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The University of Southampton
Winchester School of Art

Our University

Winchester School of Art is a part of the world-renowned University of Southampton, a high-ranking Russell Group University in the south of England, United Kingdom.

Our University History

The University of Southampton was originally founded on 15th October 1862, then known as The Hartley Institute. In it's first year we enrolled 700 students, the majority of whom were part-time evening students. By the 20th century the University had begun to gain an impressive reputation, in spite of it's relatively small size, becoming a 'University College' in 1902 and going on to win national grants for our work in Chemistry and Engineering in the 1930s.

The 1950s saw the University expand massively and our Highfield Campus in Southampton grew in size to accommodate many Schools, Faculties and students and allowed us to begin a long history of innovation, both on a national and global stage.

In the 21st century we continue to develop into a world leading University and are famous for being both research driven and down-to-earth with the needs of business and society. We now have well over 20,000 full time students at the University, including 1500 at our Winchester School of Art. To view a detailed time-line of our Universities history, please click here.

Hartley Insitute in 1862
Hartley Insitute in 1862
Our students in 1904
Our students in 1904
Highfield Campus in 1919
Highfield Campus in 1919

Reputation and rankings

Ranked among the top 100 of universities worldwide*, the University of Southampton is recognised as a global centre for excellence in research and education. Our reputation, which is reflected in our UK and international league table rankings, is built on a long history of world-changing achievements.

We are:

In addition, 96% of our graduates go straight into employment or further study, over 75% of which is considered to be graduate level (Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education Survey, 2015/16).

*QS World University Rankings 2019


 Winchester School of Art campus building at Winchester Campus.
Art and Design
Life Sciences building at Highfield Campus.
Life Sciences
Electronics and Computer Sciences building at Highfield Campus.
Electronics and Computer Sciences

A Russell Group University

The University of Southampton is one of the founding members of the prestigious Russell Group; a group which is committed to maintaining the very best research and teaching standards. The Russell Group organisation brings together the knowledge and resources of 24 top UK universities who work together to protect and improve the quality of university teaching, to support and facilitate innovative research projects, and to build stronger links with business leaders and policy makers.

As a member, we are committed to:

Russell Group universities attract the best academics, who are working on the most innovative research projects. This is due to the funding and support on offer at universities like Southampton. At Southampton our world-class academics include familiar names like Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Dame Wendy Hall, Sir Nigel Shadbolt, Sir David Payne, Professor Guy Poppy, Sir Martin Glennie and Professor Michael Kelly.

On average, Russell Group members receive more than 60% of the annual university research grant income in the UK. This means that the University of Southampton has far more money to spend on improving the resources you’ll be using throughout your course.

Modern extension to the Hartley Library on Highfield Campus.
Hartley Library
Winchester Cathedral is a 5 minute walk from the Winchester School of Art.
Winchester Cathedral
Our partner campus in Dalian, China.
Dalian Campus

Our Campuses & Cities

Our University has four main campuses in England, with one campus in Malaysia and a partner campus in China. The majority of our programmes are held at the Highfield Campus in the city of Southampton. Our Art and Design campus is at the Winchester School of Art in Winchester, 12 miles north of Southampton.

Highfield Campus & City of Southampton

Highfield Campus is home to many innovative buildings, lively arts venues, and great sports and leisure facilities. We aim to inspire staff and students with stunning places to work and a vibrant atmosphere. At the same time, we take care to make the best use of energy and resources. It also includes the Life Sciences building, which won the 2011 Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) award and the Mountbatten Building, which houses a world-class clean room and associated labratories, also winning a RIBA award in 2009.



The Highfield Campus is connected to other destinations via it's our dedicated Highfield Transport Interchange. From here, you can catch the University's own unilink buses for travel to other campuses and to other destinations across the city, including train stations and Southampton International Airport.

When you're not studying, Highfield has plenty to offer. Our well-known arts venues include the Nuffield theatre, Turner Sims concert hall, and the John Hansard Gallery. You can swim in the 25m pool at the Jubilee Sports Centre, or make use of the gym facilities. And if you need a break to rest and refuel, choose from the range of restaurants and bars run by the University or by our Students' Union.

Winchester Campus & City of Winchester

Winchester School of Art has a huge range of facilities and services and offer everything that you will need during your time with us. Next to the campus lies the City of Winchester,  packed with a lively atmosphere and many bars, restaurants and cafés; Winchester School of Art boasts a brilliant and stimulating learning environment, with the city on one side and beautiful idyllic Hampshire countryside on the other. We are also within easy reach of London and just ten miles from the vibrant, south coast city of Southampton. Winchester city centre, railway station, bus station and halls of residence are only a ten-minute walk from our campus.

Please click here for a map of Winchester and directions to Winchester School of Art.

In addition to it's prime location in the heart of the city, the Winchester School of Art's campus provides a state-of-the-art environment, with industry standard studio spaces and equipment, including:

 To find out more information about Winchester School of Art's on-site facilities, please click here.

Virtual Campus Tours

If you are unable to come to one of our Open Days, you might look to view some of our campus and facilities by using our online Virtual Campus Tour. On this page you can see our campus here at the Winchester School of Art, but also some of the buildings you might like to use at Highfield, Southampton, such as the Hartley Library or Sports Facilities.

You can navigate to different scenes using the Street View controls (the white chevrons) to move from one scene to another. You can orientate yourself either by clicking and dragging around the scene (if using a mouse), by touching and dragging (if using a touch-enabled device) or by using the circular Street View control in the top left of the scene.

If you want to head straight to key information, or to explore the accommodation, a particular campus, or courses on offer, then use the navigation you see on the left (for larger screens), or use the icon at the top of the screen (for smaller screens / mobile devices) to get the navigation to pop out if you don't see it on the left.

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