UCL Engineering


Eligibility and How to Apply

The information below relates to applications in the 2024 UCAS cycle, which is now open.

Please visit this page for an archive of the 2023 entry criteria

The Engineering Foundation Year programme is for students who have faced obstacles or disruption to their education and learning. In order to apply for the Engineering Foundation Year, applicants need to fulfil a mixture of academic and eligibility criteria.

The criteria has been carefully selected to address challenges that have been shown to adversely impact learning and educational attainment.

On this page:

Entry Requirements 

Academic Eligibility Criteria 

UCAS Tariff Points 

We require a minimum of 100 UCAS points from the list of acceptable educational qualifications below, with no specific subject requirements. You must have studied for these qualifications at a UK State School:

  • A Levels, which can also be combined with other qualifications from this list
  • International Baccalaureate Diploma
  • Access to HE Diploma
  • BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma – please note, if your qualification is not related to an engineering discipline, it may be less competitive. However, your application will still be considered.
  • Scottish Advanced Highers
  • Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects
  • Welsh Baccalaureate
  • T-Levels

If you have studied for more than one year of an undergraduate degree (Level 4) at any higher education provider, you will not be eligible for the Engineering Foundation Year.

Note: The Engineering Foundation Year is intended for students who would not otherwise be able to study at UCL. If your predicted or actual grades would make you eligible for direct entry to Year 1, including through the Access UCL Scheme, we will not consider your application to the EFY and we may transfer your application for consideration to the direct entry programme.

If you are admitted to the Foundation Year and subsequently achieve higher grades that would have been sufficient for direct entry to your programme, you will not be able to transfer to Year 1.


Applicants must have a minimum of grade 5 or C in English Language and Mathematics.

Mature Applicants and Qualifications from outside of the UK

The Engineering Foundation Year is for applicants who completed their Level 3 qualification in a UK state school. We recognise that some applicants, such as forced migrants or mature students, may be ordinarily resident in the UK but have completed their studies outside of the UK. In this case, contact us before submitting your application at efy@ucl.ac.uk providing the qualification’s full title, the country in which you studied, and the grade(s) you achieved.

The English language requirements for applicants with overseas qualifications is Level 1 (Standard). For more information on the proof we need, consult the UCL English language guidance for undergraduate students

Non- Academic Eligibility Criteria 

We will also look at personal circumstances that have impacted your education. As well as fulfilling the academic requirements, applicants must either meet one criterion from Group One or two criteria Group Section Two.

Group One

1.1 Care experienced
A care experienced applicant, aged under twenty-five on their first day at UCL.

UCL’s Definition
We define someone as care experienced if they have been looked after by a local authority or been in kinship care as a formal agreement with the local authority, for three months in their life. The months do not need to be consecutive.

1.2 Forced Migrant

You have refugee status or Humanitarian Protection in the UK or you are currently an asylum seeker in the UK

UCL’s Definition
We use the term 'forced migrant' to mean one of the following:

  • Refugee.
  • Asylum seeker.
  • Those who have been granted a temporary form of leave as the result of an asylum or human rights application (e.g. limited leave to remain, discretionary leave to remain, humanitarian protection, UASC leave)

1.3 Mature Student 
UCL’s Definition
Those who are 21 years or older on the day they start their first undergraduate degree.

We will assess applications on a case-by-case basis, taking into account your work experience.

Group Two

If applicants do not meet any of the requirements in Section One, they must meet two of the criteria in Section Two.

2.1 Young Carer 
Someone who provides unpaid care to a family member who they live with and who is unable to manage without this support.

UCL’s Definition
A young carer must be aged 20 or under on first day of their proposed study at UCL. A young adult carer is someone whose life is adversely affected by caring for a family member (that they live with) who has a chronic illness, and their care responsibilities should be ongoing.

2.2 Estranged 
Applicants that no longer have a relationship with their family. You must be under 25 on your first day at UCL.

UCL’s Definition
UCL’s definition of estrangement is not communicating with any family members or receiving support from them. This will apply if an applicant is permanently estranged from their family (not just parents) and has been for at least a year. This does not apply to single-parent families, as you are still in contact with one parent. 

Note: If you have been in local authority care, you may be considered a ‘care leaver’ rather than ‘estranged’.

2.3 Educational Gap 

Applicants who have experienced a gap of more than one year (for example leaving school at 16 but returning to complete a Level 3 qualifications after several years in work).

Note: Please note that deferred or ‘gap’ years between school and university are not considered under this criterion

2.4 Eligibility for Free School Meals

Applicants who are eligible for free school meals throughout Year 11 of Secondary School.

2.5 Postcode Eligibility 

Applicants who live in an area that has a high level of financial, social or economic deprivation, or low progression to higher education.

UCL use the following databases to assess postcode eligibility:
We use the Index of Multiple of Deprivation and Acorn data to identify levels of financial, social or economic deprivation. We use POLAR classification to look at how likely young people are to participate in HE across the UK.


To support your application, we may ask for some additional information. Please see below for the documents that may be required. You do not need to submit any documents with your application. We will contact you via email to ask for proof.

CriteriaEvidence Required
Care ExperiencedPlease make sure you tick the 'time in care' box on your UCAS form. We may contact you via email to verify your care experience. We may ask to see a letter from someone in the Local Authority responsible for your care briefly explaining your circumstances and duration of being in care, or another original formal document from the Local Authority relating to your placements or circumstances etc
Forced MigrantPlease make sure you tick the relevant box on your UCAS form. We may contact you via email to verify your status. We may ask to see a copy of a Biometric Residence Permit (previously Immigration Status Document), an Application Registration Card (ARC) for asylum seekers, a letter of support from a registered educational charity such as Refugee Education UK etc.
Mature StudentDate of birth on your UCAS application
Young CarerPlease make sure you tick the 'young carer' box on your UCAS form. We may contact you via email to verify your situation. We may ask for an official document regarding a carer’s assessment from your Local Authority, a letter from your school, a letter from a registered young carer’s charity that is supporting you etc
EstrangedPlease make sure you tick the 'estranged' box on your UCAS form. We may contact you via email to verify your situation. Evidence could be a letter from your school, a social worker or another authority that Is aware of your situation.
Educational GapUCAS application - we may contact you for additional evidence
Eligibility for Free School MealsPlease make sure you tick the relevant box on your UCAS form. We may contact you via email to verify your evidence. We may ask for a letter from your school to confirm that you are/have been entitled to free school meals or other evidence.
Postcode EligibilityHome postcode on your UCAS application.
State SchoolSchool information on your UCAS application.


If you want to discuss your eligibility in terms of these entry requirements, please contact efy@ucl.ac.uk

Application Process

Applications for the Engineering Foundation Year should be made through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). If you are currently at school or college, you should be given some advice on the UCAS process. If you have left school, you can gain further guidance directly from UCAS. 

What you should include
UCAS has a section in the application so you can share more information about your circumstances. In that section, state briefly which of the eligibility criteria you meet. In your personal statement discuss why you would like to apply for the Engineering Foundation Year and what your future ambitions are.

After your application has been reviewed, you may be invited to an assessment day to do a group activity and to meet members of the Engineering Foundation Year team at UCL. When you do the group activity at this assessment day, we will be looking to see how you work with other people, and how you think in order to undertake the activity. You won’t be tested on knowledge, but rather on how you approach a challenge.