The year 2030 will mark the bicentenary of University College School, which was founded in 1830 as part of University College London and moved to Hampstead in 1907.

The school had the same founding fathers as the abovementioned UCL and started life on 1st November 1830 under Headmaster Henry Browne at 16 Gower Street (hence the Old Gowers sobriquet for our alumni). As a school, UCS was always different from other schools, dispensing with corporal punishment, never taking boarders, and being one of the first such institutions to teach Modern Languages and Sciences.

UCS became a separate body from University College London in 1905 and two years later moved to a new, purpose-built site in Frognal, leafy Hampstead. Edward VII oversaw the grand opening, and a second monarch, Elizabeth II, came calling in 1980 for the school’s 150th anniversary. The rather regal chairs that accommodated the King and Queen remain in the school today.

The main school block is a Grade II-listed building and is complemented by state-of-the-art facilities. Further developments include the incorporation of the Pre-Prep for boys aged 4–7 in 2003, followed by the admittance of girls to our newly co-educational Sixth Form in 2009.

Pre-Victorian but always pioneering


Our history began nearly 200 years ago, during William IV's reign


UCS moved to Hampstead, with Edward VII opening the new Frognal site


Our first cohort of Sixth Form girls arrived to usher in a new co-ed era


We prepare pupils to contribute to, and lead in, 21st-century life

Liberal scholarship

The school was established to promote the Benthamite principles of liberal scholarship and education. This remains UCS’s first and overriding aspiration, having inspired nearly 200 years of revolutionary academic education that stimulates, enriches and informs. A healthy combination of intellectual curiosity, breadth of study and independence of mind continues to yield academic excellence – and is never subordinate to it.

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Imagine my school back in 1946!
Imagine my school back in 1946!