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Birmingham University

Birmingham University Information & History...

The University of Birmingham developed historically from a number of smaller and historical institutions in the city. One of which was the Birmingham Medical School founded in 1828, was founded by William Sands Cox in order to provide a medical school with a Christian ethos, as an alternative to the London Medical colleges.

Teaching began at the Birmingham Medical School as early as 1825, at time when Queen Victoria granted patronage to the Clinical Hospital in Birmingham, which then became known as the "The Queen's Hospital". This was the first and only provincial teaching hospital in England at the time, and by 1843, the medical college was widely known as  Queen's College.

In 1875, Sir Josiah Mason on of the city’s leading industrialists had founded the Mason Science College. This lay the foundations for today’s University of Birmingham. By 1882 the scientific departments of Chemistry, Botany, Physiology and Physics all transferred to the Mason Science College thereby ensuring its reputation as an eminent medical college. The Mason University College Act 1897 ensured that by 1900 the new Mason University College was born and established. In 1900 it became one of the first ‘red brick’ universities in the country to receive a Royal Charter and therefore become officially recognized in its own right as a University.

The development of the city as a source of industry, business and wealth meant that a Faculty of Commerce was also opened in 1900 and this was historically the first Business School in England. It was also the first English civic and campus university.

The architectural development of the university ran alongside its reputation as a place of academic excellence. In 1939 the Barber Institute of Fine Arts was opened, in 1956 there was the first MSc programme was in place, and the university also boasted the first geotechnological post-graduate school in England.

Over the years the University has also encouraged and aided the foundation of other academic institutions such as Keele University, and in 1963 even helped in the formation of a faculty of medicine at the University of Rhodesia, which is today the University of Zimbabwe.

The grounds of the university result from the generous donation of a 25 acre site by Lord Calthorpe. The site boasts an array of impressive architecturally renowned buildings including the clock tower, statues, and even a three acre artificial lake. By 1973 the university was expanded enough to warrant its own railway station, the University Birmingham Railway Station, and is still to this day, the only university in the country to have its own railway station.

Historically the university has overseen some pioneering scientific developments and discoveries, including the cavity magnetron which helped the Allied Victory in the Second World War, and the Frisch-Peierls memorandum which was instrumental in the development of the atomic bomb.

The University of Birmingham today serves over 29,000 students of local, national and international origins who are eager to a member of this prestigious institution. 

It is one of the leading establishments in the prestigious ‘Russell Group’ of universities, which consolidates its reputation as an internationally recognized location of academic research and learning.

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