University of London
The University of London is a large, federal University based in London, established by Royal Charter in 1836, serving over 90,000 students in thirty-one colleges and institutions, as well as a large number of distance learning students through the External System. Many of the constitutent buildings, colleges and institutions are based in and around the Senate House building in Bloomsbury.
The University Colleges include a small number of cross-disciplinary institutions including University College London, King's, Birkbeck College, Royal Holloway and Queen Mary. Until 2007, Imperial College was also a member institution. The University also has specialist institutions and colleges offering degrees and research programmes in a wide variety of areas:
- Medical research and practice - Institute of Cancer Research, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Royal Veterinary College, St George's
- Business and economics - London Business School, London School of Economics and Political Science
- Music, drama and performance art - Royal Academy of Music, Central School of Speech and Drama
- Philosophy, theology and religious studies - Heythrop College, Institute of Philosophy
The University at the federal level provides a number of services to students at the member colleges, including housing and financial support, a number of libraries including Senate House Library, computing resources, careers advice, and the Student Union.
The University was the first in the country to award degrees to female students, and to admit students who were not practicing Anglicans. University College London was supported by the utilitarian philosopher Jeremy Bentham. The university was also the first in the country to grant degrees to women - the first women were admitted in 1878 and the first four female graduates were granted degrees in 1880.