Staffordshire University

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Staffordshire University
Staffordshire University logo.png
Former names
North Staffordshire Polytechnic
Established1992 - gained university status
1971 - North Staffordshire Polytechnic
ChancellorFrancis Fitzherbert, 15th Baron Stafford
Vice-ChancellorProfessor Liz Barnes [2]
Administrative staff
Students14,910 (2016/17)[3]
Undergraduates12,830 (2016/17)[3]
Postgraduates2,080 (2016/17)[3]
LocationStaffordshire (Stafford; Stoke-on-Trent; Lichfield), Shropshire (Shrewsbury), United Kingdom
CampusUrban and Rural
ColoursRed and Black         
Association of Commonwealth Universities

Staffordshire University is a 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.[4]


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.[5]

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 a teacher training facility in Madeley, Staffordshire.

The polytechnic developed traditional strengths of the component institutions, e.g. ceramics (Stoke-on-Trent),[6] computing (Stafford)[7] 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 amongst 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.


Staffordshire University, College Road, Stoke. The building shown is the former technical college, opened 1914

The university has two main campuses, four smaller campuses,[8] 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. These have fully furnished small office spaces with internet access.[9]

In the 2012/13 academic year, the VC, 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. As yet no definitive conclusion has been made and the ultimate result will based on many decisive factors including student feedback and financial viability. It is anticipated that the review will take a year to carry out. 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.[10] 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.[11]


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, 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.[12] The old science building on the College Road campus, Mellor building has since been refurbished to form the new home of the School of Engineering (which moved from the Stafford Beaconside campus) in 2013 and applied computing which moved from 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 called the "LRV" short for the Leek Road Venue. 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, and 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.[13] 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.[14] The new £1 million development features up-to-date technology and industry specification equipment.

Stafford and Shrewsbury[edit]

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 have closed the Stafford campus but have kept the Centre of Excellence in Stafford on Blackheath.[15]


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 near Lichfield City railway station.[16]

Shrewsbury, Telford, and Oswestry[edit]

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 neighbouring county Shropshire.[17]


The university has many students studying overseas 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 Hanoi, Vietnam through the British University Vietnam.

The university has a strong partnership with the 'Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium.

Regenerating Stoke-on-Trent[edit]

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]

Halls of residence[edit]

The university offers guaranteed accommodation for all first year students, provided the university is their firm UCAS choice.[20] 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.[21]



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 of about 30 students over three floors, each 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 which inhabit up to 6 people each.[22]


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.

Private sector[edit]

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 popular College Court Halls, which are privately run and operate in a similar way to halls. The Halls are situated opposite to Hanley Park and are within close range to the university.

Off-campus - Previously Existing Accommodation[edit]

Stafford possessed two high-rise blocks of flats in the Highfields estate of Stafford up until the late 1990s. These were "Brooke Court" and "Binyon Court".[23] The accommodation in these was seen by the University students as being sub-par and after being condemned in the mid-90s, Brooke Court was demolished and Binyon Court was sold off.

Academic profile[edit]

The university is noted for its science departments; in 2002 Psychology 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.[24]

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.[25]

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.[14] 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 Guardian[27]
Times / Sunday Times[28]

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.[29] 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[edit]

The university's world ranking is 1,354 in 2010, according to[30]

Student life[edit]

Students' Union[edit]

Staffordshire University Students' Union aims to represent students at the university. Constitutionally it is governed by the student body via referendums, 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.[31]


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 have engaged in an annual varsity match.

Notable alumni[edit]

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.


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Professor Liz Barnes". Staffordshire University. Retrieved 2016-05-25.
  3. ^ a b c "2016/17 Students by HE provider, level, mode and domicile" (CSV). Higher Education Statistics Agency. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  4. ^ "Campuses and Maps". Archived from the original on 28 September 2012. Retrieved 16 July 2015.
  5. ^ "Library refurbishment". Staffordshire University. Archived from the original on 8 February 2014. Retrieved 13 February 2014.
  6. ^ "Ceramics Workshops". Staffordshire University. Archived from the original on 9 November 2009. Retrieved 29 July 2010.
  7. ^ "Computing". Staffordshire University. Retrieved 29 July 2010.
  8. ^ "Campuses and Maps". Staffordshire University. Archived from the original on 22 July 2010. Retrieved 29 July 2010.
  9. ^ "Business Villages". Staffordshire University. Archived from the original on 31 July 2010. Retrieved 29 July 2010.
  10. ^ Retrieved 13 December 2013. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  11. ^ "University relocation decision is in best interests of students". Retrieved 16 July 2015.
  12. ^ "UniQ - A unique solution for a unique city". Staffordshire University. Retrieved 29 July 2010.
  13. ^ "Film Theatre". Staffordshire University. Archived from the original on 9 November 2009. Retrieved 29 July 2010.
  14. ^ a b "Studios & facilities". Staffordshire University. Archived from the original on 23 December 2012. Retrieved 29 July 2010.
  15. ^ "Staffordshire University to close Stafford campus". BBC News. Retrieved 16 July 2015.
  16. ^ "Staffordshire University Lichfield Centre". Staffordshire University. Archived from the original on 23 August 2010. Retrieved 29 July 2010.
  17. ^ "Shrewsbury Campus". Staffordshire University. Archived from the original on 24 June 2010. Retrieved 29 July 2010.
  18. ^ "Maps and further information on the Stoke-on-Trent University Quarter". Archived from the original on 31 August 2006. Retrieved 13 August 2006.
  19. ^ University of Staffordshire, "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 October 2013. Retrieved 9 September 2013.
  20. ^ [1][permanent dead link]
  21. ^ The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2015, accessed 15 October 2015
  22. ^ [2] Archived 1 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  23. ^ "Binyon Court, from Stafford Castle". Flickr - Photo Sharing!. Retrieved 16 July 2015.
  24. ^ "Forensic and Crime Science". Staffordshire University. Retrieved 29 July 2010.
  25. ^ "Cisco Training". Staffordshire University. Archived from the original on 4 August 2010. Retrieved 29 July 2010.
  26. ^ "University League Table 2019". The Complete University Guide. Retrieved 26 April 2018.
  27. ^ "University league tables 2019". The Guardian. 29 May 2018. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  28. ^ "The Times and Sunday Times University Good University Guide 2019". Times Newspapers. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
  29. ^ "Degree Course Accreditations Faculty of Sciences". Retrieved 16 July 2015.
  30. ^ "Ranking Web of World universities: Top 12,000 World Ranking". Archived from the original on 11 June 2011. Retrieved 29 December 2010.
  31. ^ "Staffordshire University Student's Union Constitution" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-12-29.
  32. ^ "Students' Lego Inception film trailer is a global hit". Retrieved 16 July 2015.
  33. ^ Madden, Lawrie (18 May 2010). "Stevenage star is back in the big time". Professional Footballers' Association. Archived from the original on 13 June 2011.
  34. ^ "The Home Of Caribbean Football". Archived from the original on 26 August 2016. Retrieved 23 August 2016.
  35. ^ "Staffs graduate signed by Leicester City FC". Staffordshire University. Retrieved 11 August 2018.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 53°00′35″N 2°10′54″W / 53.0097°N 2.1817°W / 53.0097; -2.1817