU
Universities UK
University of Bath Logo

The University of Bath (informally known as Bath University, or simply Bath) is a campus university located in Bath, United Kingdom. It received its Royal Charter in 1966.

According to 2013 National Student Survey (NSS) the University of Bath was ranked 1st for student satisfaction out of more than 150 UK higher education institutions.[4] In The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2014 the University was awarded the title of "Best Campus University in Britain".[5]

Bath was awarded the title of ‘University of the Year 2011/12’.[6]

In the latest Research Assessment Exercise released in December 2008, two thirds of Bath's individual subject submissions are ranked in the top ten nationally, including over a third in the top five.[7]

The university is a member of the Association of Commonwealth Universities, the Association of MBAs, the European Quality Improvement System, the European University Association, and Universities UK.

The University of Bath is also a member of GW4, a grouping which brings together the South West and Wales’ four leading, research-intensive universities. The Universities of Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter are collaborating through their research to address key global challenges for the benefit of society and the economy.

Until 30 October 2012, it was also a member of the 1994 Group.


The University of Bath can trace its roots to a technical school established in Bristol in 1856, the Bristol Trade School. In 1885 the school became part of the Society of Merchant Venturers and was renamed the Merchant Venturers' Technical College (whose alumni include the physicists Paul Dirac and Peter Higgs), an institution founded as a school in 1595.[8] Meanwhile, in the neighbouring city of Bath, a pharmaceutical school, the Bath School of Pharmacy, was founded in 1907. This became part of the Technical College in 1929.

The college came under the control of the Bristol Education Authority in 1949; it was renamed then the Bristol College of Technology, and in 1960 the Bristol College of Science and Technology, when it became one of ten technical colleges under the umbrella of the Ministry of Education. The college was mainly housed in the former Muller's Orphanage at Ashley Down in Bristol, which still houses part of the City of Bristol College whilst the remainder has been converted into residential housing.

In 1963, the Robbins Committee report paved the way for the college (along with a number of other institutions) to assume university status.

Although the grounds of Kings Weston House, in Bristol, were briefly considered — which then, and until 1969, accommodated the College's School of Architecture and Building Engineering — the City of Bristol was unable to offer the expanding college an appropriately sized single site. Following discussions between the College Principal and the Director of Education in Bath, an agreement was reached to provide the college with a new home in Claverton Down, Bath, on a greenfield site overlooking the city.

Construction of the purpose-built campus began in 1964, with the first building, now known as 4 South, completed in 1965, and the Royal Charter was granted in 1966. In November 1966, the first degree-ceremony took place at the Assembly Rooms in Bath. Over the subsequent decade, new buildings were added as the campus took shape.

The city records reveal that there were plans in the mid-19th century to build a college of the University of Oxford on the very same site, which would have resulted in a university of a very different character. Such plans, however, did not come to fruition.

The university logo features the so-called Gorgon's head which is taken, via the University's coat of arms, from a Roman sculpture found in the city. [9]

Campus and facilities[edit]

The Parade, a central pedestrian thoroughfare connecting most academic blocks

Main campus[edit]

The university's main campus is located on Claverton Down, two kilometres from Bath. The site is compact; it is possible to walk from one end to the other in fifteen minutes. The design involved the separation of vehicular and pedestrian traffic, with road traffic on the ground floors and pedestrians on a raised central thoroughfare, known as the Parade. Buildings would line the parade and student residences built on tower blocks rise from the central thoroughfare. Such plans were mostly adhered to.

At the centre of the campus is the Library and Learning Centre, a facility open round the clock offering computing services, information and research assistance as well as books and journals. A number of outlets are housed around the parade, including restaurants, bars and fast-food cafés, plus three banks, a union shop, and one small general and one oriental supermarket, as well as academic blocks. Building names are based on their location and distance vis-à-vis the library (e.g. 1 East, 2 East). Odd-numbered buildings are on the same side of the parade as the library, and even-numbered buildings are on the opposite side.

Buildings along the east-west axis are mostly directly accessible from the parade, which is generally considered to be "level two", but later additions, such as 7 West, 9 West, 3 West North and 8 East, follow this rule less strictly. 7 West is generally only accessible via 5 West or 9 West, and 3 West North, 9 West and 8 East have entrances at ground level at varying distances from the main parade. Buildings on the south of the campus, 1 South to 4 South, are accessible via roads and pedestrian walkways by the university lake and gardens.

Buildings, as in many of the so-called plate glass universities, were constructed in a functional modernist style using concrete, although such designs were later derided for lacking the charm of the Victorian red-brick universities or the ancient and medieval ones. In Bath, there is a particular contrast between the concrete campus and the Georgian style architecture of the World Heritage City of Bath.

The eastern part of the campus is dominated by the Sports Training Village, built in 1992 and enhanced in 2003 with an extension.

The northern perimeter of the university is bounded by student residences Westwood, Eastwood, Brendon Court, Polden Court, Solsbury Court, Marlborough Court and Woodland Court. The original plan for students to be housed in tower blocks above the parade continues with a small number of rooms (110) in Norwood House. However, the second tower block, Wessex House, now hosts a number of offices rather than residences.

The university also owns buildings in the City of Bath, mostly student residences dotted around town, although Carpenter House is also home to a lifelong learning centre and a business facility (the Innovation Centre).

University of Bath (Claverton Down Campus)

Over several years, the grounds have received recognition for their outstanding beauty with awards from Bath in Bloom.[10]

Campus developments[edit]

The university continually upgrades its Claverton Down campus with new teaching blocks. A proposal to move the boundary of the green belt away to the edge of the campus to facilitate further development was agreed in October 2007 by the local council following a public inquiry, although the boundary of the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty still crosses the site. In July 2005, building 3 West North (officially opened on 27 October) was completed. The deconstruction of the asbestos-contaminated 4 West was completed in mid-2005 and the 4 West building opened in April 2010 providing additional teaching and office space.

Completed project
  • 4 West, complete with Cafe, March 2010;
  • A new Student Centre, October 2010
  • The East Building, a multifunction building (Office and teaching rooms), May 2011
Current building projects
  • New general teaching accommodation building, due for completion October 2013[11]
  • New student accommodation building on campus to provide 708 en-suite bedrooms, due to open summer 2014[12]
  • 1 West refurbishment to add new learning and research facilities and computer laboratories and offices.[13]
Proposed building projects
  • Planning application for a new Centre for the Arts was submitted in August 2012. If granted, the proposed building would include a theatre, gallery, performance and rehearsal studios and teaching facilities.[14]

The University of Bath in Swindon[edit]

The university opened a second site, Oakfield Campus, in 2000 on Marlowe Road Swindon, on a site leased from the Council. Formerly Oakfield School, the site was jointly funded by the university and Swindon Council. Officially The University of Bath in Swindon, the campus offered undergraduate courses in childhood studies and social work.[15] The campus was closed in the summer of 2008.[16]


Under the Gateway Project, the university had planned to build a major new campus next to the Great Western Hospital and the Coate Water nature reserve. The project had met opposition from environmentalists and locals[17] but had met with Government approval.[18] The University withdrew from the project in March 2007 citing "prevailing planning and funding conditions".[19]

Academics and courses[edit]

The university's major academic strengths have been engineering (particularly electronic and electrical and mechanical), the physical sciences, mathematics and technology. Today, the university is also strong in management, humanities, architecture and the social sciences. Courses place a strong emphasis on vocational education; the university recommends students to take a one-year industry placement in the penultimate year of the course, although there is no formal recognition of these placements on students' final degree certificates.

According to the latest government assessments, Bath has 15 subjects rated "excellent" (the highest on the scale). These are: Pharmacy and Pharmacology; Business and Management (AMBA accredited); Architecture and Civil Engineering; Economics; Computer Science; Electronic and Electrical engineering; Mechanical Engineering (IMechE accredited); Mathematics, Statistics and Operational research; Education; Molecular Biosciences; Biosciences; Physics and Astronomy; Politics; Sport; Social Policy and Administration.[20]


(2013, national)
(2013, world)
(2013/14, national)
(2013/14, world)
(2013/14, national)
(2013/14, world)
(2014, national)
The Guardian[25]
(2014, national)
Times/Sunday Times[26]
(2014, national)

According to the Complete University Guide published by The Independent, Bath has 23 out of 26 subjects placed within the top 10 in the UK. In addition, Bath's biosciences, physics, mathematics and statistics all achieve maximum points (24/24) in the latest Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA).[27]

On Tuesday 29 May, Guardian published the ‘QS top 50 universities under 50’[28] table for 2012. The rankings are based on the same criteria as for the QS World University Rankings 2011/2012 – size, subject range and research intensity – but with the fourth aspect, age, restricted to those less than 50 years old. The University of Bath was ranked as 12th in the world. Also, on Thursday 31 May, the Times Higher Education published its ‘100 under 50’ table.[29] This table was compiled using the same criteria as their World University Rankings but with the weighting for academic reputation reduced to recognise the fact that older universities have deeper and more established alumni networks. The University were ranked 37th in the THE table.

The University is ranked sixth out of 102 UK institutions, a leap of 15 places, in the latest Times Higher Education (THE) Student Experience Survey published on 25 April 2013.[30]

Admissions and students[edit]

Admissions require top grades at A-Level with twelve applications for each place,[31] the number of applications rising by 16 per cent in 2007.[32]

The university has grown rapidly, particularly in the last few years. As of December 2012, 15,449 students were studying at the university; of whom 10,539 were undergraduates (full-time and part-time) and 4,643 were postgraduates.

Over 25% of students are international students (those with non-British domicile), reflecting the university's strong international reputation, with the largest number coming from China (including Hong Kong), India, Germany and France.[2]

Student life[edit]

Sports and TeamBath[edit]

TeamBath Logo

The university sports operation is branded TeamBath. The university is host to Team Bath F.C. as well as some of the UK's top Olympic athletes.[33] It has one of the best sports facilities in a United Kingdom university,[34] spread over three main sites: two on the Claverton Down campus, known as the Founder's Hall and Sports Training Village (which also hosts the English Institute of Sport for South West England); and at the Sulis Club, a few miles away in Combe Down.

In 2009, Malaysia signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the University of Bath to enable Malaysian athletes preparing for the 2012 London Olympics to train there. The University of Bath is not only capitalised as a venue to prepare athletes for the London Olympics but is also a forward base for sports events like the 2014 Commonwealth Games, the badminton Super Series and cycling circuits in Europe.

Indoor tennis courts at the University

Facilities at the university include a fitness suite, four squash courts, 50-metre indoor swimming pool (The additional 25m pool was demolished in 2011), indoor (110m) and outdoor (400m) athletics tracks, multi-purpose sport halls (including basketball, netball and badminton courts), an eight-court indoor tennis hall, a judo/karate/jitsu dojo and centres for sports science and sports medicine.[35] Outdoor synthetic and natural pitches and grounds cater for football, rugby union, field hockey, lacrosse, and American football. The latest addition to the university's facilities is a Rowing Shed on the River Avon for the Rowing Club, built in 2008. Limited free use of these facilities, with restrictions on times, bookings and frequency of use, can be obtained by students with a membership of the university's sport association.[36] Alternatively, reduced prices are available to students and staff. As of autumn 2011 students had their free access to the university sports facilities, which had been used to attract potential applicants to the university, removed without consultation.[37]

There are also semi-competitive, recreational sporting events. The largest of these is the Interdepartmental Football Cup (IDFC).

Students' union[edit]

The University of Bath Students' Union (BUSU) has been recognised by the NUS as one of the top three in the UK.[38] It runs over 100 clubs and societies including sports clubs, cultural, arts, interest and faith societies, some notable examples are:

  • Bath RAG collects money for local and national charities, raising over £1 million since 1966[38]
  • The Arts Union (including student theatre, musicals, dance, and various musical groups) performs plays and other shows to audiences both on campus and in the town, with support provided by Backstage Technical Services.[39]
  • The Students' Union faith groups include Buddhist, Christian, Islamic, Jewish societies as well as an Atheists, Humanists & Secularists society.
  • Three student media outlets: a fortnightly student newspaper, Bath Impact; a radio station, 1449AM URB;[40] and a television station, Campus TV (CTV).[41]

Notable alumni[edit]

Arts and media
Politicians, lawyer, and civil servants
Business people
Sports personalities

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Financial Statements 2011-2012" (PDF). University of Bath. Retrieved 9 February 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d
  3. ^ "colour palette" (PDF). University of Bath. Retrieved 12 February 2011. 
  4. ^ "University of Bath National Student Survey results 2013". 
  5. ^ "University of Bath rankings". 
  6. ^ Post. "Alastair McCall, 'University of Bath University of the Year', ''The Sunday Times'', 11th September 2011, University Guide 2012 section". Retrieved 2012-06-08. 
  7. ^ "University celebrates Research Assessment successes". 2008-12-18. Retrieved 2012-06-08. 
  8. ^ "Education". Merchant Venturers. Retrieved 18 January 2014. 
  9. ^ Eva London / Bath graduation rings
  10. ^ "Bath in Bloom Competition". BANES Council. Archived from the original on 2008-05-03. Retrieved 2008-10-14. 
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ "New University of Bath Centre for the Arts will aim to maximise space". University of Bath. Retrieved 17 March 2011. 
  15. ^ "University of Bath in Swindon". 
  16. ^ Wallin, James (7 May 2009). "University's Oakfield campus may be demolished". This is Wiltshire. 
  17. ^ Hayward, Alan. "Swindon Civic Trust Town Centre University Proposal". Swindon Civic Trust. Retrieved 2010-12-12. 
  18. ^ Osborne, Anthony (2004-10-20). "Coate gets the vote". Swindon Advertiser. Retrieved 2007-03-22. 
  19. ^ "University of Bath withdraws from Gateway project" (Press release). University of Bath. 2007-03-01. Retrieved 2007-03-22. 
  20. ^ David Brown Cracow Last updated at 2:23PM, 8 June 2012 (2012-05-23). "''The Times''". Retrieved 2012-06-08. 
  21. ^ a b "Academic Ranking of World Universities 2013". Shanghai Ranking Consultancy. Retrieved 3 October 2013. 
  22. ^ a b "QS World University Rankings 2013/14". Quacquarelli Symonds. Retrieved 10 September 2013. 
  23. ^ a b "Top European Universities 2013-14". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 3 October 2013. 
  24. ^ "University League Table 2014". The Complete University Guide. Retrieved 30 April 2013. 
  25. ^ "University guide 2014: University league table". The Guardian. 3 June 2013. Retrieved 3 June 2013. 
  26. ^ "The Times and Sunday Times University League Tables 2014". Times Newspapers. Retrieved 22 September 2013. 
  27. ^ David Brown Cracow Last updated at 2:23PM, 8 June 2012 (2012-05-23). "". Retrieved 2012-06-08. 
  28. ^ "The QS top 50 universities under 50 2012 | Higher Education Network | Guardian Professional". Guardian. 29 May 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-08. 
  29. ^ "THE 100 under 50" (PDF). Times Higher Education. Retrieved 8 June 2012. 
  30. ^ "THE Student Experience Survey 2013" (HTM). Times Higher Education. Retrieved 27 April 2013. 
  31. ^ University of Bath, Push, accessed 25 August 2007
  32. ^ Profile: University of Bath, The Times, 15 August 2007, accessed 25 August 2007
  33. ^ "Bath's role talked up as one-year countdown to Olympics begins". Bath Chronicle. 27 July 2011. Retrieved 1 September 2011. 
  34. ^ David Brown Cracow Last updated at 2:23PM, 8 June 2012. "". Retrieved 2012-06-08. 
  35. ^ "Teambath". University of Bath. Retrieved 8 October 2012. 
  36. ^ "". Retrieved 2012-06-08. 
  37. ^ UK (2011-02-08). "New student sports membership aims to enhance sports provision at the University". Retrieved 2012-06-08. 
  38. ^ a b "University of Bath - Facts and Figures 2010". Retrieved 2011-01-18. 
  39. ^ "". Retrieved 2012-06-08. 
  40. ^ "". Retrieved 2012-06-08. 
  41. ^ "CTV • Uni of Bath Students Union Campus Television". Retrieved 2012-06-08. 

External links[edit]