FAQs for schools and prospective students

Frequently asked questions, advice and support for schools and prospective students during the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak.

Advice for Applicants and Offer Holders

i. Applying and Admissions

If I have any questions regarding my application or offer from UCL, what is the best way to contact the university?

Our Admissions Office is currently unable to accept telephone calls or face to face enquiries at the Recruitment and Admissions Hub. Depending on your level or programme of study, enquiries can be made by email to the following:


Is UCL still considering applications from students across the world, regardless of how their countries are affected by the coronavirus outbreak?

Yes, we will continue to give equal consideration to all applications regardless of where you are from or where you live.

Will the coronavirus outbreak affect my application to UCL?

We are doing everything we can to limit any impact coronavirus may have on current applications to study at UCL.

Our Admissions team is working hard to process all applications and provide a decision as soon as possible.

Offer Holders

My examinations have now changed or have been suspended/cancelled. How will this affect my application to UCL?

We are currently processing the implications of the recent decisions by various exam boards around the world to cancel, suspend, postpone or amend the format of their exams. We should have clear information on how this will impact the admissions process at UCL shortly. 

We understand that this is an anxious time, but we really want to make sure we get it right. Once our policy is clear we will be in touch with schools and students directly in order to inform them. 

For students looking to apply and study at UCL on Graduate Taught programmes,  you should contact the Admissions Team directly to discuss your individual case.

My grades may be affected by either missing courses or being taught by distance learning. What account will you take of this?

We are taking advice from the examination bodies on school and university closures due to the coronavirus outbreak, including the provision of online learning opportunities. We expect extenuating circumstances to be taken into account by the relevant examination bodies.

We are not yet in a position to say definitively how this will affect the decisions we make on applications.

If I am unhappy with my calculated A Level or IB grades and decide to resit the exams how will this affect my admission to UCL?

We are happy to consider applicants for 2021 entry should they wish to defer their assessment or are unhappy with the grades they are given in the summer examination result release. Applicants will be required to re-apply and will be considered in competition with other applicants for 2021. However, we will not consider sitting the examinations in the Autumn as re-takes and therefore applicants taking this route will not be disadvantaged in the application process.

I am a private candidate.  How will I meet my offer conditions this year

We understand that this unusual time is particularly difficult for students entering the Summer 2020 examination period as private candidates. In order to meet offer conditions, UCL requires that students obtain grades awarded in the relevant qualifications as outlined in their offer, by the 31 August 2020 deadline. 

We are aware that it might not be possible for our offer holders to receive an awarded grade given the special circumstances in their exam preparation and the guidelines recently published by Ofqual. UCL will honour the offers issued for private candidates who will not be able to obtain awarded grades by re-issuing the offers for the next academic year. Applicants who wish to take up this opportunity, will need to reapply for 2021 by the deadline and contact UCL Admissions to inform us about their intention to do so.

My conditional offer included the option of taking a STEP 1 examination but STEP 1 is no longer being offered in 2020, how does this impact my offer?

If your offer was subject to the following conditions: GCE A Level grades A*A*A including A* in Mathematics, A* in Further Mathematics, or A*AA including grades A*A in any order in Mathematics and Further Mathematics plus grade 2 in any STEP paper or a Distinction in Mathematics AEA, unfortunately, the alternative offer is no longer available for those who intended to take the STEP 1 examination. In order to be meet your condition you will be required to achieve GCE A Level grades A*A*A including A* in Mathematics, A* in Further Mathematics.

If your offer specifically required a result in STEP 1, UCL Admissions will be contacting you shortly regarding an amendment to your offer.

Do I need to confirm my university place as quickly as possible?

This is a challenging time for all prospective students, and we recommend that you choose as your firm choice the university where you want to most go and that you believe is the best fit for you. Please continue to follow the deadlines that have been set by UCAS. 

UCL fully intends to honour all offers where students have met the conditions of their offer. If you have any questions, please contact: study@ucl.ac.uk

ii. English Language Requirements

I am unable to take my English language test because the IELTS test centres are closed, how will this affect me?

We accept several English language tests as proof of eligibility, including Duolingo, IELTS Indicator and TOEFL iBT Special Home Test. For further information please see the English Language requirements for undergraduate students and postgraduate students.  If you are planning to apply for a scholarship or other funding external to UCL, please check which English language tests will be accepted by the funding body.

Acceptable English language qualifications for UCL Pre-sessional English courses and UCL Institute of Education Preparation for Academic Studies in Higher Education courses can be found on each webpage. 

Will UCL be offering Pre-sessional English courses this Summer?

Yes, we are pleased to still be offering these courses, however they will now be delivered online. For up-to-date information on the courses offered, including if applications are still being accepted, please see: www.ucl.ac.uk/pre-sess

UCL Institute of Education (IOE) degree offer holders interested in doing a short pre-sessional course should apply for the separate UCL Institute of Education Preparation for Academic Studies in Higher Education courses

iii. Open Days and Virtual Events

Will UCL be holding virtual open days for prospective students?

Yes, we shall now be hosting a Virtual Open Week from the 29 June through to the 4 July 2020.   If you would like to find out more about the packed schedule for the week further information can be found on the UCL Undergraduate Open Days page.

To receive the latest updates about the events, please register your interest through this form. If you have any queries about the events, please contact openday@ucl.ac.uk

Will UCL be offering other virtual events for students?

UCL will continue to contact offer holders directly with details about virtual events that they may be interested in attending. We shall also be offering a number of virtual events for prospective students and details will be available on the respective programme page in the online prospectus.   If you have registered your details on the UCL website we shall also contact your directly with details of upcoming virtual events that may be relevant to you.  

iv. Immigration

I will need to apply for a visa to study at UCL. In light of COVID 19 have there been changes to the application process that students need to be aware of?

We would encourage students to refer to our Immigration and Visa pages which is being updated on a regular basis.  However, the situation is constantly changing and so you should also refer to the UK government website to ensure you have the most up-to-date information.  

v. Academic Year 2020/21

When is the first day of term scheduled to start for the 2020/21 academic years?

Terms 1 will start as scheduled on Monday 28 September.   With the pandemic situation literally changing daily, it is too early to say when campus will re-open fully and we can deliver your teaching face-to-face. 

Will teaching for the first term of the 2020/21 academic year begin online?

We are currently working through all the possibilities for you to study, including of course safety on campus and also remotely where social distancing is still needed.  

I am considering applying for UCL Accommodation.  Are there any changes to the applications process and deadlines?

Accommodation applications are open as normal.  Existing deadlines still apply and these can be found on our website.   Accommodation offers aren’t made until you have been given an unconditional offer for your programme of study.   Further information can be found on our Accommodation website.


Advice for Schools

Students may not be able to take their exams due to school closures – what can they do in this case?

We are currently considering our policies towards students who may be affected and will publish more information as soon as it becomes available.

However, if it proves impossible for your students to take their examinations, UCL will honour their offers for the next academic year. If the student wishes to take up this opportunity then they should contact the Admissions team to inform them of their intention to do so. They will also need to reapply for 2021 entry by the UCAS application deadline.

Should students wish to change the qualifications being taken, then they should resubmit an application through UCAS in the usual way after September 2020.

Will the university extend the dates for accepting places/meeting entrance requirements to students who have had their education interrupted?

Yes, in certain circumstances we will. We are taking advice from the relevant exam bodies on school and university closures due to the coronavirus outbreak and are doing everything we can to limit the impact this might have for students wishing to study with us in 2020.

Any amendments to deadlines and/or start dates due to coronavirus will depend on your level of study and department and will be published as soon as they become available.