University of Sunderland

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The University of Sunderland is located in the City of Sunderland in North East England. The University has approximately 15,000 students, including over 1,000 international students from about 70 countries.

The University is also one of the 31 British Universities providing the New Route PhD as an alternative to the traditional Ph.D., although Sunderland also provides the latter.



The University’s roots can be tracked back to 1901, where Sunderland Technical College was established as a municipal training college on Green Terrace (the site of the current Priestman Building). It was the first to offer sandwich courses. Naval architecture and pharmacy were introduced between the two World Wars.

In the late 1950s, the college was the first educational centre in the region to install a digital computer.

A new complex of buildings on nearby Chester Road was opened by HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, in 1964.

The Polytechnic was established on 1 January 1969, incorporating the Technical College, the School of Art and, later, Sunderland Teacher Training College. In 1992 it was ‘upgraded’ to a University and recognised by The Guardian as England's best new university in 2001.


Lord Puttnam of Queensgate became the university's first Chancellor in 1998. The Sunderland Empire Theatre was the regular venue for the graduation ceremonies, although the have been hosted at the Stadium of Light since 2004.

There are currently two main campuses, Chester Road and St. Peter's, with other buildings in Ashbrooke.

St. Peter's opened during the 1990's on the northbank of the River Wear, the site of St. Peter's Church and monastery built by Benedict Biscop in 674AD. In September 2002 the campus was renamed the "Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter's", after the local businessman who was one of the University's primary supporters. The Business School is similarly named "The Reg Vardy Centre", and another building, primarily used for computing, is "The David Goldman Infomatics" Centre.

"The Media Centre", housing television and radio production facilities along with a small local base for Tyne Tees Television, opened in 2003 at St. Peter's. It was officially opened in March 2004 by Estelle Morris. Morris will be the pro vice-chancellor from June 2005.

The Chester Road complex is still used, with buildings constantly being redeveloped. The Edinburgh Building was extensively redeveloped in 2004, and given a modern frontier. An elevator was installed in Forster Building in 2003 when it started to house education. The towering Wearmouth Hall, however, is no longer used for student accommodation.

The student union has a large bar at the Bonded Warehouse. The Manor Quay night club has a student night on Fridays called Fresh. The student magazine is called DN magazine.

102.4FM Utopia FM

Utopia FM is a student radio station broadcasting from The Media centre on the internet and, through a local license, on 102.4FM. It has broadcast under the Utopia name since November 1997 on irregular short term licenses.

Its origins can be traced to Wear FM, a community-orientated service for Sunderland which launched in 1990. It broadcast from the Forster Building, which housed the University's media department until summer 2003.


The University is organised into six Schools:

  • Arts, Design, Media and Culture
  • Computing and Technology
  • Education and Lifelong Learning
  • Health, Natural and Social Sciences
  • Business (including Psychology and Law)
  • Graduate Research School

Famous Persons related to the University

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