University of London

federal research university in London, England

The University of London is a university in London, England. It is a federal university made up of 31 affiliates. There are nineteen university institutions and twelve research institutes.[3]

University of London
Latin: Universitas Londiniensis
ChancellorHRH The Princess Royal
Vice-ChancellorProfessor Geoffrey Crossick
VisitorThe Rt Hon Nick Clegg
As Lord President of the Council
Students135,090 internal (2005-2006)[1]
50,000 International Programmes[2]

The headquarters of the university, Senate House, is in Malet Street in the Bloomsbury area of Camden. This is near University College London and the British Museum.

The University of London is the largest university in the UK by number of full-time students, with 135,090 campus-based students and over 45,000 in the University of London International Programmes.

The constituent colleges are responsible for the teaching, the research or the individual students and staff of the constituent colleges; the university is not. The university is an administrative body responsible for standards, degree examinations and certification.

The university was first established by a Royal Charter in 1836, which brought together in federation London University (now University College London) and King's College (now King's College London).

Graduates of the University of London may use the post-nominal letters 'Lond.' or 'Londin.' (both from Londiniensis) after their degree abbreviations.

The university's biggest colleges are Birkbeck, Goldsmiths, King's College London, the London Business School, Queen Mary, Royal Holloway, SOAS, LSE and UCL.[4]


The London University as drawn by Thomas Hosmer Shepherd and published in 1827/28. This was the original name of University College London, which still occupies the site.

Founded in 1836, the University at first comprised just two colleges. They were University College London (founded in 1826), which did not apply religious tests to its students, and King's College (founded in 1829), which admitted only members of the Church of England. Therefore, both University College and King's pre-date the University of London, which initially served solely as an examining body for the constituent colleges.

In 1858 the University expanded its role by offering the University of London International Programmes to candidates outside the colleges, the first of its kind in the country. A new headquarters at 6 Burlington Gardens, providing the university with exam halls and offices, was built to accommodate the new role.

In 1878 the University became the first university in the UK to admit women on equal terms with men. Four female students obtained Bachelor of Arts degrees in 1880 and two obtained Bachelor of Science degrees in 1881, again the first in the country.[5]


  1. Combined total of "Table 0a - All students by institution, mode of study, level of study, gender and domicile 2005/06". Higher Education Statistics Agency online statistics. Retrieved 2007-07-15. Imperial College London has left the University since the year 2005-2006.
  2. "About us". University of London International Programmes website. Retrieved 2007-07-15.
  3. "University of London: Colleges/Institutes". 2010-03-29. Archived from the original on 2017-11-25. Retrieved 2010-04-13.
  4. "Where do HE students study? | HESA".
  5. "University of London: Brief history". Archived from the original on 2014-02-09. Retrieved 2010-04-13.