Birkbeck, University of London (formally Birkbeck College, University of London), is a public research university located in Bloomsbury, London, England, and a constituent college 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. Birkbeck's alumni include five Nobel laureates, numerous political leaders, members of the Parliament of the United Kingdom and a British prime minister.In 1823, Sir George Birkbeck, a physician and graduate of the University of Edinburgh and an early pioneer of adult education, founded the then "London Mechanics' Institute" at a meeting at the Crown and Anchor Tavern on the Strand. More than two thousand people attended. However the idea was not universally popular and some accused Birkbeck of "scattering the seeds of evil." In 1825, two years later, the institute moved to the Southampton Buildings on Chancery Lane. In 1830, the first female students were admitted. In 1858, changes to the University of London's structure resulting in an opening up of access to the examinations for its degree. The Institute became the main provider of part-time university education. In 1866, the Institute changed its name to the Birkbeck Literary and Scientific Institution. In 1885, Birkbeck moved to the Breams Building, on Fetter Lane, where it would remain for the next sixty-seven years. In 1904, Birkbeck Students' Union was established.Birkbeck offers a unique combination of evening study and a matchless central London location, right in the geographic and academic centre of the city, giving you exceptional opportunities. At Birkbeck, you can build your own university experience, with as little or as much support as you need. Birkbeck offers a famously friendly, welcoming environment and we will be with you every step of the way, offering academic support and pastoral guidance, whenever you need it. And studying in the evening doesn’t mean you can't get the full student experience of life at a vibrant city-centre university: our main campus is on the University of London's central London campus, next to other universities, surrounded by world-famous museums and galleries, in the heart of London, and we're just a few minutes’ stroll from London’s famous West End. Birkbeck is different: our classes are held in the evening, so your days are free - to study, work, volunteer or just do your own thing. We know the conventional university model isn’t right for everyone. Our evening teaching gives people who care about their future something special: the opportunity to study at a world-class, research-intensive university and progress their life goals at the same time. With a global reputation for high-quality research and teaching, Birkbeck is part of the prestigious University of London, alongside University College London (UCL), King’s College London (KCL), the School of African and Oriental Studies (SOAS) and the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), among others. At Birkbeck, you can choose as much or as little of the standard university experience as you like. You might work during the day, study in one of Bloomsbury’s world-famous libraries, undertake an internship via Birkbeck Talent, our in-house professional recruitment service - or do something completely different. Many people are drawn to Birkbeck because we support and enable diverse life choices. The combination of evening study and a city-centre location offer you exceptional opportunities. Our main campus is next to other universities, surrounded by world-famous museums and galleries and in the heart of corporate and governmental London. With the West End, Soho, Covent Garden and King’s Cross on our doorstep you can take full advantage of London’s world-famous shops, restaurants, bars, theatres and clubs before and after your evening classes. Everything that London has to offer is here for you to enjoy. In addition, you will have access to the affordable sports facilities, societies, music venues, bars and cafes of Student Central, right next door to our main campus in Bloomsbury, central London. Birkbeck’s flexible yet focused way of learning attracts a special type of student: hard-working, dedicated and determined to improve themselves. When you walk into a Birkbeck classroom, you’ll be surrounded by committed, enthusiastic students from all backgrounds, careers and cultures, aged from 18 to 80. The wealth of workplace and real-world experience and opportunities to network and collaborate are unrivalled.In many universities, the top academics do not teach undergraduates, but at Birkbeck, they do. We believe our students’ varied experiences enrich our teaching, so we’ll share knowledge and support you, as equals. The reasons people choose to study in the evening are as individual and varied as the people you’ll sit next to in class: young people who want to gain experience in the workplace while they study; working Londoners looking for a promotion or career change; people who missed out on university the first time around; or those who are simply passionate about their subject. Birkbeck was created 200 years ago to provide university education for working Londoners. We still believe in the power of knowledge to transform lives, so we go out of our way to make education accessible to as wide a community as possible. If you have the commitment and ability to study, we’ll find a way to make it happen for you. Most of our students work, intern or volunteer during the day, which means that Birkbeck graduates are better placed to get ahead in a competitive job market. They are recognised and highly valued by employers for their maturity, independent-mindedness, focus and determination. That’s why 95% of Birkbeck’s students are in work or further study six months after graduating. Birkbeck also has its own professional in-house recruitment agency, Birkbeck Talent, to connect you with London’s top employers for employment opportunities and paid internships.
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