In 1951, the de Havilland company gave land in Hatfield
adjoining the A1 to Hertfordshire County Council for educational
use in perpetuity; the Council used this to build and operate
Hatfield Technical College, which trained
aerospace engineers for Hatfield's then-dominant aerospace
industry. In 1967 it became an early polytechnic, The
Hatfield Polytechnic. With the passage of the Further and
Higher Education Act, 1992, the institution gained university
There are three campuses of University of Hertfordshire.
- College Lane Campus.
- Bywaters Campus.
- De Havilland Campus, also a Saracens training ground and
- St Albans Campus, also a law campus
The main site of the university remains the College Lane campus,
which houses the original Hatfield Technical College building,
though the site has had many new buildings added since. Notable
among these is the Learning Resources Centre, a combined library
and computer centre. Computer Science, Engineering, Natural
Sciences, and Health & Human Sciences are all based on this
campus, as are a substantial collection of halls of residence and
student houses, and the University of Hertfordshire Students'
de Havilland campus is situated within 15 minutes walk of
College Lane, and is built on a former BAe site. The Business
School and the faculty of Humanities and Education are based here,
along with another LRC. The Law School is based in St Albans, near
to the law courts. There were formerly campuses in Watford (Wall
Hall) and Hertford (Balls Park), but these were closed when the de
Havilland campus opened. A fourth site in Bayfordbury houses the
university's observatory and the biology plus geography field
stations. The University has particular research strengths in
History, Computer Science, Astrophysics and especially Engineering
given the university's history in training Aerospace Engineers as a
The University of Hertfordshire Students' Union (UHSU) hosts
frequent events at the College Lane campus. These formerly took
place in the Union's Hutton Hall or the peculiarly shaped building
commonly known as the "Elehouse", named due to its original
architecture being similar to the elephant house at London Zoo.
'The Forum', a new student social space offering an entertainment
venue, bars, shops, and cafés, opened in October 2009.
The University of Hertfordshire is also home to HIBT, part of
the Navitas group, providing a direct pathway for international
students to the university, on campus. to the University.
Hertfordshire was described as "the flagship of the former
polys" by the Independent in
2002. As a polytechnic, it
was strong in aerospace engineering and computer science. More
recently, it has built up its strengths in other areas such as
pharmacology, history, geography and astrophysics. Entry
requirements have been rising in recent years.
The university has five faculties
- Business School
- Faculty of Science, Technology and Creative Arts (formerly
'Creative and Cultural Industries' and 'Engineering and Information
- Faculty of Health and Human Sciences
- Humanities, Law and Education
- Note that Computer Science is accredited by the British
Computer Society (BCS)
The university has invested £ 200 million over the last ten
years in developing facilities on the two main campuses, including
the new de Havilland campus in Hatfield (opened 2003/2004), the
Learning Resources Centre on the College Lane campus, the
Hertfordshire Sports Village, new teaching laboratories in most
Schools, including a state-of-the-art medical simulation centre
called HICESC (Hertfordshire Intensive Care & Emergency
Simulation Centre), and most recently the Forum, opening in
academic year 2009/10.
Hertfordshire was one of the first universities in the country
to develop a Paramedic Science degree They are now also
providing a Critical Care Paramedic course and an Emergency Care
Practitioner course. The university still provides BSc (Hons), BSc,
FdSc, and Diploma level Paramedic courses. The University's 4 year
Paramedic Science course also features a period of elective study
which can be undertaken anywhere in the world, and a sandwich year
working for the Ambulance ServiceThe university is also among the
first four universities in the country to offer the Postgraduate
Diploma in Physician Assistant studies, and the first in the UK to
offer the option of an MSc in the field
The University of Hertfordshire has one of the most successful
Formula Student teams in the world. UH Racing have competed in many
countries and have won many awards. The UH Racing cars can
accelerate from 0-60 mph in less than 3 seconds and pull over
2g in the corners. Students from the Engineering degrees can join
the team, with students from the Sports Science, Marketing, Art and
Business Schools playing a vital role. There are over 400
universities that race at Formula Student events worldwide, with UH
finishing in the top 10 consistently.
Queen's Award for Industry
On 1 July 2004, the University of Hertfordshire was presented
with the Queen's Award for Enterprise: International Trade in
recognition of outstanding achievement. The University received a
special message of congratulations from the Queen, and the
Vice-Chancellor and International Office staff also attended a
special reception at Buckingham Palace.
A Centre for Excellence
In 2004 the University of Hertfordshire was awarded £4.5M by the
Higher Education Funding Council for England to establish a Centre
for Excellence in Blended Learning. This award enables the
university to establish its profile as a leading institution
combining established ways of learning and teaching with the
opportunities offered by technology to ensure students have the
best possible learning experience.
Fair Trade University
In March 2005, University of Hertfordshire was officially
certified as a Fair trade university.
National Teaching Fellowships
Seven members of staff have achieved lifelong Fellowship awards
as outstanding teachers, as part of the National Teaching
Fellowship Scheme introduced in 2000 by the Higher Education
Funding Council for England and the Department for Employment and
Learning in Northern Ireland.
e-Tutor of the Year
One of the engineering staff at the University of Hertfordshire,
Mark Russell successfully entered the e-Tutor of the Year in an
annual national competition, launched in 2002 by the Higher
Education Academy and the Times Higher Education Supplement.
Moss University of the Year 2009
Awarded to Agneta Burton for outstanding services to Mosses over
Of the 2010 league tables published so far the University of
Hertfordshire was ranked 41st overall in The Complete University
Guide, published by The Independent which is a 4 place rise from
the previous year. 15th in the Engineering schools, which is a 9
place rise from the previous year and 60th by The Guardian,
which is a 37 place rise from the previous year.
Hertfordshire is also the only British new university (former
polytechnic) to be ranked in the top 503 universities in the world
by Shanghai Jiao Tong University's Academic Ranking of World
Universities, being ranked equally with 100 other universities in
the 402-503 range (after the first hundred the rankings are divided
into large blocks to reflect the more approximate nature of the
The University of Hertfordshire prescribes academic dress for
its members. Both dress and undress are prescribed, though only
dress is used in practice - for example, at the graduation
ceremonies, held in St Alban's cathedral.
The academic dress of bachelors of the university is a black
stuff gown, with facings and long open sleeves gathered to a point
at the elbow with a button. The master's gown is similar, but with
spade sleeves. With these, on formal occasions such as graduations,
is worn a hood of grey or white silk and stuff. In dress, grey
hoods are worn by holders of diplomas below bachelor's level, and
white hoods by bachelors. Masters add a border of purple silk.
Because of the university's emphasis on interdisciplinary studies,
there is no distinction between the academic dress of the various
In dress, holders of initial doctorates wear red gowns with
purple facings; higher doctorates have purple gowns with white
facings. In undress all doctors wear master's gowns. The university
is unusual among former polytechnics in also prescribing academic
dress for undergraduates - the black stuff bachelor's gown with no
hood - although, again, this is not used in practice.
Coat of arms
The University's coat of arms was granted in 1992. The shield is
charged with an oak tree taken from the coat of arms of the former
Hatfield Rural District, the constellation Perseus and a
representation of the letter "H" recalling the emblem of the former
Hatfield Polytechnic. The crest, a Phoenix, represents the
University's origin in the aviation industry. The two harts
supporting the shield represent the County of Hertfordshire. A
scroll bears the motto "Seek Knowledge Throughout Life".
The ceremonial mace was produced in 1999 by craftsman Martyn
Pugh. Its design symbolises the University's origins, expertise and
associations. Its shape is inspired by the shape of an aeroplane
wing symbolising the university's origin in the aviation industry.
The head of the mace is engraved with zodiac symbols representing
the university's contribution to astronomy and also contains the
DNA double helix representing the biological sciences and
microprocessor chips representing information and communications