University of Leicester eBulletin

New Home for Top Ranking University Department

August 2003
No 199

As part of a £3m refurbishment of campus buildings, the existing University of Leicester Chemistry Research Building will house the University’s prestigious School of Archaeology and Ancient History. 

The School’s new, self-contained home will provide a teaching and research environment for staff and students that includes state-of-the-art laboratories, administrative and support facilities, with staff offices large enough for teaching small groups. There will also be exhibition space for students and staff.

Funding has been partly provided by the Higher Education Funding Council, England (HEFCE) through the Science Research Investment Fund (SRIF). The initial budget of £3 million has been increased to take account of improved facilities for people with disabilities, such as a new lift, ramps, toilets and automatic doors.

The Leicester School of Archaeology and Ancient History has been acclaimed one of the UK’s top 3 archaeology departments by The Times in its 2002 Good University Guide. In the latest government Research Assessment Exercise (2001) it achieved an excellent score of 5, maintaining its previous standard of 1996. It has also received a maximum score from the Quality Assurance Agency for its learning and teaching provision.

Head of the School Professor Marilyn Palmer said: “As one of the country’s top archaeology departments I am delighted that we are to move into a working space that will allow us to grow and build on the excellent standards of teaching and research that we have achieved. It will have a particular impact on our teaching and research in archaeological science, and will also provide a stimulating environment for our increasing numbers of postgraduate students.”

This upgrading of accommodation for the School of Archaeology and Ancient History is part of the biggest programme of investment since the 1960s at the University. The £300 million development plan will transform the University’s physical environment, creating a forward-looking campus in which to work and study.  

Construction of the new £3.7 million Space Research and Multi-Disciplinary Modelling Centre was completed on June 20. The new facility contains a £300,000 specialist clean room and additional facilities for Engineering and Mathematics & Computer Science. A major refurbishment and reorganisation of the teaching and research facilities in the Chemistry Buildings was completed at Easter this year. Work also started on site at the end of January for the new £20 million Biomedical Science Building in Lancaster Road.   This will provide state of the art research facilities for the University.

Note to editors:  Further details are available from Professor Marilyn Palmer, Head of the School of Archaeology and Ancient History, telephone 0116 252 2821, fax 0116 252 5005, email, or from Mr Paul Goffin, Deputy Director of the University of Leicester Estates Office, telephone 0116 252 2507, fax 0116 252 1333, email

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