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Heythrop College

UCAS Code: H48

Location: Central London Show on Map

Site: Single site in Kensington

Specialist college; part of London University 

Student Population

Total Students:1,045
FE Students:0%


Total undergraduates:570
Full Time:97%
Mature on Entry:19%
UK Students:93%
State school entry:83%

Teaching Staff

39 full-time, 1 part-time

Broad study areas

Theology, philosophy, biblical studies.


Admission Information:UCAS tariff used 
Points on Entry (Mean):325
Drop Out Rate:13%
Accommodation:Many first years housed.


Founded:In 17th century Liège as a Jesuit college, later providing a residential seminary for Jesuits and other students in Oxfordshire until transfer to London in 1970.
Structural features:Part of London University (since 1970).  
Site:Collegiate scheduled buildings in Kensington Square.  
How to get there:High Street Kensington underground station; many buses.  

Student services & facilities

Student advice & services:Student development manager and counsellor in college.
Amenities:Refectory, college choir; proximity to theatres, cinemas, museums, galleries. 
Sporting facilities:Tennis courts; football team.  
Accommodation:Some students in college's own halls or London University intercollegiate halls, rents approx £145−£175 per week. Rents locally from £100 upwards.

Study opportunities & careers

Library & information services:179,000 items (20,000 pre-1801); 100 study places, 18 with internet access. Information provision, £135 pa spent for each student (FTE). Separate IT service; 2 computer suites and 10 internet points; access 10 hours/day. Ratio 1:20 workstations to students. IT support from 2 full-time staff; 1-hour introduction to library and information services for new students plus follow-up sessions; ad hoc IT skills courses.  
Other learning resources:Students have access to the London University research libraries at Senate House.
Study abroad:Some Erasmus exchanges with a number of universities in Europe.  
Careers:Christian ministry, teaching, social work, media, police force etc. 


Living expenses budget:Minimum budget of £8000 pa (excluding tuition fees) recommended by college.  
Term-time work:No college policy on part-time work but 50% believed to have jobs; term-time work available in college library.  
Financial help:Scholarships of £1000 pa for all students with 3 A grades at A-level (or equivalent), whose family income is up to £25k pa; scholarships of £1250 for all students on BA Abrahamic Religions; students with a family income of up to £25k can apply for scholarships of £3000 in Year 1 (£1500 pa thereafter). Bursaries for students experiencing financial hardship.
University tuition fees:Home students pay £8250 pa for first degree courses. International students pay £7000 pa.   


Awarding body:

University of London

Main undergraduate awards:


Length of courses:

3 years

Main subjects offered:

  • Biblical Studies
  • Islamic Studies
  • Jewish Studies
  • Philosophy
  • Religious Studies
  • Theology

Student view

Ashley Doolan, Union President (Philosophy)


What's it like as a place to live?

The halls of residence are on-site so one finds oneself living on Kensington Square (one of the most expensive post codes in the UK) for a fraction of the cost. As a place to live it could not be much more relaxed and yet it feels like one is in the centre of everything, being a stone's throw from Kensington Palace, The Royal Albert Hall and many embassies and museums.

How's the student accommodation?

The student accommodation, as mentioned above, is on-site so is really convenient as far as getting to lectures on time is concerned. The residence itself has 96 rooms fully furnished with a bed, wardrobe, bookshelf, chest of drawers, desk and bedside table with cupboard, as well as a sink. Each floor has a kitchen and common room as well as two showers and two toilets to be shared. The rooms themselves are huge, some of the biggest that I've seen in the university sector and all are catered.

What's the student population like?

The population of Heythrop is, I would argue, a unique body of people. As we are a small student body it is definitely the case that you get to know everyone over the three years. It is also the case that one never feels embarrassed or judged at Heythrop, the sublime and the ridiculous are welcomed and if someone has an ambition to do something there are many people there to aid you. The way I'd evidence this is no matter the group left at the end of a party they will dance together and go for it.

How do students and locals get on?

Heythrop students work in many of the local stores, bars and restaurants on Kensington High Street and so have direct interaction with the local community through their work. Heythrop Students' Union also work closely with West London Citizens (part of Citizens UK movement) helping to fight for London Living Wage for those working in and around the Kensington area.


What's it like as a place to study?

Studying at Heythrop one knows that one is being taught by the best academics in their respective fields. Many philosophy departments in the UK discount the importance of philosophy of religion and so Heythrop is an oasis of experts in this field as they flock to THE college for philosophy of religion in the country. The lecturers themselves develop personal working relationships with students, ensuring that each individual need is being tailored for and the one to one tutorial system is the main vessel through which this is delivered. Being one of the only institutions left to offer this personal academic relationship, Heythrop really is a unique place to study; couple this with one of the largest collections of philosophy and theology texts in the world and one really does have an exceptional place in which to study these ancient arts.


What are student societies like?

We currently have around 25 clubs and societies including football and cricket teams, a Dungeons & Dragons Society and Women's Institute (affectionately referred to as Stitch & Bitch). All societies are free to join and have no limit on who can join, in line with our equal opportunities policy. Our faith societies are also unique in that they each require a Vice president not of that faith to ensure inclusivity and openness in the society. Our societies run many events throughout the year, such as ceilidhs, run by folk society, and Islamic experience week, run by Isoc.

What's a typical night out?

I feel to generalise a 'typical night out' would misrepresent the diversity of different people we have at Heythrop, as well as the plethora of different opportunities one has in London. Some students will head straight to central London and party until the sun comes up at the many clubs in Leicester Square and Soho whilst others will head to one of the many live music venues to see their favourite band play. For the more cultured amongst us London is theatre central with many plays, musicals, ballets and operas for one to see every night of the week or for a more subdued atmosphere one can stay around Kensington and drink in one of the many bars and pubs dotted around the local area. The possibilities are endless and are mostly not more than a short tube ride away.

... And how much does it cost?

There are so many student nights in London that if one works out the system well one can actually have a pretty cheap night out. Of course we cannot rival the pound a pint night that many of the universities further north can offer but you pay the price for being in the capital city. Coupled with that, being a part of the University of London Union gives Heythrop students the right to drink at many of the other college's bars, many of them offering very competitive prices, so there is always the chance of a cheap night.

How can you get home safely?

Many places in London are served by 24 hour bus services so there is always a way to get home safely if one works out the way home beforehand. Another great idea is pre booking a taxi home in order to make sure you're getting into a taxi from a legitimate company and not just getting into a stranger's car, which is usually the way with getting into a hackney carriage.


Is it an expensive place to live?

Obviously being in London is a little pricier but this is usually covered by the weighted loan that one receives by studying in London. One can usually expect to receive another thousand pounds in maintenance loan on top of what they'd receive outside of London in order to offset the increased prices. Coupled with this Heythrop has a generous bursary and scholarship as well as an emergency hardship fund for those people who find themselves in need of a little extra help.

Average price of a pint?

At the University of London Union bar you're looking at about £2.30 a pint. Elsewhere is going to be cheaper or more expensive, depending on the venue.

And the price of a takeaway?

Dependent on the area/standard of takeaway you're buying. Look out for money off deals on sites such as Just Eat.

What's the part-time work situation?

Being just off Kensington High Street there are so many stores that are always looking to employ part-time staff. Heythrop College makes up a sizeable proportion of the workforce at most of the local pubs. Heythrop itself also employs for roles such as library assistants and student ambassadors, being paid the London Living Wage (£8.30p/h).


What's the best feature about the place?

The people. Knowing you're in a safe place, knowing that no one is judging you and everyone is just as weird as you is an amazing atmosphere to truly explore yourself and become who you want to be.

And the worst?

Living in London makes you expect everything yesterday so there is the danger of becoming excessively impatient. Watch out for people on the wrong side of the escalator!

And to sum it all up?

Small college, big university providing unique space for personal and intellectual development in the heart of London.

More info?

Contact HSU, tel 020 7795 4255, email enquiries@hsu.org.uk.



Heythrop College, University of London
Kensington Square
W8 5HN


020 7795 6600





Student enquiries:

Head of Student Services



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