Transforming UCL


UCL Institute of Education

Project Overview

The UCL Institute of Education (IOE) is embarking on an extensive project over several years to refurbish, reconfigure and modernise its iconic Grade II* listed building at 20 Bedford Way, Bloomsbury.

Established over 100 years ago, the IOE is the world's leading centre for research and teaching in education and related social science.

Throughout its history, the IOE has occupied various premises in central London and has been at its current location since 1977. It is the largest building in UCL's Bloomsbury estate and contains the IOE's library and archives, teaching spaces, lecture theatres and conference facilities, student facilities, research facilities and offices for academic and administrative staff.

After more than 40 years of operation, the building requires extensive refurbishment to comply with current building standards and regulations. This masterplan project is an exciting opportunity for UCL to deliver a modern, flexible and energy efficient building and extend its life by 50 years.

The building is being reconfigured to make the most of available space and help to support the IOE’s growth in student and staff numbers. The first phase of development, now complete, has delivered over 2,000 square metres of high quality teaching and learning space, as well as new office space for more than 100 staff. Subsequent phases are expected to create additional teaching space.

Due to the large scale of the project it will be completed in a sequence of phases over several years, while the building remains operational as normal. Planning and enabling works for Phase One started in 2017 with construction taking place throughout 2018 and 2019. Phase One was completed in May 2019. Consultation is now ongoing for Phase Two.

Phase 1 achievements  

  • 3,000 square metres of refurbished space made up of:
    • 930 new teaching seats in state-of-the art rooms
    • Student social study space for 100 users
    • Replaced the previous student bar – now the new Institute Bar
    • New office space for the APO team and helpdesk
    • Improved accessibility
    • BREEAM Excellent scheme.
    • Replacement new office for IOE local ISD Team

Phase 2 consultation and scoping

The consultation and scoping process is taking place to capture understand the future needs of the IOE community. This is to ensure that the scope and plan for the remaining refurbishment of their estate (Phase 2 onwards) meets their requirements, and institutional objectives to report the building and make it more efficient.

The consultation will involve face-to-face consultation with IOE senior management and key building stakeholders, as well as hosting a variety of forums, surveys and exercises with IOE staff and students


  • September 2017 - Phase One planning and enabling works commenced
  • January 2018 to May 2019 - Phase One construction:  
    • May 2019 – Phase 1 complete
  • January to April 2019 - Future Scoping Project to determine scope, cost, plan and timing for Phase 2.  
  • April 2019 – Business Case submission to the committee
  • May to Autumn 2019: Ongoing Phase 2 consultation with staff and student representatives


For any queries relating to project considerations you can contact the project team via email at ioe.masterplan@ucl.ac.uk 
For more information about the Institute of Education visit https://www.ucl.ac.uk/ioe