University of Chichester

The University of Chichester is a public university located in West Sussex, England, which became a university in 2005. Campuses are based in the city of Chichester and the nearby coastal resort of Bognor Regis and an associate campus for commercial music on the Isle of Wight.[6]

University of Chichester
Former names
West Sussex Institute of Higher Education (1977–1995), Chichester Institute of Higher Education (1995–1999), University College Chichester (1999–2005)
MottoLatin: Docendo discimus
Motto in English
By teaching, we learn
Vice-ChancellorJane Longmore
Administrative staff
Students5,540 (2016/17)[1]
Undergraduates4,650 (2016/17)[1]
Postgraduates890 (2016/17)[1]

50°50′41″N 0°46′28″W
AffiliationsCathedrals Group
National rankings
Complete (2020)[2]88
Guardian (2020)[3]54
Times / Sunday Times (2020)[4]94
British Government assessment
Teaching Excellence Framework[5]Silver

The University of Chichester has 14 departments, with specialisms including Humanities, Sport, Musical Theatre and Education. Its heritage stretches back into the nineteenth century when, in 1839, Bishop Otter College was established. Since 2013, both campuses have seen major expansion-led building works through National Lottery funding and other funding.

The University of Chichester is a member of The Cathedrals Group.[7]


In 1839, a school for training 'Masters' was founded by William Otter, Bishop of Chichester, known as the Bishop Otter College. The original buildings, created in a neo-Tudor style, were designed by the architect J. Butler.[8]

In 1873, the campus became a training institute for women teachers due to the activism of Louisa Hubbard after the Elementary Education Act 1870 which created demand for school teachers.[9] Men were admitted to the college in 1957.[10]

In the 20th century the campus was gradually expanded to meet demand. There was a large extension in the 1960s, including a steep gabled cruciform chapel, designed by the architect, Peter Shepheard.[8]

During the 1970s the Principal of Bishop Otter College was Gordon McGregor, who went on to be Principal of Ripon and York St John and latterly Emeritus Professor of Education at the University of Leeds.

At Bognor Regis a teacher training college was founded in the 1940s to support the expansion of education.

In 1977 Bishop Otter College and the Bognor Regis college were merged to form the West Sussex Institute of Higher Education (WSIHE), with degrees being awarded by CNAA and later the University of Southampton. Alumni from this period include the actor Jason Merrells and the author Paula Byrne. Between 1995 and 1999, it was known as Chichester Institute of Higher Education. It gained degree-awarding powers in 1999, becoming known as University College Chichester, and became recognised as a full university in October 2005.

In 2015 Chichester University secured government and lotteries commission funding to the value of approximately £8millions and embarked on a plan of expansions at both academic sites, involving the demolition of several smaller collegiate structures, that were no longer suitable for purpose and the construction of facilities for academia, administration and sports.

In January 2017 the multi-million pound purpose built Academic Block was opened, hosting lecture and seminar rooms, a brand new Students' Union shop and a sprung floor dance space.[11]


College Lane

The main campus (Bishop Otter) is situated at College Lane, Chichester and is set in surroundings which include historic buildings and modern facilities. It is a five-minute walk from Chichester city centre. Chichester Festival Theatre is adjacent to the campus.

In 2016, the Chichester campus underwent redevelopment with a new Academic Building for teaching. Other work included construction of a sports dome, chapel extension, courtyard, Sports Hall and Gym refurbishment, as well as major development work on the Library or Learning Resources Centre (LRC) which has three floors.

The Otter Gallery was located within the LRC. It offered public art exhibitions and workshops throughout the year. It was permanently closed against public protest at the end of 2018.[12]

Bognor Regis

The Bognor Regis campus is in a leafy environment five minutes from the sea, and has three mansion houses with Georgian architecture: St Michael’s, the Dome and Mordington House.

The Bognor Regis campus is close to Hotham Park., The park surrounds Hotham House, built in 1792 by Sir Richard Hotham.[13] Also nearby is the Ice House – the original 18th Century refrigerator of Hotham Park Estate.[14]

The University's £35million[15] Tech Park was opened on Wednesday 3 October 2018 by Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Sussex.[16]


The university department structure can be found below.[17]

  • Business School
  • Childhood, Social Work and Social Care
  • Creative and Digital Technologies
  • Computing
  • Dance
  • Education
  • Engineering and Design
  • English and Creative Writing
  • Fine Art
  • Humanities
  • Music
  • Psychology and Counselling
  • Sport including Adventure Education, Sport Sciences, PE, Sport Development and Sport Management
  • Theatre (Performing Arts)



  1. "2016/17 Students by HE provider, level, mode and domicile" (CSV). Higher Education Statistics Agency. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  2. "University League Table 2020". The Complete University Guide. 1 May 2019.
  3. "University league tables 2020". The Guardian. 7 June 2019.
  4. "The Times and Sunday Times University Good University Guide 2020". Times Newspapers.
  5. "Teaching Excellence Framework outcomes". Higher Education Funding Council for England.
  6. Commercial Music Retrieved 29 December 2017.
  7. "Cathedrals Group (CCUC)". Retrieved 2018-01-02.
  8. Nairn, Ian; Pevsner, Nikolaus (1965), Sussex, The Buildings of England, Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, p. 173
  9. Kelley, Serena (2004), "Hubbard, Louisa Maria (1836–1906)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press
  10. admin (2011-12-05). "Our History". University of Chichester. Retrieved 2019-04-27.
  11. jhaigh (2016-06-03). "New build for 'next generation of students'". University of Chichester. Retrieved 2018-01-02.
  12. "An update and a lament: the Bishop Otter Collection". Retrieved 27 March 2019.
  13. Historic England. "Hotham House (1027745)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  14. Historic England. "The Ice House of Hotham House (1027753)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  15. "Students start to use new £35million tech park". Retrieved 2018-11-29.
  16. jhaigh (2018-09-28). "Royal opening for Tech Park". University of Chichester. Retrieved 2018-11-29.
  17. "University of Chichester". University of Chichester. Retrieved 2018-11-29.
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