The Best Movies Filmed On University Campuses In The UK
Whilst university campuses are usually the backdrop for academic pursuits, every now and then universities will step into the spotlight of the cinema and make an appearance in some of Hollywood’s best films. So grab your popcorn and get comfy! Because we have made the ultimate list of the best films filmed on university campuses in the UK. Lights, camera, action!
1. Inception (2010)-University College London
Featuring Leonardo DiCaprio as the dazzling thief of secrets who infiltrates people’s dreams to steal corporate information, the film Inception showcases many parts of UCL’s beautiful campus. From the Gustave Tuck Lecturing Theatre to the Front Quad, UCL isn’t lacking in historical feature spots that make for amazing movie-making. Apparently, some students even bumped into Leo on the way to lectures during filming. Excuse me while I cry of jealousy.
2, Harry Potter (2001-2011)-University of Oxford
Next up on our list of the best films filmed on university campuses in the UK is none other than Harry Potter. Oxford university’s Christ Church College features extensively for the filming of The Philosopher’s Stone (2001), Chamber of Secrets (2002), and Goblet of Fire (2005). The appearance of Duke Humphrey’s Library and New College has made Oxford a treasure trove of Potter memorabilia. If you’re looking for the best UK universities for Harry Potter fans, you can find our article here.
3. Teri Meri Kahaani (2012)-University of Nottingham
A fan of Bollywood? Then you’ll love our next feature. Teri Meri Kahaani follows the life of a romantic couple living across three lifetimes, with the characters destined to fall for each other across time. A film about soulmates in the modern age, it’s understandable why director Kunal Kholi filmed part of his rom-com against the backdrop of Nottingham’s beautiful campuses (his full interview is linked here.) Featuring the scenic lakes of Jubilee Park, you’d struggle to find a more beautiful backdrop to fall in love to.
4. Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014)-Imperial College London
Albeit brief, Imperial College London makes a short appearance in the action-packed superspy film Kingsman: The Secret Service. You might recognise the campus in the scene where Harry Hart (Colin Firth) confronts Professor Arnold (Mark Hamill) right before his head explodes. While the scene is by no means pretty, at least the campus is!
5. Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014): London School of Economics
Next on our list of the best films filmed on university campuses is the action thriller Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit. The story follows Jack Ryan, who studies at the London School of Economics, going on to become a C.I.A. agent used in covert operations. It’s no surprise that so many London based unis have managed to score a feature in Hollywood. With a combination of historic and modern architecture, London makes for an impressive backdrop.
6. The Theory of Everything (2014)-University of Cambridge
Eddie Redmayne plays the brilliant Stephen Hawking in this Golden Globe-winning biographical film set at the University of Cambridge. The film follows a young Hawking who falls for art student Jane in the 1960s before his diagnosis of ALS. Movie buffs, be warned! You’ll need tissues for this one.
7. Batman Begins (2005) and The Dark Night (2008)-University College London
Okay, so UCL has already been mentioned on our list of best films filmed on university campuses in the UK! But the list simply wouldn’t be complete without also mentioning the beloved first two movies of The Dark Knight Trilogy. Scenes for both these movies were shot in and around UCL, which is unsurprising given that director Christopher Nolan is UCL alumni! In the glam of Hollywood, it’s nice to see such a celebrated film titan remember his university beginnings.