The University of Rotherhithe was founded in 1927 by Isadore Brunel, the bastard half-sister of her more famous brother/engineer. Disillusioned by what she saw as the trivial and often downright detrimental application of her brother’s superior intellect on such mundane endeavours as tunnels and bridges, she sought to create an educational establishment that focused on education for education’s sake.

This approach holds true today. Rotherhithe University’s motto is ‘Trial by Fire,’ alluding to both the illuminating and the all-consuming properties of fire. The campus is spread amongst a collection of old house-boats, barges and long-boats situated along the south bank of the River Thames in Rotherhithe, East London. Although The University calls Rotherhithe its home, this neighbourhood truly serves as a launch-pad, from which the vessels (both aquatic and intellectual) of our staff and students venture out as far as the waterways of England will take them.


The programmes of study at Rotherhithe University share much in common with the campus itself: decentralised, transient and ever-changing. Curricula are designed between the Student and Staff on a case by case basis, and the only common vein between every course is the technique of direct experience. This is the second meaning of ‘Trial by Fire,’ in that students learn not by studying abstract texts written by perished intellectuals from a bygone age, but through direct contact with the subject matter itself. By ‘leaping into the frying pan itself,’ if you will. An historian would study the ages past not through dusty tomes, but by living as the people of his or her subject matter lived. Likewise, a student of sexual deviation would learn not through case-studies of sexual deviants, but by engaging in the very acts of which he or she has chosen as his or her focus.

These are but two more obvious examples. When analysing such abstract concepts as Philosophy or Botany, the academic experience can become quite extreme and all-consuming. For instance, a student of government might set up his or her own nation-state as a final thesis.


Due to the maverick nature of the University methods, staff and students can be incredibly hard to find. The campus is constantly moving and unmarked. You may have watched one of our courses on your walk to work without realising it. You may even be the subject of one. Should you wish to contact staff or student at the University of Rotherhite, you must keep alert to the details of life you might otherwise ignore. Once you have begun to consider your life as part of your own study, you have started down the path of preparation. Evaluate the circumstances of your existence, because our studies reach further and more deeply into your life than you may know. The fact that you are reading this means that the process has already begun.


Admission to the University of Rotherhithe is by invitation only.


Symbology is of utmost importance as a communicatory aid for its ability to pass messages quickly and secretly. Like the campus and curricula, the application of these symbols is fluid: no specific style is required, and staff and students must feel free to adapt as fit for the specific message. In fact, one need not be a member of Rotherhithe University to apply and adapt these symbols as they see fit in their own lives. Symbology can also give a reassuring sense of fellow union when one is isolated deep in one’s studies.

The reflected 'R': an imperfect infinity enflamed The reflected ’R‘: an imperfect infinity enflamed

The Starfire: illumination from the heavens is linked to the light we create on earth earthThe Starfire: illumination from the heavens linked to light crafted on earth

The flattened crown: inexplicable  The flattened crown: inexplicable

The flaming seeing 'R': we should not have to explain this to youThe flaming seeing ’R‘: we should not have to explain this to you

The Severed Stump: do not forget the unforseen consequencesThe Severed Stump: do not forget the unforseen consequences

The pissing dog: a reminder not to take yourself too seriouslyThe pissing dog: a reminder not to take yourself too seriously