University of Central Lancashire

2014 League Table Ranking 92
2014 Overall Score 525
View the 2014 league tables
Entry Standards 294 Help
Entry Standards
The average UCAS tariff score of new students entering the University.

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Student-Staff Ratio 19.0 Help
Student-Staff Ratio
The average staffing levels at the University.

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Research Assessment 1.96 Help
Research Assessment
The average quality of the research undertaken in the University.

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Academic Services Spend 1,204 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 3.95 Help
Student Satisfaction
A guide to how satisfied students are with the quality of teaching they receive.

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Facilities Spend 421 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 54.8 Help
Graduate Prospects
A guide to the employability of graduates on completion of their courses at the University.

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Degree Completion 79.1 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 54.6 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 54.0 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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  • University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) started out in 1828 as the Preston Institute for the Diffusion of Knowledge.
  • After a series of further incarnations, the university adopted its current name in 1992.
  • With a staff and student community approaching 35,000, UCLan is  located in the heart of Preston with further campuses at Westlakes in West Cumbria (nuclear and energy related research programmes), Llangollen in North Wales (outdoor education) and Burnley.
  • In 2012, the university opened UCLan Cyprus, based in Larnaka.  Further international campuses are planned.

Location and transport

  • Excellent road and rail links. The first section of the M6 motorway was completed at Preston!
  • The university is 50 minutes away from Manchester and Liverpool and a little over 2 hours from London by train. On the doorstep of the Lake District, the city of Preston is surrounded by beautiful countryside but is also in easy reach of the coast.
  • The city is served by an excellent local bus network with several services stopping frequently at university locations.
  • Preston and South Ribble 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 racks across campus. Cycling is the best way to explore Preston's canals, docks and parks. In particular, the Canal Cycle Route is a great way of getting from the University to the UCLan Sports Arena.

Entry standards

  • Average of 300 UCAS tariff points (ranging froom 280 to 320 points). Get more details about entry requirements at UCLan online.

Student mix

  • 44% male:56% female.
  • 92% home: 8% overseas.
  • Applications to places ratio 5:1.

Course flexibility

  • Over 500 undergraduate courses and approximately 200 taught postgraduate programmes.
  • Opportunities for part-time and distance learning.
  • Opportunities to study part of your course at UCLan Cyprus.
  • Electives are used to broaden the curriculum  Opportunities to study a range of languages including Arabic, Chinese, Japanese and Russian.

Teaching standards

  • In addition to UCLan’s roster of world-leading and internationally-aclaimed research staff, the university will give you access to professionally-qualified practitioners with industry experience.
  • In the 2012 National Student Survey, several subject areas achieved high levels of satisfaction, with seven areas ranked in the top 25% nationally: Business Studies, Management Studies, Others in subjects allied to medicine, Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmacy, Physical Geography and Environmental Science, Sports Science, and  Tourism, Transport and Travel.
  • UCLan was the only UK University to be newly admitted to the QS World University Rankings in 2010. 
  • The University has been awarded four QS stars out of a possible five by 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 which make up the overall grading, UCLan was awarded the maximum of five stars for teaching, infrastructure, internationalisation and engagement. In addition, for the first time, the University had one subject area, Law, included in the World Top 200.
  • UCLan has consistently performed well in subject reviews and institutional audits undertaken by the Quality Assurance Agency over a period of fifteen years and is recognised in particular for its 'strategic, thorough and effective institutional approach to quality enhancement' (2008 QAA Institutional Audit).

Research standards

  • UCLan prides itself on conducting world-leading research with real world impact.
  • It has achieved global recognition from its peers, with 11 areas of research judged as ‘world-leading’ in the most recent Research Assessment Exercise (RAE 2008): Linguistics; Communications, Cultural and Media Studies; Nursing and Midwifery; Social Work and Social Policy & Administration; History; Allied Health Professions and Studies; Physics; Architecture and the Built Environment; Business and Management Studies; Psychology; and Archaeology.
  • A further seven areas contain research which has been graded as ‘Internationally Excellent’: Art and Design; Education; General Engineering and Mineral and Mining Engineering; International Studies; Law; and Politics.
  • The University consistently invests in its international research centres which include the UK's first International Centre for Sign Language and Deaf Studies; the John Tyndall Nuclear Research Institute; and a nanotechnology research base in China's Shenzhen Virtual University Park. The University's Confucius Institute promotes and supports the development of Chinese language and culture throughout the north west region.
  • UCLan researchers are undertaking research across a wide range of disciplines with talented teams working to solve the big research questions that can really make a difference in the world. For example, UCLan researchers developed Evofit – a new facial composite system already being used by UK police forces to catch criminals.  UCLan works closely with NASA and benefits from from two observatories in Britain and a share in the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) project – the largest single dish telescope in the Southern Hemisphere. UCLan is one of the only UK universities to incorporate 3D technology into its games development and teaching through a unique industry partnership with the Stereoscopic 3D group at Sony Computer Entertainment Europe.
  • UCLan’s Undergraduate Research Internship Scheme 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. The UCLan Undergraduate Research Society funds conference visits and organises special events for students.

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.
  • 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, BNFL 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.
  • UCLan draws on its links across the globe to provide keynote lectures, seminars and talks to help enrich and enhance student employment opportunities.
  • Seven UCLan staff have been awarded the prestigious Higher Education Academy national teaching fellowships.
  • New courses launched regularly and all are academically rigorous with tailored employment pathways.
  • UCLan is one of the country’s most entrepreneurial and business friendly universities, according to the 2012 Higher Education Business and Community Interaction Survey. The University came top in the North West and  third in the UK for generating student start-up businesses.  Around a sector-leading 70% of those businesses are still thriving three years on.
  • The University offers a truly international experience. UCLan’s Travel Bursaries have been taken up by hundreds of students, keen to experience an overseas work placement, study period or assignment during their time at UCLan and adding a truly international aspect to their CV.

Student facilities, including library and computing

  • The UCLan Advantage is a package of benefits available to UK/EU full-time undergraduates starting at the Preston campus. The UCLan Advantage includes: a guaranteed work experience opportunity; the opportunity to have a global experience or study period abroad; financial credits to offset some of the costs of being a student; a personal adviser; free access to foreign language teaching; careers advice for life; a personal academic tutor; free access to sport facilities … plus much more.
  • Over £100 million recently invested in teaching, learning and leisure facilities, including new buildings, improved learning technology and world-class sporting facilities.
  • 24/7 access to a recently refurbished library with a fantastic range of facilities including group and individual study pods, laptops to borrow and a cafe.
  • 24-hour access to computers, with more than 1,500 situated throughout the university plus Wi-Fi available throughout the campus.
  • Excellent online resources and Europe's largest 3D lecture theatre.
  • UCLan’s futures centre brings together advice on careers and work placements, employability and enterprise course electives, business start-up and self-employment services. 
  • The Multi-Faith Centre welcomes all students and staff.

Disability services

  • Visit the website for information about the disability services at UCLan.
  • To contact  the Disability Advisory Service at UCLan, telephone/textphone 01772 892593, fax 01772 892939 or email.
  • You can view an accessibility guide for UCLan on the Disabled Go website.

Students' union

  • The award-winning SU has one of the largest student venues in the country: the £6.5-million 53 Degrees (with a 1,500-capacity venue on the ground floor and a more intimate 400-capacity club upstairs) hosts concerts, club nights and comedy. Voted SU of the year in 2005, the venue won the Best Campus Venue award from Live UK Music in 2011.
  • UCLan SU was ranked in the top 25% nationally for its support, activities and academic representation in the 2012 National Student Survey.
  • Diverse range of sporting clubs, societies and a  Give It A Go programme ensures you have the opportunity to get involved.


  • The new £13-million on-campus Sir Tom Finney Sports Centre offers  top class indoor sports facilities, inclduding  an international standard double sports hall, studios for a wide range of exercise classes and an extensive fitness suite with state-of-the-art equipment.
  • 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. The university’s Tyn Dwr Outdoor Centre provides opportunities for outdoor adventure sports as well as easy access to several mountain areas and associated crags, cave systems and rivers.
  • UCLan’s partner institution Myerscough College boasts the International Centre for Golf Education.
  • UK/EU full time new undergraduate students starting at the Preston campus enjoy free access to UCLan sporting facilities under the UCLan Advantage package – see website for more details.
  • UCLan was an official training camp for athletes from 15 Pacific countries in preparation for the London 2012 Olympic Games. The University was also a host for the 2012 Corporate Games and was the only UK University to act as an official training venue for the Rugby League World Cup in 2013.

Recent/prospective new builds

  • Over the past five years, UCLan has invested over £100m in enhancing its campus environments, infrastructure and technological support for both academic and non-academic activities.
  • Recent new facilities include the £12.5-m JB Firth Building housing the University’s renowned forensic science, fire engineering and chemistry courses and the £13-m Sir Tom Finney Sports Centre.
  • Other recent developments include a new School of Dentistry, the restoration of the Tyn Dwr Outdoor Sports Centre in North Wales, the redevelopment of Westlakes Campus in Cumbria and a student-informed upgrade of the library.
  • The University also invested over £15m in a Media Factory which incorporates state-of-the-art facilities for digital media and performing arts students and a business incubator facility. The University has the largest 3D lecture theatre in Europe which is used for teaching purposes across the academic portfolio.
  • The €53-m UCLan Cyprus campus opened in 2012.

Availability of part-time work

  • The Opportunities Centre, within the Students' Union, advertises part- and full-time jobs to fit in and around students' timetables as well as volunteering opportunities.
  • Plenty of opportunities for part-time work in retail and bar work.
  • The centre is also the source of information for student societies and Give It A Go activities, which all help to enhance your CV.

Notable alumni

  • Victoria Derbyshire – broadcaster, BBC Five Live.
  • Simon Kellner – former Editor of the Independent.
  • Richard Frediani – Programme Editor of ITV’s early evening news programme.
  • 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 Bedfordshire Police and former Deputy Assistant Commissioner, Metropolitan Police Service.
  • Brent Sadler – award-winning, internationally recognised Journalist, CNN Correspondent to the Middle East.
  • James Ducker – Northern Football Correspondent of The Times newspaper.


For further information

  • +44 (0)1772 201201
  • University of Central Lancashire
    PR1 2HE
UCAS Code C30

Content was accurate at the time of compilation.

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