UCL: London's global university

  • First English university to admit women as full degree students
  • First English university to admit students of all beliefs and ethnicities
  • 210 clubs and societies with 18,000 memberships sold
  • 49% of the student body volunteer on external community projects (2011-12)
  • Students from 150 countries and 100 staff nationalities
  • 20% of students study abroad as part of their degree
  • 21 modern languages taught at UCL
  • Central London location

Global Citizenship outside the classroom: Getting involved

Although you are here to study and to get the most out of your degree course, your time at university is also about getting involved with new things, or extending skills you already have. To learn more about the skills development process and to find resources for developing particular skills visit UCL's Personal and Professional Development website.

You might want to consider investigating some of the following while you're at UCL.

Union Clubs and Societies


Over 8,000 students belong to a club or society registered with UCL Union, and there are over 140 to choose from. All of the clubs and societies are run by students, and there's something for everyone, whether you're sporty or artistically-inclined, politically-minded or interested in trying something completely out of the ordinary.

There are plenty of opportunities for you to:

  • get involved with the running of a club - or even start your own
  • engage in cross-London, national and international competitions (sporting and otherwise)
  • perform, direct or produce a production in a professional theatre
  • engage in debate with a huge range of students and prestigious speakers, on a wide range of subjects

There is also a Clubs and Societies Leadership Development Programme to support you if you do want to take on additional responsibilities. Click here to find out more.

Volunteering and student-led community projects


The UCL Volunteering Services Unit (VSU) should be your first port of call if you are interested in getting out into London, making new friends and helping to support the local community. Everyone is welcome, whether you just want to do a one-off activity, or wish to become involved in something over the longer term. All travel expenses are covered, and there's a huge range of projects on offer, so you're bound to find something that interests you. Click here for more information.

The VSU also supports students who are interested in establishing their own community projects, providing funding and mentoring to help you get your idea off the ground. Two previous projects sponsored by this Innovations Programme - one offering interpreting services to the local community, and one running music groups for local children - have won national awards. More information can be found here.

Student mentoring and tutoring


If you enjoy working with young people, you should consider becoming a UCL student mentor or tutor in a local school. Mentors work on a one-to-one basis with a young person, acting as a role model and providing guidance and support to help them achieve their ambitions. Tutors use their subject knowledge to support teachers directly in the classroom, working with small groups or individuals.

You can find out more about working with young people from under-represented groups, visit the UCL Outreach website.

Policy and campaigning


UCL has an active students' union which offers a great deal of scope for you to get involved with campaigning on issues you're passionate about, and to contribute to policy debate and development. Motions on issues as diverse as climate change, Fairtrade, equal opportunities, student welfare and ethical investment are regularly debated at official Union meetings - and your participation is actively encouraged.

You may like to take your involvement further, and consider becoming a Student Representative, or even a Part-time Executive Officer. Click here for more information.

Student Ambassadors


If you would like to help encourage more young people to consider applying to university in general, and to UCL in particular, the Student Ambassadors scheme may be for you. You'll have the opportunity to become involved in a wide range of activities, including giving presentations in schools leading tours at open days, and supporting academic staff at summer schools. Being a student ambassador will also boost your CV, provide excellent work experience and is an opportunity to develop a range of skills. Click here for more information.

Exploring the world: Study abroad options and travel grants


UCL encourages all its students to think seriously about taking up the opportunity to study at a university abroad. This is an option even if you are not enrolled on a course where a placement abroad is mandatory. You can go abroad for anywhere between a few weeks and a full academic year, and if you are studying at a univesity in the EU, you may be eligible for Erasmus funding to support you. Have a look at the Study Abroad Office's website to see if this is something for you.

Alternatively, if you have grand plans for your summer vacation - but perhaps are not in a position to fund your own trip - you may be eligible for a UCL Travel Grant. Small grants are available to individuals who wish to undertake challenging independent travel. Competition is fierce, and there is only one applications round a year, but it is an option worth exploring, particularly if such an opportunity would otherwise be out of reach. Click here for more information and details of how to apply.

UCL Centre for Languages & International Education (CLIE)


You should not underestimate how useful a second (or even a third) language can be. UCL's language teaching and learning facilities are world-class and you will have the opportunity to develop existing skills, or to start from a scratch in a language you may never have had a chance to try before. As well as the highly-regarded UCL Language Centre, UCL also hosts a Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching in Languages of the Wider World (with SOAS) - so the possibilities are vast. For more information about taking up a new language during your time here, click here.

Page last modified on 04 mar 13 16:03