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King's facts

King's by numbers

4th Oldest university in England

Founded in 1829

King's College London was founded in 1829 by King George IV and the Duke of Wellington, who fought a duel in defence of his role in the establishment of the College. In 1836 King's became one of the two founding colleges of the University of London.

5 recent mergers

  • 1983 - King's College School of Medicine & Dentistry
  • 1985 - Chelsea and Queen Elizabeth Colleges
  • 1997 - Institute of Psychiatry
  • 1998 - United Medical & Dental Schools of Guy's and St Thomas' Hospitals

180 years of historic pioneers

  • Sir Charles Lyell, founded modern geology
  • Sir Charles Wheatstone, developed electric telegraph
  • James Clerk Maxwell, Einstein's predecessor in electromagnetism
  • Florence Nightingale, pioneered nursing training
  • Lord Lister, 'father of modern medicine'

5 London campuses

  • Strand Campus
  • Waterloo Campus
  • St Thomas' Campus
  • Guy's Campus
  • Denmark Hill Campus

 12 Nobel Prize winners


  • Professor Edward Appleton (exploration of the ionosphere)
  • Professor Charles Barkla (X-rays)
  • Professor Sir James Black (beta blockers and anti-ulcer drugs)
  • Professor Maurice Wilkins (DNA)

100s of distinguished alumni


  • Desmond Tutu, Archbishop, Nobel Peace Laureate
  • Katherine Grainger, four-times Olympic medalist (Gold 2012)
  • Hanif Kureishi, Michael Morpurgo and Susan Hill, writers
  • Sir Robin Auld, former Lord Justice of Appeal
  • Rory Bremner, political satirist

One of the top 10 UK universities in the world

QS World University Rankings 2020.

31,000 students

  • More than 31,300 students from some 150 countries
  • Over 12,800 postgraduate students
  • 8,500 employees.

£841 million

Annual income £841 million, including:

  • Research income - £224 million (2017–18)

£1 billion redevelopment

A £1 billion redevelopment programme is transforming King's estate. Since 1999 over half the university's activities have been relocated to new and refurbished buildings.

One of the top 7 in UK

  • One of the top seven UK universities for research earnings (QS World University Rankings 2017-18)
  • Member of the Russell Group (UK's top 24 research universities)

  4 MRC centres

  • Has four Medical Research Council (MRC) centres
  • Member of King's Health Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre
  • 84 per cent of research is world-leading or internationally excellent (2014 Research Excellence Framework).
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