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King’s College London is one of England’s oldest and most prestigious universities, founded within the tradition of the Church of England by King George IV and the Duke of Wellington who granted our royal charter in 1829.

King's has a proud history of inspiring and supporting those who seek to solve the world's most pressing problems. For almost 200 years, our community has been deeply rooted in the belief that learning and research should serve society.

This commitment to knowledge with purpose – using our expertise as a force for good – lies at the heart of our core mission at King’s. From research that led to the discovery of the structure of DNA, to developing life-changing therapies and making maths education available to underrepresented groups, we continue to have a transformational impact on society.

Fourteen people from King’s and its associated institutions have been awarded the Nobel Prize, including Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu for his role in South Africa’s anti-apartheid campaign, and Professor Michael Levitt for his joint work in developing multiscale models for complex chemical systems.

Notable alumni include British sprinter and world-record holder Dina Asher-Smith, biophysicist Dr. Rosalind Franklin, famous for her work in X-ray spectroscopy, and acclaimed children’s writer Sir Michael Morpurgo.

Mergers and developments

When the University of London was established in 1836, King’s became one of its two founding colleges. Over time, it has grown and developed through many mergers, including those with Chelsea and Queen Elizabeth Colleges in 1985, with the Institute of Psychiatry in 1997 and with the United Medical and Dental Schools of Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals in 1998.

These mergers brought institutions with their own distinguished reputations and traditions. The Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience is closely associated with the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust, which includes the famous Bethlem Hospital dating from the 13th century.

Medicine has been formally taught at St Thomas’ Hospital since the 16th century and at Guy’s since the early 18th century. The Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery & Palliative Care descends directly from the world’s first professional school of nursing, founded by Florence Nightingale in 1860.

King’s has enjoyed financial and academic autonomy since 1994, while remaining part of the University of London. Since 2008, it has awarded its own degrees.

Historical image of a woman in a lab

Building on a history of excellence

King’s Vision 2029 sets out our ambition to make the world a better place. It builds upon our history of making a significant contribution to society and takes us to our 200th anniversary in 2029.

We have made significant progress, developing new areas of outstanding quality and enhancing existing areas of strength. Deepening our local connections has galvanised partnerships with our home boroughs, as we continue to shape equitable collaborations that respond to global challenges.

We will continue to advance our world-leading education and research, serving the needs and aspirations of society to deliver tangible impact locally, nationally and internationally.

King's Business School graduating students.