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Heritage and background

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The University of Chester has been breaking new ground since 1839, when it was founded by such pioneers as the great 19th-century prime ministers, William Gladstone and the Earl of Derby.

It is one of the oldest English higher education establishments of any kind, pre-dating all but Oxford, Cambridge, London and Durham, and was the first in the country to be purpose-built for the professional training of teachers, guided by Christian values.

In the 20th-century, the institution steadily expanded its student numbers and the variety of its courses. In 1910, it began its long and fruitful association with the University of Liverpool.

Women were first admitted in 1962, shortly before the curriculum underwent significant development, to include BA and BSc programmes, in addition to teacher education.
The establishment of the School of Nursing and Midwifery (now the Faculty of Health and Social Care) in the 1990s marked a particularly important stage in its diversification.
The new millennium proved equally eventful. In August 2002, responsibility was taken for the higher education campus of Warrington Collegiate Institute and the Padgate site is now known as the Warrington campus.
In 2005, HM Privy Council conferred university status, empowering the new University of Chester to award its own taught degrees, and His Grace, The Duke of Westminster was installed as the Inaugural Chancellor on September 25, 2005. In 2007, HM Privy Council granted Research Degree Awarding Powers.
Since then the University has continued to expand the diversity of courses on offer and its services. The Parkgate Road campus, Chester has been improved and expanded upon and more locations have been acquired. The Riverside campus houses the Faculty of Health and Social Care and the Faculty of Education and Children’s Services. The Kingsway Buildings are home to the Faculty of Arts and Media with a purpose built art gallery and sound proof musician spaces. The Faculty of Science and Engineering is based at Thornton Science Park which was gifted to the University by Shell, in 2013.
You can  see our significant events here and please join us to celebrate the institutions 175th anniversary in 2014/15.  
 Today's University


The total number of students (including undergraduate, postgraduate and research students) now stands at approximately 17,800.

Recruitment is from the United Kingdom and overseas, particularly the United States, India, China, Hong Kong and Singapore, Japan, the Middle East, Russia, Greece and Finland and international study links are constantly evolving.
The original core values continue to underpin the University's mission, and excellence in teaching remains an intrinsic part of today’s academic curriculum.
Remaining true to the educational philosophies of the founders of the original College, the University continues to develop programmes that have a vocational element or address pressing social needs. This is reflected in a substantial proportion of the numerous new programmes introduced in recent years, amounting to more than 700 different course combinations.
As well as BEd, BA, BTh, BSc and LLB degrees and courses leading to master's degrees, including the award-winning MBA from Chester Business School, a new range of Foundation Degrees (FDs) has broadened the scope for students. The Foundation Degree in Policing is delivered at the Warrington campus for every new officer joining Cheshire Police. Other subjects include Animal Management, Sports Coaching, Health Care Sciences and Mortuary Science. FDs exemplify the investment in widening access to higher education and post-experience training, through partnerships with schools, colleges, employers, the public sector and other organisations.
Degree supervision for MPhil and PhD awards is a growing area of activity, through the Research and Knowledge Transfer Office. The emphasis is on practical research that has economic, cultural and social benefits for the region and beyond. 
The University is now the major provider of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Care education across Cheshire, Warrington, Halton and Wirral. Students gain practical experience at  hospitals in those areas, as well as on campus, and once qualified can progress to advanced practice level.
Development of courses in Business Management, Law, Criminology, Nutrition and Dietetics, Journalism and Advertising has further extended the University’s work and connections with industry, commerce and the professions. Millions of pounds are being invested in the accommodation and resources to underpin these initiatives.

In 2014/15, the University celebrated its 175th Anniversary and its evolvement from a small college to an internationally known university, and hosted a range of events throughout the year. An Anniversary Quilt which was stitched by staff and alumnae, was unveiled as part of the celebrations and will create a lasting llegacy to the achievements of the institution. You can read more about the official unveiling  here.




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