University of London (Institutes and Activities)

Senate House, Malet Street, London, WC1E 7HU, United Kingdom

About University of London (Institutes and Activities)

The University of London is a federal research university made up of 17 autonomous colleges and 10 research institutes, some of which date back to the 19th century.

It has approximately 50,000 distance learning students studying from over 190 countries and 120,000 internal campus-based students which makes it the largest university by student number in the UK. Some students also study at the University of London Institute in Paris.

UoL’s member institutions are self-governing, setting their own entrance criteria and in some cases have their own degree awarding powers. These member institutions include Birkbeck University of London, City University of London, the Courtauld Institute of Art, Goldsmiths University of London, King’s College London, London Business School, Royal Academy of Music, SOAS University of London, London School of Economics and Political Science and UCL.

The university was established in 1836 as a secular alternative to the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, becoming the first university to explicitly exclude a religious qualification as a requirement for entry. In 1858, it was described as "The People’s University" in Charles Dickens’ magazine All Year Round. Indeed, it became the first university to give external students the chance to earn a living while studying, to study long-distance and sit exams without making the trip to London.

There is an extensive range of services available to students, including careers advice and access to Student Central and the prestigious Senate House Library, an art deco building that stands as one of the UK's largest academic libraries for arts, humanities and social sciences with over 2 million books and 50 special collections.

The list of notable alumni is vast and includes Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Florence Nightingale, Tedros Adhanom, Aung San Suu Kyi, Elton John and Mick Jagger.

Key statistics

  • 58%
    Percentage of International Students
  • 4.6
    No. of students per staff
  • 174
    Number of FTE Students
  • 57 : 43
    Student Ratio of Females to Males
Based on data collected for the (1) 2018 World University Rankings

Subjects taught at University of London (Institutes and Activities)