Imperial College London

Imperial College London

Infobox University
name = Imperial College London

image_size = 180px
motto = Scientia imperii decus et tutamen
"Knowledge is the adornment and protection of the Empire"
established = 8 July 1907]
type = Public
endowment = £57.6 million (2006/07) [ [ Imperial College Annual Report 2006/07, p.22]
staff = approx. 8,000 (2006/7)
rector = Sir Roy Anderson
head_label = Visitor
head = The Lord President of the Council "ex officio"
students = 13,410cite web|url=|title= Table 0a - All students by institution, mode of study, level of study, gender and domicile 2006/07|accessdate= 2008-04-10|format= Microsoft Excel spreadsheet|publisher= Higher Education Statistics Agency]
undergrad = 8,350
postgrad = 5,060
doctoral =
other =
city = London
state =
country = UK
campus = Urban
colours =

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mascot =
affiliations = Russell Group Association of MBAs IDEA League Association of Commonwealth Universities 'Golden Triangle' G5 Oak Ridge Associated Universities
website =
nobel_laureates = 14

Imperial College London (officially The Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine as given in its Royal Charter) is a British university in London which was placed 6th overall in the world in the 2008 THES - QS World University Rankings of universities world-wide.cite web |url=|title = THES - QS World University Rankings 2008 |work=QS TopMBA|accessdate=2007-11-09]

It is one of only three universities to have reached second place in any of the major British newspaper league rankings when Imperial College beat Oxford University in The Times 1999 and 2000 tables to finish second. (see 'Academic Reputation'). Teaching and research focus on science, engineering, and medicine, although more recently faculties in these areas have been complemented by the Imperial College Business School and a humanities department.

Imperial's main campus is located in South Kensington in central London, on the boundary between the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and the City of Westminster, with its front entrance on Exhibition Road. Formerly a constituent college of the University of London, Imperial became independent of the university on 8 July 2007, the 100th anniversary of its founding. [ [ University of London: Imperial College Leaves University of London ] ]


Imperial College was founded in 1907, with the merger of the City and Guilds College, the Royal School of Mines and the Royal College of Science (all of which had been founded between 1845 and 1878) with these entities continuing to exist as "constituent colleges". The College was granted a Royal Charter by Edward VII in July 1907 and was integrated into the University of London.

In later years, St Mary's Hospital Medical School (1988), the National Heart and Lung institute (1995), and the Charing Cross and Westminster Medical School (1997) merged into the Imperial College School of Medicine, the fourth constituent college. The size of the Medical School was increased in 1997 with the merger with the Royal Postgraduate Medical School (RPMS) and the Institute of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, and again in 2000 with a merger with the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology. Many medical academics were disturbed by the disappearance of the RPMS which had been a major force in British Medicine for decades.

Also in 2000, Imperial merged with Wye College, the University of London's agricultural college in Wye, Kent. It has been claimed that the merger might have been motivated by Imperial's interest in acquiring land owned by Wye College, rather than for academic reasons; Wye College accepted the merger because it was in financial difficulties. In December 2005, the college announced a science park programme at the Wye campus; [ [ Imperial College London - New GBP1 billion world-class scientific research centre and facilities planned for Kent ] ] however, this was abandoned in September 2006 following local environmental complaints that this programme would have a negative impact on the surrounding countryside. Wye College will now be run by the University of Kent from September 2007 in association with Imperial College London and Wye College, graduates will receive a degree from the University of Kent and an Imperial Associateship of Wye College. [ [ Wye college - Locations - University of Kent ] ]

In 1995, Imperial launched its own academic publishing house, Imperial College Press, in partnership with World Scientific.

In 2002, the constituent colleges were abolished in favour of a new faculty structure. A merger with University College London was proposed in October that year, but was called off a month later after protests from staff over fear of redundancies. [,12544,842591,00.html]

In 2003, the College was granted degree-awarding powers in its own right by the Privy Council. Exercising this power would be incompatible with remaining in the federal University of London, and on 9 December 2005 Imperial announced that it was beginning negotiations to withdraw from the University. [ [ Imperial College London - Imperial College London to begin negotiations to withdraw from the University of London ] ] The college became independent in July 2007 [ [ University of London: Updated position statement re: Imperial College London ] ] and the first students to register for an Imperial College degree will be postgraduates beginning their course in October 2007, with the first undergraduates enrolling for an Imperial degree in October 2008. The first group of students to be awarded the Imperial College degree by default will commence their studies in 2008, but all non-final current students were offered the option of choosing to be awarded a London degree or an Imperial degree.

Imperial College is a member of the Russell Group of Universities, AMBA, and the IDEA League. It is also considered a member of the "Golden Triangle". The College's official title is "Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine", which it used in public relations up to 2002.


Imperial College's activity is centred on its South Kensington campus, situated in an area with a high concentration of cultural and academic institutions known as the Albertopolis; the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Royal College of Music, the Royal College of Art and the Royal Albert Hall are all nearby. Imperial College has two other major campuses — at Silwood Park (near Ascot in Berkshire) and at Wye (near Ashford in Kent). The Imperial College NHS Trust runs multiple hospitals throughout Greater London and various medic lectures are conducted within these hospitals, including St. Mary's Hospital, Charing Cross Hospital, Northwick Park & St. Mark's Hospital and Hammersmith Hospital. The expansion of the South Kensington campus in the 1960s absorbed the site of the former Imperial Institute, designed by Thomas Collcutt, of which only the convert|287|foot|m high Queen's Tower remains among the more modern buildings. [ [ Imperial Institute] , "Survey of London: volume 38: South Kensington Museums Area" (1975), pp. 220-227] [ [ Imperial College] , "Survey of London: volume 38: South Kensington Museums Area" (1975), pp. 233-247.]

Extensive renovation continues throughout the College estate. Recent major projects include the Imperial College Business School, the Ethos sports centre, and Southside hall of residence. Current major projects include the new Eastside hall of residence, refurbishment of the Central Library, and reconstruction of the south-eastern quadrant of the campus.


Imperial College London is one of the most selective universities in the world. [ [ USAToday Compiled Acceptance Rates] ] From 1999 to 2006 (dates of all the online available records), the overall acceptance rate of Imperial College programs has been consistently below 20%, [] and in 2006, the acceptance rate of the college for undergraduates was 17.5%.] The acceptance rate for postgraduate courses was 18.87%. To apply to an Imperial undergraduate course, as with all other universities in the United Kingdom, one must apply through the UCAS system.

Academic structure

Imperial offers both undergraduate and postgraduate education, with its research and teaching organised into three faculties, each headed by a principal: engineering, medicine and natural sciences. In addition to the three faculties, a business school exists as well as a humanities department. However, the humanities department's main purpose is to provide elective subjects and language courses outside the field of science for students in the other faculties and departments. Students are encouraged to take these classes either for credit or in their own time. Courses exist in a wide range of topics including philosophy; ethics in science and technology; history; modern literature and drama; art in the twentieth century; film studies. Language courses are available in French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, Spanish, Arabic, Dutch, Mandarin Chinese and Urdu. The humanities department also runs a full-time course in scientific translation.

For the 2005-06 academic year, Imperial College had a total full-time student body of more than 11,000. This comprised roughly 8,000 undergraduate students and 3,400 postgraduates. In addition there were over 900 part-time students, all postgraduates. 27% of students come from outside the European Union.

Imperial's male:female ratio for undergraduate students is uneven at approximately 65:35 overall and 10:1 in some engineering courses.

A full list of undergraduate courses offered can be found here. [] Information on postgraduate courses offered can be found here. []


Imperial's research income is among the largest in the UK – £204.8 million for 2005/06. [] This includes Research Council grants, grants from charities and a larger sum from industry than any other British university. It also received the highest amount of total research income out of all the UK universities in 2003, at £153 million.

In the December 2001 Research Assessment Exercise, 75 per cent of staff achieved a 5* rating, the highest proportion in any UK university. The College was second in the country with an overall score of 6.68 out of 7.

Imperial College has a dedicated technology transfer company known as Imperial Innovations. Imperial actively encourages its staff to commercialise its research and as a result has given rise to a proportionally large number of spin-out companies based on academic research.

Academic reputation

Recent tables show that, despite being purely science-based, it is maintaining its high league table position, whilst topping most of the engineering and medicine tables. Imperial remains the only university other than Oxford and Cambridge, to have held one of the top two positions in a major British university league table, coming second to Cambridge in The Times 1999 and 2000 tables, pushing Oxford to third place.

The Department of Computing (DoC) was rated best in the UK, surpassing University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory for the first time in 2007, for Computer Science and IT in the Guardian University Guide (since 1 May 2007 it is assessed by the Guide under the 'Engineering: electronic and electrical' subject category due it being part of the Faculty of Engineering). [ [ Guardian Unlimited: Education] ] . THES placed the Computing department 4th in world rankings for Computer Science. In 2004, 2006 and 2007 student(s) from the DoC were awarded the SET Student of the Year award. [ [ Computing - Imperial College London ] ] [ [ Computing - Imperial College London] ]

"The Financial Times" placed Imperial College's Business School within the top 10 in Europe. [ [ / Business Education / European Business school rankings ] ] The Business School is also consistently ranked in the top 10 worldwide for entrepreneurshipFact|date=October 2008. The business school also offers a full time MBA that is ranked 17th in Europe by the Financial TimesFact|date=October 2008 and a part time Executive MBA programme that is ranked 4th in Europe.Fact|date=October 2008

According to the 2008 ARWU rankings, Imperial College is ranked 26th in the world for medicine; only three UK medical schools rank higher (Oxford 12th, UCL 13th, and Cambridge 16th). [ [ field ] ] Imperial is ranked 25th in the world for Engineering and IT. [Citation|title=ARWU Top 100 world universities in Engineering/Technology and Computer Sciences, 2007|url=|accessdate=2007-10-12] It is also ranked 27th in the world for the natural sciences. [Citation|title=ARWU Top 100 world universities in Natural Sciences and Mathematics, 2007|url=|accessdate=2007-10-12]

In addition, Newsweek's TOP 100 Universities ranking [ [ Newsweek Ranking of World's TOP 100 Universities] ] , which takes both ARWU and Times criteria into consideration, put Imperial as 17-th in the world.

Academic and research staff number around 3,000. Of these, 53 are Fellows of the Royal Society, 57 are Fellows of the Royal Academy of Engineering and one Fields Medallist. Distinguished past members of the College include 14 Nobel Laureates and one Fields Medallist.

Teams from Imperial College won University Challenge in both 1996 and 2001.


Imperial College Business School entrance] Imperial College owns and manages over thirty halls of residence in Central London, Ealing, Ascot and Wye. Additionally, students are eligible for places in eight University of London Intercollegiate Halls situated in Central London. Over three thousand rooms are available, guaranteeing first year undergraduates a place in College residences.

The majority of halls offer self-catered single or twin accommodation with some rooms having en suite facilities. Study bedrooms are provided with basic furniture and with access to shared kitchens and bathrooms. Most of them are considered among the newest student halls at London universities.

Most students in college or university accommodation are first-year undergraduates, since they are granted a room once they have selected Imperial College as their firm offer at UCAS. The majority of older students and postgraduates find accommodation in the private sector, help for which is provided by the College private housing office.

Imperial College Union

The students' union is run by five full-time sabbatical officers which are elected from the student body for a tenure of one year, as well as many permanent members of staff. The Union is given a large subvention by the College, much of which is spent on maintaining the various clubs and societies.

The Imperial College School of Medicine Students' Union, which was formed from the merger of "St Mary's Hospital (London) Medical School" and "Charing Cross & Westminster Medical School", looks after the social, academic and welfare needs of the 2000 medical students within the faculty.

Clubs & Societies at Imperial

Imperial College Union has around 300 clubs and societies, [ [ Imperial College Union ] ] the largest number of any students' union in the United Kingdom.

tudent Media

Imperial College Radio

Imperial College Radio (or ICRadio) was founded in November 1975 with the intention of broadcasting to the student halls of residence from a studio under Southside, actually commencing broadcasts in late 1976. It now broadcasts from the West Basement of Beit Quad over the internet [ [ Imperial College Radio, London, UK ] ] and, since 2004, on 1134AM in Wye. The radio station has a library of over 51,000 tracks, which are searchable on their website.

In 2006 IC Radio received two nominations in the Student Radio Awards: Best Entertainment Show for Liquid Lunch [ [ Liquid Lunch, IC Radio - Student Radio that Flows ] ] and Best Male Presenter for Martin Archer. [ [ Martin Archer: Presenter, Voiceover, DJ ] who is now a Radio Presenter on the [Kiss Network] ]

Popular shows on IC Radio in recent years (2006/2007) include: Rocktopia, School Daze' (pop), 'Instru(Mental)' (dance), 'VPT' [ [ VPT, IC Radio - Professionally Unprofessional ] ] (Entertainment/Shambles), 'Moon Unit' [ [ Imperial College Radio, London, UK ] ] and 'The Cornerstone' [ [ Imperial College Radio, London, UK ] ] (both of which play rock and alternative) and 'Album - A Discourse in Musical History' [ [ Imperial College Radio, London, UK ] ] (devoted to seminal albums).

toic TV

stoic tv (Student Television of Imperial College) is Imperial College Union's TV station, founded in the early 1970s. In 2006 it was named Best Broadcaster at NaSTA and also won awards for Best On-Screen Male and Best On-Screen Female. It now broadcasts from studios in the specially built media centre in the Student Union to the Junior Common Room and occasionally DaVinci's Bar. Programmes are also available to watch on their website. [ [ stoic tv]

There is also a non-student Imperial College organisation called Media Services, whose main activity is producing videos of College events.


Published weekly, "Felix" is the free student newspaper of Imperial College London. It aims to be independent of both the College itself and also the Student Union. The editor is elected annually from the student body; the editorship is a full-time, sabbatical position. There is also a non-student Imperial College newspaper called "Reporter", and "London Student" distributes on campus.

In 2006, Felix won the Guardian Student Media Awards for "Student newspaper of the year" and "Student journalist of the year".


Live! [ [ Live! - The award-winning student news website of Imperial College ] ] is an online student news source and forum run by the City and Guilds College Union. Live! also enables readers to view published articles from Livic, the monthly newspaper of CivSoc, the student society in the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.Content on Live! is text-based news, with one or more photographs per article to illustrate the event. At the start of 2007 the ability to display videos was added, increasing the breadth of its coverage. Co-operation with Imperial's student television station, stoic tv has led to the introduction of politically-focused video content on the site by syndicating weekly news bulletins and the "Ask the President" show.Live! was also named the best student website in the 2007 Guardian Student Media Awards.

tudent and Staff Alumni

Imperial alumni include physicist Abdus Salam, biologist T. H. Huxley and pharmacologist Alexander Fleming, alongside Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, author H. G. Wells and Queen guitarist Brian May.



* [ "Felix Online" article on Imperial's new 'state-of-the-art' sports complex]
* [ Figures on the composition of the student body for the 2004-05 academic year]
* [ Independent site covering Imperial's controversial development plans for the Wye area]

External links

* [ Imperial College's website]
* [ Imperial College Press]

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