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Oxford Brookes University

Oxford Brookes University
Motto Excellence in diversity
Established 1865
(Oxford School of Art)
(Oxford City Technical School)
(Oxford College of Technology)
(Oxford Polytechnic)
(Oxford Brookes University)
Type Public
Endowment £1.34 million (at 2012)[1]
Chancellor Shami Chakrabarti, CBE
Vice-Chancellor Alistair Fitt
Academic staff
Administrative staff
Students 18,425[3]
Undergraduates 14,165[3]
Postgraduates 4,260[3]

Oxford, England, United Kingdom
51°45′15.36″N 1°13′21.72″W / 51.7542667°N 1.2227000°W / 51.7542667; -1.2227000Coordinates: 51°45′15.36″N 1°13′21.72″W / 51.7542667°N 1.2227000°W / 51.7542667; -1.2227000{{#coordinates:51|45|15.36|N|1|13|21.72|W| |primary |name=

Campus Urban, Suburban
Nickname Template:If empty
Affiliations University Alliance
Universities UK
Association of MBAs
Association of Commonwealth Universities

Oxford Brookes University is a new university in Oxford, England. It can trace its origins to 1865 when the former Oxford School of Art was established. The university was renamed in 1992 to honour its former principal, John Brookes. The university's School of Architecture is one of the largest in Britain.

In 2014 it was ranked 379th in the world according to the QS World University Rankings but is not included in Times Higher Education's list of the top 400 universities in the world.[4] Oxford Brookes is the sixth largest employer in Oxfordshire, providing over 2,800 jobs across the university.[5]


Oxford Brookes started in 1865 as the Oxford School of Art, located in a single room on the ground floor of the Taylor Institution at St. Giles.[6] In 1870 the School of Science was added and in 1891, under the administration of the City Council's Technical Instruction Committee, it was renamed the Oxford City Technical School, incorporating the School of Art, which remained distinct. Plans were made to relocate to the former Blue Coat School for Boys on St. Ebbes.

In 1934 the School of Art and the Technical School were merged, and John Henry Brookes, Head of the School of Art and Vice Principal of the Technical School, was appointed the first principal of the merged institution.[7] By 1950 the college had 4,000 students. A new campus was built on a site offered by the local Morrell brewing family. Renamed "Oxford College of Technology", it opened on the new site in 1956.[7] Its first residence hall was established in 1960 and the college relocated to Headington in 1963.

In 1970, it became Oxford Polytechnic, and in 1992, following enactment of the Further and Higher Education Act, it became Oxford Brookes University, the only one of the new universities to be named after its founder.[citation needed]

In October 2003 Oxford Brookes University became the first university in the world to be awarded Fairtrade status.[8]

In 2007 Graham Upton retired as Vice-Chancellor and his successor, Professor Janet Beer, was inaugurated in September. In July 2008 Shami Chakrabarti, Director of Liberty, replaced Jon Snow as Chancellor of the university.


Oxford Brookes University has three main campuses and a fourth in Swindon.

Headington campus

The Headington campus is in a residential area of Oxford. It consists of the Gipsy Lane site, which is the main teaching site, the Marston Road site, which houses the school of Health and Social Care, and the Headington Hill site across the road from Gipsy Lane, where the Students' Union, the School of Law,[9] the School of Arts, the Drama Studio and main halls of residence are located. It has six halls of residence: Crescent Hall, Cheney Student Village, Clive Booth Hall, Clive Booth Non-Ensuite (formerly Morrell Hall), Warneford Hall and Paul Kent Hall.

Wheatley campus

The Wheatley campus is near Wheatley in the Oxfordshire countryside, seven miles south-east of the city centre, and is where business, IT, mathematics and engineering are taught.

Harcourt Hill campus

The Harcourt Hill campus is situated on Harcourt Hill on Oxford's western perimeter, two and a half miles from the city centre. Education, Philosophy, Religion, Theology, Media and Communication, and many other subjects are taught here. It has two halls of residence: Harcourt Hill Hall and Westminster Hall. A regular devoted bus service links the campus to other campuses at Headington and Wheatley.

The campus was formerly the site of Westminster College, Oxford, an independent Methodist higher education institution which specialised in teacher training and theology. The campus was leased to Brookes by the Methodist Church, and Westminster College became the Westminster Institute of Education of Oxford Brookes University, located at the Harcourt Hill campus.

Ferndale campus

The Ferndale campus is in Swindon, about Script error: No such module "convert". south-west of Oxford. Adult Nursing, Operating Department Practice (ODP) and a range of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) courses are taught there. It has its own Osteopathic training clinic on-site offering services to staff, students and the public.

File:John Henry Brookes building front, February 2014.jpg
The front of the new 'John Henry Brookes' building.


The university is redeveloping its campuses. Plans include a new library and teaching building acting as a core for the Gipsy Lane campus and an extension to the Abercrombie building for the School of the Built Environment.[10] The Students' Union, originally housed in the Helena Kennedy Centre in Headington Hill, will be moved to the new development at Gipsy Lane.

The proposals were vigorously opposed by local residents in 2009 when presented to the local planning committee, with many undesirable aspects of the large student population in Oxford being discussed. However, the plans for the new building were eventually approved and building work began in 2010.

Academic profile

In September 2011 Oxford Brookes moved from 8 schools to 4 faculties:[11]

Faculty of Business
  • Business School
  • Oxford School of Hospitality Management
Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
  • Department of Biological and Medical Sciences
  • Department of Clinical Health Care
  • Department of Psychology, Social Work and Public Health
  • Department of Sport and Health Sciences
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
  • School of Education
  • Department of English and Modern Languages
  • Department of History, Philosophy and Religion
  • School of Law[9]
  • Institute of Public Care
  • Department of Social Sciences
Faculty of Technology, Design and Environment
  • School of Architecture
  • School of Arts
  • Department of Computing and Communication Technologies
  • Department of Mechanical Engineering and Mathematical Sciences
  • Department of Planning
  • Department of Real Estate and Construction

Specialist study

The Centre for Development and Emergency Practice (CENDEP) in the School of the Built Environment was awarded the Queen's Anniversary Prize and is well known for its programme for humanitarian practitioners. CENDEP provides an academic setting for the study of cities, humanitarianism and refugees. Singer and activist Annie Lennox is patron of the Master's Course in Humanitarian and Development Practice.[12]

In 2007, the MSc in Primate Conservation was awarded the Queen's Anniversary Prize – a national honour recognising the outstanding contribution by the MSc programme team and the Department of Anthropology & Geography at Oxford Brookes.[13]

Automotive engineering

The Oxford Brookes School of Technology is known for its automotive and motorsports technology/engineering courses leading to undergraduate BSc(Hons), BEng(Hons) and MEng(Hons) degrees. Due to the close links between the school and several Formula 1 teams around Oxfordshire, the syllabus development for the undergraduate and post graduate courses are carried out in collaboration with F1 teams.[14] Over the decade, the school has developed a niche for producing Formula 1 design and race engineers,[15][16] who go on to build championship winning cars, participating in the FIA Formula 1 Championships. The school is also home and lead institution to Motorsport Knowledge Exchange[17] which is a Government-funded small cooperative of institutions, involved in delivering motorsport education at a variety of levels from technician to post-graduate.

In 2007, Formula One world champion Fernando Alonso sponsored 12 Spanish postgraduate students to study for an MSc in motorsport engineering or in race engine design within the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Mathematical Sciences at the university.[18] The university boasts a teaching staff that includes Prof. Geoff Goddard, a former chief designer at Cosworth.[19]

The School of Technology at Oxford Brookes is one of the three core universities in Faraday Advance,[20] a partnership in advanced materials for transportation that develops future materials and technology for low-pollution, high-efficiency, cost-effective transport.[21]

The Functional Food Centre at Oxford Brookes University is the UK's first research centre dedicated to functional foods. The centre was originally the Nutrition and Food Research Group at Oxford Brookes, founded in 2004, and was renamed in 2009.

Reputation and rankings

(2014/15, world)
(2016, national)
The Guardian[24]
(2016, national)
Times/Sunday Times[25]
(2015, national)

Courses in architecture,[26] real estate management[27] and history[28] have earned recognition of quality. The School of Architecture is one of the largest in Britain and is consistently ranked in the top five schools in the UK.[29] In the 2008 survey by the Architect's Journal it was ranked fourth overall.[30]

In the QS World University Rankings 2013/14 Oxford Brookes was ranked 374.

Oxford Brookes University is in the top 30 of institutions for the study of undergraduate law in the Times/ Sunday Times Good University Guide, with Law courses placed at 28th out of 100 UK university law schools - higher than several Russell Group law schools,.[31][32] Moreover, Law courses provided by Oxford Brookes also are ranked in the top 150-200 bracket of the QS World University Subject Rankings.[33]

In the most recent Research Assessment Exercise, over three-quarters of the university's research was recognised internationally, with research in law, education, the arts, sciences and health adjudged world-leading [34]


Oxford Brookes University's partnership with the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) allows ACCA students to earn a BSc (Hons) in Applied Accounting with the submission of a research and analysis project work while taking their ACCA examinations.

Tsinghua University will recognise[when?] the Oxford Brookes University BSc Applied Accounting degree. This degree has been successfully developed in conjunction with ACCA and enables students who have completed two parts of the ACCA qualification to apply for the Oxford Brookes degree.[63]

Munich Business School is the German partner-institution of the university.

The university has a partnership with the International Business School (Nemzetközi Üzleti Főiskola) based in Budapest (Hungary). IBS students can attend courses which, besides the Hungarian degree, also provide OBU BA degrees in different subjects, such as marketing and communications.[64]

The university has affiliations with Nilai University College in Malaysia. Affiliated subjects are computing, accounting and finance, business management, marketing management and hospitality management. All the subjects mentioned above are 3+0 programs.



Name Duration
Baroness Kennedy,QC 1994–2001
Jon Snow 2001–2008
Shami Chakrabarti, CBE 2008–Present
Chancellors of Oxford Brookes University
Baroness Helena Kennedy, Barrister, Broadcaster and member of the House of Lords
Jon Snow, Journalist, Television presenter and main presenter of Channel 4 News
Shami Chakrabarti, Lawyer and director of the British civil liberties advocacy organisation Liberty


Name Duration
Clive Booth 1992–1997
Graham Upton 1997–2007
Janet Beer 2007–2015
Alistair Fitt 2015–present

Student life

Student union

Oxford Brookes Students' Union is the students' union of the university and it exists to support and represent the students of Oxford Brookes. It is a member-led organisation and all students are automatically members.


File:19Jan07 066.jpg
Cheney Student Village

There are currently 11 Student halls of which there are 4 in Headington Campus, 1 in Harcourt Hill Campus, 1 in Wheatley Campus and 3 more halls around Headington. In addition, there are three privately operated Halls of Residence which are managed in partnership with the university by housing associations: Slade Park Student Apartments, Sinnet Court Student Apartments and Dorset House Student Apartments.

  • Cheney Student Village
  • Clive Booth Student Village
  • Crescent Hall
  • Westminster Hall
  • Lady Spencer Churchill Hall
  • Paul Kent Hall
  • Slade Park
  • Dorset House
  • Sinnet Court

Notable alumni

The most prominent alumna of Oxford Brookes University is Lynne Featherstone, who was involved in the introduction of same-sex marriage in the United Kingdom.


  1. ^ "Financial Statements". Oxford Brookes University. Retrieved 2012. 
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External links

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