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UCL (University College London)


40 Reviews


THE World Ranking: 22



University College London is in the middle of one of the most exciting UK cities, the perfect environment for living and learning. The university is proud to provide quality teaching from experienced, dedicated lecturers with lots of knowledge to share with willing students. Plus, since there are thousands of courses running at UCL, students of all backgrounds can find their place, including international students.


In 2021, more than 68,000 people applied to study at this very popular London-based educational institution. UCL is a very competitive option and students will need top grades to get in, but it’s competitive for a reason. The learning environment is amazing, and there are so many knowledgeable tutors and faculty members.


Most international students want to come to UCL because of the teaching quality, the modern facilities and the great student support. A good understanding of English is necessary, but students from anywhere and everywhere are welcome to enjoy UCL’s many programmes. There are currently over 250,000 alumni spread across 190 countries. 48 per cent of UCL students are international, and 35 per cent of UCL staff are international.


As mentioned, facilities don’t let UCL down. There are study spaces, a students’ union running about 60 sports and dance clubs and lots of different types of easy-to-access entertainment. No matter what a student’s interests are, they can find something that they’re interested in at UCL (and in the surrounding capital city).


UCL accepts that not every university journey is easy from start to finish, so the institution makes lots of support options available to students. These options include mental health and well-being support (same-day appointments with advisors, free counselling services and a partnership with Care First) and academic advice (study skills workshops, peer mentoring sessions and study clubs).


UCL also has very strong graduate outcomes. Students are helped to explore career options, search for jobs and much more. They’re held to high standards in class that match the standards of the working world, and they graduate fully prepared to become talented professionals.


Find out more about University College London:


Teaching quality

Entry requirements

Scholarships & funding

University structure


Student support

Graduate outcomes


Teaching Quality

UCL offers high-quality teaching, important research and flexible learning opportunities. It’s registered with the Office for Students (OfS), an independent regulator that works to make sure every student has a good university experience and takes the responsibility of educating and caring for students very seriously. UCL was very happy to be recognised by the QAA in the 2016 Higher Education Review, and its key achievements in this review included:


  • Lots of student involvement in developing the curriculum and keeping teaching quality high
  • A clear connection between UCL’s mission and its courses
  • A good framework for research-based education (the Connected Curriculum)


Student voices are heard at UCL, and there are rules in place so that student opinions play an important role in the university’s development. The Vice-Provost is responsible for managing student satisfaction surveys and has seen an increase in responses from 62per cent in 2013 to 79 per cent in 2016. This makes it even easier to keep quality teaching the priority across the institution.


One great example of how well UCL works with students is the Student Academic Representatives Scheme (StARs). This scheme is run by the university and the students’ union and is also in charge of judging the Student Choice Teaching Awards (SCTAs).


Plus, UCL runs a programme called UCL ChangeMakers. In ChangeMakers, students create their own curriculum changes and suggest and follow up on department changes. They get up to GBP 1,000 of funding to facilitate their ideas. In a way, they become the teachers, and the staff feel this is very valuable to them. It creates new enthusiasm for positive change and encourages responsibility ahead of the working world.


Entry Requirements

If students want to study at UCL, they will need to meet standard entry requirements. The university gets a lot of applications each year (more than 68,000 for its undergraduate programmes in 2021, for example). UCAS tariff points are not used to assess applications. Instead, specific qualifications and grade requirements are used to assess eligibility.


The exact qualifications needed will change from course to course, but the university tends to make standard offers in the range A*A*A*–ABB at A2 Level. Applicants who don’t meet the university requirements may be eligible for a contextual offer as part of the Access UCL scheme. Access UCL requirements are lower than the university’s standard entry requirements and will be listed on each programme’s page in the undergraduate prospectus.


For international students with different types of pre-university qualifications, there is country-specific information available via the international applications drop-down menu on programme pages in the university’s prospectus. The full International Baccalaureate Diploma (IBDP) is accepted for entry and typically includes:


  • Three higher-level subjects
  • Three standard-level subjects
  • Theory of Knowledge (ToK)
  • Creativity, Action, Service (CAS)
  • An extended essay


Three higher-level subjects are needed. International students should also know that UCL does not accept the International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme (IBCP) for entry.


English Score Required

For international students, if English is not their first language, the university will require further evidence to confirm their understanding of English. UCL can also ask for an additional language requirement or extra confirmation of education/employment for their institution or employee. Students from the following overseas countries don’t need to prove their English language knowledge:


  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • The Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Ireland
  • Jamaica
  • Malta
  • New Zealand
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • USA
  • Canada


International students who aren’t in these countries will need to show that they understand English well enough. There are a variety of courses and tests that the university accepts as proof, and there’s a full list on the UCL website. One of the most popular options, though, is the IELTS. UCL courses will usually ask for an IELTS at one of the three levels, and students should research which one will apply to them:


  • Standard level, an overall band of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each individual band.
  • Good level, an overall band of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each individual band.
  • Advanced level, an overall grade of 7.5 with a minimum of 6.5 in each individual band.



UCL wants to support every applicant through the admission process, especially potential future students from an international background who might have a different university/education system at home. For all students, the university breaks the process down into a simple to follow step-by-step guide on how to apply. The basic steps are:


  1. The applicant chooses a programme.
  2. The applicant checks the programme’s entry requirements.
  3. The applicant decides which year they want to enter/when they want to start.
  4. The applicant researches tuition fees and funding opportunities.
  5. The applicant learns how to apply.
  6. The applicant makes their application, submits and waits for a decision.
  7. The applicant is offered a place/not offered a place.
  8. If offered a place, the applicant chooses to accept or decline this place.


Undergraduate degree programmes can be applied to through UCAS. All applications need to be submitted by six PM on the 25th of January, other than the university’s medicine course (this deadline is earlier, six PM on the 15th of October).


UCL encourages students to make sure that their applications are complete, with all the necessary supporting documentation (like high school transcripts/the equivalent for an international student) included. Without this, the process will be slower. Applicants who have to complete compulsory national military service in their home countries may be able to defer their entry by up to two years, but this isn’t guaranteed.


If a student needs help at any point in the admission process, they should reach out. UCL can help and is very used to helping international students. They make up nearly half of the students enrolled, and they can get expert advice before they ever arrive at the university. This includes advice about their university application, their student visa application and the UK immigration requirements.


Scholarships & Funding

The cost of studying at UCL changes from course to course and all the information about fees, scholarships and funding are in the UCL prospectus or on the university’s website. The university has had fixed fees since 2018–19. Starting prices per year are GBP 24,000, though the university recommends that students look at specific course pages to get exact fees.


There are bursaries and university scholarships available to international students (and domestic students) who are eligible. They include:


  • The UCL Undergraduate Bursary
  • The Estranged Student Bursary
  • The Care Leaver Bursary
  • Disabled Students’ Allowances


On the UCL website, there’s a scholarship finder with lots of detailed information about all the financial awards offered. Some are entrance scholarships, and some are scholarships for existing students. Some are specific to certain courses or student groups.


Sometimes, external organisations will contact the UCL funding team with opportunities. These will be placed on an online notice board for students to see and investigate. The university isn’t in charge of these schemes or responsible for them, so good research will be important.


If students are coming from the US or Canada, loans may be available. For US students, UCL participates in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program, the main funding source available to American students in the UK. For Canadian students, there are Canada student loans available, as well as provincial or territorial types of student assistance. 


University Structure

UCL has 42,200 students and offers over 3,700 courses each year. The university is passionate about teaching and inspiring students. There are 11 competitive faculties and lots of courses, departments, schools, and institutes inside them. The faculties are as follows:


  • Arts & Humanities
  • Barlett (Built Environment)
  • Brain Sciences
  • Engineering Sciences
  • IOE
  • Laws
  • Life Sciences
  • Mathematical & Physical Sciences
  • Medical Sciences
  • Population Health Sciences
  • Social & Historical Sciences


Teaching at UCL happens on two campuses: UCL Bloomsbury and UCL East. All facilities are up-to-date and offer the best possible learning experiences to students. Exciting research happens on both London campuses, and UCL also has partnerships and connections with organisations across the world. UCL research institutes and programmes include:


  • The UCL Sustainable Development Goals Initiative
  • The UCL Big Data Institute
  • The Alan Turing Institute
  • The Francis Crick Institute
  • The Sainsbury Wellcome Centre
  • The London Centre for Nanotechnology



UCL is an exciting place to study, a student activity centre with lots of quality facilities to enjoy. The study environment is amazing, so students can learn inside and outside of the lecture theatres in lots of well-designed spaces.


This includes study spaces in the Cruciform Hub, Senate House and 1–19 Torrington Place, as well as 1,000 spaces in the new Student Centre building. Plus, the university has 16 specialist libraries which support teaching and research. There’s also a contemplation room that students of all religions and backgrounds can use as a space for prayer, worship, meditation or general calm.


For moments of extracurricular fun, there are student recreation centres and student life centres everywhere on UCL’s two campuses. The students’ union runs lots of clubs and societies, including a health and fitness club called Bloomsbury Fitness.


There are lots of great sports grounds and athletic facilities, like Student Central (which has a 33-metre swimming pool). There are three campus bars and four cafés, as well as shops. Plus, there’s usually something to see at the beautiful Bloomsbury Theatre.



UCL isn’t just a great place to study. It’s a great place to stay, too. There are some excellent accommodation options that add up to about 7,000 beds across 26 halls of residence. The halls are different shapes and sizes, but UCL works to make them all as comfortable and welcoming as possible.


Like the campuses, the student accommodation is in the middle of London, in an area with a lot of extracurricular options. UCL wants students to feel like they’re at home away from home, and there are facilities in these halls that will help students study and relax. Undergraduate applicants will be choosing between these university accommodation options:


  • Arthur Tattersall House
  • Astor College
  • Beaumont Court
  • Campbell House East
  • Campbell House West
  • Frances Gardner House
  • Goldsmid House
  • Ian Baker House
  • Ifor Evans Hall
  • James Lighthill House
  • John Adams Hall
  • John Dodgson House
  • John Tovell House
  • Langton Close
  • Ramsay Hall
  • Schafer House
  • St Pancras Way


Students who want to study at a postgraduate level will have these options:


  • Ann Stephenson House
  • Arthur Tattersall House
  • Bernard Johnson House
  • Campbell House East
  • Endsleigh Gardens
  • Garden Halls
  • Ifor Evans Hall
  • Langton Close
  • Max Rayne House
  • New Hall
  • One Pool Street
  • Prankerd House
  • Stapleton House
  • Urbanest King’s Cross
  • Urbanest St Pancras


There are also lots and lots of off-campus options around London, from privately rented studio apartments to shared student houses. UCL recommends that international students who haven’t visited London pay attention to the location of any off-campus housing to make sure it’s not too far away from class. It can take a long time to get from one side of the capital city to the other.


Student Support

UCL takes student support really seriously. The institution has a dedicated team of expert well-being, disability and mental health staff who are there to provide students with safe, confidential and non-judgemental spaces to talk. The university can put students struggling with these issues in touch with an adviser via a same-day appointment (available Monday to Friday, 10am to 12pm and 2pm to 4pm).


UCL cares about the health of its students and looks after them wherever it can. That’s why the university also partners with Care First to offer more counselling and mental health services to students. These services are available via telephone and online chat.


Other student services include a full academic student support programme, financial advice, career support and more. Plus, there’s support available to international students through the Global Student Support Programme. This programme helps every person at UCL settle in, make friends and make the most of their studies.


Graduate Outcomes

Lots of people looking at universities want to know about their job prospects after graduating. They want to be confident they’ll be able to find employment. UCL understands this and is happy to let any person interested know exactly which sectors, jobs and employers graduates enjoy within 15 months of leaving the university.


92 per cent of graduates are in graduate-level employment or higher study. The outcomes are strong, and the success begins with the university’s great career services. These employment services include networking events with alumni and employers, workshops and events focused on career options and finding a job, access to all the online resources, job listings and helpful bits of advice on myUCLCareers, and one-to-one advice appointments with experienced career guides.


The UCL alumni community includes 350,000 people, and alumni continue to have access to all of these UCL resources after they graduate:


  • Free e-journals, enabling graduates to continue their research
  • A University College London Alumni Account
  • A University College London Alumni Card including some amazing deals, from discounted holiday accommodation to offers on personal growth courses
  • Lifelong learning and professional development opportunities
  • Careers advice
  • Language courses
  • An email account for life, so graduates can be instantly recognised as a past student of UCL


From high standards in the classroom to great career services online and in person, every graduate of UCL walks away with enough knowledge and professionalism to get a good job. There is a reason UCL is so competitive, with such a world-renowned reputation for being excellent. The reason is that this university is excellent, and it gives students everything they need to find success.


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Key facts and figures at UCL (University College London)


Hotcourses Diversity Index (What is this?)

Source: HESA

163 International student nationalities at this university

Source: HESA

6.3% International students from USA

Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2023
Source: THE


QS World University Rankings 2024
Source: QS


Academic Ranking of World Universities 2022
Source: ARWU


Student life in numbers










Student reviews

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98% of reviewers recommend UCL (University College London)

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(40 reviews)








image Anonymous, Greece


I feel that my course has taught me great techniques. The tutors at UCL are the best, they really were amazing and provided me with high quality knowledge, grounded in research. There are many benefits to studying at UCL, easy access and great facilities. However, I feel that there are several aspects t read full review

I feel that my course has taught me great techniques. The tutors at UCL are the best, they really were amazing and provided me with high quality knowledge, grounded in research. There are many benefits to studying at UCL, easy access and great facilities. However, I feel that there are several aspects that are very disorganised; sometimes classes are too small and there was a lack of seats, there were delays in receiving grades and technical issues with assignments. While considering these issues I would still highly recommend UCL. show less

image Anonymous, Nigeria

If you're rich, come here!

The courses started up easy but got really hard in the process. I would have preferred it if they began hard altogether so that we get the pace and know what to expect from the studying requirements. The administration isn't organized. The staff is not helpful and don't give any solutions or guidelines  read full review

The courses started up easy but got really hard in the process. I would have preferred it if they began hard altogether so that we get the pace and know what to expect from the studying requirements. The administration isn't organized. The staff is not helpful and don't give any solutions or guidelines for any problem you might have, you have to search for a solution yourself and it's not always the case that you find it. Many people have trouble with the registration and the online system. The teachers are generally 50/50: either they are very good and helpful or totally indifferent. Living in the campus is pretty good apart from the fact of everything closing very early. A very big disadvantage is that there is not always enough space in the classroom for all students and many have to stand up. Also, both the residence and the tuition are very expensive! show less

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