- #202 Ranking
- 143 Masters
- 19020 Students
Birkbeck is recognised for providing the highest quality teaching that is informed by our outstanding research excellence. This is proven by our number one position in the UK´s National Student Surveys. In 2007, Birkbeck beat every higher education institution in London for overall student satisfaction
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As Birkbeck primarily offers part-time courses, often in the evenings, student life is less centralised than in other universities. It does not offer its own halls of residence, for instance, though Birkbeck students do have access to the University of London's intercollegiate halls.
Birkbeck Students' Union offers a number of societies for students, as well as a football club that competes in the University of London league. It also provides student representation and support, a student magazine, a student shop and a bar. Birkbeck students also have access to the societies and clubs of the University of London Union (whose building adjoins Birkbeck's Bloomsbury site). Accordingly, London Student distributes at the Union.
The college arms include a lamp and an owl, symbolising the college's motto In nocte consilium (translated as "study by night"). Because of this, the student magazine was called Lamp and Owl. Its name was later changed to Lampanelle, and after briefly ceasing production in 2009 under the editorship of Zein Sufi, it was relaunched in 2010 by the Birkbeck Journalism Society.
The original name of the institution was the London Mechanics' Institute. For this reason, the annual literary magazine published by the Birkbeck MA Creative Writing programme is called The Mechanics' Institute Review.
The college has entered teams in University Challenge over the years, with varied results. In 1997, a team scored just 40 points - at that stage the lowest score since the series had been revived, though this has since been broken by New Hall, Cambridge, the University of Bradford and the University Challenge: The Professionals team of Members of Parliament. 1998 saw a reversal of fortunes when Birkbeck reached the final, losing to Magdalen College, Oxford. In 2003, Birkbeck again reached the final, facing another team of mature students from Cranfield University. On this occasion, Birkbeck won.
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