City University London

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City University London
Motto To serve mankind
Established 2016 – Constituent College of University of London
1966 – gained University Status by Royal Charter
1894 – Northampton Institute
1852 – Inns of Court School of Law
Type Public
Endowment £8.9 m (as of 31 July 2013)[1]
Chancellor The Lord Mayor of the City of London ex officio
Vice-Chancellor Sir Paul Curran
Students 17,499[2]
Undergraduates 9,367[2]
Postgraduates 7,528[2]
Location London, United Kingdom
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Colours Red and White
Affiliations Association of MBAs
Universities UK

City University London is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom. 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 University in 2001, was established in 1852, making it the university's oldest constituent part.[4]

City University has its main campus in the Islington area of central London, with additional campuses in the City of London and the Holborn, Smithfield and Whitechapel areas of London. It is organised into seven Schools, within which there are around 40 academic departments and centres, including the City University Department of Journalism, the Cass Business School and the Inns of Court School of Law (part of the City Law School).[5]

City University had a total income of £178.6 million in 2010/11, of which £8 million was from research grants and contracts.[6] Cass Business school is ranked 2nd in London and top 40 in the world.[7] In 2015 it was ranked 301st in the world according to the QS World University Rankings and is included in Times Higher Education's list of the top 100 universities in the world under 50 years old.[8][9][10] City University is a member of the Association of MBAs, EQUIS and Universities UK.

On 16 July 2015 it was announced that City University would join the federal University of London, becoming one of its constituent colleges from August 2016.[11]



File:Northampton squ.jpg
Northampton Square in front of the main university building

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. Alumni include Colin Cherry, Stuart Davies and Anthony Hunt.[13] 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 1937 ABA Middleweight Champion. Frederick Handley Page was a lecturer in aeronautics at Northampton Polytechnic 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 Northampton Polytechnic.

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

In 1903–04 a separate Technical Optics department was established. In 1909 the first students qualified for University of London BSc degrees in Engineering as internal students.[12] Since 1909 the Institute had been involved in aeronautics education, and in 2009 the School of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences celebrated the centenary of aeronautics at City.[14] In 1908 the Institute was used for the Olympic Games.[12] Boxing took place at the Institute.[15]

The Institute was designated a "College of Advanced Technology" in 1957.[12]

In 1961 the Institute's involvement in Information Science began with the introduction of a course on "Collecting and Communicating Scientific Knowledge". In 1966 City received its Royal Charter, becoming The City University to reflect the institution's close links with the City of London.[16] In 1971 the Apollo 15 astronauts visited City University and presented the Vice-Chancellor, Tait, with a piece of heat shield from the Apollo 15 rocket.[17]

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.[18]

21st century

City University formed a strategic alliance with Queen Mary, University of London in April 2001.[19] In May 2001, a major fire in the college building gutted the fourth floor offices and roof.[20] In August 2001 City University and the Inns of Court School of Law agreed to merge.[21] Following a donation from Sir John Cass's Foundation, a multi-million pound building was built at 106 Bunhill Row for the Cass Business School.[22]

The Grade II listed College Building

A new £23 million building to house the School of Social Sciences and the Department of Language and Communication Science was opened in 2004. In January 2006, City University announced that the Cass Business School would be opening a new campus in Canary Wharf's One Canada Square, specialised in courses designed for senior managers.[23] 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 UEA London, following City University's partnership with INTO. Since then City University has resumed its own International Foundation Programme to prepare students for their pre-university year. In April 2011, it was announced that the current Halls or Residence and Saddler's Sports Centre will be closed and demolished for rebuilding in June 2011. It was proposed that the new Halls of Residence and Sports Centre will be re-opened in September 2013.

The City University announced that it will join the University of London in August 2016.[11]


City University London is located in Central London
City University London
A map showing the location of the main City University campus within central London

City University has sites throughout London,[24] with the main campus located at Northampton Square in Islington.

Other academic sites are:

The School of Health Sciences, is geographically the largest school with sites in:

Organisation and administration

The main City University building in Northampton Square.

The Chancellor of City University is the Lord Mayor of the City of London ex officio. The day-to-day running of the university is the responsibility of the Vice-Chancellor. The current Vice-Chancellor is Paul Curran.


City University is organised into five schools:


In the financial year ended 31 July 2011, City University 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).[25] 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).[25] During the 2010/11 financial year City University had a capital expenditure of £9.77 million (2008/09 – £16.13 million).[25]

At year end City University 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).[25]


Courses and rankings

(2015/16, national)
(2015/16, world)
(2015/16, national)
(2015/16, world)
(2016, national)
The Guardian[30]
(2016, national)
Times/Sunday Times[31]
(2016, national)

City University 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.[32]

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.[33]

Since 1976 City has been home to a centre for the education of journalists, the highly regarded Department of Journalism.[34] It has the UK's first chair in reporting, the Anthony Sampson professorship. It is regarded as the best university in the United Kingdom for the study of journalism as well as the nation's largest centre for journalism education. It was described by Michael Hann of The Guardian as the "Oxbridge of journalism".

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 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 has excellent links with businesses in the City of London.[36] City University 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 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.


Simfonec is a collaborative Science Enterprise Centre (SEC) for the exploitation and transfer of knowledge, ideas and resources among three key sectors – academic, financial and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). Simfonec encourages the development of an entrepreneurial outlook amongst researchers in science and technology and orchestrates the delivery of science ideas to the commercial marketplace. It is a partnership between four of London universities (Royal Veterinary College, King's College London, Queen Mary, University of London and City University). It was launched in March 2003 by the Department of Trade and Industry.

Willis Research Network

In September 2006, City University joined the Willis Research Network (WRN), a major, long-term partnership between leading international scientific institutions (including the universities of Bristol, Cambridge, Durham and Imperial College London) and the global insurance broker, Willis Group Holdings. The purpose of the network is to evaluate the frequency, severity and impact of catastrophes such as hurricanes, earthquakes, floods and terrorism.

WC2 University Network

City University 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.[37] In addition to City University, 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 University 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 University 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.[38]

Spin-out companies

City Technology plc

City University is the birthplace of City Technology plc, which is the world's leading manufacturer of fuel-cell gas sensors used in worker safety, automotive, medical and emissions monitoring applications. City Technology plc was previously listed on the London Stock Exchange but was acquired by Honeywell in March 2006.

Student life

Students' Union

The City University Students' Union is run primarily by students through elected Sabbatical Officers, an Executive Committee and a Union Council, with oversight by a Trustee Board.[39]

Student media

City University has four media outlets that are run by the Student Union staff in collaboration with a few students, City OnAir, City OnTopic, City Online and City OnScreen. In 2013 a number of BA Journalism students started an independent student newspaper, The Square. As a part of the election coverage they published a series of articles on one of the candidates – a nephew of Imran Khan – which led to coverage in international media.[40][41]


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

Notable people

Notable alumni

Arts, science and academia

Government, politics and society

Business and finance

Media and entertainment

Notable faculty and staff



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External links