Northumbria University


Northumbria University, officially the University of Northumbria at Newcastle, is a university located in Newcastle upon Tyne in the North East of England. A former polytechnic, it was established as one of the new universities in 1992. It is a member of the University Alliance and the second university of Newcastle.

Northumbria University has its origins in three regional colleges: Rutherford College of Technology, which was established by John Hunter Rutherford in 1880 and opened formally by HRH The Duke of York in 1894, the College of Art & Industrial Design and the Municipal College of Commerce.

In 1969, these three institutions were amalgamated to form Newcastle Polytechnic. The Polytechnic became the major regional centre for the training of teachers with the incorporation of the City College of Education in 1974, and the Northern Counties College of Education in 1976.

In 1992, Newcastle Polytechnic was inaugurated as the new Northumbria University as part of the UK-wide process in which polytechnics became new universities. It was originally styled, and its official name still is, the University of Northumbria at Newcastle (see the Articles of Government) but the trading name was simplified to Northumbria University in 2002. In 1995, it was awarded responsibility for the education of healthcare professionals, which was transferred from the National Health Service.


Northumbria describes itself as a comprehensive university, offering 30 of Britain’s 32 most frequently chosen academic disciplines. It specialises in law and business, arts and design, computing, environmental science, built environment, applied healthcare, sports science and psychology, and teacher education.

Northumbria also offers ‘clinical’ courses in law accredited by the Law Society and Bar Council. These allow graduates direct entry to the profession. The institution’s Student Law Office is a unique clinical legal education enterprise,  where law students participate in a legal advice and representation scheme on behalf of real clients, as part of their academic and professional development. The service is run as a full legal service, just like any other firm of solicitors. Practising lawyers closely supervise the students’ work and have overall responsibility for ensuring that clients receive a professional service.

The School of Design in Newcastle upon Tyne also has a satellite campus in Islington, London.

Northumbria University employs more than 3,200 people and offers approximately 500 study programmes through four Faculties:

  • Faculty of Arts, Design and Social Sciences
  • Faculty of Business and Law
  • Faculty of Engineering and Environment
  • Faculty of Health and Life Sciences

Northumbria University is international in its operations and reach, with programmes delivered in Newcastle upon Tyne, London and worldwide. Northumbria University recruits in Asia, with numbers of students studying degrees at partner institutions in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Seoul and elsewhere.


Northumbria welcomes candidates from a range of backgrounds and with a variety of qualifications. In terms of A level and GCSE requirements, the standard requirements are detailed on individual course pages, including any subject specific requirements for courses. These are updated on a regular basis. Northumbria welcomes all applicants who have the potential, ability and motivation to benefit from and contribute to its challenging and stimulating learning environment. The university has seen an increase in both volume and quantity of applications year on year, which is a testament to the University’s growing reputation and standing in the league tables. Offers are made on the basis of academic qualifications, potential, achievement, work and life experience, and personal skills and qualities. Entry standards vary from course to course – please visit individual course pages more details.


Northumbria has an international reputation for academic quality and is ranked 30th in the UK for teaching quality in the National Student Survey 2015. Northumbria’s Newcastle Business School has joined the top 1% of business schools worldwide by gaining double accreditation from AACSB (The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) – an international hallmark of excellence. The Student Law Office was awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education – the highest form of national recognition open to a UK academic or vocational institution. The only UK university to have had their teacher training courses rated as ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted for 14 years running. One of the most well established and highly respected Architecture programmes in the UK, achieving 97% Overall Satisfaction in the National Student Survey 2015. The Arts Department is one of only 18 in the country to receive funding for a Centre for Doctoral Training over the next five years. Key partners include cultural collaborations with BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Tyneside Cinema, Live Theatre, Great North Run Culture, New Writing North and Tyne & Wear Archives and Museums, as well as industry partners such as Phillips and Unilever, providing students with direct industry exposure and live project opportunities.


Northumbria University students learn from the best – inspirational academic staff with a genuine passion for their subject. Courses are at the forefront of current knowledge and practice and are shaped by world-leading and internationally excellent research. Professional staff ensure the smooth delivery of the university’s activities. Their work contributes to an outstanding student experience, supports research and underpins successful partnerships and collaborative working with external organisations. Students will interact with world leading and internationally renowned professors, innovative researchers, inspirational lecturers and well-known guest speakers, which will encourage them to challenge, analyse, debate and explore subjects and topics in depth. Northumbria has now won the Student Nursing Times Award of Nurse Education Provider of the Year (Post-registration) three years running. We scored 97% student satisfaction in the 2014 National Student Survey. Northumbria is the only UK university to have had their teacher training courses rated as Outstanding by Ofsted for 12 years running. Business and accounting programmes have each achieved accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). This double accreditation places Newcastle Business School in an elite group – the top 1% of business schools worldwide and the only institution in Europe to achieve this.


Northumbria places a big emphasis on employability and it shows – 94% of students are in work or further study six months after graduation and it is ranked 7th in the UK for the number of graduates in professional employment on permanent contracts. The university’s Careers and Employment Service works with students throughout their time at Northumbria and after graduation. They provide practical, personalised support including one-to-one sessions with careers advisers. JobsOnline, the university’s online vacancies system, has thousands of opportunities from part-time jobs and volunteer roles that build work experience to internships and graduate jobs. Northumbria also holds number of employer fairs and visits throughout the year with organisations like Accenture, Hewlett-Packard, Proctor & Gamble and the NHS.

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