The University was founded as Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland University College in 1921. Students were first admitted to the college in 1921, sitting examinations for external degrees awarded of the University of London. In 1927 the institution became University College, Leicester; 30 years later the college was granted its Royal Charter.
The main campus is a mile south of the city centre, adjacent to Victoria Park and Wyggeston and Queen Elizabeth I College.
The central building, now known as the Fielding Johnson Building, houses the University’s administration offices and Leicester Law School. This was formerly the Leicestershire and Rutland Lunatic Asylum. Adjacent to the Fielding Johnson Building are the Astley Clarke Building and the Danielle Brown Sports Centre.
The skyline of Leicester University is punctuated by three distinctive, towering buildings from the 1960s: the Engineering Building, the Attenborough Tower and the Charles Wilson Building.
The University’s Engineering Building was the first major building by important British architect Sir James Stirling. It comprises workshops and laboratories at ground level, and a tower containing offices and lecture theatres. It was completed in 1963 and is notable for the way in which its external form reflects its internal functions.
The only building on campus designed for purely domestic purposes, College House was built in 1872. accommodation for the Medical Superintendent of the Leicestershire and Rutland Lunatic Asylum (now the Fielding Johnson Building). The asylum moved to another site in 1908, and College House along with the other asylum buildings was co-opted into military service on the outbreak of war when the 5th Northern General Hospital . With the foundation of University College Leicester in 1921, the newly renamed College House became home to the College’s Principal, Dr RF Rattray. When he retired in 1931 the post and this residence transferred to the new Principal, Dr FL Attenborough, who moved in with his wife Mary and their three young sons.