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The University of Cumbria
The University of Cumbria is one of the country’s newest universities, having been formed in only 2007, through the merger of a number of higher education institutions across the North West. The University is now split predominantly between Carlisle, Lancaster and Ambleside in the Lake District, although it has a number of other teaching sites.
Cumbria is particularly known for its expertise in subjects like forestry, conservation and land management and is the largest provider of outdoor study degrees in the UK. These courses are run from the beautiful Ambleside Campus with students benefitting from unrivalled scenery and a pretty, vibrant local town located just 30 minutes from the M6.
Carlisle is a buzzing city with an array of shops, restaurants and cultural attractions, including the historic castle and impressive cathedral. The city is also within easy reach of the Lake District. With two universities and a large student population, Lancaster is also a welcoming, vibrant city with a thriving arts and music scene. Both cities have excellent rail links to nearby cities such as Manchester or Newcastle.
Complete University Guide (2021)
Guardian League Table (2021)
Teaching Excellence Framework
Green Credentials (2019)
Young vs Mature
Male vs Female
Cumbria University was formed in 2007 but the institutions that it was made up of can trace their roots all the way back to 1822. St Martin's College was the largest of the institutions which went on to form Cumbria University. It was founded in Lancaster in 1964 as a teacher training college and over the years, as the college's reputation grew, so too did its facilities. The college later opened a campus in Carlisle and took over the Charlotte Mason College in Ambleside.
The former Cumbria Institute of the Arts was another of the institutions that now makes up the University. It can trace its history back to 1822 when the Society for the Encouragement of Fine Arts was formed in Carlisle. It eventually became the only specialist institute of the arts in North West England and one of only a small number of such institutions in the country. Recent alumni of the college include Turner Prize winners, actor Charlie Hunnam, and ceramicist, Thomas Hopkins-Gibson.
The University of Cumbria was formed by the merger of St Martin’s College, Cumbria Institute of the Arts and University of Central Lancashire’s Cumbria sites. Since then the university has continued to grow, expanding in geographical terms as well as academic scope. The major redevelopment work of the Ambleside campus started in 2013, and in 2014 the Lake District campus officially became home to the National School of Forestry, the Centre for Wildlife Conservation and the University’s outdoor studies courses.
There are four campuses in the three main sites at the University of Cumbria. There are two campuses in Carlisle, on Fusehill Street and Brampton Road, and one in Lancaster and one in Ambleside. The University’s other smaller sites are located in Workington, London and Barrow-in-Furness.
The Fusehill Street campus is in the heart of Carlisle, a 10-minute walk from the railway and bus stations. With over 2,000 full-time students, this is the University’s largest campus. Facilities at the campus include a sports centre, the Students’ Union, a library, halls of residence, the Calva bar and the Learning Gateway.
The Brampton Road campus is home to Cumbria’s creative courses and also contains halls of residence, a library and the Stanwix Theatre, a premier performance space that is home to over 70 productions each year. The campus is located north of the city of Carlisle and is home to over 1000 full-time students. The campus has a vibrant atmosphere and backs onto a large park, with sheep grazing in it.
Cumbria’s Lancaster campus is self-contained campus to the Southeast of the city centre. It is a 20-minute walk from the city centre and has extensive facilities and services including halls of residence, a sports centre, library and the Students’ Union. There are multiple food and drink outlets on campus, such as the University’s restaurant, The View, which has a panoramic vista of Morecambe Bay and the Lake District.
The Ambleside campus is the only university campus in the Lake District, one of the most beautiful landscapes in England. In the last few years, the campus has been extensively redeveloped. It offers students a range of study facilities, accommodation, e-resources, a climbing wall and a café. A range of courses is taught here, including those in forestry, conservation and science, and there are more students studying outdoors in Cumbria than with any other higher education institution in Europe.
The University also has teaching facilities at Furness College in Barrow-in-Furness, in the state of-the-art Energus building in Workington and in the East End of London, where the university’s teacher training courses take place.
Departments & Institutes
Department of Business, Law, Policing and Social Sciences
- Business School
- Social Sciences
Department of Health, Psychology and Social Studies
- Psychology and Applied Psychology
- Occupational Therapy
- Social Work
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
- Working with Children and Families
- Youth and Community Work
Institute of the Arts
- Art and Design
- Media Arts
- Performing Arts
- Social Work
- English Literture and Creative Writing
Institute of Education
Department of Medical and Sport Sciences
- Medical Sciences
Department of Nursing, Health and Professional Practice
- Paramedic Practice
- Management, Leadership and Executive Coaching
- Practice Development
- Advanced Practice and Non-medical Prescribing
- Primary Care, Occupational Health and General Practice
- Counselling and Psychotherapy
Department of Science, Natural Resources and Outdoor Studies
- The National School of Forestry
- Outdoor Studies
In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, across the six units of assessment the University submitted, 33% of Cumbria’s research was deemed 'internationally excellent' or higher and 7% was deemed 'world leading'. 94% of research conducted in the Allied Health Professions and Education was of 'internationally recognised' quality or higher. This is a marked improvement from the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) 2008.
International & Industrial Opportunities
Many students at Cumbria have the chance to study abroad for a semester with one of the University’s partner institutions. Partner institutions are located in Europe, the USA, Asia and Australasia. The University also offers a number of opportunities for students to attend summer schools operated by its partner institutions.
Cumbria offers a large range of placement opportunities. Many degrees have placement periods built in as standard, including subjects with a strong vocational focus, such as teaching and health profession degrees. As part of their placement, 30 students even got real, hands-on experience at Kendal Calling festival in 2013. Some degrees, such as English and law, also include employability skills content to prepare students for the world of work.
UK/EU Students (2020/2021)
Bachelor's degree (BA, BSc, LLB)
The University offers a number of Partnership Progression Scholarship to first year undergraduates from Partner colleges and from a household with £0 income as assessed by Student Finance. The awards are worth £500 in total.
The Progression Scholarship may be received alongside the Cumbria Bursary if a recipient is eligible and ranked to receive both awards.
Students with a household income of less than £25,000 a year are eligible for the Cumbria Bursary. Bursaries are worth £3,000 in total and are split into £1,000 per year for a maximum of three years. Where there are more students who meet the criteria than there are awards, awards are allocated according to prioritisation criteria.
The University also has a student hardship fund for any students experiencing financial difficulties.
The University’s learning facilities are split between all of their campuses and sites. At the Ambleside campus, there is a flexible learning space, with study and social areas, based in the Barn. The Barn houses learning resources and library services, with particular emphasis on outdoor studies, forestry, conservation, forensic science, and business and leadership. Students can also make use of an on site café, Wi-Fi throughout, numerous IT facilities and laptop loans. There is also study space in the campus’ Charlotte Mason Building.
The main library on the Carlisle Fusehill street campus is located on the top floor of the Skiddaw Building. Its resources focus on health, education and the social sciences. There are also a law library and a large teaching practice collection. The library at Brampton road is focused on the arts and policing. Facilities include study spaces, wireless access, and a Library and Student Service (LiSS) information point. The Library in Lancaster is located next to The Keep and has fantastic views across the city. It houses a diverse collection of over 160,000 items covering most subject areas. There are also flexible study spaces with wireless connection and IT facilities at the Barrow-in-Furness and Workington sites.
All students at Cumbria have access to thousands of e-books and journal articles, as well as extensive online resources to aid their academic study skills. They can also make use of the University’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), Blackboard, and online portfolio tool, Pebblepad. Every student at Cumbria also has a personal tutor who can give him or her course guidance, advice on academic writing and feedback on assessed work. Additional academic guidance is available through LiSS, the Library and Student Services area. They provide information, expertise and resources on a number of issues including academic skills and development.
There are a number of sporting facilities across the University’s many sites. In Carlisle Fusehill street campus, there is a fitness suite and gym and a multi-purpose sports hall with sprung floor. Students and staff at the University also have access to a range of sites across Carlisle and West Cumbria, including those in Workington, through Cumbria’s enhanced sports card membership package.
In Lancaster, there is a sports hall, a fully equipped fitness suite, a floodlit artificial turf pitch, a grass football pitch, tennis courts, squash courts, a specialist gymnastics area, a Human Performance Laboratory and a Sports Injury Clinic. All facilities are within a 10-minute walk from the centre of the campus. Aside from this, students in Lancaster also have access to the facilities at Salt Ayre Sports Centre, including a Fitness suite, fitness classes, a 33 metre swimming pool, a Sauna and steam suite, a floodlit athletics track, a floodlit cycle track, a Synthetic sports pitch and Outdoor grass pitches, through an enhanced membership package.
The campus in Ambleside has a specially built climbing wall and access to the Low Wood Leisure club in Windermere. The site at Barrow-in-Furness boasts a brand new gym and fitness suite, sports hall and outdoor 3G pitch.
The University of Cumbria’s Students' Union (UCSU) has offices in the Carlisle and the Lancaster campuses. It is run by an elected team of three full-time officers who are supported by the Panel. The Panel is a democratic system for decision making; students can submit their ideas and suggestions to it anytime and they will be passed on to the union. There are a number of students working on the Panel, or as student academic representatives, and they ensure a constructive feedback between students and the University.
UCSU offers a friendly, free and independent support service, advising students on a range of issues. Students can get involved in a whole range of events and activities through the union. This includes participating in the wide range of groups, societies and sports teams they run or helping in the local community, through the UCSU’s dedicated Volunteering team.
Religion & Spirituality
Having a Church of England foundation, the University of Cumbria regards spiritual development as one of its key values. The chaplaincy team provides help and support to students whether they have a strong faith or none at all. The University has a number of Christian chaplains as well as two honorary Muslim chaplains.
In Carlisle, there is a beautiful Chapel at the Fusehill Street campus. It offers space for prayer and quiet reflection, a lounge area for meetings or quiet study, and is equipped with Internet and projection facilities. The chapel runs a number of workshops, events and projects.
The largest of the University’s chaplaincy buildings, St. Martin’s, is a Christian chapel in the centre of Lancaster campus. It is used for ecumenical Christian worship and as a space for prayer and reflection. The University Choir meets there on Wednesday evenings and the chapel also hosts concerts and other events. In Lancaster, there are also multi-faith prayer rooms and washing facilities as well as a kitchen, a small lounge area, and a quiet room, in the chaplaincy centre.
Health & Wellbeing
All of the University’s support networks, including the Library and Student Services (LiSS) and the students' union, can provide students with information on how to access services provided by the NHS and Social Services.
The University’s Psychological Wellbeing Service incorporates Counselling, Therapy and Mental Health mentoring. It is staffed by qualified and trainee Psychological Therapists who offer individual appointments and group sessions. It is a confidential, non-judgemental service that operates on every campus.
Additional support services are provided for disabled students through LiSS. They can help students with the Disabled Student Allowance (DSA) applications and offer additional support for teaching, learning and assessment, including help with issues such as note taking, transcription and other services. They can also find students a Learning Development Adviser for specialist study skills support/mentoring for both students with specific learning difficulties and disabilities.
The University of Cumbria offers an extensive range of career-support services. Expert careers advisers help students to plan their career, enhance their employability opportunities, formulate job-vacancy search strategies, improve their job applications and prepare for interviews. They also arrange a number of campus career events each year, bringing together students and potential employers. In addition to this, a comprehensive range of careers advice is available 24/7 via Blackboard, the university’s online learning environment.
To help students find work, the university also has its own job shop, advertising local, national and international vacancies. Some may be part-time casual jobs but there are also internships, placements and graduate jobs available.
The University’s Career Ahead award has been developed by Careers Advisers and is based on what employers look for in their ideal candidate. It helps students develop employability skills and maximise their potential. It also gives students official recognition for their extracurricular achievements and helps them to prepare and be interviewed by a real employer through a mock interview task. There are three tiers to the Award, bronze, silver and gold, meaning it is flexible and students can complete it at their own pace.
Self-catered (per week) (2020/2021)
Self-catered (per week) (2020/2021)
Self-catered (per week) (2020/2021)
There is a range of University accommodation available across all campuses. There are all self-catered halls and some with adopted rooms for students with mobility or hearing impairment.
In Carlisle there is both en-suite accommodation and rooms with shared facilities. All rooms are organised into flats, with a shared kitchen area and include broadband and laundry facilities. All residences are located within a short walking distance of the city centre and campuses. The University also rents a number of affordable, centrally heated, furnished houses close to the campuses, on behalf of its students.
In Lancaster the University has over 440 rooms across its residences, all within a short distance of the University and city centre. Two of the halls are located on campus; a third is a converted mill, 15 minutes walk from campus.
In Ambleside there are over 100 bedrooms within a short walk of the town centre. Rooms are a mix of single and shared occupancy, with some available en-suite rooms at the Fairfield Hall. All accommodation has wi-fi access. Students can also rent a University managed house in the surrounding area.
Bachelor's degree (BA, BSc, LLB)
English Language Requirements
Undergraduate students, for whom English is not a first language, must have at least IELTS 6.0 (with at least 5.5 in each component) or C grade English GCSE or equivalent.
The University of Cumbria launched their new international scholarship programme in 2018. The scholarships are available for undergraduate students to the value of 50% of tuition fee costs for the first year of study. Scholarships are awarded on a merit basis for outstanding academic achievement and assess in accordance with the terms and conditions.
The University of Cumbria has a diverse student population and educates people from Asia, Australia, Europe, Africa and North and South America.
During the first week, the University of Cumbria runs a number of induction sessions covering a range of topics, teaching students about their course and introducing them to fellow students and tutors. There are also sessions specifically for international students.
Library and Student Services have a team of specialist staff who can advise international students issues such as healthcare, homesickness and adjusting to a new culture. All students also have a personal tutor who monitors their academic performance and assists them with any difficulties. The University also runs a number of local excursions and cultural outings for international students.
The University provides English Language support through the Centre for English Language Learning and Teaching (CELLT), a part of the International Development Office. CELLT gives students access to a range of learning resources and highly qualified English Language teachers and offers pre-sessional programmes to help students prepare for university study.