Birkbeck, University of London (formally Birkbeck College, University of London), is a public research university, located in Bloomsbury London, England, and a member institution of the federal University of London. Established in 1823 as the London Mechanics’ Institute by its founder, Sir George Birkbeck, and its supporters, Jeremy Bentham, J. C. Hobhouse and Henry Brougham, Birkbeck is one of the few universities to specialise in evening higher education in the United Kingdom.
Birkbeck’s main building is based in the area of Bloomsbury in London Borough of Camden in Central London. Birkbeck offers over 200 undergraduate and postgraduate programmes that can be studied either part-time or full-time, though nearly all lectures are given in the evening. Birkbeck’s academic activities are organised into five constituent faculties which are subdivided into nineteen departments. Birkbeck, being part of the University of London, shares the University’s academic standards and awards University of London degrees. In common with the other University of London colleges, Birkbeck has also secured its own independent degree awarding powers, which were confirmed by the Privy Council in July 2012. The quality of degrees awarded by Birkbeck was confirmed by the UK Quality Assurance Agency following institutional audits in 2005 and 2010.
Birkbeck is a member of academic organisations such as the Association of Commonwealth Universities and the European University Association. The university is also a member of the Screen Studies Group, London. The university’s Centre for Brain Function and Development was awarded The Queen’s Anniversary Prize for its brain research in 2005.
Faculties and Departments
The University consists of five schools that comprise a total of 19 diverse academic departments, which are:
- Department of English, Theatre and Creative Writing
- Department of Cultures and Languages
- Department of History of Art
- Department of Film, Media and Cultural Studies
- Department of Computer Science and Information Systems
- Department of Economics, Mathematics and Statistics
- Department of Management
- Department of Organizational Psychology
- Department of Law
- Department of Criminology
- Department of Biological Sciences
- Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences
- Department of Psychological Sciences
- Department of Applied Linguistics and Communication
- Department of Geography
- Department of History, Classics and Archaeology
- Department of Philosophy
- Department of Politics
- Department of Psychosocial Studies