St George’s, University of London

St George’s, University of London (legal name St George’s Hospital Medical School, informally St George’s or SGUL),[2] is a medical school located in Tooting in South London and is a constituent college of the University of London. St George’s has its origins in 1733, and was the second institution in England to provide formal training courses for doctors (after the University of Oxford).[3] St George’s affiliated with the University of London soon after the latter’s establishment in 1836.[4]

St George’s is closely affiliated to St George’s Hospital and is one of the United Hospitals.


Hyde Park Corner in 1842

Originally established in 1733 in Lanesborough House at Hyde Park Corner (now the site of The Lanesborough hotel), in central London, the college moved to its current home in Tooting, South London, in 1980, where it shares a site with St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust. Following Quality Assurance Agency inspections St George’s gained a score of 23 out of 24 for its teaching of medicine [5][needs update] — the highest of any of the London medical schools. The inspections report was published in January 2000 and the course, curriculum and teaching methods at St George’s have changed since then.

In recent years,[when?] St George’s has expanded beyond its medical schools roots. Alongside its medical course it now runs a Biomedical Sciences course, which has expanded to meet demand in the last 5 years from an initial intake of 30, to 150 students. There are now more places for Undergraduate Biomedical Science students than 5-Year Medical students.

In partnership with Kingston University, the Faculty of Health and Social Care Sciences has moved St George’s into other areas including Nursing, Physiotherapy, Paramedic Science and Radiography. The Faculty has been congratulated[who?] for its high teaching standards, employment rates and cutting edge research in the Social Sciences.

St George’s was the first institution in the United Kingdom to offer a four-year graduate entry Medicine degree based on the program from Flinders University[6] with which it has an exchange program. The first intake was in 2000 with 35 students and the course has since been emulated by many other universities. Entry to the course is highly competitive with candidates being required to sit the GAMSAT as part of the application process.

Most recently[when?] St George’s, along with other London medical schools, has been the setting for new television drama Vital Signs.

In 2008, St George’s announced that it planned to merge with Royal Holloway to form a single institution within the University of London.[7][8] The merger was called off in a joint statement by the two colleges’ principals on 25 September 2009.[9][10] St George’s intends to keep working with Royal Holloway in the field of health and social care along with its well-established Joint Faculty with Kingston University.[11] St George’s, Kingston University and Royal Holloway will continue to collaborate in the field of health and social care as part of the existing SWan (South West London Academic Network) healthcare alliance.[12]


St George’s Hospital

The St George’s campus is located in the Tooting area of south-west London, and shares a site with St George’s Hospital, a 1,300 bed major trauma centre.[13]

Teaching facilities at the campus include clinical skills laboratories and a patient simulator allowing students to practice based on real-life situations including surgical and medical emergencies.[13] The university library houses approximately 42,000 books and subscribes to over 10,000 journals.[13]

There is an on-site sports centre including a sports hall, three squash courts, and weights and fitness rooms.[13]


St George’s offers foundation and undergraduate degrees at its site in Tooting in medical, biomedical and healthcare sciences, including: Biomedical Science BSc (Hons), Biomedical Science Foundation Degree, Healthcare Practice DipHE and BSc (Hons), Healthcare Practice Foundation Degree, Healthcare Science (Physiological Sciences) BSc (Hons), Medicine (four-year graduate stream) MBBS4, Medicine (five-year) MBBS5, and Medicine (six-year) MBBS6, Physician Associate Studies MSc.[13][14]

In partnership with Kingston University, the joint Faculty of Health and Social Care Sciences also offers degrees in physiotherapy, paramedic science, nursing, midwifery, social work and diagnostic or therapeutic radiography.

St George’s, in partnership with INTO University Partners, has also formed a joint venture, INTO SGUL, to offer a Foundation in Medical, Biomedical and Health Sciences for international students whose qualifications do not allow direct progression into Bachelors level study in the UK, and a six-year MBBS and a four-year graduate stream MBBS programme specifically for international students, with clinical placements overseas. The first student cohort on each international MBBS programme entered St George’s in September 2012.[15]

Outside of the UK, the MBBS4 is also offered in Nicosia, Cyprus, through a partnership between St George’s and the University of Nicosia. The new programme was inaugurated and the first student cohort commenced in Nicosia in September 2011. The programme at the University of Nicosia features international clinical placements in Israel and the USA.[16]

St George’s offers numerous research and taught postgraduate degrees.[13]


St George’s uses the problem based learning (PBL) teaching method, first developed by McMaster University Medical School in Canada in the 1960s. St George’s also uses dissection from the first year. Clinical teaching occurs mainly at the St. George’s Hospital.

Student life

The Students’ Union organises various activities including fancy dress discos and a Rag Week, the annual series of fund-raising events. In recent years the Union has become more politically aware and shown greater interest in National Union of Students and British Medical Association activities.

Each new student at St George’s is assigned a ‘mum’ or ‘dad’ in the year above. These ‘parents’ act as mentors for the new students, giving them advice about the course, often tutoring them when needed, as well as buying them drinks during Freshers’ Week and beyond. Over the years the family expands to include siblings, uncles, aunts, grandparents etc., spanning all the years of the various courses.[citation needed]

St George’s enters a team into the British television quiz programme University Challenge each year.


St. George’s Hospital Medical School RFC is one of the oldest rugby clubs in the world having been founded in 1863.

St George’s also has a number of other sports clubs including swimming, rowing, cheerleading, volleyball, fencing, football, netball, hockey and many others and participates in various competitions. As St George’s is a member of the United Hospitals, the teams also compete in separate competitions with the five other medical schools within the University of London and that of Imperial College.


The university owns one hall of residence, Horton Halls, a large modern site which first opened to new students in late September 2007, replacing St. George’s Grove the old hall of residence.

Notable people

Notable alumni

John Hunter
Henry Gray
Harry Hill
Edward Jenner
Notable alumni of St George’s include:
  • Joseph Adams (1756–1818), English physician and surgeon
  • Sir Benjamin Collins Brodie, English physiologist and surgeon who pioneered research into bone and joint disease
  • Henry Vandyke Carter (1831-1897), English anatomist, surgeon, and anatomical artist most notable for his illustrations of the book, Gray’s Anatomy
  • Walter Butler Cheadle (1836–1910), English paediatrician
  • Sir Francis Darwin – botanist, son of Charles Darwin
  • Sir John William Fisher (1788–1876), English surgeon
  • Henry Gray FRS (1827–1861), English anatomist and surgeon most notable for publishing the book Gray’s Anatomy
  • Harry Hill (1964- ), English BAFTA-winning comedian, author and television presenter
  • John Hunter (1728–1793), Scottish surgeon
  • William Hunter (1718–1783), Scottish anatomist and physician
  • Edward Jenner FRS (1749–1823), English scientist and the first doctor to introduce and study the smallpox vaccine
  • Henry Bence Jones (1813-1873), English physician, described Bence Jones protein
  • Francis Laking (1847-1914), Surgeon-Apothecary to Queen Victoria, Physician in Ordinary to King Edward VII and George V
  • Christine Lee, Emeritus Professor of Haemophilia in the University of London
  • Henry Marsh, world renowned neurosurgeon
  • Keith McCarthy (1960- ), writer of crime fiction
  • George Pearson FRS (1751–1858), physician, chemist and early advocate of Jenner’s cowpox vaccination
  • Paul Sinha (1970- ), Stand-up comedian
  • Mike Stroud (1955-), English physician and eminent explorer
  • Patrick Christopher Steptoe (1913–1988), English obstetrician, gynaecologist and pioneer of fertility treatment. Responsible for developing in vitro fertilization
  • Edward Adrian Wilson (1872–1912), English polar explorer, physician, naturalist, painter and ornithologist
  • Thomas Young (1773–1829), English polymath

Principals / Deans

  • Jenny Higham (2015–present)
  • Peter Kopelman (2008 to 2015)
  • Michael Farthing (2003 to 2007)
  • Sir Robert Boyd (1996 to 2003)
  • Sir William Asscher (1988 to 1996)
  • Richard J West (1982 to 1987)
  • Robert Lowe (1971 to 1982)
  • Alastair Hunter (1956 to 1971)


  1. ^ Jump up to:a b c “2014/15 Students by HE provider, level, mode and domicile” (XLSX). Higher Education Statistics Agency. Retrieved 19 January 2016.
  2. Jump up^ “”. Governance – St George’s, University of London.External link in |title= (help)
  3. Jump up^ [1] Archived August 16, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
  4. Jump up^ The University of London 1836-1986 by Negley Harte (1986), p.96
  5. Jump up^ “q170.qxd” (PDF). Retrieved 2010-04-29.
  6. Jump up^ [2] Archived February 7, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  7. Jump up^ St George’s Council decision on merger – SGUL
  8. Jump up^ Lipsett, Anthea (2008-10-01). “London universities merge”. The Guardian. Retrieved 24 May 2010.
  9. Jump up^ Joint statement from St George’s and Royal Holloway, University of London, 25/9/09 [3]
  10. Jump up^ RHSG St George’s, University of London and Royal Holloway joint statement 25/9/09 [4]
  11. Jump up^ “RHUL website 25/9/09”. 2009-09-28. Retrieved 2010-04-29.
  12. Jump up^ R. Attwood ‘Finance worries kill off medical school merger’ Times Higher Education 1/10/09 [5]
  13. ^ Jump up to:a b c d e f “University guide 2013: St George’s, University of London”. The Guardian. 29 May 2012. Retrieved 20 July 2012.
  14. Jump up^ “St George’s undergraduate courses A-Z”. St George’s, University of London. Retrieved 20 July 2012.
  15. Jump up^
  16. Jump up^
  17. Jump up^ “Academic Ranking of World Universities 2016 – UK”. Shanghai Ranking Consultancy. Retrieved 15 August 2016.
  18. Jump up^ “Academic Ranking of World Universities 2016”. Shanghai Ranking Consultancy. Retrieved 15 August 2016.
  19. Jump up^ “World University Rankings 2016-17 – United Kingdom”. Times Higher Education. Retrieved 21 September 2016.
  20. Jump up^ “World University Rankings 2016-17”. Times Higher Education. Retrieved 21 September 2016.
  21. Jump up^ “University League Table 2017”. The Complete University Guide. Retrieved 25 April 2016.
  22. Jump up^ “The Times and Sunday Times University Good University Guide 2017”. Times Newspapers. Retrieved 23 September 2016.