History

For over 100 years, Imperial College London has inspired some of the best minds in the world

Statue of Queen Victoria

Select a year to discover more about our history

1851

The Great Exhibition inspires the first colleges in South Kensington
The Great Exhibition of 1851, a Victorian global fair of culture and industry, provides the impetus for the formation of several educational colleges in South Kensington. Prince Albert took a great interest in the exhibition and supported the idea of South Kensington becoming a hub for science and the arts.

1907

Imperial College gains a Royal Charter
The City and Guilds College, the Royal School of Mines and the Royal College of Science merge and create one university, the Imperial College of Science and Technology.

1910

Work starts on the Royal School of Mines Building
The Royal School of Mines building, designed by Sir Ashton Webb, is now part of the current day Business School facilities. The building has been featured in several films and has been seamlessly incorporated into the modern frontage of the College’s main entrance.

1971

Department of Management Science formed
Department of Management Science created. The Management Engineering Section of the Mechanical Engineering Department becomes an independent department of Management Science with Samual Eilon as Head of Department and Professor of Management Science.

1987

The Management School established
The Management School was established from the merger of Management Science with Social and Economic Studies. Professor David Norburn was appointed as Director.

School first accredited by AMBA

1989

Executive MBA Programme launched

1990

Full-time MBA launched
Centre for Quantitative Finance established

1991

Joint Honours Programme launched with some science Departments

1996

MSc Finance Programme launched

1997

BSc Pathway in Management launched in the Medical School

2000

MSc International Health Management launched

2001

Entrepreneurship Centre established

2002

Innovation Studies Centre and Centre for Health Management established

Distance Learning MBA launched

2003

The School was given status equivalent to a Faculty in the College
The School’s position in the College was officially recognised, Professor Norburn retires and in April 2003, Professor David Begg was appointed Principal of the Business School.

I&E Group launched
Professor David Gann established the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Group. The Group strives to be a centre of excellence in innovation and entrepreneurship, influencing policy and practice by working at the interface of science, engineering and business management.

2004

The Queen officially opens new building
After a £27 million donation, a dramatic modern building to house the College’s main entrance and the School was designed by Lord Norman Foster, including 7 lecture theatres in a ‘drum’ shaped metal core. It was officially opened by Her Majesty The Queen, accompanied by The Duke of York, on 24 June 2004. Watch the official opening ceremony.
Read the full story

2005

New Programmes
MSc Management launched. Redesigned MBA launched.

2006

New Programmes
Part-time MSc Risk Management and Financial Engineering launched. Weekend Executive MBA launched. Part-time sponsored MSc Actuarial Finance Programme launched.

School first accredited by EQUIS.

2007

Imperial Centenary
Business School celebrates Imperial Centenary with Alumni Reunion. The first ever Business School Alumni Reunion brings together over 150 alumni from as far away as Russia, Egypt, Brazil and India to celebrate the College’s Centenary year.
View the photo gallery from the event

Full-Time MSc Risk Management and Financial Engineering launched

2008

School is officially named Imperial College Business School
In October 2008 the School was officially named Imperial College Business School.
The Imperial College mission was also changed to incorporate the word ‘business’, confirming the greater esteem in which the School is held.

2011

MSc suite expanded
MSc Strategic Marketing and MSc Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Management launched.

First Executive Education Open Enrolment Programme launched Managing the Strategic Value of Innovation was first held in November 2011

2012

Long-time leader retires
Professor David Begg retired after 10 years as Principal.
Professor Dot Griffiths appointed as Principal.

School achieved triple accreditation with EQUIS, AACSB and AMBA.

New Programme launched
MSc Economics and Strategy for Business was launched.

2013

New Dean
Professor Anand G. Anandalingam joins Imperial College London as Dean of the Business School.

New Programme
The Business School launched its first Summer School programme in Strategic Marketing.

2014

Brevan Howard Centre launched

New research centre launched after one of the largest donations in business education history, £20.1 million. The gift comes from Brevan Howard, the world's third largest hedge fund, at the behest of its co-founder Alan Howard, an Imperial alumnus (MEng Chemical Engineering & Chemical Technology 1986).

The Centre is headed by Professor Franklin Allen and Professor Douglas Gale. Read more

Finance suite expanding
MSc Investment & Wealth Management and MSc Accounting and Finance launched.

ELITE Programme launched
In partnership with the London Stock Exchange, Imperial provides support for high growth Small and Medium sized Enterprises via the new ELITE Programme. Read more