Center For London Essays About Education

London is a leading global educational centre, having one of the largest populations of overseas students of any city in the world.[citation needed]


London has the largest student population of any British city, although not the highest per capita. Universities in London may be divided into two groups:

First, the federal University of London, which, with over 120,000 students, is the largest contact teaching university in the United Kingdom (smaller only than the distance-education Open University) and one of the largest Universities in Europe. It comprises 19 colleges and 12 institutes, as well as a distance-learning External System.[1] Constituent colleges have a high degree of autonomy, controlling their own admissions and degree programmes, and are effectively universities in their own right. The largest and most well-known University of London colleges include (in order of student population size) King's College London, University College London, Birkbeck, Queen Mary, the London School of Economics and Political Science, Royal Holloway, Goldsmiths, and the Institute of Education. Smaller schools and institutes (with fewer than 5,000 students) include the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), the London Business School, the School of Pharmacy, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, St. George's Hospital Medical School and Central School of Speech and Drama. Traditionally all of the University of London institutions awarded degrees from the University of London itself, and not from the individual college or institution, but this changed in 2007/2008 when King's College London, the London School of Economics, University College London and the Institute of Education remained within the University of London system, but began awarding their own degrees.[2]Imperial College London was a part of the University of London until 2007, but is now a separate institution.

Secondly, there are other universities not part of the University of London, most of which were polytechnics until UK polytechnics were granted university status by a 1992 Act of Parliament. Among these are the University of Westminster, London South Bank University, University of Greenwich, City University, London, Middlesex University, London Metropolitan University, Brunel University, University of West London, the University of East London, and various other higher education institutions.

Further information: List of universities in London


Imperial College London, King's College London, LSE and UCL are leading centres of research and stand alongside MIT, Berkeley, Princeton, Yale and other US universities in terms of international reputation.[3][4]

Most of the leading British learned societies are based in London. The Royal Institution is a historic and important repository and proponent of the acquisition of scientific knowledge through research and study.

Other institutions of higher education[edit]

There are also a number of firms and colleges in London which provide education and consultation leading to degrees validated by universities, but which are not actual universities themselves. Some of these colleges are private institutions very similar to actual universities, such as European Business School, London School of Business and Management and Regents University.

Further education[edit]

London also has many further education colleges funded by the Learning and Skills Council. Traditionally these were clearly separated from the higher education system, and offered vocational education below university level, but this distinction is breaking down and many further education colleges now offer university level courses validated by a local university and prepare students for university entrance, as well as providing vocational courses.

Arts education[edit]

London is Britain's leading centre for arts education.[citation needed] London's four music conservatories are the Royal College of Music, the Royal Academy of Music, Trinity College of Music, and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Other drama schools include Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts ("RADA"), and the Central School of Speech and Drama. Art & Design schools include Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, Chelsea College of Art and Design, Camberwell College of Arts, Wimbledon School of Art and London College of Communication and London College of Fashion (all part of the University of the Arts London), and Goldsmiths College, University of London and the Slade School of Art (both part of the University of London), and The Design School (part of Kingston University ) and the Royal College of Art. The former Hornsey College of Art is now part of Middlesex University. The University of East London has an Institute for Performing Arts Development – IPAD.

Medical education[edit]

London is an important centre of medical education.[citation needed] The city's medical schools are attached to the leading hospitals and some of them are several centuries old. The number of schools has been reduced to five by a recent series of mergers:


London is known as a city that is diverse, populated by peoples and cultures from many other parts of the globe. Many London schools require the teaching of foreign language.


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Public schools in Greater London include Harrow, City of London School, University College School, Westminster, Highgate School, Merchant Taylors' School and St Paul's School.

International schools include The American School in London, German School London, the Japanese School in London, and the Lycée Français Charles de Gaulle (French school). The London Japanese school, in addition to its day school, also has a weekend programme serving students in the Japanese community in the United Kingdom who attend British and international schools.

Student housing[edit]

The low quality of the dormitories offered by schools themselves, the shortage of student housing, and the relatively good economic resources of the international students who attend schools in London offered an economic opportunity to firms such as Unite Students which have built thousands of units of student housing in London.[5]


External links[edit]

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About the course

On the BA (Hons) Drama, Applied Theatre and Education (BA DATE) course, you can:

  • Perform in, direct and devise theatre, explore performance that takes place outside traditional theatre environments 
  • Learn how theatre making can change lives and inspire new possibilities 
  • Build industry contacts worldwide through placements and outreach projects 
  • Develop skills in areas such as facilitating, devising, directing, performing, playwriting and filmmaking. 

Join an international world leader in Applied Theatre

Applied Theatre at Central is highly regarded internationally as a world leader with the largest number of specialist staff in the field. The BA (Hons) Drama, Applied Theatre and Education (BA DATE) course will train you as a highly adaptable theatre maker, with a particular focus on performance making within Central’s first-class facilities and beyond, in diverse settings such as community centres, parks, prisons, pupil referral units, refugee camps, hospitals, playgrounds, schools and nursing homes, in the UK and abroad. Such innovative work aims to bring about change in communities and participants from all walks of life.  

We believe that excellent professional applied drama theatre makers are skilled practically and intellectually and we work with you to help you develop your practice, as well as your theoretical abilities.  

An experience tailored to you

The course offers an unparalleled breadth of experience, tailored to your developing aspirations. Whilst lively debate and energetic discussion are a cornerstone of the course, you will have the opportunity to participate in professional quality, fully-realised directed productions, for example a commissioned site-specific show and touring ensemble works, a show for under-fives, or a theatre in education show in the north of England. As you progress through the course you will undertake small group performance-based projects for specific communities and groups. 

Work alongside industry professionals

You will work alongside visiting professional practitioners, playwrights, filmmakers and applied theatre specialists from organisations which have, in the past, included Tamasha Theatre Company, Royal Court Theatre, Complicite, Talawa Theatre Company, London Bubble Theatre Company, Greenwich and Lewisham Young People’s Theatre and Synergy Theatre Project. 

You will learn through a programme of performance making, formal lectures, essay writing, workshops, skills sessions, movement and voice classes, seminars, group and individual practice and placements. Being at Central means you benefit from the specialist expertise and resources available because of the course’s distinctive positioning within a drama school. 

Variation and exploration

You may have the opportunity to travel and explore the use of drama in diverse community settings. In recent years students have undertaken projects in places such as Kosovo, Romania, Thailand, New York, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mumbai. Most of this work is undertaken in partnership with international arts organisations, which work closely with course tutors and students to design, develop and deliver projects. Central has the only applied theatre courses on which students have access to funding from the Leverhulme Trust to support these distance projects (see below).  

As an Applied Theatre Graduate

Graduates from this course are uniquely placed for a broad range of different career paths, going on to pursue careers in performance, directing and drama facilitation, and educational roles in theatre companies, for example. BA DATE graduates are highly employable and lead the field in applied theatre internationally. They have high-level professional skills because Central works in collaboration with many professional organisations and practitioners. There is also financial support available for participation in placements and outreach work in many arts, community, health or education settings within London and beyond. 

Leverhulme Funding for Applied Theatre students

Find out more about how The Leverhulme Trust is providing major funding for the many exciting Applied Theatre student projects in 2017.

Interested in studying this course in 2018?

Although the January UCAS application deadline has passed, we are still able to accept applications to the course through UCAS. If you are interested in finding out more about the course before applying, please email us. We may also be able to provide a personal tour of the campus and talk to you in person about the course.

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