University of Buckingham


The University of Buckingham (UB) is a non-profit, private university in the UK and the oldest of the country’s five private universities. It is located in Buckingham, England, and was founded as the University College at Buckingham (UCB) in 1973, admitting its first students in 1976. It was granted university status by royal charter in 1983. The university was closely linked to Margaret Thatcher, who as Education Secretary oversaw the creation of the university college in 1973, and as Prime Minister was instrumental in elevating it to a university in 1983 – thus creating the first private university in the UK. When she retired from politics in 1992, Margaret Thatcher became the university’s second chancellor, a post she held until 1998.

The university’s finances for teaching operate entirely on direct student fees and endowments: it does not receive state funding (via HEFCE or otherwise). It has formal charity status as a not-for-profit institution dedicated to the ends of research and education.

The university is a member of the Independent Universities Group, created in January 2015 by eight non-profit and for-profit institutions with degree-awarding powers and/or university title. The group’s aim is to be “the Russell Group of the alternative sector” and to dissociate its members from more “dodgy” for-profit colleges. The university is one of the twenty-six English universities with a School of Medicine, i.e. it trains doctors at undergraduate and postgraduate level.

Some of the founding academics migrated from the University of Oxford, disillusioned or wary of aspects of the late-1960s ethos.

The university was incorporated as the University College of Buckingham in 1976 and received its Royal Charter from the Queen in 1983. As of May 2016, it is the only private university in the UK with a royal charter.

Its development was influenced by the libertarian Institute of Economic Affairs, in particular, Harry Ferns and Ralph Harris, heads of the Institute. In keeping with its adherence to a libertarian philosophy, the university’s foundation-stone was laid by Margaret Thatcher, who was also to be the university’s Chancellor (nominal and ceremonial head) between 1993 and 1998.


Buckingham offers bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees and doctoral degrees through five “schools” (or faculties) of study.

The university’s five schools are:

  • Law
  • Humanities
  • Arts and Languages
  • Business
  • Science and Medicine

Each of these is presided over by a dean.


Average of BBB–ABB at A level.

International qualifications accepted.

Medical School entry grades are normally AAB or higher.

Lower entry grades onto 3-year programmes in Business, Humanities, Law and Science that have an initial Foundation year.

Please consult the university’s website for subject-specific entry requirements.


Outstanding graduate prospects.

Leading the National Student Survey since 2006.

Staff:student ratio of 1:11.3.

Undergraduate degrees completed in two years.

Dynamic and International student body.


Students have voted the university top of the National Student Survey almost every year since 2006.

94% satisfaction rate with the quality of teaching, tutor support and personal development.

Programmes in Applied Computing, Law and Psychology are accredited by the relevant professional body.


The university offers a high degree of personal attention to its students, both academic and personal, reflected in more contact hours and small group tutorials.

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