University of London Institute in Paris

University of London LogoUniversity of London Institute in Paris

The University of London Institute in Paris (abbreviated ULIP) is a college of the University of London located in the 7th arrondissement of Paris. It is currently the only British University Institute in Continental Europe.


The Institute teaches a unique BA degree and the MA in Paris Studies and hosts a large number of academic seminars, workshops and conferences that bring together leading British and French scholars and scientists in a range of academic subjects, including Law and History.

French Studies is the primary programme offered at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Other academic subjects may be taken concurrently through agreements with other constituent institutions. The Master of Laws degree and Master of Arts in International Relations are offered through Queen Mary, University of London.


The institute was established by an English woman, Edith Williams, in 1894 with the help of the then British Ambassador, Lord Dufferin. It was originally known as the “Anglo-French Guild”, which from 1894 offered classes in conversational English to French students soon to qualify as teachers of English through more theoretical studies. In 1900, French classes were added, aimed at British students spending time in Paris, and thus a unique Franco-British community was created. In the same year, the Guild established itself in the rue de la Sorbonne, opposite the University of Paris.

After the First World War the French and British governments, concerned by the lack of understanding between the British and French armies that had become apparent during hostilities, sought means of improving cultural and language links between their countries. The French government founded an Institut français du Royaume-Uni in London (South Kensington), while another British Ambassador to France, Lord Crewe, launched a fund for the creation of a British Institute in Paris. This was to consist of a bi-cultural teaching establishment (the Guild, reorganised and expanded) and a Franco-British student hostel in the international Cité Universitaire, which was eventually opened in 1937 under the name Collège Franco-Britannique.

The British Institute left its Sorbonne link to become incorporated into the University of London in 1969.

The British Institute was renamed the University of London Institute in Paris in 2005. The Institute was run as a collaboration between the University of London and two of its colleges: Queen Mary, University of London and Royal Holloway, University of London.

From September 2016, Queen Mary, University of London took over the functions provided by Royal Holloway and all students are now considered registered students of Queen Mary, University of London.

The Institute began life teaching oral English to the French, but was soon improving the oral French of visiting British students. Currently the Institute only offers teaching of French Studies: the English language programme has been discontinued as ULIP has looked to develop itself as more of a research-led institute.

Today ULIP is located in the British Council building which The Independent newspaper has described as a “lovely, traditional Paris building, in a great location overlooking the Esplanade des Invalides”. Its strength is that because it is a relatively small institution it can offer a more intimate learning experience than is available in a larger, more anonymous University. It has the unique advantage of allowing students to study French culture and language in the country itself whilst still offering the quality assurance of a British educational institution. The quality of its degrees is ratified by the University of London. As a result of these advantages the entrance requirements for students are quite high (AAB or ABB at A level). 70% of its students are women, 30% men.