University of Nottingham
#154 Overall Influence

University of Nottingham

Russell Group public research university in Nottingham, England

By James Barham, PhD

The University of Nottingham traces its ultimate roots to a private adult-education and teacher-training (normal) school founded in that Midlands city in 1798. In 1873, the University of Cambridge began offering college extension courses in connection with the normal school. However, the official founding of the present university is usually taken to coincide with the establishment of University College Nottingham, in 1881.

After World War I, the college underwent significant expansion, and in 1928 it was transferred from its original building in downtown Nottingham to a larger site in what is now the University Park area, to the southwest of the city center. During this period, several highly distinguished persons delivered lectures at the university, including H.G. Wells (novelist), Albert Einstein (Nobel laureate in physics), and Mohandas K.(“Mahatma”) Gandhi (lawyer, Indian independence activist, and non-violent civil disobedience pioneer).

The school received its royal charter in 1948, officially becoming the University of Nottingham. At this time, it also became able to award degrees in its own name.

Today, the University of Nottingham has a half dozen campuses besides the University Park campus, including one in Malaysia and one in China.

The university is made up of five faculties comprising altogether some 40 academic departments. The student body numbers more than 33,000 individuals associated with the five campuses located in Nottingham and environs, and nearly 44,000 worldwide.

Prominent alumni and faculty of the University of Nottingham include the following:

  • Mathematician and Fields Medalist, Caucher Birkar
  • Computer scientist, Nigel Shadbolt
  • Novelist, D.H. Lawrence
  • Mystery writer, Barry Baldwin
  • Screenwriter, Michael Hirst
  • Actors, Haydn Gwynne, Ruth Wilson, Theo James, Nicholas Farrell & Liz Carr
  • Astronomer, Gerald Hawkins
  • Cosmologist, Edmund Copeland
  • Physicists, Andre Geim (Nobel laureate), Louis Essen & Clare Burrage
  • Physicist, Magnetic Resonance Imaging pioneer and Nobel laureate for physiology or medicine, Peter Mansfield
  • Aeronautical engineer, Sophie Harker
  • Chemists, Martyn Poliakoff, Frederic Kipping & Elena Besley
  • Geologist, A.E. Trueman
  • Paleontologists, Mark Purnell & M. Paul Smith
  • Meteorologist, Helen Willetts
  • Biophysicist and medical engineer, Adrian B. Mann
  • Biochemists, David Dolphin & Michael Creeth
  • Structural biologist, Janet Thornton
  • Embryologist, Ian Wilmut
  • Microbiologist, Milton Wainwright
  • Pathologist, Mark A. Smith
  • Epidemiologists, Jonathan Van-Tam & Richard Wilkinson
  • Pharmacologists, Stewart Adams & Christophe Wiart
  • Neuroscientist, Matthew Walker
  • Psycholinguist, Zoltán Dörnyei
  • Historians, Jeremy Lawrance & Ian Kershaw
  • Sociologist, Reiner Grundmann
  • Classicist, Helen Lovatt
  • New Testament scholar, Scot McKnight
  • Geographer, Roger Tomlinson
  • Economists, Clive Granger (Nobel laureate) & Ivy Pinchbeck
  • Political scientist, David Regan
  • Business journalist and columnist, Jeff Randall
  • British radio broadcaster, Emma Barnett
  • TV talk show host and columnist, Michael Coren
  • Former Malaysian Prime Minister, Najib Razak
  • Current World Health Organization (WHO) Director, General Tedros Adhanom
  • British High Court Judge, Nigel Sweeney

What is University of Nottingham known for?

#42 World Rank
Religious Studies
#98 World Rank
#119 World Rank
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#122 World Rank
#137 World Rank
Earth Sciences
#139 World Rank
#139 World Rank
#145 World Rank
Social Work
#148 World Rank
#159 World Rank
#167 World Rank
#181 World Rank
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#183 World Rank
#199 World Rank
#210 World Rank
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#260 World Rank
#288 World Rank
Computer Science
#328 World Rank
Criminal Justice
#341 World Rank
#346 World Rank
Political Science

Influential People

Who are University of Nottingham's Most influential alumni?

University of Nottingham's most influential alumni faculty include professors and professionals in the fields of Religious Studies, Economics, and Literature. University of Nottingham’s most academically influential people include D. H. Lawrence, Ailsa McKay, and Ian Wilmut.

D. H. Lawrence
D. H. Lawrence

English novelist, poet, playwright, essayist, literary critic and painter

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Ailsa McKay
Ailsa McKay

Scottish economist

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Ian Wilmut


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Clive Granger
Clive Granger

British Economist

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Mary Kendrick
Mary Kendrick

Tidal engineer, headed team working on the Thames Barrier

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Peter Rice
Peter Rice

Television executive

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Janet Thornton
Janet Thornton

British bioinformatician and academic

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Idris Davies
Idris Davies

Welsh poet

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Blake Morrison
Blake Morrison

Poet and author

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John Peel

British writer

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Brian Wilson

British systems scientist

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Meena Alexander
Meena Alexander

Poet, scholar, and writer

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