Imperial College London

Imperial College London
Motto Scientia imperii decus et tutamen[1]
Motto in English
Knowledge is the adornment and protection of the Empire
Type Public research university
Established 1907 by Royal Charter[2]
Endowment £113.6 million (as of 31 July 2015)[3]
President Alice Gast[4]
Provost James Stirling
Visitor The Lord President of the Council ex officio
Academic staff
3,692[5] (as of 2014)
Administrative staff
7,240[5] (as of 2014)
Students 16,610 (2014/15)[6]
Undergraduates 9,015 (2014/15)[6]
Postgraduates 7,595 (2014/15)[6]
Location London, United Kingdom

Imperial College London is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom. Its founder, Prince Albert, envisioned an area composed of the Victoria and Albert Museum, Natural History Museum, Science Museum, Royal Albert Hall, and the Imperial Institute.[7][8] The Imperial Institute was opened by Queen Victoria, his wife, who laid the foundation stone in 1887.[9] In 1907, Imperial College London was formed by Royal Charter, and joined the University of London. The college left the University of London one hundred years later.[10] The curriculum was expanded to include medicine after mergers with several historic medical schools. In 2004, Queen Elizabeth II opened the Imperial College Business School.[9]

Imperial is organised by faculties of science, engineering, medicine and business. The main campus is located in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. The university has an emphasis on the sciences and technology and their practical application. Imperial's contributions to society include the discovery of penicillin, the development of holography, and of fibre optics.

Imperial is consistently ranked among the top universities: In 2016/17 Imperial ranked 22nd in the world in the ARWU, 9th in the world in the QS, and 8th in the world in the THE rankings.[11][12][13] It has been ranked as the most innovative university in Europe.[14] Imperial staff and alumni include 15 Nobel laureates, 2 Fields Medalists, 70 Fellows of the Royal Society, 82 Fellows of the Royal Academy of Engineering and 78 Fellows of the Academy of Medical Sciences.[15]


The Great Exhibition

The Great Exhibition in 1851 was organised by Prince Albert, Henry Cole, Francis Fuller and other members of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce. The Great Exhibition made a surplus of £186,000 used in creating an area in the South of Kensington celebrating the encouragement of the arts, industry, and science. Albert insisted the Great Exhibition surplus should be used as a home for culture and education for everyone. His commitment was to find practical solutions to today's social challenges. Prince Albert's vision built the Victoria and Albert Museum, Science Museum, Natural History Museum, Geological Museum, Royal College of Science, Royal College of Art, Royal School of Mines, Royal School of Music, Royal College of Organists, Royal School of Needlework, Royal Geographical Society, Institute of Recorded Sound, Royal Horticultural Gardens, Royal Albert Hall and the Imperial Institute.[16][17] Royal colleges and the Imperial Institute merged to form what is now Imperial College London.[7][18][19]

Royal College of Chemistry

The Royal College of Chemistry was established by private subscription in 1845 as there was a growing awareness that practical aspects of the experimental sciences were not well taught and that in the United Kingdom the teaching of chemistry in particular had fallen behind that in Germany. As a result of a movement earlier in the decade, many politicians donated funds to establish the college, including Benjamin Disraeli, William Gladstone and Robert Peel. It was also supported by Prince Albert, who persuaded August Wilhelm von Hofmann to be the first professor.

William Henry Perkin studied and worked at the college under von Hofmann, but resigned his position after discovering the first synthetic dye, mauveine, in 1856. Perkin's discovery was prompted by his work with von Hofmann on the substance aniline, derived from coal tar, and it was this breakthrough which sparked the synthetic dye industry, a boom which some historians have labelled the second chemical revolution.[20] His contribution led to the creation of the Perkin Medal, an award given annually by the Society of Chemical Industry to a scientist residing in the United States for an "innovation in applied chemistry resulting in outstanding commercial development". It is considered the highest honour given in the industrial chemical industry.[21]

Royal School of Mines

The Royal School of Mines was established by Sir Henry de la Beche in 1851, developing from the Museum of Economic Geology, a collection of minerals, maps and mining equipment.[16] He created a school which laid the foundations for the teaching of science in the country, and which has its legacy today at Imperial. Prince Albert was a patron and supporter of the later developments in science teaching, which led to the Royal College of Chemistry becoming part of the Royal School of Mines, to the creation of the Royal College of Science and eventually to these institutions becoming part of his plan for South Kensington being an educational region.[16]

Royal College of Science

The Royal College of Science was established in 1881. The main objective was to support the training of science teachers and to develop teaching in other science subjects alongside the Royal School of Mines earth sciences specialities.[16]

20th century - City and Guilds College

In 1907, the newly established Board of Education found that greater capacity for higher technical education was needed and a proposal to merge the Royal School of Mines, the Royal College of Science, and City and Guilds College, was approved and passed, creating The Imperial College of Science and Technology as a constituent college of the University of London. Imperial's Royal Charter, granted by Edward VII, was officially signed on 8 July 1907. The main campus of Imperial College was constructed beside the buildings of the Imperial Institute in South Kensington.

Graduation in Royal Albert Hall

City and Guilds College was founded in 1876 from a meeting of the City of London's livery companies for the Advancement of Technical Education (CGLI), which aimed to provide a practical education for craftsmen, technicians, technologists, and engineers. Faced with their continuing inability to find a substantial site, the Companies were eventually persuaded by the Secretary of the Science and Art Department, General Sir John Donnelly (who was also a Royal Engineer) to found their institution on the eighty-seven acre (350,000 m²) site at South Kensington bought by the 1851 Exhibition Commissioners (for GBP 342,500) for 'purposes of art and science' in perpetuity. The latter two colleges were incorporated by Royal Charter into the Imperial College of Science and Technology and the CGLI Central Technical College was renamed the City and Guilds College in 1907. They were incorporated into Imperial College a few years later in 1910.[22]

The medical schools of Charing Cross Hospital, Westminster Hospital and St Mary's Hospital were opened in 1823, 1834 and 1854 respectively.[16]

Imperial acquired Silwood Park in 1947, to provide a site for research and teaching in those aspects of biology not well suited for the main London campus. On 29 January 1950, the government announced that it was intended that Imperial should expand to meet the scientific and technological challenges of the 20th century and a major expansion of the college followed over the next decade. In 1959 the Wolfson Foundation donated £350,000 for the establishment of a new Biochemistry Department.[23] A special relationship between Imperial and the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi was established in 1963.

The Department of Management Science was created in 1971 and the Associated Studies Department was established in 1972. The Humanities Department was opened in 1980, formed from the Associated Studies and History of Science departments.

Wye College, an agricultural college in Wye, Kent which was closed in 2004

In 1988 Imperial merged with St Mary's Hospital Medical School, becoming The Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine. In 1995 Imperial launched its own academic publishing house, Imperial College Press, in partnership with World Scientific.[24] Imperial merged with the National Heart and Lung Institute in 1995 and the Charing Cross and Westminster Medical School, Royal Postgraduate Medical School (RPMS) and the Institute of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in 1997. In the same year the Imperial College School of Medicine was formally established and all of the property of Charing Cross and Westminster Medical School, the National Heart and Lung Institute and the Royal Postgraduate Medical School were transferred to Imperial as the result of the Imperial College Act 1997. In 1998 the Sir Alexander Fleming Building was opened by Queen Elizabeth II to provide a headquarters for the college's medical and biomedical research.

21st century

In 2000 Imperial merged with both the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology and Wye College, the University of London's agricultural college in Wye, Kent. It initially agreed to keep Agricultural Sciences at Wye, but closed them in 2004.[25] The origins of the later acquired College of St Gregory and St Martin at Wye, was originally founded by John Kempe, the Archbishop of York, in 1447 as a seminary, with an agricultural college being established at Wye in 1894 after the removal of the seminary.[26] In December 2005, Imperial announced a science park programme at the Wye campus, with extensive housing;[27] however, this was abandoned in September 2006 following complaints that the proposal infringed on Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and that the true scale of the scheme, which could have raised £110m for the college, was known to Kent and Ashford Councils and their consultants but concealed from the public.[25] One commentator observed that Imperial's scheme reflected "the state of democracy in Kent, the transformation of a renowned scientific college into a grasping, highly aggressive, neo-corporate institution, and the defence of the status of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – throughout England, not just Wye – against rampant greed backed by the connivance of two important local authorities.[28] Wye College campus was finally closed in September 2009.

In May 2001 a new faculty structure was established, with all departments being assigned to the Faculties of Engineering, Medicine, Physical Sciences and Life Sciences. A merger with University College London was proposed in October 2002, but was abandoned a month later following protests from staff over potential redundancies.[29]

In 2003 Imperial was granted degree-awarding powers in its own right by the Privy Council. The London Centre for Nanotechnology was established in the same year as a joint venture between UCL and Imperial College London.[30][31] In 2004 the Imperial College Business School and a new Main Entrance on Exhibition Road were opened by Queen Elizabeth II. The UK Energy Research Centre was also established in 2004 and opened its headquarters at Imperial. In November 2005 the Faculties of Life Sciences and Physical Sciences merged to become the Faculty of Natural Sciences.

On 9 December 2005, Imperial announced that it would commence negotiations to secede from the University of London.[32] Imperial became fully independent of the University of London in July 2007[33][34] and the first students to register for an Imperial College degree were postgraduates beginning their course in October 2007, with the first undergraduates enrolling for an Imperial degree in October 2008. In July 2008 the Centre for Advanced Structural Ceramics was opened in the Materials department.

In May 2012 Imperial, UCL and the IT company Intel announced the establishment of the Intel Collaborative Research Institute for Sustainable Connected Cities, a London-based institute for research into the future of cities.[35][36]

In August 2012 it was announced that Imperial would be the lead institution for the MRC-NIHR Phenome Centre, a new research centre for personalised medicine to be based at GlaxoSmithKline's research and development facility in Harlow, Essex, inheriting the anti-doping facilities used to test samples during the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.[37][38]

In July 2014 the Dyson School of Design Engineering was opened. As of October 2015, the newly formed school offered a course in design engineering following a £12m donation by the James Dyson Foundation, along with courses such as the MEng in Design Engineering.[39]


South Kensington

Aerial view of the Natural History Museum and Royal Albert Hall with Imperial College in between.

Imperial's main campus is located in the South Kensington area of central London.

South Kensington is home to a high concentration of cultural institutions: Natural History Museum, Science Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum, Royal College of Art, Royal College of Music, Royal Geographical Society and the Royal Albert Hall. Its location is also next to attractions: Kensington Palace and Gardens, National Art Library, Harrods Mall, and the Brompton Oratory.

Campus history

The Imperial Institute was created in 1887 to celebrate Queen Victoria's Jubilee with the intention of it being a scientific research institution exploring and developing the raw materials of the Empire countries. The building was constructed in South Kensington between 1888 and 1893. Its central tower (the Queen's Tower) survives. There were smaller towers at the east and west end, a library, laboratories, conference rooms and exhibition galleries with gardens at the rear.[16] The expansion of the South Kensington campus in the 1950s & 1960s absorbed the former Imperial Institute, designed by Thomas Collcutt, of which only the Queen's Tower remains among the more modern buildings.[40][41]

Recent projects include the Imperial College Business School, the Ethos sports centre, the Southside hall of residence and the Eastside hall of residence. Current projects include the reconstruction of the south-eastern quadrant of the South Kensington campus, and the White City Innovation Campus.

White City Campus

A second major campus is currently under construction in the White City area of London. The White City Campus innovation hub will house new research facilities, space for spin-off entrepreneurial companies as well as student accommodation.[42]

Other campuses

In addition to its original South Kensington campus Imperial has six other campuses across London and a campus in the village of Sunninghill near Ascot:

Charing Cross Campus, Hammersmith

A medical teaching and research campus based around Charing Cross Hospital. Facilities include a campus library, cafe and fitness gym.

Chelsea and Westminster Campus

A medical teaching and research campus based around Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. Facilities include a campus library.

Hammersmith Campus, East Acton
A medical teaching and research campus based around Hammersmith Hospital. Facilities include a campus library, catering outlets and sports facilities.

Royal Brompton Campus, Chelsea

A medical teaching and research campus based around the Royal Brompton Hospital. Facilities include a campus library.

St Mary's Campus, Paddington
A medical teaching and research campus based around St. Mary's Hospital. Facilities include a campus library and sports facilities.

Silwood Park
A postgraduate campus of Imperial located in the village of Sunninghill near Ascot in Berkshire. The Silwood Park campus includes a centre for research and teaching in ecology, evolution, and conservation set in 100 ha of parkland where ecological field experiments are conducted.

Administration and organisation


Imperial's research and teaching is organised within a network of faculties and academic departments.

The Centre For Co-Curricular Studies provides 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, and in some departments this is mandatory.[43] Courses exist in a wide range of topics including philosophy, ethics in science and technology, history, modern literature and drama, art in the 20th century, film studies.[44] Language courses are available in French, German, Japanese, Italian, Russian, Spanish, Arabic and Mandarin Chinese.[45] The Centre For Co-Curricular Studies is home to the Science Communication Unit[46] which offers master's degrees in Science Communication and Science Media Production for science graduates.

Global institutes

The Blue Cube

Imperial hosts six cross-departmental centres that have been established to promote inter-disciplinary work. Each focusses on a particular societal challenges. They are (in order of foundation):

Finances and endowment

In the financial year ended 31 July 2015, Imperial had a total net income of £969.3 million and total expenditure of £835 million. Key sources of income included 427.7 million from research grants and contracts, £223.4 million from academic fees and support grants, £155.4 million from Funding Council grants and £9.1 million from endowment and investment income. During the 2014/15 financial year Imperial had a capital expenditure of £236 million.[3]

The college's endowment is sub-divided into three distinct portfolios: (i) Unitised Scheme – a unit trust vehicle for college, Faculties and Departments to invest endowments and unfettered income to produce returns for the long term; (ii) Non-Core Property – a portfolio containing around 120 operational and developmental properties which college has determined are not core to the academic mission; and (iii) Strategic Asset Investments – containing college’s shareholding in Imperial Innovations and other restricted equity holdings. During the year 2014/15, the market value of the endowment increased by £78 million (18%) to £512.4 million on 31 July 2015.[3]

In 2011/12, Imperial had the fifth-highest total income of any British university and the second-highest income from research grants and contracts (after the University of Oxford).[47]

Academic profile


(2016, national)
(2016, world)
(2016/17, national)
(2016/17, world)
(2016/17, national)
(2016/17, world)
(2017, national)
The Guardian[53]
(2017, national)
Times/Sunday Times[54]
(2017, national)


Imperial received its highest ranking in the 2015 QS World University Rankings, placing as the 2nd best university worldwide.[55] Imperial often places in the top 10 universities worldwide including in the 2016 QS World Universities Rankings and the Times Higher Education Ranking.[56]


In 2016, Imperial placed 5th best university in Europe in the Academic Ranking of World Universities, 4th in Europe in the QS World University Rankings, and 3rd in Europe in both the Times Higher Education World University Rankings and the US News & World Report Global Rankings.[57][58]


In The World's Most Innovative Universities Rankings by Reuters, Businessweek, and the Financial Times, Imperial ranks 1st in innovation and entrepreneurship in Europe.[14][59][60]

U.S. News & World Report ranks Imperial 1st in engineering in Europe.[61]

In Times Higher Education World University Subject tables it is ranked 2nd in Europe, 3rd in the world for clinical and health,[62] 4th in Europe, 9th in the world for engineering and technology,[63] 3rd in Europe, 9th in the world for life sciences[64] and 4th in Europe, 13th in the world for physical sciences.[65]

In the QS World University Subject tables of 2010 it is ranked 5th in Europe for clinical medicine and pharmacy,[66] 3rd in Europe for engineering, technology and computer sciences,[67] 5th in Europe for natural sciences and mathematics[68] and 2nd in Europe for physics.[69][70]


Imperial consistently scores strongly in the UK university rankings and is ranked 4th in the 2016 Times Higher Education "Table of Tables" which combines the results of the 3 main domestic league tables.[71] In the 2016 Complete University Guide, all 14 of the subjects offered by Imperial were ranked top 10 nationally meaning it was one of only two mainstream universities (along with the University of Cambridge) in the UK to have all subjects ranked in the top 10.[72]


According to both the 2016 Guardian University Guide and the Complete University Guide, students were ranked as having the top employment prospects among UK universities.[73][74] As of 2014 the average starting salary of a graduate was the highest of any UK university.[75] The New York Times ranked Imperial College as one of the top 10 most-welcomed universities by the global job market.[76]


Imperial had a total income from research grants and contracts in 2010/11 of £299 million, the second-highest of any British university in that year.[77] Imperial was awarded a total of £114 million in grants from UK research councils for the 2013/14 financial year, the highest amount of any British university.[78]

The 2008 Research Assessment Exercise returned 26% of the 1225 staff submitted as being world-leading (4*) and a further 47% as being internationally excellent (3*).[79][80] The 2008 Research Assessment Exercise also showed five subjects – Pure Mathematics, Epidemiology and Public Health, Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, and Mechanical, Aeronautical and Manufacturing Engineering – were assessed to be the best in terms of the proportion of internationally recognised research quality.[81]

Imperial submitted a total of 1,257 staff across 14 units of assessment to the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) assessment.[82] In the REF results 46% of Imperial's submitted research was classified as 4*, 44% as 3*, 9% as 2* and 1% as 1*, giving an overall GPA of 3.36.[83] In rankings produced by Times Higher Education based upon the REF results Imperial was ranked 2nd overall for GPA and 8th for "research power" (compared to 6th and 7th respectively in the equivalent rankings for the RAE 2008).[83]

Imperial has a dedicated technology transfer company known as Imperial Innovations. Imperial actively encourages its staff to commercialise their research and as a result has given rise to a large number of spin-out companies based on academic research.[84][85]

Imperial, in conducting research on Parkinson's disease and Multiple Sclerosis, hosts the largest brain bank in the world consisting of 296 brains donated by individuals affected with either of these diseases.[86][87]

In 2016, Imperial received £2million to establish a DNA Synthesis and Construction Foundry to accelerate developments in new synthetic biology technologies.[88]


The Imperial Faculty of Medicine was formed through mergers between Imperial and the St Mary's, Charing Cross and Westminster, and Royal Postgraduate medical schools and has six teaching hospitals. It accepts more than 300 undergraduate medical students per year and has around 321 taught and 700 research full-time equivalent postgraduate students.

Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust was formed on 1 October 2007 by the merger of Hammersmith Hospitals NHS Trust (Charing Cross Hospital, Hammersmith Hospital and Queen Charlotte's and Chelsea Hospital) and St Mary's NHS Trust (St. Mary's Hospital and Western Eye Hospital) with Imperial College London Faculty of Medicine.[89] It is an academic health science centre and manages five hospitals: Charing Cross Hospital, Queen Charlotte's and Chelsea Hospital, Hammersmith Hospital, St Mary's Hospital, and Western Eye Hospital. The Trust is currently one of the largest in the UK and in 2012/13 had a turnover of £971.3 million, employed approximately 9,770 people and treated almost 1.2 million patients.[90]

Other (non-academic health science centres) hospitals affiliated with Imperial College include Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, Royal Brompton Hospital, West Middlesex University Hospital, Hillingdon Hospital, Mount Vernon Hospital, Harefield Hospital, Ealing Hospital, Central Middlesex Hospital, Northwick Park Hospital, St. Mark's Hospital, St Charles' Hospital and St Peter's Hospital.[91]


In 2015, the acceptance rate was 14.9% for undergraduates and 17.5% for postgraduates.[92]

Imperial announced in 2008 that it was exploring the possibility of entrance exams to help it select the most suitable students.[93] Since then, Imperial has been reviewing and piloting a range of assessment approaches, such as subject-specific tests, skill tests and motivation-based tests as part of enhanced interviews. The Faculty of Medicine already uses the BMAT as part of the selection process.

Wye campus sale

Imperial acquired Wye College in 2000, which is set in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It was rapidly dismantled, causing controversy, particularly a plan for substantial redevelopment in the area, with adverse environmental implications. A local campaign eventually secured the overthrow of the scheme, following which the Wye campus was closed in September 2009.[28] The Wye campus, some of it dating back to the 15th century, is currently vacant and available for sale or rent.

Accusations of ill-treatment of staff

In 2003, it was reported that one third of female academics "believe that discrimination or bullying by managers has held back their careers".[94] It was said then that "A spokesman for Imperial said the college was acting on the recommendations and had already made changes". Nevertheless, allegations of bullying have continued: in 2007, concerns were raised about the methods that were being used to fire people in the Faculty of Medicine.[95][96] New President of Imperial College, Alice Gast says she sees bright lights in the horizon for female careers at Imperial College London.

In September 2014, Stefan Grimm, of the Department of Medicine, was found dead after being threatened with dismissal for failure to raise enough grant money.[97] The College made its first public announcement of his death on 4 December 2014.[98] Grimm's last email accused his employers of bullying by demanding that he should get grants worth at least £200,000 per year.[99][100] His last email[99] was viewed more than 100,000 times in the first four days after it was posted. The College announced an internal inquiry into Stefan Grimm's death which reported in March 2015.[101]

Student life

Queen's Lawn at South Kensington Campus

Student body

For the 2014/15 academic year, Imperial had a total full-time student body of 16,610, consisting of 9,015 undergraduate students and 7,595 postgraduates.[6] 50.7% of the student body is from outside of the UK.[102] 32% of all full-time students came from outside the European Union in 2013-14,[103] and around 13% of the International students had Chinese nationality in 2007-08.[104]

Imperial's male–female ratio for undergraduate students is uneven at approximately 64:36 overall[104] and 5:1 or higher in some engineering courses. However, medicine has an approximate 1:1 ratio with biology degrees tending to be higher.[105]

Imperial College Union

Imperial College Union is the students' union and is run by five full-time sabbatical officers elected from the student body for a tenure of one year, and a number of permanent members of staff. The Union is given a large subvention by the university, much of which is spent on maintaining around 300 clubs, projects and societies.[106] Examples of notable student groups and projects are Project Nepal which sends Imperial College students to work on educational development programmes in rural Nepal[107] and the El Salvador Project, a construction based project in Central America.[108] The Union also hosts sports-related clubs such as Imperial College Boat Club and Imperial College Gliding Club.

The Union operates on two sites; Beit Quad, South Kensington and Reynold's, Hammersmith.


Sports facilities at Imperial's London campuses include four gyms, two swimming pools and two sports halls.[109] Imperial has additional sports facilities at the Heston and Harlington sports grounds.

On the South Kensington campus, there are a total of six music practice rooms which consist of upright pianos for usage by people of any grade, and grand pianos which are exclusively for people who have achieved Grade 8 or above.[110]

There are two student bars on the South Kensington campus, one at the Imperial College Union and one at Eastside.[111]

Student activities

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.[112]

Imperial College TV
Imperial College TV (ICTV) is Imperial College Union's TV station, founded in 1969 and operated from a small TV studio in the Electrical Engineering block. The department had bought an early AMPEX Type A 1-inch videotape recorder and this was used to produce an occasional short news programme which was then played to students by simply moving the VTR and a monitor into a common room. A cable link to the Southside halls of residence was laid in a tunnel under Exhibition Road in 1972. Besides the news, early productions included a film of the Queen opening what was then called College Block.

Felix Newspaper
Felix is weekly student newspaper, first released on 9 December 1949.[113] In addition to news, Felix also carries comic strips, features, opinions, puzzles and reviews, plus reports of trips and Imperial College sporting events.

Imperial College Boat Club
The Imperial College Boat Club is the rowing club of Imperial and was founded on 12 December 1919. The club has a number of notable accolades, such as three alumni of the college in the gold medal winning GB 8+ at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, along with their coach Martin McElroy. The club has been highly successful, with many wins at Henley Royal Regatta.

The Imperial College Dramatic Society (ICDS or DramSoc) is one of two major theatrical arts societies, with the other being the Musical Theatre Society, and it was founded in 1912.[114] The society puts on three major plays each year, in addition to several smaller fringe productions. It is additionally one the London-based dramatic societies to participate in the London Student Drama Festival,[115] and regularly attends the Edinburgh Fringe. ICDS is responsible for the day-to-day maintenance of the Union's theatrical space, the Union Concert Hall.

Bars and Pubs
There are a number of popular pubs and bars on campus and also surrounding the campus, which become a popular social activity for Imperial's students.

Student housing

Imperial College owns and manages twenty one halls of residence in Inner London, Ealing, Ascot and Wye. Over three thousand rooms are available, guaranteeing first year undergraduates a place in College residences.

The majority of halls offer 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. The majority of rooms come with internet access and access to the Imperial network. 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 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. However a handful of students may continue to live in halls in later years if they take the position of a "hall senior". Some students also live in International Students House, London.

List of Halls of Residence:

  • South Kensington Village
    • Beit Hall
    • Garden Hall
    • Weeks Hall
    • Eastside
      • Linstead Hall
      • Gabor Hall
      • Wilkinson Hall
    • Southside
      • Falmouth Hall
      • Selkirk Hall
      • Tizard Hall
      • Keogh Hall

Notable alumni, faculty and staff

Nobel laureates include, in medicine, Sir Alexander Fleming, Sir Ernst Boris Chain, Sir Frederick Gowland Hopkins, Sir Andrew Fielding Huxley, Rodney Robert Porter, in physics, Abdus Salam, Sir George Paget Thomson, Patrick Blackett, Baron Blackett, Dennis Gabor, Peter Higgs, in chemistry, Sir Norman Haworth, Sir Cyril Norman Hinshelwood, Sir Derek Barton, Sir Geoffrey Wilkinson, Sir George Porter.

In academia, notable alumni and faculty members include: Thomas Huxley, Sir Tom Kibble, co-discoverer of Higgs Boson; Sir Tejinder Virdee, Sir John Pendry, Sir Christopher Kelk Ingold, physical organic chemistry pioneer; Sir William Henry Perkin, discoverer of the first synthetic organic chemical dye mauveine; Sir Edward Frankland, originator of the theory of chemical valency; Sir William Crookes, discoverer of thallium; Murad Osmann, Harold Hopkins, Alfred North Whitehead, Steven Cowley, James Calder and Meghnad Saha, mathematician and astro-physicist.

Other notable people associated with Imperial include: H. G. Wells, author; Nicholas Tombazis, chief car designer at McLaren and Ferarri; Ralph Robins, CEO of Rolls-Royce; Brian May, guitarist of rock band Queen; Chew Choon Seng, CEO of Singapore Airlines; Julius Vogel, former Prime Minister of New Zealand; Rajiv Gandhi, Prime Minister of India; Teo Chee Hean, Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore; Liam Donaldson, Chief Medical Officer of the United Kingdom; Huw Thomas, Physician to the Queen; Viscount Addison, Leader of the House of Lords; Roger Bannister, first four-minute mile; Andreas Mogensen, first Danish astronaut; Winston Wong, entrepreneur; Alan Howard, hedge fund manager and philanthropist; Cyrus Pallonji Mistry, former chairman of the Tata Group, Henry Charles Stephens businessman/politician and Bebo founder Michael Birch.


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