Organization:University of Liverpool

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Short description: University in Liverpool, England

University of Liverpool
Arms of the University of Liverpool.svg
Coat of arms
MottoLatin: Haec otia studia fovent
Motto in English
These days of peace foster learning[1]
Established1881 – University College Liverpool[2]
1884 – affiliated to the federal Victoria University[3]
1903 – royal charter
Endowment£184.4 million (2022)[4]
Budget£612.6 million (2021–22)[4]
ChancellorWendy Beetlestone
Vice-ChancellorProfessor Tim Jones
VisitorThe Lord President of the Council ex officio
Academic staff
3,110 (2021/22)[5]
Administrative staff
3,385 (2021/22)[5]
Students28,680 (2021/22)[6]
Undergraduates22,265 (2021/22)[6]
Postgraduates6,415 (2021/22)[6]
[ ⚑ ] 53°24′22″N 2°58′01″W / 53.406°N 2.967°W / 53.406; -2.967
The University
The University
AffiliationsRussell Group, EUA, N8 Group, NWUA, AACSB, AMBA, EQUIS, EASN, Universities UK
University of Liverpool logo 2007.png

The University of Liverpool (abbreviated UOL) is a public research university based in the city of Liverpool, England. Founded as a college in 1881, it gained its Royal Charter in 1903 with the ability to award degrees, and is also known to be one of the six 'red brick' civic universities, the first to be referred to as The Original Red Brick. It comprises three faculties organised into 35 departments and schools. It is a founding member of the Russell Group, the N8 Group for research collaboration and the university management school is triple crown accredited.[7]

Nine Nobel Prize winners are amongst its alumni and past faculty and the university offers more than 230 first degree courses across 103 subjects.[8] Its alumni include the CEOs of GlobalFoundries, ARM Holdings, Tesco, Motorola and The Coca-Cola Company. It was the UK's first university to establish departments in oceanography, civic design, architecture, and biochemistry (at the Johnston Laboratories).[9] In 2006 the university became the first in the UK to establish an independent university in China, Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, making it the world's first Sino-British university.[10][11][12] For 2021–22, Liverpool had a turnover of £612.6 million, including £113.6 million from research grants and contracts.[4] It has the seventh-largest endowment of any university in England. Graduates of the university are styled with the post-nominal letters Lpool, to indicate the institution.


The centrepiece of the university estate, the Victoria Building

University College Liverpool

The university was established in 1881 as University College Liverpool, admitting its first students in 1882.[2] In 1884, it became part of the federal Victoria University. In 1894 Oliver Lodge, a professor at the university, made the world's first public radio transmission and two years later took the first surgical X-ray in the United Kingdom.[13] The Liverpool University Press was founded in 1899, making it the third-oldest university press in England. Students in this period were awarded external degrees by the University of London.[14]

University status

Following a royal charter and act of Parliament in 1903, it became an independent university (the University of Liverpool) with the right to confer its own degrees. The next few years saw major developments at the university, including Sir Charles Sherrington's discovery of the synapse and William Blair-Bell's work on chemotherapy in the treatment of cancer. In the 1930s to 1940s Sir James Chadwick and Sir Joseph Rotblat made major contributions to the development of the atomic bomb.[13] From 1943 to 1966 Allan Downie, Professor of Bacteriology, was involved in the eradication of smallpox.

In 1994 the university was a founding member of the Russell Group, a collaboration of twenty leading research-intensive universities, as well as a founding member of the N8 Group in 2004. In the 21st century physicists, engineers and technicians from the University of Liverpool were involved in the construction of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, working on two of the four detectors in the LHC.[15]

In 2004, Sylvan Learning, later known as Laureate International Universities, became the worldwide partner for University of Liverpool online.[16] In 2019, it was announced that Kaplan Open Learning, part of Kaplan, Inc, would be the new partner for the University of Liverpool's online programmes.[17] Laureate continued to provide some teaching provision for existing students until 2021.[18]

The university has produced ten Nobel Prize winners, from the fields of science, medicine, economics and peace. The Nobel laureates include the physician Sir Ronald Ross, physicist Charles Barkla, physicist Martin Lewis Perl, the physiologist Sir Charles Sherrington, physicist Sir James Chadwick, chemist Sir Robert Robinson, chemist Har Gobind Khorana, physiologist Rodney Porter, economist Ronald Coase and physicist Joseph Rotblat. Sir Ronald Ross was also the first British Nobel laureate in 1902. The university is also associated with Professors Ronald Finn and Sir Cyril Clarke who jointly won the Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award in 1980 and Sir David Weatherall who won the Lasker-Koshland Special Achievement Award in Medical Science in 2010. These Lasker Awards are popularly known as America's Nobels.[19]

Over the 2013/2014 academic year, members of staff took part in numerous strikes after staff were offered a pay rise of 1% which unions equated to a 13% pay cut since 2008. The strikes were supported by both the university's Guild of Students and the National Union of Students.[20] Some students at the university supported the strike, occupying buildings on campus.[21]

Campus and facilities

University of Liverpool's Active Learning Lab
Abercromby Square, University of Liverpool
The Chatham Building. University of Liverpool, School of Management

The university is mainly based around a single urban campus approximately five minutes' walk from Liverpool City Centre, at the top of Brownlow Hill and Mount Pleasant. Occupying 100 acres, it contains 192 non-residential buildings that house 69 lecture theatres, 114 teaching areas and research facilities.

The main site is divided into three faculties: Health and Life Sciences; Humanities and Social Sciences; and Science and Engineering. The Veterinary Teaching Hospital (Leahurst) and Ness Botanical Gardens are based on the Wirral Peninsula. There was formerly a marine biology research station at Port Erin on the Isle of Man until it closed in 2006.

Fifty-one residential buildings, on or near the campus, provide 3,385 rooms for students, on a catered or self-catering basis. The centrepiece of the campus remains the university's original red brick building, the Victoria Building. Opened in 1892, it has recently been restored as the Victoria Gallery and Museum, complete with cafe and activities for school visits Victoria Gallery and Museum, University of Liverpool.

In 2011 the university made a commitment to invest £660m into the 'Student Experience', £250m of which will reportedly be spent on Student Accommodation. Announced so far have been two large On-Campus halls of residences (the first of which, Vine Court, opened September 2012), new Veterinary Science facilities, and a £10m refurbishment of the Liverpool Guild of Students. New Central Teaching Laboratories for physics, earth sciences, chemistry and archaeology were opened in autumn 2012.[22]

In 2013, the University of Liverpool opened a satellite campus in Finsbury Square in London, offering a range of professionally focussed masters programmes.[23]

Central Teaching Hub

The Central Teaching Hub is a large multi-use building that houses a recently refurbished Lecture Theatre Block (LTB) and teaching facilities (Central Teaching Labs, CTL) for the Departments of Chemistry, Physics and Environmental Sciences, within the university's Central City Centre Campus. It was completed and officially opened in September 2012 with an estimated project cost of £23m.[24] The main building, the 'Central Teaching Laboratory', is built around a large atrium and houses seven separate laboratories that can accommodate 1,600 students at a time. A flexible teaching space, computing centre, multi-departmental teaching spaces and communal work spaces can also be found inside. The adjoining University Lecture Block building contains four lecture rooms and further social spaces.[25]


In 2008 the University of Liverpool was voted joint seventeenth greenest university in Britain by WWF supported company Green League.[26] This represents an improvement after finishing 55th in the league table the previous year.[27]

The position of the university is determined by point allocation in departments such as Transport, Waste management, sustainable procurement and Emissions among other categories; these are then transpired into various awards.[28] Liverpool was awarded the highest achievement possible in Environmental policy, Environmental staff, Environmental audit, Fair trade status, Ethical investment policy and Waste recycled while also scoring points in Carbon emissions, Water recycle and Energy source.

Liverpool was the first among UK universities to develop their desktop computer power management solution, which has been widely adopted by other institutions.[29] The university has subsequently piloted other advanced software approaches further increasing savings.[30] The university has also been at the forefront of using the Condor HTC computing platform in a power saving environment. This software, which makes use of unused computer time for computationally intensive tasks usually results in computers being left turned on.[31] The university has demonstrated an effective solution for this problem using a mixture of Wake-on-LAN and commercial power management software.[32]

Organisation and structure

The university is ranked in the top 1% of universities worldwide according to Academic ranking of world universities and has previously been ranked within the top 150 university globally by the guide.[33] It is also a founding member of the Russell Group and a founding member of the Northern Consortium.

The university is a research-based university with 33,000 students pursuing over 450 programmes spanning 54 subject areas. It has a broad range of teaching and research in both arts and sciences, and the University of Liverpool School of Medicine established in 1835 is today one of the largest medical schools in the UK. It also has strong links to the neighbouring Royal Liverpool University Hospital.

In September 2008, Sir Howard Newby took up the post of Vice Chancellor of the university, following the retirement of Sir Drummond Bone.

The university has a students' union to represent students' interests, known as the Liverpool Guild of Students.

The university previously had a strategic partnership with Laureate International Universities, a for-profit college collective, for University of Liverpool online degrees.[34] In 2019 the university announced a new partnership with Kaplan Open Learning for delivery of their online degrees.[17]

Senior leadership

The figurehead of the university is the chancellor. The following have served in that role:

  • 1908- ?: Edward Stanley, 17th Earl of Derby
  • 1948-1950: Oliver Stanley
  • 1951-1971: Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 5th Marquess of Salisbury
  • 1972- ?: Sir Kenneth Clinton Wheare
  • 1980-1993: Philip Lever, 3rd Viscount Leverhulme
  • 1994-1995: Alastair Pilkington
  • 1996–2009: David Owen, Baron Owen
  • 2010–2013: Sir David King
  • 2017–2022: Colm Tóibín
  • 2023–present: Wendy Beetlestone

The professional head of the university is the vice-chancellor. The following have served in that role:

  • 1903-1919: Professor A W W Dale
  • 1919–1926: John George Adami
  • 1926-1927: Lionel Wilberforce (acting vice-chancellor)
  • 1927–1936: Hector Hetherington
  • 1936–1937: John Leofric Stocks
  • 1937-1945: Arnold McNair, 1st Baron McNair
  • 1945-1963: Sir James Frederick Mountford
  • 1963-1969: Dr. W.H.F. Barnes
  • 1969-1976: T C Thomas
  • 1977-1984: R.F. Whelan
  • 1986–1991: Graeme Davies
  • 1992-2002: Philip Love
  • 2002–2008: Sir Drummond Bone
  • 2008–2014: Sir Howard Newby
  • 2015–2022: Dame Janet Beer
  • 2023–present: Professor Tim Jones


Since 2009, teaching departments of the university have been divided into three faculties: Science and Engineering, Health and Life Sciences, and Humanities and Social Sciences. Each faculty is headed by an Executive Pro-Vice-Chancellor, who is responsible for all schools in the faculty.[35]

Academic profile


UCAS Admission Statistics
2022 2021 2020 2019 2018
Applications[lower-greek 1][36] 43,435 42,255 43,365 40,415 39,455
Accepted[lower-greek 1][36] 5,910 6,630 6,385 5,770 5,635
Applications/Accepted Ratio[lower-greek 1] 7.3 6.4 6.8 7.0 7.0
Offer Rate (%)[lower-greek 2][37] 69.2 72.3 78.1 77.8 78.4
Average Entry Tariff[38] n/a n/a 144 140 142
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Main scheme applications, International and UK
  2. UK domiciled applicants
HESA Student Body Composition (2022)
Domicile[39] and Ethnicity[40] Total
British White 61% 61
British Ethnic Minorities[lower-alpha 1] 15% 15
International EU 3% 3
International Non-EU 21% 21
Undergraduate Widening Participation Indicators[41][42]
Female 55% 55
Private School 13% 13
Low Participation Areas[lower-alpha 2] 9% 9

In terms of average UCAS points of entrants, Liverpool ranked 40th in Britain in 2014.[43] The university gives offers of admission to 83.1% of its applicants, the 7th highest amongst the Russell Group.[44]

According to the 2017 Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide, approximately 12% of Liverpool's undergraduates come from independent schools.[45] In the 2016–17 academic year, the university had a domicile breakdown of 72:3:25 of UK:EU:non-EU students respectively with a female to male ratio of 55:45.[46]

Rankings and reputation

National rankings
Complete (2021)[47]21
Guardian (2021)[48]40
Times / Sunday Times (2021)[49]33=
Global rankings
ARWU (2020)[50]101–150
CWTS Leiden (2020)[51]94
QS (2021)[52]
THE (2021)[53]176=
British Government assessment
Teaching Excellence Framework[54]Silver
University of Liverpool's national league table performance over the past ten years

In the Complete University Guide 2013, published in The Independent, the University of Liverpool was ranked 31st out of 124, based on nine measures,[55] while The Times Good University Guide 2008 ranked Liverpool 34th out of 113 universities.[56] The Sunday Times university guide recently ranked the University of Liverpool 27th out of 123.[57] In 2010, The Sunday Times has ranked University of Liverpool 29th of 122 institutions nationwide. In 2008 the THE-QS World University Rankings rated University of Liverpool 99th best in the world, and 137th best worldwide in 2009. In 2011 the QS World University Rankings[58] ranked the university in 123rd place, up 14. In the Times Good University Guide 2013, the University of Liverpool was ranked 29th. Liverpool is ranked 122nd in the world (and 15th in the UK) in the 2016 Round University Ranking.[59]

The 2018 U.S. News & World Report ranks Liverpool 129th in the world.[60] In 2019, it ranked 178th among the universities around the world by SCImago Institutions Rankings.[61]

In the 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF), which assesses the quality of research in UK higher education institutions, Liverpool is ranked joint 25th by GPA (along with Durham University and the University of Nottingham) and 19th for research power (the grade point average score of a university, multiplied by the full-time equivalent number of researchers submitted).[62] The Research Excellence Framework for 2014 has confirmed the University of Liverpool's reputation for internationally outstanding research. Chemistry, Computer Science, General Engineering, Archaeology, Agriculture, Veterinary & Food Science, Architecture, Clinical Medicine, and English, are ranked in the top 10 in the UK for research excellence rated as 4* (world-leading) or 3* (internationally excellent), and also performed particularly well in terms of the impact of their research.[63] The Computer Science department was ranked 1st in UK for 4* and 3* research, with 97% of the research being rated as world-leading or internationally excellent – the highest proportion of any computer science department in the UK.[64] The Chemistry department was also ranked 1st in the UK with 99% of its research rated as 4* world leading or 3* internationally excellent[65]

Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University

North Campus, Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, architects: Perkins+Will

In 2006 the university became the first in the UK to establish an independent university in China, making it the world's first Sino-British university.[10][11][12] Resulting from a partnership between the University of Liverpool and Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University is the first Sino-British university between research-led universities, exploring new educational models for China.[66]

The campus is situated in Suzhou Industrial Park in the eastern part of Suzhou in the province of Jiangsu, 90 km west of Shanghai. It is a science and engineering university with a second focus in English, recognised by the Chinese Ministry of Education as a "not for profit" educational institution. The university offers undergraduate degree programmes in the fields of Science, Engineering, and Management. Students are rewarded with a University of Liverpool degree as well as a degree from XJTLU. The teaching language is English.

Student life

University halls

Vine Court, the university's 2nd newest £40 million on campus halls

The university offers a wide selection of accommodation that are on campus as well as student villages off campus. As part of a £660 million investment in campus facilities and student experience, the university has built 3 new on campus halls, while refurbishing existing accommodation.[67] The accommodation offered currently by the university for 2019/2020 academic year are listed below:

  • Crown Place
  • Philharmonic Court
  • Vine Court
  • Dover Court
  • Tudor Close
  • Melville Grove

Greenbank Student Village

  • Derby & Rathbone Halls
  • Roscoe & Dorothy Kuya Halls

In 2018, the university faced strong criticism from the student body that the university provided halls were too expensive, by the Cut the Rent campaign.[68]

Privately accommodation owned Apollo Court ranked 3rd and Myrtle Court ranked 4th in the UK for value for money on a university review platform StudentCrowd.[69]

In 2021 "Gladstone Halls" was renamed after leading communist and anti-racist leader Dorothy Kuya.[70]


University of Liverpool's Sports Centre

The University of Liverpool has a proud sporting tradition and has many premier teams in a variety of sports. The current sporting project comes under the title of Sport Liverpool and offers over 50 different sports ranging from football, rugby, cricket and hockey to others such as windsurfing, lacrosse and cheerleading.

Many of the sports have both male and female teams and most are involved in competition on a national scale. BUCS is the body which organises national university competitions involving 154 institutions in 47 sports. Most sports involve travelling to various locations across the country, mainly on Wednesday afternoons.

Two other prominent competitions are the Christie Championships[71] and the Varsity Cup. The Christie Cup is an inter-university competition between Liverpool, Leeds and Manchester. The Varsity Cup is a popular "derby" event between Liverpool John Moores University and the University of Liverpool.

Notable alumni

Helen Marnie
Barham Salih. Prime Minister of Iraqi Kurdistan
Tung Chee Hwa

Nobel Prize winners

There have been nine Nobel Prize Laureates who have been based at the university during a significant point in their career.[8]

  • Sir Ronald Ross (awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1902) for his work with malaria.
  • Charles Barkla (awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1917) for discovering the electromagnetic properties of X-rays.
  • Sir Charles Sherrington (awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology/Medicine in 1932) for his research into neurons.
  • Sir James Chadwick (awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1935) for discovering neutrons.
  • Sir Robert Robinson (awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1947) for his research into anthocyanins and alkaloids.
  • Har Gobind Khorana (awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology/Medicine in 1968) for his work on the interpretation of the genetic code and its function in protein synthesis.
  • Rodney Porter (awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology/Medicine in 1972) for his discovery of the structure of antibodies.
  • Ronald Coase (awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1991) for his discovery and clarification of the significance of transaction costs and property rights for the institutional structure and functioning of the economy.
  • Joseph Rotblat (awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1995) for his efforts with nuclear disarmament.

See also


  1. Includes those who indicate that they identify as Asian, Black, Mixed Heritage, Arab or any other ethnicity except White.
  2. Calculated from the Polar4 measure, using Quintile1, in England and Wales. Calculated from the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) measure, using SIMD20, in Scotland.


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  3. University of Manchester Act 2004. (4 July 2011). Retrieved on 14 September 2011.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "Financial Statements for the Year to 31 July 2022". University of Liverpool. p. 20.,Accounts,2021-2022.pdf. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Who's working in HE?". 
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 "Where do HE students study? | HESA". 
  7. "Management School Triple Crown Accredited – University of Liverpool Management School Accreditation and Rankings". 
  8. 8.0 8.1 "Our Nobel Prize winners". University of Liverpool. 
  9. "Facts and figures: Our courses - University of Liverpool". 2007-08-18. 
  10. 10.0 10.1 "Our Universities – University of Liverpool". Russell Group. 
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  12. 12.0 12.1 Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University#cite note-0
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  14. "Student lists". 
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  18. "Laureate Online Education". 
  19. "Awards | The Lasker Foundation". 
  20. Akkoc, Raziye (3 December 2013). "Liverpool students hit by second lecturers pay strike". Liverpool Echo. 
  21. Trew, Alannah (4 December 2013). "Liverpool students occupy campus buildings in solidarity with staff strikes". The Independent. 
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  23. "University of Liverpool in London – University of Liverpool". 
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  27. People & Planet – People & Planet Green League 2007 . Retrieved on 14 September 2011.
  28. People & Planet – The Green League 2008: Methodology . Retrieved on 14 September 2011.
  29. "PowerDown". 23 October 2008. 
  30. "University of Liverpool save estimated £70 per PC". 23 October 2008. 
  31. University of Liverpool Condor Project. Liverpool University. Retrieved on 14 September 2011.
  32. University of Liverpool case study with Data Synergy PowerMAN software. Retrieved on 14 September 2011.
  33. "University of Liverpool". 
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  35. "About the University". Liverpool University. 
  36. 36.0 36.1 "UCAS Undergraduate Sector-Level End of Cycle Data Resources 2022". UCAS. December 2022. Show me... Domicile by Provider. 
  37. "2022 entry UCAS Undergraduate reports by sex, area background, and ethnic group". UCAS. 2 February 2023. 
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  42. "Good University Guide: Social Inclusion Ranking". The Times. 16 September 2022. 
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  44. "Which elite universities have the highest offer rates". The Daily Telegraph. 
  45. "The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017". The Good University Guide (London, England). (Subscription content?)
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  50. "Academic Ranking of World Universities 2020". Shanghai Ranking Consultancy. 
  51. "CWTS Leiden Ranking 2020 - PP top 10%". CWTS Leiden Ranking 2020. 
  52. "QS World University Rankings 2021". Quacquarelli Symonds Ltd.. 
  53. "World University Rankings 2021". Times Higher Education.!/page/0/length/-1/sort_by/rank/sort_order/asc/cols/stats. 
  54. "Teaching Excellence Framework outcomes". Higher Education Funding Council for England. 
  55. The Independent newspaper, 24 April 2008
  56. The Times:
  57. The Times: 23 May 2008
  58. "". 
  59. "Round University Rankings 2016". RUR Rankings Agency. 
  60. "U.S. News & World Report Best Global Universities Rankings 2018". U.S. News & World Report. 
  61. "SCImago Institutions Rankings – Higher Education – All Regions and Countries – 2019 – Overall Rank". 
  62. "REF 2021: Quality ratings hit new high in expanded assessment". Times Higher Education. 12 May 2022. 
  63. "Liverpool research ranked in UK top 10". 18 December 2014. 
  64. "REF 2014 Computer Science". 
  65. "REF 2014 University of Liverpool Chemistry REF results 2014– Chemistry – University of Liverpool". 
  66. "LING JUNHUI in China Today No.9 September 2011, saved on Nov.9, 2013". 28 October 2011. 
  67. "Campus development". 
  68. "CUT THE RENT: STUDENTS SAY 'NO' TO THE RISING COST OF HALLS" (in en-GB). 24 October 2018. 
  69. "Best Value for Money UK Student Accommodation (2019) | StudentCrowd". 
  70. "Gladstone Halls to be renamed after Dorothy Kuya from today" (in en-GB). 2021-04-27. 
  71. The Christie Championships – SPORT . University of Liverpool. Retrieved on 14 September 2011.
  72. Denselow, Robin (1 December 2017). "John Preston obituary". The Guardian. 

Further reading

  • Rigg, J. Anthony (1968) "A comparative history of the libraries of Manchester and Liverpool Universities up to 1903", in: Saunders, W. L., ed. University and Research Library Studies: some contributions from the University of Sheffield Post-graduate School of Librarianship and Information Science. Oxford: Pergamon Press, 1968

External links