The University of London (informally referred to as London University) is a collegiate research university located in London, England, consisting of 18 constituent colleges, 10 research institutes and a number of central bodies.London is the second-largest university by number of full-time students in the United Kingdom, with around 135,000 campus-based students and over 50,000 distance learning students in the University of London International Programmes. The university was established by Royal Charter in 1836, which brought together in federation London University (now University College London) and King's College (now King's College London).For most practical purposes, ranging from admissions to funding, the constituent colleges operate on a semi-independent basis, with some recently obtaining the power to award their own degrees whilst remaining in the federal university. The nine largest colleges of the university are King's College London; University College London; Birkbeck; Goldsmiths; the London Business School; Queen Mary; Royal Holloway; SOAS; and London School of Economics and Political Science. The specialist colleges of the university include Heythrop College, specialising in philosophy and theology, and St George's, specialising in medicine. Imperial College London was formerly a member before it left the University of London in 2007.In post-nominals, the University of London is commonly abbreviated as Lond. or, more rarely, Londin., from the Latin Universitas Londiniensis after their degree abbreviations.