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Kingston University

Kingston University is a university in the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames, south-west London.

Formerly a polytechnic, it was granted university status in 1992 under the Further and Higher Education Act 1992.


The Kingston Technical Institute opened in 1899.

Students' Union

Housed on the Penrhyn Road campus, Kingston University Students' Union (KUSU) exists to support students through University and to enhance their experience. KUSU offers involvement in Sports clubs, Societies, Volunteering and Skills Training (as part of the NSLP). It also has three bars, two shops, and an Advice and Representation Centre (the ARC), a source of advice, information, support and representation.


Penrhyn Road

This is the main university campus located close to Kingston town centre. In addition to teaching facilities, it features a library, health centre and canteen. Students based here study; Arts and Social Sciences, Civil Engineering, Computing and Information Systems and Mathematics, Statistics, Science, and Radiography. Across the road is the Reg Bailey Theatre which houses a stage area used by drama and dance students. Recent developments on this site has seen the opening of the John Galsworthy Building, providing extra teaching and office space.

The site also features Kingston University Students' Union (KUSU). Penrhyn Road also houses the recently refurbished Fitness Centre. A short walk from the campus is Cooper House, which houses Student Services and Admissions.

Kingston Hill

This campus has a much more modern look and feel to it, after undergoing a multi-million pound development in 1997. With its own halls and numerous car parks (including the main seven storey car park) Kingston Hill mainly caters to Nursing, Law, Education, Business, Music, Health and Social Sciences. Located near the top of Kingston Hill, it connects to the other campus sites by use of a free University Bus service. Recent development at this site has seen an extension to the current Learning Resources Centre.

Knights Park

This campus, located on Grange Road, close to Penrhyn Road, is the home of the University's Faculty of Art, Design & Architecture, and provides undergraduate courses in Art & Design History, Interior Design, Product & Furniture, Graphic Design, Photography, Illustration & Animation, Fine Art and Fashion amongst others. The facility also features a student bar, café and arts library. The building is on the River Hogsmill (the banks of which were immortalised in the Pre-Raphaelite painting of Ophelia (painting) by John Everett Millais). The 'Middle Mill' hall of residence is situated across from the campus, close to the University's Stanley Picker Gallery.

Roehampton Vale

The Roehampton Vale campus is based on Friars Avenue, on the outskirts of Kingston. Students studying all Engineering courses (except for Civil Engineering) are based here. Extensive facilities on site such as a wind tunnel, engineering workshops, flight simulator plus automotive and aeronautical learning resources. Recent development at this site has seen the opening of the Hawker Wingwill, providing further teaching space.

Other locations

In addition to the four main campuses are three administration buildings: Cooper House near the Penrhyn Road Campus, Millennium House and River House in Kingston town centre - the latter is so named as it is overlooks the River Thames and includes the office of the Vice-Chancellor.

Halls of residence

The University has 7 halls of residence. Chancellor's, Walkden and Rennie are all based at the Kingston Hill campus. Middle Mill is adjacent to Knights Park campus, while Clayhill and Seething Wells are on opposite sides of Surbiton. Finally, there is Kingston Bridge House (KBH) which is situated on the edge of Bushy Park at the Hampton Wick end of Kingston Bridge, London.

The university runs and operates a "headed tenancy" scheme in which the university sublets local properties to students from landlords.


Art, Design and Architecture

Based at the Knights Park campus. The Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture can be traced back to the original School of Art in Kingston which was founded in the 1890s. The Dean of Faculty is Dr Simon Ofield.Teaching

The faculty delivers both Undergraduate and Postgraduate programmes of study across the following schools - Architecture & Landscape, Art & Design History, Fine Art, Surveying and Design. The Faculty also has a school of Foundation Studies which delivers the BTEC Foundation in Art and Design which prepares undergraduate students for entry into honours degree Art and Design programmes.Research

Research in the faculty is broadly based around Art, Design and Architectural themes from colour in design through to real estate. Research Centres and Groups in the faculty include

  • Colour Design Research Centre
  • Screen Design Research Centre
  • Modern Interiors Research Design
  • Sustainable Design Research Centre
  • Centre for the Contemporary Visual & Material Culture
  • Curating Contemporary Design Research Group
  • Real Estate Research Group
  • Fashion Industry Research CentreGalleries

The Stanley Picker Gallery is the Faculty's exhibition space which is now used to present a variety of research-based projects, fellowships and exhibitions.

In 2003, the Stanley Picker Gallery gave birth to transitstation, which was created/curated by Stanley Picker Fellow Dagmar Glausnitzer-Smith, and the then gallery curator Charles Ryder.

In 2003, The Director of Foundation Studies in Art and Design, Paul Stafford, converted a run-down public convenience in Kingston town centre into The Toilet Gallery.

Kingston University also runs Dorich House which houses a huge collection of sculptor Dora Gordine's work, plus fine examples of Russian Imperial art and furniture. Dorich House is also used as meeting and conference venue.

Arts & Social Sciences

Primarily based at the Penrhyn Road campus, although as part of a restructure in 2005, the faculty also incorporates the now former School of Music and the School of Education which are both based at the Kingston Hill Campus. The faculty offers a flexible modular degree system for undergraduate courses, and a range of taught and research postgraduate programmes of study. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and Masters by Research (MA) degrees can be undertaken in any of the following areas - Drama, Dance, Creative Writing, Criminology, Economics, Education, English Literature, European Studies, Film Studies, History, Human Rights, Journalism, Linguistics and Languages, Media, Music, Politics, Psychology, Sociology.

Business & Law

Based at the Kingston Hill campus and incorporating the Kingston Business School and Kingston Law School. The dean is Professor Jean-Noël Ezingeard. The Faculty is home to almost 5,000 students.Teaching The Faculty of Business and Law built a strong reputation offering undergraduate and postgraduate courses as well as executive education in the 5 following groupings -

  • Law
  • Accounting and Finance
  • Informatics and Operations Management / Business Information Technology
  • Leadership, Human Resources and Organisation
  • Strategy, Marketing and Entrepreneurship

The faculty also offers PhD and DBA research degrees in addition to its renowned MBA programme. The Business School was the first in the world to receive AMBA accreditation for its MBA, DBA and Masters in Business Management. Other accreditations include the Law Society, the Bar Council, CIMA, CIPD.Research The faculty has a number of specialist research units which cover the principal business disciplines.

  • Asia Business Research Centre
  • Business-to-Business Marketing Research Centre
  • Centre for Insolvency Law and Policy
  • Centre for International Business Policy
  • Centre for Stakeholding and Sustainable Enterprise
  • Centre for Working Life Research
  • Consumer Research Unit
  • e-Commerce Research Unit
  • Jean Monnet Chair in European Law
  • Small Business Research Centre
  • Strategic Human Resource Management and People Research Unit (SHaPe)

Computer Information Systems & Mathematics

Formerly part of the Faculty of Technology, a university restructure in 2005 lead to this new faculty being created. It is based at the Penrhyn Road campus. Teaching The Faculty's teaching is split between undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. Undergraduate teaching centres on computer science, software engineering, information systems and mathematics. Postgraduate teaching at a master’s level relates to networking, software engineering and information technology. Research The Faculty's research interests are spread across a range of topics, from emerging wireless and network technologies for healthcare,computationally-intensive computer vision to computer based learning technologies, networking and mathematics. Research activities are organised into smaller research groups and larger research centers. The three current research centres are:

  • Centre for Applied Research in Information Systems (CARIS)
  • Digital Imaging Research Centre (DIRC)
  • Mobile Information Networking Technologies (MINT)

The Mobile Information Engineering and E-Med Systems group, is part of the MINT Research centre. It conducts research in the areas of Bio-information systems and the application of emerging mobile and network technologies for health care systems. The group is active both nationally and internationally. The group brings together Clinicians, Engineers, and Scientists in information and communication technologies for medicine and solutions to health care problems.


Also formerly part of the Faculty of Technology, this new faculty is based at the Roehampton Vale campus, although civil engineering is taught at Penrhyn Road.Teaching The faculty offers professionally orientated undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Aerospace, Civil and Mechanical Engineering. Students benefit from extensive facilities at the Roehampton Vale campus including a Learjet 25, flight simulator, wind tunnel and automotive workshops including a range of vehicles and testing facilities.Research Emphasis is placed on commercially useful research with significant funding from external bodies. The faculty has 3 research centres -

  • Aerospace Research Centre
  • Applied Engineering Research Centre
  • Sustainable Technology Research Centre

Health & Social Care Sciences

A collaboration with St George's, University of London (SGUL), the faculty is based at St. George's Hospital in Tooting, and Kingston Hill (KH) and Penrhyn Road (PR) at Kingston University. Subjects offered include all branches of Nursing (KH), Midwifery (KH), Paramedic Sciences (SGUL), Physiotherapy (SGUL), Diagnostic Radiography (PR), Therapeutic Radiography (PR) and Social Work (KH), along with postgraduate and Continuing Professional Development courses for those already employed in the healthcare profession.

Degrees within the Faculty of Health and Social Care are awarded by either Kingston University (Nursing, Social Work, Midwifery) or the University of London (Radiography and Physiotherapy)


Based at the Penrhyn Road Campus, fields offered at undergraduate level include Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Earth Sciences, Forensic Science, Geography, Nutrition, Pharmaceutical Science, Pharmacology, Pharmacy and Sports Science.

The School of Earth Sciences and Geography at Kingston University has a tradition of high-quality teaching and research extending over more than 50 years. Its geosciences courses were among the first to be accredited by the Geological Society as providing suitable training for the geoscience industries. The BSc Geographical Information System (GIS) course was the first of its type in the UK and established Kingston's pre-eminence in this subject.

Other courses provided by the School of Earth Sciences and Geography include BSc(Hons) Environmental Hazards and Disaster Management; BSc(Hons) Environmental Sciences; BA/BSc(Hons) Geography; BSc(Hons) Geology.



The main campuses have both black and white and colour printing, as well as copying machines and binding machines. Costs of printing and copying are a standard 5p a sheet for A4 and 10p a sheet for A3. Colour printing is 65p a sheet for A4 and £1 for A3.

Health and fitness

The Penrhyn Road campus has a state of the art gym, located at the rear near Fassett Road. The gym has two floors: the ground floor is for weights, aerobic hall and treatment rooms while the first floor has many cardio machines as well as some machine weights. The gym was refurbished in the summer of 2006. There are two main membership levels, Gold and Silver. Silver allows entry only before 3 pm. Aerobics classes are free to members. Annual membership for Kingston students is £173 for Gold and £127 for Silver. The gym is open to everyone over 16, but has discount rates for the university students and staff. Tolworth Court sports ground is the university's outdoor sports facility. It offers students grass pitches for cricket, football and rugby plus floodlit hardcourt pitches for tennis, netball and five-a-side football. Many other leisure and recreation activities are offered for students at local amenities through the Students Union.

Shops and cafes

There is a Subway located in the students union bar. Next door to the Students' Union bar is a confectionery store selling basic stationery and snacks. Close by to Penryhn Road campus are many cafes and shops.

Inter-site bus service

There is a free bus service for students which runs between the campuses and Kingston town centre.

Rose of Kingston

In 1998, the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames agreed to start work on a new theatre for Kingston. Working with Kingston University, they set up a trust to raise funds and the outer building structure was completed in March 2003 with its first season being a performance of Don Juan.

Notable alumni


Workplace stress

In 2000, an Employment Tribunal found that Kingston University had constructively dismissed Human Resource Management Professor, Agi Oldfield, when its HR Director threatened to sack her unless she withdrew a grievance against her manager for alleged bullying. A 2006 inquest into the suicide of the Director of Postgraduate Programmes in the School heard that she, Professor Diana Winstanley, had been suffering from stress at work.

National Student Survey exaggeration

In 2008, an audio recording obtained by student media included two psychology lecturers requesting that students inflate their graded opinions given as part of the National Student Survey. One member of staff was recorded as encouraging students to boost specific satisfaction scores, because "if Kingston comes down the bottom [of the league tables], then the bottom line is that nobody is going to want to employ you". In response, Vice-Chancellor Peter Scott issued a statement confirming that the recording was genuine but adding that he believed that the incident was an isolated one.. In July 2008, the Higher Education Funding Council of England removed the University's Department of Psychology of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences from the League Tables for the year as its sanction for having fraudulently manipulated the National Student Survey results.

External examiner controversy

In 2008, the BBC obtained e-mails circulated within Kingston's School of Music, relating to the opinions of an external examiner moderating the School. The communications indicated that the examiner was persuaded to change her initially critical report on the School, softening criticism following contact from a member of the University's staff. The e-mails also detailed a plan to engage a replacement, more sympathetic external examiner, a process which Kingston stressed breaks no rules relating to the appointment of such examiners.


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