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UCL Centre for Languages & International Education (CLIE)

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Frequently Asked Questions

What marks will I need to obtain the certificate and progress to my undergraduate degree at university?

In order to pass the course and obtain your UPC Certificate, you will have to pass successfully each of your 4 subjects with the following minimum marks: 60% in English for Academic Purposes, 40% in Academic Research, Approaches & Methods (UPCH) or Science & Society (UPCSE), and in each elective subject. 

Naturally, these are the minimum pass requirements: to be accepted to university you will need to obtain much higher marks, generally around or above 70%. Offers for UPC students from most departments at UCL and other top-rated institutions generally tend to ask for marks between 64% and 76% (i.e. between B and A*). For full details of UPC grading, please see our website.

All universities publish the marks they expect for each degree on their websites: you should research these carefully so that you are aware of the marks you will need to obtain on the UPC, and make appropriate choices when selecting which universities you will apply to. They may ask for an overall average mark and/or specific, individual marks for each subject.

Please see the information on your future degree.

How will I be assessed on the course?

Throughout each term, you will have regular coursework (homework, individual research projects, reading or exercises) in each of your four subject. When you arrive for Orientation Week, the assessment structure of each subject will be explained in detail. 

This includes end-of-term tests in December and March, and final exams at the end of the course, in June. After the course is over and the exams have been marked and checked, you will receive a transcript, which will present your marks for each subject and the overall mark you have achieved. This transcript will then be sent to the universities, which have made you an offer so they can confirm the offer made.

Please see the 'assessment' section of the course information page and each subject page for further information.

Can I change my optional subjects?

You will unlikely be able to change your optional subjectw when you arrive. You should have discussed this in-depth with the Admissions Tutor during your interview and have thought carefully about which combination of subjects suits your study plans best. 

If you are not sure about these or feel you would like to discuss this further, you should contact the UPC Admissions Tutor as early as possible over the summer to discuss your subject choice via email or arrange a meeting on the phone, Zoom or Skype.

I am considering applying to Oxford or Cambridge: what should I do?

If you are considering applying to Oxford or Cambridge (often referred to as Oxbridge), you will apply for your place on an undergraduate degree much earlier than students who are not applying to these universities.

Oxbridge applications usually close in mid-October (i.e., just after you start the UPC), whereas applications for most courses at other universities close in mid-January. Applying before the earlier deadline is a very demanding process and you must apply to all your five choices in mid-October (not just Oxford or Cambridge).

Competition for places at Oxbridge is very competitive and you will need to prepare a very strong application. Unfortunately, it's difficult for CLIE to support your application to Oxbridge because there is very little time between you starting the UPC and the Oxbridge application deadline. Consequently, your reference is likely to be less detailed, but no less supportive.

Although we sometimes support a very small number of applications to Oxford or Cambridge – meaning that we will prepare an academic reference and issue predicted grades for your application – the vast majority of UPC students will not be supported for an early-deadline Oxbridge application.

We will support the very strongest performers in the UPC entrance tests and our own Oxford and Cambridge pre-assessment, as well as those with the highest-quality personal statements. We will only consider students who have an IELTS UKVI score of at least 7.

If you would like to apply to Oxford or Cambridge, please let the Course Coordinator know as soon as you can, and submit the following during Orientation Week:

  • Degree course
  • Oxford/Cambridge College
  • Personal statement (maximum 500 words)

You are then invited to complete a pre-selection task during Orientation Week. In order to prepare, you may wish to refer to the relevant ‘specimen papers’ and/or past test papers for your chosen degree:

Once we've reviewed these pre-selection assessments, we will invite successful students to attend a rigorous interview. You will be expected to justify your choice of degree programme and College.

Only those students who can evidence outstanding academic potential and who are considered to have a realistic chance of success will be supported by UCL in making an early application through UCAS to Oxford or Cambridge. 

We highly recommend you prepare before arriving by identifying a specific degree programme, and familiarising yourself with its entry requirements, including any relevant additional admissions tests.

We will only support those applicants we identify based on the pre-selection process outlined above. We will not support those students who do not excel in all elements of this pre-selection process.

Please see the page on 'Oxbridge preparation'.