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The University of East London (UEL) is a university based in the east end of Londonmarker, Englandmarker. According to the Sunday Times, UEL is the "embodiment of the modern university". UEL's strong commitment to widening access and regional development, in an area of England with a traditionally very low uptake of higher education, allied to multi-million pound investment in campuses and facilities, has seen a rapid growth in student numbers (from 12,000 to 20,000 in the last eight years).


Founded in 1970 as North East London Polytechnic, UEL was formed from a merger of higher education colleges, including the West Ham Technical Institute in Stratfordmarker, and the South East Essex Technical College in Barkingmarker. The Polytechnic changed its name in 1989, becoming the Polytechnic of East London, and was granted university status in 1992. Though a "New University", UEL's long and rich history of founding institutions exemplify the radical developments that took place in British further and higher education policy throughout the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

West Ham Technical Institute, 1898

West Ham Technical Institute (Nov 1898)


UEL Docklands Campus, Halls of Residence
UEL Docklands Campus, The Square
UEL Stratford Campus

The university is located on two main campuses in East Londonmarker. These are:

In addition, UEL delivers a range of programmes and short courses at the Barking Learning Centre in the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham.

UEL's Docklands Campus has become one of the most instantly recognisable locations in London with its waterfront on Royal Albert Dock and directly overlooking the London City Airportmarker runway. The campus boasts innovative architecture and colourful halls of residence, which is connected directly to Cyprus DLR station.

Today, Docklands serves over 7,500 students and researchers. Docklands was London's first new university campus to be built in over half a century and was opened by the then Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone. UEL's new Business School and Knowledge Dock centre were opened by HM The Queen in February 2007. The Business School will incorporate the Petchey Centre for Entrepreneurship, named in honour of its benefactor, entrepreneur Jack Petchey.

Stratford Campus, located in the heart of Stratford and on the doorstep of the 2012 Olympic Park, is centred around University House, a 19th Century listed building. The campus is home to the Schools of Distance and E-Learning, Education, Health & Bioscience, Psychology and Law (based at nearby Duncan House). It houses modern laboratories, workshops and teaching spaces and a 24/7 multimedia library. In January 2008 the Centre for Clinical Education in Podiatry, Physiotherapy and Sports Science was opened by Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. Operating in partnership with the NHS, the state-of-the-art facility centre is London's only provider of podiatric education. In 2009 the School of Education will move into its new centre equipped with mock classrooms, kitchens, music rooms and more.

Off-campus, over 2,000 students are registered on programmes with UK collaborative partners, principally London's Tavistock Clinic, and 1,240 on programmes with partners located overseas, such as the Centro Studi Martha Harris in Florencemarker.

Academic Structure

Degree programmes and other courses at are taught at UEL by one of eight schools at the University, listed below. In addition, there are three schools that carry out a more of an administrative role within the academic structure: the School of Combined Honours, the Graduate School, and UELconnect which manages Distance & E-learning and Short Courses.

School of Architecture & the Visual Arts

  • Architecture
  • Digital Arts & Visual Communication
  • Fashion Textiles
  • Fine Art
  • Visual Theories
  • Foundation

School of Computing, Information Technology and Engineering

  • Architecture
  • Civil Engineering, Construction and Surveying
  • Computing, Multimedia and Information Systems
  • Computer Security
  • Data Mining
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Product Design
  • Music Technology
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Renewable Energy
  • B Eng Computing & Electronics

Business School

  • Accounting & Finance
  • Business Administration
  • Business Finance
  • Business Management
  • Business Studies
  • Events Management
  • Finance, Money & Banking
  • Human Resource Management
  • International Business
  • Marketing
  • Music Industry Management
  • Project Management
  • Public Services
  • Risk Management
  • Tourism Management

Cass School of Education

  • Child Care and Education
  • Community Studies
  • Early Childhood Studies
  • Education (Professional Graduate Certificate (PGCE))
  • Education and Community Development
  • Education Studies
  • English Language Teaching (ELT)
  • Playwork and Youth Studies
  • Special Educational Needs
  • Youth and Community Work

School of Health and Bioscience

    • Biosciences
    • Applied Biology
    • Biomedical Science
    • Biotechnology
    • Biotechnology and management
    • Biochemistry
    • Forensics
    • Pharmacology
    • Toxicology
    • Sport & Exercise Science#
    • Health Studies
    • Professional Health Sciences
      • Physiotherapy
      • Podiatric Medicine

School of Law

  • Criminology & Criminal Justice
  • Human Rights
  • International Law
  • Islamic & Middle Eastern Studies
  • Law
  • Terrorism Studies
  • Refugee Studies

School of Psychology

  • Applied Educational and Child Psychology
  • Applied Positive Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Business Psychology
  • Career Guidance
  • Coaching
  • Counselling Psychology
  • Critical Psychology
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Educational and Child Psychology
  • Forensic Psychology
  • Occupational and Organisational Psychology
  • Psychosynthesis Counselling
  • Psychosexual Therapy
  • Spiritual, Religious and Cultural Care

School of Humanities & Social Sciences

  • Advertising
  • Acting
  • Anthropology
  • Approved Social Worker Practice
  • Communication Studies
  • Community Arts Practice
  • Computer Games Design
  • Creative and Professional Writing
  • Cultural Studies
  • Dance
  • English Literature
  • Film Studies
  • History
  • Information Technology
  • Journalism
  • Sports Journalism
  • Media & Creative Industries
  • Multimedia
  • Music Culture - Theory & Production
  • Narrative Research
  • Sociology
  • Theatre Directing
  • Theatre Studies
  • Theatre Studies (International)
  • Urban Renewal
  • Writing: Imaginative Practice
  • International Politics


In common with other universities, UEL offers both undergraduate and postgraduate degrees.

Undergraduate degrees can be either Single Honours or Combined Honours degrees, most of which are available for study on either a full-time or part-time basis. With a Combined Honours degree, a student may choose to study two different subjects in one of two ways:
  • Major/Minor combinations, where the student spends two-thirds of their time studying one subject and the remaining third on another. The award would be for example, BA (Hons) History with English Literature
  • Joint combinations where two subjects are studied equally. The award would be for example, BA (Hons) History and English Literature

In addition, Extended Degree Programmes are available for many of the Single Honour programmes, a route popular for students without appropriate A-Level qualifications for their degree of choice. By taking an Extended Degree programme, students add a preliminary foundation year to the otherwise typically three-year programme to bring them up to speed and secure the knowledge and skills necessary to see out the remainder of the course.

UEL also offers a wide range of postgraduate degrees, including taught master's degrees, professional doctorates (which offer the title Dr but contain a significant taught element at advanced level, rather than being purely research based) and research degrees including MPhils and PhDs.


On 21 November 2006, the new UEL/Birkbeck, University of Londonmarker Partnership at Stratford was launched when a memorandum of understanding between the two institutions was signed by the Master of Birkbeck, Professor David Latchman, and the then Vice-Chancellor of UEL, Professor Mike Thorne. The partnership aims to improve participation in higher education in east London by attracting new students who would not otherwise participate through the provision of new opportunities and progression pathways.

Birkbeck was awarded nearly £5m in April 2006 by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) to take its flexible, evening teaching provision to east London, which has the lowest higher education participation levels in the London region. Birkbeck courses have been offered at the Stratford campus of UEL since September 2007 as part of the Birkbeck strand of the new partnership, now called Birkbeck Stratford.

Academic reputation and rankings

According to the results of the most recent government research assessment exercise, UEL is among the top ten post-1992 universities in the UK for research (table published on .

In 2005, a team from the government's Quality Assurance Agency conducted a thorough audit of UEL, resulting in the best possible award of ‘Broad Confidence’ in the soundness of UEL management, the quality of UEL programmes and the academic standards of UEL degrees and other awards.

In the case of Sociology, Art and Design and Cultural and Innovation Studies, a majority of staff research was recognised by the 2001 Research Assessment Exercise as "world class". Staff research was once ranked in the top ten amongst New Universities by The Guardian.

UEL is ranked 99th of 113 British universities in The Times University Guide with the fourteenth lowest rate in the UK for good honours. This needs to be put into context considering the low average UCAS points of UEL's students' intake. "A typical offer for the vast majority of degree programmes at UEL would be 160 UCAS Tariff Points, including two A2 passes." . In 2009, UEL highered the entry requirement to 200-280 UCAS Tariff Points.


UEL's Vice-Chancellors have been:

Professor Frank Gould, 1992-2001Professor Mike Thorne, 2001-2007Professor Martin Everett, 2007-2009

Following the resignation of Professor Everett in March 2009, Professor Susan Price currently occupies the position of Acting Vice-Chancellor pending the appointment of a permanent Vice-Chancellor. . However, Professor Price will be leaving in December to take up the post of Vice-Chancellor at Leeds Metropolitan University. Sir Deian Hopkin, former Vice-Chancellor of London South Bank University, will become interim Vice-Chancellor of UEL until a permanent appointment is made.

Notable alumni and students

Notable academics

Holders of honorary degrees


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