Heythrop College University of London


Heythrop College, University of London, is a public university and the specialist philosophy and theology college of the University of London located in Kensington in London and is the oldest constituent college of the federal University of London, being founded in 1614 by the Society of Jesus. Heythrop joined the University of London in 1971, maintaining its Catholic links and ethos whilst offering an educational experience that respects all faiths and perspectives. Heythrop is a centre for inter-religious dialogue and modern philosophical inquiry and is a member of the Cathedrals Group of British colleges and universities.

Heythrop is situated on Kensington Square in London, whilst also having access to University of London facilities, such as Senate House and its extensive library. The college has three main departments offering undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in philosophy, theology and related social sciences as well as five specialist institutes and centres that promote and research in their specific field.

In June 2015 the Governing Body concluded that the College in its current form, as a constituent college of the University of London, will come to an end in 2018. The college is attempting to negotiate an arrangement with some other British university that will enable it to continue existing in some form, but to date these efforts have been unavailing.

The University of London’s charter of foundation, written in 1836, enabled it to grant degrees not only to students of the two existing colleges, University College and King’s College, but to students of other colleges around the country who had reached the required standard.

In June 2014, Heythrop College celebrated the 400th anniversary of its foundation. While the college still retains its original function as a centre for the education of future priests and ministers of the Catholic Church, its student body is now much larger, more international and more diverse.

In December 2014, Heythrop College announced that it would stop recruiting undergraduates for University of London degrees, noting its current discussions for a strategic partnership with St Mary’s University, Twickenham. This move is due to financial difficulties the College faces as an autonomous College of the University of London.


The college has five specialist institutes and centres which promote research, conferences and a variety of educational outreach activities.

These are:

  • The ‘Centre for Christianity and Inter-religious Dialogue’
  • the ‘Centre for Eastern Christianity’
  • the ‘Centre for Philosophy of Religion’
  • the ‘Religious Life Institute’
  • the ‘Heythrop Institute for Religion and Society’

All of these institutes conduct research in their own field with the academic staff based at Heythrop College.


To see the specific entry requirements for each degree programme, please use the course search on their website.


Their academic strengths are: Philosophy of Religion, Psychology of Religion, Abrahamic Faiths, Interreligious Relations, Systematic Theology.


Heythrop boasts one-to-one tutorials for all of its undergraduate students for each of their assessed pieces of work. Heythrop is currently the only public HE institution outside of Oxbridge to offer this.

Heythrop’s small numbers allow for more intimate class sizes, facilitating learning through discussion and good results for students across range of entry standards.

Heythrop has one of the largest libraries and academic faculties in its field.

Heythrop scored 92% for satisfaction with teaching in the most recent National Student Survey, compared with a nationwide average of 86%.


Students are offered careers guidance with a weekly session from a member of the University of London careers service.

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