Bangor University: Innovation and research excellence

Bangor University is the home of research excellence and the launching pad for many a long and successful career. Recognised for its cutting-edge research and exceptional facilities, Bangor’s work has had a major impact around the world and has been integral in shaping modern thinking in a number of arenas. This contribution has been recognised in the Research Excellence Framework, deeming three-quarters of Bangor’s research as either world-leading or internationally-excellent.

Way ahead of the UK average, an impressive 77 percent of the research was rated in the top two tiers of research quality and a whole bunch of Bangor’s School’s – including Sport Science, Modern Languages, Welsh, Education, Linguistics, Social Sciences, Ocean Sciences, Biological Sciences, Environment, Natural Resources and Geography, Psychology, Healthcare Sciences and Medical Sciences – all ranked within the UK top 20.

With a wealth of pioneering research at their fingertips, Bangor’s courses are incredibly relevant, informed, and research-driven. This is true across all courses, but especially in the postgraduate programmes that take a more research-centric approach to learning. For instance, the School of Electronic Engineering’s MSc in Nanotechnology and Microfabrication gives extensive training and experience of electronic device manufacture in a research cleanroom, both in the taught modules and individual project.

The University provides strong support for research activities with a number of specialist resources for an array of different fields. These include the Environment Centre Wales which focuses on environmental research and for some research out in the wilds, the School of Ocean Sciences has its own research vessel, the Prince Madog.

To expand the scope of their research and tackle the real-world industry problems, the University encourages links with commercial and industrial bodies in the UK and overseas. The University is just about to open a Science Park – MSPARC that will focus on low carbon energy generation and recognises the need to support the local energy generation capacity in Hydroelectric, Pump-Storage, on and off-shore wind turbines, solar, marine energy (turbines and tidal lagoons) and nuclear.

These business connections are a common feature in many of Bangor’s degree courses, as, while the learning is research-driven, it is also heavily experience driven.

Many courses take a practical hands-on approach to learning and so include valuable career boosters like work placements within industry so students can get first-hand knowledge of the industry of their choosing before leaving university.

For those who already have some experience in their field but want to take their career to the next level, Bangor has a great selection of courses for you, too.

This approach of relevant research-driven curriculum combined with practical learning seems to be a winning formula, since Bangor graduates boast some of the best employment prospects the nation has to offer. Counted in the top 10 UK universities for job prospects, according to WhatUni 2017, a staggering 92 percent of graduates progress to employment or further study within six months of graduation.

It’s no wonder graduates are so successful given Bangor’s fantastic reputation for teaching and research excellence. Awarded a Gold rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework 2017 and considered in the top 15 UK universities for teaching quality, according to The Times League Table 2017, it’s no surprise employers are keen to employ Bangor alumni – with a BU qualification comes quality and expertise.

On top of academic excellence, students enjoy the whole Bangor experience, as is proven by the University’s spot in the top 10 UK universities for student satisfaction and top five for academic experience.

With a litany of accolades like this, you could forgive Bangor if it was resting on its laurels and taking the ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it approach’, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Still striving for innovation in all fields, the University continues to invest in its state-of-the-art facilities, always ensuring they’re ahead of the curve when it comes to education, invention and culture.

The recently-developed multi-million-pound Pontio centre is a prime example of this. The new Arts and Innovation building aims to unite town and gown by bringing people together through innovation, learning, and entertainment.

Home to Pontio Innovation, an inspirational business development hub which nurtures outstanding ideas and helps make them a reality, the new hub is driving the region’s entrepreneurial spirit by connecting the area’s most creative innovators, inventors and entrepreneurs with world-leading skills and research. A suite of new courses and programmes are being developed to support this initiative and will include postgraduate courses, such as the Master in Research in Design Thinking, that are ideal for those with experience or an undergraduate degree who are seeking new skills or gain that ‘x-factor’ that will push them through the next stage of their career.

That’s the innovation side of things covered, but it also fosters the Arts with the inclusion of a cinema, theatre, and concert hall, along with a stack of restaurants and cafes for students to meet up with friends and enjoy some live music.

Always striving to be at the forefront of innovation and paradigm-forming research, Bangor continues to invest in its facilities, faculty, and of course, its students. 

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