University of Lincoln

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University of Lincoln
Motto Latin: Libertas per Sapientiam[1]
Motto in English
Freedom through wisdom[1]
Type Public
Established 1861 – Hull School of Art[2]
1976 – Hull College of Higher Education
1983 – Humberside College of Higher Education
1992 – University of Humberside
1996 – University of Lincolnshire and Humberside
2001 – University of Lincoln
Chancellor Victor Adebowale, Baron Adebowale
Vice-Chancellor Professor Mary Stuart[3]
Administrative staff
Students 13,265 (2014/15)[5]
Undergraduates 11,085 (2014/15)[5]
Postgraduates 2,180 (2014/15)[5]
Location Lincoln, Lincolnshire, England
Colours      Blue[6]
Affiliations University Alliance
East Midlands Universities Association
Yorkshire Universities
University of Lincoln logo landscape.png

The University of Lincoln is a public research university in the city of Lincoln, England. The university has origins tracing back to 1861,[7] and after gaining university status in 1992, was known as the University of Humberside until 1996 and the University of Lincolnshire and Humberside until 2001, when it adopted its present name.

Lincoln is one of two universities in the city, alongside Bishop Grosseteste University. Lincoln's main campus is adjacent to Brayford Pool, the site of urban regeneration in the city since the 1990s; further campuses are located in Riseholme and Holbeach.[8]

The Independent described the university as "the best thing to happen to Lincoln since the Romans".[9] Lincoln has rapidly moved up in the university rankings, having risen 60 places in 4 years. The Sunday Times newspaper, responsible for The Times Good University Guide, has described the university's progression as "the most dramatic transformation of a university in recent times".[10] In 2012, the university ranked in the top 50 of The Guardian University Guide for the first time.[11] and in 2016, it has been ranked among the top 40 English universities in the first major student guide by The Complete University[12]

It is the University of Lincoln's annual tradition for student graduation ceremonies to take place at the medieval Lincoln Cathedral.



The University of Lincoln developed from a number of educational institutions in Hull including the Hull School of Art (1861), the Hull Technical Institute (1893), the Roman Catholic teacher-training Endsleigh College (1905), the Hull Central College of Commerce (1930), and Kingston upon Hull College of Education (1913).[13][14] These institutions merged in 1976 to form Hull College of Higher Education,[15] with a change of name to Humberside College of Higher Education in 1983 when it absorbed several courses in fishing, food and manufacturing based in Grimsby.[13]


In 1992 it was one of the many institutions in the UK to become full universities as, briefly, the University of Humberside, growing to 13,000 students by 1993.[13]

The cathedral city of Lincoln was without its own university, so the University of Humberside was approached to develop a new campus to the south west of the city centre, overlooking the Brayford Pool. The University was renamed the University of Lincolnshire and Humberside in January 1996, taking in its first 500 Lincoln students in September 1996, intending to grow to about 4,000 Lincoln based students within four years.[16]

21st century[edit]

Looking towards the University of Lincoln across the Brayford Pool

With another change of name to the University of Lincoln in October 2001, a new campus was built in Lincoln. The University moved its main campus from Hull to Lincoln in 2002.[17]

Opened by Queen Elizabeth II, the University's main campus in Lincoln was the first new city centre campus to be built in the UK for decades. More than £150 million has been invested in the Brayford Pool campus, transforming a city centre brownfield site, revitalising the area and attracting investment from the retail, leisure and property sectors. Economists estimate that the University has created at least 3,000 new jobs within Lincoln and that it generates more than £250 million every year for the local economy – doubling previous local economic growth rates.[18]

The consolidation involved the University of Lincoln acquiring Leicester-based De Montfort University's schools in Lincolnshire: the Lincoln School of Art and Design in uphill Lincoln, and the Lincolnshire School of Agriculture's sites at Riseholme, Caythorpe and Holbeach. Caythorpe was later closed permanently and its activities moved to Riseholme. Courses held in Grimsby were also moved to Lincoln around this time.

In 2012 all Further Education provision was transferred from Riseholme College to Bishop Burton College. Bishop Burton College are now responsible for the Riseholme College to the north of the city.

Minerva Building, University of Lincoln

Throughout the late-1990s, the University's sites in Hull were considerably scaled down as the focus shifted towards Lincoln. In 2001 this process was taken a step further when the decision was made to move the administrative headquarters and management to Lincoln and to sell the Cottingham Road campus in Hull, the former main campus, to its neighbour, the University of Hull; the site is now the home of the Hull York Medical School. Until 2012 the University maintained a smaller campus, the Derek Crothall Building, in Hull city centre. A smaller campus and student halls on Beverley Road, Hull, were also sold for redevelopment.

On 28 October 2004, following its redevelopment as a specialist food science technology park, the National Centre for Food Manufacturing at Holbeach was reopened by John Hayes, the Member of Parliament for South Holland and the Deepings.


The university is structured as a college based system with each college led by a Pro Vice Chancellor. There are three colleges of study, each comprising of schools, institutes and research centres.

College of Art[edit]

The College of Arts undertakes internationally recognised research, and welcomes students from across the globe to join the academic community with a range of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. The college is led by Pro Vice Chancellor, Professor Matthew Cragoe.[19] The college is also home to Siren FM, a community radio station based at the University which broadcasts to the city of Lincoln on 107.3 FM and on its website.

School of Architecture & Design[edit]

The School of Architecture & Design provides a dynamic, multidisciplinary design environment founded on creativity, exploration and innovation. Students develop the skills and experience necessary to become successful practising designers and researchers.[20] The school is based in the Art, Architecture and Design Building, designed by world-renowned architect Rick Mather, this award-winning £10 million building is the creative and technical hub for courses related to fine art, architecture and design.

School of English & Journalism[edit]

The School of English & Journalism is also accredited by the BJTC, making it a nationally recognised course among leading broadcasters, including the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Sky News.[21] The School’s research profile includes expertise in Shakespeare and his contemporaries, the Victorian sensation novel, 21st Century fiction, women and the press, and peace journalism.[22]

School of Film & Media[edit]

The School of Film & Media has earned a strong reputation in league tables for its BA and MA Media Production degrees.[23] It recently upgraded its television studios to high definition and The Lincoln Sound Theatre was opened in 2010 by Visiting Professor Trevor Dann.[24] Recently the BA Hons Audio Production course has received JAMES Accreditation (Joint Audio Media Education Support).[25]

School of Fine & Performing Arts[edit]

The School of Fine & Performing Arts is a centre of creativity with a purpose-built arts venue, studios and gallery. It is home to a vibrant artistic community where students and staff work alongside one another to explore new synergies between fine and performing arts.[26] The school enjoy the facilities of the Lincoln Performing Arts Centre which features a 450 seat theatre and studios for dance, drama and music, as well as office spaces and control and dimming rooms designed to enable instruction of students during live performance.

School of History & Heritage[edit]

The School of History & Heritage pairs research and teaching clustered around two key areas, history and conservation. The school enjoys particular strengths in political cultures, gender, medieval history and architectural paint research.[27] Lincoln is home to the largest centre for conservation and restoration study in the UK and, with more than 40 years’ experience, is a leading authority in the field. The school is also home to Crick Smith, the University’s conservation consultancy which undertakes high-profile projects with clients including the Historic Royal Palaces and the Victoria and Albert Museum.[28]

College of Science[edit]

The College of Science is led by Pro Vice Chancellor, Professor Andrew Hunter and is home to internationally recognised research and teaching.[29]

School of Chemistry[edit]

The School of Chemistry brings together research active academic staff and students in a vibrant research-driven environment to develop new chemical innovation and chemists for the future.[30] The school is currently in the process of applying for accreditation of the BSc Chemistry by the Royal Society of Chemistry[31] and the school's BSc Forensic Science course is accredited by the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences.[32]

School of Computer Science[edit]

The School of Computer Science holds a broad range of expertise in computing technologies and information systems, including specialisms in robotics and autonomous systems, computer vision and image engineering, medical applications of technology, social computing, games computing, cultural computing and business computing.[33]

School of Engineering[edit]

Opening in 2011, in collaboration with Siemens, the School of Engineering became the first engineering school to be created in the UK for more than 20 years.[34] The School is housed in the purpose-built Engineering Hub, this building contains undergraduate and postgraduate lecture theatres, seminar rooms, teaching and project laboratories. In addition, research laboratories, engine and gas turbine testing facilities and workshops, all fully equipped, and designed for industrial engagement.

The building, designed by London Architects Allies and Morrison is the result of a long-standing collaborative effort between the University of Lincoln and Siemens Industrial Turbomachinery Lincoln. Siemens have co-located their product training facility in custom designed locations within the build, this has cemented links between Siemens and the University of Lincoln for both teaching and research in many fields of engineering.[35]

School of Life Science[edit]

The School of Life Science provides an interdisciplinary environment where excellence in teaching and research are highly valued, and opportunities exist for students and staff to pursue their scientific ambitions. The quality of the school's research was confirmed in the recent government REF assessment in which 90% of submitted papers were judged to be internationally excellent or world-leading.[36]

School of Mathematics & Physics[edit]

The School of Mathematics and Physics is the latest academic school to join the University of Lincoln. Mathematics courses within the school have been accredited by the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications and the physics courses are in the process of accreditation by the Institute of Physics.

School of Pharmacy[edit]

The School of Pharmacy offers a BSc Pharmaceutical Sciences, MPharm programme and a range of postgraduate research opportunities.

National Centre for Food Manufacturing[edit]

The National Centre for Food Manufacturing (NCFM) is a major resource for the UK’s food industry with over 250 companies accessing courses for their employees, research and innovation. A nationally leading specialist provider of education to the sector, NCFM is dedicated to helping food industry professionals advance their careers through part-time degrees, higher apprenticeships and short courses. NCFM also plays a key role in delivering research and innovation to help food businesses to innovate aided by our partnerships with technology suppliers and outstanding specialist food factory and lab facilities.[37]

Lincoln Institute for Health[edit]

The Lincoln Institute for Health (LIH) is a university-wide multidisciplinary research collaboration linking schools, colleges and external partners to investigate key issues of concern for health, social care and well-being using a ‘cell to community’ approach.[38]

College of Social Science[edit]

The College of Social Science is led by Pro Vice Chancellor, Professor Sara Owen, and is the largest College at the University with a wide range of teaching a research interests.[39]

Business School[edit]

The Business School is a learning environment in which business leaders, policy makers and managers can develop their capacity to create sustainable futures in responsible ways. The school facilitates leadership and management development through events, short courses, work-based degrees, masters programmes and PhDs.[40]

School of Education[edit]

The School of Education is committed to the advancement of knowledge and its application in all fields of education. The School's teaching and research are based on the belief that educational theory and practice are inextricably linked.[41]

School of Health & Social Care[edit]

The School of Health & Social Care is home to a variety of professionally accredited courses in nursing and social work as well as its vocationally oriented Health and Social Care degree. The School is also home to the Professional Development Centre which offers professional development programmes, consultancy services and collaborative applied research.[42]

Law School[edit]

The Law School is a vibrant academic community that combines high-quality teaching, outstanding research and extracurricular activities.

School of Psychology[edit]

The School of Psychology offers a range of both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, and offers a friendly and thriving learning environment with a growing reputation for excellence in ground-breaking research and teaching.[43] The BSc Psychology course is accredited by the British Psychological Society.[44]

School of Social & Political Sciences[edit]

The School of Social & Political Sciences combines high quality teaching and learning with high quality research across criminology, politics, international relations, social policy and sociology. Providing a friendly and supportive environment, the School's work bears the characteristic hallmark of co-operation and interdisciplinarity.[45]

School of Sport & Exercise Science[edit]

The School of Sport & Exercise Science is noted for its cutting-edge facilities and provides an exceptional educational experience within an enthusiastic and supportive environment. Excellent links exist between the School and industry and professional practices, which offer varied opportunities for work experience within the community.[46]

Campus facilities[edit]


Library, University of Lincoln

Located in the Great Central Warehouse building, a renovated former industrial railway goods warehouse, the Library was opened in December 2004 on the Brayford campus. In total, the university's libraries house over 300,000.[47]

The GCW was constructed in 1907 by the Great Central Railway. It spent the second half of the twentieth century as a builder's warehouse before falling into disrepair in 1998. It was converted into a library (designed by the University's in-house team of architects) and was formally opened in 2004 by the Chief Executive of the UK's Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education.

In 2005, the conversion won gold and silver for conservation and regeneration at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Regional Awards in Leicester.[48] It has also gained awards from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).[49]

Sports Centre[edit]

The Sports Centre is primarily used to accommodate the needs of both students and staff of the University of Lincoln, providing them with opportunities to participate in fitness classes and many sports based activities. Facilities include a double sports hall, four squash courts, synthetic pitches, a fitness suite, a dance studio, eight badminton and short tennis courts, two basketball courts, two volleyball courts, two netball courts, two five-a-side football pitches and a seven-a-side football pitch.

The Engine Shed[edit]

Main article: Engine Shed (theatre)
The Engine Shed

Constructed in 1874 by the Manchester, Sheffield & Lincolnshire Railway, The Engine Shed was the only surviving, four-track, dead end railway building in Lincolnshire. Refitted as an entertainment venue and opened in September 2006, the Engine Shed is now the region's largest live music venue.[50] The venue consists The Engine Shed, The Platform and Tower Bar, which combined can accommodate up to 2,000 people on any given night. As of 2014, the University transferred the operation of The Engine Shed to the University of Lincoln Students' Union.[51]

The Engine Shed has also played host to a number of high-profile artists, including Thirty Seconds to Mars, Bloc Party, Dizzee Rascal, The Ting Tings, Bowling For Soup, The Charlatans, Chase & Status, The Zutons, DJ Fresh, The Darkness, The Beautiful South, Dirty Pretty Things, Babyshambles, Kings of Leon, Stereophonics, The Fratellis, The Kooks, Ben Howard, The Human League, Supergrass, The Courteeners, Marina and the Diamonds, Editors and The Cribs.

Lincoln Performing Arts Centre[edit]

Lincoln Performing Arts Centre

The Lincoln Performing Arts Centre houses a 450-seat multipurpose auditorium designed for live arts performances, conferences, and film screenings. The theatre's programme of events is designed to complement, rather than compete with, those of its neighbouring venues.

Lincoln Science and Innovation Park[edit]

The Lincoln Science and Innovation Park is a large redevelopment south of the main university campus. The area will comprise state-of-the-art University facilities, including laboratories, as well as space for industry partners to develop new offices and research facilities. This unique approach to industry relations will create a symbiotic learning and development environment, and offer students the benefit of closer links with major employers.

The Science and Innovation Park is being developed in partnership with the Lincolnshire Co-operative.

Academic profile[edit]

Reputation and rankings[edit]

More than half (53%) of the research submitted by the University to the national Research Excellence Framework 2014 was rated as internationally excellent or world leading.[52] In 2015, the University of Lincoln ranked 53 in Computer Science ahead of Russell Group and few Top 25 universities in The Guardian subjects rankings, ranked 51 in English and ranked 25 in Hospitality, Event Management and Tourism.[53][54][55]

(2015/16, national)
(2015/16, world)
(2016, national)
The Guardian[58]
(2016, national)
Times/Sunday Times[59]
(2016, national)

In the 2015 National Student Survey, the School of Psychology ranked first across all institutions in the United Kingdom for student satisfaction.

Cultural references[edit]

The foundation of a university for the City of Lincoln was predicted in the 1962 film The Wild and the Willing (called Kilminster University in the film). The city featured extensively and addressed the pre-occupations of a group of students in post-war England whilst studying at a provincial university. The steaminess of some of the storyline, a student having an affair with his professor's wife, catapulted Ian McShane to public view and the film also featured John Hurt and Virginia Maskell (BAFTA nominated for this role[60]). The film was retitled for the American market The Young and the Willing because the original name was felt too risqué. The people of Lincoln queued on release to see the film and are reported to have laughed aloud at the apparent geographical continuity errors.

In August 2000, the University's Learning Resources Centre (now the Media, Humanities & Technology building) was the location for some of Gwyneth Paltrow and Aaron Eckhart's scenes in Possession, the 2002 adaptation of A. S. Byatt's novel.[61] The film tells the story of a university academic based at the then fictional University of Lincoln and weaves contemporary university life with fictional reconstructions from the Victorian era. The story is held that when the film company were searching for locations for the fictional University of Lincoln they were surprised to find that it had been built since the novel had been written. Several staff gained work as extras in the film, and some walk-on roles made it through the cutting room to the final version of the film. Locations around Lincoln were also featured including Lincoln Central Railway Station, Lincoln Cathedral, historic Bailgate and James Street where Gwyneth Paltrow's character's home was based.

In 2009, in Series 5, Week 10 of The Apprentice, apprentices were posted to the Ideal World shopping channel by Lord Sugar and tasked with selling as much product on TV as possible. One apprentice, in a break, when describing it as such a difficult task said, "It's not as if we have been to the University of Lincoln where they learn how to do all this stuff..." .[citation needed] Several graduates from the Media Production degree at Lincoln had gone on to work at Ideal World and the apprentices had learnt of this during their visit.

The BBC has used the University's facilities over the years to record programmes such as BBC1's Question Time,[62] BBC Radio 4's Just a Minute[63] and recording the Lincolnshire Chamber Music Festival for broadcast on BBC Radio 3.

Student life[edit]

According to the University, more than a 100 different nationalities are represented among the student population on the Brayford Pool campus.[64] Based on the available 2014/15 academic year data, the total student population was 11,085 undergraduates and 2,180 postgraduates.[5]

University of Lincoln Students' Union[edit]

The University of Lincoln Students' Union, dates back to the formation of the University. In 2007, the Students' Union was reconstituted as a company limited by guarantee, and registered as a charity, introducing a more conventional governance structure for students' unions.

The Students’ Union supports and represents the students of the University of Lincoln, sabbatical officers are elected by the student body and supported by the staff expertise to deliver services and represent student needs to enhance the experience of all students at the University of Lincoln. A number of sports teams operate in the national BUCS' leagues competing nationally against other institutions.

The Student's Union were awarded NUS (National Union of Students) Higher Education Students' Union of the Year 2014/15 at the annual awards ceremony.

In 2014, ownership of the on campus pub 'The Shed' was transferred to the Students' Union following the acquisition by the University from Greene King, this was later renamed to The Swan. Later this year, the operation of The Engine Shed was transferred to the Students' Union.

Student accommodation[edit]

In Lincoln, there are many accommodation options for students. The University owns and operates "The Student Village", a waterfront complex situated on the Brayford campus. There are 17 blocks of self-catering apartments, each apartment housing five to eight students. Some apartments have specifically designed rooms for students with disabilities. The site has a range of facilities with a total of 1,037 bedrooms available. In 2005, The Student Village was leased to a charitable trust for a premium of £30 million.

Further to this, there is a range of other University owned and private off campus student accommodation in Lincoln.


Vice Chancellor[edit]

The founding Vice Chancellor of the University in Lincoln was Professor Roger King. Professor David Chiddick was Vice Chancellor when the university was renamed to the University of Lincoln. Chiddick's name is reflected in the David Chiddick Building, housing the schools of Business and Law.

The current Vice Chancellor is Professor Mary Stuart who was appointed in 2009 following Chiddick's retirement. Stuart is a graduate of the University of Cape Town and the Open University where she obtained her Doctorate in Social Policy in 1998. Her research interests are focused on life histories, social mobility, higher education students and community development.[65]

The Vice Chancellor is supported by three Deputy Vice Chancellors, Professor Scott Davidson, Professor Ieuan Owen and Professor Susan Rigby.[66]


The university's second Chancellor since the university's title change in 2001, Victor Adebowale, Baron Adebowale, was installed in 2008. Previous chancellors have included Harry Hooper CBE and Dame Elizabeth Esteve-Coll.[67]


The University of Lincoln's official logo from 2001 to 2012 was the head of Minerva, the Ancient Roman goddess of wisdom and knowledge. From July 2012 the logo was changed to incorporate the university's coat of arms,[68][69] which features swans, fleur de lys and books.

Notable alumni and honoraries[edit]


A full list of honorary graduates is available on the University website.[70]



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External links[edit]