Universities and Colleges

Lancashire is home to Lancaster University, University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) in Preston and Burnley, and Edge Hill University in West Lancashire. It also supports the largest campus of Cumbria University which is in Lancaster. Lancashire boasts a significant concentration of HEI excellence with strong relationships building between these institutions.

The University of Central Lancashire

The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) is a world class higher education institution - the first modern university in the UK to be recognised as such by the QS World Rankings. Innovation is part of UCLan’s culture and it enables links to be established with local, regional, national and international businesses, sharing and exchanging expertise and research to help give businesses that competitive edge to grow and develop. 

UCLan is currently planning significant investment in engineering and manufacturing that will help promote the commercialisation of R&D and increase the level of University led spin-outs.  The University is also a core partner on the development of plans for the Lancashire Enterprise Zone.  UCLan links with small and medium business across its 16 academic Schools and aims to meet the needs of innovative business activity across a wide range of subject specialisms.

Lancaster University

Lancaster University is a world-class centre for research and teaching, ranked in the top one percent of universities in the world. Lancaster works closely with employers and their pioneering work has been disseminated and transferred nationally and internationally.  The University is committed to strengthening these ties, building innovative and inter-dependent relationships underpinned by world-class research and the enhancement of the student experience.

Lancaster has a long and demonstrably successful track record in the management and delivery of publically-funded projects to increase the innovation capacity and competitiveness of SMEs within the UK. The University is one of the leading academic institutions in the UK in terms of the volume and scope of its partnerships with SMEs, as demonstrated through the results of the annual national Higher Education Business & Community Interaction Survey.

Edge Hill University

Edge Hill University, UK University of the Year 2014/15, supports economic growth and development in Lancashire by enhancing the graduate and postgraduate workforce, providing businesses with access to skills and expertise, research and consultancy.All University departments are engaged in researching new knowledge and applications in their fields, focussing on collaborative, practice based research that is innovative and makes a measurable impact. The Research Office welcomes discussion of research ideas and challenges.

Collaborations include Knowledge Transfer Partnerships, bespoke courses and leadership development programmes. Edge Hill Works provides a graduate vacancy service, arranges placements and internships, and hosts ‘Live Brief’ projects where students develop innovative ideas and creative solutions to business challenges. The award-winning campus in Ormskirk is a vibrant hub for the region’s digital media, cultural and sporting activity and part of the Lancashire offer to employees moving to region.



Lancashire boasts an outstanding Further Education and vocational offer, capable of meeting all skill needs; the county is the only LEP area in the country where all FE colleges and locally-based training providers are recognised as good or outstanding.

These are:

  • Accrington and Rossendale College
  • Blackburn College
  • Blackpool and the Fylde College
  • Burnley College
  • Cardinal Newman College
  • Lancaster and Morecambe College
  • Myerscough College
  • Nelson and Colne College
  • Preston's College
  • Runshaw College
  • West Lancashire College
  • Lancashire Adult Learning College