360 degree photos
Welcome to the University of Glasgow. You are standing just inside the Memorial Gate on University Avenue, directly ahead of you is the Gilbert Scott Building, the stunning central building on campus. Founded in 1451, the University is the 4th oldest in the UK and the 2nd oldest in Scotland. It’s home to 25,000 students from over 140 countries worldwide.
The Gilbert Scott Building is named after its architect Sir George Gilbert Scott and was completed in 1870 when the University moved from its original site in the city centre to its current location in Glasgow’s west end. The building is home to the cloisters, east and west quadrangles, the Bute Hall, several lecture theatres, the University chapel, and the Hunterian Museum. Continue your tour to find out more.
Inside the Gilbert Scott Building the atmospheric cloisters connect the East and West quadrangles. With their fluted columns and transverse ribbed vault, the cloisters are an iconic part of the University, and have been seen onscreen in many films and TV shows including Cloud Atlas and Outlander.
This is where graduates gather after their graduation ceremony in the Bute Hall. With drinks flowing and a piper playing, this makes for an unforgettable experience.
Directly above the cloisters is the Bute Hall, the University’s main ceremonial hall, which is used for lectures, graduations, Open Days, exams, speeches and concerts. The hall was added to the main building between 1878 and 1884 and is a striking space with its stained glass windows, painted pillars and grand ceremonial organ. Albert Einstein received his honorary degree here in June 1933; if you come to study here you will follow in his, and thousands of other world changers’, footsteps.
Adjacent to the Bute Hall is The Hunterian Museum, one of four free museums on campus, the others being the Mackintosh House, Zoology Museum, and the Anatomy Museum. We also have the Hunterian Art Gallery which houses works from artists such as Rembrandt, Rubens, Chardin, and Whistler.
The Hunterian is Scotland’s oldest public museum and the largest collection outside the National Museums. Permanent Museum collections include: scientific instruments used by James Watt, Joseph Lister and Lord Kelvin; Roman artefacts from the Antonine Wall; and impressive ethnographic objects from Captain Cook’s Pacific Voyage. It’s also a shortcut to one of the University’s biggest lecture spaces, the Kelvin Gallery, so Glasgow students sometimes have a very cultured journey to their lectures.
You are standing in the west quadrangle looking towards the south west corner of the Gilbert Scott building. The East and West quadrangles, or “quads” are arguably the most picturesque part of the University. Many students and visitors have compared the main building and the quads in particular, to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry. In addition to being the location for our graduation receptions, the quads are also home to lecture theatres and seminar rooms, the Adam Smith Business School and the School of Geography. The University chapel is in the west quad and is the next stop on the tour.
The Chapel was completed in 1929 as a memorial to the 733 University members who died in World War 1. A wide variety of services and events held here throughout the year, including lots of weddings and some cinema screenings and concerts.
The University is home to more than 25,000 students from over 140 different countries worldwide and prides itself on being a diverse and inclusive community. The interfaith chaplaincy is available to all students, whatever their religious and spiritual beliefs.
Stepping out of the south front of the Gilbert Scott building to the flagpole you get a great view over the city of Glasgow. Straight ahead, across leafy Kelvingrove Park, is the Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery, one of the most visited museums in the UK which contains some fantastic collections. Kelvingrove Park wraps the University to the south and east and is a beautiful Victorian park with the river Kelvin running through. It’s a very popular spot with students on sunny days.
Glasgow is the UK’s fourth largest city and its first UNESCO city of music. It’s a really student-friendly city where there’s always something going on and an amazing place to live, work and study. Glasgow students have the best of both worlds with the west end on the University door step and the city centre a 40 minute walk, or 5 minute subway ride, away.
Originally built as houses for Professors in the 1860s, the Square is now home to the School of Law. No 11 is where Lord Kelvin, the world-famous physicist, lived from 1870-1889. It was one of the first houses in the world to be lit entirely by electricity. The building at the end of the Square is The Principal’s Lodging, the official residence of the Principal.
The Lion & Unicorn Staircase found in Professors’ Square was originally located at Old College in the High Street in the 1690s. It was dismantled when the University left High Street in 1870 and moved to the new location on the top of Gilmore hill.
Leaving the Gilbert Scott building and crossing University Avenue takes you to the University Library, one of the tallest buildings in the west end. It has 12 floors and 3 annexes, housing over 2 million books and has extensive online resources and collections. The library is open 361 days a year from 7.15am – 2am, which gives it some of the longest opening hours of any library in Europe!
Next to the library on the hill are the Hunterian Art Gallery and the Mackintosh House, a fullscale replica of the famous architect and designer’s house. You can see the white front door halfway up the wall. On the other side of the street is the Fraser Building with its blue and green glass front. This houses the student service enquiry desk, a one-stop-shop for all student enquiries, GP surgery, plus a café and bookshop.
Queen Margaret Union
Just 5 minutes away from the Library, the QMU is one of the University’s two student unions.
QMU is home to the legendry Jim’s Bar, Chameleon’s Bar, Dining areas, a pool and games room, study spaces and a night club, Qudos. It’s renowned for being a great place to experience live music and since the early nineties the QMU has seen some amazing bands perform such as Nirvana, Coldplay, Franz Ferdinand and Biffy Clyro to name just a few.
Originally founded in 1890, the QMU was established by women for the women of Queen Margaret’s College prior to the college and University merging in 1892. In 1967, to house its increasing members, the Union moved to its current location on University Gardens.
University of Glasgow Sport & Glasgow University Union
Leaving the QMU and walking back to the library and a little further east we arrive at the sports building, the Stevenson, which adjoins the other student union, the Glasgow University Union (GUU). A £14million expansion in 2015 brought benefits to both.
The Stevenson Building is the University’s on campus sport facility. It boasts one of the best sport and recreation facilities at any UK university. The five storey facility includes a swimming pool, steam room, sauna, sports halls, and much more besides. There are around 50 free drop-in exercise classes per week, and students who stay in University Accommodation receive a free gym membership for their first year.
Founded in 1885, the GUU is one of the oldest and largest students’ unions in the UK. It was originally established for the use of men only, however these days it celebrates a diverse membership. Boasting nine bars, a nightclub, two libraries, a debating chamber (which has hosted the World Universities Debating Championship), snooker and pool hall, convenience store and coffee shop, the GUU has lots to offer.
Leaving campus we end the tour in Ashton Lane which connects the University to Byres Road, the main street in the West End. This is a favourite spot for students post-study with its boutique bars and restaurants, a restored independent cinema, as well as its beautiful setting of cobbles and fairy lights. We hope that you’ve enjoyed this virtual tour and look forward to seeing you on campus in person sometime soon.