The University takes its name from the founders Alan Brierley, Richard Price and Charles Prior, who in 1975 set up Brierley Price Prior to train accountancy students. BPP was first granted degree-awarding powers in 2007, and degree-awarding powers for an indefinite time period in 2020.
In March 2013, the University and College Union wrote to then UK Business Secretary Vince Cable urging him to shelve BPP’s application for university title, pending an investigation into its relationship with its parent companies, saying, “At risk are both the interests of BPP students and the international credibility of the UK university title.”
On 8 August 2013, BPP University College of Professional studies was granted the title of university and rebranded as BPP University. The move to grant BPP university status was criticised by the University and College Union in an open letter. In November 2013, BPP was awarded the EducationInvestor magazine’s “Higher/Professional Education Provider of the Year 2013” title.
In September 2017, Times Higher Education reported that BPP had shut down its degree programme in dental and oral sciences with immediate effect after it failed to meet General Dental Council standards just a year after launching the course in 2016, leaving new students unable to start and existing undergraduate students facing an uncertain future.
In June 2017, BPP was ranked “Bronze” in the Teaching Excellence Framework, a government-backed initiative to make teaching standards more transparent for students, with the categories for education institutions being “Gold”, “Silver” and “Bronze”.
BPP’s undergraduate Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) programme, which was first set up in 2009, was suspended in May 2018 pending a review of the law school’s entire programme portfolio. Enrollment in the LL.B. had fallen from 665 undergraduates in 2014 to 105 students by 2017. In July 2018, as a result of the LL.B. suspension, Legal Cheek revealed that BPP had made several staff redundant at its Waterloo campus.
In June 2018, BPP shut down its Liverpool campus and told all of its students in Liverpool to continue their studies at the Manchester campus instead.
In November 2018, BPP’s apprenticeship provision was given an ‘Insufficient’ rating by Ofsted. In February 2019, Department for Education banned BPP from recruiting new apprentices citing ‘insufficient progress’.
BPP University Law School was partnered and appointed as the provider of training for Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) to the City Consortium in December 2019. In August 2020, citing ‘unreasonable bias’, a formal complaint was submitted by BPP students alleging the law school prioritised students with training contracts at the City Consortium law firms during the COVID-19 pandemic and sent them hard copies of study materials before the summer examination, an offer that was not extended to candidates without a training contract lined up. BPP denied the claims and allegations of favouritism.
BPP University was accused of ‘disruptive editing’ on Wikipedia in regards to a successful case brought against them for unfair dismissal.
On 15 December 2020, the student presidents of the four Inns of Court – Gray’s Inn, Lincoln’s Inn, Inner Temple and Middle Temple – wrote a joint letter to BPP University Law School about what they described as “systemic deficiencies” with the university’s teaching. The student presidents expressed their “unwavering solidarity” with students “negatively impacted” by the quality of teaching on BPP’s Bar Professional Training Course and Graduate Diploma in Law programmes
In 2020, BPP and Grant Thornton LLP launched a coaching professional apprenticeship and in March 2021,launched two data apprenticeship programmes (Digital Accountant/ Internal Training) for Grant Thornton and Mazars.
In May 2021, official data from education watchdog Office for Students found the university to be the lowest ranked institution in the country for student employability. Reporting on the findings, The Telegraph stated, “Over a year after graduating, 69.2% of students from BPP University – which specialises in law and accountancy courses – have not managed to secure graduate employment or further study.
BPP launched small talk initiative to its law students in chitchat and networking in 2021. Previously BPP started wellbeing initiative to teach students how to meditate and provided “specially commissioned audio meditations” to them.