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University of Leicester

Flag of United Kingdom Leicestershire, United Kingdom
School ID: SU440080
Rank: 185
* The Times Higher Education World University Rankings
Applied number: 1

27th in the UK (and 185th in the world) in the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings

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Genera decription

The University of Leicester is a public research university based in Leicester, England. The main campus is south of the city centre, adjacent to Victoria Park. The university's predecessor, University College, Leicester, gained university status in 1957.

The university had an income of £323.1 million in 2019/20, of which £57 million was from research grants.

The university received media attention for the invention of genetic fingerprinting, and for contributing to the discovery and identification of the remains of King Richard

Desire for a university

The first serious suggestions for a university in Leicester began with the Leicester Literary and Philosophical Society (founded at a time when "philosophical" broadly meant what "scientific" means today). With the success of Owen's College in Manchester, and the establishment of the University of Birmingham in 1900, and then of Nottingham University College, it was thought that Leicester ought to have a university college too. From the mid-19th century to the mid-20th century university colleges could not award degrees and had to be associated with universities that had degree-giving powers. Most students at university colleges took examinations set by the University of London.

In the late 19th century the co-presidents of the Leicester Literary and Philosophical Society, the Revered James Went, headmaster of the Wyggeston Boys' School, and J. D. Paul, regularly called for the establishment of a university college However, no private donations were forthcoming, and the Corporation of Leicester was busy funding the School of Art and the Technical School. The matter was brought up again by Dr Astley V. Clarke (1870–1945) in 1912. Born in Leicester in 1870, he had been educated at Wyggeston Grammar School and the University of Cambridge before receiving medical training at Guy's Hospital. He was the new President of the Literary and Philosophy society. Reaction was mixed, with some saying that Leicester's relatively small population would mean a lack of demand. With the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, talk of a university college subsided. In 1917 the Leicester Daily Post urged in an editorial that something of more practical utility than memorials ought to be created to commemorate the war dead. With the ending of the war both the Post and its rival the Leicester Mail encouraged donations to form the university college. Some suggested that Leicester should join forces with Nottingham, Sutton Bonington and Loughborough to create a federal university college of the East Midlands, but nothing came of this proposal.

Why choose us

Our standing

  • 27th in the UK (and 185th in the world) in the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings
  • 29th-33rd in the UK (and 301st-400th in the world) in the Shanghai Ranking
  • 30th in the Guardian University Guide 2022
  • 31st in the UK (and 242nd in the world) in the QS World University Rankings
  • 37th in the Times/Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022 (paywall protected)
  • 38th in the Complete University Guide 2022
  • 76th in the Reuters Top 100 Most Innovative Universities in Europe

Our research

Leicester is ranked in the top 25 universities in the Times Higher Education REF Research Power rankings. The Power ranking takes into account both the quality of research and the number of research-active staff who made REF returns. Research power is important because it gives a strong indication of a combination of world-class research, international impact, critical mass and sustainability.

75% of our research was judged to be internationally excellent with wide-ranging impacts on society, health culture,and the environment. That Leicester also entered a substantial proportion of academics (84%) to the REF demonstrates that our academics are continuing to develop and build upon our world-leading research.


The University is ranked 19th out of 766 universities in the world, in the Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Ranking, placing it in the top 3%.

And it is first in the world for goal 15, life on land, due to its academic excellence and commitment to conserving the biodiversity of the local land and buildings as part of its Biodiversity Action Plan.

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Av Cost of Tuition/Year GBP £17,500
Cost of living/Year GBP £10,000
Application fee GBP £200
Estimated Total/Year GBP £27,700

Main majors

  • Economics
  • Engineering
  • Law

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