UCL Annual Review


World-leading academic excellence

At UCL we create an atmosphere where intellectual innovation thrives. We pursue new avenues of research driven by the curiosity and commitment of our academics in their fields. UCL’s world-leading reputation is built on this foundation of attracting the best minds, enabling careers to flourish through outstanding programmes that support and nurture talent, and roles that challenge and inspire. Through these activities we create the perfect conditions for cross-disciplinary collaboration and research that changes the world for the better.

New campus gets set to open in the Olympic Park

Female students cycling through Olympic Park
UCL’s brand new campus, UCL East, is just months away from opening in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park at East Bank in September 2022, as part of the education and cultural legacy of London 2012.

UCL East will be home to around 60 new degree programmes and research in interdisciplinary fields that build on UCL’s existing reputation for collaboration, disruption and innovation. These range from biodiversity, decarbonising transport and disability and accessibility to robotics, AI, and manufacturing. Our aim is to help turn UCL’s excellence in research, teaching and learning into an even greater number of practical applications that deliver economic and social value to London and the world.

The new campus on the waterfront in the Park will include apartments for over 500 students, cafes, shops, workshops, a cinema and public art installations. Students will study in cutting-edge new research centres on courses developed with experts from business and industry, such as the Advanced Propulsion Lab.

UCL East’s unique environment will bring diverse minds from different disciplines together to tackle the biggest issues facing the world today. For all the latest developments on UCL’s new campus, follow @UCLEast on Twitter.

British Medical Journal honours UCL academics

Christina Pagel - Sir Micheal Marmot
Two UCL academics have received special recognition by the British Medical Journal awards which celebrate those who are transforming healthcare.

Professor Pagel (UCL Mathematics) was recognised for her courageous public engagement work during the Covid-19 pandemic. She used detailed Twitter ‘threads’ to debunk myths about Covid-19 and to highlight the strain faced by intensive care units. Her words struck a chord with tens of thousands of readers online.

Professor Sir Michael Marmot (UCL Institute of Epidemiology & Healthcare) received an Outstanding Contribution to Health award for his work in health inequalities. His report Build Back Fairer: The Covid 19 Marmot Review (December 2020) found social and economic conditions before the pandemic contributed to high and unequal mortality rates. The author of several landmark reviews on public health, including hugely influential Fair Society Healthy Lives: the Marmot Review, commissioned by the then Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Professor Marmot has spoken extensively on the subject throughout the pandemic, to online audiences all over the world.


Revolutionary treatment offers hope for blood cancer patients

3D render of CAR T cells attacking cancer cells
The CAR-T programme led by Led by Dr Martin Pule at the UCL Cancer Institute is the most comprehensive of its kind in Europe. It is revolutionising the way we think about treating cancer. The personalised therapies created use patients’ own immune cells and re-engineer them to attack the disease in the body, making it highly effective against forms of cancer where traditional treatments like chemotherapy have been unsuccessful. 

Previously available only to patients under 25 due to certain side effects, the treatment has now been further refined by academics, and has trialled in older adults with great success. Dr Claire Roddy, co-lead on the programme, described it as ‘probably the biggest breakthrough in the last 20 years’ for these types of blood cancers which are notoriously difficult to treat – namely leukemia and lymphomas. There is also hope that the treatment can be further modified to treat other forms of cancer.


Groundbreaking work on the legacies of British slavery recognised by British Academy

Catherine Hall

In September 2021, the highly prestigious Leverhulme Medal and Prize was awarded to Catherine Hall FBA, Emerita Professor of Modern British Social and Cultural History and Chair of the UCL Centre for the Study of the Legacies of British Slavery.

Awarded every three years for significant contribution to knowledge and understanding in a field within the humanities and social sciences, the award recognises Professor Hall among the most methodologically innovative researchers worldwide. The impact of her work is particularly important to the study of class, gender, empire and postcolonial British history - and in helping us to apply this improved understanding of the past to the inequalities of today.

The Centre for the Study of the Legacies of British Slavery is the UK’s leading public history centre for research on the history of slavery and its aftermath. Its data, analysis and expertise is freely accessible online to people all over the world.


2021 university rankings success

UCL IOE building
UCL was named one of the top universities in the world to study in 43 subjects in the 2021 QS World University Rankings by Subject – the world’s most consulted university rankings. UCL IOE maintained its position as first in the world for Education for the eighth year in a row, the Bartlett moved up one place to second in the world for Architecture & the Built Environment, and Archaeology also held its position as third in the world.

Nine of UCL’s subject areas were ranked in the global top 10, and out of 43 subjects where UCL is ranked, 24 subjects are in the world top 25 – and all but four subjects are ranked in the top 10 in the UK. 

UCL was also ranked number 8 in the world in the QS World University Rankings 2022, and number 9 in the UK in the Guardian University Rankings 2022 – read Dr Michael Spence, UCL’s President & Provost, interviewed in the Guardian on UCL’s rankings success.



  • Landing page thumbnail: Pool Street West, UCL East, credit James Tye
  • Students cycling through Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, credit James Tye
  • 3D render of CAR T cells attacking cancer cells, credit Meletios Verras on iStock
  • UCL IOE building, credit UCL Creative Media Services

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