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Solent University
Coat of Arms
Solent University
Latin: Solent Universitas
Former name
Southampton Solent University (2005–2018)
Southampton Institute of Higher Education (1984–2005)
MottoReady for the future[1]
Established2005 – University status[2]
2004 – Degree-awarding powers
1984 – Southampton Institute of Higher Education (merger)
1978 – Southampton College of Higher Education (merger of Colleges of Technology and Art)
1951 – Southampton College of Technology
1932 – School of Navigation, Warsash
1856 – Southampton College of Art
Academic affiliations
Universities UK
Endowment£0.81M (2015)[3]
ChancellorTheo Paphitis
Vice-ChancellorProfessor James Knowles
Students10,510 HE (2019/20)[4]
Undergraduates9,765 (2019/20)[4]
Postgraduates745 (2019/20)[4]
Other students
6,815 FE[5]

50°54′29″N 1°24′04″W / 50.908°N 1.401°W / 50.908; -1.401
CampusUrban city campus
Colours   Dark red and black
Sporting affiliations
British Universities and Colleges Sport
Snows Group Hampshire 2

Solent University (formerly Southampton Solent University) is a public university based in Southampton, United Kingdom. It has approximately 10,500 students (2019/20).[6] Its main campus is located on East Park Terrace near the city centre and the maritime hub of Southampton.

Solent University students are represented by Solent Students' Union, which is based on the East Park Terrace campus.[7]


The university's origins can be traced back to a private School of Art founded in 1856, which eventually became the Southampton College of Art. Mergers with the Southampton College of Technology, and later the College of Nautical Studies at Warsash, led to the establishment of the Southampton Institute of Higher Education in 1984.

Southampton Institute became a university on 12 July 2005, adopting the name Southampton Solent University on 15 August that year.[8][9][10][11] Prior to this, Southampton Institute provided assistance to Nottingham Trent University in its provision of business-focused degrees, relating to accountancy, finance and professional ACCA qualifications; some Nottingham Trent University certificates included Southampton Institute/Solent University stamps to indicate this agreement.

In 2005, Solent University was featured on an edition of BBC South's investigative programme Inside Out for rewarding grades for poor standards of work; independent experts questioned if those students were ready to study at the university if the courses were 'remedial'.[12]

In 2015, Solent University came to an agreement with New College of the Humanities, London, whereby it would validate some of their degrees.[13] In November 2017, the Privy Council approved the change of name of Southampton Solent University to Solent University, with effect from 2018.[14] In 2024, the university proposed a return to their previous name, citing 'research that suggests reinstating the location of the university into the name is an important factor in both its collaboration with local and national stakeholders and likely success in future recruitment'.[15]

Since April 2023, the current Vice Chancellor is Professor James Knowles.


Solent University has three primary locations: City, Warsash and Timsbury Lake. The City campus is in the centre of Southampton, on the east side of East Park.[16] Part of the Warsash School of Maritime Science and Engineering is on the eastern bank of the Hamble River overlooking Southampton Water, while Timsbury Lake is located in Timsbury.[17]

Main campus of Solent University (East park Terrace)

Halls of residence

The university has five major student Halls complexes:

All the halls are located away from the main teaching buildings. They are all located south east of the city centre, between the St Mary's and Ocean Village areas of Southampton.

Academic profile

National rankings
Complete (2025)[18]100=
Guardian (2024)[19]101
Times / Sunday Times (2024)[20]114

Solent University is a comprehensive university offering programmes across five academic faculties, including the Faculty of Business, Law and Digital Technologies (which incorporates the Solent Business School and the Solent Law School), the Faculty of Creative Industries, Architecture and Engineering, the Faculty of Sport, Health and Social Science, and Warsash Maritime School.

The university generally has a growing reputation, and have been climbing the major league tables year on year - most recently reaching 81st place in the Guardian League Table in 2019.[21]

The university also has strong links with local and regional businesses, professional bodies and industry groups, all with a focus on providing the best routes into the workforce (for example the British Computer Society, Creative Skillset and the PTC).[22][23]

The student yachting team have often consisted of Olympians and are previous world champions.[24]


The university also has a dedicated Research, Innovation and Enterprise Office, providing a researcher development programme and the Research, Innovation and Knowledge Exchange Awards.[25]

Creative and digital industries

Business and society

Working with private, public and third sector industries, Solent focuses on research areas such as marketing, the 'visitor economy', SME partnerships, international economic development, entrepreneurship and innovation, and cyber-crime. A particular focus is social policy in relation to employment, gender, and diversity in areas ranging from maritime and seafarers, to music and culture.

Sport, health and wellbeing

Solent University has emerged as a provider of academic programmes relating to the study of sport, health and wellbeing. These programmes are informed by research in areas such as sports science, sports development, the sociology of sport, psychology, health and wellbeing, and social care.[26]

A focus of current research is how sport can be used as a vehicle for social change. Research in sports science focuses on strength and conditioning, the physiological basis of human performance in a range of sub-elite and elite sporting environments, and the psychology of the coaching process. The university is also recognised as one of the leading centres for football-based research.[27]

Maritime, technology and environment

Historically, one of the key research strengths of Solent has been in maritime sector. Having run courses in yacht design and boat yard management since the 1970s and then by adding Warsash Maritime Academy with its long history and association with shipping, ports and seafarer training in the late 1990s this is now fully integrated as the Warsash School of Maritime Science and Engineering.

The focus is on applied research and innovation that affect industry, including a focus on maritime education and training (including the use of technology), employment, health and safety, gender, and welfare.[28] They also have a developing area of research relating to sustainability and resilience, including environmental accounting, life-cycle assessment; environmental impacts, and modelling. Other areas of research include materials science and additive manufacturing; acoustics; computer networks, immersive technologies, multimedia communication, and software engineering; as well as sustainable design and the built environment. It also hosts the China Centre (Maritime).[29]

Live Event Technology
United Kingdom Edit this on Wikidata
Key people
  • Lee Davison
  • Neil Brooming
Members11 (2021-22)
WebsiteLive Event Technology

Media Technology

The Media Technology courses (such as the Broadcast Engineering, Live Sound and Acoustics courses) have now been merged into one 'Live Event Technology' course which covers all of these bases.

This course works closely with Sonar Events as their technical skills are often required on their productions. They also work at festivals in the UK, such as Glastonbury and Boardmasters.

Student life

Student Media

The TV and Live Events Societies [30] at Solent University are covered by the umbrella brand of 'Sonar Events'. These outlets are run entirely by students.

TV station

The student-run television station operated under the name SonarTV; it was founded in 2009 as part of the student media rebrand within the Students' Union. in 2022, SonarTV rebranded to join the Live Events Society to form SonarEvents; the new and current name for the societies.

SonarEvents are the only outlet within the university that can affiliate with NaSTA (The National Student Television Association), and in 2012 was selected to be the joint host for the first-ever NaSTAvision broadcast with Staffs TV of Staffordshire University.[31]

Radio station

The student-run Radio Station is called Radio Sonar.[32] It was founded in 1999 and was originally known as Sin FM.[citation needed] The name came from the first 28-day FM radio licence held by the station. After applying for a Low Powered AM (LPAM) licence, the station changed its name to Sin Radio and at the same time became an online radio station; the name was changed to Radio Sonar in 2009. (The rename was in conjunction with all Student Union media,[33] part of the Sonar Media rebrand.) Radio Sonar won the award for 'Outstanding Contribution to Student Radio' at the National Student Radio Conference in 2010 and again in 2011; in 2012, Mel Lewis won Best Female Presenter. Radio Sonar was nominated in the 2014 SRA awards for 'Best Chart Show' and achieved third place.[34]


Solent University has a long tradition of sailing, and has won the student national yachting championships on occasions.[35]

Notable alumni

See also: Category:Alumni of Solent University

Name Notability Course Ref
William Adkin Cricket Player [36]
Joseph Garrett YouTuber Undergraduate - Film and Television [37]
Paul Goodison MBE Olympic Gold medalist in sailing Undergraduate - Maritime Studies
Honorary Doctorate in Sport
James Hilton Designer associated with the AKQA agency. [39]
Santiago Lange Olympic Multiple Medalist in Sailing including Gold medal in 2016 Undergraduate - Yacht & Boat Design Diploma [40]
Camille Lepage French photojournalist
Helena Lucas MBE Paralympic Gold medalist in sailing Undergraduate - Yacht & Powercraft Design BEng
Honorary Doctorate of Sport
Una Nwajei England women's footballer
Jenny Packham Fashion Designer Undergraduate - Fashion
Honorary Doctorate of Design
David Quayle Co-founder of B&Q
Jonathan Ross OBE TV and radio presenter Approx 1978 Southampton College of Art [44] [45]
Ricky Whittle Actor Undergraduate - Criminology and Law [46]
Sean Yazbeck Entrepreneur and Reality TV Star Undergraduate - Media with Cultural Studies
Honorary Doctorate of Business

See also


  1. ^ "Our Coat of Arms". Solent University. Retrieved 18 November 2020.
  2. ^ "Our history". Solent University. Retrieved 5 January 2021.
  3. ^ [bare URL PDF]
  4. ^ a b c "Where do HE students study?". Higher Education Statistics Agency. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  5. ^ "Table 0a – All students by institution, mode of study, level of study, gender and domicile 2006/07" (Microsoft Excel spreadsheet). Higher Education Statistics Agency. Retrieved 12 April 2008.
  6. ^ "Where do HE students study?". Retrieved 24 February 2021.
  7. ^ "Solent Students' Union Official website".
  8. ^ "About Us". Southampton Solent University. 12 February 2006. Archived from the original on 7 September 2008. Retrieved 16 August 2007.
  9. ^ "Southampton Solent University". Contensis. 10 October 2005. Archived from the original on 9 July 2007. Retrieved 16 August 2007.
  10. ^ "About Us". Southampton Solent University. 12 February 2006. Retrieved 16 August 2007.
  11. ^ "Solent University - Find UK University | AHZ Associates". 8 April 2021. Retrieved 20 August 2022.
  12. ^ "Inside Out - South: Monday October 31, 2005: University Course Standards". BBC. 31 October 2005. Retrieved 22 March 2020.
  13. ^ Morgan, John (30 July 2015). "Southampton Solent to validate £18K New College of the Humanities degrees". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 21 August 2015.
  14. ^ "11 November 2018" (PDF). Privy Council of the United Kingdom. Retrieved 3 June 2018.
  15. ^ Students, Office for (14 March 2024). "Office for Students seeks views on proposed new name for Solent University - Office for Students". Retrieved 15 March 2024.
  16. ^ "City campus buildings - Around the campus - Portal - Southampton Solent University". Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  17. ^ "Maps - Around the campus - Portal - Southampton Solent University". Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  18. ^ "Complete University Guide 2025". The Complete University Guide. 14 May 2024.
  19. ^ "Guardian University Guide 2024". The Guardian. 9 September 2023.
  20. ^ "Good University Guide 2024". The Times. 15 September 2023.
  21. ^ "University league tables 2019". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  22. ^ "Solent Skillset Media Academy". Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  23. ^ "Industry recognition". Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  24. ^ "University Profile". The Times. London. 21 August 2007. Retrieved 27 August 2007.
  25. ^ "Research, innovation and enterprise". Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  26. ^ [permanent dead link]
  27. ^ "The Lawrie McMenemy Centre for Football Research". Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  28. ^ "The GEM Project". Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  29. ^ "Innovation and enterprise - China Centre Maritime". Solent University. Retrieved 29 January 2019.
  30. ^ "Bye Law 11 – Clubs and Societies". Archived from the original on 18 May 2013. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
  31. ^ "NaSTA on Tour: Episode 1". Archived from the original on 16 July 2015. Retrieved 16 July 2015.
  32. ^ "Radio Sonar – Solent University's Student Radio Station". Radio Sonar. Archived from the original on 5 November 2021. Retrieved 1 November 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  33. ^ "Radio Sonar". Archived from the original on 18 May 2020.
  34. ^ "2014 Award Winners". Student Radio Association. 28 August 2015. Retrieved 23 February 2019.
  35. ^ "Solent University Crowned World Student Yachting Champions 2010!". Retrieved 21 March 2023.
  36. ^ "Player profile: William Adkin". CricketArchive. Retrieved 21 June 2012.
  37. ^ Sperling, Nicole (30 July 2014). "'Minecraft' master Stampylonghead on gaming and Hollywood". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2 August 2023.
  38. ^ "Paul Goodison - Sheffield's 2012 Olympic sailing hero". 16 January 2010.
  39. ^ "net magazine - creative bloq". Retrieved 16 July 2015.
  40. ^ Lange, Santiago (22 April 2021). "Chapter 3". Wind: The Journey of My Life Hardcover. PANTAURO. ISBN 9783710550096.
  41. ^ "Helena Lucas Official Website". Retrieved 18 January 2022.
  42. ^ "Paralympic gold medallist awarded honorary degree". 25 November 2013. Retrieved 22 April 2022.
  43. ^ "Solent alumna becomes the latest Southampton City of Culture 2025 ambassador | Solent University".
  44. ^ (8 October 2009). "Jonathan Ross. Biography, news, photos and videos". Retrieved 23 November 2019.
  45. ^ "BiographyScoop, Jonathan Ross Bio, Age, Wife, Net Worth, Show, BBC, Channel 4, TV Shows". 23 January 2023.
  46. ^ "It's Where He Is Going to Be". CIVILIAN MAGAZINE.
  47. ^ "The Apprentice USA winner gives £100K to Southampton university as thank you". Daily Echo. 28 July 2019.