Oxford Brookes University  is a public university in Oxford, England. It is a new university, having received university status through the Further and Higher Education Act 1992. It can trace its origins to 1865, when it was founded as the Oxford School of Art. The university was named after its first principal, John Henry Brookes, who played a major role in the development of the institution.

Oxford Brookes University is spread across four campuses, with three primary sites based in and around Oxford and the fourth campus located in Swindon. Oxford Brookes University planned to demolish its Wheatley campus and build houses on the site; the local council refused planning permission, but Oxford Brookes appealed, and won in 2020.[5] As of November 2021 the Brookes Web site said that the institution had 16,900 students, 2,800 staff and over 190,000 alumni in over 177 countries.[6] The university is divided into four faculties: Oxford Brookes Business School, Health and Life Sciences, Humanities and Social Sciences, and Technology, Design and Environment. Oxford Brookes University’s partnership with the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) allows ACCA students to earn a BSc (Hons) in applied accounting with the submission of a research and analysis project work while taking their ACCA examinations. The university also has schools of architecture and law. Brookes is a member of the University Alliance mission group.

Academic Profile

Reputation and Rankings

National rankings
Complete (2022) 48
Guardian (2022) 43
Times / Sunday Times (2022) 63=
Global rankings
QS (2022) 429=
THE (2022) 601-800
British Government assessment
Teaching Excellence Framework Silver

Oxford Brookes University was ranked among the world’s top institutions in 16 subjects and four subject areas in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017. In 2016, Brookes was listed as one of the world’s top universities for its international outlook in the Times Higher Education’s (THE) Top 200 international universities. Brookes has retained its top ten world ranking in the QS Distance Online MBA Ranking 2017 for its MBA programme. The university has 10 National Teaching Fellowships from the Higher Education Authority and was among the top 25 in the UK for teaching quality in the Times/Sunday Times Good University Guide 2016. Brookes is ranked in the top 51-100 for Architecture and Business & Management Studies in the world by QS World University Rankings by Subject 2019.[35] It is also ranked in the top 10 for Hospitality & Leisure Management in the world by QS World University Rankings by Subject 2019. In both 2018 and 2019, QS World University Rankings named it the only UK university on its list of Top 50 universities under 50 years old in the world. It is among the top 400 universities in the world, ranked 363rd by the QS World University Rankings 2020.

In 2011, Oxford Brookes University was the sixth largest employer in Oxfordshire.

Hotcourses UK ranked Oxford Brookes University in the top 15 of the most culturally diverse institutions in the UK in July 2016.

In July 2016, Headington and Harcourt Hill campuses received a Green Flag Award for the quality of their green spaces for the fifth year in a row.

In 2016, Oxford Brookes University achieved an overall satisfaction rate of 87% in the National Student Survey (NSS) higher than the national average of 86%. The university also had 18 subject areas which received 90% or higher overall satisfaction.

Separate schools

Oxford Brookes University’s School of Architecture is one of the largest in Britain and is consistently ranked in the top five schools in the UK[41] and in the top 50 in the world, Brookes’ School of Law is the 16th placed law school in the latest Guardian Good University Guide[43] The law school is also ranked 28th out of 100 UK university law schools for the study of undergraduate law in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020.[44] Moreover, law courses also are ranked in the top 150-200 bracket of the QS World University Subject Rankings. The university has been successful in national and international mooting competitions, in 2016 winning both the ESU Essex Court National Competition and the Inner Temple Inter-Varsity Mooting Competition, meaning the national Magna Carta moot – to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the signing of Magna Carta – as a consequence will be between two Oxford Brookes University teams.

Research standing

In the most recent Research Excellence Framework in 2014 (REF 2014) 94% of research was internationally recognised and 59% judged to be of ‘world leading’ quality or ‘internationally excellent’.This led to a 41% increase in quality-related research funding compared to a 3% rise across the sector.

In October 2016 the university retained its HR Excellence in Research Award[48] from the European Commission, recognising the university’s commitment to supporting the personal, professional and career development of its research-active staff.

Specialist study

The Centre for Development and Emergency Practice (CENDEP) in the School of the Built Environment was awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize. CENDEP provides an academic setting for the study of cities, humanitarianism and refugees. Singer and activist Annie Lennox is patron of the Master’s Course in Humanitarian and Development Practice.

In 2008, the MSc in Primate Conservation was also awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize.

The Oxford Brookes Centre for Nutrition and Health is the UK’s first research centre dedicated to functional foods. The centre was originally the Nutrition and Food Research Group at Oxford Brookes and was founded in 2004.

Computer science

The Department of Computing and Communication Technologies is internationally recognised for its research especially in the area of robotics, web technology, networking and software engineering. The department has a strong international student population in both its undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.

Automotive and motorsport engineering

The Oxford Brookes School of Technology is known for its automotive and motorsports technology/engineering courses leading to undergraduate BSc (Hons), BEng (Hons), MEng (Hons) and MSc degrees. Due to the close links between the school and several Formula 1 teams around Oxfordshire, the syllabus development for the undergraduate and post graduate courses are carried out in collaboration with F1 teams. Over the decade, the school has developed a niche for producing Formula 1 design and race engineers, who go on to build championship winning cars, participating in the FIA Formula 1 Championships. The school is also home and lead institution to Motorsport Knowledge Exchange which is a Government-funded small cooperative of institutions, involved in delivering motorsport education at a variety of levels from technician to post-graduate.

In 2007, Formula One world champion Fernando Alonso sponsored 12 Spanish postgraduate students to study for an MSc in motorsport engineering or in race engine design within the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Mathematical Sciences at the university. The university has a teaching staff that includes Geoff Goddard, a former chief designer at Cosworth.

The School of Technology at Oxford Brookes University is one of the three core universities in Faraday Advance, a partnership in advanced materials for transportation that develops future materials and technology for low-pollution, high-efficiency, cost-effective transport.


Oxford Brookes University’s partnership with the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) allows ACCA students to earn a BSc (Hons) in Applied Accounting with the submission of a research and analysis project work while taking their ACCA examinations.[citation needed]

The university has a partnership with the International Business School (Nemzetközi Üzleti Főiskola) based in Budapest (Hungary). IBS students can attend courses which, besides the Hungarian degree, also provide OBU BA degrees in different subjects, such as marketing and communications.

The university has affiliations with Nilai University College in Malaysia. Affiliated subjects are computing, accounting and finance, business management, marketing management and hospitality management. All the subjects mentioned above are 3+0 programs