Canterbury Christ Church University

Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU) is a public university located in Canterbury, Kent, England. Founded as a Church of England college for teacher training in 1962, it was granted university status in 2005.[6]

The university has developed rapidly since its inception in 1962 and now has around 15,000 students based at locations across Kent in Canterbury, Medway (as part of the Universities at Medway partnership) and Tunbridge Wells. As well as being Kent’s largest centre of higher education for the public services – notably teacher training, health and social care and the emergency services – the university also offers academic and professional programmes, including doctorates and research degrees in the arts, humanities and social and applied sciences. The university is also developing its portfolio of STEM courses, including engineering and medicine. The university is working with industry and businesses in the south-east to develop its STEM courses and is working in partnership with the University of Kent on the development of the medical school.

Canterbury Christ Church University is a member of the Cathedrals Group (officially the Council of Church Universities and Colleges or CCUC).

Academic Profile


The university has a diverse range of partnerships, which fall into five main categories:

  • Academic partners with whom the university develops its course to ensure they meet the needs of future employers and graduates
  • Research partners with whom the university works with on research and knowledge exchange
  • Education partners – as Kent’s largest centre for teacher training, the university works in and alongside schools, colleges and education providers to promote access to learning.
  • Culture – the university is a major supporter and provider of arts and culture, and is principal partner and sponsor of the Canterbury Festival.
  • Faith – the university is part of the global partnership of Anglican higher education institutions.


The university’s research was recognised in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, which classed nearly 90% of its research as world-leading or internationally significant.


In June 2017, the university was awarded a silver rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework. In its citation, the assessment panel said that the university ‘consistently exceeds rigorous national quality requirements for UK higher education’ and delivers ‘high-quality teaching, learning and outcomes for its students’.[28] A report published by the Higher Education Funding Council for England in 2016 stated that the university was in the top 20 for the percentage of teaching staff holding a teaching qualification.


Sustainability is a key priority for the university and is one of the cross-cutting themes of the university’s strategic framework (2015 to 2020). In May 2018, the university won a prestigious International Green Gown Award for “Continuous Improvement: Institutional Change” in recognition of its commitment to sustainability and its progress in this area.[30] In 2019, this was followed by the university’s Zulfi Ali winning the Green Gown award for individual Sustainability Champion.

Between 2010 and 2016, the university reduced its gas and electricity consumption by almost 25%. In 2013, it became one of the first universities to commit to and achieve ‘zero waste to landfill’ and it also achieved ISO14001 certification for its Environmental Management System. It became one of the first universities to achieve the new standard in 2017.

Governance and structure

The university is governed by its Governing Body comprising 18 elected, appointed and co-opted members. The Governing Body meets four times per year. The day-to-day management of the university is the responsibility of the Vice-Chancellor and his senior management team.

Canterbury Christ Church is organised into academic faculties that contain schools and centres for teaching and research as well as professional service departments that provide central services

The three academic faculties are:

  • Faculty of Education, Arts and Humanities comprises: School of Humanities, International Centre for Victorian Women Writers (ICVWW), School of Language Studies and Applied Linguistics, School of Music and Performing Arts, School of Media, Art and Design, Centre for Research On Communities and Cultures, Centre for Kent History and Heritage, Centre for Practice-Based Research in the Arts, Intersectional Centre for Inclusion and Social Justice, School of Childhood and Education Sciences, Centre for Career and Personal Development, School of Teacher Education and Development, National Institute for Christian Education Research, Research Centre for Children, Families and Communities
  • Faculty of Health and Wellbeing comprises: School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work, School of Allied and Public Health Professions, Institute for Medical Sciences, England Centre for Practice Development, Sidney De Haan Research Centre for Arts and Health
  • Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences comprises: School of Psychology, Politics and Sociology, Centre for European Studies, Salomons Centre for Applied Psychology, Christ Church Business School, School of Law, Criminal Justice and Policing, Canterbury Centre for Policing Research, Centre for Cyberforensics, Mediation Clinic, School of Human and Life Sciences, Sports Lab, Centre for Sport, Physical Education and Activity Research (SPEAR), School of Engineering, Technology and Design

Rankings and Reputation

National rankings
Complete (2022) 117
Guardian (2022) 108
Times / Sunday Times (2022) 111
Global rankings
British Government assessment
Teaching Excellence Framework Silver

In the 2015 Guardian rating of UK universities, CCCU has ranked the 92nd university out of 119, a gain of 12 places from 2014. However, it fell to 101 in the 2016 rankings.