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A Short History of the Department


The University of York appointed its first professor of Electronics, Greville Bloodworth, in October 1978. The first undergraduate and postgraduate students were admitted in 1979, along with the arrival of the first lecturer: Andy Marvin. Over 30 years later Andy is still here, now a professor and leader of the Physical Layer research group. Also arriving that year, amongst our first intake of undergraduate students, were David Chesmore and John Dawson. Both are now senior lecturers in the Department.

The new department was a great success from the start, with 15 applications received for every place. Over the next few years the size of the department grew rapidly, until it was admitting around 100 students per year on fully accredited degree programmes.

Together with the increasing student numbers, more research groups were formed including the Audio Lab, which led directly to the establishment of the very successful music technology degree programmes. In 2009, building on the popularity and success of these programmes, the department introduced its first BSc programme in Music Technology. Taken together with our other programmes, we are currently welcoming over 120 students new undergraduate students each year.

In 2005 the department started the first of its current range of taught masters programmes, a programme in Communications Engineering. This proved very popular from the first year, and the department has continued to develop new MScs reflecting our research strengths, and now offers six taught MSc programmes, including an MSc in Engineering Management.

The core of the department is still based in our original buildings, but the expansion over the last decade has resulted in the department spreading out over campus, and new facilities, particularly in music technology and nanotechnology, being built.

We are looking forward to the future, and continuing growth in our reputations in research and teaching quality over the next thirty years.