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King's College London



Overall ranking: Came 23rd out of 126 in the Complete University Guide for 2016.

History: Founded in 1829, King's College London is England's fourth-oldest university institution and one of the largest colleges of the University of London. In the last 180 years, King's has played a major role in modern life-shaping advances such as discovery of the structure of DNA.

Address: London's most central university, King's occupies four historic river-side campuses in the heart of the city, together with the King's Denmark Hill campus in south London. The Strand campus directly overlooks the Thames, mid-way between the Houses of Parliament and St Paul's Cathedral. The Waterloo campus is just across the river next to the South Bank Centre, Guy's is in the historic area of London Bridge, and the St Thomas' campus is next door to the London Eye.

Ambience: Thriving and buzzy- as you would expect given its location. The 19th century Maughan library on Chancery Lane, the largest new university library in Britain since World War II, is a Grade Two listed building and a beautiful Gothic masterpiece. The landscape of the city surrounding Guy’s campus has  radically changed in recent years, most notably with the opening of the Shard in July 2012, Western Europe’s tallest building.

Who's the boss? The principal and president is Professor Sir Rick Trainor, a social historian. Joining from the University of Greenwich in 2004, he is the first person to be the head of both an 'old' and a 'new' university. He is a past president of Universities UK.

Prospectus: 020 7836 5454 or download one here.

UCAS code: K60

What you need to know

Easy to get into? Definitely not- King's attracts the brightest of cookies and most courses are very competitive. Many ask for A* grades at A-level but requirements do vary.

Vital statistics: King's has more than 25,000 students- of whom over 10,000 are postgrads, according to the most recent figures in 2012/13. Over half of academic staff work in departments that are in the top 10 per cent in the UK. King's is one of 24 Russell Group universities, dedicated to the highest levels of academic excellence.

Added value: The largest centre for the education of doctors, dentists and other healthcare professionals in Europe. The only UK university to have six Medical Research Council centres. King's offers a number of additional study options to enhance your experience on your chosen programme of study. You can study abroad for a semester or a year as part of an organised exchange, enrol on a language course, gain work experience, improve your grasp of the English language, or reqister for their unique Associateship of King's College qualification. Much of the teaching is done in small groups and every student is allocated a personal tutor. A huge £500m transformation of the college estate is underway. The South Range of King’s Grade One listed building at the Strand was reopened after a two year £40m redevelopment in May 2006, providing new teaching facilities and wireless internet access. A recent £7m donation will set up a new Politics, Philosophy and Law centre.

Teaching: Came 109th out of 126 in the Complete University Guide's latest student satisfaction rankings.

Graduate prospects: Great- ranked 15th with 79.6 per cent in graduate level employment.

Any accommodation? Full-time undergraduates entering for the first time on a programme of two or more years are guaranteed the offer of one year (not necessarily their first) in either halls of residence, self-catering apartments, intercollegiate halls or other nominated accommodation. Rents range from £91 for a twin room to £245 a week for a studio.

Cheap to live there? This is London - rents often start at £125.

Transport links: Near mainline and tube stations, bus and coach routes, and airports. Waterloo, Strand and St Thomas' campuses are right next to Waterloo for Eurostar trips. You'll be in the middle of London, remember?

Fees: £9,000 for all undergraduate programmes in the first year but may increase in line with inflation in subsequent years.

Bursaries: King's runs the National Scholarship Programme, which offers £2,500 to students from households earning under £25,000 a year. For information on the NSP and other financial fancies, click here.

The fun stuff

Nightlife: There are two bars: The Waterfront at the Strand and Guy's Bar at the Guy's campus. They are competitively priced and provide a friendly atmosphere in which to meet new people and enjoy events such as music quizzes and live music. Outside of the Students' Union there are, of course, innumerable places to let your hair down.

Price of a pint: About £3.65 as a cross-London average. Cheaper in the Students' Union.

Sporting reputation: Ranked 39th in the BUCS league.

Notable societies: Fans of decadent clothing will love the Glamourous and Fabulous Vintage Society while those brave enough could venture into the Hypnosis group meetings. If you're a bit of nerd there's GeekSoc, and if you like breaking into song and dance in seemingly random places, join Flashmob.

Glittering alumni: Desmond Tutu, former archbishop of Cape Town; John Keats, Thomash Hardy, Virginia Woolf, Florence Nightingale, comedian Rory Bremner; and Bloc Party frontman Kele Okereke. There have been ten Noble Prize winners from King's.

Alternative prospectus: Check out student reviews (eye candy category included) on What Uni? here.