Part of the University of London, Birkbeck is a world-class research and teaching institution, a vibrant centre of academic excellence and London's only specialist provider of part-time, evening higher education.
Founded in 1823 by George Birkbeck to make university study accessible to working Londoners for whom traditional full-time study was not an option, Birkbeck remains committed to making higher education accessible to all. We are unique among the colleges of the University of London for our emphasis on evening teaching for non-traditional students. We encourage applications from people without traditional qualifications and have a flexible policy for entry at undergraduate level. Students aged over 21 are not asked for formal qualifications, but the college makes its own assessment of skills and knowledge.
Birkbeck is ranked in the top 150 universities in the world (Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2011) - over 90% of our academics are research-active, and many are renowned in their field. In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, Birkbeck ranked in the top 25% of UK multi-faculty institutions. Research in 11 subject areas was rated as 'internationally excellent' and 'world leading',
An undergraduate degree by evening study takes four years to complete, although Birkbeck now also offers about 20 three-year full-time undergraduate degree programmes, all still taught in the evenings. Fees are competitive and evening teaching has the attraction of enabling students to earn whilst learning, gaining valuable workplace experience as well as prestigious University of London qualifications on graduation. We offer exceptional financial support packages and bursaries for part-time undergraduate students.
Birkbeck is based in Bloomsbury, central London – next door to UCL, SOAS and other University of London institutions. Since 2007, we have also taught evening courses in Stratford, east London. Applications for all part-time courses are direct to the college, although applications for the three-year full-time undergraduate degrees are through Ucas. We offer a wide range of Master's degrees, both part-time and full-time (two years part-time; one year full-time). All our Schools offer supervision for MPhil/PhD study, which students can undertake on a part-time or full-time basis.
Faculties and Schools at Birkbeck
A multi-faculty institution, Birkbeck has five Schools that comprise 19 academic departments. These offer over 170 postgraduate programmes, more than 70 undergraduate degrees and 60 certificates of higher education. The five Schools are:
Bloomsbury, London, UK
Malet Street, London WC1E 7HX
020 7631 6316
Applicants per place:
An £18.5 million extension project has revitalised the look and function of the main Birkbeck building and created a new entrance.
The nine-storey, glass-fronted extension block, designed to reflect the architectural character of the University of London precinct, has given Birkbeck 45 per cent additional space. This houses the five-floor library and also contains a suite of four new lecture theatres, plus additional laboratories and teaching rooms. Disabled access has also been improved with refurbished lifts to all floors.
Beside the Torrington Square entrance, you will find our My Birkbeck student support services, which will support you in every aspect of studying with us. There is a My Birkbeck website and a helpdesk with a team of friendly and helpful staff. The restaurant, cafe and snack bar are open during the day and early evening. The café overlooks the newly landscaped gardens of Torrington Square and is a great place to have a cup of coffee and meet friends.
The Birkbeck Library is modern, well-equipped and occupies five floors of the main building on Torrington Square. The entrance is on the ground floor, and the upper levels can be accessed by stairs or a lift. It is open at evenings and weekends. Library services include 361 study places, a wide range of electronic resources, wi-fi network facilities, access to computers and online book renewal.
In addition students can access libraries across London and the UK, including the British Library and Senate House Library. Useful links:
IT and Computing
We have a full range of networked computing facilities to support you in your academic work. We continually invest in upgrades and aim to provide a fast and reliable networked service across the whole Birkbeck campus.
Birkbeck offers easy access to computer facilities; our networked computer services include high-speed internet connectivity, purpose-built computer classrooms open 24 hours, and facilities for students with special needs, with technical support and advice available on the use of assistive technologies. There are several areas providing wireless connectivity to the College network.
There is an IT helpdesk open 10am - 8pm Monday to Friday during term-time, by phone, email or in person.
Practical, hands-on training workshops, including at beginners' level, are provided in core computing topics, all held in purpose-build computer classrooms with a computer for each student.
Software (subject to licence conditions) and documentation for home computers can be supplied. Advice is available on accessing a large number of electronic resources at Birkbeck, such as the Library catalogue, email, course material and news and events.
Sports and social life
All Birkbeck students are automatically members of the Birkbeck Students’ Union (although you can opt out if you wish). The Birkbeck Students’ Union is affiliated to the National Union of Students (NUS).
Birkbeck is situated at the heart of the University of London’s central London campus – surrounded by other colleges such as UCL and SOAS. Students can also use ULU (University of London Union, next door) – a well-known music venue – which has all major sports and social facilities including a gym and the largest swimming pool in central London.
In any given year there are around 20 active clubs and societies that belong to Birkbeck Students’ Union ranging from archaeology to football, some of which have been going for years. ULU also offers you the chance to get involved with a wide range of clubs and societies, from singing and dancing to martial arts and water polo. In order to join, you need to join ULU as a member, visit www.ulu.co.uk for further information.
Birkbeck Students’ Union: in addition to its other activities, the Students’ Union promotes welfare issues and represents students’ interests on College committees; provides a counselling service; and workshops (e.g. time management).
Birkbeck subscribes to the Gower Street Practice, located just around the corner from the Malet Street main building at 20 Gower Street, and all students may use the health centre there. Students living in central London can register with the doctors for full NHS General Practitioner services, but other students can also benefit from some of their services.
Our central London campus is just a short walk away from the well-known West End shopping areas of Oxford Street and Covent Garden. There are numberous cash points and banks close by for financial services.
- Oxford Street: this is about a 10-minute walk from the Birkbeck main building and gives you access to all of the major designer and chain stores.
- Tottenham Court Road: this is about a 5-minute walk from Birkbeck, and gives you eacy access to supermarkets (Tesco, Sainsburys, Marks and Spencer), pharmacies (Boots, Superdrug) and banks.
- The Brunswick Centre: newly refurbished to the original architect's specifications, this is a brilliant place to go for lunch or a quick drink/food just before you go to class in the evening.
Everywhere else in London is easy to get to from Birkbeck, via public transport.
The main building on Torrington Square (WC1) has a restaurant and cafe; the nearby Gordon Square building has its own cafe, which means you can easily get something to eat and drink before classes or during class breaks in term-time. In addition, Birkbeck is surrounded by a huge choice of restaurants, cafes and bars.
You will find all the major banks within walking distance of Birkbeck, many of them on Tottenham Court Road.
By public transport It's easy to get to Birkbeck by all forms of public transport. Birkbeck is surrounded by tube and mainline rail stations, including Russell Square, Tottenham Court Road, Goodge Street, Euston Square and King's Cross. Birkbeck is close to the new International Eurostar station at St Pancras. Many bus routes pass down nearby Gower Street or go via Russell Square and you'll find an extensive network of cycle routes leading to Birkbeck.
In your car If you are planning your journey by car, please bear in mind congestion charges; our central London location also means that parking facilities are not only limited but may be expensive. View driving directions from your location to our main building in Malet Street.
The Specialist Institutions’ Careers Service (SICS) – part of the Careers Group, University of London – is located next door to Birkbeck and offers a comprehensive career planning and development service. Useful link:
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Bars and pubs
There is a newly renovated and affordable student bar with regular entertainments, Sky TV and a pool table in the main Birkbeck building on Torrington Square (WC1). Students can also access ULU bars next door, and the lively bars, restaurants and clubs of Soho and Chinatown are just down the road.
Birkbeck has a vibrant and engaged academic community. Our wide programme of events is open to staff, students and members of the public. As well as annual and inaugural lectures, there are School and department events with high profile speakers from around the world that showcase the research and teaching excellence across our academic community.
Clubs and societies
In any given year there are around 20 active Societies at Birkbeck, some of which have been going for years. Most of these are traditionally centred around a particular department or subject area, although there are some cultural groups and sporting clubs. Any student is eligible to join any society, so don't feel you have to be doing a degree in e.g. history, to join the History Society, or that Law Society is only for law students! Not so! The societies are run by students and are funded by the Students' Union so that students can get more out of their time at Birkbeck.
Alternatively, as an undergraduate/postgraduate student at Birkbeck, you are entitled to join the University of London Union clubs and societies.
As most of students live at home and come to study in the evenings Birkbeck does not offer any student accommodation. However, students can get advice from the University of London Housing Services (ULHS) regarding properties to rent.
Birkbeck Students' Union promotes welfare issues, represents students' interests on College committees and provides social activities via events and societies. Useful link:
Birkbeck is located at the heart of the University of London in Bloomsbury (WC1). This part of central London offers world-famous museums and galleries in a setting of beautiful, leafy squares. Birkbeck is five minutes from the British Museum and the British Library is a 10-minute walk away. Wherever you live or work in London, you’ll find it easy to get to us, as the Birkbeck campus is well-served by public transport (see ‘Transport links’).
As a Birkbeck student, you can be sure you’re getting an unrivalled face-to-face teaching and learning experience. Birkbeck has consistently ranked number one in the annual National Student Surveys.
You’ll also find that our academic staff have a wealth of experience and expertise in supporting and encouraging students undertaking study alongside work and other commitments. The combination of academic expertise and friendly approach results in a truly inspirational learning experience for Birkbeck students.
Applying to Birkbeck
Birkbeck, University of London takes UCAS applications for full-time undergraduate degrees. All our undergraduate programmes are available part-time (in the evening) and you apply directly to Birkbeck to for these.
For details, visit 
We currently offer a number of full-time undergraduate programmes (also taught in the evenings), and for these you need to apply via UCAS.
For details, visit 
For further information, please telephone 020 7631 6316 or visit