University of Huddersfield

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University of Huddersfield
University of Huddersfield new logo December 2013.jpg
Motto Inspiring tomorrow's professionals
Type Public
Established 1992 -University status
1825 -Huddersfield Science and Mechanics' Institute
Endowment £2.47 m (2015)[1]
Chancellor HRH The Duke of York
Vice-Chancellor Bob Cryan
Administrative staff
1,100 academic,
900 support
Students 19,270 (2015/16)[2]
Undergraduates 14,805 (2015/16)[2]
Postgraduates 4,470 (2015/16)[2]
Location Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, England
Campus Semi-urban
Colours Blue     

University Alliance Association of Commonwealth Universities

Universities UK
A View of Queensgate Campus

The University of Huddersfield (informally Huddersfield University) is a public university located in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, England.


In 2016, the University celebrated it's 175th anniversary. A timeline of important, people, places and events in the organisational history can be viewed on the 175th website.

In 1825 there was an attempt to set up a Scientific and Mechanics Institution in the town. Supported by a group of donors, its Patron was leading Whig and large local landowner Sir John Ramsden. Its aims were to instruct local mechanics and tradesmen in scientific principles relating to their work, through lectures and a circulation library, which by 1827 contained over 700 volumes. The financial crisis of 1825–1826 led to the failure of the institution’s bankers, and it faltered and later became part of the Huddersfield Philosophical Society, an organisation with which its rules now more closely aligned.[3] Some 19th century students earned qualifications as external students of the University of London.[4]

Young Men's Mental Improvement Society (1841–1843)[edit]

It was in 1841 that five young men who were employed by local industrialist Frederick Schwann[5] (born in Frankfurt c.1799–1882), approached their employer for support in establishing a new subscription library and some elementary educational classes, ‘to supply in some cases the deficiency of early instruction, and to procure for others the means of further improvement’.[6] They first met in the Temperance Hotel, Cross Church Street, Huddersfield in May 1841. Classes began for the first 40 or so pupils in the room of the British School at Outcote Bank, and were taught by experienced staff from the local Collegiate Schools and businessmen like Schwann. A subscription library was founded, and classes were delivered in Reading, writing, arithmetic, grammar, geography, design and French.

Huddersfield Mechanics' Institution (1844–1883)[edit]

The increase in student numbers prompted a move to Nelson's Buildings in New Street, and the renaming of the institution to more closely reflect its remit. The first Secretary, Robert Neil, was appointed in 1844, and acted not just as a Secretary but as a teacher-supervisor, influencing the formative development of the organisation. In March 1844 he organised an Soiree (tea-party) for 700 at the town's Philosophical Hall, and in May a Rural Gala for 500 at Fixby Pastures. Negotiations with the local railway company led to reduced fares into York for 300 membership to enjoy the cultural opportunities of the city.[7] In 1846, Neil was succeeded by George Searle Phillips, who was described by historian John O'Connell as 'philosopher, propagandist and missionary'[6] of the institution. He oversaw expansion of the curriculum, revision of the fee system to make the institution self-supporting, the visitation of absent students and the compilation of statistics of the institution's achievements.

In 1850, growing attendance meant another move, to Wellington Buildings, Queen Street. At this time, a 'Preliminary Savings Bank' scheme was also introduced in the Institution, linked to the Huddersfield Banking Company, which took almost 7000 deposits[8] during its first year of operation. Based on the Scottish system of encouraging working people to make small, regular saving deposits, it was a forerunner of the Post Office Savings Bank, founded in 1861. In 1854, after Phillips resignation, Frank Curzon took over as Secretary and remained in post until 1883. During his tenure a prize giving and distribution ceremony was introduced to reward attendance and good conduct. He not only oversaw a recruitment drive, but also the move to the first purpose built home of the institution, on Northumberland Street. The institution took possession in 1861, as student numbers passed 800 annually.[9]

The continued prosperity of the institution during the 1860s has been attributed to two main developments – the demand for more technical and scientific education, and the introduction of an examination system by the newly formed national Department of Science and Art. The institution managed an examinations system and gave grants to science schools (often based in Mechanics' Institutions) on a 'payment by results' basis. In 1857 the Society of Arts held its first examinations outside London at Huddersfield.[10]

1846 – Female Educational Institute Formed.
1883 – New Technical School Holds Exhibition.
1884 – 1896 – Technical School and Mechanics' Institution.
1896 – Technical School and Mechanic's Institute becomes the Technical College.
1958 – Technical College becomes College of Technology.
1970 – College of Technology amalgamates with Oastler College of Education (opened in 1963) to become Huddersfield Polytechnic.[11]
1992 – Huddersfield Polytechnic becomes the University of Huddersfield.

The archives of all the university's predecessors are held in Heritage Quay, the University Archive Service based in the Schwann Building.[12]

The university is a founding member of the Northern Consortium and a member of the Yorkshire Universities. The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Bob Cryan, previously sat as chair of this regional Higher Education association.


Queensgate Campus[edit]

Queensgate Campus

The university's main campus, Queensgate, is south-east of Huddersfield town centre. Over £100 million has been invested in the campus and its resources over the last 10 years. After £1 million renovation work, the Student Centre was formally opened in November 2007 by Chancellor Sir Patrick Stewart. The centre enables students to access a range of support services (computing, library, careers, welfare support) in a single location. The four floors of the library were refurbished from 2008 to 2009.

A £4 million students' union building was opened in 2005 with a variety of social, leisure and retail facilities. New drama facilities were opened in the refurbished Milton building, in 2005.

A Creative Arts Building, designed by Darnton EGS, was completed in 2008. It has a recital hall, electro-acoustic research studio, new art and design studios and live recording facilities. The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh visited the university in May 2007 to unveil the foundation stone of the new building.[13]

A new £16 million business school opened to students in September 2010.[14] The 3M Buckley Innovation Centre opened for business in 2012.

A new student learning and leisure facility 'Student Central' opened in January 2014.[15] Student Central includes new sports facilities, catering outlets, study and support services.

University Campus Oldham[edit]

University Campus Oldham (UCO), located in Oldham, Greater Manchester, opened in May 2005. It offers full and part-time courses at degree, diploma, foundation degree and postgraduate level. Since August 2012 University Campus Oldham (UCO) has been managed by Oldham College. UCO programmes continue to be validated by the university, and lead to a University of Huddersfield award.

University Campus Barnsley[edit]

University Campus Barnsley, located in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, opened in 2005. The campus offers facilities for subjects such as music, art and design, journalism and media production. £5.5 million has been invested with the help of the Higher Education Funding Council for England, Yorkshire Forward and Objective 1.

From August 2013 University Campus Barnsley (UCB) has been managed by Barnsley College. UCB programmes starting in September 2013 will continue to be validated by the university, and will lead to a University of Huddersfield award.

International Study Centre[edit]

The International Study Centre (ISC) at the university offers degree preparation courses for international students. The programmes are run by Study Group. The ISC is located on the university’s main Queensgate campus. Students can mix with others and also have access to the library and other specialist IT facilities.[16]

Organisation and governance[edit]

The Creative Arts Building.


Prince Andrew has replaced actor Sir Patrick Stewart as the university’s Chancellor in July 2015.[17]


In July 2013, Prince Andrew became the Patron of the University.[18]


The university is organised into the following academic schools:

Research activities[edit]

New Business School

The university is focused on strengthening and enhancing its research facility; the institution has invested nearly £1.4 million in information provision in 2008/09.[citation needed] A further £2.75 million was invested in computing resources.[citation needed]

During 2008/09 there was further significant investment in facilities and equipment, including a new Creative Arts Building opened in September 2008, with a recital hall, electro-acoustic research studio, new art and design studios and live recording facilities.

A £228,000 Nanoform 250 Ultragrind machining centre was used to investigate nano-material removal and to support research activity within the centre for precision technologies in the School of Computing and Engineering.[citation needed]

A £160,000 single crystal x-ray diffractometer which uses x-rays to provide the three-dimensional structure of chemical compounds. This is being used by researchers in the university’s chemistry department.[citation needed]

A new business school building, which represents an investment of over £16 million was opened in September 2010. The building will provide improved facilities including a mock court room and ‘The Street’ – a contemporary social space overlooking a central courtyard. The building has been designed to be energy efficient, incorporating energy saving technology.[citation needed]

Student life[edit]


The Storthes Hall Park Student Village and Ashenhurst Student Houses are the university affiliated accommodation. These residences are privately owned and operated by Digs Student, independently of the university.

Storthes Hall is situated in a parkland to the south of the town with 1,386 en-suite single, double or disabled bedrooms in shared flats of six to eight students.

Ashenhurst Houses are located in woodlands close to the campus and Storthes Hall Park. There are 280 single bedrooms in shared houses of six to eight students, all with shared facilities including a communal lounge and kitchen/dining area.

The majority of students move away from Storthes Hall and Ashenhurst after living there in their first year at the university due to the distance from the town centre/university and the Halls of Residence feel they have to them.

Students' Union[edit]

The Students' Union represents, supports and advises students on all aspects of their time at university.

Led by five elected officers the Students’ Union is run by students, for students. Located in the new purpose-built £22.5 million Student Central, the Students’ Union now boasts a range of services.[citation needed]

Services include Student Activities – sports clubs and societies, the Give it a Go scheme, one-off events and Student Media (RadioHud and T’HUD Magazine); Volunteering – providing opportunities to help support the local community or national charitable organisations; Representation – making sure the Students’ Union is a member-led organisation; the Advice Centre – offers confidential and impartial support on any welfare, financial or academic issues; and last but not least the SU Shop – providing day-to-day essentials in the centre of campus.[citation needed]

Information on all SU services can be found on[19]

Reputation and rankings[edit]

(2016/17, national)
(2016/17, world)
(2016/17, national)
(2016/17, world)
(2017, national)
The Guardian[25]
(2017, national)
Times/Sunday Times[26]
(2017, national)

Huddersfield was ranked joint first out of all Yorkshire universities for high quality staff and lectures in the opinion panel research survey in 2007.[citation needed] The university achieved the highest ranking of any mainstream university in the United Kingdom for assessment and feedback in the 2011 survey[27]

The Sunday Times Good University Guide, ranked the university 64th out of 122 in 2013.

The university achieved the highest ranking in the 2011 International Student Barometer conducted by the International Graduate Insight Group[28]

QS world university rankings 2015–16[edit]

University of Huddersfield was ranked 701+ in the 2015–16 world university ranking[29]

People & Planet Green League[edit]

The university rose 63 places to 8th in the 2008 People & Planet Green League, representing the highest rise by any university.[30] Despite a standing of 71st in 2007 it achieved the second lowest CO2 emission rate of any university in the UK,[31] The rise to 8th in the UK was attributed to existing green activity, including the use of canal water in cooling systems and the continued low carbon emissions (13% lower than 2007), as well as new foci such as a push for improved levels of recycling and the introduction of rain water harvesting.[32] In the 2009 Green League the university achieved 18th position and thus, despite slipping ten places, maintained its rating as first class for environmental performance.[33] In 2010, the university had risen back into the top 10.[34]


The university was the Entrepreneurial University of the Year at the THE awards 2012.[35]

The university was the winner of the Outstanding Registry Team 2013 at the THE Leadership and Management awards 2013.[36]

The university was University of the Year at the THE awards 2013.[37]

In 2014 the university was named the Times Higher Education's (THE) Best University Workplace.[38]

The university was the New University of the Year at the Educate North Awards 2015.


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c "2015/16 Students by HE provider, level, mode and domicile" (XLSX). Higher Education Statistics Agency. Retrieved 17 February 2017. 
  3. ^ Rules of the Huddersfield Scientific and Mechanic Institute for the Promotion of Useful Knowledge. Est. 25 April 1825 (HUD/GV/3).  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  4. ^ "Student lists". Archived from the original on 14 September 2010. Retrieved 7 October 2010. 
  5. ^ "Huddersfield Exposed – John Frederic Schwann". Retrieved 14 December 2016. 
  6. ^ a b O'Connell, John (2016). The Making of a University: The Path to Higher Education in Huddersfield. University of Huddersfield Press. p. 4. 
  7. ^ Annual Report 1845. Huddersfield Mechanics' Institution. 1845 (HUD/GV/2/1). 
  8. ^ Annual Report 1852. Huddersfield Mechanics' Institution. 1852. p. 4 (HUD/GV/2/1). 
  9. ^ Annual Report 1862. Huddersfield Mechanics' Institution. 1862. p. 4 (HUD/GV/2/1). 
  10. ^ "Celebrating 160 Years of the Society of Arts (SA) and Royal Society of Arts (RSA) Examinations". Technical Education Matters. Retrieved 14 December 2016. 
  11. ^ "Teacher Education at Huddersfield 1947–2007 – University of Huddersfield Online Store". Retrieved 15 July 2015. 
  12. ^ "Heritage Quay | What will you discover?". Retrieved 14 December 2016. 
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ "Facilities – University of Huddersfield". Retrieved 15 July 2015. 
  16. ^ "University preparation courses in Huddersfield UK". Retrieved 15 July 2015. 
  17. ^ Press Association (13 July 2015). "Prince Andrew gives Vulcan salute to Patrick Stewart at university ceremony". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 July 2015. 
  18. ^ "Duke to be patron of university". Batley News. 
  19. ^ "Huddersfield Students' Union". Retrieved 15 July 2015. 
  20. ^ "QS World University Rankings 2016/17 - United Kingdom". Quacquarelli Symonds Ltd. Retrieved 7 September 2016. 
  21. ^ "QS World University Rankings 2016/17". Quacquarelli Symonds Ltd. Retrieved 7 September 2016. 
  22. ^ "World University Rankings 2016-17 - United Kingdom". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 21 September 2016. 
  23. ^ "World University Rankings 2016-17". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 21 September 2016. 
  24. ^ "University League Table 2017". The Complete University Guide. Retrieved 25 April 2016. 
  25. ^ "University league tables 2017". The Guardian. 23 May 2013. Retrieved 23 May 2016. 
  26. ^ "The Times and Sunday Times University Good University Guide 2017". Times Newspapers. Retrieved 23 September 2016. 
  27. ^
  28. ^ Linda Whitwam (5 November 2011). "Huddersfield University voted best for overseas students". huddersfieldexaminer. Retrieved 15 July 2015. 
  29. ^ University of Huddersfield | Top Universities
  30. ^ "People & Planet – The People & Planet University League 2008". Retrieved 15 July 2015. 
  31. ^ "People & Planet – People & Planet University League 2007". Retrieved 15 July 2015. 
  32. ^ "People & Planet – University of Huddersfield – The People & Planet University League 2008's Most Improved University". Retrieved 15 July 2015. 
  33. ^ "People & Planet – People & Planet University League 2009". Retrieved 15 July 2015. 
  34. ^ "The People & Planet Green League is now the People & Planet University League". Retrieved 15 July 2015. 
  35. ^ "THE Awards Winners 2012". Retrieved 15 July 2015. 
  36. ^ "Winners". Retrieved 15 July 2015. 
  37. ^ "2013 Winners :: THE Awards 2013". Retrieved 15 July 2015. 
  38. ^ "Awards history". Retrieved 31 July 2015. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 53°38′36″N 1°46′42″W / 53.64324°N 1.77837°W / 53.64324; -1.77837