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University of Central Lancashire

2016 League Table Ranking 91
2016 Overall Score 560
View the 2016 league tables
Entry Standards 311 Help
Entry Standards
The average UCAS tariff score of new students entering the University.

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Student-Staff Ratio 16.9 Help
Student-Staff Ratio
The average staffing levels at the University.

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Research Quality 2.51 Help
Research Quality
A measure of the quality of the research undertaken in the University.

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Academic Services Spend 1,538 Help
Academic Services Spend
A guide to how much the University spends on supporting services such as libraries and IT.

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Student Satisfaction 4.04 Help
Student Satisfaction
A guide to how satisfied students are with the quality of teaching they receive.

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Facilities Spend 486 Help
Facilities Spend
A guide to how much the University spends on supporting facilities such as the careers service, health and counselling services and sport facilities.

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Graduate Prospects 58.6 Help
Graduate Prospects
A guide to the employability of graduates on completion of their courses at the University.

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Degree Completion 81.6 Help
Degree Completion
The proportion of students expected to successfully complete their studies and gain a degree from the University.

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Good Honours 60.0 Help
Good Honours
The percentage of graduates achieving a first or upper second class honours degree – the class of degree achieved can impact a graduate’s employment prospects.

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Green Score 62.1 Help
Green Score
This environmental & ethical ranking of the University is provided courtesy of the People & Planet Green League - the only comprehensive and independent green ranking of every UK university. Choosing a greener university can reduce your carbon footprint and improve your job prospects in a global low-carbon economy.

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  • The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) was founded in 1828 as the Institution for the Diffusion of Knowledge, becoming a university in 1992.
  • Our main campus is in the city of Preston, at the heart of Lancashire; UCLan has further campuses at Westlakes in West Cumbria (nuclear and energy-related research programmes), Burnley and Cyprus as well as strategic partnerships in China and Mauritius.
  • UCLan’s international community of staff and students is close to 35,000.
  • Our status as a world class institution was recognised with our inclusion in the QS World Rankings for the first time in 2010 – the first Modern University in the UK to gain this status - and we hold four out of a maximum of five QS Stars for excellence.

Location and Transport

  • Preston is a vibrant mid-sized city situated in the North West of England. With traditional and contemporary shopping experiences, a thriving café culture and busy yet safe evening social scene, Preston also boasts beautiful parks, culturally-important museums and a thriving marina and docks area. Learn more about Preston.
  • We have excellent road and rail links. Being just 50 minutes away from Manchester and Liverpool, the University is also only a little over 2 hours from London and Glasgow by train. On the doorstep of the Lake District, the city of Preston is surrounded by beautiful countryside and is also in easy reach of the coast, with Blackpool a short bus journey away.
  • The city is served by an excellent local bus network with several services stopping frequently at University locations.
  • Preston and the South Ribble region benefit from over 50km of traffic-free cycle paths and the 20mph zones around the campus mean that it is safer to cycle on the campus roads too. There are bike compounds, cycle lockers and an array of bike racks across campus.
  • Major international airports in Manchester and Liverpool are less than an hour away.

Entry Standards

  • Average entry offers range from 280 to 320 points – see our course pages for more details about entry requirements for specific courses.
  • Foundation Entry Degree courses are designed for students who don’t have the necessary formal qualifications for their chosen programme at undergraduate. We offer this route for almost all degree subjects.
  • UCLan welcomes all adult learners and will take into consideration your previous skills and experience instead of the normal entry requirements.

A-Level and GCSE Requirements

  • UCLan entry requirements vary depending on the individual course. Some courses will require you to achieve specific grades and, in some cases, in certain subjects. Many courses require the equivalent of three A2 level qualifications.
  • We normally ask for at least five passes at GSCE grade C or above. You must pass GCSE Maths and English or equivalent for all of our courses.
  • UCLan accepts all Advanced Level subjects for admission purposes. This includes linear and modular A Levels and General Studies.
  • Read our admissions policy.

Student Mix

The 26,585 students enrolled in the academic year 2013/14 comprise:

Level of study
Mode of study
Full Time
Part Time
Student gender
  • UCLan welcomes all students with the potential to benefit: our mission is to help people from all walks of life to develop their potential.
  • Each year over 2,000 international students from over 100 nationalities study at the Preston campus.
  • We have a significant number of part-time and full-time students aged over 21.

Course Flexibility

  • Choose from over 500 undergraduate courses and over 200 taught postgraduate programmes. Electives are used to broaden the curriculum and offer you greater choice.
  • Foundation Entry Degrees for most subjects mean you can study the course of your choice even if you don’t have the necessary formal qualifications. Learn more about our 4-year Foundation Entry Degrees.
  • Opportunities for part-time, evening and distance learning, including a mix of online and on-campus learning.
  • A number of undergraduate and postgraduate courses offer January start dates.
  • Opportunities to study part of your course at UCLan Cyprus or at partner organisations in countries such as China, the Middle East or the USA.
  • We will help you source structured work experience placements in the UK and abroad, from the University’s impressive links with employers such as Sony, BAe Systems and Apple as well as thousands of smaller companies.

Teaching Standards

  • 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, and we rate in the top 25 English universities for assessment and feedback (NSS 2014).
  • UCLan academics are regularly recognised with prestigious national teaching fellowships by the Higher Education Academy.
  • We hold four QS stars out of a possible five from the compilers of the QS World University Rankings for 'demonstrating excellence in both teaching and research' and for providing 'an excellent environment for students and faculty'. Within the sub-areas, UCLan has the maximum of five stars for teaching, employability, internationalisation, facilities, social responsibility and inclusiveness.
  • We ensure our 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).

Research Standards

  • UCLan is proud of conducting world-leading research with real world impact. Whether it’s developing a 3D printing technique for medical tablets or uncovering a potential cause of Alzheimer’s, UCLan’s research is changing lives.
  • A significant proportion of the research which the University submitted to the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 was assessed as world-leading or internationally excellent.
  • Our researchers and students have access to fantastic facilities; this includes our newly completed UCLan Biomedical Research Facility as well as the significant investment UCLan is making in a major new Engineering Innovation Centre. We consistently support our international research centres including the UK's first International Centre for Sign Language and Deaf Studies.
  • UCLan’s Undergraduate Research Internship Scheme is one of the largest in the UK and draws students from across the arts, sciences, health and business disciplines to work on a huge range of research projects for a period of up to 10 weeks. This initiative enhances a variety of academic and employability skills, leading to some students presenting at the Houses of Parliament and getting published in journals.
  • Learn more about the work of our research and knowledge transfer-active members of staff, including our 80+ professors and 750 research students here.

Academic Strengths

  • Choose from a wide range of courses across a strong academic portfolio: from Forensic Chemistry to Fashion Brand Management; from Architecture to Journalism; including respected courses in Dentistry and Pharmacy.
  • We are the largest higher education provider of Forensic Science, Policing and related subjects in the world.
  • Our 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 our Cyprus campus or our global network of partners, including in China, the Middle East and the USA.

Student Facilities

  • Over £100 million has recently invested in teaching, learning and leisure facilities, including new buildings, improved learning technology and world-class sporting facilities. In 2014, students ranked our learning resources the best among modern universities (NSS 2014).
  • 24/7 access to a recently refurbished library with a fantastic range of facilities including group and individual study spaces, laptops to borrow and a cafe.
  • Excellent online resources, available 24/7 and accessible remotely. 24-hour access to computers, with more than 1,500 situated throughout the University plus free Wi-Fi available throughout the campus.
  • Highlights include Europe's largest 3D lecture theatre; a purpose built, state-of-the-art major incident training simulator; forensic crime scene houses; biomechanic labs; clinical skills labs; motorsports workshop; child observation lab; moot court room, plus much more.
  • We have a full range of support services for students including the one-stop student information centre 'The'; a free counselling service; a Medical Centre giving you access to GPs and nurses; and a pre-school centre providing professional childcare. Our Multi-Faith Centre warmly welcomes all staff and students.

Disability Services

Students' Union

  • UCLan Student’s Union’s mission is to 'make life better for students' and our team works hard to achieve this by representing students’ views, participating in campaigns and organising events and opportunities to boost your experience at UCLan.
  • The UCLan Student Union is ranked in the top three student unions in the north-west in the 2014 NSS.
  • A large and diverse range of sporting clubs, societies and a Give It A Go programme ensures that you have plenty of opportunity to get involved, have fun, make new friends and boost your CV.
  • Students can get involved in the Student Union’s student media including a weekly newspaper, monthly lifestyle magazine and radio and TV stations.


  • The Sir Tom Finney Sports Centre is a £13 million indoor sports facility on campus, including an international standard double sports hall, studios for a wide range of exercise classes, squash courts and an extensive fitness suite with state-of-the-art equipment. The Sports Centre also hosts team games and various tournaments, courses and events.
  • The Olympic-standard UCLan Sports Arena provides some of the best facilities for outdoor sport in the region, including an athletics track, cycle track, floodlit full-size all-weather pitches for football and hockey, tennis and netball courts, a fitness suite and facilities for high-performance training. UCLan’s facilities were used as an official training camp for athletes in preparation for the London 2012 Olympic Games and it was the only UK university to act as an official training venue for the Rugby League World Cup in 2013.
  • UCLan’s partner institution Myerscough College boasts the International Centre for Golf Education.
  • For students looking for a competitive sporting challenge, UCLan has nearly 50 teams in the British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) league. Across a variety of sports our teams have enjoyed strong seasons in recent years.
  • For those wanting to try something different, Get In2 offers you the chance to try new sports on a casual basis or enter competitive leagues with your friends. 

Recent/Prospective New Builds

  • In recent years, UCLan has invested over £100 million in enhancing its campus environments, infrastructure and technological support for both academic and non-academic activities.
  • New facilities related to this investment include: the £12.5 million JB Firth Building catering for courses and research programmes in forensic science, fire engineering and chemistry; UCLan’s Olympic standard £13 million Sir Tom Finney Sports Centre; the £15 million Media Factory incorporating state-of-the-art facilities for digital media and performing arts students, together with a business incubator facility; and a major refurbishment of our award-winning library.
  • UCLan’s £5.3-million Allen Building includes some of Europe’s most advanced facilities for students studying within the School of Medicine and Dentistry.
  • In 2014 UCLan joined forces with the Royal Institution of Great Britain to create the ground-breaking Young Scientist Centre, which is the first-of-its-kind outside of London.
  • UCLan has announced a £200 million Campus Masterplan which will blend our existing fantastic facilities with new buildings and public, green spaces, improving access for pedestrians and cyclists.
  • A state-of-the-art Engineering Innovation Centre, costing more than £30 million, is due to open on the Preston Campus in 2018.

Availability of Part-Time Work

  • Our Opportunities Centre advertises part- and full-time jobs to fit in and around students' timetables as well as volunteering opportunities.
  • Our Preston campus is close to the city centre, providing you plenty of opportunities for part-time work in shops, cafes and bars.
  • The University also provides paid internships within a number of on-campus settings.

Careers Guidance

  • UCLan’s Careers centre brings together advice on careers and work placements, employability and enterprise course electives, business start-up and self-employment services.
  • You can book a face-to-face appointment with qualified careers advisers, explore online guidance and try out psychometric tests, get individual feedback on your CV – even undergo a mock interview.
  • Our Careers Service is available for students, graduates and all alumni, supporting you throughout your working life.
  • Over 90% of UCLan graduates are in employment or further study six months after graduation.
  • UCLan is one of the country’s most entrepreneurial universities, according to the Higher Education Business and Community Interaction Survey. UCLan is consistently in the UK’s top three universities for the number of graduate start-ups. Plus, thanks to the support offered by UCLan, 77% of those start-ups are still trading after two years.

Notable Alumni

Alumni notable for their work in certain fields; particularly successful or well-known alumni. UCLan is proud of its global family of former students. Notable alumni include:

  • Victoria Derbyshire – broadcaster, BBC Five Live.
  • Simon Kellner former Editor of the Independent.
  • Richard Frediani Programme Editor of ITV’s early evening news programme and BAFTA winner.
  • Carl Lygo CEO and Head of BPP University College.
  • Dr Waqar Azmi OBE Chairman of Waterhouse Consulting Group and EU Ambassador of Intercultural Dialogue.
  • Alfred Hitchcock Chief Constable of Ministry of Defence Police.
  • Brent Sadler award-winning, internationally recognised Journalist and former CNN Bureau Chief to the Middle East.
  • James Ducker Northern Football Correspondent of The Times newspaper.
  • Ranvir Singh Broadcaster and News Presenter on ITV’s Daybreak.
  • Tessa Chapman Chief Correspondent for Five News at ITN.
  • Asif Iqbal, MBE Public Appointment Ambassador, Equalities Office and Cabinet Office.
  • Mark Gill Director and Oscar Academy Award nominee.

Read profiles of our alumni.


For further information

  • +44 (0)1772 201201
  • University of Central Lancashire
    PR1 2HE
UCAS Code C30
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Content was accurate at the time of compilation.

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