University of Central Lancashire


The University of Central Lancashire, commonly referred to as UCLan, began life as the Institution for the Diffusion of Knowledge in 1828. Since then, its motto has remained the same – From the Earth to the Sun, encouraging students from all types of different backgrounds and walks of life to realise their potential at university.

The institution was founded by seven Preston men who vowed to never drink alcohol again. It evolved into a regional centre for the arts and sciences towards the end of the 19th century, and then as part of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 1897, institute trustees paid architect Henry Cheers to design the Victoria Jubilee Technical School. This was later referred to as the Harris Institute, and is now the Harris Building. Back then it offered local youngsters a technical, well-rounded education.

It spent the first half of the 20th century as Harris Art College and Harris College, only to rebrand as Preston Polytechnic in 1973, and Lancashire Polytechnic 12 months later. Full university status arrived in 1992, and the University of Central Lancashire was created. The journalism department, which is now within the School of Journalism and Media, is one of the oldest in the UK, having started out as part of Harris College in the 1960s. it became one of the first to teach journalism undergraduate degrees in 1991.

Back in 2010, UCLan broke new ground by becoming the first modern higher education institution in the country to make an appearance in the QS World University Rankings. Six years later, the Centre for World University Rankings placed UCLan in the top 3.7% of universities around the world, demonstrating the headway made in giving students vital learning experiences.

In the Times Higher Education World University Rankings for 2018, UCLAN was awarded 71st position in the UK, and 601-800 internationally. It also has a Silver Teaching Excellence Framework. The university’s reputation has been enhanced by its track record in supporting graduate business start-ups. It has been ranked as the leading UK university for incubated start-up firms still active three years after trading began. Since 2012, it has helped more than 1,000 students or graduates open a business or become self-employed.

If you are coming to study at UCLan have a look at our student flats in Preston below which are all within convenient walking distance of the university.

UCLan Accommodation

The School of Dentistry and the School of Postgraduate Medical and Dental Education teamed up in 2013 to form the School of Medicine and Dentistry, and in the same year, Wigan UTC, a university technical college sponsored by UCLan, opened its doors for the first time.

UCLan has gone on to become one of the biggest education providers of its kind in the UK, with a population of students and staff adding up to around 38,000. The university has built important partnerships with academic counterparts across the globe, and has a successful Cyprus campus providing UCLan courses, as well as original research.

Aerospace Engineering is a new programme at UCLan, as part of its mission to increase the amount of engineering-related courses it provides. This is complemented by the development of a £30 million Engineering Innovation Centre.

Notable alumni include BBC Radio Five Live presenter Victoria Derbyshire, award-winning comic book artist Bryan Talbot, and Simon Kelner, the former Editor of The Independent. ITN News broadcaster Nina Hossain, CNN correspondent Brent Sadler, and actor Don Warrington also attended the university.