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HEFCE closed at the end of March 2018. The information on this website is historical and is no longer maintained.

Many of HEFCE's functions will be continued by the Office for Students, the new regulator of higher education in England, and Research England, the new council within UK Research and Innovation.

The HEFCE domain - - will continue to function until September 2018. At this point we will close the site entirely and all its information will only be available from the National Web Archive.


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The project enables: 

  • close mutual relationships between the university and industrial partners. Partners provide work-based experience for science and engineering students at the University of Chester, and play a crucial role in both curricula development and delivery. The university also provides training tailored to partner needs, including specific ‘up-skilling’.
  • enhancement of the academic development and future prospects of the university’s current programmes in science, engineering, computer science and mathematics for undergraduates and postgraduates.
  • strengthening of the depth and breadth of research activities undertaken by the university, further supporting the practice of research-informed teaching.
  • development of highly-skilled and work-ready students for employment in the Government’s Tier 2 STEM skills shortage areas.
  • provision of a venue that harnesses the University’s existing academic strengths and resources, alongside areas of higher-level learning and teaching that are new to the university and, crucially, are not provided currently by other institutions in the region.
  • creation of a new-model exemplar for providing curricula, work experience, specialist facilities and technical expertise that connect graduates with employers. Collaborating with industry partners to provide a highly skilled pipeline workforce tailored to individual sector needs helps employers to recruit the right skills, and stimulates a business-facing culture among staff and students. 

To underpin the project aims, the University has: 

  • established a new Faculty of Science and Engineering
  • worked with industry and overseas partners to develop new practice-based curricula and learning models, designed to produce graduates with immediately-employable skills and capabilities.
  • refurbished and adapted two multi-use buildings to form the physical hub of the new Faculty, accommodating the learning experience directly alongside innovative and high growth science and engineering companies.
  • developed and commenced delivery of a range of new programmes designed to enhance the regional provision by filling previous gaps.
  • integrated the new Faculty of Science and Engineering as a central aspect of the broader Thornton Science Park portfolio, including both academic and commercial activities.
  • secured additional funds to enhance the student experience by upgrading laboratory and field equipment, and improve the offer to industry partners supporting and delivering curricula.

The Faculty of Science and Engineering received its first new cohort in September 2014, with just over 200 new undergraduate students. 


Class of 2014, first year cohort, 30 September 2014, outside the refurbished Faculty Learning Resource Centre. 

The faculty is comprised of the following departments:

  • Department of Chemical Engineering
  • Department of Mechanical Engineering
  • Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering
  • Department of Natural Sciences
  • Department of Computer Science
  • Department of Mathematics

The faculty offers a range of BEng, MEng and BSc degree programmes. All taught elements of the programmes are conducted at the Thornton Science Park and include continuing students associated with the Departments of Computer Science and Mathematics.

Despite not yet being fully operational at the time of submission, the faculty made two Unit of Assessment returns, in Mathematics and Computer Science, for REF2014. 

Project information

Catalyst funding £7,136,167
Total project funding £115,702,519
Project contact Charlie Woodcock
Tel 01244 512211
Project website

Page last updated 13 October 2016

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