Selection of students

We strive to admit the academically brightest students to UCL, regardless of background.

In fact, UCL was founded to open up education in England for the first time to students of any race, class or religion. That commitment remains as strong today as it was in the beginning. So you can be confident that our aim is to admit those that will make a positive contribution to university life and gain the most from their years of study here.

How we select our students

We are looking for individuals who are enthusiastic and passionate about learning, who wish to take advantage of every opportunity that UCL will offer them and who will benefit from – and contribute to – life at UCL. 

Considering your application

The way we consider your application is through a clear, step by step process:

  • On receipt of your application at UCAS, you will receive an acknowledgement from UCAS and, subsequently, an acknowledgement from UCL. Your acknowledgement from UCAS will include your UCAS personal identity number. Please quote this in all correspondence with UCAS or UCL
  • Following initial checking of your application to ensure you meet the essential academic requirements of UCL and the programme for which you have applied, your application will be forwarded to the relevant Admissions Selector for consideration
  • Your application will be assessed on the basis of your personal statement and your referee’s report as well as on your past and predicted academic performance. Our Admissions Selectors are trying to assess qualities such as your academic potential, your motivation for studying your chosen degree, as well as core skills that are required for the programme.

Selection process

If you’re a UK-based applicant who is being actively considered for a place at UCL, you will be invited to attend an applicant open day and/or selection event. Our open days and selection events are very much intended as a two-way process. Though we want to get to meet you, know you better and make a serious, considered judgement of your application, our open days are also a great opportunity for you to get to know us and ask questions. Our aim is to give you a feel for what UCL is like as an institution and what it might be like studying here. Our open days will vary depending on the programme you have applied for, as follows:

  • You will normally attend a talk about the subject and UCL, be given a tour of the campus and have an opportunity to speak with both members of academic staff and current students
  • Some departments might ask you to participate in group tasks and selection activities or attend an interview during the open day
  • For some degrees, such as Fine Art and Architecture, the portfolio of work you are asked to bring is vital to the consideration of your application
  • Other departments may ask you to take certain tests and exercises during the day, such as writing a short essay
  • Some departments will make you an offer conditional upon you attending a compulsory open day. Full details of any event you are invited to will be sent to you in good time, with your invitation to attend.

Note: if you are an overseas resident or would have a difficult journey to get to UCL, you would usually be exempt from an interview or compulsory open day. All the same, we strongly encourage you to visit UCL before making a decision on which universities to apply to.

Letting you know

As soon as a decision on your application has been reached, it will be sent to you through UCAS. If you are offered a place, we will also write directly to you. As some of our programmes attract large numbers of applications, it may be some time before you receive a decision.

Equalities and diversity at UCL

UCL is firmly committed to promoting equal opportunity. Our Equalities and Diversity Policy and Strategy underlies every aspect of our student selection process. UCL's  Equalities and Diversity policy in respect of student recruitment and admissions is as follows:

In the recruitment and selection of students the only consideration must be that the individual meets, or is likely to meet, the requirements of the programme or course. These requirements being met, no applicant will be discriminated against on the basis of their gender, race, colour, ethnic origin, nationality (within current legislation), disability, sexual orientation, marital status, caring or parental responsibilities, age, or beliefs on any matters such as religion and politics.

UCL is committed to provide a learning, working and social environment in which the rights and dignity of all its members are respected, and which is free from discrimination, prejudice, intimidation and all forms of harassment including bullying.

This policy means that all students and employees of UCL have the right to study or work in an environment free from discrimination, prejudice and all forms of harassment or bullying.

The above policy must be adhered to in all matters concerning student recruitment and admissions. UCL is committed to a programme of action to ensure that this and other equalities policies is implemented and monitored at an organisational and individual level. Each department has a Departmental Equal Opportunities Liaison Officer who disseminates information on good practice and training.

What is meant by ‘equal opportunity’?

Factors such as sex, sexual orientation, marital or civil partnership status, ethnic origin, race, religion, colour, nationality, political beliefs, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, disability and age should not be taken into account for the purposes of:

  • STAFF Recruitment, appointment, training, appraisal, promotion, discipline etc.
  • STUDENTS Application to and acceptance on to a programme of study, and assessment of academic performance

Selection for a programme of study or for a job should be made solely on merit.

Further details of our Equalities and Diversity Policy and Strategy are available at

Widening access

UCL’s Access Agreement outlines our commitment to widening participation at UCL. We spend around 30% of our additional fee income on measures to widen access. You can read more about UCL's Access Agreement at

Accuracy of information

Our decision will be made in good faith on the basis that the information you provide is complete and accurate. If there is any change in your circumstances after you submit your application, (e.g. if the subjects you are studying change), you must inform us as soon as possible. We reserve the right to refuse admission or to terminate any student’s attendance, should we discover that a false statement has been made or significant information has been omitted.

Revising UCAS applications following submission

1. UCL considers the information contained on an application as complete and accurate at the point of submission to UCAS. It is not anticipated that any amendments will be made to the personal statement, the reference or the grade predictions provided in the reference.

2. Should a school/college wish to submit additional information that has not been solicited by UCL then this must be done prior to a decision being taken on the application and no later than 15th January UCAS deadline, whichever is earlier.

3. Revisions to predicted grades will only be considered if there has been a genuine administrative error on the part of the school/college when the original reference was completed. Any requests for such a revision must be supported by a statement from the school/college indicating that such an error has occurred. Such revisions will only be considered prior to UCL making a decision on the application and no later than the 15th January UCAS deadline, whichever is earlier.

4. Applicants who wish to be considered as a consequence of revised predicted grades have the option of re-applying the following year, when they will be considered in competition with all other applicants.

Appeals and complaints procedure

Decisions on the admission of applicants are final and there is normally no right of appeal against such decisions. We will only consider a complaint relating to an applicant for admission if there is substantive evidence of irregularity in the procedure under which the application has been processed. In the first instance, any complaint concerning applications should be addressed to the Faculty Tutor of the faculty concerned. If the complaint is against the Faculty Tutor, it should be addressed to the Dean of Students (Academic).

Page last modified on 20 mar 13 16:55