Records of Glasgow Polytechnic, higher education institution, Glasgow, Scotland; formerly Glasgow College formerly Glasgow College of Technology

Scope and Content

This material has yet to be formally sort and listed but the following records have been identified. It is expected that further series of records will be identified in the future.

  • Governing Body minutes and papers 1971-1993
  • Academic Board minutes and papers 1971-1993
  • Finance committee minutes and papers 1987-1992
  • Staff Affairs committee minutes and papers 1986-1992
  • Principal’s Management Group minutes and papers 1989-1992
  • Principal’s correspondence and papers 1970-1993
  • Material relating to REA 1992
  • Department of Physics records 1980-1987
  • PhD and MPhil student records 1976-1989
  • Prospectuses 1971-1993
  • Graduation and awards ceremony programmes 1972-1993
  • Staff magazines 1976-1991
  • Staff association records 1972-1979

Administrative / Biographical History

Glasgow College of Technology was established in 1971  in Glasgow, Scotland, as a result of the merger of two proposed colleges of higher education, the College of Science & Technology and the College of Commerce. In 1987 , the Governing Body agreed to change the name of the College to Glasgow College, mainly for advertising purposes, although for legal purposes the name remained Glasgow College of Technology. Several attempts were made to designate the College a polytechnic. It was proposed in 1971 and 1979 but it was not until 1 January 1991  that it became Glasgow Polytechnic. The new Polytechnic was officially launched on 1 May 1991.

Following the Government’s White Paper "Higher Education: A New Framework" in May 1991 the new institution saw its opportunity to become a University and to award its own degrees. Discussions were entered into with The Queen’s College, Glasgow, with regard to a merger and the intention to merge was announced on 4 December 1991. In June 1992, Glasgow Polytechnic was granted full degree awarding powers and on 1 April 1993  it finally merged with The Queen’s College, Glasgow, to form Glasgow Caledonian University.

The institution’s premises were located on Cowcaddens Road, Glasgow in a purpose built complex, which in 2002 formed the main campus of Glasgow Caledonian University.

The original aim of Glasgow Polytechnic was to develop a higher level of academic training and to offer degrees validated by the Council for National Academic Awards (CNAA).

In 1971 there were twelve departments. On the technological side were Optics, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical and Civil Engineering, Biology, Computing, Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry. On the non-technological side were Business Administration, Law and Public Administration, Commerce, Management and Finance, Social Sciences and Humanities. The first CNAA degree to be offered was in optics. Other courses on offer were diplomas and certificates validated by the Scottish Technical Education Council (SCOTEC) or the Scottish Business Education Council (SBEC). The Social Sciences and Humanities Departments both provided teaching towards London University degrees.

The second CNAA degree was introduced in 1973, a BA in Social Sciences, and this was followed, in 1977, by a degree in nursing. A Department of Nursing Studies was established in 1980 and there was a clear commitment to development in this area.

In 1981 three faculties were established: Business and Administration Studies, Life and Social Sciences, and Science and Engineering. This decade also saw a move to improve the standard of engineering education. By the early 1980s there was a CNAA validated BSc in Engineering and soon approval was given for a Bachelor of Engineering (BEng). Development of offering joint courses with neighbouring further education establishments continued. In 1985, the full time courses on offer included fourteen degrees, twelve higher diplomas and higher national diplomas. There were seven other diplomas and professional courses such as those in nursing, over fifty part time courses, two of which were degrees-BSc in Mechanical Engineering and the BA in Social Sciences. In June 1992, Glasgow Polytechnic was granted full degree awarding powers.

The Glasgow College of Technology was initially under the control of Glasgow Corporation. The Board of Governors was responsible for the allocation of resources and the Academic Board, chaired by the College’s director, dealt with academic planning, implementation of quality control and academic affairs. In 1975, control of the College was transferred from Glasgow Corporation to the newly formed Strathclyde Regional Council. In 1985, the College became a Scottish Central Institution.

Thompson, W. and McCallum, C., Glasgow Caledonian University: Its Origins and Evolution (East Linton: Tuckwell Press: 1998)

Miller, E. , Century of Change 1875-1975: One Hundred Years of training Home Economics Students in Glasgow (Glasgow: The Queen’s College: c1975)


The material has yet to be formally arranged and listed

Access Information


Acquisition Information

Glasgow Polytechnic

Other Finding Aids

Rough box lists available in the searchroom

Further information can be found via the Glasgow Caledonian University Archives homepage at

A fully searchable multilevel description of this archive is available via the Gateway to the Archives of Scottish Higher Education (GASHE) web site at

Alternative Form Available

No known copies

Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the University Archivist

Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use & condition of documents

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 1847 procedures

Custodial History

Retained in the custody of Glasgow College of Technology and then Glasgow Polytechnic


None expected

Related Material

GB 1847 GCU Records of Glasgow Caledonian University

GB 1847 QC Records of The Queen’s College, Glasgow

The Queen’s College Special Collection (Glasgow Caledonian University Library Special Collections) see


Thompson, W. and McCallum, C., Glasgow Caledonian University: Its Origins and Evolution (East Linton: Tuckwell Press: 1998)

Additional Information

This material is original

Revised by Victoria Peters, GASHE Project Manager, December 2001

Revised by David Powell, Hub Project Archivist, 3 September 2002

Geographical Names