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King's College London

King's College London

Arms of King's College London
Latin: Regis Collegium Londinensi
Motto Sancte et Sapienter (Latin)
Motto in English With Holiness and Wisdom
Established 1829
Type Public
Endowment £124.67 million (at 1 August 2011)[1]
Chancellor HRH The Princess Royal (University of London)
Principal Prof Sir Rick Trainor[2]
Chairman of the Council Charles Wellesley, 10th Duke of Ciudad Rodrigo[3]
Students 18,630[1]
Undergraduates 12,320[1]
Postgraduates 6,310[1]
Location London, United Kingdom
51°30′43.00″N 0°06′58.00″W / 51.51194°N 0.11611°W / 51.51194; -0.11611Coordinates: 51°30′43.00″N 0°06′58.00″W / 51.51194°N 0.11611°W / 51.51194; -0.11611
Campus Urban
Visitor The Archbishop of Canterbury ex officio[4]
Mascot Reggie the Lion
Affiliations University of London
Russell Group
Golden Triangle
Website kcl.ac.uk

King's College London (informally King's or KCL) is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom, and a constituent college of the federal University of London. King's has a claim to being the third-oldest university in England, having been founded by King George IV and the Duke of Wellington in 1829, receiving its royal charter in the same year.[5][6][7] In 1836 King's became one of the two founding colleges of the University of London.[8][9]

King's is organised into nine Schools of Study, spread across four Thames-side campuses in central London and another in Denmark Hill, South London.[10] It is one of the largest centres for graduate and post-graduate medical teaching and biomedical research in Europe; it is home to six Medical Research Council centres, the most of any British university,[11] and is a founding member of the King's Health Partners academic health sciences centre. King's has around 18,600 full-time students and 5,030 staff and had a total income of £524.1 million in 2010/11, of which £147.1 million was from research grants and contracts.[1]

King's is ranked 63rd in the world (and 16th in Europe) in the 2010 Academic Ranking of World Universities,[12] 21st in the world (and 6th in Europe) in the 2010 QS World University Rankings,[13] and 77th in the world (and 15th in Europe) in the 2010 Times Higher Education World University Rankings.[14] There are currently 10 Nobel Prize laureates amongst King's alumni and current and former faculty.[15] In September 2010, The Sunday Times selected King's as its "University of the Year".[16]

King's is a member of the Association of Commonwealth Universities, the European University Association, the Russell Group and Universities UK. It forms part of the 'Golden Triangle' of British universities.[17]


  1829 to 2001

  Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington fought a duel against the Earl of Winchilseain 1829 over the Duke's support for the rights of Irish Catholics, and the independence of the newly-established King's

King's, so named to indicate the patronage of King George IV, was founded in 1829 in response to the founding of "London University", latterly known as University College London, in 1826.[18] UCL was founded, with the backing of Jews, Utilitarians and non-Anglican Christians, as a secular institution, intended to educate "the youth of our middling rich people between the ages of 15 or 16 and 20 or later".[19] The need for such an institution was a result of the religious nature of the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, which then educated solely the sons of wealthy Anglicans.[20] The foundation of UCL met with the disapproval of the establishment, indeed, "the storms of opposition which raged around it threatened to crush every spark of vital energy which remained".[21] The Revd Dr George D'Oyly, rector of Lambeth and governor of Wilson's School in Camberwell, opposing the secular nature of the college, published an open letter proposing the formation of a competing institution. This would be of a religious, and more particularly Anglican, nature, one which would instil, "the services of religion performed as directed in our National Church".[19] This prompted Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, the then Prime Minister to chair a public meeting which launched King's on 21 June 1828. His simultaneous support for the Anglican college and the Roman Catholic Relief Act, which was to lead to the granting of almost full civil rights to Catholics, was challenged by George Finch-Hatton, 10th Earl of Winchilsea in early 1829. The result was a duel in Battersea Fields on 21 March that year.[22] Deliberately off-target shots were fired by both and neither was hurt.[22] "Duel Day" is still celebrated on the first Thursday after 21 March every year, marked by various events throughout the College.[23]

  South West Building, Strand Campus, overlooking the Thames

King's opened in 1831, very much in a similar academic guise to Oxford. Despite the intentions of its founders and the chapel at the heart of its buildings, the initial prospectus permitted, "nonconformists of all sorts to enter the college freely".[24] Chemistry, English literature and Commerce were among the subjects offered.[20] At this time, neither King's, nor "London University" had the ability to confer degrees, a particular problem for medical students who wished to practise. Amending this situation was aided by the appointment of Henry Brougham, 1st Baron Brougham and Vaux as Lord Chancellor, who was chairman of the governors of "London University". In this position he automatically became a governor of King's. In the understanding that the government was unlikely to grant degree-awarding powers on two institutions in London, negotiations led to the colleges federating as the "University of London" in 1836, "London University" thus being changed to University College.[20]

King's professors played a part in scientific and social advances of the nineteenth century, through extending higher education to women, the working class, and by offering evening classes. One of the most famous pieces of scientific research performed at King's was the work by Maurice Wilkins and Rosalind Franklin that was the basis of the elucidation of the molecular structure of DNA.

During World War II King's was evacuated out of London to Bristol University.

The first qualification issued by King's was the Associateship of King's College, or AKC. The course, which concerns questions of ethics and theology, is still awarded today to students (and staff) who take an optional three year course alongside their standard degree. Successful completion entitles the graduate to bear the letters AKC after their name.

The College today is the product of mergers with a number of other institutions over the years, including Queen Elizabeth College and Chelsea College of Science and Technology in 1985, and with the Institute of Psychiatry and the United Medical and Dental Schools of Guy's and St Thomas' Hospitals. Florence Nightingale's original training school for nurses is now incorporated as the Florence Nightingale School of Nursing and Midwifery. Today, there are nine schools of study (see below).

King's College School was created as King's Junior Department at the time of the College's founding. Originally situated in the basement of the Strand campus, the School relocated to Wimbledon in 1897. King's College School is no longer associated with King's College London.

  2001 to present

In 2003 the College was granted degree-awarding powers in its own right, (as opposed to through the University of London) by the Privy Council. This power remained unexercised until 2007, when the College announced that all students starting courses from September 2007 onwards would be awarded degrees conferred by King's itself, rather than by the University of London. The new certificates however still make reference to the fact that King's is a constituent college of the University of London.[25] All current students with at least one year of study remaining were in August 2007 offered the option of choosing to be awarded a University of London degree or a King's degree. In 2007, for the second consecutive year, students from the King's College London School of Law won the national round of the Jessup International Law Moot Court. The Jessup moot is the biggest international mooting competition in the world. The King's team went on to represent the UK as national champions.[26]


  Strand Campus

  Guy's Campus
  The Colonnade, Guy's Campus
  The Grade I listed College Chapel on the Strand Campus was redesigned in 1864 by Sir George Gilbert Scott

The Strand Campus is the founding campus of King's. Located on the Strand in the City of Westminster, sharing its frontage along the River Thames. Most of the Schools of Arts & Humanities, Law, Social Science & Public Policy and Physical Sciences & Engineering are housed here. The campus combines the Grade I listed King's Building of 1831 designed by Sir Robert Smirke, and the Byzantine Gothic College Chapel, redesigned in 1864 by Sir George Gilbert Scott with the more modern Strand Building, completed in 1972. The Chesham Building in Surrey Street was purchased after the Second World War. The Macadam Building of 1975 houses King's College London Students Union's activities and is named after King's alumnus Sir Ivison Macadam, first President of NUS.

On February 2012, Queen Elizabeth II officially opened Somerset House East Wing, the new front door to King’s College London, Strand Campus. The official launch of Somerset House East Wing comes after 18 months of restoration, which began when King’s secured a 78 year lease for the building in 2009. The building is the home for Dickson Poon School of Law.

A National Trust-protected Roman Bath is situated on the site of the Strand Campus and can be accessed via the Surrey Street entrance. Hidden by surrounding College buildings, the Baths were mentioned by Charles Dickens in chapter thirty-five of David Copperfield. Moreover Aldwych tube station, a well-preserved but disused London Underground station, is integrated as part of the King's Strand campus. A Rifle Range is located on the site of a platform taken out of public service in 1917. (Nearest underground stations: Temple, Charing Cross, Covent Garden)

  Guy's Campus

Guy's Hospital in the London Borough of Southwark, established in 1726, houses parts of King's College London School of Medicine. The founder and benefactor of the hospital, Thomas Guy, was a wealthy bookseller and a governor of St Thomas' Hospital. He lies buried in the vault beneath the 18th-century chapel at Guy's. Silk-merchant William Hunt was a later benefactor who gave money in the early nineteenth century to build Hunt's House. Today this is the site of New Hunt's House. The Henriette Raphael building, constructed in 1903, and the Gordon Museum are also located here. In addition, the Hodgkin building, Shepherd's House and Guy's chapel are prominent buildings within the campus. Guy's KCLSU centre is situated in Boland House. (Nearest underground stations: London Bridge, Borough)

  Waterloo Campus

Across Waterloo Bridge from the Strand Campus, the Waterloo Campus near the South Bank Centre in the London Borough of Lambeth consists of the James Clerk Maxwell Building and the Franklin-Wilkins Building, which was originally constructed between 1912 and 1915 as His Majesty's Stationery Office, but in 1915, the building was requisitioned for use as a hospital. It became the King George Military Hospital, and accommodated about 1,800 patients on 63 wards.[27] King's acquired the building in the 1980s. The James Clerk Maxwell Building houses the Principal's Office, most of the central administrative offices of the College and part of the Florence Nightingale School of Nursing & Midwifery. The Franklin-Wilkins Building is home to the School of Health & Life Sciences that includes Pharmacy, the Department of Education and to part of the School of Nursing & Midwifery. The campus is also home to the London site of Schiller International University. (Nearest underground station: Waterloo)

  St Thomas' Campus

The St Thomas' Campus in the London Borough of Lambeth, facing the Houses of Parliament across the Thames, houses parts of the School of Medicine and the Dental Institute. The Florence Nightingale Museum is also located here. (Nearest underground station: Westminster)

  Denmark Hill Campus

Further south, King's College Hospital, the Maudsley Hospital and the Institute of Psychiatry form the Denmark Hill Campus, straddling the borders of the London Borough of Lambeth and the London Borough of Southwark in Camberwell, the only campus not situated on the River Thames. As well as the IoP, parts of the Dental Institute and School of Medicine, and a large hall of residence, King's College Hall, are housed here. The KCL library for this campus is on-site, known as the Weston Education Centre (WEC). (Nearest overground station: Denmark Hill)


King's is coming to the end of a decade of restorative and refurbishment projects, with investment of £550 million.[28] These include the Franklin-Wilkins Building at the Waterloo campus, the Maughan Library on Chancery Lane and the renovation of the chapel at the Strand campus at a cost of £750,000. The Strand Campus redevelopment won the Green Gown Award in 2007 for sustainable construction. The award recognised the ‘reduced energy and carbon emissions from a sustainable refurbishment of the historic South Range of the King's Building'.[29] King's was also the recipient of the 2003 City Heritage Award for the conversion of the Grade II* listed Maughan Library.[30]

  Organisation and administration

  Schools and departments

  A Classical sculpture of Sappho in the King's Building, Strand Campus

King's currently has the following nine constituent Schools of Study:

The Department of War Studies is unique in the UK, and is supported by facilities such as The Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives, the Centre for Defence Studies,[31] and the King's Centre for Military Health Research.

The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) is administered through King's, and its students graduate alongside members of the departments which form the School of Arts & Humanities. As RADA does not have degree awarding powers, its courses are validated by King's.[32]

  Academic year

King's academic year runs from the last Monday in September to the first Friday in June.[33]

Graduation ceremonies are held in June or July, with ceremonies held in Southwark Cathedral for the School of Medicine and the Dental Institute and in the Barbican Centre for all other Schools.[34] Since 2008 King's graduates have worn gowns designed by Vivienne Westwood.[35]


In the financial year ended 31 July 2011 King's had a total income of £524.11 million (2009/10 – £508.05 million) and total expenditure of £496.61 million (2009/10 – £497.58 million).[1] Key sources of income included £147.21 million from Funding Council grants (2009/10 – £151.89 million), £147.1 million from research grants and contracts (2009/10 – £144.05 million), £130.75 million from tuition fees and education contracts (2009/10 – £118.4 million) and £5.49 million from endowment and investment income (2009/10 – £6.61 million).[1]

At year end King's had total endowments of £124.67 million (2009/10 – £115.23 million) and total net assets of £726.87 million (2009/10 – £683.58 million).[1] King's has a credit rating of AA from Standard & Poor's.[1]



The Sunday Times has ranked King's as the 6th most difficult UK university to gain admission to.[36] According to the 2008 Times Good University Guide approximately 30% of King's undergraduates come from independent schools.[37]

At the undergraduate level admission to King's is extremely competitive. In 2011 some courses, such as English, Law and Business Management, had 15 or more applicants per place or an acceptance rate of less than 7.5 percent.[38]


  Shepherd's House, Guy's Campus

King's is the largest centre for healthcare education in Europe.[39] King's College London School of Medicine has over 2,000 undergraduate students, over 1,400 teachers, four main teaching hospitals – Guy's Hospital, King's College Hospital, St Thomas' Hospital and University Hospital Lewisham – and 17 associated district general hospitals.[40] King’s College London Dental Institute is the largest dental school in Europe.[41] The Florence Nightingale School of Nursing & Midwifery is the oldest professional school of nursing in the world.[42]

King's is a major centre for biomedical research. It is a founding member of King's Health Partners, one of the largest academic health sciences centres in Europe with a turnover of over £2 billion and approximately 25,000 employees.[39] It also is home to six Medical Research Council centres, the most of any British university,[43] and is part of two of the twelve biomedical research centres established by the NHS in England – the Guy's & St Thomas'/King's College London Comprehensive Biomedical Research Centre and the South London and Maudsley/KCL Institute of Psychiatry Biomedical Research Centre.[44]

King's Drug Control Centre currently holds the official UK contract for running doping tests on UK athletes, and will likely continue to do so for the 2012 Olympics, to be held in London.[45]


King's library facilities are spread across its five campuses; the College's estate also includes the library at Bethlem Royal Hospital in the London Borough of Bromley.[46] The collections encompass over one million printed books, as well as thousands of journals and electronic resources.

  The Maughan Library

The Maughan Library is housed in the Grade II* listed 19th century gothic former Public Record Office building situated on Chancery Lane near the Strand Campus. The building was designed by Sir James Pennethorne and is home to the books and journals of the School's of Humanities, Law, Physical Sciences & Engineering, and Social Science & Public Policy. It also houses the Special Collections and rare books. Inside the Library is the octagonal Round Reading Room, inspired by the reading room of the British Museum, and the former Rolls Chapel (renamed the Weston Room following a donation from the Garfield Weston Foundation) with its stained glass windows, mosaic floor and monuments, including an important Renaissance terracotta figure by Pietro Torrigiano of Dr Yonge, Master of the Rolls, who died in 1516.

  Other libraries

  • The Foyle Special Collections Library at Chancery Lane houses a collection of over 150,000 printed works as well as thousands of maps, slides, sound recordings and some manuscript material.[47]
  • The Tony Arnold Library at Chancery Lane houses a collection of over 3000 law books and 140 law journals. It was named after Tony Arnold, the longest serving Secretary of the Institute of Taxation. In September 2001 the library became part of the law collection of King's College London.[48]
  • The Franklin-Wilkins Library at the Waterloo Campus is home to extensive management and education holdings, as well as wide-ranging biomedical, health and life sciences coverage includes nursing, midwifery, public health, pharmacy, biological and environmental sciences, biochemistry and forensic science.[49]
  • The New Hunt's House Library at Guy's Campus covers all aspects of biomedical science. There are also extensive resources for medicine, dentistry, physiotherapy and health services.[50]
  • The Weston Education Centre Library at the Denmark Hill Campus has particular strengths in the areas of gastroenterology, liver disease, diabetes, obstetrics, gynaecology, paediatrics and the history of medicine.[51]
  • The St Thomas' House Library holdings cover all aspects of basic medical sciences, clinical medicine and health services research.[52]
  • The Institute of Psychiatry (IoP) Library is the largest psychiatric library in Western Europe, holding 3,000 print journal titles, 550 of which are current subscriptions, as well as access to over 3,500 electronic journals, 38,000 books, and training materials.[53]
  • The Bethlem Royal Hospital Library contains a smaller collection to support students and staff working at the hospital.[54]


(2011/12, national)
(2011/12, world)
(2011/12, national)
(2011/12, world)
(2011/12, national)
(2011/12, world)
Complete/The Independent[58]
(2013, national)
The Guardian[59]
(2013, national)
The Sunday Times[60]
(2012, national)
The Times[61]
(2012, national)

Internationally, King's is consistently ranked among the top 100 universities in the world by all major global university rankings compilers, having been placed between 27th by the 2011 QS World University Rankings[62] and 56th worldwide by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings.[63]

According to the 2009 Times Good University Guide, several subjects taught at King’s, including Law, History, War Studies (ranked under Politics), Classics, Spanish, Portuguese, Music, Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing and Food Science are among the top five in the country.[64]

According to the 2010 Complete University guide, many subjects at King's, including Classics, English, French, Geography, German, History, Music, Philosophy and Theology, rank within the Top 10 nationally. The College has had 24 of its subject-areas awarded the highest rating of 5 or 5* for research quality,[28] and in 2007 it received a good result in its audit by the Quality Assurance Agency.[28] It is in the top tier for research earnings. In September 2010, the Sunday Times selected King's as the "University of the Year 2010/11" taking the position from last year's winner Oxford University.[citation needed]

  Student life

  Students' Union

King's College London Students' Union (KCLSU) is the oldest student union in London, founded just before University College London Union, and provides a good range of activities and services: over 50 sports clubs (including the Boat Club which rows on the River Thames and the Rifle Club which uses the College's shooting range located at the disused Aldwych tube station beneath the Strand Campus), 60 societies, a wide range of volunteering opportunities, 2 bars, 2 nightclubs, shops, eating places and a gym. A former President of KCLSU, Sir Ivison Macadam (after whom the Students' Union building on the Strand Campus has since been named) went on to be elected as the first President of the National Union of Students, and KCLSU has played an active role there and in the University of London Union ever since.

Roar is KCLSU's monthly magazine. It carries stories, reviews and features on a range of topics, reporting on Students' Union events, campaigns, clubs and societies, as well as coverage of the arts, books and fashion. King's Bench, has grown from strength to strength, challenging the dominance Roar once had in the media spectrum.[65] It is published tri-annually and welcomes contributions from all of King's students, either for publication in its printed edition, or on its website. The College itself also publishes a range of periodicals reporting on various aspects of King's.[66]

In the 1970s, the King's mascot, "Reggie", was buried upside-down in a pit near Waterloo Station, which was filled with concrete; only the tip of his tail remained visible. Later, he was lost for many years in the 1990s, and not recovered until he was found in a field. Having been restored at the cost of around £15,000, Reggie has been placed on display in the KCLSU Student Centre at the Strand Campus. Protected in a glass case, he is filled with concrete to prevent theft, particularly by UCL students who, prior to his burial and dumping, had also castrated him. (King's students had also stolen one UCL mascot, Phineas and, in an apocryphal legend, allegedly played football with the head of Jeremy Bentham's Auto-icon).

There are three "Reggies" in existence: the original, on display in KCLSU's Student Centre at the Strand Campus, a papier-mâché Reggie outside the Great Hall at the Strand Campus (pictured above), and a small sterling silver incarnation displayed during Graduation ceremonies.

  Rivalry with University College London

Competition within the University of London is most intense between King's and University College London, the two oldest institutions. In the early twentieth century, King's College London and UCL rivalry was centred on their respective mascots.[67] University College's was Phineas Maclino, a wooden tobacconist's sign of a kilted Jacobite Highlander purloined from outside a shop in Tottenham Court Road during the celebrations of the relief of Ladysmith in 1900.

King's later addition was a giant beer bottle representing "bottled youth". In 1923 it was replaced by a new mascot to rival Phineas – Reggie the Lion, who made his debut at a King's-UCL sporting rag in December 1923, protected by a lifeguard of engineering students armed with T-squares. Thereafter, Reggie formed the centrepiece of annual freshers' processions by King's students around Aldwych in which new students were typically flour bombed.

Although riots between respective College students occurred in central London well into the 1950s, rivalry is now limited to the rugby union pitch and skulduggery over mascots, with an annual Varsity match taking place between King's College London RFC and University College London RFC.[68]

  Rivalry with the London School of Economics

Tensions between King's and the London School of Economics (LSE) were ignited on 2 December 2005 when at least 200 students from LSE (across the road from the Strand campus) diverted off from the annual "barrel run" and caused an estimated £32,000 (The Beaver, LSE, 26 September 2006) of damage to the English department at King's.[69] Principal Rick Trainor called for no retaliation and LSE Students' Union were forced to issue an apology as well as foot the bill for the damage repair. While LSE officially condemned the action, a photograph was published in the Beaver (the LSE SU Student Newspaper) which was later picked up by the Times that showed LSE Director Sir Howard Davies drinking with members of the LSE Students' Union shortly before the barrel run – and the "rampage" – began. King's appears to have been targeted, however, principally owing to its close proximity to LSE rather than by any ill-feeling. There is also somewhat of a sporting rivalry between the two institutions, albeit to a lesser extent than with UCL.

  Student housing

  A Classical sculpture of Sophocles in the King's Building, Strand Campus

King's has six halls of residence located throughout London. They are:

  Intercollegiate Halls of Residence

King's also has the largest number of bedspaces in the University of London Intercollegiate Halls.[70] The halls are:

Some students are also selected to live in International Students House, London.

  Notable people

  Notable alumni

  Desmond Tutu, B.D. '65, M.Th. '66

The incumbent Prime Minister of Jordan, Marouf al-Bakhit, graduated from King's with a PhD in War Studies in 1990,[71] Prince Eugene Louis Napoléon, the ill-fated scion of the Bonaparte Dynasty, studied physics and mathematics at King's from 1871 to 1872,[72][73] Tassos Papadopoulos, president of Cyprus from 2003 to 2008 graduated from King's with a degree in Law in 1955,[74] while his predecessor Glafkos Klerides who served as president of Cyprus from 1993 to 2003 graduated with a Law degree in 1948.[75] France-Albert René president of the Seychelles from 1977 to 2004 studied Law at King's,[76] Sir Lynden Pindling prime minister of the Bahamas from 1967 to 1992 graduated with a Law degree in 1952,[77] Godfrey Binaisa president of Uganda from 1979 to 1980 graduated with a Law degree in 1955,[78] Abd ar-Rahman al-Bazzaz prime minister of Iraq from 1965 to 1966 graduated from King's,[79] Sir Lee Moore, prime minister of Saint Kitts and Nevis from 1979 to 1980, graduated with a degree in Law and Theology,[80] and Sir Shridath Ramphal, former Secretary General of the Commonwealth, graduated with a Law degree in 1952.[81] Sarojini Naidu, the first woman President of the Indian National Congress and an architect of the Indian freedom movement, also studied at King's.[82]

Notable King's alumni to have held senior positions in British and Irish politics include the British Foreign Secretary David Owen, Baron Owen, two Speakers of the House of Commons in Horace King, Baron Maybray-King (English) and James Lowther, 1st Viscount Ullswater, Leader of the House of Commons John MacGregor, Baron MacGregor of Pulham Market (Law, 1962), and Irish Republican & revolutionary leader Michael Collins. As of the current Parliament there are 14 King's graduates in the House of Commons, and 14 King's graduates in the House of Lords. In Law King's alumni include current Lord Justice of Appeal Sir Jeremy Sullivan (Law, 1967);[83] two incumbent High Court judges, Sir David Penry-Davey (Law, 1964)[84] and Sir David Foskett (Law, 1970);[85] current Judge of the International Court of Justice, Abdul Koroma (International Law, 1976);[86] and the current Chief Justice of Western Australia Wayne Martin (Law, 1975).

  The Higgs boson (here simulated) was theorised by Peter Higgs

King's alumni in religion include the Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town Desmond Tutu (Theology, 1966),[87] the preceding Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey, Baron Carey of Clifton (Theology, 1962),[88] and the current Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth Jonathan Sacks, Baron Sacks (Theology & Religious Studies, 1981).[89] King's is also the alma mater of the current head of The Salvation Army Shaw Clifton (Law & Theology, 1967),[90] and at least 13 current Bishops.

Notable King's alumni in poetry and literature include the poet John Keats (Medicine), and the writers Thomas Hardy (French), Sir Arthur C. Clarke (Mathematics & Physics), W. Somerset Maugham, Alain de Botton (Philosophy), C.S. Forester, B. S. Johnson (English), Charles Kingsley, Virginia Woolf, John Ruskin, Radclyffe Hall, Hanif Kureishi (Philosophy), Anita Brookner (History), Michael Morpurgo (French & English) and Sir Leslie Stephen. In addition, the dramatist Sir W. S. Gilbert of Gilbert and Sullivan graduated from King's.

King's alumni in the sciences include Nobel laureates Max Theiler and Sir Frederick Gowland Hopkins;[91][92] polymath Sir Francis Galton; pathologist Thomas Hodgkin; pioneer of in vitro fertilization Patrick Steptoe; botanist David Bellamy;[93] noted theoretical physicist Peter Higgs and the founder of the study of radioastronomy Professor EG Bowen.

King's is also the alma mater of the founder of Bentley Motors, Walter Bentley; legendary Hollywood actress Greer Garson (BA in French, 1923),[94] satirist Rory Bremner (Modern Languages, 1984);[95] journalist Martin Bashir (Religious History, 1985);[96] Queen bassist John Deacon;[97] and former head of the British Army Lord Harding.

  Heads of state and government

  King's alumnus France-Albert René (left) served at President of the Seychelles from 1977–2004
State Leader Office Reference
 Bahamas Sir Lynden Pindling Premier 1967–1969; Prime Minister 1969–1992
 Cyprus Tassos Papadopoulos President 2003–2008
 Cyprus Glafcos Clerides Acting President 1974; President 1993–2003
 Iraq Abd ar-Rahman al-Bazzaz Temporary President 1966; Prime Minister 1965–1966
 Ireland Michael Collins Chairman of the Provisional Government 1922
 Jordan Marouf al-Bakhit Prime Minister 2005–2007; 2011–present
 Saint Kitts and Nevis Sir Lee Moore Premier 1979–1980
 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Sir Sydney Gun-Munro Governor 1976–1979; Governor-General 1979–1985
 Seychelles France-Albert René Prime Minister 1976–1977; President 1977–2004
 Uganda Godfrey Binaisa President 1979–1981

  Notable faculty and staff

See also Category:Academics of King's College London

King's has benefited from the services of academics at the top of their fields, including:

  Nobel laureates

There are 10 Nobel laureates who were either students or academics at King's.[102]

  Former Lecturer in Spanish American Literature Mario Vargas Llosa, was awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize in Literature
Name Prize Year Awarded Rationale
Charles Barkla Physics
For the discovery of X-ray fluorescence
Sir Owen Richardson Physics
For pioneering the study of thermionics
Sir Frederick Hopkins Physiology or Medicine
For research on vitamins and beriberi
Sir Charles Sherrington Physiology or Medicine
For research on the nervous system
Sir Edward Appleton Physics
For exploration of the ionosophere
Max Theiler Physiology or Medicine
For developing a vaccine for yellow fever
Maurice Wilkins Physiology or Medicine
For the discovery of the structure of DNA
Desmond Tutu Peace
For his unifying role in the campaign against apartheid
Sir James Black Physiology or Medicine
For the development of beta-blocker and anti-ulcer drugs
Mario Vargas Llosa Literature
For his trenchant images of resistance, revolt, and defeat


The Principal of King's is the chief academic and administrative officer of the College. To date there have been 19 Principals.

Name Held Office
William Otter
Hugh James Rose
John Lonsdale
Richard William Jelf
Alfred Barry
Henry Wace
Archibald Robertson
Arthur Cayley Headlam
Ronald Montagu Burrows
Sir Ernest Barker
Sir William Reginald Halliday
Sir Peter Noble
Sir John Winthrop Hackett
Richard Way
Sir Neil Cameron, Baron Cameron of Balhousie
Sir Stewart Sutherland, Baron Sutherland of Houndwood
John Beynon
Arthur Lucas
Sir Rick Trainor


See also Category:Fellows of King's College London

  In fiction

  See also


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  Further reading

  • Hearnshaw, F. J. C. (1929) The Centenary History of King's College London. George G. Harrap & Co.
  • Huelin, G. (1978) King's College London, 1828–1978.
  • Jones, C. K. (2004) King's College London: In the service of society.
  • Taylor, C; Williams, G; Jones, C.K (2006) King's College London: Contributions to biomedicine: A continuing story

  External links



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