University of London
#2 Overall Influence

University of London

Federal research university in London, England

Influence Rankings by Discipline

How’s this school influential?

#1 World Rank
Nursing
#2 World Rank
Medical
#2 World Rank
History
#2 World Rank
Business
#2 World Rank
Economics
#2 World Rank
Literature
#3 World Rank
Earth Sciences
#3 World Rank
Philosophy
#3 World Rank
Law
#3 World Rank
Biology
#4 World Rank
Criminal Justice
#4 World Rank
Psychology
#4 World Rank
Anthropology
#5 World Rank
Social Work
#5 World Rank
Political Science
#5 World Rank
Sociology
#5 World Rank
Religious Studies
#5 World Rank
Chemistry
#5 World Rank
Engineering
#6 World Rank
Communications
#9 World Rank
Mathematics
#9 World Rank
Physics
#10 World Rank
Computer Science

Influential People

Who are University of London's Most influential alumni?

University of London's most influential alumni faculty include professors and professionals in the fields of Nursing, Medical, and History. University of London’s most academically influential people include H. G. Wells, John Stuart Mill, and Francis Crick.

H. G. Wells
H. G. Wells

English writer

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John Stuart Mill
John Stuart Mill

British philosopher and political economist

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Francis Crick
Francis Crick

British molecular biologist, biophysicist, neuroscientist; co-discoverer of the structure of DNA

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Virginia Woolf
Virginia Woolf

English modernist writer known for use of stream of consciousness

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Rabindranath Tagore
Rabindranath Tagore

Bengali poet and philosopher

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Arthur C. Clarke
Arthur C. Clarke

British science fiction writer, science writer, inventor, undersea explorer, and television series host

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Alexander Graham Bell
Alexander Graham Bell

Scientist and inventor known for his work on the telephone

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Alfred Russel Wallace
Alfred Russel Wallace

British naturalist, explorer, geographer, anthropologist and biologist

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Bronisław Malinowski
Bronisław Malinowski

Polish anthropologist and ethnographer based in England and the USA

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Talcott Parsons
Talcott Parsons

American sociologist

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Thomas Hardy
Thomas Hardy

English novelist, poet and writer

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George Eliot
George Eliot

English novelist, essayist and translator

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About This School

How does this school stack up?

By James Barham, PhD

An institution of higher education named University College London (UCL) was founded in the UK’s largest metropolis and capital city in 1826. A mere three years later, in 1829, a second, similar institution named King’s College London (KCL) opened its doors. Then, a mere decade after the founding of UCL, a third institution known simply as University of London (UL) was founded in 1836 by the merger of UCL and KCL.

Both UCL and KCL continued to operate, each with its own distinctive identity, under the UL administrative umbrella, and have continued to do so until today. However, over the years many other institutions have joined what has now become a vast educational conglomerate (resembling in this respect the University of Paris). Altogether, UL at present comprises some 17 semi-autonomous universities, colleges, schools, and institutes.

Among these, perhaps the most notable are, in addition to UCL and KCL, the following:

  • Heythrop College
  • Birkbeck University of London
  • Royal Academy of Music
  • Courtauld Institute of Art
  • SOAS University of London (formerly, the School of Oriental and African Studies)
  • School of Advanced Study
  • London School of Economics and Political Science
  • London Business School
  • London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
  • University of London Institute in Paris

In its origins, UL was closely associated with the progressive moral and political philosophy of Jeremy Bentham known as “utilitarianism.” In line with this pedigree, it was the first university in the UK to admit students regardless of their religious affiliation, as well as the first to admit women (in 1878). As a curious side note, when Bentham died in 1832, he bequeathed his body to a physician friend of his, who had it stuffed. In 1850, the doctor donated the mummy to UCL, where it may be viewed to this day, dressed in Bentham’s own clothes and sitting in his own chair, between 9:00 am and 6:00 pm, M–F.

Among the many notable alumni of UL, one may mention the following:

  • Philosophers, John Stuart Mill, Alfred North Whitehead, Karl Popper, Alasdair MacIntyre, Bernard Williams, Peter Singer, & Roger Scruton
  • Intellectual historian, Frances Yates
  • Anthropologist, Mary Douglas
  • Economists, William Stanley Jevons & Amartya Sen
  • Poets, A.E. Housman, T.S. Eliot, & Rabindranath Tagore
  • Novelists, Thomas Hardy, Virginia Woolf, H.G. Wells, & Mario Vargas Llosa
  • Composer, Gustav Holst
  • Inventor of the telephone, Alexander Graham Bell
  • Physicists Otto Hahn, Abdus Salam, & Peter Higgs
  • Physician and inventor of vaccination, Edward Jenner
  • Biologists T.H. Huxley, Alexander Fleming (the discoverer of penicillin), & Francis Crick (co-discoverer of the structure of the DNA molecule)

In addition, the politicians, statesmen, and heads of government and state—both from the UK and throughout the world—who have been affiliated with UL are far too numerous to tell about in any detail. We will only mention two outstanding UL-connected political personalities: the revered Indian independence leader, Mohandas K. Gandhi, and the renowned Burmese democracy activist, Aung San Suu Kyi.

All in all, a very impressive 74 Nobel Prizes are associated with UL alumni and faculty.