Oxford Brookes University

Oxford Brookes University
Oxford Brookes University
Motto "Excellence in diversity"
Established 1992, from Oxford Polytechnic (est. 1970) ultimately from Oxford School of Art (est. 1865)
Type Public
Chancellor Shami Chakrabarti
Vice-Chancellor Prof. Janet Beer
Students 19,070[1]
Undergraduates 13,645
Postgraduates 5,120[1]
Other students 300 FE[1]
Location Oxford, England, UK
Affiliations Universities UK
Association of MBAs
Website http://www.brookes.ac.uk/

Oxford Brookes University is a new university in Oxford, England. It was named to honour the school's founding principal, John Brookes. It has been ranked as the best new university (post 1992) by the Sunday Times University Guide 10 years in a row.[2] It provides one of the largest Online MBA programmes in the world (30th) as ranked by the Financial Times Listing.[3]



Oxford Brookes has roots in Oxford that go back to 1865, when it started as the Oxford School of Art. The Oxford School of Art was located in a single room on the ground floor of the Taylor Institution, St. Giles. In 1870 the School of Science was incorporated into the School of Art. In 1891, under the administration of the City Council's Technical Instruction Committee, it was renamed the Oxford City Technical School, incorporating the School of Art, and plans were made to relocate to the former Blue Coat School for Boys on St. Ebbes. In 1934 the School of Art and the Technical School were merged, and John Henry Brookes, Vice Principal of the Technical School, was appointed the first principal of the merged institution. Renamed "Oxford College of Technology" in 1956, its first residence hall was established in 1960 and the college relocated to Headington in 1963. In 1970, it became Oxford Polytechnic, and in 1992, following enactment of the Further and Higher Education Act it became Oxford Brookes University. In so doing it became the only one of the new universities to be named after its founder. In October 2003 Oxford Brookes university became the first university in the world to be awarded Fairtrade status.[4] In 2007 Oxford Brookes came fifth in the new environmental league table of universities and received a first class rating for its environmental credentials.[5]

Also in 2007 Professor Graham Upton retired as Vice-Chancellor and his successor, Professor Janet Beer, was inaugurated in September. In July 2008 Shami Chakrabarti, Director of Liberty and respected human rights campaigner replaced Jon Snow as Chancellor of the University.

In September 2010 Oxford Brookes was named the UK’s best post-1992 university for the tenth year running in The Sunday Times’ University Guide.

Although not a part of Oxford University, it is among the eight external institutions whose members are eligible for long-term temporary membership in the Oxford Union.[6] Eligibility for Oxford Union membership pre-dates the establishment of the university, with a number of Oxford Polytechnic students becoming members in the mid-1980s.

Oxford Brookes is the eighth largest employer in Oxfordshire, providing 2,500 jobs across the University.[7]


Oxford Brookes University has three main campuses.

Headington campus

The Headington campus is located in Headington, a residential area of Oxford, one mile from the city centre and is currently undergoing extensive building work. It consists of the Gipsy Lane site, which is the main teaching site, the Marston Road site, being the school of Health and Social Care, and the Headington Hill site across the road from Gipsy Lane, where the Students' Union and main halls of residence are located. It has seven halls of residence: Crescent Hall, Cheney Student Village, Clive Booth Hall, Clive Booth Non-Ensuite (formerly Morrell Hall), Warneford Hall, Cotuit Hall, Paul Kent Hall.

Wheatley campus

The Wheatley campus is set near Wheatley in the Oxfordshire countryside, seven miles south-east of the city centre, and is where business, IT, mathematics and more recently engineering subjects are taught.

Harcourt Hill campus

The Harcourt Hill campus is situated on Harcourt Hill on Oxford's western perimeter, two and a half miles from the city centre. Education, Philosophy, Theology, Media and Communication, and many other subjects are taught here, in a landscaped setting overlooking the city. It has one hall of residence: Harcourt Hill Hall. A regular bus service links the campus to other campuses at Headington and Wheatley.

The campus was formerly the site of Westminster College, Oxford, the only independent Methodist higher education institution in Europe, which specialised in Teacher Training and Theology, and whose degree-level students were awarded their degrees by the University of Oxford upon successful completion of their course. The campus was purpose-built for the Westminster College's move from London to Oxford in the 1950s, and was leased to Brookes by the Methodist Church. Westminster College lives on in the Westminster Institute of Education of Oxford Brookes University, located at the Harcourt Hill campus.


Oxford Brookes is redeveloping its campuses. Plans include a new library and teaching building acting as a core for the Gipsy Lane Campus and extension to the Abercrombie building for the School of the Built Environment.[8]

However, the proposals were vigorously opposed by local residents in 2009 when presented to the local planning committee, with many undesirable aspects of the large student population in Oxford being discussed.

The plans for the new building have been given the go-ahead, and they are well underway.


Oxford Brookes comprises eight schools:[9]

  • School of Arts and Humanities
  • School of the Built Environment
  • Business School
  • School of Health and Social Care
  • School of Life Sciences
  • School of Social Sciences and Law
  • School of Technology
  • Westminster Institute of Education

Specialist study

The Centre for Development and Emergency Practice (CENDEP) in the School of the Built Environment was awarded the Queen's Anniversary Prize and is well known for its programme for humanitarian practitioners. CENDEP provides an academic setting for the study of cities, humanitarianism and refugees. Singer and activist Annie Lennox is patron of the Master's Course in Humanitarian and Development Practice.[10]

In 2007, The MSc in Primate Conservation was awarded the highly prestigious Queen's Anniversary Prize – a national honour recognising the outstanding contribution by the MSc programme team and the Department of Anthropology & Geography at Oxford Brookes.[11]

Automotive engineering

The Oxford Brookes School of Technology is well known for its automotive and motorsports technology/engineering courses leading to undergraduate BSc(Hons), BEng(Hons) and MEng(Hons) degrees. Due to the close links between Oxford Brookes and several Formula 1 teams around Oxfordshire, the syllabus development for the undergraduate and post graduate courses are carried out in collaboration with F1 teams.[12] Over the decade, the school has developed a niche for producing Formula 1 design and race engineers,[13][14] who go on to build championship winning cars, participating in the FIA Formula 1 Championships. The school is also home and lead institution to Motorsport Knowledge Exchange[15] which is a Government-funded small cooperative of institutions, involved in delivering motorsport education at a variety of different levels, from technician to post-graduate.

In 2007, Formula One world champion Fernando Alonso sponsored 12 Spanish masters degree students to study motorsport engineering at the university.[16] Participants, in specific will study either an MSc in Motorsport Engineering or in race engine design with the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Mathematical Sciences at Oxford Brookes. The university, which is based in the centre of the UK's "motorsport valley", boasts a teaching staff that includes Prof. Geoff Goddard, a former chief designer at Cosworth.[17] Jamie Cole & Jose Gonzalez also studied for a Bachelors Degree in engineering at the School of Technology.[18]

The School of Technology at Oxford Brookes is one of the three core universities in Faraday Advance,[19] the partnership in advanced materials for transportation. Faraday Advance works to increase the impact of science on UK business competitiveness in the automotive, aerospace and transport sectors by developing future materials and technology for low-pollution, high-efficiency, cost-effective transport.[20] The core partners in Faraday Advance are the University of Oxford, Oxford Brookes University and Cranfield University.[21][22]

The Functional Food Centre at Oxford Brookes University

The Functional Food Centre at Oxford Brookes University is the UK's first Research Centre dedicated to Functional Foods. The Centre opened in early 2009 and builds on the services and expertise previously provided by the Nutrition and Food Research Group at Oxford Brookes. This group had been in existence since 1984 and renamed itself in 2009 to draw on the knowledge and expertise of its new staff. The Functional Food Centre is led by its Director – Professor Jeya Henry and is known internationally for its work on Glycaemic Index and is the largest testing centre in Europe. The centre also focuses its research on areas such as satiety, dietary interventions, female nutrition and ageing.

Student Halls

There are currently 11 Student halls of which there are 4 in Headington Campus, 1 in Harcourt Hill Campus, 1 in Wheatley Campus and 3 more halls around Headington. In addition, there are two privately operated Halls of Residence which are managed in partnership with the university by housing associations.


Oxford Brookes University has earned recognition for quality in architecture,[23] art, economics, computer science, automotive/motorsports engineering, history,[24] modern languages and publishing.[citation needed] The Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies is one of several programmes at Brookes that has expanded the university's reputation abroad.

The Department of Architecture is one of the largest in Britain and is consistently ranked in the top five schools in the UK.[25] In the most recent 2008 survey by the Architect's Journal it was ranked fourth overall.[26]

According to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, land and property programmes at Oxford Brookes University were placed second in the UK in The Times Good University Guide League Table for 2005. The Department of Real Estate and Construction was assessed by the Quality Assurance Agency in 1998 and was awarded the excellent mark of 23 out of 24.[27]

Oxford Brookes has been named as the leading modern university in the UK four years running from 1996 to 1999,[28] and 7 times in the first 10 years of the Sunday Times annual ratings.[28][29]

UK University Rankings
2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 1997 1996 1995 1994 1993
Times Good University Guide 48th 55th[30] 49th[30] 54th[31] 53rd 51st[32] 48th= 51st 48th[33] 52nd 52nd 53rd 51st= 56th 57th= 57th= 67th= 66th=
Guardian University Guide 48th[34] 53rd[34] 55th 54th[35] 51st[36] 26th[37] 24th[33][38]
Sunday Times University Guide 50th 53rd[30] 53rd[39] 54th=[40] 53rd[40] 53rd[39] 53rd[39] 55th[39] 56th[39] 53rd[39] 54th[39] 54th[39]
Independent / Complete 59th[41] 53rd[41]
Daily Telegraph 53rd[42] 31st
FT 53rd[43] 60th[44] 59th[45] 59th[46]


Oxford Brookes University's partnership with the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) allows ACCA students to earn a BSc (Hons) in Applied Accounting with the submission of a Research & Analysis project work while taking their ACCA examinations.

Tsinghua University will recognise the Oxford Brookes University BSc Applied Accounting degree, which has been successfully developed in conjunction with ACCA and which enables students who have completed two parts of the ACCA qualification to apply for the Oxford Brookes degree.[47]

Munich Business School is the German partner institution of the university.

The University is also in partnership with the Budapest (Hungary) based institution of International Business School, Budapest (Nemzetközi Üzleti Főiskola). IBS students can attend courses which, besides the Hungarian degree also provides OBU BA degrees in different subjects, such as Marketing, Communications, etc.[48]

The University is also affiliated with Nilai University College in Malaysia. Affiliated subjects are computing, accounting & finance, business management, marketing management and hospitality management. All the subjects mentioned above are 3+0 programs.

Notable alumni


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  3. ^ http://rankings.ft.com/businessschoolrankings/online-mba-2009 Online MBA 2009 Listing, Financial Times, 2009.
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External links

Coordinates: 51°45′15″N 1°13′22″W / 51.75426664°N 1.2227°W / 51.75426664; -1.2227

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