Open Day 2018

Welcome to King’s College London.

Hello, my name is John Worne and I’m the Chief Operating Officer for Arts & Sciences; my rather wonderful job, is to look after everything here on the Strand Campus.

Let’s start with a bit of history…

King’s College London was founded in 1829 by King George IV and the Duke of Wellington who was a British Prime Minister; he is famous for victory at the battle of Waterloo.

Right from the off, King’s offered a very wide range of disciplines for students to study. We had professors in Medicine and Mathematics, Classics and Chemistry, Geology and German, Botany and Zoology, Law, Philosophy, Politics and Economics.

It’s also worth noting that King’s was a pioneer of higher education for women. Women could get a degree from King’s by the 1870s – and that’s more than 40 years before Oxford and 70 years before Cambridge.

The writer and thinker Virginia Woolf, who studied at King’s between 1897 and 1902 is one of our most famous graduates – she has a major building named in her honour on this campus.

Overall King’s is England’s 4th oldest University, after Oxford and Cambridge and just behind UCL up the road from here.

 Today King’s is a truly Global institution:

Today we are Global institution with students from more than 150 countries.

Of nearly 30,000 students who study with us, over 9,000 are international; which gives us a dynamic, diverse and welcoming international classroom. 40% of our academic staff are also from outside the UK.

We have nine faculties across our five campuses, covering

  • Health
  • Maths, Sciences, Technology and Engineering
  • Arts and Humanities
  • Social Sciences
  • Business
  • and Law

And here on the Strand – and at Waterloo just over the bridge – we host all these subjects, bar Health; which is mainly co-located with three big London teaching hospitals.

We see ourselves as a truly interdisciplinary university, with lots of collaborations and relationships in all areas – across science, health technology, ethics, the law, business and much much more.

And we are constantly evolving and developing our courses to make sure they fit the needs of our students and the modern world.

Just in the last two years we’ve seen the launch of new undergraduate degrees in Accounting and Finance – in our growing King’s Business School – and also in Psychology and Astrophysics as examples.

We are also constantly investing for the future. You are currently in Bush House, one of our brand-new complex of buildings which houses King’s Business School, Informatics and Computer Sciences and the Faculty of Social Science and Public Policy.

Bush House

We are just finishing the fit-out of the South East Wing across the courtyard. Once that is completed later this month, we’ll house the King’s English Language Centre, Student Services, an NHS Health Centre, Careers & Employability and the Students Union KCLSU.

Everyone will move in – in time for September – providing a state of the art environment and services for the new academic year.

I’ve spent a lot of the last two years working on the Bush House buildings and I can’t tell you how proud we all are of what’s been created here – I hope you’ll agree it’s a great environment.

But ultimately a university is all about learning…

 A research-enhanced education

A King’s education is a research-enhanced education.

We achieve this in two ways. First, our teachers are also our Researchers, so they bring the very latest knowledge and research into the classroom. Secondly, our students have opportunities to carry out independent research throughout their studies.

Because our research is world-leading, it connects students with major opportunities and real-world issues.

Just a couple of examples – working with the British Royal Family we are digitising the archives of the four King Georges. This is surfacing amazing material on the American War of Independence and life in the 1700s and 1800s.


At the other end of the spectrum… researchers and engineers at the King’s are at the forefront of cutting-edge research into 5G mobile technology.

We recently demonstrated with BT, Verizon and Ericsson, that a fleet of drones at the Strand campus could be managed from overseas.

The demonstration centred around disaster response scenarios testing how drones could be used to deliver medicine, food, water and blood in difficult to reach disaster zones.


It was quite something seeing those Drones flying around in our Georgian main courtyard.


Everyone at King’s is special but just to pick out three who are particularly famous:

  • Archbishop Desmond Tutu – a Nobel Peace laureate and a truly great man – he studied for his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at King’s.
  • Professor Peter Higgs – famous for the Higg’s Boson studied Physics at King’s and won his Nobel prize in 2013.
  • Dina Asher-Smith A world class athelete who combined her successful athletics career with a scholarship and a King’s degree in History.

Five Campuses

If you come to King’s you come to London – you’re close to everything and there is so much to see:

  • The Waterloo Campus is on the doorstep of London’s Southbank, full of theatres, culture, film and the arts.
  • The Strand Campus is right next to the Royal Courts of Justice and the Covent Garden.
  • Guy’s Campus which is home to Medicine and Dentistry – is right next to Guy’s Hospital and Borough Market.
  • The St Thomas’s is right opposite the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben.
  • Finally Denmark Hill is home to the Institute of Psychiatry right next to King’s College Hospital and the buzz of Camberwell and Peckham.

 A Civic University

That adds up to:

  • Being in the heart of a London – a truly great world city
  • Having endless unique resources on your doorstep
  • Access to amazing lifestyle and cultural opportunities
  • And the power of King’s location and networking – which means access to great employers and life opportunities

 Teaching, lectures, seminars and labs

As a King’s students you’re likely to have a mix of lectures, smaller group seminars, and tutorials. You will have regular direct contact with academic staff – and you will be encouraged to actively participate in small group sessions and engage in discussions. You’ll have the support of a personal tutor. Plus, there’s lots of choice within and beyond core subjects.

 An Extraordinary Student Experience

Beyond the core teaching there’s so much else to get involved with:

  • King’s students’ union, KCLSU has a huge range of activities to explore and develop your interests; make a difference and meet new people across the university. This includes over 200 societies and volunteering projects and over 50 sports clubs.
  • You can Study Abroad. We have over 150 global partner institutions where you can go for a term or a whole year: from the USA, to Australia and Singapore.
  • We offer internships, research opportunities andmodern language courses with over 30 languages you can learn at King’s.
  • And you can study the original King’s Degree the Associateship of King’s College and learn about ethics, theology and more.
  • And as you’d expect we have great careers and student support and advice services. There is no end to what you can do at King’s and lots of support to help you do it.

 Finally, at King’s you graduate in style

When the happy day comes you’ll be wearing a Vivienne Westwood designed graduation gown – each of King’s nine faculties, institutes and schools have their own colour…

But don’t forget the substance

96% of King’s graduates are in work or further study within six months of graduation – which puts us in the top two all elite UK Russell Group Universities (DLHE 2017).

So, to sum up:

  • Please talk to our great academics at our subject talks and hubs
  • Please have a walk around our beautiful buildings and campuses
  • A do talk to our wonderful Student Ambassadors

Thanks for coming today and thanks for listening.