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The Vision

We aim to stand out through our authentic culture and measurable initiatives, embedding ‘The Citizen Student’ in all aspects of University life.

Students are supported to access a breadth of opportunities – before arrival to help their transition to university, on their course and beyond graduation.

They will develop flexibility in their career path by experiencing work-based placements and inter-disciplinary research. The curriculum enables the development of subject expertise, digital skills, data competencies and the application of these in the wider world. Sustainability, resilience and personal development are integral to their experience with Chester.

The University creates a strong sense of belonging through the tradition of volunteering and citizenship. Both students and staff develop their potential to influence and lead in their subject areas and wider society, and our comprehensive alumni offer is an opportunity for lifelong learning and engagement.


Building Social Capital

Opening doors for students whilst studying and beyond.


Student focused University Centres specialising in the professions.


Creating opportunities for interdisciplinary research.


Equipping students to be engaged citizens, not just employees, in an increasingly uncertain world.


Contributing to the community as students and graduates.


Providing students with the skills, expertise and connections to navigate constant change.


Supporting students to gain robustness, self-worth and resilience.

Building Social Capital in Action

Build a Bridge Consultants

The relocation of learning and teaching from Padgate to Warrington town centre was an ideal opportunity for the University to work with students as partners on the design of learning spaces.

Using funding from the University's UniJob scheme, five students from the Faculties of Social Science, and Health and Social Care were employed as Build-a-Bridge consultants to help create a bridge between faculties and students. In particular, their role was to help capture the student voice with regard to the proposed move, build on established links between staff and students, and seek to enhance existing and future educative and supportive spaces, be they digital, physical, emotional or otherwise.

In addition to providing essential information to inform the learning space design, the Build-a-Bridge project also proved to be an effective model for future working with students, and with personal citizenship gained by the Build-a-Bridge consultants, too.

"My term as a Build-a-Bridge Consultant was a great decision. I have learned so much from this role. The project leaders and team were so encouraging and supportive, and their confidence in me made me feel more confident about myself and the work I was doing. The job has helped me to develop professional skills of working at University and working as a team. The experience I gained from the job also helped me become better at managing my studies with work, and it also definitely improved my research skills, which I will need for my PhD."

Build a Bridge student profile photo
Student Race Advocates

The Student Race Advocate is a paid role where students represent the voice of BAME students in the University's decision making and activities. There have been significant benefits to the University, such as gaining new perspectives, improving processes and developing staff knowledge though increased understanding of issues BAME students face.

"I've really enjoyed the role and it's given me a good and a lifetime experience. I know once I leave the University, I'll leave an impact."

Bilal, International BSc Chemical Engineering undergraduate

"Being a Race Advocate has been a very positive experience, allowing me to become a part of a team driving institutional change. I hope the next cohort of students experiences the best of the University from the work Race Advocates have created."

Gemma, MSc Marketing Management postgraduate

Student Race Advocates photos
Llinos Edwards - Building Social Capital Through Opportunities

Current Master's and former undergraduate student, Llinos Edwards, tells us why she chose to study at Chester, how the University helped her to build 'social capital' through opportunities such as a work-based learning placement and publishing a book chapter, and her highlights from 2021.


Holistic Student Experience

Creating a culture of opportunity and self-development.


Students have a strong feeling of belonging at Chester; they have a feeling of agency and purpose.


Barriers facing students from disadvantaged backgrounds are removed.


A wide range of non-academic opportunities helps students feel part of the community, including academic and Chester Students’ Union clubs and societies, sports, and volunteering opportunities.


Students outside the classroom are supported with a comprehensive student support package, with services that are culturally competent and with particular focus on mental health support.


Students from all backgrounds are supported to success in every stage of the student lifecycle, from pre-arrival right through to life and career success.


The student population is diverse, and students are empowered to bring diverse backgrounds and perspectives to university life.

Holistic Student Experience in Action

Commonwealth Scholarship

The MSc Family and Child Psychology course has been privileged to see the successful graduation of four students funded by a Commonwealth Scholarship. The scholarship enables students from low-mid income commonwealth countries to study a full time MSc in the UK, and to return to their home nations to use their knowledge and skills to promote resilience and prosperity.

Shiza Khaqan returned to Pakistan and has worked as an intern at the University of Health Sciences, and assisted under-privileged children with specific learning difficulties. Shiza currently teaches undergraduate students at Forman Christian college (a well-established, chartered University in Lahore). Shiza now hopes to undertake further doctoral study and she has successfully published research measuring attributes associated with student's academic success.

"Having the scholarship was an immense help as it helped me to pay for my expenses and I did not have to worry about finances. Studying at Chester was a great experience that was exciting and intellectually stimulating. I had a great experience with the International Office and the supportive Department of Psychology, as well as the opportunity to meet different scholars with diverse backgrounds. I developed significant research and practical skills which I can now share with my own students. The course prepared me for this role by teaching me to be more empathic, understanding and to have critical and reflective thinking skills."

Shiza, MSc Family and Child Psychology graduate

Graduate profile photo
The Work Experience Ladder

Like other students on the science and engineering courses at Chester, Dion Noonrani benefitted from industrial placements during his study. This then led to an extra placement with the aluminium waste technology company, Ultromex, and finally a full-time graduate job; a great experience of the University's "Work Experience Ladder".

"After my graduation, I was offered a full-time job at Ultromex, and this was largely due to my initial placement with them and the work which I had carried out during that placement. Thanks to my Chemical Engineering degree, I had developed multiple skills which were well suited to the needs of the organisation. Having been with Ultromex for nearly 2 years, I now perform a number of varied and high-level tasks, including laboratory trials, plant operations and 'scale up' including HAZOP studies."

Dion, BSc Chemical Engineering graduate

Students in lab

Lifelong Learning

An inclusive teaching and learning offer for students, of all ages and backgrounds.


Providing a wide range of programme levels, modes and types of delivery.


Flexible delivery, but not second best.

We will establish professional centres:












Youth Work

Lifelong Learning in Action

Alumni Mentoring: Looking ahead together

A pioneering mentoring pilot is helping final year undergraduate students benefit from the guidance of alumni, encouraging them to excel in their studies and stand out as exceptional graduates.

Helena Astbury, Head of the DARO, said: "By piloting mentoring by graduates, for final year students, we are paving the way for this offer to be made available to all students in their final year of their degree at the University of Chester. There are highs and lows quite particular to this part of the student journey - and we think this is best navigated with those who have already done it."

With plenty of innovative ideas from both the mentors and the mentees that will help shape the future of the Graduate Peer Mentoring programme, our students will be able to continue to benefit from the knowledge and experience of our alumni community for many years to come.

Last year, 55% of recent graduates we surveyed told us that they would have liked the chance to be mentored by alumni when they were students. In addition, 49% of respondents told us that now they are alumni themselves, they would like the chance to give back by mentoring current students."

Alumni Mentoring team photo
Inspirational Andrea

Parent, teacher, student, employee, volunteer, event planner, translator. It's quite a list of roles for one person to balance but University of Chester graduate Andrea Vasarhelyi-Szilagyi has taken them all on and is proof of Thomas Edison's words that there really is "no substitute for hard work".

With commitment and determination, she has achieved a degree in Event Management and International Tourism Management with a Foundation Year - all while studying in a second language, caring for two young children, home schooling during a pandemic, working, and still somehow fitting in time for volunteering in the community and extracurricular activities. It marks a jam-packed four years since, at the age of 33 and without traditional qualifications, she embarked on the course.

"Getting a degree challenged me in the right way, changed the way I think and overall, changed my life for the better. I am deeply grateful for the help and patience of my inspiring lecturers at the Centre for Foundation Studies and the Department of Experience Economy at Chester Business School. I simply could not have achieved any of this without their encouragement and support."

Andrea, BA Event Management and International Tourism Management graduate

Andrea profile photo