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

Early structure

The College was initially divided into two departments: the Junior Department or school, and the Senior Department that included medicine. The Senior Department was soon subdivided into the Departments of General Literature and Science and Medicine.

From these beginnings, the familiar and modern subject departments gradually appeared in their own right. King's students were of two classes: regular, full time students, and 'occasional students' who conventionally paid fees for individual courses and who were usually only interested in one or two specific programmes of lectures.

King's set out to provide a broad and practical education informed by religious principles. As a day-college without boarders it was specifically designed to appeal to the sons of the London middle classes seeking a finishing school before an Oxbridge degree, or in order to provide a springboard for a commercial career, and in due course a career in the civil service, overseas administration and the church.

Pupils in the School or Junior Department were aged between 9-16 and were mostly from homes in London. Some boys from other parts of the country lodged with their schoolmasters in the vicinity of King's.

The Senior Department was designed for adult students aged 16 or over and comprised regular, full time, students and part time, or 'occasional', students excused chapel attendance and who typically signed up for only one or two series of lectures.

In common with the School, the catchment area of the adult College was metropolitan, although it also attracted recruits from across the country.

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