Graduate Student Recruitment and Admissions Good Practice

contact: Bella Malins, Director of Access and Admissions, Student and Registry Services
John Burnett
, Graduate Marketing Manager, Communications and Marketing
[in respect of graduate student recruitment prior to the admissions process]

Good Practice

1. Good practice means that regard is paid to UCL's Equal Opportunities Policy and to the QAA Code of practice for the assurance of academic quality and standards in higher education: Section 10: Admissions to Higher Education, and the UCL Graduate School Code of Practice for Research Degrees throughout the recruitment process.

2. Process prior to application

good practice means:

  • Provision of accurate information, including information about programmes, entrance and English Language requirements
  • A central information point for enquirers
  • A point of contact within each department, be it the admissions tutor or a knowledgeable member of staff, to deal with graduate admission enquiries
  • An efficient process of despatching information to enquirers, both centrally and departmentally
  • Detailed information for students with disabilities – this should include an invitation to applicants to contact the UCL Student Disability Coordinator.
  • Enhanced guidance on departmental websites
  • Updates to the UCL Prospectus
  • Keep warm communications
  • Conversion events
  • Open Days
  • Use of video and social media

See also the toolkit on programme marketing at: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/cam/toolkits/marketing-toolkit.pdf (UCL password protected).

3. Response to application

good practice means:

  • Early acknowledgement of application
  • Early and regular contact with the applicant regarding the progress of the application
  • All letters to applicants should be personalised.

4. Interviewing (see also Interviews: Definition and Policy)

good practice means:

  • Provision of relevant information about the programme, the department and UCL in advance of the visit, including clear instructions on how to find the department
  • A departmental welcome point
  • Trained interviewers, with at least two interview panel members
  • An opportunity for candidates to be shown the department and its facilities, to meet current students and to be given a tour of UCL
  • Realistic information about when applicants may expect to hear of the outcome of their interview
  • Letters thanking interviewees for attendance at interview.

5. Decision on application
good practice means:

  • An early decision on applications
  • An informal communication from the department to candidates as well as the formal offer letter from Admissions.

6. Process prior to admission

good practice means:

  • Keeping in regular contact with candidates
  • Sending information about special departmental enrolment and registration procedures in good time
  • Ensuring applicants are aware of UCL-wide induction programmes.

7. Induction

good practice means:

  • Efficient enrolment and registration procedures
  • Familiarisation with the whole institution including:
  • Maps
  • General information booklets, including, where applicable, the relevant Code of Practice
  • Introduction to, e.g. libraries, computer facilities.
  • A formal welcome and induction to UCL and the Department, and encouragement to attend Faculty and Graduate School inductions.
  • Research students should be introduced to the Research Student Log and the Graduate School Skills Development Programme and given the 'Code of Practice for Graduate Research Degrees'. Taught degree graduates should be given the 'Code of Practice for Graduate Taught Degrees'.
  • A departmental induction programme which should involve:
  • A welcome from the Head of Department
  • A tour of the Department
  • Written information about the Department
  • Social events with staff and fellow students
  • Early meetings with tutors and supervisors
  • Information on sources of advice and assistance in the department, at UCL (e.g. Deans of Students (Welfare), Graduate School).

8. Information supplied

good practice means:

  • A statement of the aims and objectives of the programme of study
  • Clear information on the structure of the programme of study
  • Clear information on programme requirements: including deadlines for submission of work, timetables for assessment, details of meetings with the Supervisor for students on taught Master's and Research Degree programmes
  • Clear information on attendance requirements, rules on plagiarism, rules for progression
  • Clear information on individual course choices
  • Clear information about bursaries, scholarships and hardship funds
  • Information about staff responsibilities for the courses
  • For taught Master's programmes, the date by which a supervisor will be assigned
  • General information about student responsibilities
  • Where appropriate, information on preliminary reading.

September 2013