- Keele University
We’re Keele University and we’re different. Founded more than 60 years ago on the belief that we meet the demands of a new kind of society, economy and world, our principles resonate now more than ever.
Nestled in 600 acres of countryside in the heart of the UK, many of our students and a number of our staff live, as well as study and work here. It’s a big campus but a small and cosmopolitan community. We operate on a human scale, providing people the space to think and plenty to do, with a vast array of clubs, societies, activities and volunteering opportunities.
We successively rank at the very top of student satisfaction surveys. This is because it’s more than green and lovely, it’s a place of research and academic excellence too. Whether it’s Health, Humanities and Social Sciences or Natural Sciences, whatever your area of study, we deliver a unique and international learning experience. We teach in small groups, provide one-to-one access to our academics and value the quality of our teaching as highly as our research.
Our degree programmes and foundation years have always been distinctively challenging, flexible and foster a broader based knowledge. Our interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary approach doesn’t just underpin a wonderful education but powers our world leading research. All of which also means we deliver greater impact and value from our research and teaching, globally as well as locally.
It’s little wonder our students and alumni are as individual as the University itself: progressive and accomplished, clear about who they are and what they want to be, equipped to meet some of the big challenges the world today presents, for the good of society and enterprise.
Keele is in North Staffordshire halfway between Manchester and Birmingham. The University is on a hill overlooking the town of Newcastle-under-Lyme (two miles from Keele) with Stoke-on-Trent (and its main shopping area Hanley) just a couple of miles further.
There is a thriving student life around the campus and a wide range of café-bars, restaurants and pubs in Newcastle and clubs in Hanley.
Theatre lovers will enjoy the New Vic in Newcastle and the Regent in Hanley, while the latest films are shown at the multi-screen cinema in Newcastle. The UK’s biggest theme park, Alton Towers, is around 45 minutes from the University. The beautiful Peak District is only 20 miles away from Keele. See Peak District- things to see and do for more information.
Keele’s central location means it is easy to get anywhere in the country, with the M6 and rail links close at hand. Manchester and Birmingham are each an hour’s drive away, while London is 90 minutes by train.
Keele offers a wide range of courses to set you on track for your future. We provide excellent support and facilities for students, both academically and socially.
Our courses offer:
- Stimulating teaching and learning and skills for your future career.
- High quality teaching across a wide range of academic and vocational subjects.
- Opportunity to combine your interests and develop your skills through our distinctive Dual Honours degrees – with over 500 subject combinations available.
We also offer professional Single Honours degrees in Medicine, Health, Law and business subjects.
With an attractive, friendly campus, Keele offers a very special student experience:
- Excellent entertainment in the Students’ Union every night of the week.
- Graduates leave Keele with some of the best academic and employment success rates in the UK
It’s the Keele difference.
Schools / Colleges / Departments / Courses / Faculties
- Faculty of Humanities and Social Science
- American Studies
- Film Studies
- Keele Management School
- Language Learning Unit
- Liberal Arts
- Media, Communications and Culture
- Music and Music Technology
- Politics, International Relations and Philosophy
- Social Science and Public Policy
- Social Work
- Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
- Health and Rehabilitation
- Nursing and Midwifery
- Faculty of Natural Sciences
- Chemistry and Medicinal Chemistry
- Computing and Mathematics
- Forensic Science
- Geography, Geology and the Environment
- Life Sciences
- Physics and Astrophysics
- Physical and Geographical Sciences
Keele University was established in 1949 as the University College of North Staffordshire, at the initiative of A D Lindsay, then Professor of Philosophy and Master of Balliol College, Oxford. Lindsay was a strong advocate of working-class adult education, who had first suggested a “people’s university” in an address to the North Staffordshire Workers’ Educational Association in 1925.
On 13 March 1946, Lindsay wrote to Sir Walter Moberly, chair of the University Grants Committee (UGC), suggesting the establishment of a college “on new lines”. Established practice was for new colleges to be launched without degree-awarding powers, instead taking external degrees of the University of London. Crucially, Lindsay wanted to “get rid of the London external degree”, instead forming a college with the authority from the start to set its own syllabus, perhaps acting under the sponsorship of an established university. Lindsay wrote also to the Vice-Chancellor of Oxford, tentatively requesting just such sponsorship.
An exploratory committee was established by Stoke-on-Trent City Council, chaired by Lindsay and supported by Alderman Thomas Horwood, Vicar of Etruria and leader of the Labour group on the City Council. Having secured public funding from the UGC in January 1948, the Committee acquired Keele Hall, a stately home on the outskirts of Newcastle-under-Lyme, from its owner, Ralph Sneyd. The Hall, ancestral residence of the Sneyd family, had previously been requisitioned by the War Office for military use during World War II, and was supplied with the bulk of the Sneyd estate and a number of prefabricated structures erected by the Army, for the sum of £31,000.
The first graduate by default was George Eason had studied Mathematics at Birmingham University gaining a BSc in 1951. He received his MSc in 1952 from Keele.
The first graduate studying fully at Keele was Margaret Boulds in 1954, graduating in Philosophy and English. Growing steadily, the university college was promoted to university status in 1962, receiving a new Royal charter in January of that year, and adopting the name the University of Keele. This remains the official name, although Keele University is now the everyday usage. It is identified as one of the Plate glass universities.
In 1968, the Royal Commission on Medical Education (1965–68) issued the “Todd Report”, which considered the possibility of a medical school being established at Keele. It was thought that North Staffordshire would be a good site, having a large local population and several large hospitals. It was considered that a minimum intake of 150 students each year would be necessary to make a medical school economically and educationally viable. However, the university was at that time too small to support a medical school of this size. However, in 1978, Keele Department of Postgraduate Medicine opened. This conducted medical research and postgraduate medical education, but did not teach undergraduate medical students. In 2002, some students from Manchester Medical School began being taught at Keele. Finally Keele’s own medical school opened in 2007.
In 1994, the Oswestry and North Staffordshire School of Physiotherapy (ONSSP), which had been a separate institution based at the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital in Oswestry, Shropshire, merged with Keele University, becoming Keele’s Department of Physiotherapy Studies, and relocating from Oswestry to the Keele University campus. In August 1995, Keele University merged with North Staffordshire College of Nursing and Midwifery, forming the new School of Nursing and Midwifery.
In 1998 and 1999 there was some controversy over the decision by university authorities to sell the Turner Collection, a valuable collection of mathematical printed books including some which had belonged to – and had been heavily annotated by – Isaac Newton, in order to fund major improvements to the university library. Senior university officials authorised the sale of the collection to a private buyer, with no guarantee that it would remain intact or within the UK. Although legally permissible, the sale was unpopular among the academic community and the controversy was fuelled by prolonged negative press coverage suggesting that the £1m sale price was too low and that the collection was certain to be broken up.
Due to declining popularity and funding, the German department closed in December 2004, although the university retained its physics degree despite the subject facing similar pressures.
In 2009, the university was awarded Queen’s Anniversary Prizes for Higher and Further Education, for “pioneering work with the NHS in early intervention and primary care in the treatment of chronic pain and arthritis, linking research to delivery to patients through GP networks and user groups”.
In 2012 Keele introduced two new foundation years, the international foundation year and the accelerated international foundation year, that add to the existing offer, as the humanities, science, social science, health, general foundation years and foundation year for people who are visually impaired.
Further expansion on site of the university from 2015 is expected to bring private investment by establishing a science centre. This would bring thousands of jobs to Staffordshire as well as the university. The creation of a smart energy centre aims to establish a sustainable energy source and promote green technology.
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