Keele University

From Academic Kids

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Keele Hall, formerly the ancestral home of the Sneyd family, is now part of Keele University

Keele University is a British university located by the village of Keele, and the University is the only one in the UK to be associated with a village. The campus is just outside Newcastle-under-Lyme in north Staffordshire, and the city of Stoke-on-Trent is five miles away.

The current Vice-Chancellor is the leading sociologist, Professor Janet Finch.



Established in 1949 as the University College of North Staffordshire on land bought from the Sneyd family, it became University of Keele in 1962. This remains the official name, though Keele University is now the name used by the university itself.


Keele is the largest Campus university in Europe, with a 617 acre (2.5 km²) estate, but is relatively small in terms of student numbers, with 7,500 full-time students currently attending, although the university is currently expanding its numbers.

Keele's campus also hosts award winning science and business parks and conference centres, as well as housing more of its students than any other UK university (70%).

There are four halls of residence. Barnes, Lindsay (including The Oaks and Holly Cross) and Horwood are located on the main campus, while The Hawthorns is just outside the university gates in Keele village itself.


Though Keele has traditionally been regarded well for its sciences and social sciences, the University has built on its growing reputation in the field of health by opening a medical school in 2002. Among its strongest departments are Law (5* RAE) and American Studies, Engineering, Applied Mathematics and its innovative, inter-disciplinary School of Politics, International Relations and Philosophy (SPIRE).

The University collaborates with the nearby University Hospital of North Staffordshire.

Dual honours system

Founded to "promote interdisciplinary and multi-disciplinary scholarship", Keele emphasises "the strength of a broad educational programme"; The Guardian confirms that Keele "is committed to breadth of study" and "pioneered the breaking down of barriers between arts and sciences" [1] (,,492908,00.html). In the UK university system, where students often specialise in one subject only, Keele's dual honours system is one of the country's broadest, enabling its students to study, for example, two subjects as far apart as English and Physics. Unusually for English universities, Keele also offers a four-year course, including a Foundation Year in which a general course of lectures on all subjects is followed, together with more in-depth study of subjects of interest to the student. Students can then follow a degree based on two majors, subject only to timetabling restrictions. Ninety per cent of students at Keele do opt to study more than one subject.

The Foundation Year option also allows mature students, or those without traditional qualifications to follow an access course in that first year. Keele is proud of the high percentage of its students from non-traditional backgrounds.

Students' Union

See also the main article Keele University Students' Union.

The Student Union holds the student night, Loaded, every Friday. The Union has several bars - Golfer's Arms, The Lounge, Sam's Bar & BJ's Bar (non-smoking). Restaurants are Harveys Coffee Shop and The Diner. Kube Radio broadcasts over the internet.

Interesting Facts and Trivia

  • The cochlear implant was developed in the Department of Communication and Neuroscience at Keele.
  • Many of the exterior shots for the BBC TV series "A Very Peculiar Practice" were filmed at University of Keele.
  • University of Keele was the subject of a 1980s BBC documentary on student debt entitled A Nightmare on Keele Hill. This name was used in 1991 to 1993 by the Students Union Entertainment Committee as the name for the Friday night disco (previously called the "Mega").
  • University of Keele is built over the mine workings of Silverdale colliery.
  • Barnes Hall has no M block (it has A-L and N-W). This coupled with the large clear area adjacent to L block and the fact that the university is built over mine shafts led to an urban legend that the block sank into the ground due to a collapse of a mine tunnel. This is only partially true - the block became unsafe due to subsidence and was demolished.
  • In the early 1990s the Keele Students Union RAG committee was intrumental in the formation of the "National Association of RAGs". This wider scope of activity lead to good natured rivalry with other RAG committees, especially Warwick and Cardiff.

Famous alumni

External links


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