Our history is rooted in Borough Polytechnic, which was established in 1892 (with a student cohort of 2,083) ‘to promote the industrial skill, general knowledge, health and well-being of young men and women.’ Other than an increasingly global reach, that mission remains almost unchanged today—over a century later.
Our current students, wherever they come from and whatever their goals and aspirations, can look forward to an education that develops them both academically and personally, reflects the needs of business and society and equips them for rewarding future careers. The University now educates over 18,000 students, from more than 130 countries. 57% of our student body are women and 52% are from Black and minority ethnic (BME) backgrounds.
Our academic expertise is drawn on by commercial and government organisations locally and globally. Nearly 1,000 employers use LSBU to train approximately 4,500 of their staff each year, and over 150 SMEs and major companies have formed commercial research partnerships with us. 123 years after the institution was established, LSBU remains true to its original aim; to provide access to highly applied knowledge that supports our students into the professions, and supports business to grow.
Famous BME alumni include:
•Sir Trevor McDonald (a former University Chancellor)
•Donna Herdsman (businesswoman)
•Baron Victor Adebowale (founder of the charity, Turning Point).
Professionally relevant courses
The majority of courses are accredited by professional bodies, and many feature placements and opportunities for work experience, which allows students to take advantage of the links the University has built with industry. Academic staff are often industry professionals who continue to foster working relationships in their respective fields.
Employability is a core tenet of student success at LSBU. We work closely with employers to ensure that our graduates possess the attributes and capabilities that translate academic achievement into career success. LSBU is a Top 10 London University for ‘Graduate Prospects’, the no. 1 London Modern University for undergraduate starting salaries, and a top 15 UK University for graduate starting salaries, according to the Sunday Times League Table 2016.
We offer our students far more than their core degree studies. Our Employability Service is on hand to advise students, help them build their CV through volunteering and internships, and put them in contact with graduate employers looking to recruit. In 2014 over 6,000 students engaged with our Employability Service through careers gym sessions and the final year careers support programme. Over 200 course specific careers sessions were delivered and more than 130 employers were invited on to campus to engage with students through careers fairs, industry insight talks and course presentations.
The latest independent Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 ranked LSBU amongst the top modern universities in London for research impact. Nearly three-quarters (73%) of our research projects were awarded the two highest possible ratings for ‘impact’.
Access to opportunity
LSBU has a strong track record of working with local partner organisations to widen participation in higher education. We work with local colleges, schools and other organisations to provide opportunities for students to succeed.
Our commitment to providing fair and equal access to a university education is reflected in the following findings: 97.2% of LSBU young first degree entrants (FT only) were from state schools (exceeding our HEFCE benchmark); 51% of LSBU young first degree entrants (FT only) were from the lowest socio-economic groups (11th largest proportion in UK, exceeding our HEFCE benchmark). Source: Higher Education Statistics Agency PI 13/14 data.
After years of careful planning and consultation, the LSBU-sponsored University Academy of Engineering South Bank opened its doors to students in September 2014. The Academy – the first of its kind in the area to be sponsored by a university – specialises in providing a science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) focussed curriculum developed in response to industry demand for modern engineering skills. The purpose-built facility is in the Walworth area of Camberwell and can accommodate 150 students aged 11–19. LSBU provides the Academy with leadership, expertise, and access to specialist facilities and materials. Our partnership has helped to develop a curriculum that is professionally orientated and employability focused.
Structure of the University
LSBU is made up of seven Schools: School of Applied Sciences; School of Arts and Creative Industries; School of The Built Environment and Architecture; School of Business; School of Engineering; School of Health and Social Care; and School of Law and Social Sciences.
School of Applied Sciences
The School brings together Human Sciences; Food Science (including the oldest Bakery School in the world); and Psychology. Our teaching and research combines scientific technique with the social, ethical and professional dimensions of science. State-of-the-art laboratory facilities support teaching and applied research. Our applied research tackles real-world issues. 90% of our research in Sport and Exercise Sciences was awarded the highest quality ratings of 4* or 3* for ‘impact’ (reach and significance) – Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014.
School of Arts and Creative Industries
The School responds to the interdisciplinary nature of the creative sector and brings together Film and Media; Arts and Performance; and Creative Technologies in an innovative way. Our applied research tackles real-world issues. 80% of our research in media and culture was awarded 3* out of 4* – ‘very considerable impacts in terms of their reach and significance’ – by the REF 2014. In autumn 2015 the School opens a new industry-ready £4 million Media Centre complex.
School of Business
The School brings together: Accounting and Finance; Business and Enterprise; and Management, Marketing and People. The School focuses on success: as a student and in the professional world beyond university. The School offers effective career preparation through consultancy projects, live briefs, work placements, business games and simulations; as well as a wealth of opportunities to connect with employers through our business networks, new Business Advice Centre, partnerships with international universities, volunteering, research projects and social enterprises. Our international perspective shows in our teaching as well as the international nature of our student population – and we are very proud of our extensive collaborations in Europe, China, USA, India and Thailand.
School of The Built Environment
The School brings together: Architecture; Construction, Property and Surveying; Civil and Building Services Engineering. With roots in London Council School of Building (1904), Brixton School of Building (1940) and the National College for Heating, Ventilating, Refrigeration and Fan Research (1948), we’ve been delivering professional building and engineering education for over 100 years. We are the top modern university in London for the two highest ratings and GPA for research in General Engineering – REF 2014, with grants of £4M; half of all our students study part-time and are employer sponsored.
School of Engineering
The School brings together: Electrical Engineering; Mechanical Engineering and Design; Computing, Telecommunications and Computer Engineering; Chemical and Petroleum Engineering. 100% of BEng degrees carry professional accreditation and students have access to 6000m2 of specific engineering workshops, computer suites and technical laboratories – including a 3D virtual engineering laboratory. Our applied research tackles real-world issues. We are the top modern university in London for world-leading and internationally excellent research and GPA in General Engineering – REF 2014. 80% of this research has been awarded the highest quality ratings of 4* or 3* for its ‘impact’ (reach and significance).
We’re proud to partner with major Hospitals and Trusts in London and the South East, to provide first-class training for health and social care professionals. The School brings together: Adult Nursing and Midwifery; Allied Health Sciences; Children’s Nursing; Vocational Learning; Mental Health and Learning Disabilities; and Primary and Social Care. Our applied research tackles real-world issues. 80% of our research into Allied Health Professions and Nursing was awarded the highest quality ratings of 4* or 3* for ‘impact’ (reach and significance) – REF 2014. We support the Nursing Times Speak Out Safely campaign. We want all staff and students to feel able to raise concerns about wrongdoing or poor practice and to be confident these will be addressed in a constructive way.
School of Law and Social Sciences
The School is focused on engaging with today’s urgent social and political challenges. It brings together Law; Social Sciences; Urban, Environment and Leisure Studies; and Education. Our applied research tackles real-world issues. 75% of our research into Social Work and Social Policy has been awarded 3* quality rating for our ‘environment’ that is conducive to producing internationally excellent research – REF 2014. The University’s on-campus Legal Advice Clinic (LAC) is a free legal advice drop-in service that’s open to the public and staffed by law students working under the supervision of practicing solicitors. The LAC provides a valuable public service, as well as offering exceptional work experience opportunities for our law students.
October is Black History Month and we are proud to be celebrating A Century of Black Life, History, and Culture with a comprehensive programme of events, which are open to everyone. Find out more about Black History Month at LSBU.