University of Central Lancashire

University of Central Lancashire
University of Central Lancashire
Motto Latin: Ex solo ad solem
Motto in English "From the Ground to the Sun"

1828 - Institution for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge established

1992 - University status granted
Type Public
Chancellor Sir Richard Evans
Vice-Chancellor Dr Malcolm McVicar
Students 34,863
Undergraduates 26,734
Postgraduates 8,129
Location Preston, England
Coordinates: 53°45′47″N 2°42′27″W / 53.763021°N 2.7074°W / 53.763021; -2.7074
Campus Urban
Affiliations Million+
University of Central Lancashire

The University of Central Lancashire (or UCLan) is a university based in Preston, Lancashire, England.

The university has its roots in The Institution For The Diffusion Of Useful Knowledge which was founded in 1828. In 1992 it was granted University status by the Privy Council. The university is the fifth largest in the UK in terms of student numbers.[citation needed]



The Institution for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge was founded in 1828 by Joseph Livesey's Temperance Society. The society was born from a pledge made by seven Preston working men (whose names can be seen on a plaque in the university's library) to never again consume alcohol.

The Institute was housed in a classical-revivalist building on Cannon Street, before eventually expanding under the endowment of a local lawyer, Edmund Robert Harris, who died in 1877. The expansion brought with it several new buildings and houses in the nearby Regent Street were purchased and demolished as a consequence. The institute became a regional centre of excellence for the arts and sciences.

As part of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 1897, the Institute's trustees paid the Victorian/Edwardian architect Henry Cheers to design the "Victoria Jubilee Technical School" (later known as the Harris Institute and now known as the Harris Building), to be built on Corporation Street. Its goal was to provide local youths with a technical education in all areas. The building was progressive for the period, being powered entirely by electricity.

The Institute existed in this state until 1932 when it changed its name to become the Harris Art College. It underwent further expansion and in 1952 and became the Harris College. In 1973 this became Preston Polytechnic then the Lancashire Polytechnic in 1984. In 1992, full university status was awarded and the University of Central Lancashire came into existence.

The Journalism division, now part of the School of Journalism, Media and Communication, is one of the oldest in the country, opening as part of the Harris College in 1962. In 1991, it became one of the first to teach journalism undergraduate degrees, with a strong emphasis on practical work.

University structure

The Harris Building, built in 1897
The Adelphi Building

The University contains the following schools:

  • Art, Design and Performance
  • Built and Natural Environment
  • Computing, Engineering and Physical Sciences
  • Dentistry
  • Education and Social Science
  • Forensic and Investigative Sciences
  • Health
  • Journalism, Media and Communication, University of Central Lancashire
  • Lancashire Business School
  • Lancashire Law School
  • Languages and International Studies
  • Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences
  • Psychology
  • School of Postgraduate Medical and Dental Education
  • Social Work
  • Sport, Tourism and the Outdoors

International collaborations

Via partnerships with local organizations, students have the possibility to register to UCLan undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in almost twenty countries on the globe, outside the UK: In Europe, Africa, Asia, the middle-East and the USA. In some of the partnerships, students have the possibility to study an entire programme of studies, for instance a Bachelor from Year 1 to Year 3 included, and thus graduate from the university, without being physically there. The quality of the programmes delivered outside Preston is monitored by stringent quality controls. As of March 2011, UCLan programmes can be found in Austria, China, Cyprus, Greece,[1] Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Malaysia, Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Ukraine, USA, Vietnam.[2]

Students' union

The Students' Union venue, 53 Degrees.

The main club venue at the Students' Union, "53 Degrees", has two floors with a bar on each and often hosts top bands. Across two rooms, total capacities are 1,200 & 400 for club nights and 1,500 and 400 for all live gigs. The adjoining bar, "Source", opens seven days during terms.


As of September 2011 The Foster Sports Centre has been closed down and a the new Sir Tom Finney Sports Centre (STFSC) has opened, it is a completely new purpose built indoor facility on the main University campus. It offers an extensive programme consisting of Student Union (SU) Sports Clubs, instructor led classes and individual training. There are seven activity areas on seven floors:

  • Fitness Suite: Technogym cardiovascular, resistance machines, kinesis and free weights.
  • Cardio Zone: Cardiovascular workout area.
  • Sports Hall One and Two: Badminton, Basketball, Dodgeball, Fencing, 5-a-side Football, Hockey, Netball, Rock-it-ball, Tennis and Volleyball.
  • Studio Red: Belly Dancing, Circuit, Dance, Hatha Yoga, Iyengar Yoga, Karate, Jiu Jitsu, Legs, Bums and Tums, Spinning, Tai Chi, Table Tennis and Yolates.
  • Studio Blue: Aerobix, Boxercise, Circuit, Kombat, Kung Fu, Pilates, Salsa, Step, Studio Weights, Tae Kwon Do and Zumba.
  • Squash Court

There are over 25 Sports Clubs run by the Students’ Union. Many have block bookings at STFSC in term-time for training and matches. The Sports Clubs participate in British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) competitions and have home and away fixtures.

The University outdoor sport facilities can be found at UCLan Sports Arena (USA) which is located just 2 miles away. Local facilities are hired to provide sports not available on the main campus e.g Canoeing, Climbing, Golf, Horse Riding, Tennis, Trampolining and Windsurfing.

The Foster Sports Centre, situated at the centre of the campus, was recently extended and refurbished. It accommodates indoor sports including badminton, tennis, basketball, volleyball, football, hockey, netball and fencing. Additionally, the centre has a gymnasium.

Also open to students, staff, alumni and the community is the Preston Sports Centre, opened in 2000 by The Princess Royal. The £12 million arena provides facilities for Athletics (8 lane track), Rugby League, Rugby Union, Football (5 grass pitches) Hockey (2 floodlit all weather pitches) Netball and Tennis (4 floodlit courts) and Cycling (1.5 km circuit), as well as an eight lane athletics area, equipped for school, club and county competitions.

The University runs a raceteam, UCLAN Racing, which competes in the North West Club Formula Ford Championship; it finished 3rd in the championship and 2nd in 2009.

Notable alumni


External links

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