Kingston University (informally Kingston or KUL; formally styled Kingston University London) is a public research university located in Kingston upon Thames, southwest London, United Kingdom.
KUL was originally founded in 1899, and became a university in 1992 after being Kingston Polytechnic. The four campuses are located in Kingston and Roehampton. There is a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate work spread across five faculties, as well as some further education provisions.
History of KUL
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 Ministry of Education in 1957. In 1970 it merged again with the College of Art to become Kingston Polytechnic, offering 34 major courses, of which 17 were at degree level.
Kingston University 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.
– Penrhyn Road
Main building, Penrhyn Road campus
This is the main university campus located close to Kingston town centre. In addition to teaching facilities, it has a library, health centre and canteen. 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. Recent development at this site has seen an extension to the current Learning Resources Centre. Massive construction projects took place and recently a new modern building in memory of John Galsworthy was finished. Across the road is the Reg Bailey Theatre with a stage area used by drama and dance students.
The site also features Union of Kingston Students (KUSU), which is now part of the main building. Previously it was next door to Penrhyn Road’s Student Union bar, The Space Bar. This building however is under negotiation of demolition. Penrhyn Road also houses the recently refurbished Fitness Centre. A short walk from the campus is Cooper House, also known as the Student Information and Advice Centre, which houses a number of student services and administration departments. Fairhill Medical Practice which is an NHS run clinic providing general practitioners services and a wellbeing mental health service.
– Kingston Hill campus
This campus underwent a major redevelopment 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. Before 1989, this campus was known as Gipsy Hill.
The music department is situated in Coombehurst House, which was once owned by Florence Nightingale’s aunt and uncle. Nightingale was a frequent visitor to the house and the new Learning Resource Centre on Kingston Hill was named the Nightingale Centre after her.
The Business School moved to a new building on the Kingston Hill Campus in 2012,the year Ed McKeever, one of its alumni, won a gold medal at the London Olympics.
Following an introduction through the Board of Governors, Kingston University rescued Dorich House (a Grade II listed building) and its art collections from dereliction in 1993 and the newly restored building was opened in 1996. Once the home to internationally acclaimed Estonian Sculptor Dora Gordine and the Hon. Richard Hare, the house became a museum in 2004.
– Knights Park campus
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 Architecture, Art & Design History, Interior Design, Product & Furniture, Graphic Design, Filmmaking, 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. Facilities on site include a wind tunnel, engineering workshops, flight simulator, a flying condition Learjet-200 plus automotive and aeronautical learning resources. Recent development at this site has seen the opening of the Hawker Wing, providing further teaching space.
– Other locations
In addition to the four main campuses are three administration buildings: Cooper House near the Penrhyn Road Campus 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.