4 South: home of scientific innovation

Science has always been at the heart of what we do. And central to our campus, stretching back to the very start of it all 50 years ago, is our 4 South building.

In 1965, it was called the Preliminary Building and, ever since then, our students have been starting great things from within its walls.

Notable alumni include Abcam co-founder Jonathan Milner, who graduated with a BSc in Applied Biology in 1988, and returned to Bath in 1995 as a post-doctoral Research Fellow for Pfizer.

In June 2015, he announced a £5m donation to establish the Milner Centre for Evolution, which will include a dedicated building next to 4 South.

Focusing on fundamental evolutionary questions, The Milner Centre for Evolution will be the first of its kind in the UK and only the second in the world to focus on evolutionary research.

Construction of Preliminary Building in progress, January 1965
Construction of Preliminary Building in progress, January 1965

World leading

Now home to our Biology & Biochemistry department, 4 South had a £5 million revamp in the 1990s to provide a facility fit for the 6,000 laboratory hours our students spend here each year.

It’s created an environment where almost a third of our Department of Biology & Biochemistry outputs are rated world-leading by an independent nationwide assessment – the highest possible ranking for originality, significance and rigour in scientific research.

4 South remains the home of the innovative thinking and cutting-edge research that’s helped to put, and keep, our University on the map for half a century.

The 4 South building in autumn
4 South in autumn sunshine