UCL (University College London)

UCL (University College London)

Institute of Education

The history of the IOE

The Institute of Education was founded in October 1902 by Sidney Webb, the celebrated social reformer, as the London Day Training College (LDTC), under the joint auspices of the University of London and of the London County Council. In 1932 it became the University’s largest central activity as the Institute of Education, and from 1949 it became the centre of a wider Institute of some 30 associated colleges and departments of education. After occupying various premises in central London, in 1977 the Institute moved to its permanent home, 20 Bedford Way, an iconic, Grade II* listed building of the British Modernist movement designed by Sir Denys Lasdun. 

UCL Institute of Education

On 2 December 2014 the Institute and UCL merged to create a new institution with over 35,000 students, the biggest higher education institution in London, and the largest postgraduate institution in the UK, with 19,000 postgraduate students. The IOE joined UCL as a single Faculty School, and became known as the UCL Institute of Education. 

The merger has secured the Institute's lasting influence and mission. It provides the opportunity to extend our global influence further, to work with traditional stakeholders in schools and colleges in new and more imaginative ways, and the chance to build cross-disciplinary work across the full range of higher education.

Why our research leads the world

  • #1 for education worldwide (2015 QS World University Ranking)
  • #1 education research strength (2014 Research Excellence Framework)
  • £21,000,000 UK education research funding 2013-14
  • 25% of UK education research occurs at the IOE
  • 4x more world-leading scholars in education than any other UK university
  • 300+ academic staff engaged in research

Areas of expertise

  • Disciplines of education. Exploring early years to workplace and lifelong learning, as well as children and families, health and wellbeing, and international development.
  • The organisation and improvement of learning. Investigating factors that lead to tangible improvements in learning taking into account broader social, cultural and historical.
  • Curriculum, culture and knowledge. Appraising the relationship between knowledge, learning and culture in educational environments.
  • Children, families and early learning. Examining early learning and education for children in families and formal institutions.
  • Longitudinal and social research. Studying the long term impact of education and skills in employment, health, social and other outcomes through statistical and quantitative research.


The IOE engages in more than 200 research projects at any one time, funded by UK research councils, charities, government departments and international agencies.

In 2013-14 our total research funding amounted to £21 million.

Get in touch

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Key information

UCL Institute of Education, University College London, 20 Bedford Way, London, WC1H 0AL, United Kingdom
Telephone number: 
+44 (0)20 7612 6000