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Kingston University

Kingston University London (informally Kingston or KUL) is a public research university located within the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames, in South West London, United Kingdom. The university specialises in the arts, design, fashion, science, engineering, and business. It received university status in 1992, before which the institution was known as Kingston Polytechnic. Its roots, however, go back to the Kingston Technical Institute, founded in 1899.

Kingston University London
Kingston University Coat of Arms.png
MottoPer Scientiam Progredimur (Latin) [1]
Motto in English
"Let us advance through science" [1]
Established1992 – gained University Status
1899 – Kingston Technical Institute
Endowment£2.3 m[2]
ChancellorBonnie Greer[3]
Vice-ChancellorSteven Spier[4]
Students19,470 (2016/17)[5]
Undergraduates14,930 (2016/17)[5]
Postgraduates4,540 (2016/17)[5]
United Kingdom

51°24′13″N 0°18′14″W / 51.4035°N 0.3039°W / 51.4035; -0.3039Coordinates: 51°24′13″N 0°18′14″W / 51.4035°N 0.3039°W / 51.4035; -0.3039
ColoursBlue and White          
AffiliationsAssociation of MBAs
University Alliance
Universities UK
Logo of Kingston University

The university has four campuses situated in Kingston and Roehampton.

Kingston University London, is a member of the Association of MBAs, the European University Association and the Association of Commonwealth Universities.



Kingston was founded as Kingston Technical Institute in 1899. In 1930 the Kingston School of Art separated, later to become Kingston College of Art. Kingston was recognised as a Regional College of Technology by the Ministry of Education in 1957. In 1970, it merged with the College of Art to become Kingston Polytechnic, offering 34 major courses, of which 17 were at degree level.[6] In 1975, Kingston merged with the Gipsy Hill College of Education, itself founded in 1917, incorporating the College's faculty into Kingston's Division of Educational Studies.[7]

Kingston was granted university status under the Further and Higher Education Act 1992. In 1993, Kingston opened the Roehampton Vale campus building and in 1995, Kingston acquired Dorich House.

Campuses and estateEdit

Penrhyn RoadEdit

Main building, Penrhyn Road campus

This is the main university campus located close to Kingston town centre. Students based here study: Arts and Social Sciences, Civil Engineering, Surveying and Planning, Computing and Information Systems and Mathematics, Earth Sciences and Geography, Statistics, Biosciences, Pharmacy, Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Science, and Radiography. Development at this site has extended it to the Learning Resources Centre.

In 2015, the Union of Kingston Students, moved into the main building. Penrhyn Road also houses the refurbished Fitness Centre.

Kingston HillEdit

Kingston Hill campus, Kingston University

Kingston Hill mainly caters to Nursing(Adult, Child, Mental Health and Learning Disability), Law, Education, Business, Music, Health and Social Sciences. Before 1989, this campus was known as Gipsy Hill.

The Business School moved to a new building on the Kingston Hill Campus in 2012.[8]

Knights ParkEdit

Knights Park campus

Located on Grange road, Knights Park campus is home to the Kingston School of Art (KSA). The campus is built on the northern banks of the Hogsmill River and opened in 1939.[9]

Roehampton ValeEdit

The Roehampton Vale campus was opened in 1993 by Sir William Barlow, the president of the Royal Academy of Engineering. The site is located on Friars Avenue, on the outskirts of Kingston. Facilities on site include a wind tunnel, engineering workshops, a flight simulator, a flying condition Learjet 25, plus automotive and aeronautical learning resources.

Tolworth Court Sports GroundEdit

The University’s 55-acre sports ground houses twelves football pitches, two rugby pitches, three cricket squares, one American football pitch, one lacrosse pitch, two netball courts and three tennis courts.[10]

Other locationsEdit

In addition to the four main campuses are three administration buildings: Cooper House near Penrhyn Road Campus, Hind Court on London Road and River House in Kingston town centre home to the office of the Vice-Chancellor.



Teaching and research are organised in five faculties.

Kingston School of ArtEdit

Kingston School of Art (KSA) was established as part of Kingston Technical Institute founded 1899. The School of Art separated from the Technical College in 1930 and left Kingston Hall Road to move to Knights Park in 1939. It became Kingston College of Art in 1945 and merged back with the Technical College to form Kingston Polytechnic in 1970. The Polytechnic later became Kingston University in 1992, under which the school was known as the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture (FADA) until 2017 when it reverted to its historic name.[11][12]

Kingston School of Art delivers undergraduate and postgraduate programmes of study across three schools:[13]

Faculty of Arts and Social SciencesEdit

The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) was based at Penrhyn Road and Kingston Hill campuses.

The FASS consisted of 8 departments divided over two schools:[14]

The faculty was home to the London Graduate School, the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy, the Practice Research Unit, the Institute of Social Science, Cultural Histories @ Kingston, and the Kingston Writers' Centre.

The faculty operated Kingston University Press.[15]

Kingston Business SchoolEdit

Kingston Business School (KBS) can be traced back to the 1960s. In 1985, the CNAA approved the school's Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree and the following year KBS moved to Kingston Hill Campus.

The Business School is divided into four departments:[16]

Faculty of Health and Social Care and EducationEdit

Founded in 1995, the Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education (FHSCE) is run jointly by Kingston University and St George’s, University of London (SGUL).[17] The faculty is based at Penrhyn Road, Kingston Hill and St George's Hospital in Tooting.

The School of Education joined the Faculty in 2012.[18]

Faculty of Science, Engineering and ComputingEdit

The Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing (SEC) was formed in 2011.

The School of Geography, Geology and the Environment hosts Geographical Information Systems (GIS), which was the very first degree of its kind.[citation needed]

The faculty's teaching is split between undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. 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.


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.[19]

In 2003, the Stanley Picker Gallery gave birth to Transitstation,[20] 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.[21]

Kingston University runs Dorich House[22] which houses a huge collection of sculptor Dora Gordine's work, and fine examples of Russian Imperial art and furniture. Dorich House is also used as meeting and conference venue.


The Kingston School of Art runs a number of research centres:

  • Contemporary Art Research Centre ("CARC")
  • Colour Design Research Centre
  • Screen Design Research Centre
  • Modern Interiors Research Design[23]
  • Sustainable Design Research Centre[24]
  • Centre for the Contemporary Visual & Material Culture
  • Curating Contemporary Design Research Group
  • Real Estate Research Group
  • Fashion Industry Research Centre
  • Fire, Explosion and Fluid Dynamics (FEFD)

Academic profileEdit

Rankings and reputationEdit

Global rankings
QS (2019)[25]
THE (2019)[26]601-800
National rankings
Complete (2019)[27]95
Guardian (2019)[28]58
Times / Sunday Times (2019)[29]117
British Government assessment
Teaching Excellence Framework[30]Bronze

Kingston University came 102 out of 127 UK universities in the Complete University Guide (2018). The Times/The Sunday Times Guide placed it at no. 102 (Good University Guide, 2018). In 2018, The Guardian placed Kingston 58th out of 121 surveyed universities.[31] Kingston was ranked 1st out of 121 institutions for its graphic design and product design courses by The Guardian in 2017.[32] In 2017, Kingston University won The Guardian University Award for teaching excellence.[33]

International partnersEdit

The university holds a number of links with institutions from around the world to share teaching and research and facilitate staff and student exchanges.[34]


National Student Survey exaggerationEdit

In 2008, an audio recording obtained by student media included two psychology lecturers asking students to inflate their graded opinions given as part of the National Student Survey.[35] 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 because they are going to think your degree is shit".[35][36] In response, Vice-Chancellor Peter Scott confirmed that the recording was genuine but added that he believed that the incident was an isolated one.[37][38][39][40][41] 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.[42]

External examiner controversyEdit

In 2008, the BBC obtained e-mails circulated within Kingston's School of Music, relating to the opinions of an external examiner moderating the BMus course.[43] The messages showed that her final report caused considerable concern within the department. The examiner was persuaded to moderate her criticism following contact from a member of the University's staff. The e-mails also detailed a plan to replace her (at the end of her term) with a more experienced and broad-based external examiner, a process which Kingston stressed breaks no rules relating to the appointment of such examiners.[43] In October 2008, Peter Williams, Chief Executive of the UK Quality Assurance Agency (QAA), presented the agency's findings to a Parliamentary Select Committee charged with investigating standards in British higher education. Following an investigation of the allegations by a former University staff member that undue pressure was applied to the School of Music's External Examiner, QAA upheld all charges of wrongdoing, as alleged.[44][45][46]

Extremist speakersEdit

In 2015, Prime Minister David Cameron named and shamed four British universities which gave platforms to allegedly extremist speakers.[47][48][49][50]

Kingston's Vice Chancellor Julius Weinberg defended his decision to allow controversial speakers in the name of free speech.[51]

Student lifeEdit

Union of Kingston StudentsEdit

The Union of Kingston Students (UKS), formerly Kingston University Students' Union (KUSU), and in the 1990s KUGOS (Kingston University Guild of Students') is a charitable organisation representing the student body and aiming to provide services and activities beneficial to the student experience. It is a student union in the meaning of the term given in the Education Act 1994, and whilst independent of the university is funded by a block grant from it.

Halls of residenceEdit

The university has six halls of residence. Chancellors' and Walkden are 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 which is situated on the edge of Bushy Park at the Hampton Wick end of Kingston Bridge, London.

Notable peopleEdit

Notable faculty and staffEdit

Notable alumniEdit


  1. ^ a b "File: Machines - Kingston College of Technology coat of arms :: Kingston University Historical Photographs".
  2. ^ "Kingston University, London : Financial Statements 2014-15" (PDF). Kingston University. Retrieved 2016-10-30.
  3. ^ "Kingston University's new chancellor sets out her aims". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 19 September 2013.
  4. ^ "Vice-Chancellor's Team - How the University works - Kingston University London". Retrieved 15 Jan 2017.
  5. ^ a b c "2016/17 Students by HE provider, level, mode and domicile" (CSV). Higher Education Statistics Agency. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  6. ^ Kingston University Website Retrieved 12 October 2014. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. ^ Gibson, Michael (1999). "A History of Kingston university" (PDF).
  8. ^ Kieran Long (11 April 2012). "Look and learn: intelligent design for education - Architecture - Arts". Evening Standard. London. Archived from the original on 14 December 2012. Retrieved 31 March 2015.
  9. ^ "A history of Kingston School of Art".
  10. ^ "Tolworth Court sports ground - Sport and Active Lifestyles - Kingston University London".
  11. ^ "Our History". Retrieved 21 May 2013.
  12. ^ "Knights Park celebrates the launch of the Kingston School of Art | River Online". Retrieved 2017-11-04.
  13. ^ "Study at Kingston School of Art". Retrieved 2017-11-04.
  14. ^ "Departments - Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences - Kingston University London". Retrieved 2017-11-04.
  15. ^ "Kingston University Press - Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences - Kingston University London".
  16. ^ "Kingston Business School | Find Out About Our Faculty and Facilities | Kingston Business School, London". Retrieved 2017-11-04.
  17. ^ "About | Kingston and St George's". Retrieved 2017-11-04.
  18. ^ Kingston University. Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education
  19. ^ "The Stanley Picker Gallery at Kingston University is a public venue dedicated to the research, development, production and presentation of interdisciplinary contemporary arts practice". Stanley Picker Gallery. Retrieved 2014-02-11.
  20. ^ "transitstation - Exhibition as Event". Retrieved 2012-11-15.
  21. ^ "育毛剤の人気ランキング情報". Retrieved 2012-11-15.
  22. ^ "Dorich House Museum". Retrieved 2012-11-15.
  23. ^ "Kingston University - Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture - Modern Interiors Research Centre". Retrieved 2012-11-15.
  24. ^ Archived from the original on 13 March 2007. Retrieved 24 April 2007. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  25. ^ "QS World University Rankings 2019". Quacquarelli Symonds Ltd.
  26. ^ "World University Rankings 2019". Times Higher Education.
  27. ^ "University League Table 2019". The Complete University Guide.
  28. ^ "University league tables 2019". The Guardian. 29 May 2018.
  29. ^ "The Times and Sunday Times University Good University Guide 2019". Times Newspapers.
  30. ^ "Teaching Excellence Framework outcomes". Higher Education Funding Council for England.
  31. ^ "University league tables 2019". the Guardian. Retrieved 2018-05-30.
  32. ^ "The best design courses in the UK, according to The Guardian University Guide 2017". It’s Nice That. 2016-05-26. Retrieved 2017-11-04.
  33. ^ "Kingston University wins Guardian University Award for teaching excellence".
  34. ^ "International partner institutions - Study Abroad - Visiting students - Kingston University London".
  35. ^ a b Coughlin, Sean (2008-05-13). "University staff faking survey". BBC. Retrieved 2008-05-13.
  36. ^ Mostrous, Alexi (2008-05-14). "Kingston University students told to lie to boost college's rank in government poll". The Times. Retrieved 2008-06-28.
  37. ^ "Kingston University witness intimidation". Retrieved 9 July 2015.
  38. ^ "Kingston University governers grievance appeal recording part 1". Retrieved 9 July 2015.
  39. ^ "Kingston University governers grievance appeal recording part 2". Retrieved 9 July 2015.
  40. ^ "Kingston University National Student Survey fraud recording". Retrieved 9 July 2015.
  41. ^ "Statement in response to National Student Survey complaint". Kingston University Press Office. 2008-05-14. Retrieved 2008-07-02.
  42. ^ Coughlin, Sean (2008-07-26). "Faculty in league table expulsion". BBC. Retrieved 2008-07-26.
  43. ^ a b Coughlan, Sean (2008-06-24). "Examiner dropped course criticism". BBC. Retrieved 2008-06-25.
  44. ^ The Committee Office, House of Commons. "House of Commons - Innovation, Universities, Science and Skills - Minutes of Evidence". Retrieved 2012-11-15.
  45. ^ Archived from the original on 19 July 2009. Retrieved 25 March 2009. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  46. ^ Newman, Melanie (2009-03-26). "Kingston Showed Lack of Regard for External Examiner's Role, Says QAA". TSL Education Ltd. Retrieved 2008-03-27.
  47. ^ British universities that give the floor to extremist speakers are named and shamed, The Telegraph
  48. ^ 100 extremists a year lecture at universities: Fanatics given a platform to spread hatred of the West despite ministers demanding crackdown on radicalism , Daily Mail
  49. ^ Universities 'fail to ban radicals': 27 lectures featuring guests with extremist views take place in London in just five months, Daily Mail
  50. ^ "'Show us the evidence David Cameron': Supporters rally after Kingston University listed for extremism". Surrey Comet.
  51. ^ I won't stop offering a platform to so-called 'hate speakers', The Guardian
  52. ^
  53. ^ Barber, Lynn (29 August 2009). "Rachel Cusk interview - Lynn Barber" – via
  54. ^ "Paul Andrew Williams joins Film Team - Activities - Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences - Kingston University London". Retrieved 2012-11-15.
  55. ^ a b "Kingston University – A–Z Unis & Colleges, Getting Into University". The Independent. Independent News and Media. 2007-07-27. Retrieved 2008-12-08.
  56. ^ Elliott, David (30 May 2017). "Humberside Police reveal preferred Chief Constable candidate". Scunthorpe Telegraph. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
  57. ^ Unattributed, "Anya Gallaccio Archived 7 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine.," British Council - online biography, retrieved, 22 August 2011
  58. ^ "Lavinia Greenlaw - Literature".
  59. ^ Ian MacDonald, "Preface to the First Revised Edition." In MacDonald, Revolution in the Head (London: Vintage, 2005), p. xix.

External linksEdit