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Thursday, 21 December 2017

Season's Greetings

The University of Chester closes today for its Christmas break.  We will reopen on Tuesday 2nd January.

We would like to wish all our neighbours a very, merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Heritage Open Days @ The University of Chester this September

Churchill Building, University of Chester

Vicarage Building, University of Chester

The British Army’s former ‘Western Command’ in Chester will be open to the public as part of this year’s Heritage Open Days.

The University of Chester is opening four of its historical buildings as part of the scheme, which will take place between September 7 and 10.

Two of those buildings are part of the scheme for the first time - the University’s Churchill Building in Queen’s Park, Handbridge (known in one of its previous lives as ‘Western Command’) and the University’s Vicarage, on Parkgate Road, which houses the English Department.

During the Open Days, the institution’s Riverside Museum will be open on Thursday, September 7 and Saturday, September 9 between 10am and 4pm, for visitors to drop in. The Museum features a letter written by Florence Nightingale from the Crimea, and is the home to a permanent collection of curiosities from the world of medicine, nursing, midwifery and social work. It also features The First World War: Returning Home exhibition which has recently been refurbished with the assistance of Big Heritage and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Nowadays, the Churchill Building in Queen’s Park is home to the University’s Business School. Initially referred to as ‘Capital House’, it was completed in 1937-8 as a purpose-built centre for the British Army’s ‘Western Command’ military base (which had previously been based in the centre of Chester, on Watergate Street). Built in the Neo-Georgian style, the building was used in a military context until the 1990s, when it was sold to a banking company. The distinctive portico and pillars were added during this time, and, as a result, today’s building looks very different to the original. During its time as Western Command, a substantial network of subterranean rooms was built under the structure, extending towards the river - they were initially used as secure meeting places during the Second World War and later as bunkers during the Cold War. The tour of the building will include the opportunity to see the De Gaulle Brasserie at the top, which takes in fantastic views of the River Dee and the city.

On Friday September 8 pre-booked tours are available at the University’s Vicarage. Known as St Oswald’s, it is a designated Grade II listed building. Built in 1880, to serve the parish of St Oswald and the Church of St Thomas of Canterbury, the redbrick building was designed by notable Victorian Architect John Douglas. Douglas designed and contributed to a range of buildings across the North West of England, including churches, schools, private houses, memorials and extensive projects for the Grosvenor family. He is particularly known for his use of the Gothic Revival and English Gothic styles, which feature neo-gothic arches and mullioned windows. In Cheshire, his chimneys – barley sugar brick ribbed stacks – are well known, and can be seen from the first floor window of Storyhouse in Chester city centre.

Buildings such as the Vicarage, which now houses the English Department, illustrate Douglas’s ability to design buildings that reflected existing local architecture. The medieval-style features of the Vicarage are inspired by Chester’s various churches and the Cathedral. In Chester, perhaps the most famous work attributed to John Douglas is the Eastgate Clock, which is said to be the most photographed clock in England after Big Ben.

The iconic Chapel, on the Parkgate Road Campus, will be open over the whole period and received a fresh injection of colour last year, thanks to the installation of a new stained glass window, made possible by the generosity of the institution’s alumni. The window - a permanent commemoration of the University’s 175th Anniversary – is the result of a fundraising campaign by the University’s Alumni Association (UCAA), who felt it important to create a permanent reminder of the institution’s former students, to mark its Anniversary celebrations.

The Chapel was originally built by students at the then Chester Diocesan Teacher Training College and has played an integral part in the life of the institution from its early days. It forms both a focal point for activities which reflect the Church of England foundation of the University, and also as a symbol for the community spirit which is such an important feature of Chester for generations of students and staff.

Chantal Bradburn, Widening Participation Officer at the University of Chester, has a background in art and architectural history and will be hosting tours of both Churchill House and the Vicarage over the four days. She said: “We are  really looking forward to welcoming people into our buildings, and I am particularly keen to share my passion for these local gems. The University is privileged to share such fascinating buildings, with long and colourful histories, and all are welcome to come and find out more.”

Visitors to the Chapel are welcome to turn up between 10am and 4pm during the Heritage Open Days.

The University of Chester Riverside Museum will be open on Thursday, September 7 and Saturday, September 9 between 10am and 4pm for visitors to drop in.

Tours at Churchill House, Queen’s Park, must be booked in advance. They are taking place on Thursday September 7 only, between 2pm and 3pm, and 3.15pm and 4.15pm. The tours of the Vicarage will only be on Friday September 8 at 2pm and 3.15pm and must also be booked in advance.

To book the tours, please contact Chester History and Heritage on email at or phone 01244 972210 Monday to Friday 10am until 12 noon and 1 pm until 4 pm.

You can pick up the Heritage Open Days booklet giving details of all buildings open to view locally at Chester History and Heritage and the Tourist Information Centre.

For more information about Heritage Open Days in England, please visit:

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Education Debate @ University of Chester Friday 23rd June 2017

We are delighted to invite you to the Education Debate being organised by Dr Steve Lambert (HMI & Programme Leader for Educational Leadership). The debate involves a number of high profile speakers from across Cheshire and beyond who have been raising the case for Education both locally and nationally. These include the re-elected MP Chris Matheson, who has been championing Cheshire schools at parliament in light of the funding cuts to our schools as well as organising the Education Cuts Rally in Chester earlier this year. Victoria Carr, Primary School Head teacher, Cllr Nicole Meardon. Cheshire West and Chester councillor and cabinet member for Children's and Families. We are also delighted to be joined by Stephen Morales, Executive Director of the National Association of School Business Managers who has been working with minister and civil servants on the new funding formula for schools.
The debate will take place on Friday 23rd June 2017, 5:30pm-7:30pm in CRV119 at Riverside Campus and will be an opportunity for you to listen to or participate in discussion on education policy, funding, current issues with education in England.
If you would like to attend please email Jo Cowan  Details of how to find Riverside Campus can be found here

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

The work of University of Chester Photography students is being showcased in an intergenerational exhibition at Storyhouse in Chester.


The exhibition, called ‘Keys to My Memory’, captures intimate dialogues between strangers of different generations. It features images of older people, alongside everyday objects with particular significance to their lives, and was produced for the Big Lottery funded project, Brightlife*.
In association with Storyhouse, Brightlife has organise...d a full day of taster activities for the over-50s between 10am and 6pm on Saturday, June 17. During the day, the students’ exhibition will feature in the Storyhouse lobby.

Full details of all the events can be found at:

Dr Tracy Piper-Wright, Senior Lecturer in Photography at the University of Chester said:
"This has been a great way for the students to engage with the wider community in Chester and to use their creative skills in the real world.”

Please pop along and have a look!

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Fashion Forward First Cohort @ the University of Chester

A special catwalk event, to showcase student collections and seasonal styles is coming to Chester as part of CH1ChesterBID’s Style in the City campaign.

 CH1ChesterBID, in partnership with the University of Chester, is set to host an evening of glamour as The Grosvenor Hotel is transformed into a runway.
Students with their collections
 The city’s Business Improvement District (BID) has teamed up with the University of Chester as well as a selection of high street and boutique retailers to host an exclusive ticket-only catwalk event, which takes place on Wednesday, June 14.

 The style spectacular will feature fashion design graduates from the University who will showcase their glamorous collections on a specially created runway in the Grosvenor Hotel’s prestigious Westminster Suite. Professional models will also showcase a range of seasonal garments and inspirational style trends that are available in the city centre.

 “We really want to showcase what’s on offer for fashion and beauty lovers in Chester city centre,” said Julie Charlton, Marketing Manager at CH1ChesterBID.

 “We have such a huge range of boutique and high street brands and our Style in the City campaign will really put them into the spotlight. I look forward to seeing our models strut their stuff and show off the latest fashion favourites available in Chester.
“The catwalk event will be a real show-stopper as part of our month-long Style in the City campaign, so be sure to head into the city centre to feast your eyes on the latest styles and trends.”
The show will feature collections by the first ever cohort of Fashion students from the University. It is the culmination of three years of hard work by the students who are also the first year to graduate from this programme.
Student Kathryn Crank said: “Following the completion of the course I hope to set up my own label, which will consist of both menswear and children’s wear. I also plan to continue to design knitwear, a skill that I have learnt whilst studying at Chester.
 “My current collection, which was developed during my third year for Autumn/Winter 2017, is functionally led with strong sports luxe elements and a military concept which translates to include knitted pieces.”
Delphine Wilson, Programme Leader for Fashion Design at University of Chester added: “We’re thrilled to be working alongside CH1ChesterBID to celebrate a new fashion and lifestyle event in Chester. The catwalk show is a fantastic opportunity for our latest fashion design graduates to showcase their design creativity in context, alongside major fashion brands.
 “Our fashion course requires students to demonstrate a real passion and dedication to the industry and the group have worked incredibly hard to design and produce their own individual collections. This event is a great chance for them display their work to the public, so we hope people will come along on June 14 and support our graduate designers.”
The event will be held at the Grosvenor Hotel on Eastgate Street, with shows taking place at 5pm and 8pm. Tickets cost £10 for standard entry and £15 for
VIP with guaranteed front row and a goody bag with over £20. Tickets can be purchased at
Brands showcasing their collections include; Jigsaw; Laundry B; Tessuti and Hugo Boss on Bridge Street; Marks and Spencer on Foregate Street and Jack Wills on Eastgate Street. Accessories for the models will be provided by Accessorize on Eastgate Street.


Monday, 5 June 2017

June 2017

This month our students are busy with exams and work based learning placements. The majority of our second year students undertake a work based learning placement towards the end of the academic year and many undertake placements in local organisations and businesses.  You can read about Lucy Esfandiarinia's placement at Cherry Grove Primary School in Boughton here

Could your organisation benefit from a five week unpaid placement?  Would you like to get involved with a scheme that helps nurture the next generation of employees? More details for organisations are available here

 In Community Liaison our thoughts are already turning to plans for the next academic year.

We are reviewing our publications for our students on living in the Chester community and our Chester Student Community Guide has been updated and the latest version can be seen on our website.  This link will take you straight to it Chester Student Community Guide

We are currently updating our I love Chester postcard which is sent out to all new Chester based students after 'A' Level results day.   The postcard details the very positive views our students have of the City of Chester and some tips on how to help keep Chester special.

Our Community Liaison Manager, Louise Collins, is taking part in the Garden Quarter Residents' and Traders' Association Events Committee.  The Committee are busy planning events for the summer and a number of welcome events in October aimed at introducing student residents to the community.

Public Events in June 

Chester Research Unit for the Psychology of Health: Public Lecture

Join Speaker, Dr Lee Hulbert-Williams of the University of Chester, for a lecture entitled 'The stressed ape: Why human beings are so prone to stress, and what to do about it'.

Date: 8 Jun 2017
Time: 18:00 - 19:00
CBB115, Best Building, University of Chester, Parkgate Road, Chester, CH1 4B

The basic stress response evolved many millions of years ago. The way humans get stressed is therefore similar, in many respects, to the ways cats, mice, and fleas get stressed. Since the evolution of the basic stress response, however, humans have evolved complex new ways of learning. These uniquely human abilities allow us to do mathematics and understand Shakespeare, but they also make it more likely that we will experience chronic stress. We human beings are inclined to get raised blood pressure and even perhaps stomach ulcers, just thinking about how we might pay the gas bill. Cats tend not to do this. Nor do the chimpanzees — our closest non-human relatives.

In this lecture, we will discuss the initial development of a new framework for understanding the human experience of stress, based on Contextual Behavioural Science. First, we will examine those features of the stress response that are common across the apes (including humans), then we will see how this response might be altered and co-opted through learning processes unique to human beings. Finally, we will ask what we can do to reduce stress. We will examine a range of techniques, both simple and more involved, which have been shown to reduce stress levels in human beings.

Tickets for the lecture are free but booking is necessary.  You can book online here