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Bath Spa University
Established 2005 - gained University Status
1975 - College of Higher Education
Type Public
Vice-Chancellor Prof. Frank Morgan
Students 7,110[1]
Undergraduates 4,505[1]
Postgraduates 2,605[1]
Location Bath, Somerset, England
51°22′32″N 2°26′18″W / 51.37556°N 2.43833°W / 51.37556; -2.43833Coordinates: 51°22′32″N 2°26′18″W / 51.37556°N 2.43833°W / 51.37556; -2.43833
Campus Rural

Bath Spa University is a university based in, and around, Bath, England. The institution has previously been known as Bath College of Higher Education, and Bath Spa University College, and was upgraded to full university status in August 2005.



The institution can trace its roots back to the formation of the Bath Academy of Art in 1898. In 1947 Bath Teacher Training College leased the Newton Park campus. The present institution was formed in 1975 as Bath College of Higher Education by the merger of the Bath College of Education and Newton Park College of Education. In 1992, the college was granted its own degree-awarding powers and in 1999 adopted the name Bath Spa University College. In March 2005, the institution was granted university status, and became Bath Spa University in August 2005.



Newton Park

The Newton Park campus of Bath Spa University

The Newton Park campus, located to the west of Bath near the village of Newton Saint Loe, is the largest of the university's three campuses. It is here that the majority of courses are taught, with the exception of Art and Design and some of the PGCE courses. The campus is based in Newton Park in grounds designed by Capability Brown and currently leased from the Duchy of Cornwall. Due to its rural setting the site boasts its own lake, nature reserve, woodland and farmland.

Substantial building work has been undertaken in recent years in order to upgrade facilities. The campus now benefits from a new Students' Union building, which includes a large bar, a lounge, a shop and office space. The library building, which includes a book shop and stationery shop, has been updated and enlarged and includes new IT facilities. A new refectory has opened and includes a restaurant and separate deli/coffee bar. The University Theatre has recently opened in new buildings on the site of the old refectory.

This campus also houses the Michael Tippett Centre which is the only purpose built concert hall in Bath[2]. As well as being used for teaching music, the centre is used for exhibitions, musical performances and plays.

The Newton Park Campus is also home to the majority of the student accommodation, which consists of eight "halls": Harrington, Hiscocks, Pope, Langton, Hungerford, Nevill, Temple and Sydney. Harrington, Hiscocks and Pope are arguably the most sociable halls due to their unique kitchen layout that allows easy flow between each 'block'; however these halls have the smallest bedrooms. Langton, Hungerford, Nevill and Temple boast the largest bedrooms as well as larger kitchens, however these halls are in need of updating in comparison with the others. Temple has recently been upgraded to a higher standard than Langton, Nevill and Hungerford and also contains a small ex-warden's house: Temple House, which has been refurbished to high student housing standards. Sydney is the newest building whose bedrooms are ensuite and of medium size, it also has the most up to date security with modern facilities.

Sion Hill

The Sion Hill campus is based in the north of Bath, in the Lansdown district. This campus houses the Bath School of Art and Design and Art and Design courses are taught here. This campus is also located in landscaped grounds and gardens that originally belonged to a mansion house. The building is equipped with a number of studios, workshops, a library, a stationery and art materials shop, Students' Union offices and a refectory.

Until 2009, the University also owned the nearby Somerset Place. The sale of this listed Georgian crescent was originally intended to finance a new campus in the city centre. This development, alongside the Dyson School of Design Innovation, did not proceed due to planning issues relating to the chosen riverside site.


The third, and smallest, site is based in the Southdown area of Bath. It is situated next to Culverhay School and was formerly the school's Humanities block. The campus is the home to most of the University's PGCE Secondary and Middle Years Education courses, including History, Music, English, Geography, Mathematics and Religious Education. Facilities at the campus are not as extensive as those found in Newton Park but there are IT facilities and a common room.

Corsham Court

The University has established a new Centre in Corsham Court after an absence of more than 20 years. Corsham Court became the home of the Bath Academy of Art (now Bath School of Art and Design and part of the University) when its premises were destroyed during the Second World War. Walter Sickert, who taught in that School was also a mentor to Lord Methuen RA, owner of the Court. The centre will include development support for research projects, postgraduate and research studios and study areas for artists and designers undertaking Masters level study and Doctorates, facilities for project work for all undergraduate students, and a conference suite for the use of academic and support departments across the University.


Schools of Study

The University has seven schools of study:

  • The Bath School of Art and Design is based at the Sion Hill campus and teaches art, fine art, ceramics, graphic communication, interactive multimedia, media communication, textile design studies and visual culture.
  • The Graduate School is responsible for the higher degrees.
  • The School for Development and Participation has responsibility for a range of activities which pertain to the university's relationships with the wider community, such as links with further education colleges, with business and with the community.
  • The School of Education teaches Education Studies as an academic subject, and also has responsibility for PGCE provision and for post graduate studies in education.
  • The School of Humanities and Cultural Industries has responsibility for undergraduate courses in English Literature and in Creative Writing (including Writing for Young People) and the MA in Creative Writing (MACW). It also teaches a range of subjects such as history, cultural studies, the study of religions, media communications, and film studies.
  • The School of Music and the Performing Arts is responsible for courses in music, dance, drama, and performing arts.
  • The School of Science, Society and Management is responsible for the teaching of subjects such as biology, environmental science, food nutrition, geography, tourism management, psychology, sociology, healthcare and business studies.

The Wessex Partnership

The University has formed partnerships with a number of regional Further Education Colleges, known as the Wessex Partnership. Under the Partnership, students take the first year of their Higher Education course in their local college and, if successful, students take the rest of their course at Bath Spa University.

The current partner Colleges are;


One of the "Bright Orange Buses" to the University.

There are regular trains to Bath Spa Station which is on the main line served by, amongst others, London, Reading, Swindon, Chippenham and Bristol. From the station buses run to each of the campuses on a regular basis.

  • The Newton Park campus is served by the 418 service (advertised by First as the "Bright Orange Buses" or affectionately called BOB by the students), which runs from the University to the University of Bath via the bus station every twenty minutes during the day in term time. On week-nights and Saturdays, the service runs until 3 am, allowing students to get home from Bath's nightclubs. In the evenings and on Sundays and holidays, the bus only runs once an hour.
  • The Sion Hill campus is served by the 700 service which runs from the bus station.
  • For the Culverhay campus the 20a service runs from the bus station once an hour and the 10 service runs every 10–20 minutes, again from the bus station. There is also service 42 which runs from the nearby Park and Ride at Odd Down every 12–15 minutes.

Noted people

Joe Bennett, head of the School of Music and the Performing Arts at Bath Spa University and the organiser of the annual UK Songwriting Festival. He has written about 40 popular-music-related books, covering Music Theory, Guitar Effects and Altered Tunings, as well as over 300 articles and reviews for Total Guitar, Classic CD, the Roland Corporation, Music Tech Magazine and Future Music magazine.

Dr. Carrie Etter, an American poet, originally from Normal, Illinois, who moved to Southern California at the age of 19 and on to London in 2001. She is currently an Associate Lecturer at Bath Spa University. In the UK, her poems have appeared in Metre, Poetry Wales, Poetry Review, Reactions, Thumbscrew, The Times Literary Supplement, and elsewhere, while in the US her poems have appeared in Aufgabe, Barrow Street, Columbia, Meridian, The New Republic, Seneca Review, and many other journals. She is also an essayist and a critic. Her reviews of contemporary poetry have appeared in The Liberal, New Welsh Review, Poetry Matters, The Times Literary Supplement, and Verse.

William Hughes, Professor of Gothic Studies at Bath Spa University. Author of Beyond Dracula (Palgrave 2000), and co-editor of the collections Contemporary Writing and National Identity (with Tracey Hill), Bram Stoker History, Psychoanalysis and the Gothic (with Andrew Smith), Fictions of Unease: The Gothic from Otranto to The X-Files (with Andrew Smith and Diane Mason) and Empire and the Gothic: The Politics of Genre (with Andrew Smith), he has also produced scholarly editions of Stoker's The Lady of the Shroud and Dracula. He is also editor of Gothic Studies, the refereed journal of the International Gothic Association, published by Manchester University Press.

Tim Liardet, an English poet and critic. He studied at the University of York and lectures in creative writing at Bath Spa University. He has published five collections of poetry, Clay Hill, Fellini Beach, Competing with the Piano Tuner, To the God of Rain and The Blood Choir, which was nominated for the T. S. Eliot Prize.

Gerard Woodward, an award-winning British novelist and poet. He was educated at Falmouth School of Art and the London School of Economics, where he studied Social Anthropology. His first collection of poetry, Householder, was published in 1991 and won the Somerset Maugham Award. His novels have been shortlisted for both the Booker and Whitbread Awards. He teaches creative writing at Bath Spa University.

Notable alumni


Plans have been proposed for the development of the university, most notable at Newton Park Campus where over a ten year (approx) period the existing Student accommodation is to be demolished and new accommodation built in its place. As well as accommodation improvement the existing buildings will be modified to deal with the influx of students expected in the next few years.[4]


  1. ^ a b c "Bath Spa University Profile". Retrieved 2008-12-05.  
  2. ^ "Newton Park". Bath Spa University website. Retrieved 2007-10-03.  
  3. ^ a b c d Bath Spa UniversityIndependent Online A-Z of Unis and Colleges (retrieved 03 Jan 2006)
  4. ^ "Strategic Plan 2006/07 to 2008/09". Bath Spa University. Retrieved 2009-07-05.  

External links


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