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Strand Campus is made up of the Strand Building, King’s Building, Somerset House East Wing (SHEW), Virginia Woolf Building, and Bush House.
Our students study in one of the nine faculties, institutes and schools. The ones on this campus are:
The other faculties, institutes and schools are located across our other four campuses, at Guy’s, Waterloo, St Thomas’ and Denmark Hill.
King’s was founded almost two centuries ago in 1829. Over that time, we’ve grown to have over 35,000 students from over 185 different countries, meaning that we have a diverse student body that reflects the vibrant city we live in. We’re one of the top 37 universities in the world according to QS and part of the Russell Group.
We’ve been involved in many world-changing discoveries. In fact, you’re now standing on top of the labs where DNA was discovered by King’s scientists - it is here that the famous ‘double helix’ shape of DNA was first photographed by Rosalind Franklin. The photo was shown to a team at Cambridge who were working on modelling DNA, giving them a critical insight into the molecule’s size and structure. The Cambridge scientists Watson and Crick, along with Rosalind Franklin’s research partner at King’s, received Nobel Prizes for this work. Unfortunately, Franklin died, aged 37, before she could be awarded one, but her legacy and the work of many more world-changing researchers lives on within these very buildings.
It is great to be standing in the Quad today, as it has just had a huge renovation. New Engineering labs have been built underneath where we are standing with cutting edge research equipment installed. There are also some seating spaces in the Quad now, which is a space where students can study or enjoy a break.
The Dickson Poon School of Law occupies the East Wing of Somerset House. We had been wanting to use the East Wing for almost 180 years, so, when we finally moved in in 2012, it was the culmination of a long-held ambition! Inside, we have teaching and learning spaces for our law students, as well as a moot court and the Inigo Rooms, which host cultural engagement activities.
Somerset House, which is just next-door, was first built in the 1500s, though it has undergone some significant rebuilding work since then. Queen Elizabeth I lived here before she was queen, meaning that if you study law here at King’s, you will in fact be studying in a former royal palace! Aside from being a royal palace over the years, Somerset House has acted as everything from a barracks to the headquarters of HM Revenue & Customs. Today it is a cultural venue, housing everything from the Courtauld Art Gallery to outdoor gigs in the summer. In the winter, there is an ice rink in the courtyard.
The Great Hall is used for a variety of different events, such as careers fairs and guest lectures – we’ve hosted lots of famous speakers including prime ministers, the former UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan and even Prince Harry.
You can see three statues in this entrance hall. The male is Sophocles (pronounced Soff-oh-clees), the ancient Greek tragic playwright, and the female is Sappho (pronounced Saff-oh), the ancient Greek poet who is famed for her love poems.
If you look to the stairs, you’ll see the mascot for King’s students – Reggie the Lion. King’s and nearby UCL have always had a friendly rivalry. Back in the 1920s, some UCL students criticised King’s rugby prowess, which prompted a group of students to kidnap the then UCL mascot, a statue of a Scottish soldier called Phineas (pronounced Fin-e-us). Of course, the UCL students weren’t too happy about this and decided to invade King’s to try and reclaim their beloved mascot. After an hour of combat and some police intervention, Phineas was eventually returned to UCL, minus an arm.
The King’s students realised they needed a mascot of their own. The lion statue was purchased for £7 from a nearby shop and was originally given the name Lucy, neglecting the fact that the lion was unquestionably male given its mane! Eventually, the name Reggie was settled upon. Naturally, Reggie has been kidnapped on many occasions throughout his life by students at UCL and even other universities too – in the 1940s, UCL students buried him in Hampstead Heath. Phineas received similar treatment a few years later when he was put on a train by King’s students and had to be recovered from the left luggage office at Newcastle Central station.
Reggie’s recent life has been a lot calmer, and he now stands guard in the entrance hall, probably a good thing for a lion nearly 100 years old.
At university, undergraduate students will be taught using a variety of different methods.
You’ll also find that you will be assessed in lots of different ways, such as:
For postgraduate taught students, you’re likely to have a mixture of lectures and seminars. Modules may be a mixture of required and optional, and there is likely to be a dissertation written over the summer semester.
Assessment is mainly via coursework and/or examination, but there can also be the opportunity for internship modules too. I’ll talk more about internship possibilities later in the tour.
Research students are often able to join module teaching from taught programmes in order to develop certain skills and knowledges they may need to support their research. PhD students will complete a progress report that assesses your research performance every six months, and following submission of your thesis, there’s then the viva examination – a verbal defence of your dissertation in front of a panel of experts in that field of study. MPhil and PhD students also attend several key lectures, seminars and conferences with scholars invited from other universities.
This is Chapters Café, which is the main café here on Strand Campus. It’s a great place to meet friends and socialise during the day, and it sells a variety of hot and cold food and drinks at student prices. If you look up, you can see little study booths, where some people like to work – there’s free Wi-Fi across the campus. Of course, as we’re in central London, there are lots of eateries nearby.
Also, if you download the King’s Move app, which is an incentive to exercise, you can get points with how many steps you walk/how many miles you run etc, and with the points you can get a free coffee from King’s outlets!.
King’s had a simple Chapel until 1864, when the current Chapel was built for £7,000. A historic part of King’s, the Chapel was designed by George Gilbert Scott (who also designed the Foreign Office and the Albert Memorial) and is a Grade I listed building.
There was major bomb damage during WWII when all the stained glass was blown out – plain glass was installed, and the walls were painted white. The stained glass you see now was installed in 2000. Look at the windows behind the altar – you can see some of the subjects we offer here reflected in the stained-glass window design.
The Chapel is used each day for Anglican, Roman Catholic and Orthodox services, as a quiet space for prayer and reflection and is also used by our internationally renowned choir. It also hosts weddings, of current students and recent alumni, memorial, baptism and confirmation services.
The Chapel is run by the Chaplaincy, which is a multi-faith service offering listening and support services to staff and students, of all faiths and none. The Chaplaincy organises a variety of events including free lunches and short trips to places of interest in London as well as retreats.
Our careers service help students and alumni progress their careers, as well as find work alongside their studies. They offer careers guidance, interview practice, help with your CV, run careers fairs and can connect students with employers. They also offer paid internships that are exclusive to King’s students and recent graduates, which are a really good way of getting relevant work experience.
London has got three times more European multinational HQs than any other city in Europe, and we’re at the heart of sectors ranging from law to media to banking, meaning that there are lots of work experience and graduate employment opportunities on your doorstep.
Another way to boost your employability is to take advantage of the global opportunities available to students at King’s through the Global Mobility Office.
Many of our students have the opportunity to study abroad as part of their degree. For example, history students can spend the second semester of second year abroad, in countries including Australia, Hong Kong, Spain and the USA. Language students usually spend their third year abroad becoming fluent in that language. One of the advantages of studying abroad for a year is that you do not pay tuition fees to host the University.
You will be able to see here that we have posters of Alumni who have graduated from King’s along the outside windows of the Strand Main Entrance. These include people like:
This is the former Aldwych tube station, which closed in 1994 and runs underneath our campus. You’ve probably seen the inside before, without knowing it, as it’s a common filming location – for instance, parts of V for Vendetta and the popular TV series Sherlock were both filmed here.
It’s also sometimes used by the police for training exercises, and the King’s Rifle Club has a shooting range on one of the disused platforms.
If you continue down the road, you will see the entrance on the right to the Macadam Building, which is home to brand-new Electronics Labs and dedicated study spaces for Culture, Media and Creative Industries students.
However, you’ll be pleased to know that we aren’t without our own tube station – Temple station is just around the corner, a two-minute walk away.
You don’t have to be studying a language degree to learn a language. The King’s Language Centre offers language courses to all King’s students at all levels. Providing your programme allows you to, you can learn a language from scratch or become an expert in a language you already know!
There is something for everyone as there are 27 languages on offer, ranging from the more familiar French and Spanish through to ancient languages that you might not have had the opportunity to learn elsewhere, such as Sanskrit and Latin. You can also learn British Sign Language here. If a module doesn’t fit with your timetable, students get a generous discount on our wide-ranging Evening or Saturday language courses.
If you look over the road, you’ll see the back of Bush House. Located in Bush House is the King’s Foundations – they run academics preparation courses to help international students prepare for their studies at King’s.
Pre-sessional English courses are offered in the summer to enhance a student’s English Language, and King’s International Foundation is a one-year programme with eight academic pathways leading to undergraduate degrees at King’s
King’s recently acquired Bush House. It was built in the 1920s and cost £2 million to build. It was originally designed to be an international trade centre with galleries, conference rooms and a small theatre in it, but it also had different features including a badminton court, swimming pool and even a club.
The Arcade area of Bush House showcases imaginative research collaborations and invite artists, cultural partners, and the public to connect with King's through a varied programme of events, exhibitions and activities.
It is also home to a café and the KCLSU Shop. The Arcade provides a new space on the Strand for conversation, reflection and interaction between staff, students and the wider London community.
We are now standing outside Bush House Auditorium which seats 395 people. This is one of many lecture theatre spaces in Bush House that have been purposely built with state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment.
Bush House benefits from two roof top terraces. To the south you can enjoy views of the River Thames, Westminster, the London Eye and to the east St Pauls and the city.
The North terrace offers stunning views of the Kingsway and the hustle and bustle of London.
As you can probably tell, we are right in the middle of central London. You can see lots of landmarks from here that I previously mentioned.
We have several campuses in central London, and in fact four of the five are within one square mile of central London.
Bush House South East Wing is the new home of the Union on Strand campus. This is one of the study and social spaces operated by our Students’ Union, KCLSU. KCLSU is a democratic organisation run by students for students, and it’s here to ensure that every King’s student has the best student experience possible.
Here in Bush House, KCLSU have four floors with great spaces for students to study, relax and take part in activities, including The Shack café which is open till 4:30pm, The Studio which will host film screenings and activities, the Lower Loft, a study space, KCLSU advice, the media suites for the media societies. On the 8th there are multiple bookable activity rooms and the Meadow area where you can chill out on bean bags and enjoy the view of London!
Every KCLSU floor has an accessible entrance and gender neutral accessible toilets. If you need any help or advice, please do not hesitate to chat to a member of the KCLSU Hubs team who will always be happy to help. King’s also has a Disability Advisory Service, who support students with a disability or long term medical condition. The Disability Advisory Service can support students before they begin their studies at King’s.
KCLSU is responsible for assisting with the organisation of all the student-run societies. Societies are a great way to make friends, because they bring together a group of people with a shared interest. Some of our societies include:
If you want to start your own society, then KCLSU will give you support to do so.
Whatever your level, you can get involved with sport and fitness at King’s. The biggest King’s Sport gym facility is located in a prime location in the beautiful Northwest Wing of Bush House. It’s subsidised for students and has a gym, classes in anything from Zumba to yoga and a spin studio. We also have three sports grounds in south London and a brand new Health and Fitness Centre near our Guy's Campus.
There are around over 70 different sports clubs, with everything from rugby to archery to karate, you can continue to practice a sport you’re already involved with, or pick up something new. Sports clubs from different universities across the UK compete against each other in a league known as BUCS (British Universities and Colleges Sport). There’s also a great programme called BeActive which is open to all students at King’s.
We have our very own NHS doctors’ surgery, which is only open to King’s students and staff. This means that it’s really easy to see a doctor when you need to. In addition, we have a Counselling Service, which is free and open to all of our students.
Our main library at the Strand Campus is called the Maughan Library, which is around the corner on Chancery Lane.
The Maughan Library houses the books and resources relevant to the subjects taught here. As we’re part of the University of London, you can use most other academic libraries in London too! It’s open 24/7 during second semester, which is really helpful.
You’re probably wondering where you might live while you’re studying at King’s. The good news is that all undergraduates and international postgraduates are guaranteed a place in halls during first year, so long as you meet the conditions and apply by the deadline.
We’ve got a wide variety of halls, all of which are within zones 1 and 2, the most central parts of London. For example, the nearest King’s halls to the Strand Campus are Stamford Street apartments, which are just the other side of Waterloo Bridge, but it’s really easy to get here regardless of which halls you’re in. You may also like to live in Intercollegiate Halls, which are located in Bloomsbury. We share them with other University of London students at institutions such as SOAS, LSE or UCL.
You can find out much more about how to apply for accommodation on our Residences webpage.
After first year, students move into shared houses with friends. The University of London Housing Services help by registering landlords who sign up to a Code of Good Practice, checking contracts and offering legal advice.
The Vault and King’s Kitchen are some of our newest facilities, with a wide range of food and drink on offer as well as being spaces for students to meet up, relax and socialise.
Thank you for joining the tour today, I hope you enjoyed your visit to King’s College London and you’ve got a feel for why all of the students studying here chose King’s.
If you want to learn more about our range of subjects, you can explore our collection of recorded introduction talks on our On-demand open day, on our website. We will also be running an Open Day on campus again in the summer, and you can find more details of this also on our Open Day website.
If you have any questions for the admissions team, we recommend contacting the King’s Advisors on firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also connect with current students and members of staff directly via our UniBuddy chat service.
Finally, if you were looking for a tour of the accommodation sites, you can contact the King’s Residences team through their webpage to arrange a viewing.
Discover your accommodation options and explore our residences.
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King's is right in the heart of the capital.