UCL was established in 1826 to open up education in England for the first time to students of any race, class or religion. UCL was also the first university to welcome female students on equal terms with men.
Academic excellence and conducting research that addresses real-world problems inform our ethos to this day.
A UCL education
UCL has the best academic to student ratio in the UK (1:10), enabling small class sizes and outstanding individual support (Times 2013).
- UCL is one of the top two universities in the UK for number of professors, which means that our students are taught by the most highly qualified experts in their field (Higher Education Statistics Agency 2011).
- UCL provides an environment that encourages students to be ambitious yet idealistic. In 2011–2012 alone, UCL supported the creation of 34 new student businesses, and nearly half all students volunteered on community projects.
Discover what makes a UCL education distinctive.
- In the most recent Research Assessment Exercise, 62% of UCL’s submissions were ranked at the highest grades of 4* (“of world-leading quality”), or 3* (“internationally excellent”), placing it third in the UK (RAE 2008 results).
- UCL attracts the third highest number of academic citations in the UK showing the high esteem and relevance of the institution’s research (QS 2012).
- All of UCL’s research, subject to permissions, is placed in Discovery − UCL’s online repository, available to everyone.
Find out more about our research.
Image (right): Zebrafish retina
Local and global impact
- In 2011–2012, UCL ran more than 40 schemes to support start-ups and growing businesses, and helped strengthen more than 300 small businesses in London. Visit the UCL Enterprise website to see how we are helping to drive the global economy forward.
- See examples on the UCL and London website of how we share our resources and engage with the local community to enrich London’s social, cultural and academic life.
- UCL Partner hospitals make a significant impact on the lives of Londoners, handling 1.2 million hospital admissions and 1.7 million first outpatient appointments in 2012 alone. Find out more about how we’re improving health in the capital on the UCL and London website.
Images: James Xu, Shine! 2011 International Student of the Year (upper left); Universities Minister David Willetts visiting UCL (lower left)
Discover the achievements of UCL staff and students thoughout our history.
UCL is based in the heart of London. Watch the video to learn more about our unique location.