Events & Activities

Group of new first year students wearing Bowland T-shirts

Welcome to our new 2018 intake

A huge welcome to our new students who joined the college at the end of September.  We hope you enjoyed all the activities during Welcome Week and are looking forward to settling into college life in Bowland! Take a look a the Welcome Week photo album



Sustainability Challenge

The Sustainability Challenge engages students in the environmental debate, and gives college teams the opportunity to come up with ideas aimed at making the University more sustainable. The teams are given a number of weeks to prepare, following which they pitch their ideas to a panel of professional judges. The final takes place in week nine of Lent term, and coincides with Green Lancaster Week. 

In 2016 Bowland College won the inaugral Sustainability Challenge with their proposal to tackle energy consumption habits on campus through collective smart metering and encouraging positive change. 

In 2017 the Bowland team proposed the implementation of a Community Fridge to help fight food waste and improve student food security at the University. Following the team's success as runners up in the competition, Bowland College, the Students' Union and Facilities launched the Lancaster University Community Fridge on Monday 5th June.

Located in Bowland College, by the porters' lodge, the fridge will be a place to freely exchange surplus food or collect free food that would otherwise go to waste. If you are interested in volunteering on the project, please email To follow developments on the project, please ‘like’

Group of new first year students wearing Bowland T-shirts

Social Events

A range of social events are run during the year, both on and off campus. These include music nights, quizzes, wellbeing events as well as many others, and of course the annual Christmas Ball and the themed summer extravaganza. For the latest news and events visit the Bowland College Facebook page



Inter-College Quiz

Each year, the eight Undergraduate Colleges competes in a University Challenge style quiz. Questions are set by academic staff from across the University, who usually also judge the various heats and of course, the nail-biting final!  Bowland are the current holders of the trophy, beating Cartmel College to become the 2018 winners. 

Global Experiences

Lancaster presents a range of opportunities to engage with people from diverse cultures, this can be done through living, studying and socialising with people from all over the world, through vacation travel, study abroad or through short courses designed to develop skills and support employability.  Visit Global Experiences to see just how far you could go, and see our Awards and Scholarships information to see what funding is available to support your travels. 

In July 2018, Bowland Students Abiola Adelabu, Michael Bonney and Kamila Rafalowska  travelled to Boston to attend the Global Leadship Programme. 


"What I got most on this experience was the importance of working in teams. Prior to the trip, I never really utilised the amount of resources that you get from working in a team. People come from different backgrounds and so they have different strengths. Furthermore, I learnt that being a leader doesn’t necessarily mean you have to control everything. There are different leadership styles which are suitable for different occasions, and we can all learn to be leaders in our own ways. Once again, thanks for giving me this wonderful opportunity to learn how to be a better leader, and also to make some amazing friends"


"It was fascinating to see the work that Generation Citizen has done in Boston and to hear about the achievements which young people in the city have brought about, with events such as gun amnesties being organised with the backing of state politicians, local law enforcement and educational institutions. As a History and Politics student at Lancaster it was especially interesting to me to see the efforts that are being made to increase youth participation in politics, which has been declining in the city. 

"The opportunity to attend the Global Leadership Programme was absolutely fantastic and I am so grateful to Bowland College and to Lancaster for giving me the possibility to gain international experience, grow my personal network, gain vital skills and develop my CV. All of these benefits will be invaluable as I head into my final year at Lancaster and begin looking to plan my career path beyond university"




Top: Michael Bonney, Sam Gugi, Harith Wilson, Kamila Rafalowska. Bottom, Abiola Adelabu.

Carter Shield

The Carter Shield is played every fortnight throughout the year. All nine colleges take part in a variety of sports such as volleyball, rounders, dodgeball and tag-rugby, there is something for everyone. Each sport counts for a different number of points and the college with the most at the end of the year is awarded the carter shield. All members of the university are allowed to take part in Carter Shield events, so if you are interested in representing Bowland, our sports reps Neve Rawlinson and Ben Fielding will be able to give you more details.

Opposing team players tackling a football

College Sports

Bowland has numerous opportunities for engagement with both indoor and outdoor sports for all abilities. The college has three men’s football teams, three women’s netball teams, two men's pool teams and a women's pool team, as well as darts teams, table tennis and dominoes.  The teams compete in college leagues over the first and second terms. Try-outs for the teams are in the first few weeks of your first term at Bowland. 


Founders is a hard fought annual competition between the founding colleges of Lancaster University, Bowland and Lonsdale. It is a long standing tradition for Lancaster University and is one of the biggest events in the university calendar and the highlight for many Bowlanders and Lonsdalians.

Once a year we celebrate our friendly rivalry with Lonsdale College in a weekend of competition to find out which is the greatest of the university’s founding colleges. Both colleges compete in a variety of competitive activities including basketball, football, golf, darts, pool, e-sports, a debate and a quiz, and with over 17 sports and 27 events, there is something for everyone.  


Bowland Walks

The college puts on guided walks of the picturesque area of Bowland, as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) the Forest of Bowland and the surrounding areas boast some of the best views the UK has to offer. The walks are a chance to get out and explore the area that the college is named after. All the walks are led by an experienced guide who has been running the event for a number of years. Details of each walk are released nearer the time with a full list of what you need to bring, free transport is also arranged to take you there and back.

Inter-College Debating Competition

The Lancaster Debating Union and the Colleges organise the annual Intercollegiate Debating Competition. Participants are able to take part in speech and debating training from both the Debating and Public Speaking Society to develop their skills. The competition gives students the opportunity to competitively debate relevant topics. 

In 2016 the Bowland College team went through to the finals to debate the motion ‘This House Supports the use of Drones in War’. The panel, made up of Dr Mark Lacy from the Politics Department, PhD student Joshua Hughes, and Fiona Brittle from the charity Debate Mate, made a unanimous decision to award the winning prize to Bowland College. The team were presented with gift vouchers and the famous College Debating Mace.

Charities Challenge Team

Charities Challenge

The first ever Lancaster University Colleges Charity Challenge in May 2017 saw 46 students make a difference to their chosen causes, with a further 300 students from the University’s nine colleges taking part. Bowland College supported the Lancaster & District Homeless Action Service.

Awareness and fund-raising activities included a film night, car wash, treasure hunt, talent show, football match, food stalls, quizzes, games – and a student in a wheelbarrow with lots of baked beans. The students raised almost £700 for local and national causes.

Last Thursday Series

Our 'Last Thursday' talks are an opportunity for our staff to come together, over drinks and cakes, to hear about all the different thing that go on at the University. We have also had a number of 'site visits' to different locations across the University.Recent trips include the University wind turbine, the Engineering Department to see the Formula Racing Car and 3D printers, and the Psychology Department to find out more about BabyLab.