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London University

Location: Mostly Central London Show on Map

Site: Many teaching centres - see constituent colleges

Federal university including world-class and top UK research-intensive institutions 

Student Population

Total Students:170,000
FE Students:0%

Broad study areas

All the main subjects are taught in London University by one or more of its constituent colleges. 


Admission Information:University runs annual taster courses to allow sixth formers to sample a subject and the university environment (prospectus from Senate House).
Accommodation:Most first years housed (see constituent colleges).


Founded:1836 bringing together two existing London colleges, King's College and University College.
Structural features:A federal university consisting of 19 colleges and institutes in which teaching and research are carried out. Students belong both to the college or institute at which they study and to the university. All the separate teaching institutions select their students themselves and you apply to them, not to the university. You can look up the profiles of the following that offer undergraduate courses: Birkbeck; Central School of Speech & Drama; Courtauld Institute; Goldsmiths; Heythrop College; King's College London; LSE (London School of Economics & Political Science); Queen Mary; Royal Academy of Music; Royal Holloway; Royal Veterinary College; School of Pharmacy; SOAS (School of Oriental & African Studies); St George's; University College London (UCL); University of London Institute in Paris (ULIP). 
Site:University site in Bloomsbury, including 35 acres between British Museum and Euston Road, on which University College, Birkbeck and SOAS are located. Almost all London University colleges are within a radius of 3 miles of the Bloomsbury site except for Royal Holloway (Surrey) and the London University Institute in Paris.

Student services & facilities

Student advice & services:Central institutions health service for Birkbeck, School of Pharmacy, SOAS; other colleges make their own arrangements.  
Amenities:University union (ULU) is in Malet Street. All undergraduate colleges also have their own students' unions.
Sporting facilities:Athletic ground in Motspur Park, Surrey; university boathouse at Chiswick; sailing clubhouse at Welsh Harp Reservoir, Brent. 
Accommodation:See individual college profiles.

Study opportunities & careers

Library & information services:Senate House Library has 2 million books and 5500 current periodicals; particularly strong in the humanities and has many distinguished specialist collections. In addition, colleges all have their own libraries.  
Study abroad: 


Financial help:See individual college profiles.
University tuition fees:Each college sets own fees; see individual colleges.


Academic features:

The various colleges, institutes and the external programme offer 3700 qualificatons - the biggest choice of courses in the UK. Most courses are offered on a full-time basis but there are many opportunities to study part-time or at home by distance learning.  Some 50,000 students study by distance learning in 180 countries, on the University of London International Programmes (previously called external programmes); check www.londoninternational.ac.uk.  

Awarding body:

University of London

Length of courses:

3 or 4 years; medicine/dentistry 5-6 years

Student view


Possibly the most diverse university in the UK - with well over 100,000 students, it's certainly the largest. You could be studying at a Senate Institute with 300 students or a large multi-faculty college with nearly 20,000 students but you are at the same university. Because of this, it is possible for everyone to find their place. There's the opportunity to participate fully in university life at the various colleges, but it is just as easy to lead your own separate life outside college - or do both. In London you can do anything you have never done before and now wish to do - but up to you to seek it out and get involved. You will have to get used to spending large amounts of your day travelling; even if you live close to the centre, the specialist libraries, research centres etc may not be. It's also relatively expensive, although there's a range of rented accommodation available, so you can live quite cheaply. Students' unions make the expense easier to bear, offering cheaper food and drink etc; each college and institute has its own and you can use the University of London Union (ULU) in Malet Street. It is easy to get lonely in London - but it is also easy to make friends with so many different activities going on. All the colleges have student sport clubs and societies and ULU has many federal ones; ULU also has a very good and comprehensive range of sports facilities. Great opportunities for part-time work in London with so many retail and service outlets. Whatever you are looking for from university, London offers it.


Housing: Inter-collegiate and college-run halls available for most first years and some third years. College and university accommodation offices and head-lease schemes. Loot (published daily) lists all types and prices of rentals. Students live in all parts of London, from Mayfair to Brixton. Eats: Every type of food you could possibly wish to try is served somewhere in London. Meals for about £5 easy to find if you hunt for them. Drink: Everywhere expensive except for SU bars (about £1.80 a pint). Some cheaper pubs out of the centre. Nightlife: Cheapest ents at SUs. ULU has top bands. Opportunity to see every film, play and exhibition released and most have student rates (even the West End shows offer reduced, last-minute student tickets, see Time Out). Sports: Nearly all colleges have grounds, boathouse etc; but only Royal Holloway has everything on-site - everyone else has about 30 mins journey for most facilities. Best and cheapest indoor facilities are at ULU (including swimming pool). Travel: London travel expensive but 30% student discount on monthly and seasonal travelcards. For travel awards etc see the individual colleges. Financial help: Available from each college. Jobs: Most SUs offer paid work; enormous number of part-time jobs available (some don't advertise, so often worth going and asking). Best features: Opportunities; reputation; size. And worst: Expensive to live in London. Good news: Many more student discounts now available.  

Past Students

Loads - see individual colleges 

More info?

See www.ulu.co.uk 



University of London
Senate House
Malet Street


020 7862 8000





Student enquiries:

To constituent colleges 


To constituent colleges, mostly through UCAS (see individual college profiles)

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