City, University of London

City, University of London (abbreviated CUL) is a public research university in London, United Kingdom. It has been a constituent college of the University of London since 2016. It was founded in 1894 as the Northampton Institute, and became a university when The City University was created by royal charter in 1966.[3] The Inns of Court School of Law, which merged with City in 2001, was established in 1852, making it the University's oldest constituent part.[4] City joined the federal University of London on 1 September 2016, becoming part of the eighteen colleges and ten research institutes that make up that university.[5]

City, University of London
Coat of arms of City, University of London
MottoTo Serve Mankind
TypePublic Research University
Established1852 – Inns of Court School of Law
1894 – Northampton Institute
1966 – gained university status by royal charter
2016 – constituent college of University of London
Endowment£5.2 million (as of 31 July 2017)[1]
Budget£227.0 million (2016–17)[1]
ChancellorAnne, Princess Royal (as Chancellor of the University of London)
PresidentSir Paul Curran
RectorLord Mayor of the City of London ex officio
Students19,405 (2016/17)[2]
Undergraduates10,075 (2016/17)[2]
Postgraduates9,330 (2016/17)[2]
51.52776°N 0.10226°W / 51.52776; -0.10226
ColoursRed and white
AffiliationsUniversity of London
Association of MBAs
Universities UK

City has strong links with the City of London, and the Lord Mayor of London serves as the university's rector.[6][7] The university has its main campus in Central London in the London Borough of Islington, with additional campuses in Islington, the City, the West End and East End. The annual income of the institution for 2016–17 was £227.0 million, of which £11.6 million was from research grants and contracts, with an expenditure of £221.4 million.[1] It is organised into five schools, within which there are around forty academic departments and centres,[8] including the Department of Journalism, the Cass Business School, and City Law School which incorporates the Inns of Court School of Law.[9]

City is ranked as the 351st best university worldwide by the QS World University Rankings 2020. The Cass Business School is ranked 5th in the UK, and in the top 40 in the world, in the Financial Times' 2017 Global MBA Rankings.[10] City, University of London is a founding member of the WC2 University Network, a network of universities developed with the goal of bringing together leading universities located in the heart of major world cities in order to address cultural, environmental and political issues of common interest to world cities and their universities.[11] The university is a member of the Association of MBAs, EQUIS and Universities UK.

Alumni of City include a Founding Father, members of Parliament of the United Kingdom, Prime Minister's of the United Kingdom, governors, politicians and CEO's.



City University traces its origin to the Northampton Institute, established in 1852 and named after the Marquess of Northampton who donated the land on which the institute was built, between Northampton Square and St John Street in Islington. The institute was established to provide for the education and welfare of the local population. It was constituted under the City of London Parochial Charities Act (1883), with the objective of "the promotion of the industrial skill, general knowledge, health and well-being of young men and women belonging to the poorer classes".[12]

Northampton Polytechnic Institute was an institute of technology in Clerkenwell, London, founded in 1894. Its first Principal was Robert Mullineux Walmsley.[13]

Alumni include Colin Cherry, Stuart Davies and Anthony Hunt.[14] Arthur George Cocksedge, a British gymnast who competed in the 1920 Summer Olympics, was a member of the Northampton Polytechnic Institute's Gymnastics Club and was Champion of the United Kingdom in 1920. In 1937 Maurice Dennis of the (Northampton Polytechnic ABC) was the 1937 ABA Middleweight Champion. Frederick Handley Page was a lecturer in aeronautics at the institute. The Handley Page Type A, the first powered aircraft designed and built by him, ended up as an instructional airframe at the school. The novelist Eric Ambler studied engineering at the institute.

The six original departments at the institute were Applied Physics and Electrical Engineering; Artistic Crafts; Domestic Economy and Women's Trades; Electro-Chemistry; Horology (the science of time and art of clock-making); and Mechanical Engineering and Metal Trades.

20th century

A separate technical optics department was established in 1903–04. In 1909, the first students qualified for University of London BSc degrees in engineering as internal students.[12] The Institute had been involved in aeronautics education since that year, and the School of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences celebrated the centenary of aeronautics at City in 2009.[15] The Institute was used for the 1908 Olympic Games;[12] boxing took place there.[16]

In 1957, the Institute was designated a "College of Advanced Technology".[12]

The Institute's involvement in information science began in 1961, with the introduction of a course on "Collecting and Communicating Scientific Knowledge". City received its royal charter in 1966, becoming "The City University" to reflect the institution's close links with the City of London.[17] The Apollo 15 astronauts visited City in 1971, and presented the Vice-Chancellor, Tait, with a piece of heat shield from the Apollo 15 rocket.[18]

In October 1995, it was announced that City University would merge with both the St Bartholomew School of Nursing & Midwifery and the Charterhouse College of Radiography, doubling the number of students in City's Institute of Health Sciences to around 2,500.[19]

21st century

The University formed a strategic alliance with Queen Mary, University of London in April 2001.[20] In May 2001, a fire in the college building gutted the fourth-floor offices and roof.[21] In August 2001 City and the Inns of Court School of Law agreed to merge.[22] Following a donation from Sir John Cass's Foundation, a multimillion-pound building was built at 106 Bunhill Row for the Cass Business School.[23]

A new £23 million building to house the School of Social Sciences and the Department of Language and Communication Science was opened in 2004. The reconstruction and redevelopment of the university's Grade II listed college building (following the fire in 2001) was completed in July 2006.

In 2007 the School of Arts received a £10m building refurbishment. A new students' union venue opened in October 2008 called "TEN squared", which provides a hub for students to socialise in during the day and hosts a wide range of evening entertainment including club nights, society events and quiz nights.

In January 2010, premises were shared with the University of East Anglia (UEA) London, following City's partnership with INTO University Partnerships. Since then City has resumed its own International Foundation Programme to prepare students for their pre-university year. City was ranked among the top 30 higher education institutions in the UK by the Times Higher Education Table of Tables.[24]

In April 2011, it was announced that the current halls of residence and Saddler's Sports Centre will be closed and demolished for rebuilding in June 2011. The new student halls and sports facility, now known as CitySport, opened in 2015.

In September 2016 City University, London became a member institution of the federal University of London[5] and changed its name to City, University of London.


A map showing the location of the main campus of City, University of London, in central London

City has sites throughout London,[25] with the main campus located at Northampton Square in the Finsbury area of Islington. The Rhind Building which houses the School of Arts and Social Sciences is directly west of Northampton Square. A few buildings of the main campus are located in nearby Goswell Road in Clerkenwell.

Other academic sites are:

Organisation and administration

The rector of City, University of London, is ex officio the Lord Mayor of the City of London. The day-to-day running of the university is the responsibility of the president. The current president is Professor Sir Paul Curran.


City, University of London is organised into five schools:


In the financial year ended 31 July 2011, City had a total income (including share of joint ventures) of £178.6 million (2008/09 – £174.4 million) and total expenditure of £183.62 million (2008/09 – £178.82 million).[26] Key sources of income included £39.58 million from Funding Council grants (2008/09 – £39.52 million), £116.91 million from tuition fees and education contracts (2008/09 – £104.39 million), £7.86 million from research grants and contracts (2008/09 – £9.29 million), £1.04 from endowment and investment income (2008/09 – £1.83 million) and £15.05 million from other income (2008/09 – £19.37 million).[26]

During the 2010/11 financial year, City had a capital expenditure of £9.77 million (2008/09 – £16.13 million).[26]

At year end, City had reserves and endowments of £112.89 million (2009/10 – £110.05 million) and total net assets of £147.64 million (2008/09 – £147.27 million).[26]

Academic profile

Courses and rankings

National rankings
Complete (2020)[27]57
Guardian (2020)[28]95
Times / Sunday Times (2020)[29]68
Global rankings
QS (2020)[30]
THE (2020)[31]351–400
British Government assessment
Teaching Excellence Framework[32]Silver

City, University of London, offers Bachelor's, Master's, and Doctoral degrees as well as certificates and diplomas at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. More than two thirds of City's programmes are recognised by the appropriate professional bodies such as the BCS, BPS, CILIP, ICE, RICS, HPC etc. in recognition of the high standards of relevance to the professions. The University also has an online careers network where over 2,000 former students offer practical help to current students.[33]

The City Law School offers courses for undergraduates, postgraduates, master graduates and professional courses leading to qualification as a solicitor or barrister, as well as continuing professional development. Its Legal Practice Course has the highest quality rating from the Solicitors Regulation Authority.[34]

The Department of Radiography (part of the School of Community and Health Sciences) offers two radiography degrees, the BSc (Hons) Radiography (Diagnostic Imaging) and BSc (Hons) Radiography (Radiotherapy and Oncology), both of which are recognised by the Health Professions Council (HPC).

Partnerships and collaborations


Queen Mary, University of London, and City, University of London, were jointly awarded Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) status by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) in recognition of their work in skills training for 3,000 students across six healthcare professions.[35]

City of London

City, University of London, has links with businesses in the City of London.[36] City has also joined forces with other universities such as Queen Mary and the Institute of Education (both part of the University of London) with which it jointly delivers several leading degree programmes.


London Centre for Arts and Cultural Exchange is a consortium of nine universities. It was established in 2004 to foster collaboration and to promote and support the exchange of knowledge between the consortium's partners and London's arts and cultural sectors. The nine institutions involved are: University of the Arts London; Birkbeck, University of London; City, University of London; The Courtauld Institute of Art; Goldsmiths, University of London; Guildhall School of Music & Drama; King's College London; Queen Mary, University of London, and Royal Holloway, University of London.

WC2 University Network

City is a founding member of the WC2 University Network, a network of universities developed with the goal of bringing together leading universities located in the heart of major world cities in order to address cultural, environmental and political issues of common interest to world cities and their universities.[11] In addition to City, University of London, the founding members of WC2 members are: City University of New York, Technische Universität Berlin, Universidade de São Paulo, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana, Saint Petersburg State Polytechnical University, Politecnico di Milano, University of Delhi, Northeastern University Boston and Tongji University.

Erasmus Mundus MULTI

City was selected as the sole British university to take part in the selective Erasmus Mundus MULTI programme, funded by the European Commission to promote scientific exchange between Europe and the industrialised countries of South-East Asia. It is the first Erasmus program to involve universities outside of Europe. In addition to City, the partner universities are: Aix-Marseille University (France), Univerzita Karlova v Praze (Czech Republic), Freie Universität Berlin (Germany), Universität des Saarlandes (Germany), Università di Pisa (Italy), Universidad de Sevilla (Spain), The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (Hong Kong, SAR China), Universiti Brunei Darussalam (Brunei), University of Macau (Macau, SAR China), Nanyang Technological University (Singapore), and National Taiwan University (Taiwan).

UCL Partners

City has joined the executive group of UCL Partners, one of five accredited academic health science groups in the UK. City was invited to join the partnership in recognition of its expertise in nursing, allied health, health services research and evaluation and health management.[37]

Student life

Students' Union

The City Students' Union is run primarily by students through three elected sabbatical officers, an executive committee and a union council, with oversight by a trustee board. The Students' Union provides support, representation, facilities, services, entertainment and activities for its members. It is run for students, by students.[38]

Student media

City currently has two student-run media outlets, including Carrot Radio, which was co-founded by journalism postgraduates Jordan Gass-Poore' and Winston Lo in the fall of 2018.[39] Carrot Radio currently records weekday podcasts. The second is the student-led online magazine, Carrot Magazine. They recently released their first print magazine in December 2017.


For a number of years, City students have taken part in the annual Lord Mayor's Show, representing the university in one of the country's largest and liveliest parades.

People & Planet University League

City ranked 7th out of the 168 universities surveyed in the 2016 People & Planet league table of the most sustainable UK universities. It was the highest ranking University of London institution, and one of only two in the top twenty (LSE being 14th).[40]

The league table's Fossil Free Scorecard report, drawn from Freedom of Information requests, found that £800,000 (6.4%) of City's £12.5m endowment was invested in fossil fuels, and that the institution had not made a public commitment to fossil fuel divestment. It also noted nearly £1m of research funding into renewables since 2001 with just £64k of total funding from fossil fuel companies; and no honorary degrees or board positions held by fossil fuel executives.[41]

Notable people

Notable alumni

Government, politics and society

Arts, science and academia

Business and finance

Media and entertainment

Notable faculty and staff


City University's Bastwick Street Halls of Residence in Islington was the first home of the MasterChef kitchen following its 2005 revival.[49][50]


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  16. 1908 Summer Olympics official report. p 33.
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  38. Archived from the original on 21 March 2011. Missing or empty |title= (help)
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  49. "MasterChef Studio".
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