Academic dress of the University of London describes the robes, gowns and hoods which are prescribed by the university for its graduates and undergraduates. The University of London was created out of a partnership between University College and King's College, receiving its royal charter in 1836. By 1844 a rudimentary code for academic dress had been established. Since then the university has expanded enormously and so too its need for academic dress.
London was the first university to devise a system of academic dress based on faculty colours, an innovation that has been taken up by most universities after.
Following the UK government's granting of autonomous degree awarding powers to a number of the University of London's constituent institutions, all students graduating from King's College London, University College London, The London School of Economics and Political Science and the Institute of Education, from 2010 will receive a degree from their respective place of study rather than from the federal university. Thus, each of these institutions now has its own academic dress separate from that of the federal university. The remaining fifteen colleges continue to award University of London degrees (as at 2009), and so for these the academic dress of the University of London remains in place. For more information concerning the classification of academic dress see the article on the Groves system.
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