The University of Northampton. Ceo Artur and Todor
Former names
University College Nene College of Higher Education (1975),
Northampton Technical College (1924)
MottoLatin: Ne Nesciamus
Motto in English
Let us not be ignorant
Established2005 (gained University status)
1975 (Nene College established)
Endowment£0.95 m (2015)[1]
ChancellorRichard Coles
Vice-ChancellorAnne-Marie Kilday
Administrative staff
Students12,060 (2019/20)[3]
Undergraduates9,145 (2019/20)[3]
Postgraduates2,915 (2019/20)[3]
Location, ,

52°15′02″N 0°53′25″W / 52.2506°N 0.8903°W / 52.2506; -0.8903

The University of Northampton is a public university based in Northampton, Northamptonshire, England. It was formed in 1999 by the amalgamation of a number of training colleges, and gained full university status as the University of Northampton in 2005.


13th century University of Northampton

The town had a university in medieval times between 1261 and 1265 of the same name, established by royal charter after approval from King Henry III in 1261. It was the third university in England, after Oxford and Cambridge, and the 22nd in Europe. After being advised by bishops and magnates that Northampton was a threat to Oxford, Henry III dissolved the university in 1265, and signed a Royal Decree that banned the establishment of a university in Northampton.

Northampton Technical College

Northampton Technical College was opened at St George's Avenue—now the site of the Avenue Campus—in 1924. Eight years later, a new building for the college was formally opened by the Duke and Duchess of York. A School of Art opened later in 1937.[4]

The entrance to Avenue Campus

The College of Education and Nene College of Higher Education

At the beginning of the 1970s, Northamptonshire was one of the few counties in England to lack a teacher-training college. A college in Liverpool lost its home and was transferred to what is now the Park Campus. The College of Education was opened by the Secretary of State for Education and Science, Margaret Thatcher, in 1972. In 1975, this college amalgamated with the Colleges of Technology and Art to become Nene College of Higher Education, taking its name from the River Nene. In 1978, it integrated the Leathersellers College from London.[citation needed]

In 1993, the college incorporated St. Andrew's School of Occupational Therapy and was granted undergraduate degree awarding powers. In 1997, it took in the Sir Gordon Roberts College of Nursing and Midwifery.

University College Northampton and University of Northampton

It became University College Northampton in 1999 and gained full university status in 2005. To gain university status it had to convince the Privy Council that a Royal Decree banning the establishment of a university in Northampton, signed by King Henry III in 1265 following the Battle of Lewes, should be repealed. In 2005, the university also received the power to validate its own research degrees, which had formerly been validated by the University of Leicester. In the graduation ceremonies in July 2006, seven students received the first doctoral degrees validated by the University of Northampton.

In January 2010, the School of Applied Sciences was renamed the School of Science and Technology and moved into the newly refurbished Newton Building at Avenue Campus. The Newton Building was officially opened in September 2010 by Princess Anne.

History 2010 onwards

Until 2018 the university had three main sites: Avenue Campus, just north of the town centre, opposite a large open park known as the Racecourse; Park Campus in Kingsthorpe to the north of the town which was the main and largest campus and an Innovation centre opposite Northampton railway station. In May 2012, the university announced plans to establish a new riverside campus in the town centre, on the site of the disused Northampton Power Station on the south bank of the River Nene[5] and located within the Northampton Waterside Enterprise Zone (known simply as Northampton Waterside).[6][7] The Waterside Campus opened to students in September 2018 with the facilities on both Park and Avenue campuses transferring to it.[8]

The main student halls of residence are now located in the student village of the Waterside Campus, and include Francis Crick; Margaret Bondfield; John Clare; and Charles Bradlaugh. A former ground-floor flat in the latter is a multi-faith Chaplaincy Centre, and another in John Clare houses the Centre for Community Volunteering; Bassett-Lowke. A 464-room hall of residence 'St John's Halls of Residence' opened in 2014 and mainly accommodates international and post-graduate students.[9] In November 2023 student protests at the 'unsafe and unsanitary conditions' in these halls were reported on by the BBC.[10] In December 2023 under Prof Anne-Marie Kilday's tenure as Vice Chancellor, the university announced the closure of the Institute for Creative Leather Technologies.[11] This had been based at the university due to a long tradition of leather working as the primary industry in Northampton.[12]

The new Waterside Campus

Organisation and administration


The Vice-Chancellor is Anne-Marie Kilday, who was preceded in the post by Nick Petford, Ann Tate (who received an honorary degree from the university in 2011) and Martin Gaskell.

On 10 February 2008, the university appointed Baroness Falkner of Margravine as its first Chancellor. In July 2017, she was succeeded by the BBC radio presenter Richard Coles.[13]

The Board of Governors are the members of the Higher Education Corporation and act both as governors and charitable trustees. There are 17 members of the Board of Governors. They are drawn from the private, public and voluntary sectors as well as from the staff and students of the university.[14]

Academic profile

The university had 12,060 students in 2019/20.[3] It is divided into three faculties: the Faculty of Business & Law, the Faculty of Arts, Science & Technology, the Faculty of Health, Education & Society.[15]

The university offers a wide range of undergraduate degrees, foundation degrees, diplomas and a variety of postgraduate opportunities up to PhD level.

Reputation and rankings

National rankings
Complete (2024)[16]115
Guardian (2024)[17]95
Times / Sunday Times (2024)[18]125
Global rankings
QS (2024)[21]1001-1200[20]
THE (2024)[22]1001-1200[19]

In February 2013, the university received international recognition for its commitment to social innovation and entrepreneurship by being designated a 'Changemaker Campus' by Ashoka U.[23] Northampton was the first Changemaker Campus in the UK and joins a global network of 21 other Changemaker Campuses.


Research, consultancy and knowledge transfer at the university are centred on a number of cognate research groupings. It carries out internationally renowned research into lift engineering and technology, using the Express Lift Tower in the town, reflecting the town's historic role in lift manufacturing.

Student life

Students' Union

The Students' Union operates out of the redeveloped Engine Shed location on the Waterside Campus, which also operates as a daytime cafe and food outlet.The Students' Union is led by five full-time Sabbatical Officers, backed by hundreds of volunteers including an extended Elected Officer Team of Part Time Officers and supported by almost 200 staff – both student and career staff.[24]


The Students' Union has 35 sports clubs[25] and enters 24 teams in Wednesday BUCS Leagues each week. The Students' Union operate on a policy of free sports membership, meaning all teams are free to join with no membership fee and offers a wide variety of sports including rugby league (Gremlins RL), football, netball, basketball, hockey and lacrosse. They are also one of a select SUs to offer equestrian as a sports club for their students. Sports is overseen by the Sports Coordinator with an elected Sports Part-Time Officer acting as a representative for the voice of student sports.

Since the start of the 2018–19 academic year, the Students' Union has contested a Varsity event against the University of Bedfordshire, with each institute taking it in turns to host the event each year. The SU also hosts an end of year Sports Awards event to recognise the achievement of all clubs, with awards including both performance based awards as well as charity and individual awards.


Approximately 60 student societies are affiliated to The University of Northampton Students’ Union.[26] These range from special interest societies such as Doctor Who and Anime to faith-based societies such as the Christian Union and Hindu Society.

University technical colleges

The university is an academic sponsor of two university technical colleges which opened in September 2013. Daventry University Technical College specialises in engineering, construction and environmental sustainability, Silverstone University Technical College in motorsports engineering, event management and hospitality.

Notable people



See also


  1. ^[bare URL PDF]
  2. ^ "University of Northampton accounts-2011.pdf" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 September 2013. Retrieved 17 August 2011.
  3. ^ a b c d "Where do HE students study?". Higher Education Statistics Agency. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  4. ^ "History of the University of Northampton – The University of Northampton". Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  5. ^ "University plans £300m new campus". 25 May 2012. Retrieved 29 May 2012.
  6. ^ Council, Northampton Borough. "Northampton Waterside Enterprise Zone". Northampton Alive with Enterprise. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  7. ^ "Waterside Restoration Master Plan 2004 Appendix" (PDF). Retrieved 17 February 2010.
  8. ^ "Waterside Campus". Retrieved 24 October 2018.
  9. ^ "University granted planning permission". Retrieved 11 May 2012.
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ "The Chancellor – Reverend Richard Coles – The University of Northampton". Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  14. ^ "Board of Governors | The University of Northampton". The University of Northampton. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  15. ^ "About us". University of Northampton. Retrieved 20 December 2017.
  16. ^ "Complete University Guide 2024". The Complete University Guide. 7 June 2023.
  17. ^ "Guardian University Guide 2024". The Guardian. 9 September 2023.
  18. ^ "Good University Guide 2024". The Times. 15 September 2023.
  19. ^ "Impact Rankings 2021". Times Higher Education. 16 April 2021.
  20. ^ "QS World University Rankings 2022". Top Universities.
  21. ^ "QS World University Rankings 2024". Quacquarelli Symonds Ltd. 27 June 2023.
  22. ^ "THE World University Rankings 2024". Times Higher Education. 28 September 2023.
  23. ^ "University recognised internationally as the UK's number one for social enterprise – The University of Northampton". Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  24. ^ "Who We Are @ University of Northampton Students' Union". Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  25. ^ "Sport at Northampton". Northampton Students' Union. Archived from the original on 17 August 2015. Retrieved 9 April 2023.
  26. ^ "Societies at Northampton". University of Northampton Students' Union. Archived from the original on 17 August 2015. Retrieved 9 April 2023.
  27. ^ Alsop W. (28 June 2001). Drawing on the experiences of life help create better work. Architects' Journal