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TSR Wiki > University > Choosing a University > University Guides > University of Cumbria


The University of Cumbria was formed on 1st August 2007 formally, from an amalgamation of St Martin’s College, Cumbria Institute of the Arts, and the Cumbrian campuses of the University of Central Lancashire. The University has campuses in Carlisle, Newton Rigg, Penrith, Ambleside and Lancaster and a specialist teacher-education centre in London. The University also has strong links and close partnership working with the four FE Colleges in Cumbria (Lakes Colleges, Furness College, Carlisle College and Kendal College) to enable HE delivery locally across the county.

The University of Cumbria is currently Britains newest university.


  • Ambleside - Formerly St Martin’s College - Campus Code A
  • Carlisle, Brampton Road - Formerly Cumbria Institute of the Arts - Campus Code B
  • Carlisle, Fusehill Street - Formerly St Martin’s College - Campus Code F
  • Carlisle, Paternoster Row - Formerly UCLAN Cumbria Campus - Campus Code C
  • Lancaster - Formerly St Martin’s College - Campus Code L
  • Penrith - Formerly UCLAN Newton Rigg Campus - Campus Code P
  • Tower Hamlets, London - Formerly St Martin’s College Campus Code T

Visiting the University

Newton Rigg Saturday 13th June 2009, 22nd August 2009, 26th September 2009, 28th October 2009

Ambleside 22nd August 2009, 26th September 2009, 28th October 2009|

Brampton Road Campus 18th June 2009| including Fusehill Street, 22nd August 2009,26 September 2009,28th October 2009

Fusehill Street | Thursday 18th June 2009 including Brampton Road, 22nd August 2009, 26th September 2009, 28th October 2009

Lancaster 22nd August 2009, 26th September 2009, 28th October 2009|



There are libraries available at all the major campuses and in some other locations. A list of these libraries and their opening hours and facilities can be found here. Students at the university are issued with a card that permits them to borrow books from any of the universities libraries. Students may borrow up to 12 items in total at any one time (30 for students on teaching practice) and requests can be submitted to extend this limit for a short time while writing your final dissertation.

Healthcare students will be given access to the libraries at the various hospitals they may be placed at. Borrowing arrangements vary.

If specific books you require are unavailable, interlibrary loans are possible. Distance learners, part time students and students on long placements can request books be posted out to them free of charge.

IT and computing


Prices for the following facilities can be found here

General Information
August 2007
Cumbria, Lancaster and London, UK
Registered Office, University of Cumbria, Fusehill Street, Carlisle, CA1 2HH
01228 400300
SU/Guild website:
UCAS Code:

Total students:
Typical offers:
Applicants per place:

Ambleside Campus

  • Climbing Wall
  • Small Fitness Suite
  • Football Pitch
  • Sports Halls
    • Badminton
    • Basketball
    • Volleyball
    • 4-a-side Football
  • Exercise Classes include:
    • Taekwondo
    • Qi gong
    • Aerobics
    • Parkour

Carlisle Campuses

  • Large Sports Hall
    • 5-a-side Football
    • Badminton
    • Basketball
    • Volleyball
    • Tennis
    • Trampolining
    • Table Tennis
  • Large Fitness Suite
  • Pilates Classes

In addition to the facilities belonging to the university itself, there are also many other sporting facilities in Carlisle itself open to the general public which offer greatly discounted rates to students. A popular scheme is available by which one card is used to access golf, swimming, fitness classes, gym, tennis and sports hall hire facilities across the city either on "pay as you play" basis or with unlimited use on payment of a monthly fee. More information can be found at

Lancaster Campus

  • Sports Hall
    • 5-a-side Football
    • Badminton
    • Basketball
    • Volleyball
    • Tennis
    • Trampolining
  • Fitness Suite
  • Gymnasium
  • Astroturf
  • Squash
  • Classes include:
    • Yoga
    • Pilates
    • Various cardio fitness classes

Newton Rigg

  • Playing Fields
  • Tennis Courts
  • Sports Hall
  • Astroturf
  • A range of activities are available through the student union including:
    • rugby
    • football
    • mixed hockey
    • netball
    • individual sporting and athletic activities
    • fell walking
    • canoeing
    • swimming
    • clay pigeon shooting

Facilities for swimming and squash are available in Penrith (approx 2 miles from Newton Rigg)


The university offers advice on everything from student records, exam marks and graduation, to health and welbeing and faith. There is also a chaplain allocated to each campus.

There is also the Student Development and Advisory Service, more information about which can be found here.


Carlisle is the site of the UK's first foundation hospital which provides almost any service you'd require. If there's anything really specialised, travel to Newcastle (about 60-90 minutes away) might be necessary.

There's a selection of GPs all around the centre, however, if you're looking for an NHS dentist, you're unlikely to find one accepting new patients. Problems can be had even finding a private dentist in Carlisle, however, there are a few practices in towns around the area accepting private patients.

Branches of all the usual opticians can be found in the town centre.

Lancaster has several doctors surgerys located close to campus, with one approximately within a five minute walk located at the bottom of "Bishops walk". The local hospital is also close for any emergency situations.



Carlisle has a range of cafes and resteraunts to suit any budget. Places of note include:

  • Cafe Sol, a cheap and popular cafe/bar serving drinks and snacks.
  • Giannis Italian Restaurant serves cheap, fresh Italian food in a friendly, relaxed environment.
  • Shanghai Shanghai a cheap all-you-can-eat buffet serving mainly chinese food.
  • Good Indian food can be found at Teza. This is a new restaurant, with a lovely interior but the prices are still reasonable.
  • Fats student bar, cheap deals at lunch time and nicely priced drinks

If it's a high quality pub meal you're after, there are some excellent places outside of the city in some of the surrounding towns and villages. Special mentions belong to The Stag Inn, Crosby-on-Eden, The Weary in Castle Carrock and The Blacksmiths Arms in Talkin.

Then there are the usuals such as McDonalds, Burger King, Pizza Express, Costa, Pizza Hut (situated half hours walk out of town).


There are branches of almost all major banks and building societies in Carlisle, as well as a few local ones. Opening hours are generally good. The city centre is well served by free cash machines.


Bus services around the city of Carlisle are provided by Stagecoach. Other operators supply a couple of routes in the city as well as some services to surrounding towns and villages. However, the majority of bus services in the area are run by Stagecoach. A dayrider ticket is available for £3 or £5.30 if you have the need to go further afield. Weekly and monthly tickets are also available.

However, all the Carlisle campuses, halls of residence and student areas are fairly central and definitely within easy walking distance of the city centre.

Carlisle is supplied mainly by the West Coast Mainline operated by Virgin. However, there are smaller routes operating to cities such as Leeds and Newcastle as well as some smaller local trains. National Express coaches operate out of the bus station however the city is no longer supplied by megabus.

There are frequent buses from Lancaster city centre to the University of Cumbria in Lancaster. A single ticket costs £1 and the bus stops just off campus at the bottom of Bishops walk. Many of the buses say "Lancaster Uni" as their destination, but check that it is going through "Bowerham" or to "St Martins College" as many bus drivers don't refer to the Uni of Cumbria by that name and you may just end up at Lancaster Uni otherwise! (Talking from experience here).

Careers service

Because of how new the university is, information on graduate employment is not available currently. Support is available for generating and developing a plan for life after graduation at any point during the course from advisors based in Ambleside, Carlisle, Lancaster and Penrith. Students based at other locations are free to travel to whichever they find most convenient if they wish to use the service. There are also resources available online.

The university also provide a Job Shop for part-time and full-time vacancies and advice on applications and CVs.

Part-time jobs

Carlisle has a small but growing student population. As things stand at the moment, there are plenty of part-time jobs available if you're willing to be flexible. Full-time work for over holiday periods is also abundant.

Religious facilities

There is a chaplaincy at each campus. Information about the various events and services run by these chaplains can be found here

There is a small but active Christian Union at the university. They meet twice weekly, once for a main meeting, and again for smaller cell group meeting. Carlisle has a reasonable selection of churches of a variety of denominations and there should be one to suit most people's beliefs. Students at the Christian Union are happy to take people around various churches until they settle in.

Carlisle's Muslim population is fairly small, however, there are a few small community centre/home based mosques across the city, 2 very close to the town centre.

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Bars, pubs and clubs

Lancaster has a wide selection of pubs and clubs to meet most peoples needs. You will get the opportunity to experience some of these during your freshers week activities and pub tour, but there are still plenty more to explore on you own. CUBA is the place to go on a Monday night, and our official university of Cumbria Lancaster night out is Wednesday at the Sugarhouse.


Clubs and societies


Accommodation policy

Accommodation is guaranteed to all first year students who accept an offer at The University of Cumbria as their firm choice provided an application is made by the advertised deadline.

The Lancaster campus offers both catered and non catered options. Mill hall (the only non catered accomodation available) is situated by the canal side off campus a 20 min walk away. Waddell halls are catered and arranged in flats of 7. William Thompson halls, Gressingham Halls and Witherham halls are also catered but arranged on floors rather than as flats. None of the accomodation here is en suite but everywhere but waddell halls have a hand basin in their rooms.



Private sector

House prices are still fairly low in Carlisle although they are rising quickly. Cheap student houses for rent are readily available. Carlisle has been the victim of severe flooding over recent years, if you're planning on buying a house in the area, check a recent DEFRA report on flood risk. Also ensure that your insurance covers flood damage.

Student Union

The student union is based across all of the University of Cumbria's campus with Mark Potter currently president. Each campus has their own vice president and team of student advisors.

The Lancaster campus student union shop is based in the student union building selling a variety of confectionary and snacks, stationery and university clothing.

The Saints bar (Lancaster campus) is the place to go before nights out in Lancaster. There are various drinks offers throughout the week as well as snacks and pizza served daily. There are also pool tables and a dance floor and music in the evenings.



Carlisle has never been renowned for its architecture, however, many of the buildings in the town centre are beautiful if you look up above the shop facades. The Cathedral and Castle are both central and easily accessible. Carlisle is also the site of some less impressive architecture. The City Council offices are located in the civic centre which has been highlighted as one of the worst buildings in Britain, however it is scheduled for demolition following structural damage incurred during recent floods.

Local area

Carlisle is situated close to the picturesque lake district. Even from the very centre of the city, it's only 15 minutes drive before you reach countryside. There's opportunities to walk, do mountain biking, sailing on many of the large lakes all within the Carlisle area.

Cumbira generally is the site of many interesting and notable places of interest to tourists. There's houses belonging to Beatrix Potter and William Wordsworth, Roman forts, even the site of the world's first pencil factory. For more ideas of things to do and see try Visit Cumbria or Historic Carlisle


Carlisle has a colourful history passing hands between the Scottish and English frequently over the centuries. There was a strong Roman presence and the Roman wall is still standing as little as 15 miles from the city itself. Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned in the castle prior to her death. Carlisle, the great border city, was also home to the border Reivers who lived by stealing the produce and livestock of local farmers. The area's history is sumarised well in a local museum Tullie House

In Tudor times, the city was said to be cursed by a Scottish Archbishop. In the run up to the millennium, a stone was installed with the curse inscribed in it. Some residents now believe the city to be cursed and hold the stone responsible for the impact of foot and mouth disease on the area, floods and even the relegation of Carlisle's football team into the conference. There was a proposal by one city councillor to move the stone outside the city boundary although this suggestion was largely ridiculed.

Teaching quality

Cumbria Institute of the Arts

The Cumbria Institute of the Arts will form part of the University of Cumbria from August 2007.

This dedicated art institution, formerly Cumbria College of Art and Design, houses a similar number of students to my old high school. -Pretty small in comparison to most higher education institutions, you may think. True. However, bearing in mind, that relationships are easier established in a set-up such as this will ultimately prove you worthwhile in the long-run. Being a student at CIA means you will belong in a like-minded community, which can only push your skills and ideas to the limits.

The institution is made up of two campuses: The main campus itself is situated in scenic surroundings overlooking the River Eden and is not too far from the city centre. Here you will find most of the students lurking about as the Fine Art students are based at Caldewgate, though of course, students can come and go through both campuses as they need to because the facilities and resource areas are split between the two. Everything is within walking distance so you don't have to worry about making expeditions everywhere you go!

Naturally, as most prospectuses will tell you [with thanks to the marketing geniuses behind the scenes], the institution you are currently reviewing has ridiculously brilliant [so amazing that you could faint] facilities and resources, so much so, that you must not delay in applying for a place there…

And in reality?

CIA does possess a wide range of facilities including:

-audio visual resources including editing suites for TV, radio and video; animation suites and lending equipment available -ceramics workshop with dedicated studios [throwing, claywork, plasterwork] -printmaking workshop [lino-print, etching, lithography, embossing, book-binding, screen-print to name but a few] -textiles department with dye-labs [printed textiles; stitched textiles; constructed textiles; tufting and weaving opportunities] -metal workshop and wood workshop -and for those of you with BIGGER ambitions, the sculpture workshop provides opportunities for metalwork, woodwork and castings -photography workshops [digital and darkroom facilities with developing and printing suites; also dedicated studios] -an in-built arts theatre, which is ideal for all those budding performers out there just waiting to be noticed! -music and sound-recording facilities -dedicated studios for Fine Art, Graphic Design and Contemporary Applied Arts plus for life drawing

...And on a more practical note:

-a reprographics department -a college shop where you can buy stationery and art supplies at more generous prices than in town [and this is true]. Very convenient and kinder to your purse/wallet. -a yarn store for textile supplies -a modern library with the latest newspapers, specialist magazines and journals, books [obviously], videos and DVDs… Also note that there are TV rooms available and quiet rooms. -a refectory with reasonably priced edibles and a baguette bar. What seems to be quite a lot of vending machines. See. -You’ll never starve at CIA.

So, there you have it. And not forgetting to add that once you have been inducted in the desired facility by one of the friendly support staff, then you have unlimited access to them regardless of chosen discipline or course. Not bad, is it?

And from an insider’s point of view? Well, for Foundation students, you’re pretty much spoilt in terms of having everything that you might want to try out, bearing in mind that not all local colleges or even art colleges have such a wide variety of resources and access system. [-And the tutors are brilliant!]

And as for being a degree student, I could not possibly comment as I have yet to begin my course. However, the fact that I and quite a few others have chosen to stay on here at CIA speaks volumes in itself. The atmosphere is here is great with the refectory being the usual social hub during the day-time. The staff are all very helpful and of course, practitioners in their individual fields so they know what they are talking about. So… if you feel the course is what you are looking for then do yourself a favour and check it out!

Conclusion: All-in-all, I like the place but that’s just my opinion so I am biased. Why don’t you do the next step and see what you think?

Applying to Cumbria

Thinking of applying to University of Cumbria? Why not read some Personal Statements which were used for applying here?

I did a college course a few years ago and I agree it has excellent student nightlife and facilities and the majority of the staff are fantastic.

Other Cumbria Articles

As the University of Cumbria is the country's newest university, there any other articles written about it currently. However, feel free to write one if you have anything to add.


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