University College London Notable Alumni

Discover the notable alumni of University College London. The list includes people like Rabindranath Tagore, Ricky Gervais, Alexander Graham Bell, John Stuart Mill & Francis Crick. This list of notable alumni is loosely sorted by popularity and has people from different domains of life, such as intellectuals & academics, writers, scientists, engineers and media personalities etc.
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 1 
Christopher Nolan
(Film Director - Known for His Ambitious & Visually Impressive Films)
Christopher Nolan
54
Birthdate: July 30, 1970
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Westminster, London, England

British-American writer and director, Christopher Nolan is known for his distinctive kind of films which are often intelligent, deep and nonlinear. He gained international recognition with Memento and further reached greater heights with big budget movies like The Dark Knight film series, Inception, Interstellar and Dunkirk. The multiple award winning director began shooting short films at the age of seven.

 2 
Chris Martin
(Lead Vocalist of the Rock Band 'Coldplay')
Chris Martin
58
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: March 2, 1977
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Whitestone, England, United Kingdom

Chris Martin is the lead singer of the rock band, Coldplay, which he has co-founded. The band gained fame after they released the song Yellow in 2000. They have sold over 100 million records worldwide, making them one of the world's best-selling music artists. Martin has also worked in solo collaborations with other artists and written songs for various projects.

 3 
Alexander Graham Bell
(Inventor of Telephone & Co-Founder of 'American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T)')
Alexander Graham Bell
55
Birthdate: March 3, 1847
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Edinburgh, Scotland
Died: August 2, 1922

Alexander Graham Bell was a scientist, inventor, and engineer. He is credited with inventing the first functional telephone. He is also credited with co-founding America's major telephone company AT&T, which has been going strong since 1885. Bell's later life was marked by his groundbreaking work in aeronautics, hydrofoils, and optical telecommunications. He was also an ardent supporter of compulsory sterilization.

 4 
Mahatma Gandhi
(Indian Freedom Fighter who Employed Non-violent Resistance & Known as 'Father of the Nation')
Mahatma Gandhi
246
Listed In: Lawyers & Judges
Birthdate: October 2, 1869
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Porbandar, India
Died: January 30, 1948

An Indian lawyer and anti-colonial nationalist, Mahatma Gandhi was a major figure in India’s fight for independence from British rule. He is renowned for his employment of non-violent resistance and civil disobedience methods. Despite his popularity, he had numerous detractors as well and was assassinated in 1948. He is widely considered the Father of the Nation in India.

Rabindranath Tagore
76
Birthdate: May 7, 1861
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Kolkata, West Bengal, India
Died: August 7, 1941

Rabindranath Tagore was an Indian polymath who contributed greatly to the fields of literature, art, and philosophy. Referred to as the Bard of Bengal, Tagore is credited with reshaping Bengali literature and music. The first non-European to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature, Tagore is also credited with composing the national anthems of India and Bangladesh.

 6 
John Stuart Mill
(The Most Influential English-Speaking Philosopher of the Nineteenth Century)
John Stuart Mill
10
Birthdate: May 20, 1806
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Pentonville, London, England
Died: May 7, 1873
Nineteenth-century philosopher John Stuart Mill is best remembered for his work On Liberty, which spoke of personal freedom and "the harm principle.” His The Subjection of Women was one of the first works written by a male author that promoted women's rights. He supported Jeremy Bentham's ethical utilitarianism.
 7 
Roger Penrose
(English Mathematician, Mathematical Physicist and Winner of the 2020 Nobel Prize for Physics)
Roger Penrose
3
Listed In: Scientists
Birthdate: August 8, 1931
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Colchester, England

Roger Penrose’s contribution to the research related to the black hole and general relativity earned him the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2020. The Emeritus Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematics at Oxford, Roger is also a fellow of Wadham College, St John's College of Cambridge, and University College London.

 8 
Jomo Kenyatta
(1st President of Kenya (1964–1978) and the 1st Prime Minister of Kenya (1963–1964))
Jomo Kenyatta
29
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: October 20, 1893
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Gatundu, Kenya
Died: August 22, 1978
After being held as a prisoner by the British for 9 years, anti-colonial activist Jomo Kenyatta was released shortly before Kenya achieved its independence, and became the country’s first prime minister and then its first president. The Father of the Nation, Kenyatta was also named Mzee, meaning “grand old man.”
 9 
Robert Browning
(Poet & Playwright)
Robert Browning
10
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: May 7, 1812
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Camberwell
Died: December 12, 1889

Robert Browning was an English playwright and poet best remembered for his dramatic monologues. His monologues are widely studied around the world as most teachers consider them ideal examples of the monologue form. One of the most important Victorian poets, Browning has inspired several poets and playwrights. 

 10 
Ricky Gervais
(British Comedian, Actor and Director)
Ricky Gervais
32
Birthdate: June 25, 1961
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Whitley, Reading, England

Ricky Gervais is one of the best known comedians in the world. He attained fame after starring in the British television series The Office. Later, he ventured into a successful stand-up comedy career. He has performed at many shows and has also acted in several films. However, his dark comedy has often been called insensitive and offensive by several critics.

 11 
Francis Crick
(Co-discoverer of the Structure of the DNA Molecule, Nobel Prize Winner)
Francis Crick
8
Listed In: Scientists
Birthdate: June 8, 1916
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Weston Favell, Northamptonshire, England
Died: July 28, 2004

Nobel Prize-winning British biophysicist Francis Crick is best known for his ground-breaking work to determine the structure of the DNA, along with James Watson, Maurice Wilkins, and Rosalind Franklin. He taught at various institutes, such as the Salk Institute, and was also awarded the Order of Merit.

 12 
Ken Follett
(British Author of Thrillers and Historical Novels)
Ken Follett
2
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: June 5, 1949
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom
 13 
Joseph Lister
(British Medical Scientist and a Pioneer in the Field of Antiseptic Medicine and Surgery)
Joseph Lister
3
Listed In: Physicians
Birthdate: April 5, 1827
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Upton House, West Ham, England
Died: February 10, 1912

British surgeon Joseph Lister was a pioneer of antiseptic medicine usage and made a huge contribution to the development of preventive medicine for bacterial infection. His achievements have been honored by many, such as the makers of Listerine antiseptic and mouthwash, who named their product after him.

 14 
Gilbert K. Chesterton
(One of the Greatest Writers of the 20th Century Best Known as the 'Prince of Paradox')
Gilbert K. Chesterton
5
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: May 29, 1874
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Kensington, London, United Kingdom
Died: June 14, 1936

Gilbert K. Chesterton was an English writer, philosopher, and art critic. A prolific writer, he composed around 80 books, hundreds of poems, around 200 short stories, and 4,000 essays. Often referred to as the "prince of paradox", he had as many detractors as he had admirers. He is considered a successor to Victorian authors like Matthew Arnold and John Ruskin.

 15 
Thomas Henry Huxley
(English Biologist and Anthropologist Specialising in Comparative Anatomy.)
Thomas Henry Huxley
5
Birthdate: May 4, 1825
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Ealing, London, England
Died: June 29, 1895

Thomas Henry Huxley was an English biologist and anthropologist. He specialized in comparative anatomy and was a proponent of Charles Darwin's theory of evolution. Despite having little formal schooling, he went on to become one of the finest comparative anatomists of the 19th century. He was the chair of natural history at the Royal School of Mines for 31 years. 

 16 
Carol Thatcher
(Journalist)
Carol Thatcher
2
Birthdate: August 15, 1953
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: London
 17 
Derek Jarman
(Film director, Actor, Screenwriter, Diarist, Painter, Costume designer, LGBT rights activist)
Derek Jarman
7
Birthdate: January 31, 1942
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Northwood
Died: February 19, 1994
 18 
Rachel Hurd-Wood
(Actress)
Rachel Hurd-Wood
2
Birthdate: August 17, 1990
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Streatham, London, England, UK
Height: 5'7" (170 cm)
 19 
Gustav Holst
(Was an English Composer)
Gustav Holst
5
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: September 21, 1874
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Cheltenham, United Kingdom
Died: May 25, 1934
 20 
David Irving
(English Author and Holocaust Denier Known for His Works: ‘The Destruction of Dresden’ and ‘Hitler’s War’)
David Irving
8
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: March 24, 1938
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Hutton, Brentwood, United Kingdom

David Irving is an English Holocaust denier and author whose works pertaining to the political and military history of World War II have depicted Adolf Hitler in a favorable light. Due to his stance on Hitler, Irving's reputation as a historian has been discredited. He has also been accused of deliberately manipulating historical evidence.

 21 
Matthew Vaughn
(Screenwriter, Film director, Film producer, Writer)
Matthew Vaughn
3
Birthdate: March 7, 1971
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: London
Height: 6'0" (183 cm)
 22 
Adrian Smith
(Guitarist)
Adrian Smith
2
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: February 27, 1957
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Hackney, London, England
Height: 5'10" (178 cm)
 23 
Justine Frischmann
(Was the Lead Singer of the Britpop band 'Elastica' and Co-Founder of the Rock Band 'Suede')
Justine Frischmann
0
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: September 16, 1969
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Kensington, London, England
Height: 5'10" (178 cm)
 24 
Mulk Raj Anand
(One of the First India-Based Writers in English to Gain an International Readership)
Mulk Raj Anand
189
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: December 12, 1905
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Peshawar, Pakistan
Died: September 28, 2004

Mulk Raj Anand was an Indian writer best remembered for his depiction of the people belonging to the backward class in traditional Indian society. Anand, who wrote in English, was one of the first Indian writers to achieve an International readership. In 1968, Mulk Raj Anand was honored with India's third-highest civilian award, the Padma Bhushan.

 25 
Jonny Buckland
(Guitarist)
Jonny Buckland
3
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: September 11, 1977
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: London Borough of Islington
 26 
David Baddiel
(Comedian, Novelist)
David Baddiel
1
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: May 28, 1964
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Troy, New York, United States
Height: 5'8" (173 cm)
 27 
Charles K. Kao
(Electrical Engineer and Physicist Who Developed the Use of "Fiber Optics" in Telecommunications)
Charles K. Kao
63
Birthdate: November 4, 1933
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Shanghai, China
Died: September 23, 2018

Nobel Prize-winning Chinese physicist Charles K. Kao is best remembered for his discovery of how light is transmitted through fibre-optic cables. Named the Godfather of Broadband, he was also knighted by the U.K. Following his diagnosis of Alzheimer disease, he co-founded the Charles K. Kao Foundation for Alzheimer’s Disease.

 28 
Pietro Boselli
(Italian Model, Engineer, and Former Mathematics Lecturer Known as ‘World’s Sexiest Maths Teacher’)
Pietro Boselli
2
Listed In: Engineers
Birthdate: December 3, 1988
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Negrar, Italy

While he had been an Armani Junior model at 6, Pietro Boselli later earned a mechanical engineering degree, completed his PhD, and taught math. After a student posted a photo of him on Facebook and it went viral, Boselli became a sensation, gaining fame as the world's hottest math teacher.

 29 
Tamara Ecclestone
(Model)
Tamara Ecclestone
2
Listed In: Fashion
Birthdate: June 28, 1984
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Milan, Italy
Height: 5'8" (173 cm)
 30 
Karen Mok
(First female Hong Kong singer to win the Golden Melody Award and has won it a total of three times)
Karen Mok
3
Birthdate: June 2, 1970
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Hong Kong
Height: 5'6" (168 cm)
 31 
Raymond Cattell
(Psychologist)
Raymond Cattell
1
Birthdate: March 20, 1905
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: West Bromwich, England
Died: February 2, 1998
 32 
Christine Ohuruogu
(British Former Track and Field Athlete)
Christine Ohuruogu
0
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: May 17, 1984
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: London, England

Christine Ohuruogu is a British athlete who has won an Olympic gold medal, two World Championships, and a Commonwealth gold medal in the 400m event. She also has an Olympic silver medal and a couple of bronze medals under her belt. In 2016, she became the second British track and field athlete to win Olympic medals at three consecutive Games.

 33 
Mary Nighy
(Actress)
Mary Nighy
0
Birthdate: July 17, 1984
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: London, England
 34 
Brett Anderson
(British Singer and Lead Vocalist of the Rock Band 'Suede')
Brett Anderson
0
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: September 29, 1967
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Lindfield, Sussex, England

Brett Anderson is a British singer-songwriter best known for his association with the popular rock band Suede, where he is the primary lyricist and lead vocalist. He is credited with forming the band along with Mat Osman and Justine Frischmann. Brett Anderson is renowned for his poetic lyrics, distinctive wide-ranging voice, and charismatic stage presence.

 35 
Will Champion
(Drummer, Singer)
Will Champion
1
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: July 31, 1978
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Southampton
 36 
Marie Stopes
(Paleobotanist & Women’s Rights Activists)
Marie Stopes
4
Birthdate: October 15, 1880
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Edinburgh
Died: October 2, 1958

Apart from being a successful botanist, Marie Stopes was also a popular activist, known for her contribution to the feminist cause. A leading supporter of birth control, she established the UK’s first clinic for family planning. She was also known for her books Married Love and Wise Parenthood.

 37 
Christian Jessen
(British Celebrity Doctor Known for His Role in Shows: 'Embarrassing Bodies' and 'Supersize vs Superskinny')
Christian Jessen
6
Birthdate: March 4, 1977
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Hammersmith, London, England

A qualified doctor, Christian Jessen holds a degree in sexual health and has also worked extensively on areas such as HIV. He became a household name after appearing on TV shows such as Embarrassing Bodies. The gay physician has also appeared on non-medical reality shows, such as Ready Steady Cook.

 38 
Itō Hirobumi
(Politician, Diplomat)
Itō Hirobumi
1
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: October 16, 1841
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Yamaguchi Prefecture
Died: October 26, 1909

One of the most significant figures behind the modernization of Japan, Itō Hirobumi had led his country as its first prime minister and was also a genrō. Born to an adopted son of a samurai family, he contributed to the Meiji Restoration and the formation of the Japanese constitution.

 39 
Emma Thomas
(Film producer)
Emma Thomas
4
Birthdate: December 9, 1971
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: London, England
 40 
Jane Fallon
(Novelist)
Jane Fallon
3
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: December 9, 1960
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: London, England, UK
Height: 5'6" (168 cm)
 41 
Clarissa Dickson Wright
(Celebrity Cook Who Along with Jennifer Paterson was Known as One of the 'Two Fat Ladies')
Clarissa Dickson Wright
1
Listed In: Food Experts
Birthdate: June 24, 1947
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: St John's Wood, London, England
Died: March 15, 2014

Clarissa Dickson Wright was an English TV personality, celebrity cook, businesswoman, writer, and former barrister. Best remembered for appearing in the popular TV cooking program, Two Fat Ladies, along with Jennifer Paterson, Dickson Wright went on to become an important name in the culinary world. She also published several books and audio books pertaining to cooking.

 42 
Layla Moran
(Politician.)
Layla Moran
0
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: September 12, 1982
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Hammersmith, London, England, UK
 43 
John Maynard Smith
(Mathematician, Evolutionary Biologist, Geneticist and One of the Founding Members of the 'University of Sussex')
John Maynard Smith
3
Listed In: Scientists
Birthdate: February 6, 1920
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: London, England
Died: April 19, 2004

One of the most influential evolutionary biologists of his generation, John Maynard Smith was originally aeronautical engineer. Later, he took a second degree in genetics and did extensive research on subjects like population genetics and evolution of sex. Known for formalizing the central concept in evolutionary game theory, he introduced the evolutionarily stable strategy, impacting a wide variety of studies.  

 44 
Joseph Chamberlain
(Politician)
Joseph Chamberlain
0
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: July 8, 1836
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Camberwell, London, United Kingdom
Died: July 2, 1914
 45 
Jess Greenberg
(British YouTube Personality, Acoustic Guitarist, and Singer)
Jess Greenberg
2
Listed In: YouTubers
Birthdate: December 20, 1994
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: London, England

Jess Greenberg is a British YouTube personality, acoustic guitarist, and singer. She started her career as a financial analyst at Goldman Sachs before gaining popularity as a YouTuber. Among her most popular videos are her cover version of songs by famous bands like Metallica and Led Zeppelin. 

 46 
Junichiro Koizumi
(Former Prime Minister of Japan (2001 - 2006))
Junichiro Koizumi
0
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: January 8, 1942
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Yokosuka, Kanagawa, Japan

Born into a family of politicians, Junichiro Koizumi had been the prime minister of his country and a Liberal-Democratic Party leader. The London School of Economics alumnus became hugely popular among the masses for his reforms, such as inclusion of more women in the cabinet and speaking against nuclear weapons.

 47 
Hans Eysenck
(British Psychologist Known for His Work on Intelligence and Personality)
Hans Eysenck
3
Birthdate: March 4, 1916
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: September 4, 1997

Born to German actor parents who divorced when he was 2, psychologist Hans Eysenck was raised by his grandmother till he went to England at 18. He is best remembered for his theories on personality and intelligence. His claim that genetic factors decide racial differences in intelligence was criticized.

 48 
James Robertson Justice
(British Actor Best Known for Playing Pompous Authority Figures in Comedy Films)
James Robertson Justice
2
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: June 15, 1907
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Lewisham, England
Died: July 2, 1975

James Robertson Justice was a British actor best remembered for playing pompous authority figures in comedy films. He achieved popularity after playing Sir Lancelot Spratt in each of the seven movies in the Doctor film series.

 49 
Geoffrey Elton
(British Political and Constitutional Historian)
Geoffrey Elton
0
Birthdate: August 17, 1921
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Tübingen, Germany
Died: December 4, 1994

Born to Jewish scholars in Germany, Geoffrey Elton later moved with his family, first to Czechoslovakia and then to Britain. He grew up to become a renowned historian who specialized in the Tudor period. He also taught history at Cambridge and penned books such as England Under the Tudors.

 50 
Freddie Stroma
(Actor)
Freddie Stroma
6
Birthdate: January 8, 1987
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: London, England, UK
Height: 5'11" (180 cm)
University College London is highly popular across the world, especially among students who want to pursue their postgraduate studies. Also commonly known as ‘UCL’, this great institution is the third oldest in the whole of England. Scroll to see the names of famous celebrities who studied at University College London. The achievements of many of these former students are simply outstanding. The notable alumni of UCL have played a vital role in making it a renowned institution. Scientist and inventor Alexander Graham Bell is the inventor of the telephone, a genius who has made communication across the world pretty convenient. Indian freedom fighter and lawyer Mahatma Gandhi, Acclaimed Hollywood filmmaker Christopher Nolan as well as English singer and songwriter Chris Martin are a few famous personalities who studied at UCL. Mahatma Gandhi was the face of the Indian freedom movement and in a great way helped his country gain freedom from the British. Christopher Nolan is one of the most loved filmmakers of recent times and has made several blockbusters like ‘The Dark Knight’, ‘Inception’ and ‘Interstellar’. Many youngsters of today are filmmaking aspirants, thanks to Nolan’s contribution to cinema. Popular English comedian and actor Ricky Gervais is another alumnus of University College London who has made his alma mater pretty proud. These individuals are now role models to many people across the world and have been inspiring them to pursue their dreams. We've compiled a list of some of the most famous Harvard students of all time, along with the field/area of their achievements. This list of notable University College London alumni is based on the individual’s achievements and fame. We are quite certain that you will be surprised by some of the notable University College London alumni who made it to this list.