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Founded in London England December 2, 1823 as the London Mechanics' Institution, Birkbeck College was incorporated into the University of London by Royal Charter in 1920. In addition to offering a full time postgraduate program Birkbeck specialises in fulfilling the needs of part time and mature students. Birkbeck places a special emphasis on developing courses of an interdisciplinary nature and is also noted for excellence in research and for excellence in the fields of Psychology, Crystallography, History, Law, Economics, French, History and Philosophy.

Founder, and champion of popular education, George Birkbeck intended the institution to be a school for the masses, and as such it was very sucessful. Not all were pleased with this egalitarian approach however and some members of the establishment accused Birkbeck of "scattering the seeds of evil."

To further the goal of equal access seven years after its founding the college admitted women students to lectures, but not full membership. Despite the lack of full parity, in 1830 this was seen as a revolutionary act. Many women of note such as Rosalind Franklin and suffragette Millicent Fawcett have lectured or researched at the college. Today Birkbeck has twice the national average of women professors.

You can reach the college at 020 7631 6000 or www.bbk.ac.uk

The College consists of: four academic Faculties, containing a total of 17 Schools and 17 Research Centres; 11 administrative Departments.

Schools in the Faculty of Arts:
School of English and Humanities
School of History, Classics and Archaeology
School of History of Art, Film and Visual Media
School of Languages, Linguistics and Culture
School of Law
School of Philosophy
School of Politics and Sociology
Research Centres:
Centre for Canadian Studies
Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Culture and the Humanities
Centre for Interlanguage Studies
Centre for Nineteenth Century Studies
Dialogues in History, Classics and Archaeology Research Centre
Public Policy Centre
Vasari Research Institute

Schools in the Faculty of Science:
School of Biological and Chemical Sciences
School of Crystallography
School of Earth Sciences
School of Psychology
Research Centres with which the Faculty is Associated:
BBSRC Centre for Structural Biology
Centre for Analytical Science
Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development
Centre for Psychosocial Studies
Child and Family Studies Group
Human Performance Group
Research Centre in Art Investigation
Theoretical Physics Research Unit

Schools in the Faculty of Social Sciences:
School of Computer Science and Information Systems
School of Economics, Mathematics and Statistics
School of Geography
School of Management and Organizational Psychology
Research Centres:
Bloomsbury Institute for the Natural Environment
Centre for Pensions and Social Insurance
The Football Research Unit
Institute for Financial Research
South East Regional Research Laboratory
The Pensions Institute

School of Arts and Cultural Studies
School of Social and Natural Sciences
Research Centres:
Centre for European Protected Areas Research
Centre for the Interdisciplinary Study of Religion

Note: Much of the information in this article was gleaned from the Birkbeck College website.

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