The university was established in 1881 as University College Liverpool, admitting its first students in 1882. Following a royal charter and act of Parliament in 1903, it became an independent university (the University of Liverpool) with the right to confer its own degrees.
In 1994 the university was a founding member of the Russell Group, a collaboration of twenty four leading research-intensive universities.
The university has produced ten Nobel Prize winners, from the fields of science, medicine, economics and peace.
The university is mainly based around a single urban campus approximately five minutes' walk from Liverpool City Centre, at the top of Brownlow Hill and Mount Pleasant. Occupying 100 acres, it contains 192 non-residential buildings that house 69 lecture theatres, 114 teaching areas and research facilities.