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University of Hull
Motto Lampada Ferens (Latin)
Motto in English Carrying the lamp of learning
Established 1954 - University Status
1927 - University College Hull
Type Public
Chancellor Baroness Bottomley of Nettlestone
Vice-Chancellor Professor David Drewry, from September 2009 Calie Pistorius
Visitor The Lord President of the Council ex officio
Faculty 1,000
Staff 2,300
Students 22,275[1]
Undergraduates 18,710[1]
Postgraduates 3,565[1]
Location Hull
53°46′13″N 0°22′02″W / 53.770263°N 0.367141°W / 53.770263; -0.367141 (Hull campus of University of Hull)
and Scarborough
54°15′52″N 0°23′47″W / 54.264430°N 0.39650°W / 54.264430; -0.39650 (Scarborough campus of University of Hull)
, England
Campus Urban area
Course information 900 courses
Affiliations Global U8 (GU8)
Uni logo.png
The Venn Building

The University of Hull, also known as Hull University, is an English university, founded in 1927, located in Hull (or Kingston upon Hull), a city in the East Riding of Yorkshire. It is regarded as a "redbrick" university in the broader designation[2]. The main campus is located on Cottingham Road in the north west of the city while a smaller campus is located in nearby Scarborough. The main campus is also home to the Hull York Medical School, a joint initiative with the University of York.

The university was once the workplace of the poet Philip Larkin who was librarian of the Brynmor Jones Library. The Philip Larkin Society now carries out activities in the university in remembrance of Larkin. It was also once the workplace of former poet laureate Andrew Motion and the late film director Anthony Minghella.

Lord Wilberforce, a senior Law Lord, was Chancellor of the University from 1978 until 1994, and was known for his participation in the life of the University and the Law School, despite his position being entirely honorary. Robert Armstrong, former Cabinet Secretary, was Chancellor from 1994 to 2006. Virginia Bottomley was installed as the current Chancellor in April 2006.



The foundation stone of University College Hull, then an external college of the University of London, was laid in 1927 by the Duke of York (who later became George VI). It was built on land donated by Hull City Council and local benefactors Thomas Ferens and G F Grant. A year later the first 14 departments, in pure sciences and the arts, opened with 39 students. The college at that time consisted of one building, the Venn building (named after the mathematician John Venn, who was born in Hull).

The original University coat of arms was designed by Sir Algernon Tudor-Craig in 1928. The symbols are the torch for learning, the rose for Yorkshire, the ducal coronet from the arms of the City of Hull, the fleur-de-lys for Lincolnshire and the dove, symbolising peace, from the arms of Thomas Ferens. These symbols have later been reused to create modern university logo.[3]


Royal Charter

The College gained its Royal Charter in 1954 which empowered it to award degrees of its own, making it the third university in Yorkshire and the 14th in England. The Brynmor Jones Library was constructed in 1960, with a tower block extension added in 1970. During the 1960s more academic buildings were added, with their height diminishing from the centre of the campus towards the perimeter, a barrier which the university was quickly outgrowing.

Liquid crystal technology

In 1972 George Gray and Ken Harrison created room-temperature stable liquid crystals in the University Chemistry laboratories, which were an immediate success in the electronics industry and consumer products. This led to Hull becoming the first university to be awarded the Queen's Award for Technological Achievement for the joint-development of the long-lasting materials that made liquid crystal displays possible.

New campuses

In 2000 the University bought the site of University College Scarborough on Filey Road, Scarborough to become the University of Hull Scarborough Campus. The University then further expanded in 2003 when it purchased the buildings of the adjacent University of Lincoln campus which, from the 2005 academic year, became the West Campus of the university. The site now houses the Hull York Medical School and the recently relocated Business School which is housed in three buildings - Wharfe, Derwent and Esk.

Department closure

Coming soon after a large expansion of the University by breadth of courses and physical size with the HYMS campus, unfortunately in 2005, the University decided to close its Maths department. This was due to a 'reduction in funding' and general shortage in UK maths undergraduates.[4] Four other UK university maths departments had closed since 1999. The department taught around 175 students, and the department's staff moved to the University of York. The Centre for Mathematics replaced the department.[5] This offers mathematics 'support' instead to Physics, Chemistry and Biology students. It is not inconceivable that the department will re-open, as has happened at the University of Bradford, once again if the need for maths provision increases.

Campus network

The Venn Building is the administration centre of the university.

Academic Faculties

Science (FoS)

  • Dean: Derek Wills
  • Departments: Computer Science, Biological Sciences, Physics, Chemistry, Sport Health & Exercise Science, Engineering, Psychology, Geography, Centre for Environmental and Marine Sciences.

Until recently, there were two faculties, the Faculty of Applied Science & Technology and the Faculty of Science & the Environment. Notable facilities include HIVE (Hull Immersive Visualisation Environment). The Chemistry department is noted for its research record as well as Hull's computer science and videogame developing degrees.

Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)

  • Dean: Dr. George Talbot
  • Departments: Criminology & Social Sciences, Drama & Music, English, History, Humanities, Law School, Modern Languages (French, German, Italian and Spanish), Politics & International Studies, School of Arts & New Media, Social Work[6]

Includes the School of Arts and New Media at Scarborough, formed in August 2006. Drama is taught in the Gulbenkian Centre, including the Donald Roy Theatre. Music is in the Larkin Building.

Health and Social Care (FHSC)

  • Dean: Chris English
  • Departments: Nursing & Midwifery, Applied Health Studies[7]

Based in the Calder, Aire and Dearne Buildings in the West Campus (former campus of Universities of Humberside, then finally Lincoln). The Leven building contains mock clinical areas, wards, an operating theatre and a midwifery suite, within a simulated environment.[8]

The FHSC is running a new degree programe; BSc Global Health and Disease (International Health, Development and Humanitarian Relief).[9]

Hull York Medical School (HYMS)

  • Dean: Ian Greer

Began in October 2003 on the West Campus. Medical students receive joint degrees from Hull and York. Includes the International Society for the Study of Cough based at Castle Hill Hospital on Castle Road in Cottingham. Third and fourth year students train also at hospitals in Scunthorpe, Grimsby, and Scarborough. Created to make a new medical school affordable by spreading the cost.

Institute for Learning (IfL)

  • Dean: Dina Lewis
  • Centres: [Educational Studies][1], Lifelong Learning, Scarborough School of Education[10]

Includes the Scarborough School of Education, a former teacher training college - the North Riding College. This became University College Scarborough, then the Scarborough campus.

Postgraduate Medical Institute (PGMI)

Established in 1994. One of the PGMI's sections is the Yorkshire Cancer Research-funded Centre for Magnetic Resonance Investigations which, under the Directorship of Professor Lindsay W. Turnbull, is actively engaged in researching the application of magnetic resonance imaging and magnetic resonance spectroscopy techniques to cancer research.

The Business School (HUBS)

  • Dean: Professor Mike Jackson[12]

Established in August 1999. Has 2,300 students at the Hull and Scarborough campuses. New £9m premises in 2005 on the West Campus. The Business School could be classed as one large department, but it is so large and cannot fit in another category, so it is a standalone faculty. It has seen an impressive number of developments recently and attracts a large number of international students. The new £9 million Logistics Institute has been completed September 2007. The Business School has both EQUIS and AMBA accreditations. It is important to note that there is also the Scarborough Management Centre in addition to the facilities on the Hull campus.

Student life and activities

Hull University Union (HUU) was voted "Best Student Union" by students poll in 2004. The Student Union is run by students for students and the student sabbatical body is elected each year. For a period up to 1975, the Student Union was sited in the Staff House building, until the standalone Union building was built on its current site. The Student Union comprises a £3.6 million nightclub called Asylum, the "John McCarthy" bar (known to students as the "Johnny Mac") and "Sanctuary", a pub for students which has an external seating area and indoor leisure facilities such as pool, darts and games machines. The John McCarthy bar is used for a variety of events, such as comedy night, quiz night, society socials and private functions. There is also a Union shop, a Waterstones bookshop, cafes, a snooker room and offices for its many clubs. The monthly student magazine is called Hullfire and the student radio station which broadcasts from the union building is JamRadio (formerly Jam1575). Over summer 2009 union will have a refurbishment, including the extension and relocation of the shop, a new coffee bar and an extension to the union kitchens, enabling more food to be produced more quickly.

The Students' Union recently saw a redevelopment of the top floor forming the Welfare Hub, which houses all of the University's Welfare Services. Also new as of September 2007 is the internet hub located downstairs near the Sanctuary bar, a free computer access area for students connected to the University's network.

There is also a presence on the Scarborough campus, which includes advice services, student representation and entertainment facilities. That campus has its own paper, called the Scarborough Tide and a radio station Bassment Radio.

HUU also hosts many societies and sports clubs.


Student accommodation is located both on and off campus. The on-campus accommodation is based along Cranbrook Avenue, Auckland Avenue, Cottingham Road and Taylor Court. Taylor Court consists of single en-suite self-catering flats and can accommodate 288 students. Student housing is based primarily around the university campus itself, as well as around the Newland Avenue and Beverley Road areas of the city. Off campus accommodation is based in the nearby village of Cottingham, with Thwaite Hall and Needler Hall which are the traditional halls, as well as "The Lawns" complex.

Needler Hall

Needler Hall is a traditional hall of residence for the University of Hull, located in Cottingham. Donated by Frederick Needler (of Needler's Confectionary) in 1932 to the newly-established Hull University College.[13]

The Lawns

The Lawns is a student accommodation complex for the University of Hull, located in Cottingham. It comprises seven halls of residence (Ferens, Lambert, Nicholson, Morgan, Downs, Reckitt and Grant) and the Lawns Centre. The latter includes a communal dining area for residents of the 6 semi-catered halls, and the Veranda Bar (more commonly known as "The Lawns bar" or "The Pub"), from which alcoholic refreshments may be purchased (at a subsidised rate, making it very popular with the students) and drunk by Lawns residents each evening. The bar also includes a pool table, juke box and televisions which have Sky Sports. Of the seven halls on the site, Ferens is a traditional rectangular 'Sandhurst block' with the accommodation around three sides of a central lawn. It is somewhat isolated from the other halls both by its location and by a natural screen of trees. Each of the other halls, which were designed by the renowned architectural firm Gillespie, Kidd & Coia, comprises five blocks identified by the letters A to E, and accommodates approximately 140 residents. Most have only limited cooking facilities, however Downs Hall was converted in the early 2000s to fully self-catered accommodation. The students of each hall often form tight knit communities and it is commonplace for students to move into student houses in the second and third year with friends they have made in their hall. Friendly rivalries usually exist between the halls.
During the expansion of university education after World War II a military camp of huts,[14] on part of the grounds of the former Cottingham Grange, became Camp Hall, the male hall of residence. "The Lawns" now occupies most of that site. The physical Cottingham Grange country house was demolished in the 1930s.[15]

In 2007 The Lawns received national attention following the murder of a student resident on the site. A second year History student at the university pleaded guilty to the murder, and in January 2008 was sentenced to a minimum of 21 years in prison.[16][17]

Notable academics

Presidency for The World Bank

Notable alumni

Selected honorary degrees

Academic reputation


UK University Rankings
2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 1997 1996 1995 1994 1993
Times Good University Guide 44th[20] 42nd=[21] 49th[22] 47th=[23] 37th 39th 43rd 42nd 38th 35th 33rd 31st 33rd 32nd= 35th= 37nd= 34th
Guardian University Guide 53rd[24] 51st[24] 54th 55th[25] 40th[26] 65th[27] 39th[28]
Sunday Times University Guide 45th=[29] 51st 38th[30] 36th 46th[31] 45th[31] 35th[31] 36th[31] 39th[31] 33rd[31] 35th[31]
Daily Telegraph 40th=[32] 27th
FT 26th[33] 29th 32nd
Independent / Complete University Guide 48th[34] 39th[34]

In popular culture

The University of Hull was referred to in the popular BBC comedy Blackadder Goes Forth in the episode General Hospital.

Blackadder hunts down a German spy operating in a British military hospital in the Great War and informs his superior with the following dialogue:

Captain Blackadder: And then the final, irrefutable proof. Remember, you mentioned a clever boyfriend...
Nurse Mary: Yes.
Captain Blackadder: I then leapt on the opportunity to test you. I asked if he'd been to one of the great universities, Oxford, Cambridge, or Hull.
Nurse Mary: Well?
Captain Blackadder: You failed to spot that only two of those are great Universities.
Nurse Mary: Swine!
General Melchett: That's right! Oxford's a complete dump!

The joke is historically inaccurate as University College Hull was founded in 1927 (ten years after the series is set) and became the University of Hull only when granted a Royal Charter in 1954. However, the humour of Blackadder is well-known for its anachronistic references. The joke here is that Stephen Fry, playing Melchett, attended Cambridge (as did Hugh Laurie, another cast member), Rowan Atkinson, playing Blackadder, had attended the University of Oxford (as did Tim McInnerny, another cast member) while writer Richard Curtis' sister studied drama at Hull (1983-86).

The University is alluded to on the song 'There She Goes My Beautiful World' (from the 2004 Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds album Abbatoir Blues), Cave sings through biographical details of numerous artists and the following lines "Philip Larkin stuck it out in a library in Hull" refers to Hull University's Brynmor Jones library.


  1. ^ a b c "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 2008-04-09. 
  2. ^ The Independent newspaper, A-Z of universities, 3rd para,; Bruce Truscott (pseudonym Professor Edgar Allison Peers) who coined the phrase "redbrick" university in his 1943 book "Redbrick University" p.59, mentions University College Hull (now the University of Hull) amongst the "redbrick" institutions battling against the Oxbridge stranglehold on resources and funding; Encyclopedia of Social Sciences, Red Brick Universities, Origins of the term, 3rd para,; Other Universities Known as "Redbrick"; Centre for Recording Achievement, 1st para,
  3. ^ "The Mace - a potent symbol of authority", University of Hull Alumni Site
  4. ^ "University to shut maths department | UK news". The Guardian. Retrieved 2009-08-30. 
  5. ^ "Welcome". 2006-06-29. Retrieved 2009-08-30. 
  6. ^ "Welcome to the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences- Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences -The University of Hull". Retrieved 2009-08-30. 
  7. ^ "Faculty of Health and Social Care". 2009-08-13. Retrieved 2009-08-30. 
  8. ^ Health and Social Care from official website
  9. ^ "Global health and disease". University of Hull. 2010-01-15. Retrieved 2010-02-16. 
  10. ^ "IFL". 2009-08-13. Retrieved 2009-08-30. 
  11. ^
  12. ^ "The University of Hull - Hull University Business School". Retrieved 2009-08-30. 
  13. ^ Raymond Needler, Needlers of Hull (Beverley: Hutton Press, 1993)
  14. ^ Cottingham High School ::: Key Information ::: Cottingham High School History
  15. ^ Lost Heritage | complete list of demolished country houses in England
  16. ^ "Student pleads guilty to murdering woman". Guardian Unlimited. Guardian News and Media Limited. 2007-10-18.,,2193315,00.html. Retrieved 2007-11-03. 
  17. ^ "Student killer to serve 21 years". BBC News (BBC). 2008-01-29. Retrieved 2008-01-29. 
  18. ^ "100 UK university discoveries", The Guardian, July 5th, 2006
  19. ^ "Honorary Graduates - part two". University of Hull. 2008-01-17. Retrieved 2008-02-11. 
  20. ^ "University Rankings League Table 2010 | Good University Guide - Times Online". Retrieved 2009-08-30. 
  21. ^ "The Times Good University Guide 2008". The Times. Retrieved 2007-11-03. 
  22. ^ "The Times Good University Guide 2007 - Top Universities 2007 League Table". The Times.,,102571,00.html. Retrieved 2007-11-03. 
  23. ^ "The Times Top Universities". The Times.,,32607,00.html. Retrieved 2007-11-03. 
  24. ^ a b "University ranking by institution". The Guardian. Retrieved 2007-10-29. 
  25. ^ "University ranking by institution". The Guardian. Retrieved 2007-10-29. 
  26. ^ "University ranking by institution". The Guardian.,,-5163901,00.html?chosen=Durham&tariff=0&start=40&index=3&alpha=0. 
  27. ^ "University ranking by institution 2004". The Guardian.,,1222167,00.html. Retrieved 2009-01-19. 
  28. ^ "University ranking by institution". The Guardian 2003 (University Guide 2004).,,-4668575,00.html. 
  29. ^ "The Sunday Times University League Table". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 2008-10-08. 
  30. ^ "The Sunday Times University League Table" (PDF). The Sunday Times. Retrieved 2007-11-03. 
  31. ^ a b c d e f g "University ranking based on performance over 10 years" (PDF). Times Online. 2007. Retrieved 2008-04-28. 
  32. ^ "University league table". The Daily Telegraph.;jsessionid=HXFCSGXMNVABTQFIQMFCFGGAVCBQYIV0?xml=/news/2007/07/30/ncambs430.xml. Retrieved 2007-10-29. 
  33. ^ "The FT 2003 University ranking". Financial Times 2003. 
  34. ^ a b "The Independent University League Table". The Independent. 

External links

Video clips


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