Our Heritage

History and Locations

The University of Bedfordshire was established in August 2006 by order of the Privy Council, following the merger between the University of Luton and De Montfort University's Bedford campus.

Luton campus

Park Square campus, aeriel view

In 1908, the Luton Modern School was established. Luton Technical Institute was founded in 1937 and, after various changes of name, became Luton College of Technology in 1958.

In 1976, the college merged with Putteridge Bury College of Education to become Luton College of Higher Education.

In 1993, the college became the University of Luton after receiving university designation.

The Luton campus is located in the town centre and is home to a magnificent Postgraduate and CPD Centre, a modern student campus centre and other excellent facilities such as the Media Arts Centre, STEM Laboratories and Workshops, a Moot Court, Healthcare Simulation Suites, a state of the art 7 storey Library and our Campus Gym.

Bedford campus

Exterior of library at Bedford campus

The Bedford campus has academic roots that go back to the founding of Bedford Training College for Teachers in 1882 and Bedford Physical Training College in 1903. The campus is now home to around 2,900 students and has excellent facilities, a friendly atmosphere and a proven track record of exceptional teaching and graduate employment.

The campus is located 20 minutes on foot from the town centre in a self-contained leafy setting and has undergone a major redevelopment programme which includes two brand new, fully-equipped gymnasiums and state-of-the-art sports science labs.

There is a modern campus centre with 280 seat theatre, catering facilities and social spaces for students. Comfortable and extensive student accommodation is conveniently located on campus .

Putteridge Bury

Putteridge Bury Conference Centre from the air

Putteridge Bury is a magnificent neo-Elizabethan country mansion set in thirty acres of landscaped gardens. The history of Putteridge Bury can be traced back to Edward the Confessor's time and has links to the Domesday Book.

The mansion at Putteridge Bury was built in the style of Chequers by architects Sir Ernest George and Alfred Yeats and completed in 1911. The grounds were redesigned by Edwin L Lutyens, soon to be recognised as the foremost architect of the era, and planted by Gertrude Jekyll, one of the first lady Victorian gardeners. Find out more at the Jekyll Estate

Particular features of the Putteridge Bury grounds are the reflective pool and massive yew hedges.

Queen Mary and King George V often visited Putteridge Bury with the Prince of Wales and on 1 December 1926 the King planted an oak tree in the lawn to the south of the house.

In 1965 it was acquired by Luton Borough Council and opened as Putteridge Bury College of Education in 1966.

Following Government cutbacks during the 1970s Putteridge Bury ended its brief life as a teacher training centre and was merged with Luton Technical College to become the Luton College of Higher Education, in September 1978.

From 1985 the function rooms were gradually renovated to their original splendour and to conference centre standards. The unused gymnasium was converted to a learning resources centre.

Although teaching still takes place here, it is now home to our University Graduation Ceremonies, academic research symposia and University seminars. The Putteridge Bury Mansion also enjoys a vast number of delegates visiting the Conference Centre for sales and training conferences and meetings. The house is now licenced to perform civil marriage ceremonies and therefore is popular in the community as a wedding venue and other social events.

More details about corporate functions and social events services and booking information are available at Putteridge Bury Conference Centre

Milton Keynes campus

Milton Keynes campus

Launched officially in March 2013, Milton Keynes campus is located in the centre of Milton Keynes close to shops, businesses and local amenities, and has excellent transport links. The campus is well equipped with the latest facilities such as high specification teaching rooms, special purpose electronics and telecommunications laboratories, a large general purpose computer lab, an extensive Learning Resources Centre plus extensive learning and social spaces.

Aylesbury campus

The majority of teaching and research takes place in Luton and Bedford, however many of our health courses are delivered in Aylesbury.

Aylesbury campus at Oxford House - click to view bigger image

The Aylesbury campus was originally based within Aylesbury College between from 2009. Our new Aylesbury Campus opened in February 2020 in partnership with Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust (BHT) at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Aylesbury, home to the world renowned National Spinal Injuries Centre.

Healthcare students are now able to undertake the classroom element of their course at Stoke Mandeville, while at the same time getting experience of life in an integrated Trust which provides a range of specialist, acute and community services.


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