The history of Bolton University can be traced back to 1824 when the Bolton Institute of Mechanics was established. In 1887, the Committee of the Institute of Mechanics decided that apprentices in the town needed technical guidance to guide the rapid development of engineering technology in the early 19th century. This led to the creation of a new technical school and the number of students increased to more than 1,500.
In 1926, Bolton Technical School became a university. Fifteen years later, the new building opened, providing a wide range of technical education options, the most popular of which is engineering. In 1964, Bolton Institute of Technology and Bolton Institute of Technology were divided into two independent organizations. AJ Jenkinson was the principal of the Bolton Institute of Education (Technology) Technical College, and then the first principal of the Bolton Institute of Technology.
Bolton Institute of Higher Education was formed by the merger of Bolton Institute of Technology and Bolton Institute of Education in 1982. The first principal of BIHE was John McKenzie, who was succeeded by Bob Oxtoby. Oxstoby started a campaign for university status.
An 8.3 million pounds expansion project began in 1991 with the purchase of the former Eagle Factory. The Bolton Institute was granted the right to award degrees in 1992 and the right to award research degrees in 1996. In 1998, Mollie Temple became the third president, and successfully led the institution to obtain university status in 2004.