|Academic services spend
Birkbeck does not appear in the League Table because its students are largely part-time and so data are mostly not available.
- Birkbeck was founded in 1823 by George Birkbeck as the Mechanics Institution, offering higher education for working Londoners.
Became part of the University of London in 1920 on condition it continued to provide flexible, evening teaching.
In 2007 Birkbeck took its flexible teaching provision to Stratford, east London, with a selection of courses.
- In July 2012 the Privy Council gave Birkbeck the power to award taught and research degrees, a recognition of the quality of the College’s teaching and research and ability to set and maintain academic standards and procedures. Birkbeck expects to continue to award University of London degrees for the forseeable future.
- In autumn 2013 Birkbeck will open University Square, a new, purpose-built campus in Stratford, east London.
Location and transport
- Part of the University of London central London precint in Bloomsbury, London (WC1). Served by excellent bus, tube and rail links; Stratford courses currently taught at University of East London's Stratford campus (10 minutes' from Stratford tube station); classes will move to the University Square campus (a few minutes' walk from Stratford Station) in autumn 2013.
- The main central London campus is surrounded by world-class research sources and specialist library collections, including the British Museum, the British Library and Senate House library.
- London is the economic and cultural capital of the UK.
- Students apply direct to the College for the four-year evening taught part-time course, and go through UCAS for three-year evening taught full-time courses.
- Over 21 year olds are assessed individually.
- Under 21 year olds need to meet normal university entry requirements. Visit the website for more details.
- A total student population of 18,744 broken down by 12,826 (UG), 5,918 PG Taught and Research.
- Majority of students are working professionals who attend classes in the evenings. Students can form professional networks, and share professional experience of the subject being studied.
- Diverse, cosmopolitan, non-traditional student body, 49% men, 51% women, with 94% of undergraduates mature students, average age 35.
- 23% of students achieve firsts, 44% achieve 2:1 and 29% achieve 2:2.
- Sixty-six part-time (four-year), evening taught undergraduate degrees; 180 postgraduate programmes (available both part-time and full-time, mostly in the evenings). Forty full-time (three-year), evening taught undergraduate programmes.
- Some courses are also offered in Stratford, east London.
- With staff/student ratio 1:20, Birkbeck was voted first among multi-faculty London HE institutions in the 2012 National Student Survey for quality of teaching, and also came in first for overall student satisfaction.
- The high level of research contributes directly towards the teaching quality.
- Students earn while they learn, graduating with prestigious University of London qualifications.
- Ranked in the top 25% of UK multi-faculty institutions in the most recent (2008) Research Assessment Exercise.
- Research in 11 subject areas is rated as 'world leading'.
- College awarded a Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher Education for brain research in 2006.
- Received £17.9 million in external research grant funding in 2011–12.
- London's only specialist provider of part-time, evening, higher education.
- 90% of academics are research-active and many are renowned world-class experts in their fields.
- Birkbeck achieved 'broad confidence' in a recent QAA institutional audit, the highest rating.
- Awards University of London degrees and qualifications.
Student facilities, including library and computing
- My Birkbeck, a student help desk and support centre; including dedicated student support website (www.bbk.ac.uk/mybirkbeck).
- 'Get Ahead Stay Ahead' pre-entry preparation for university, and post-entry induction and support programme.
- Careers advice and workshops.
- Three cafés across the central London campus.
- Library with access to 333,000 books, over 20 e-journals and 19,000 e-books; 78 electronic databases and 360 study places.
- 720 computer workstationsfor students across College; full range of networked computing services and IT training.
- Consistently number one in NSS for overall student satisfaction in London.
- Disability Office provides support for students with disabilities. For information about disability services at Birkbeck, visit the My Birkbeck website (www.bbk.ac.uk/mybirkbeck).
- Student support includes student representation and advocacy, an advice centre with evening drop-in service.
- A range of clubs and societies, ranging from archaeology to football.
- Refurbished bar with Sky tv and pool table.
- Birkbeck is next door to the University of London Union (ULU) which boasts wide range of sports clubs for students.
- ULU's state of the art gym offers 60-stations, 33m swimming pool and two studios, plus 50 fitness classes per week.
Recent/prospective new builds
- University Square, Stratford, due to open autumn 2013, will be a state-of-the-art five-floor building comprising 8,600 sq ms of flexible teaching and performance space, as well as academic and administrative offices, around a large atrium. The building is a joint project between Birkbeck and the University of East London and will offer flexible part- and full-time, day and evening study opportunities for people who live and work in east London. The building’s facilities will also be made available to the local community, businesses and arts groups.
- A recent £18.5-million extension to the main building houses integrated library services across five floors, and a suite of new lecture theatres and teaching rooms.
- Cinema, seating 90, recently opened by the School of Arts.
- Major upgrade and restoration of central London campus buildings which are in the heritage area of Bloomsbury.
- Juliet Davenport OBE – Chief Executive Officer of Good Energy Ltd.
- Edward 'Bear' Grylls – adventurer and television presenter.
- Steve Bundred – Chief Executive, Audit Commission.
- Luciana Berger MP – Labour MP for Liverpool Wavertree and Shadow Minister for Climate Change.
- Simon Bird – comedy writer and actor (best known for The Inbetweeners).
- Alan Davey – Chief Executive, Arts Council.
- Ed Davey MP – MP for Kingston & Surbiton and Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change.
- Leslie Morphy – Chief Executive of Crisis.
- Gregory Neale – founding Editor of BBC History magazine.
- Jenny Rowe – Chief Executive, UK Supreme Court.
- Andy Saull – Saracens Rugby Union player.
- Stephen Sedgwick – presenter on CNBC Europe.
- Carole Souter – Chief Executive of the Heritage Lottery Fund.
- Rob Williams – rower, gold medallist in the 2012 Olympics.
- David Waller – Head of Media Relations at Man Group Plc.
- Sidney James Webb, 1st Baron Passfield (1859–1947) – socialist and founder of the London School of Economics.
- Sir Arthur Wing Pinero (1855-1934) – actor and dramatist.
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Content was accurate at the time of compilation.