University of Leeds

Global Influence
University in Leeds, United Kingdom

About University of Leeds

By James Barham, PhD

The city of Leeds lies at the northern edge of the English Midlands, the geographical region of the UK where the Industrial Revolution primarily took place. Leeds was especially important as a center of textile manufacturing, which led the way toward the explosive growth of British industry and empire during the Victorian era.

All of this helps explain why the University of Leeds traces its roots to the early nineteenth century, with the founding of the Leeds School of Medicine in 1831. In 1874, the medical school was absorbed into the newly founded Yorkshire College of Science, which in turn was expanded into a full liberal-arts school and renamed Yorkshire College in 1884.

Only three years later, in 1887, Yorkshire College became incorporated into Victoria University, a short-lived, regional, public university system based in neighboring Manchester that included campuses in Manchester, Leeds, and Liverpool.

However, rivalries between Manchester and Leeds proved to be too strong, and in 1904 the Leeds campus—the successor to Yorkshire College—went its own way, receiving its own separate royal charter as the University of Leeds.

Leeds can boast affiliation with three Nobel Prize laureates, namely:

  • W.H. Bragg, for the development of X-ray crystallography — physics
  • George Porter, for the development of flash photolysis — chemistry
  • Nigerian playwright, Wole Soyinka — literature

Other Leeds-connected scientists include:

  • Botanist and plant geneticist, David C. Baulcombe
  • Immunologist, Percival Hartley
  • Endocrinologist, James Francis Tait
  • Cancer researcher and developer of tamoxifen, V. Craig Jordan
  • Aviation pioneer, Robert Blackburn
  • Astronaut, Piers Sellers

Other distinguished Leeds-affiliated individuals include:

  • Poet, Geoffrey Hill
  • Medievalist, philologist, and famed author of The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Journalist and children’s author, Arthur Ransome
  • Kenyan novelist, short-story writer, playwright, essayist, and memoirist, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o; the author and screenwriter, Jeremy Dyson
  • Rock musician, Mark Knopfler
  • Literary critic, G. Wilson Knight
  • Journalist and radio broadcaster, Andrew Kershaw
  • American radio host, Dennis Prager
  • Actor, Chris Pine
  • Art historian and philosopher, Herbert Read
  • Sinologist, Owen Lattimore
  • Marxist historian and author of The Making of the English Working Class, E.P. Thompson
  • Sociologist, Zygmunt Baumann
  • Eldest son of Queen Victoria, King Edward VII (after whom the Edwardian period is named)

According to Wikipedia, The University of Leeds is a public research university in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England. It was established in 1874 as the Yorkshire College of Science. In 1884 it merged with the Leeds School of Medicine and was renamed Yorkshire College. It became part of the federal Victoria University in 1887, joining Owens College and University College Liverpool . In 1904 a royal charter was granted to the University of Leeds by King Edward VII.

University of Leeds's Online Degrees

What Is University of Leeds Known For?

University of Leeds is known for it's academic work in the following disciplines:

University of Leeds's Top Areas of Influence With Degrees Offered

Who Are University of Leeds's Most Influential Alumni?

University of Leeds's most influential alumni faculty include professors and professionals in the fields of Earth Sciences, History, and Literature. Here are some of University of Leeds's most famous alumni:

Stephen Jay Gould
Stephen Jay Gould
An American evolutionary biologist.
Wole Soyinka
Wole Soyinka
A Nigerian writer.
Richard Hoggart
A British sociologist .
Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o
Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o
A Kenyan writer .
Lawrence Bragg
Lawrence Bragg
An Australian-born British physicist and X-ray crystallographer.
George Porter
A British chemist .
David Cox
David Cox
An English statistician.
Harold Shipman
Harold Shipman
An English doctor and serial killer .
Henry Drysdale Dakin
A British chemist .
Peter Morgan
Peter Morgan
A British film writer and playwright.
Paul Dacre
An English journalist.
David Baulcombe
David Baulcombe
A British geneticist.

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