King's College London
Exhibitions & Conferences
In the Beginning ...


Arms of King's College Coat of Arms for King's College London, 1831Initially, King's was not empowered to grant degrees; before 1836, King's students either left to sit Oxbridge degrees or sought medical accreditation with the Royal Colleges.

In 1836, the government set up the University of London as an examinations board and degree awarding institution.

King's College and University College were affiliated from the beginning and their students were then able to sit for degrees in a range of subjects including the arts and sciences, though not medicine.Ā  In practice, some continued to seek professional qualifications.

King's also had its own internal qualification: the Associateship of King's College, or AKC, that was introduced in 1834. This required three years' study and contained a significant, though not compulsory, component of theological or religious instruction.

The AKC remains important to this day as a supplement to conventional degree courses.

Although the College was strongly informed by established religion and regular students were expected to attend chapel, it applied no religious tests to entry and was in practice open to all students.

The purpose of an education at King's College

The syllabus of the Senior Department at King's College was designed to be either a foundation for further study at Oxford or Cambridge, or a suitable introduction for a commercial or professional career.

Merchants, industrialists and other members of the middle classes were well represented among the College's shareholders and early student intake and the programme of teaching reflected their aspirations and preoccupations with provision for law, modern languages, engineering and the natural sciences.

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