The University of Leeds was founded in 1904, but its origins go back to the nineteenth century with the founding of the Leeds School of Medicine in 1831 and then the Yorkshire College of Science in 1874. In 1831 a group of young men established the Leeds School of Medicine which meant that medical students no longer had to go to Scotland, London or overseas to study. Yorkshire College of Science was found­ed around 40 years later largely as a result of concerns by the wool and textile industries that the rapid development of new technologies in Europe posed a threat to the local cloth trade.

For the sons of local families, it was one of the first colleges for students of all faiths and backgrounds. The College supported the values of the recently established University College, London and Owens College in Manchester. These had been set up to challenge the exclusivity of Oxford and Cambridge universities, which were predominantly for the Anglican aristocracy and gentry. By contrast, this new generation of learning institutions welcomed all religions. In addition, they placed particular emphasis on meeting the technological demands of the fast-changing Victorian era. From the outset, the College put its full weight behind scientific studies.

After a few years, classics, modern literature and history were added to the science subjects being offered and the Yorkshire College of Science became simply the Yorkshire College. After Manchester and Liverpool had taken the decision to establish universities, Leeds also took the leap and in 1904, King Edward VII granted the University its own Charter as an independent institution and the University started to develop a strong tradition of research. Unlike Owens College Manchester, the Yorkshire College had always permitted women as students. However, they did not enrol in significant numbers until special facilities were provided at the Day Training College in 1896. The first women graduated from the University of Leeds in 1905.

The University of Leeds not only welcomes students from all over the United Kingdom, its reputation worldwide makes it a truly multi-cultural and international institution with students and staff from over 100 countries studying and working on campus.

We are a world top 100 university and a UK top 10 institution for research power. Leeds offers an inspiring experience. You will be taught by highly respected academics who are experts in their fields. You will have an array of facilities at your fingertips and access to more than 2.8 million library resources. We are one of the 24 UK universities that make up the prestigious research-intensive Russell Group.


At Leeds you will have the opportunity to get a great degree from a well-respected university, and with our expertise in teaching and training students you will become an independent, critical thinker. You will also grow as a person, acquiring skills that will continue to be of benefit long after you graduate. Our innovative Leeds for Life scheme will help you prepare for your future and make the most of your time at Leeds Univeraity.