University of Roehampton

University of Roehampton
Type Public
Established 2004 – Roehampton University
1975 – Roehampton Institute of Higher Education
1841 – establishment of Whitelands College
Budget £105.2 million (2016)[1]
Chancellor Dame Jacqueline Wilson
Vice-Chancellor Paul O'Prey
Students 10,205 (2016/17)[2]
Undergraduates 8,405 (2016/17)[2]
Postgraduates 1,685 (2016/17)[2]
Location Roehampton, London, England, UK
Affiliations The Cathedrals Group; Compostela Group of Universities; European University Association; School of Pedagogical and Technological Education (ASPETE, Greece); Universities UK

The University of Roehampton, formerly Roehampton Institute of Higher Education, is a public university in the United Kingdom, situated on three major sites in Roehampton, south-west London.


The university has its roots in the traditions of its four constituent colleges, all of which were founded in the 19th century as teacher training colleges:

  • Whitelands College – Founded in 1841, the college is one of the five oldest institutions for training educators in England. A flagship women's college of the Church of England, it was the first college of higher education in the UK to admit women. It occupies a 14-acre site overlooking Richmond Park.
  • Southlands College – Founded in 1872, the college derives its ethos from its Methodist foundation. It offers an open and valuable community for all of its members, and regularly organises a range of events and activities to help build and support the community.
  • Digby Stuart College – Established in 1874 as a teacher training college for Roman Catholic women. The college owes its existence to the Society of the Sacred Heart, whose members continue to support the college and the university.
  • Froebel College – Founded in 1892, the college was established to further the values of Friedrich Fröbel, the German educationalist who pioneered a holistic view of child development. It is one of the UK's major centres for initial teacher training.

All four colleges were founded to address the need to educate poor and disadvantaged children. In 1975, the four colleges joined to form the Roehampton Institute of Higher Education.

Roehampton was formerly an equal partner in the now-dissolved Federal University of Surrey (along with the original University of Surrey in Guildford). On 1 August 2004, the University of Surrey Roehampton became Roehampton University.

Since 2011, the university has been branded University of Roehampton. However, its legal name remains Roehampton University.[3] In 2012 the last college, Whitelands, was legally merged with the university, bringing all the colleges into a common management structure.[4] Schiller International University degrees are awarded and accredited by Roehampton.

Dame Jacqueline Wilson was appointed Chancellor of the University in August 2014, succeeding the first Chancellor John Simpson.[5] She is also a Teaching Fellow, who teaches modules[6] in both the Children's Literature and Creative Writing master's degree (MA) programs offered by the University.

The Vice-Chancellor of the University is Professor Paul O'Prey. Professor O'Prey was appointed Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in the Queen's 90th Birthday Honours list for his services to higher education and the literary history of the First World War.[7]

In May 2017 the university launched The International Journal of James Bond Studies (JBS).[8]


Specialist teaching facilities

The University has a range of specialist facilities for use in teaching and research. This includes:

Biomechanics Laboratory:[9] used for a wide range of biomechanical assessments. Facilities include a nine-camera Vicon 3D motion capture system, three Kistler force plates, two isokinetic dynamometers, a range of accelerometers, electromagnetic tracking device, FASTRAK system, ultrasound bone scanner, acoustic emission measuring system, pressure plate, 2D video analysis, portable ultrasound and software associated with devices and analysis.

Physiology Laboratory: for use in physiological experiments, with equipment including a metabolic cart; environmental chamber; head, neck, and chest cooling systems; 16-channel wireless electromyography system; neuromuscular electrical stimulator; isometric strength testing devices; temperature logger and thermistors; various bike, running and rowing ergometers.

Sport and Exercise Psychology laboratories: facilities include standalone and mobile eye-tracking systems, electroencephalography systems, transcranial magnetic stimulation systems, and functional magnetic resonance imaging technology.


The University opened a new £35 million Library in 2017, designed by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios.[10] The University Library is open seven days a week during term time, with the PC suites open 24/7 nearly every day of the year. The library has more than 350,000 books, as well as a collection of e-books and electronic journals. The library houses the Jewish Resource Centre Collection,[11] the Centre for Marian Studies,[12] a collection of resources covering all matters regarding the Virgin Mary, the Queen's Archive, featuring material on authority and governance within the Roman Catholic Church in the UK and the Richmal Crompton Collection of books and archive material accumulated during the lifetime of the author Richmal Crompton (1890–1969).[13]


The University is equipped with a state-of-the-art fitness centre, grass football pitches, a multi-use games area, studio facilities and a sports hall for indoor sports and classes. Teams also have access to excellent nearby facilities, including the Roehampton Club and the National Tennis Centre. Sports are managed by Sport Roehampton, and the options available to students range from football and cricket to ultimate and Zumba.


Roehampton consists of four colleges around which accommodation is centred. Mount Clare on is offered to continuing students and Linden House is offered to Postgraduate students, whilst a majority of the others are available to First Year undergraduate students. Since 2014 it has also offered accommodation in central London at the Spring Mews development in Vauxhall, central London. In September 2015, it opened new student accommodation in the grounds of Downshire House – Chadwick Hall. In September 2016 new student accommodation opened on Digby Stuart College – Elm Grove Hall.

Digby Stuart College

  • Bede House
  • Elm Grove Hall
  • Lee House
  • Newman House
  • Shaw House

Froebel College

  • Aspen House
  • Chadwick Hall
  • Garden Court
  • Lawrence
  • Linden House
  • Mount Clare
  • New Court
  • Old Court
  • Willow House

Southlands College

  • Aldersgate and Epworth Court
  • Wesley Hall

Whitelands College

  • Beverley and Cheltenham
  • Durham and Gilesgate
  • Kings and Melrose
  • Sutherland and Walpole


The University is in Transport for London Zone 3. The nearest overland train station is Barnes railway station. London Bus Routes 265, 72, 493, N74 serve three bus stops along Roehampton Lane, a long road around the University.

The nearest tube stations is Hammersmith bus station via route 72 and Putney Bridge tube station via route 265.

Academic departments

  • Department of Dance
  • Department of Drama, Theatre and Performance
  • School of Education
  • Department of English and Creative Writing
  • Department of Humanities
  • Department of Life Sciences
  • Department of Media, Culture and Language
  • Department of Psychology
  • Department of Social Sciences
  • Roehampton University Business School
  • Roehampton University Law School (opened in 2015)

Reputation and standing

Global rankings
(2018, world)
(2019, national)
The Guardian[16]
(2019, national)
Times/Sunday Times[17]
(2018, national)
British Government assessment
Teaching Excellence Framework[18] Bronze

In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, 66 per cent of Roehampton research submissions were classed as 'world-leading' or 'internationally excellent'.

Dance was the top performing subject, with 94% of research rated 4* and 3* – making it the highest rated department in its subject area in the UK. Roehampton was also ranked 3rd in London for research quality in Education, and the 4th for English. In both Roehampton was the strongest performing university in London in these subject areas.[19]

In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), Roehampton University was ranked first in the country for Dance and Biological Anthropology. Ten out of the fifteen subjects that submitted work included at least some proportion of research judged to be world-leading in terms of its originality and significance. 78% of all research undertaken at the university was of an international standard. This has led to the university having "one of the strongest research profiles among modern universities" (meaning post-1992 universities).[20]

In December 2014, according to Higher Education Funding Council for England, the university is the most research-intensive post-1992 university in the UK. Roehampton submitted work by more than two-thirds of its academic staff, in 13 subject areas, to Hefce's Research Excellence Framework programme. This is the highest proportion of any post-1992 university. Overall, 66 per cent Roehampton's research was judged either world leading or internationally excellent.[21]

Roehampton Students' Union (RSU)

The RSU is the main organisation of student representation at the University. It is led by student officers elected by the student body, and aims to promote the interests and welfare of all those studying at Roehampton. It is also a focal point for social activities, and is responsible for organising events like the Summer Ball and nights out in London, some of these consist of the Clapham grand once a month, fez club Putney on Wednesday nights and the unions special event the Bop hosted at the union bar. The Union itself has 12 different bars, cafes and restaurants spread around the campus.[22]

In September 2013 Roehampton Students' Union was awarded £226,900 from NUS Students' Green Fund for a sustainability initiative with a focus on urban food growing. The project is called Growhampton[23] . Growhampton runs a cafe, the Hive, alongside a regular market day,[24] where food produced by students and small local organisations is sold. In June 2015, Wandsworth Council awarded Growhampton funds[25] to launch a food education outreach programme, which now operates in Wandsworth schools, youth groups and community groups, with a focus on food growing. Growhampton also works directly with a local charities, including Regenerate and Paradise Co-op.[26]

The Union runs Fresh Network,[27] which provides the opportunity for students to get engaged in radio and tv production, and social media.

The Union also runs charity events called R.A.G (raising and giving). This involves students voting for 3 charities to help raise money for during events such as R.A.G we. From 2014 the RAG has included a 'jailbreak' in which pairs of students would try to get as far away from the university as possible on little or no money.

Notable alumni

Amongst the alumni of the University of Roehampton, and other institutions that fall under that banner are:

BBC Panorama investigation

A programme broadcast on 13 November 2017 by BBC Panorama found that an undercover reporter was admitted onto the foundation year of a Business Management course at the London Holborn Centre (a college run and administered by QA Higher Education and with whom Roehampton has a partnership) after a third party agent provided the reporter with a fabricated curriculum vitae (CV) and a job reference as Marketing Executive. The agent was filmed advising the reporter to search for a description of that role and copy it into her CV. [28] The reporter was then accepted onto the Business Management course after passing a basic English test, and attending an interview at which Roehampton said she did very well. The Liberal Democrat peer Lord Storey commented "If I were Roehampton University I would be very concerned about the impact that would have on my credibility as a university".[28]


  1. "Roehampton University Annual Report and Financial Statements 31 July 2016" (PDF). Roehampton University. Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  2. 1 2 3 "2016/17 Students by HE provider, level, mode and domicile" (CSV). Higher Education Statistics Agency. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  3. "Annual report and financial statements 2012–2013" (PDF). University of Roehampton. Retrieved 17 March 2016.
  4. "Dame Jacqueline Wilson confirmed as new Chancellor". News. University of Roehampton. Retrieved 14 February 2014.
  5. "Dame Jacqueline Wilson re-appointed Chancellor of the University". University of Roehampton. Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  6. "Vice-Chancellor awarded CBE in Birthday Honours list". University of Roehampton. Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  7. "International Journal of James Bond Studies". Retrieved 31 May 2017.
  8. "Sport and Exercise Science Research Centre". University of Roehampton. Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  9. "Roehampton University unveiled its new £35 million library today". Your Local Guardian. Retrieved 17 November 2017.
  10. "Jewish Resource Centre Collection". Library Services. University of Roehampton. Retrieved 30 January 2014.
  11. "Library". University of Roehampton. Retrieved 15 November 2017.
  12. "The Richmal Crompton Collection". Library Services. University of Roehampton. Retrieved 30 January 2014.
  13. "World University Rankings 2018". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 5 September 2017.
  14. "University League Table 2019". The Complete University Guide. Retrieved 26 April 2018.
  15. "University league tables 2019". The Guardian. 29 May 2018. Retrieved 29 May 2018.
  16. "The Times and Sunday Times University Good University Guide 2018". Times Newspapers. Retrieved 24 September 2017.
  17. "Teaching Excellence Framework outcomes". Higher Education Funding Council for England. Retrieved 11 June 2018.
  18. "Results & submissions : REF 2014 : View results and submissions by institution". Retrieved 17 November 2017.
  19. The Sunday Times University Guide
  20. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 1 May 2015.
  21. Roehampton Students' Union
  22. Growhampton
  23. "Our Market". Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  24. Council, Wandsworth. "Local projects awarded more than £179k of council funding | News | Wandsworth Council". Government of the United Kingdom. Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  25. "Community Partners". Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  26. "Home". Fresh Network. Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  27. 1 2 "Student Loan Scandal". BBC iPlayer. Retrieved 13 November 2017.

Coordinates: 51°27′24″N 0°14′35″W / 51.4566°N 0.2431°W / 51.4566; -0.2431

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