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University College London
Established in 1826 as London University by founders inspired by the radical ideas of Jeremy Bentham, UCL was the first university institution established in London and the earliest in England to be entirely secular, admitting students regardless of their religion. It also makes the disputed claim to have been the first to admit women on equal terms with men.
Located in Bloomsbury, in central London, UCL is one of the most selective British universities and ranks highly in national and international league tables. UCL's graduates are ranked among the most employable by international employers and its alumni include the “Father of the Nation” of India, Kenya and Mauritius, founders of Ghana, modern Japan and Nigeria. UCL academics have contributed to major advances in several disciplines, including the discovery of all five of the naturally-occurring nobles gases and the invention of the vacuum tube. The University boasts 32 Nobel Prize winners and three Fields Medalists amongst its alumni, and current and former staff.
QS World Ranking (2021)
Times Higher Education (2020)
Shanghai Ranking (2020)
Complete University Guide (2021)
Guardian League Table (2021)
Teaching Excellence Framework
Green Credentials (2019)
Young vs Mature
Male vs Female
University College London (UCL) is primarily based in the Bloomsbury area of London, including the medical school, the London Centre for Nanotechnology, the Slade School of Fine Art, the union, the main library, and the Bloomsbury Theatre. Near the main campus are the British Library, British Museum, Cancer Research UK, the Medical Research Council, the Royal Academy of Art, the Royal Institution and the Wellcome Trust, as well as many other University of London (UoL) institutions. (Nearest underground stations: Euston Square, Goodge Street, Russell Square and Warren Street).
UCL was founded in 1826 under the name London University as a secular alternative to the religious universities of Oxford and Cambridge. In 1836, the university formally became known as University College, London, when, under a Royal Charter, worked with King’s College, London, to create the federal University of London. In 1878 UCL became the first British university to admit women on equal terms to men. Although the philosopher Jeremy Bentham did not take part directly in the creation of the institution, it was his radical ideas on education and society which led to its founding, and he is regarded as UCLs “spiritual founder".
In 1973 UCL sent the world's first e-mail. It has merged with a number of institutions, such as the Institute of Archaeology, the Institute of Ophthalmology, the Institute of Child Health, the Institute of Neurology and the School of Pharmacy.
More recently, the London Centre for Nanotechnology was established in 2003 as a joint venture between UCL and Imperial College London, while in 2005 a new building for University College Hospital was opened. In 2009, the Yale UCL Collaborative was established between Yale and UCL.
The institution’s prestige can be seen through the 26 Nobel Prize winners and three Fields Medalists amongst UCL’s alumni, current and former staff. These include Charles K. Kao who pioneered the development and use of fiber optics in telecommunications, Sir William Henry Bragg, the co-discovered of the structure of the DNA molecule Francis Crick, Sir Peter Medawar, and Bernard Katz.
Faculties & Schools
Faculty of Arts & Humanities
- English Language & Literature
- European Languages, Culture & Society
- European Social & Political Studies
- Fine Art
- Greek & Latin
- Hebrew & Jewish Studies
- Information Studies
Faculty of Brain Sciences
- Cognitive Neuroscience
- Psychology & Language Sciences
Faculty of the Built Environment (The Bartlett)
- Advanced Spatial Analysis
- Construction & Project Management
- Development Planning
- Environment, Energy & Resources
- Graduate Studies
Faculty of Engineering
- Biochemical Engineering
- Chemical Engineering
- Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering
- Computer Science
- Electronic & Electrical Engineering
- Management Science & Innovation
- Mechanical Engineering
- Medical Physics & Bioengineering
- Science, Technology, Engineering & Public Policy
- Security & Crime Science
Institute of Education
- Childhood, Families & Health
- Culture, Communication & Media
- Curriculum, Pedogogy & Assessment
- Early Years & Primary Education
- Humanities & Social Sciences
- Lifelong & Comparative Education
- London Centre for Leadership in Learning
- Psychology & Human Development
- Quantitative Social Science
Faculty of Laws
Faculty of Life Sciences
- Gatsby Computational Neuroscience
- Molecular Cell Biology
Faculty of Mathematical & Physical Sciences
- Earth Sciences
- Natural Sciences
- Physics & Astronomy
- Science & Technology Studies
- Space & Climate Physics (Mullard Space Science Laboratory)
- Statistical Science
Faculty of Medical Sciences
- Eastman Dental
- Infectious & Immunity
- Medical School
- Surgical & Intervemtional Science
Faculty of Population & Health Sciences
- Child Health
- Cardiovascular Science
- Clinical Trials & Methodology
- Epidemiology & Health Care
- Global Health
- Women's Health
Faculty of Social & Historical Sciences
- History of Art
- Slavonic & East European Studies
Research & Teaching
UCL is seen as a research powerhouse within the UK, with the Times Higher Education ranking of research council awards 2008-2009 reporting that the institution won the most research awards in the UK amounting to £81,365,000. According to ISI Web of Knowledge data released in July 2008, UCL is the 13th most cited university in the world, and the most cited in Europe. The report showed that some of the University’s strengths include clinical medicine, immunology, neuroscience and behaviour, pharmacology and toxicology, psychiatry and psychology, and social science. Furthermore in the 2014 REF UCL came top in terms of research strength.
Some UCL departments in the Faculties of Engineering Sciences, Life Sciences, and Mathematical and Physical Sciences offer undergraduate summer research placements. These provide a great opportunity for you to discover how research is undertaken in universities and to make a real contribution to a research field. During the placement you will join a research team working on a specific project in your department over the summer vacation.
International & Industry Opportunities
There are plenty of opportunities to study abroad for a term or a year at UCL with around 25% of students spending some time in another country as part of their degree programme. There is a Study Abroad Team to support and promote study abroad opportunities for UCL undergraduate students providing a number of services for students such as the UCL Study Abroad Fair, one-to-one advising and advice and guidance to students considering taking part in the study abroad programme through information sessions. UCL has exchange agreements with over 250 institutions in 40 countries across five continents, including 48 of the world's top 100 universities. The majority of UCL exchanges with European universities are covered by the Erasmus programme. The programme offers the possibility of studying abroad in another European country for a period of between 3 and 12 months. UCL currently has links with over 150 Erasmus partner institutions. Various UCL departments have established exchange programmes with their counterparts in other universities around the world. There are both exchanges with institutions in North and South America and Asia, as well as those with institutions in Europe that do not form part of the Erasmus programme. The University also offers the opportunity to take part in vacation study abroad for those who do not want to commit a full semester to studying abroad. These take place in countries including Mexico, China, India, United States, Indonesia or South Korea.
UK/EU Students (2021/2022)
Scholarships & Bursaries
All full-time UK/EU students who apply for income-assessed student support where household income is £42,620 or less is eligible for a UCL Undergraduate Bursary.
UCL also offers a range of scholarships, some tied to particular departments and some open to all. Some scholarships are offered in partnership with companies which may also provide the added benefit of paid work experience and mentors.
The College library system comprises of 16 libraries across the UCL campus containing more than two million books and subscriptions to over 12,000 journals in a combination of electronic and print formats. Along with the Main Library and Science Library, there are also more specialist libraries, such as the Bartlett Library for architecture and town planning, the Cruciform Library for general clinical and medical sciences, and the UCL Institute of Archaeology Library.
As a constituent of The UoL, students also have access to Senate House, which holds over three million volumes, over 5,200 journals and over 170,000 graduate theses. It is also home to the UoL archives, which include the central archive of the university itself, and many other collections such as the paper of Charles Booth and Herbert Spencer.
Since 2004 UCL Library Services have been collecting the scholarly work of UCL researchers to make it freely available on the internet via an open access repository known as UCL Eprints.
UCL also has one of the foremost university collections of manuscripts, archives and rare books including mediaeval manuscripts and early printed books, as well as significant holdings of 18th-century works, and highly important 19th and 20th century collections of personal papers covering a wide range of subject areas. Works include the first editions of Newton’s Principia, Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, and Joyce’s Ulysses.
The College also has a number of museums including the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, the Grant Museum of Zoology and Comparative Anatomy, and Art Collections, which date from 1847 when a collection of sculpture models and drawings of the Neo-classical artist John Flaxman was presented to UCL.
The UCL Language Centre offers courses for credit in Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin and Spanish, as well as English for Academic Purposes and Teaching English as a Foreign Language. The centre’s facilities include a self-access centre with computer workstations connected to an on-line video library with over 3,000 films and TV documentaries, on-line language exercises, satellite television, a language laboratory and resource books, journals and newspapers.
The University provides a range of study spaces in the Cloisters, in the Libraries and in the UCL Students’ Union. In addition, rooms in UCL Student Residences are connected to the internet enabling you to ‘work from home’. There is also a choice of computer rooms, either open-access or linked to specific departments. Wi-Fi is available in many parts of UCL and IT training is provided.
The university sports pitches are located in north London and include provisions for rugby, football, lacrosse, cricket, netball and tennis. Somers Town Sports Centre is located north of the main campus and provides basketball, badminton, volleyball and table tennis facilities. Astor College Sports Hall is located near the main campus and provides clubs and societies with space to engage in a range of indoor activities. Bloomsbury Fitness is located in the heart of the main campus, and contains cardio and resistance machines, and squash courts. UCLU runs around 60 sports and dance clubs. These include everything you might expect as well as some you may not, like Capoeira, Kickboxing, Waterpolo, Dodgeball, Ice Hockey, Mountaineering and Urban Frisbee.
The University College London Union (UCLU) has over 180 clubs and societies covering a wide range of interests from sport and culture to arts and faith. Media opportunities include Pi Magazine and Pi Newspaper, and the magazine The Cheese Grater. The UCL Bloomsbury Theatre is a professionally equipped theatre with a seating capacity of over 500 owned and run by UCL. It hosts student performances, stand-up comedy, drama, dance and music. UCLU runs three bars, four cafes, two shops and a hairdresser’s.
Students also have access to the University of London Union (ULU) which has its own sports clubs and societies, newspaper, and campaigns for you to get involved in. It has its own gym, with a fitness suite, swimming pool, exercise classes, remedial treatments, a sports hall and a multi-purpose studio. Its facilities also include a cafe, shop, and the Duck and Dive bar.
The University is known for its lobbying, with recent campaigns including UCLU Free Education Campaign for the return of free and non-marketised higher education, the London Living Wage Campaign for a basic minimum wage for all UCL staff, and Disarm UCL which successfully persuaded UCL not to invest in defence companies.
UCLU’s Volunteering Services Unit is one of the biggest departments of its kind in the country, and opportunities include undertaking sports coaching with local young people, guiding people around one of London’s hidden museums or galleries, campaigning on an issue you care about and participating in an environmental event. There are over 500 projects to choose from to fit your availability and interests.
Religion & Spirituality
UCL is a secular institution and, therefore, does not provide facilities for religious worship. There is a space on the main campus set aside for private meditation and prayer.
Heath & Wellbeing
The Student Disability Services provide information and advice for all disabled UCL students, and organise support services in note-taking, communication, mentoring and study skills tuition. Their facilities include a dedicated IT suite equipped with a range of specialist equipment and software.
The university’s Student Psychological Service offers short-term individual counselling, individual/group psychotherapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, a personal development workshop and psychiatric consultation.
The University Health Centre houses an NHS General Practice providing services for treating illness and maintaining health, plus a dental practice.
The UCL Careers Service offers a comprehensive service, including a careers information library with a variety of resources, advice from a careers adviser, careers fairs where students can meet employers and recent graduates targeted to a particular sector or theme, sector themed weeks enabling students to hear from professionals working in a wide range of areas, employer presentations where students can meet a variety of employers and learn about their opportunities, advice on how to develop the skills needed by employers in all fields, exercises in business skills through a series of case studies with a team manager from industry, personality profiling workshops where advice on a student’s personality is given so they can improve their performance in group activities, information about competitions and interactive business challenges offered by graduate recruiters, CV and application checking, mock assessments and useful information for finding jobs, internship and voluntary opportunities in the UK and overseas.
Students can enhance their future prospects through the Year in Industry initiative which organises relevant work placements for young people to spend a year out before or during their university degree. On placement you will receive a salary, and many UCL departments encourage participation in the scheme and are happy to defer your admission for a year while you participate.
UCL Advances is the University’s centre for entrepreneurship which offers training that covers all aspects of how to start your own business, a two-week summer programme of workshops teaching business skills, the opportunity to gain direct experience of small business consultancy by joining a student-led short-term consultancy project or the chance to spend eight weeks with a small to medium sized enterprise. Students can take part in the London Entrepreneurs’ Challenge, one of the largest business plan competitions in the country, or a three-day Enterprise Boot Camps, run each summer, to introduce participants to the fundamentals of the modern business world. UCL's Department of Management Science and Innovation also offers optional courses in innovation management that came be taken by any student.
Catered and self-catered
Catered (per week) (2020/2021)
Self-catered (per week) (2020/2021)
As a first year student at UCL you are guaranteed a place in University-run accommodation. You can choose between two kinds of accommodation. Firstly, there are Halls of Residence (Ifor Evans Hall and Ramsay Hall) where breakfast and dinner are included. Ifor Evans is located in Camden Town and has over 330 places available. It is 25-30 minutes' walk from, and on direct bus and tube routes to, UCL. Facilities include a TV lounge, music room, computer cluster room, launderette and cycle racks. Ramsay has over 450 places available and is five minutes' walk from UCL. Facilities include a TV room, communal study areas with Wi-Fi and computer cluster facilities, launderette, music room and bicycle storage area. Secondly, there are Student Houses where you will share kitchen facilities to prepare your own meals.
As part of the University of London, UCL has access to approximately 800 places for its students in the catered Intercollegiate Halls. These Halls, all within easy reach of UCL, are available to students attending UCL and any college of the University of London. Accommodation is in twin or single rooms sharing communal bathrooms on a corridor. Breakfast and dinner are provided daily, and brunch or lunch is available at weekends. All are independently administered, not by UCL, and students preferring catered accommodation must include these Halls in their preferences when completing their online application.
After your first year you will need to find privately rented accommodation, often sharing with friends. The University of London Housing Services can offer you help to find suitable accommodation.
Arts, Humanities and Social Science
Engineering & Science &
English Language Requirements
|IELTS Academic module||Standard Level||
Overall grade of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each of the subtests.
Overall grade of 7.0 with a minimun of 6.0 in each of the subtests.
>Overall grade of 7.5 with a minimum of 6.5 in each of the subtests.
|TOEFL iBT||Standard Level||
Score of 92, plus 24/30 in the reading and writing subtests and 20/30 in the listening and speaking subtests.
Score of 100, plus 24/30 in the reading and writing subtests and 20/30 in the listening and speaking subtests.;
Score of 109, plus 24/30 in the reading and writing subtests and 20/30 in the listening and speaking subtests.
|Advanced Level||Not acceptable|
International facilities at UCL include their International Students’ Orientation Programme designed to help students settle in and learn how to access the range of services and opportunities on offer. In addition, social events in the programme allow students to make new friends. The Student Centre can help with issues such as opening a UK bank account and visa renewal. The UCL Careers Service offers dedicated assistance for international students, whether seeking employment in their home country or considering working in the UK.