UCL Centre for Languages & International Education (CLIE)


Record number of International Foundation students progress to a UCL undergraduate degree

11 October 2021

70% remain at UCL for 2021/22, an all-time high in the course’s 20-year history.

UPC international foundation Year students doing an exercise in class

86% of students who studied UCL’s International Foundation Year – the Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates (UPC) – have progressed to a degree at UCL or another top UK university.

70% stayed on at UCL this year, an increase of 13% on last year’s results and an all-time record. Students progressed into a wide variety of UCL degrees, covering 10 out of the 11 UCL faculties. Mathematics and Physical Sciences (MAPS) received the highest number of UPC students, with the UCL Institute of Education second.

A further 16% went on to study at other Russell Group universities, including LSE, Imperial College London and Manchester. The remaining 14% progressed to other universities or did not take up a place.

These outstanding results were all the more impressive given the challenges students faced from the pandemic. The course had to be delivered entirely online to comply with Covid restrictions.

UPC student Mandy Liu, who progressed to Comparative Literature BA at UCL, said: “Although the course was online, the tutors managed to present the content in very engaging ways. I’d say that even though we didn’t meet in person like in previous years, there was still a sense of bonding among the tutors and students, and amongst the students ourselves.”

The UPC’s Education Advisor, Rob Doswell, said: “In an exceptionally competitive UCAS cycle, it’s great to see so many UPC students progressing to UCL and other leading universities, reflecting their hard work and commitment throughout the UPC year. I have no doubt they will be excellent undergraduate students.”

Students starting the UPC this September have been welcomed back onto campus for face-to-face teaching. Most small group teaching (such as seminars, workshops, practice-based sessions and tutorials) will return to in-person classes, while larger group teaching (i.e. lectures) will continue online.