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A-Z Unis & Colleges

City University London



Overall ranking: Came 36th out of 126 in the Complete University Guide for 2016.

History: City University London was founded in 1894 as the Northampton Institute. It was awarded full university status in 1966 but its origins trace back to the mid-nineteenth century. The Inns of Court School of Law (latterly City Law School) was founded by the Council of Legal Education in 1852 while the famous St Bartholomew’s College of Nursing was founded in 1877.

Address: The University is mostly based within the Islington triangle formed by Angel, Old Street and Barbican underground stations. The main campus is in Northampton Square but it also has sites across the City and in Clerkenwell.

Ambience: Located in a thriving urban area surrounded by bars, restaurants and shops. The university itself is more of a hub for students than a homely campus and the Students' Union is closed at weekends. The main university building may be nothing special to look at but the historic College Building with its iconic spire is Grade II listed.

Who's the boss? Professor Paul Curran, a former NASA research scientist and advisor to the European Space Agency, is vice-chancellor.

Prospectus: Order or download a prospectus here.

UCAS code: C60

What you need to know

Easy to get into? Several of the university’s courses- including law, business, journalism and social sciences- are extremely competitive. Others require lower grades at A-level or equivalent but it depends on the subject. For more details on entry requirements, click here.

Vital statistics: Currently has over 18,000 students from over 160 countries, 46 per cent of which are studying at postgraduate level. Teaching staff are drawn from nearly 50 international locations and the university has a truly international outlook. It has one of the highest proportions of international and graduate students of any university in the UK.

Added value: Close links with industry and the City of London (hence the name) help maintain a high level of graduate employability, particularly in its flagship courses in journalism, business and law. Since 1966, City's chancellor has been the Lord Mayor of London.  The University has made significant investment in the estate over the past few years as part of its Vision For 2016 plan, to provide high-quality academic spaces and areas for students to socialise that help create a sense of community. The newly-opened CitySport is one of the biggest student experience initiatives the University has recently invested in and provides a sporting hub for students, staff and alumni. The fitness centre, located in the Franklin Building on Goswell Road, was officially opened in March 2015 by Olympic gold medal-winning cyclist Dani King. The standout feature of the new centre is the Sport England-standard hall that can accommodate a range of team sports from basketball to badminton, with retractable seating for up to 400 spectators.

Teaching: Ranked 93rd out of 126 for student satisfaction in the Complete University Guide.

Graduate prospects: Ranked 36th with 73.7 per cent entering graduate level employment.

Any accommodation? Yes but it's expensive. Halls of residence start at £140 and go up to £306 per week for first-year undergraduates.

Cheap to live there? Not by a long chalk. Accommodation in Angel starts from approximately £130 per week but cheaper properties can be found further afield.

Transport links: Close to Liverpool Street, King's Cross, St Pancras International and London Bridge mainline stations. All City's main sites are within easy walking distance of tube stations in Zone One and there are several bus routes.

Fees: Since 2012, City has been charging home and EU full-time undergrads the maximum fee of £9,000.

Bursaries: The university offers various bursaries to students from low household income families. For more information visit City's bursaries and scholarship page.


The fun stuff

Nightlife: Slap bang in the middle of London, so there's no shortage of entertainment for all tastes. Trendy Shoreditch is a mere ten-minute walk away and Angel's Upper Street boasts plenty of smart bars. In 2008 the Students’ Union underwent a £1.5 million refurb, but is still a relatively low-key affair, with an air-hockey table, table football and pool tables.

Price of a pint: Not cheap in Islington. Be prepared to fork out for drinks, with pints at least £3.65.

Sporting reputation: Not overly sporty- ranked in 91st place in the BUCS league.

Notable societies: The Film Effects (FX) Society brings together students skilled at various arts from music and dance to editing, acting and directing. It's a mini Hollywood in City, apparently. Perception Society is about challenging the views people might hold about a particular topic through debate and discussion.

Glittering alumni: Mahatma Gandhi; Tony Blair; Will Lewis, general manager at News International; Brendan Barber, TUC president; ex-weatherman Michael Fish; Stelios Haji-Ioannau, Easyjet founder; Dermot Murnaghan, Sky News newsreader; Sophie Raworth, BBC1 newsreader and presenter; Sharon Maguire, director of Bridget Jones' Diary.

Alternative prospectus: Read some What Uni? reviews and check out star ratings from current City students for an insight into what life as a student here is really like.