In 1858 the Brighton School of Art opened its doors to its first 110 students, in rooms adjacent to the kitchens of the Royal Pavilion. It moved in 1876 to its own building in Grand Parade, with the Prime Minister, William Gladstone, witnessing the laying of the new building's foundation stone. The Municipal School of Science and Technology opened in Brighton in 1897 with 600 enrolled students. In the 1960s new buildings were constructed in Moulsecoomb for what had become the Brighton College of Technology. In 1970 the School of Art and Brighton College of Technology merged to form Brighton Polytechnic.
In 1976 the Brighton College of Education (the teacher training college) merges with Brighton Polytechnic, giving the polytechnic a campus at Falmer. It had opened in 1909 as the Municipal Day Training College in Richmond Terrace, Brighton. There was a further merger in 1979, when the East Sussex College of Higher Education merged with the polytechnic, creating a campus in Eastbourne. That institution had opened in London in 1898 as an institution training women and girls in physical education and moved to Eastbourne in 1949.
The polytechnics were granted university status in 1992 and the polytechnic became the University of Brighton under the provisions of the Further and Higher Education Act, 1992.
In 1994 the Sussex and Kent Institute of Nursing and Midwifery became part of the university, increasing the number of students based in Eastbourne. In 2003 the Brighton and Sussex Medical School opened as a partnership between the University of Brighton, the University of Sussex and the Universities Hospitals Trust, the first medical school in South East England outside London. University Centre Hastings is opened in 2004, managed by the University of Brighton.
In 2011 the Brighton International College, part of Kaplan International Colleges, opened on the Brighton campus, to provide international students with English language courses and preparatory academic tuition for undergraduate and postgraduate courses.
The university has five campuses: three in Brighton, at Falmer, Grand Parade and Moulsecoomb, one in Eastbourne and one in Hastings.
In 2015, the University of Brighton gained a first class award in the People & Planet's University League table – UK universities ranked by environmental and ethical performance.
The Falmer campus is approximately three miles from Brighton city centre. The School of Humanities (literature, language and linguistics), School of Health Sciences, School of Applied Social Science, Centre for Nursing and Midwifery Research, International Health Development and Research Centre, Social Science Policy and Research Centre, School of Education, Education Research Centre, the Centre for Learning and Teaching and the Brighton and Sussex Medical School are all based on this campus.
Falmer railway station is immediately adjacent, as is the Falmer Stadium, home to Brighton & Hove Albion FC, which opened in 2011.
Facilities on the Falmer campus include a library, computer pool rooms, restaurant and cafe/bar, and the Students' Union cafe, aka The Hive, and shop. Sports facilities on the campus include floodlit 3G AstroTurf pitch, netball and tennis courts, a sports centre with fitness suite, two activity studios and a sports hall with six badminton courts, and a new sports pavilion which opened in 2015.
Grand Parade campus in Brighton city centre is home to the university's College of Arts and Humanities, (formerly the Faculty of Arts), the University of Brighton gallery and Sallis Benney Theatre. The university's archives include the University of Brighton Design Archives, which houses collections from the Design Council and other British and global design organisations, and the moving image archive Screen Archive South East. Facilities include the specialist humanities, art and design library at St Peter's House, computer pool rooms, a media centre, a restaurant and cafe. The School of Art, Design and Media and the School of Humanities are based at Grand Parade.
The Moulsecoomb campus is to the north of Brighton city centre. Moulsecoomb railway station is nearby.
It is the largest of the five campuses with over 8,000 students. Brighton Business School, School of Architecture and Design, School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics, School of Environment and Technology and School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences are based on the Moulsecoomb campus.
Teaching and learning resources include rapid prototyping and design equipment including 3D scanners, CNS lathes and laser cutters, clinical skills and molecular biology laboratories, specialist labs for structural dynamics, geotechnics, thermal dynamics, hydraulics and avionics, a flight simulator, real-time trading room, and architecture and interior architecture studios. Facilities include Aldrich library, computer pool rooms, two restaurants and five cafes. In early 2016 construction started on a new advanced engineering building.
The University of Brighton and Ricardo UK jointly opened the Sir Harry Ricardo Laboratories on 14 November 2006. The laboratories are one of the largest UK research teams dedicated to internal combustion engines, the development of laser-based measurement techniques, fundamental modelling and computational simulation.
The University of Brighton Students Union has its main offices in Cockcroft Building.
The Eastbourne campus is at the foot of the South Downs National Park. Almost 3,000 students are based here studying at the School of Sport and Service Management and the School of Health Sciences.
Teaching and learning facilities at Eastbourne campus include exercise physiology laboratories, an environmental chamber, a human movement laboratory, culinary arts studio and the Leaf Hospital podiatry and physiotherapy clinic. Study facilities in Eastbourne include Queenswood library, computer pool rooms, a learning technologies suite, restaurants, and a Students' Union shop. Sports facilities include a 25-metre swimming pool, sports hall, artificial outdoor pitch and dance studio.
The University of Brighton campus in Hastings is three minutes south of the station and about the same distance from the seafront and the shopping district. Students study applied social science, broadcast media, business and management, community history, computing, education, English literature, environmental biology, human biology, mathematics, media studies and sociology.
Campus facilities include TV and radio studios, a library, computer pool rooms, a cafe and a Students' Union office. The university's student-run radio station, Buzz Radio, is based on the Hastings campus.
The Priory Square building opened for teaching in 2012 and was formally opened in December 2013. It provides a 160-seat lecture theatre and laboratories for science courses.
The university has five libraries spread around its campuses.Aldrich Library (Moulsecoomb)
Queenwood Library (Eastbourne)
St. Peter's House Library (Grand Parade)
Each library is typically open between 55 and 68 hours per week, including evenings and weekends.
The University of Brighton International College has teaching rooms and offices in the Watts Building, and also at Dorset Place.
From 2014 the university has grouped schools into three academic areas.College of Arts and Humanities
College of Life, Health and Physical Sciences
College of Social Sciences (Brighton Business School, School of Applied Social Science, School of Education, School of Sport and Service Management, Centre for Learning and Teaching)
This college includes Brighton School of Architecture and Design, School of Art, School of Humanities and School of Media.Formerly the Faculty of Arts, it can trace its roots back to 1859 when the original Brighton School of Art opened. Short courses, undergraduate, postgraduate and research degrees are available.
The university has supported and educated many key figures in the arts. In 2009 an exhibition, From Art School to University: Art and Design at Brighton 1859–2009, paid tribute to many of them.
It is also home to the University of Brighton Design Archives and Screen Archive South East. In 2005 it was recognised as a Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning through Design (CETLD), funded by HEFCEbringing together the knowledge and expertise of the University of Brighton's Faculty of Arts, The Royal Institute of British Architects, the Royal College of Art and the Victoria & Albert Museum.
The School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics, School of Environment and Technology, School of Health Sciences, School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences are in this college, as well as the Brighton and Sussex Medical School, operated jointly with the University of Sussex.
Research centres within this college include the Clinical Research Centre for Health Professions, Social Science Policy and Research Centre, Centre for Nursing and Midwifery Research and the International Health Development Research Centre.
The Brighton and Sussex Medical School is one of four medical schools to have been created as part of the UK government's strategy of increasing the number of qualified doctors from the UK working in the NHS. The school is a joint school of the University of Brighton and the University of Sussex. The University of Brighton provides professional aspects of the course through its faculties of health, sciences and engineering, while the University of Sussex provides biological science teaching.
The college hosts STEM Sussex which works in partnership with schools, businesses and other organisations to enhance delivery of the science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) curricula at all key stages and to improve achievements in these subjects. The faculty also hosts the Sustainable Development Coordination Unit (SDeCU) which aims to co-ordinate sustainable development activities across the university.
The university is known for its contributions in automotive engineering, for example developing the 2/4 SIGHT Engine. The automotive engineering course is offered jointly with the University of Sussex, participants benefiting from the research expertise and industrial links of both universities. In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, the Automotive Engineering research group had 70% of its research rated internationally excellent or world leading and 95% deemed to be internationally recognised.
This college consists of Brighton Business School, School of Applied Social Science, School of Education, School of Sport and Service Management, and the Centre for Learning and Teaching.
Brighton Business School delivers a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, part-time courses for professionals, and programmes for commercial organisations. Formerly part of Brighton Technical College, the school has been teaching business and management courses since the 1960s. It took its current name in 1986. The school is in Mithras House on the Moulsecoomb campus.
Brighton Business School has built strong links with local, national and international businesses and many of these companies offer placements to students. The school runs a number of accredited degrees which lead to some exemptions from professional examinations. Professional bodies affiliated to the school include the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply, the Chartered Management Institute, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, and The Law Society.
Brighton Business School hosts two research centres: the Centre for Research in Innovation Management (CENTRIM) and the Centre for Research on Management and Employment (CROME). In the 2008 UK Research Assessment Exercise, it was ranked as one of the top 15 business schools.
Other research centres within the college include the Education Research Centre, Centre for Sport Research, Centre for Tourism Policy Studies (CENTOPS), and Brighton Hospitality Research (BHR).
University of Brighton's International College provides academic preparatory programmes for students outside the EU. On successful completion of their programme and achievement of the required grades, students can progress to undergraduate and postgraduate degrees offered at the university.
University of Brighton Doctoral College provides academic, administrative and practical support for the university's community of postgraduate research students. There are Doctoral College campus centres on the Eastbourne and each of the Brighton campuses.
The University of Brighton submitted research in its Sir Harry Ricardo Laboratories (SHRL) to the Unit of Assessment for Mechanical, Aeronautical and Manufacturing Engineering in RAE2008. 95% of this research was judged to be of international standing, with 70% rated internationally excellent thanks to its strong integration with the automobile industry. The SHRL's strong industrial links with Ricardo, its investment in new instrumentations and laboratory space and the number of doctorates awarded per staff member helped the SHRL research environment to be judged as being of international standing.
The university validates degree-level courses taught at a number of partner colleges in Sussex and Surrey.Central Sussex College
City College Brighton & Hove
East Surrey College
Sussex Coast College Hastings
Sussex Downs College
Southern Theatre Arts Centre (part of Northbrook College)
The University of Brighton also validates higher education courses taught at the KLC School of Design, London and the London School of Osteopathy.
The University's Community University Partnership Programme received an honourable mention at the 2010 Community-Campus Partnerships for Health awards and was highly commended in the Social Responsibility category at the 2009 Green Gown Awards.
The 2008 Research Assessment Exercise confirmed that 79% of the University of Brighton's research output is of international standing. Taking the top three grades, the results show that 15 per cent of the research is 'world-leading' (the highest grade), 29 per cent is internationally excellent (the second highest grade) and 35 per cent is internationally recognised (the third highest grade). The university's RAE ranking rose from 80th place in 2001 to 59th in 2008, leading it to be described as one of the "rising stars" in the UK. Sixty-five per cent of research in art and design at the Faculty of Arts was classified as either "world leading" or "internationally excellent". This places Brighton amongst the leading research centres in the country for art and design and Research Fortnight ranked the submission second in terms of the volume and quality of research. Brighton is also ranked as one of the leading modern universities in terms of the quality of its research by the Research Fortnight newsletter.
In 2010, the Faculty of Education and Sport retained the highest possible rating for its primary and secondary initial teacher education (teacher training) provision, following inspection by Ofsted. In 2008, Brighton was the first university in the country to achieve an outstanding rating for management and quality assurance across the full range of primary, secondary and post-compulsory teacher education courses.
In 1999, the University of Brighton was named as the first Sunday Times University of the Year.
Students on each campus have access to services including a careers service, counselling service, student advice service, disability and dyslexia service, and chaplaincy. There is an active Students Union with its main offices at Moulsecoomb.Moulsecoomb campus
Moulsecoomb Place, withaccommodation for 160 students.
Grand Parade campus
Phoenix, with accommodation for 298 students.
Woodland Lodge and Downland Lodge
Balcombe, Chailey and Ditchling
Framfield, Selsey, Kingston and Chalvington
Welkin Halls with accommodation for over 350 students.
Robert Tressell Halls with accommodation for 65 students.
Robertson Terrace (Private)
Havelock Road (Private)
In April 2011, fifty football coaches from Israel were trained in Israeli-Arab coexistence skills as part of the Football 4 Peace program, in the UK, so that they will be able to run Football 4 Peacecamps during the summer in Israel. It was developed by the British Council, the Israel Sports Authority, the University of Brighton and the Sports University in Cologne, Germany and is funded by the European Union. Coaches from Jordan and Ireland are also part of this program. The Chelsea School of Sport, part of the University of Brighton, hosts the program. The Film and Moving Image department runs an exchange program with The International Academy of Art, Ramallah.
Many prominent figures in the arts have attended the university, or the institutions from which it was formed. These include Turner Prize winners Keith Tyson and Rachel Whiteread (1982–85) studied at the Faculty of Arts, Brighton, as did Keith Coventry, the winner of 2010 John Moores Painting Prize, the photographer Ewen Spencer, the artist Alison Lapper, the designer Julien Macdonald and the writer-illustrator Emily Gravett.
Former students also include the artists Paine Proffitt, Cliff Wright, illustrator of the Harry Potter books, the designer Julien Macdonald OBE, and musicians Natasha Khan, (who performs as Bat for Lashes), and The Haxan Cloak.
The list of students, lecturers and researchers once at Brighton includes Kate Greenaway Medal winners Emily Gravett, Raymond Briggs and Quentin Blake; children's writer-illustrator Lucy Cousins; Magnum photographer Mark Power; fashion designer Barbara Hulanicki; and world champion bridge player Sandra Landy.
Contributions made to modern visual culture by Brighton Faculty of Arts and Architecture members include Royal Designer for Industry George Hardie's cover designs for Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon, and several series of Royal Mail stamps, and John Vernon Lord's sleeve for Deep Purple's Book of Taliesyn.
In 2000 a group of graduates from the BA Illustration course formed the successful Peepshow Collective.
The longer history of the school of art in Brighton includes the artists Conrad Heighton Leigh, curator David Crowley, and poster designers Paula Cox and John Bellany. The artist Helen Chadwick took the sculpture course at Brighton Polytechnic (1973–76) and later returned to the institution to teach. The sculptor/woodcarver Robert Koenig, author of the woodcarving project Odyssey also studied on the sculpture course at the same time as Helen Chadwick. The sculptor Antony Gormley formerly taught at Brighton.
Sussex author Isabel Ashdown is the current Writer in Residence at the University of Brighton.Sir David Watson (1992 to 2005)
Julian Crampton (2005 to 2015)
Debra Humphris (2015 to present)