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The University of Cumbria

How can we be England's newest university and have a long history? Read on to find out more.

Training teachers

St Martin's College was the largest of the institutions which went on to form our university. It was founded in Lancaster by the Church of England in 1964 to train teachers. It grew over the years and developed a fine reputation for the quality of its teacher and health professional training, opening a campus in Carlisle along the way as well as taking over Charlotte Mason College in Ambleside.

Artistic tradition

The former Cumbria Institute of the Arts can trace its history back to 1822 when the Society for the Encouragement of Fine Arts was formed in Carlisle. It eventually became the only specialist institute of the arts in North West England and one of only a small number of such institutions in the country. Recent alumni include Turner Prize winners, actor Charlie Hunnam, Gerard McKeown, performance poet and ceramicist, Thomas Hopkins-Gibson, recently commissioned by Liberty of London.

The University of CumbriaIn the country

University of Cumbria was formed by the merger of St Martin’s College, Cumbria Institute of the Arts and University of Central Lancashire’s Cumbria sites in 2007, operating from campuses spread across Cumbria and north Lancashire.

Since then the university has continued to grow, expanding in geographical terms as well as academic scope.

In 2012 we launched our innovative Institute for Leadership and Sustainability (IFLAS) at our Ambleside campus. Major redevelopment work of the Ambleside campus started the following year, and in 2014 the Lake District campus officially became home to the National School of Forestry, the Centre for Wildlife Conservation and our outdoor studies courses - more outdoor students study with us than with any other higher education institution in Europe.

The university’s commitment to provision in London continued, with its campus (originally created by St Martin’s College) relocating to new premises in East India Dock Road in 2013.

Other developments in 2013 included the creation of University of Cumbria Business School at our Lancaster Campus and the launch of Carlisle Business Interaction Centre at Paternoster Row. 

Lord Digby Jones visited our Ambleside campus in 2014 to officially launch our Rural Growth Hub – a new facility designed to help business thrive in the National Park.

One of our major goals is to grow university participation in west Cumbria. Since 2009 we have been delivering courses at Energus, Workington, and in 2013 we opened our University Centre at Furness College, Barrow-in-Furness.

Find out more about Cumbria Institute of the Arts, Charlotte Mason College, and St Martin's College.

(Click on the image below to enlarge)

UoC History