University of Warwick
#165 Overall Influence

University of Warwick

University in Coventry, United Kingdom

By James Barham, PhD

The University of Warwick (pronounced “Warrick”) was founded in 1965 near the West Midlands market town of the same name, which lies approximately halfway between Coventry and Stratford-upon-Avon, and has a population of a little over 30,000. However, the university campus does not lie in Warwick proper, but rather in a rural area to the north of the old town center, virtually on the outskirts of Coventry.

Despite the youth of its university, Warwick itself has a venerable heritage. Its most famous landmark, Warwick Castle, was built by William the Conqueror in 1068, while Warwick School—an independent “public school” (that is, private boys’ school)—is older still, dating to the early tenth century.

Though a latecomer to the university scene in the UK, ever since its founding the University of Warwick has steadily expanded its academic reach. Within two years, in 1967, Warwick Business School had been created, while Warwick Law School opened its doors the next year. In 1979, the university absorbed Coventry College of Education.

The following year, in 1980, Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) was established. WMG is an academic department devoted to furthering education, research, and knowledge transfer in the fields of manufacturing, management, engineering, and technology. The department both confers postgraduate academic degrees and helps to place its graduates in apprenticeship programs with industrial firms.

A parallel Warwick Science Park was opened in 1984 as a joint venture between the university, the city of Coventry, and the County of Warwickshire. In 2011, the university bought out the shares of its partners, and the University of Warwick Science Park (UWSP) came into being in 2012. UWSP provides laboratory, workshop, and office space for as many as 150 businesses.

Finally, Warwick Medical School opened its doors in 2000, while Horticulture Research International, an independent research institute, was absorbed by the university in 2004. Today, the University of Warwick also comprises two satellite campuses: one in the nearby village of Wellesbourne, the other in London.

Among the many notable people associated with the University of Warwick, we may mention the following:



  • David B.A. Epstein (hyperbolic geometry and group theory)
  • Martin Hairer (stochastic partial differential equations), Fields medalist
  • Jenny Harrison (geometrical analysis, measure theory)
  • Robert Sinclair Mackay (dynamical systems theory)
  • Tim Poston (catastrophe theory)
  • Miles A. Reid (algebraic geometry)
  • Gareth Roberts (statistics)
  • Ian Stewart (coupled oscillators, catastrophe theory), popular author
  • Christopher Zeeman (geometric topology, singularity theory)

Computer Sciences

  • Robert Calderbank (coding, information theory, network systems)
  • Michael F. Cowlishaw (programming)
  • Mike Paterson (discrete mathematics applications)
  • Leslie Valiant (computational theory), Turing Award–winner
  • Kevin Warwick (robotics)


  • John Cornforth (stereochemistry of enzyme-catalyzed reactions), Nobel laureate
  • Keith R. Jennings (mass spectrometry)

Life Sciences

  • Howard Dalton (microbiology)
  • Brian K. Follet (ecology of circadian rhythms)
  • Oliver Sacks (neurology), popular author


  • Theater, Radio, Television, and Film
  • Paul W.S. Anderson, film screenwriter, director, and producer
  • Adam Buxton, actor and radio presenter
  • Alex Jennings, actor
  • Ruth Jones, actress, writer, and producer
  • Simon Mayo, radio presenter
  • Stephen Merchant, comedian, actor, writer, and director


  • Sting (Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner), rock musician



  • Anne Fine, children’s author
  • A.L. Kennedy, novelist, comedian

Literary and Cultural Criticism

  • Susan Bassnett, comparative literature and translation scholar
  • Germaine Greer, nonfiction author, feminist activist


  • Kit Fine (philosophical logic, philosophy of language)
  • Luciano Floridi (information theory)
  • Steve Fuller (science and technology studies)


  • Zahra Newby (classical mythology in ancient visual culture)



  • David Arnold (Asia)
  • John Rigby Hale (Renaissance)
  • E.P. Thompson (labor movement), social activist


  • Andrew Haldane, current Bank of England Chief Economist
  • Oliver Hart, Nobelist
  • Andrew Oswald
  • Robert Skidelsky, popular author
  • Nicholas Stern, former World Bank Chief Economist
  • John H. Williamson

Sociology and Political Science

  • Margaret Archer (sociology)
  • Wyn Grant (political science)
  • Pippa Norris (comparative political science)
  • Shirin M. Rai (political science)
  • Susan Strange (international relations)


  • Jennie Bond, journalist and television presenter
  • Yakubu Gowon, former President of Nigeria
  • Guðni Th. Jóhannesson, current President of Iceland
  • Joseph Ngute, current Prime Minister of Cameroon
  • Tony Wheeler, entrepreneur, co-founder of Lonely Planet guidebooks

What is University of Warwick known for?

#53 World Rank
#62 World Rank
Computer Science
#72 World Rank
#98 World Rank
#123 World Rank
#123 World Rank
Political Science
#124 World Rank
#125 World Rank
#129 World Rank
#133 World Rank
#152 World Rank
#159 World Rank
Social Work
#170 World Rank
#175 World Rank
#191 World Rank
#213 World Rank
Earth Sciences
#220 World Rank
#278 World Rank
#283 World Rank
Criminal Justice
#293 World Rank
#301 World Rank
#353 World Rank
#429 World Rank
#435 World Rank
Religious Studies

Influential People

Who are University of Warwick's Most influential alumni?

University of Warwick's most influential alumni faculty include professors and professionals in the fields of Economics, Computer Science, and Mathematics. University of Warwick’s most academically influential people include Germaine Greer, Adi Shamir, and Ian Stewart.

Germaine Greer
Germaine Greer

Australian writer and public intellectual

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Adi Shamir
Adi Shamir

Israeli cryptographer

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Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart

British mathematician and science fiction author

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Oliver Hart
Oliver Hart

British economist

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Anne Fine

British writer, best known for children's books although she also writes for adults

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Hari Kunzru

British Indian novelist and journalist

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Luciano Floridi
Luciano Floridi

Italian philosopher

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James A. Robinson
James A. Robinson

British political scientist and economist

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Andy Haldane
Andy Haldane

British economist

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David Walton

British economist

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Leslie Valiant
Leslie Valiant

British computer scientist

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James Franklin

Australian historian, philosopher and mathematician

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