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University of Central Lancashire
Coat of arms
Former names
Harris Art College, Preston Polytechnic, Lancashire Polytechnic
MottoLatin: Ex solo ad solem
Motto in English
"From the Earth to the Sun"[1]
Established1828; 196 years ago (1828) as Institution for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge
re-established 1992 (University status granted)
ChancellorRanvir Singh
Vice-ChancellorGraham Baldwin
Students24,715 (2019/20)[2]
Undergraduates17,835 (2019/20)[2]
Postgraduates6,885 (2019/20)[2]
Preston (Main)
Westlakes, Cumbria

53°45′47″N 2°42′27″W / 53.7630°N 2.7074°W / 53.7630; -2.7074
AffiliationsUniversity Alliance
Universities UK
University of Central Lancashire is located in Preston city centre
University of Central Lancashire
Location in Preston city centre

The University of Central Lancashire (abbreviated UCLan) is a public university based in the city of Preston, Lancashire, England. It has its roots in The Institution For The Diffusion Of Useful Knowledge, founded in 1828. Previously known as Harris Art College, Preston Polytechnic and Lancashire Polytechnic, in 1992 it was granted university status by the Privy Council. The university is the 19th largest in the UK in terms of student numbers.[3]


The Institution for the Diffusion of 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.[4]

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 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. The foundation stone was laid in July 1895. 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 first chancellor of the university was Sir Francis Kennedy, and he was succeeded in 2001 by Sir Richard Evans. In 2016, Ranvir Singh became the new chancellor of the university.

The journalism division, now part of the School of Journalism and Media, 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.

In 2013, the School of Dentistry and the School of Postgraduate Medical and Dental Education merged to create the School of Medicine and Dentistry.

The university sponsored the now-defunct Wigan UTC, a university technical college which opened in September 2013.[5][6]


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The university is on an urban campus in Preston, with sites in Burnley and in Westlakes, West Cumbria (for Nursing and Medical programmes). A campus in Cyprus opened in October 2012.

Livesey House is named after temperance activist Joseph Livesey.

The university opened the new JB Firth building in September 2011, at a cost of £12.5m. It houses the School of Forensic and Applied Sciences, which includes subjects such as chemistry and forensic science. The new building has a 4,000 m2 teaching area, which includes six laboratories: two for chemistry undergraduate teaching, one for chemistry research, one analytical laboratory and two fire laboratories. The building was named after James Brierly Firth, a founder of forensic science in Britain.[7]

The Sir Tom Finney Sports Centre opened, replacing the Foster Sports Centre, in 2011. It is a purpose-built indoor facility on the main campus and offers Students' Union sports clubs, instructor-led classes and individual training. Sports membership (including gym) is free for most students and discounted for staff.

Other key facilities include a £15m Media Factory with facilities for digital media and performing arts students, and a 'business incubator'. The £5.3 million Allen Building incorporates facilities for students in the School of Medicine and Dentistry.[citation needed]

The university underwent a £200 million expansion programme, with several new buildings at the Preston main campus:[8]


University of Central Lancashire, Cyprus (UCLan Cyprus)
MottoThe British University of Cyprus
Established2012 (2012)

UCLan Cyprus is a branch campus of the University of Central Lancashire situated in Pyla, Larnaka.[12] The campus opened in 2012 and is licensed and registered as a university in Cyprus. It is the only British private university in Cyprus.[12] It accepts international students.

UCLan Cyprus is the first University in Cyprus that has a Moot Court for use by the School of Law students.[12]

UCLan Cyprus offers bachelor's degrees in business administration, advertising and marketing communications, accounting and finance, hospitality and tourism management, computing, mathematics, English language studies, law, web design and development, sport and exercise science and psychology.[13]

It offers master's degrees in business administration, business management, marketing management, education leadership, teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) with applied linguistics, financial and commercial law, computing, cybersecurity, data analytics, sport & exercise science and forensic psychology.[12]

Academic profile

The university has students and researchers from over 100 countries and partnerships with 125 international institutions. It has a base in China's Shenzhen Virtual University Park, conducting collaborative research with some of China's leading universities into nanotechnology with applications in drug delivery, water purification and fire toxicity.

Within the School of Language and Global Studies, staff speak 30 languages and represent 22 nationalities.[citation needed]

UCLan has 98 professors, over 600 research or knowledge transfer-active members of staff, and 763 research students. There are 246 Honorary Fellows of the university.

The university has the following schools:

International developments

UCLan enrols students from over 100 countries and has partnerships with 125 international institutions located across the world. Each year over 2,000 international students study at the university's Preston Campus.

UCLan has over 3,000 students enrolled offshore, across a diverse range of countries including China, Greece, India, Mauritius, Singapore and the United States.

In 2012 the university opened UCLan Cyprus, a €53 million branch campus in Larnaka, Cyprus.[14][15] It is the only private British university in Cyprus.[16]

In 2013, following receipt of Chinese Ministry of Education approval and together with its partner Hebei University (HBU), the UCLan established the ‘Hebei/UCLan School of Media, Communication and Creative Industries’.

Initially the joint School will have non-independent status, meaning that although it will be a separate entity from HBU it will be wholly owned by it. The School will have 800 students, recruiting 200 per year for the four-year duration of the programmes. The intention is to grow to 1,600 students and then to focus on a broader range of subjects, targeting science in the second wave. When successfully operating at the expanded level, the School will apply for independent campus status.[citation needed]


National rankings
Complete (2025)[17]92
Guardian (2024)[18]106
Times / Sunday Times (2024)[19]111
Global rankings
ARWU (2023)[20]901–1000
QS (2025)[21]951–1000
THE (2024)[22]1001–1200

UCLan is in the top 7% of universities worldwide according to The Center for World University Rankings 2023 (CWUR).[23][citation needed]

UCLan is in the top 800 universities globally according to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings.[24]

Film production

UCLAN is the only university in the UK to run a feature film module. Results of this course include The Collaborators (2015), Audax (2014),[25] The Wedding (2013),[26] Wraith (2012),[27] Blue December (2011) and Needle In The Hay (2011).[28]


Research activity at UCLan includes working with NASA on solar dynamics, with the Department of Health on stroke research, with industry on digital media projects and collaboration with the Football Association, Professional Golfers Association and International Olympic Committee on sport and exercise science research.

Undergraduate research

UCLan has established one of the UK's largest paid undergraduate research internship schemes.

Since the scheme launched in 2008, nearly 450 interns have worked directly alongside UCLan researchers on projects as diverse as digital publishing, wind power analysis, facial composite development and smart bandage exploration.

Autonomous systems research

In 2012, UCLAN announced a partnership with the BAE Systems, and four other north-western universities (Liverpool, Salford, Lancaster and Manchester) in order to work on the Gamma Programme which aims to develop "autonomous systems". According to the University of Liverpool when referring to the programme, "autonomous systems are technology based solutions that replace humans in tasks that are mundane, dangerous and dirty, or detailed and precise, across sectors, including aerospace, nuclear, automotive and petrochemicals".[29]

Student life

Students' Union

The Students' Union venue, 53 Degrees.

The nightclub and live music venue at the Students' Union, '53 Degrees', has two floors with a bar on each and occasionally hosts musical performers. Across two rooms, total capacities are 1,100 & 350 for club nights and 1,400 and 350 for all live gigs. The adjoining bar, 'Source', is open seven days a week during term times. '53 Degrees' is no longer owned by the Students' Union however Freshers' Week events are still run in the venue.


There are over 35 sports clubs run by the students’ union. Many have block bookings at the Sir Tom Finney Sports Centre and UCLan Sports Arena in term-time for training and matches. The sports clubs participate in British Universities and Colleges Sport competitions and have home and away fixtures.

The university outdoor sport facilities can be found at UCLan Sports Arena (USA) which is located two miles away and was opened in 2000 by The Princess Royal. The £12 million[citation needed] arena provides facilities for rugby league, rugby union, football (five grass pitches), hockey (two floodlit all-weather pitches), netball, tennis (four floodlit courts), and cycling (1 mile (1.6 km) circuit), as well as an eight-lane athletics area, equipped for school, club, and county competitions.

The university's Motor Sports Engineering and Operations students run a motor racing team, UCLAN Racing.[30]


The Pulse is the student newspaper. It is six times a year, and began in 1985 as the Ribble Echo and then was named Pluto until June 2016. It is now printed in tabloid format with colour photography. The newspaper published its first edition on 12 September 2016.[citation needed]

Pulse Radio is the student radio station which is located on the ground floor of the Students' Union building. It was founded in 1999 as Frequency Radio and is currently broadcasting during term time. The new radio station started broadcasting on 12 September 2016.[citation needed]

Pulse Radio is the student television station which is located on the ground floor of the Students' Union building. The station covers news, entertainment, and documentaries.

Notable people

This article's list of alumni may not follow Wikipedia's verifiability policy. Please improve this article by removing names that do not have independent reliable sources showing they merit inclusion in this article AND are alumni, or by incorporating the relevant publications into the body of the article through appropriate citations. (August 2019)


See also: Category:Alumni of the University of Central Lancashire


See also: Category:Academics of the University of Central Lancashire

See also


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  2. ^ a b c "Where do HE students study?". Higher Education Statistics Agency. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  3. ^ "HESA Statistics – Higher Education numbers 2008/2009" (Excel). Higher Education Statistics Agency. Archived from the original on 13 June 2016. Retrieved 29 November 2011., referenced at List of UK universities by size
  4. ^ Rex Pope and Ken Phillips (1995). University of Central Lancashire: A History of the Development of the Institution since 1828. University of Central Lancashire. ISBN 0906694531.
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  6. ^ "". Archived from the original on 20 June 2013. Retrieved 30 March 2013.
  7. ^ "News". Archived from the original on 31 December 2011. Retrieved 26 March 2013.
  8. ^ "UCLan Masterplan |". UCLan - University of Central Lancashire. Archived from the original on 3 December 2020. Retrieved 29 April 2018.
  9. ^ "Engineering Innovation Centre | UCLan Masterplan". UCLan Masterplan. Archived from the original on 17 May 2021. Retrieved 29 April 2018.
  10. ^ "School of Engineering". Archived from the original on 1 October 2020. Retrieved 28 September 2020.
  11. ^ "Oasis: Faith and Spirituality Centre | UCLan Masterplan". UCLan Masterplan. Archived from the original on 21 April 2021. Retrieved 29 April 2018.
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  13. ^ "UCLan Cyprus guide". The Telegraph. 2 August 2016. Archived from the original on 18 February 2020. Retrieved 17 February 2019.
  14. ^ "UCLan Cyprus | Campuses |University of Central Lancashire". UCLan - University of Central Lancashire. Archived from the original on 12 February 2019. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  15. ^ "UCLan Cyprus | UCLan Cyprus". uclan. Archived from the original on 12 February 2019. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  16. ^ "Truly British campus in the heart of Cyprus". Archived from the original on 13 February 2019. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
  17. ^ "Complete University Guide 2025". The Complete University Guide. 14 May 2024.
  18. ^ "Guardian University Guide 2024". The Guardian. 9 September 2023.
  19. ^ "Good University Guide 2024". The Times. 15 September 2023.
  20. ^ "Academic Ranking of World Universities 2023". Shanghai Ranking Consultancy. 15 August 2023.
  21. ^ "QS World University Rankings 2025". Quacquarelli Symonds Ltd. 4 June 2024.
  22. ^ "THE World University Rankings 2024". Times Higher Education. 28 September 2023.
  23. ^ "CWUR 2016 | Top Universities in the World". Archived from the original on 14 July 2016. Retrieved 11 August 2019.
  24. ^ "World University Rankings". Times Higher Education (THE). 17 August 2016. Archived from the original on 31 December 2016. Retrieved 29 November 2016.
  25. ^ "Audax (2014)". IMDb. 28 November 2014. Archived from the original on 9 August 2014. Retrieved 16 July 2015.
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  27. ^ "Wraith (2012)". IMDb. 20 September 2012. Retrieved 16 July 2015.[permanent dead link]
  28. ^ Internet Movie Database, accessed 18 February 2012[permanent dead link].
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  30. ^ "Victory for UCLan racing students at Oulton Park". Lancashire Evening Post. 8 May 2007. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 5 December 2011.
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  32. ^ "The Independent, Inside Story". London. 1 November 2004. Archived from the original on 17 June 2022. Retrieved 21 February 2011.
  33. ^ "The Guardian, Angelique Chrisafis profile". London. 26 September 2007. Archived from the original on 23 August 2013. Retrieved 21 February 2011.