Bournemouth University

Bournemouth University
Bournemouth University Coat of Arms
Former names
Dorset Institute of Higher Education, Bournemouth College of Technology, Bournemouth Municipal College
Motto Discere Mutari Est (Latin)
Motto in English
To Learn is to Change
Type Public
Established 1992
Endowment £2.4 million (2008-09)[1]
Chancellor Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers
Vice-Chancellor John Vinney
Students 20,200 (2016/17)[2]
Undergraduates 16,140 (2016/17)[2]
Postgraduates 4,060 (2016/17)[2]
Location Poole and Bournemouth, Dorset, England
50°44′36″N 1°53′49″W / 50.743213°N 1.896901°W / 50.743213; -1.896901Coordinates: 50°44′36″N 1°53′49″W / 50.743213°N 1.896901°W / 50.743213; -1.896901

Suburban Talbot Campus (primary campus)

Lansdowne Campus
Affiliations ACU
Florence Network

Bournemouth University (abbreviated BU) is a public university in Bournemouth, Dorset, England, with its main campus situated in neighbouring Poole. The university was founded in 1992 as one of the new universities, however the origins of its predecessor date back to the early 1900s.

Traditionally known for its focus on professional courses, in the 2000s Bournemouth University invested in research to underpin its curriculum and maximise its contribution to the regional and national economies. The university currently has over 16,000 students, including over 1,500 international students. The university is recognised for its work in the media industries, being home to the Centre for Excellence in Media Practice (CEMP). Graduates from the university have worked on a number of Hollywood films, including "Gravity", which was awarded the Achievement in Visual Effects Oscar at the 86th Academy Awards.[3]

The university was a finalist for two prizes in British higher education – the 2009 Times Higher Education (THE) Awards for "University of the Year" and "Research Project of the Year". In 2017 Bournemouth University received silver rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework, a government assessment of the quality of undergraduate teaching in universities and other higher education providers in England. [4]

In September 2016, the Times and Sunday Times annual Good University Guide ranked Bournemouth University 6th in the South West and 62nd nationally.[5] In 2017, according to the Guardian 2018 University league tables, Bournemouth University was ranked in top 10 in the UK in Hospitality, event management & tourism, Social work and Sociology, top 20 in Anthropology, and top 35 in Forensics and Archaeology, Health Professions, Journalism, publishing and public relations, and Nursing and Midwifery. [6]


Predecessor institutions

The university was first founded in the early 20th century as the predecessor Bournemouth Municipal College. The institution initially offered courses to prepare students for degrees of the University of London (1942-1976).[7] In the mid 1960s there were 6,850 day and evening students.[8] As early as 1965, in the House of Commons, the rate of students at the Institute was highlighted, and the Secretary of State was asked to consider a university application.[8] At the time the Government did not intend to create any new universities until the late 1970s,[8] and so Bournemouth would have to wait until the 1990s before its ambitions of gaining a university would be fulfilled.

In the 1970s the college became the Bournemouth College of Technology. Owing to a review by the Dorset Education Committee, also undertaken in the 1970s, the College of Technology changed once more to become Dorset Institute of Higher Education (DIHE).

Bernard MacManus was appointed Director in 1983 and presided over a significant expansion in curriculum and student numbers, against a backdrop of initial uncertainty over the Weymouth Campus.[9] During this time the Talbot Campus was consolidated having been completed earlier in 1976, and the Student Village was also constructed. A second campus was also established, at Lansdowne. The period between 1983 and 1994 also saw the Institute expand into new frontiers such as heritage, tourism, tax, and public relations, in addition to computer animation and information systems.[10] Many of these would later become areas of strength for the university, for example in the form of the National Centre for Computer Animation.

Two foundation stones remain from the history of the university. The foundation stone for the College of Technology (1970s) resides in the main lobby of Poole House, Talbot Campus. The foundation stone for the Dorset Institute is mounted in Dorset House near what is now called The Edge. Bernard MacManus was honoured by Bournemouth University with an honorary doctorate in 2007.

University status

This expansion under Dr MacManus allowed the institute to make a strong case for polytechnic status, which the institution briefly gained in 1990, before in 1992 proceeding to become Bournemouth University.[9]

By September 1994, over 9,000 students had been recruited nationally, and internationally, to undergraduate and postgraduate degrees.[7] By 1996 the university had 11 endowed professorial posts, including:[11]

  • Royal Mail Chair in Business Performance Improvement
  • Intel Chair in Computer Supported Cooperation
  • British Property Federation Chair in Archaeology and Development
  • IBM Chair in Concurrent Engineering
  • Intergraph Chair in Electronic Design Automation
  • GPT Chair in Software Engineering
  • Steele Raymond Chair in Business Law
  • Hewlett Packard Chair in Computer Animation
  • Sutcliffe Chair in Catering Management
  • Marks & Spencer Chair in Retail Management

In 2009 Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, then the most senior Law Lord and President of the Supreme Court, was installed as Chancellor.

In recent years the university has announced a significant investment programme, and by 2018 it plans to invest £200 million in new buildings and facilities including a new Student Centre, which opened in March 2015.[12]


In 2011 it was announced that the university would be awarded the Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education, for "world-class computer animation teaching with wide scientific and creative applications".[13] In 2014 the quality of courses at the university received acknowledgement from the Prime Minister in Parliament.[14]

The university was the first such institution in 2013 to receive a "commended" grade, the highest award possible from the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA).[15]

Coat of arms

The university coat of arms was granted in 1992 by the official heraldic authority for England, the College of Arms.[16] The Talbots, the heraldic beasts on the shield, represent the location of the main campus.[16] The crowns denote the three Saxon crowns of the Kingdom of Wessex, and the nearby boroughs.[16] The blue represents the nearby sea, reflecting the location of the university,[16] on the Jurassic Coast of Dorset. The red dragon in the Coat of Arms represents Dorset, and the scroll represents learning.[16]

The Latin motto Discere Mutari Est means To Learn is to Change.


Bournemouth University has two campuses: Talbot Campus and Lansdowne Campus.

Talbot Campus

The Talbot Campus is situated at Fern Barrow on the Poole side of the boundary with Bournemouth. It is where the main University buildings are located, including the students' union and the main library. The campus also contains cafes and refectories, Dylan's and The ground up bars, a doctors' surgery, shop and a branch of Santander.

Lansdowne Campus

The Lansdowne Campus is just outside Bournemouth's town centre, housing six teaching and administrative buildings, the students' union nightclub and various halls of residence located around Christchurch Road, Oxford Road and Holdenhurst Road. A new Bournemouth University International College is currently being built at the campus.[17] Unlike Talbot, Lansdowne is not a self-contained campus.

Halls of residence

University accommodation is divided among eight halls of residence:

  • Cranborne House – situated on Lansdowne Road near the Lansdowne Campus.
  • Purbeck House – refurbished during summer 2014, situated on Oxford Road near the Lansdowne Campus, opposite Cranborne House.
  • Student Village – 54 houses of up to seven bedrooms adjacent to the Talbot Campus.
  • Corfe House – a block of five and six-bedroom flats situated in Poole town centre.
  • Lyme Regis House – A newly built hall of residence built by the university next to the newly built Executive Business Centre at Lansdowne.
  • Okeford House – a privately owned residence in Winton, between the Talbot and Lansdowne Campuses, for postgraduate students.[18]
  • Abbotsbury House – for nursing students.
  • Chesil House – situated near the Lansdowne Campus and dedicated to undergraduate and postgraduate students.
  • Dorchester House – opposite the railway station with a well connected bus route outside.
  • Lansdowne Point - Catered accommodation for students from the university and international college, the latter of which it neighbours.
  • Home Park - newest halls of residence, situated on York Road, near the centre of Lansdowne.

Organisation and governance

Bournemouth University is currently divided into the following faculties:

  • The Faculty of Science and Technology (Archaeology, Anthropology, Biology, Geography, Design, Engineering, Computing, Forensic Sciences, and Psychology) - home to the Festival of Design & Innovation[19]
  • The Faculty of Media and Communication – home to the Centre for Intellectual Property Policy & Management (CIPPM), the Centre for Excellence in Media Practice, the National Centre for Computer Animation and the Centre for Broadcasting History Research[20][21]
  • The Faculty of Health and Social Sciences
  • The Faculty of Management – home to the International Centre for Tourism & Hospitality Research

The university validates courses in chiropractic for the Anglo-European College of Chiropractic, an associate college of Bournemouth University.[22]

List of Chancellors

List of Directors and Vice Chancellors

Rankings and reputation

Global rankings
(2019, world)
(2018, world)
(2019, national)
The Guardian[30]
(2019, national)
Times/Sunday Times[31]
(2018, national)
British Government assessment
Teaching Excellence Framework[32] Silver

Bournemouth University appeared for the first time in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings[33] in 2015/16: it was ranked 401-500 (shared) in the world and, with a combined score of 30.0, reached the 57th position among UK universities. The university is also on an upward trend in national rankings: in 2016, it raised from 65th to 54th in The Complete University Guide,[34] from 71st to 63rd place in The Guardian University League Table[35] and from 88th to joint 82nd in the Sunday Times Good University Guide.[36]. The high salary increases awarded to Bournemouth University Vice Chancellor John Vinney have been justified as a reflection of this outstanding performance.[24]. However concerns have also been raised regarding the public perception of these pay awards.[37]

The library at Bournemouth University has won two national awards: in 2007 the Library Design Award of the Society of College, National and University Libraries (SCONUL) for a large university;[38] and in 2009 the Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Award for "Outstanding Library Team".[39]

Student life

The Students' Union at Bournemouth University (SUBU) is based on the Talbot Campus at the Student Centre, which was opened in 2015. Its facilities are open to students at Lansdowne Campus and the partner colleges.

SUBU has over 120 clubs and societies for students to take part in alongside their studies at Bournemouth University. SUBU itself is composed of various departments, such as SUBU Advice, Democracy and Equality, Representation, Volunteering, Insight and Policy and Activities.

SUBU operates numerous venues including the nightclub The Old Fire station on the Lansdowne campus, the Student Shop, Ground Up Cafe and with Dylans Bar on Talbot [40]

Notable people

Notable academics

  • Timothy Darvill, awarded an OBE in the 2010 Queen’s Birthday Honours List for services to archaeology
  • Matthew Bennett, for research into hominin footprints as presented in the journal Science. The findings published in Science have been called into question by later work that found errors both in the methodology applied and the interpretation of the results..[41]

Notable alumni


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  2. 1 2 3 "2016/17 Students by HE provider, level, mode and domicile" (CSV). Higher Education Statistics Agency. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  3. "Bournemouth University graduates celebrating Oscar success". Retrieved 14 January 2015.
  4. "Teaching Excellence Framework results 2017". Retrieved 14 April 2018.
  5. "Bournemouth University up 20 places in Sunday Times Good University Guide". Bournemouth Echo. Retrieved 2016-09-29.
  6. "University League Tables 2018". the Guardian. Retrieved 2016-04-15.
  7. 1 2 "Bournemouth University". Archived from the original on 30 October 1996. Retrieved 15 July 2015.
  8. 1 2 3 Hansard, HC Deb 01 July 1965
  9. 1 2 "Dr Bernard MacManus". Bournemouth Echo. Retrieved 15 July 2015.
  10. "Error 404 - Bournemouth University" (PDF). Retrieved 15 July 2015.
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  15. "University guide 2016: Bournemouth University". the Guardian. Retrieved 15 July 2015.
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  18. "Okeford Halls of Residence". Retrieved 14 July 2008.
  19. Bournemouth University. "Festival of Design and Innovation 2012 - Bournemouth University - School of Design, Engineering & Computing - Home Page". Retrieved 15 July 2015.
  20. "Bournemouth Media School". Archived from the original on 4 November 2006. Retrieved 25 November 2006.
  21. "Centre for Excellence in Media Practice". Retrieved 25 November 2006.
  22. "Anglo-European College of Chiropractic". Retrieved 2 February 2011.
  23. "BU chief under fire for taking 20 per cent pay rise (he now earns £305k a year)". Bournemouth Echo.
  24. 1 2 "Under fire Bournemouth University boss best paid public sector chief in Dorset". Bournemouth Echo.
  25. Khomami, Nadia (23 February 2017). "University vice-chancellors' average pay now exceeds £275,000". the Guardian.
  26. "Bournemouth managers under fire over pay rises". 8 January 2014.
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  29. "University League Table 2019". The Complete University Guide. Retrieved 26 April 2018.
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  35. "BU jumps eight places in Guardian University League Table". 2015. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
  36. "Bournemouth University rises six places in Sunday Times Good University Guide". 2015. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
  37. "'It's bringing Bournemouth University into disrepute': calls made to freeze vice-chancellor's pay". Bournemouth Echo.
  38. "Bournemouth's Octagon takes top award at library design 'Oscars'". SCONUL. 2007. Archived from the original on 5 October 2009. Retrieved 26 July 2009.
  39. "BU has the UK's most Outstanding Library Team". Bournemouth University. 2009. Retrieved 26 July 2009.
  40. "EVENTS, VENUES, SHOP". Retrieved 15 July 2015.
  41. Morse, Sarita Amy; Bennett, Matthew R.; Gonzalez, Silvia; Huddart, David (September 2010). "Techniques for verifying human footprints: reappraisal of pre-Clovis footprints in Central Mexico". Quaternary Science Reviews. 29 (19-20): 2571–2578. doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2010.03.012.

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