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University of Central Lancashire, Preston

Building on strong foundations

The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) in Preston was founded in 1828 as the Institution for the Diffusion of Knowledge. ‘Ex solo ad solem’, or in translation, ‘From the Earth to the Sun’, has been its motto ever since – helping people from all walks of life to make the most of their potential is what UCLan is all about.

UCLan has evolved over the years to become a world class institution, recognised with its inclusion in the 2010 QS World Rankings – the first Modern University in the UK to gain this status. With 11 areas of research judged ‘world leading’ in the most recent Research Assessment Exercise, UCLan has the global recognition of its peers, with a focus on applied research, including the identification of human remains in mass disasters, the development of new sign languages, and a variety of health-related research initiatives that are helping to change lives around the world.

Amongst its programme portfolio of some 500 Undergraduate and 200+ Postgraduate courses, UCLan has been at the forefront of developing degrees in the emerging disciplines of Journalism, Fashion, Forensics and Sports Science. The range of excellence extends to include the likes of Pharmacy, Architecture, Astrophysics and the first new School of Dentistry to be launched in the UK in more than a century.

The University aims to create the perfect blend of knowledge, practical experience and relevance to equip its graduates with the confidence and skills they need to get ahead in the world of work. Not only are employability skills embedded into every degree course, but the sector-defining ‘futures’ careers and employability service offers help and advice, courses and work experience opportunities to help UCLan graduate CVs to stand out from the pack. Capital investment in outstanding facilities and a dedicated student support service, The ‘i ’, combine to help UCLan be awarded the accolade ‘Times Higher Top Modern University for Student Experience’.

A truly global institution, UCLan’s student body includes 120 nationalities; its partnership network extends to 125 countries in North America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australasia; it runs 100+ student exchange programmes; it has a new campus in Cyprus and further campuses are being developed in Thailand and Sri Lanka. The University encourages and nurtures originality, from its ground-breaking Energy Management partnership with BAE Systems, to its launch of the world’s first International Fashion Institute and the UK’s first MBA in Fashion and its proud record of student business start-ups.

With a world class academic reputation firmly rooted in relevance, UCLan is focused on a future of providing innovative thinking– for the real world.


The Centre for World University Rankings (CWUR) has unveiled its latest international figures and ranked UCLan in the top 3.3% of all worldwide Universities.

UCLan was highly rated in the Quality of Faculty category, which measures the number of academics who have won major international awards, prizes and medals; and the Quality of Education section, which is measured by the number of a University’s alumni who have won major international awards, prizes and medals relative to the University’s size.

UCLan scored highly for its alumni employment and was praised for the number of highly cited research papers. Professor Gai Murphy, 106 University of Central Lancashire, UK Building on strong foundations. 106 UCLan Pro Vice-Chancellor (Student Experience), said: “It’s great news for the University that we’ve broken into this list for the first time. It’s a fantastic achievement to be among the world’s top higher education institutions and one we’re very proud of.”

The UK’s Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) for Higher Education has confirmed the quality and standards of provision at UCLan. The review identified a number of examples of good practice, including the availability of international study opportunities for all students; and the approach taken by the University to encourage applicants from a wide range of backgrounds and the methods used to enhance student employability. The review also highlighted the ways the University supports its partner organisations in the UK and overseas, which include regular meetings between senior staff, the sharing of best practice, and the opportunities and support available to staff at partner organisations to continue their professional development.

A successful QAA review means that the University can display the QAA Quality Mark, indicating to UK and international students that the University meets national requirements for standards and quality