University of Central Lancashire


The University of Central Lancashire (abbreviated UCLan) is a public university based in Preston, Lancashire, England. It has its roots in The Institution For The Diffusion Of Useful Knowledge founded in 1828. Subsequently, known as Harris Art College, then Preston Polytechnic, then Lancashire Polytechnic, in 1992 it was granted university status by the Privy Council. The university is the 19th largest in the UK in terms of student numbers.

The Institution for the Diffusion of Knowledge was founded in 1828 by Joseph Livesey’s Temperance Society. The society was born from a pledge made by seven Preston working men (whose names can be seen on a plaque in the university’s library) to never again consume alcohol.

The institute was housed in a classical-revivalist building on Cannon Street, before eventually expanding under the endowment of a local lawyer, Edmund Robert Harris, who died in 1877. The expansion brought with it several new buildings and houses in the nearby Regent Street were purchased and demolished as a consequence. The institute became a regional centre for the arts and sciences.

The institute existed in this state until 1932 when it changed its name to become the Harris Art College. It underwent further expansion and in 1952 and became the Harris College. In 1973 this became Preston Polytechnic then the Lancashire Polytechnic in 1984. In 1992, full university status was awarded and the University of Central Lancashire came into existence. The first chancellor of the university was Sir Francis Kennedy and he was succeeded in 2001 by Sir Richard Evans. In 2016, Ranvir Singh became the new Chancellor of the University.

The journalism division, now part of the School of Journalism and Media, is one of the oldest in the country, opening as part of the Harris College in 1962. In 1991, it became one of the first to teach journalism undergraduate degrees, with a strong emphasis on practical work.

In 2013 the School of Dentistry and the School of Postgraduate Medical and Dental Education merged to create the School of Medicine and Dentistry.

The university sponsors Wigan UTC, a university technical college which opened in September 2013.


The university has the following schools:

  • Art, Design and Fashion
  • Business
  • Community Health and Midwifery
  • Dentistry
  • Engineering
  • Journalism, Media and Performance
  • Forensic and Applied Sciences
  • Health Sciences
  • Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching
  • Management
  • Language and Global Studies
  • Medicine
  • Nursing
  • Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences
  • Physical Sciences and Computing
  • Psychology
  • Social Work, Care and Community
  • Sport and Wellbeing
  • Lancashire Law School
  • Myerscough College (Associate School)


UCLan entry requirements vary depending on the individual course. Some courses will require the students to achieve specific grades and, in some cases, in certain subjects. Many courses require the equivalent of three A2 level qualifications.

UCLan accepts all Advanced Level subjects for admission purposes. This includes linear and modular A levels and General Studies.

They normally ask for at least five passes at GSCE grade C or above. They must pass GCSE Maths and English or equivalent for all of their courses.

See their course pages for more details about entry requirements for specific courses.


Choose from a wide range of courses across a strong academic portfolio: from Forensic Chemistry to Fashion; from Architecture to Journalism; including respected courses in Dentistry and Pharmacy.

They are the largest higher education providers of Forensic Science, Policing and related subjects in the world.

Their world-leading research focuses on four strands: Health and Wellbeing; Society and Environment; Science and Technology; and Culture and Communication.

Many UCLan courses are accredited by professional and statutory bodies.

Strong focus on employability for all courses. As a result of close links with a huge range of employers such as BAE Systems, the NHS and NASA, visitors from industry contribute to career development activity while students can undertake short-term internships and longer-term work placements to gain essential work experience and enhance employability skills.

Students are supported in finding work and study opportunities abroad. UCLan’s Travel Bursaries have been taken up by hundreds of students, keen to add a truly international aspect to their CV. Students can study part of their course at their Cyprus campus or their global network of partners, including in China, the Middle East and the USA.

In 2015 UCLan launched a new School of Medicine.


In the most recent National Student Survey (NSS) over eight out of 10 students said they were happy with the quality of their overall educational experience at UCLan, the highest overall satisfaction score ever recorded by UCLan. They rate in the top 25 English universities for assessment and feedback (NSS 2014).

Scores for the areas of learning resources and personal development have maintained the same high score as last year, 90% and 85% respectively, with both areas achieving scores at least 2% above the sector average. Management Studies is ranked number 1 in the UK for overall satisfaction.

UCLan academics are regularly recognised with prestigious national teaching fellowships by the Higher Education Academy.

They ensure their courses are relevant to employers by embedding employability skills into every degree course, using professionally-qualified practitioners with industry experience and, where appropriate, seeking industry-accreditation.

Recognised by the Quality Assurance Agency for our ‘strategic, thorough and effective institutional approach to quality enhancement’ (2008 QAA Institutional Audit).


Their careers service offers careers information and advice to current students, graduates and postgraduates, including:

  • 1 to 1 mock interviews
  • CV drop-in clinic
  • Events
  • Workshops and seminars
  • Online guidance
  • Psychometric testing
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Undergraduate Prospectus
Postgraduate Prospectus

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