UCL Centre for Languages & International Education (CLIE)


The Bowman Scholarships

The Bowman Scholarships are for UK-based students of forced migration backgrounds who do not have the qualifications to enter an undergraduate degree, nor the finances to study a foundation year.

We know that the experience of forced migration limits students' access to Higher Education. This is why we offer the Bowman Scholarships.

Each year, we support two UK-based students from forced migration backgrounds who don’t have the qualifications to enter an undergraduate degree and the finances to pay for their tuition fees.

The Bowman Scholarships will fully fund the course fees to access the Undergraduate Preparatory Certificate (UPC) - UCL's International Foundation - on either the Sciences and Engineering (UPCSE) or the Humanities (UPCH) pathway. Eligible students will also receive some additional support through a 'Campus Pack' for e.g. transport, digital equipment and connectivity, catering and other academic material costs when required.

The UPC qualifies students to go on to study degrees at UCL or other top UK universities.

The scholarships are named in memory of our esteemed colleague Dr Peter Bowman. He was a UPC chemistry lecturer, science coordinator and admissions tutor at UCL.

Key information

Value: full UPC tuition fees, Campus Pack, UCAS application support, Sanctuary Scholarships application support for undergraduate progression

Number of awards: two scholarships starting in 2024

Available to: prospective UPC students from forced migration backgrounds able to live in London or the Greater London area for the 2024/25 academic year

Level: pre-undergraduate

Selection criteria: educational, personal and financial circumstances, as well as academic background and potential

Application opening date: 1 February 2024

Application closing date: 1 June 2024

Result: by 26 July 2024


To be eligible, you must meet the following criteria:

  • be a forced migrant as defined by UCL
  • be able to live in London or the Greater London Area and to support yourself for your accommodation and essential living costs for the duration of the UPC academic year (September 2024 - July 2025)
  • be in financial need as assessed by UCL (i.e. with a household income below £42,875)
  • not have qualifications which allow you to apply directly to undergraduate degrees (e.g. A levels)
  • not have completed undergraduate study
  • intend to study a UCL undergraduate degree excluding: Fine Art BA/BFA, Medicine MBBS and Medical Sciences Engineering BSc

For degree-eligible students whose immigration status stops them accessing student finance, we can help. Please visit our Access Opportunity Scholarship page to learn more.

How to apply

Scholarship application

We receive applications at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education (CLIE). You do not need to apply via UCAS.

There is no application fee for the Bowman Scholarship.  

On the online application form, you will need to select ‘the Bowman Scholarship’ response to the question "Are you applying or do you intend to apply for a scholarship that will cover the fees?". Then you will not be requested to pay any application fee.

You can start your application and complete it later if you do not have all the documents ready right away.

Please make sure to read the Application Guidance Notes before your start your application.

If you are not sure you meet the eligibility criteria, or have any question on filling in the application form, please email the Bowman Scholarship Admissions Team.

UPC application

1. Advice on filling in your application

To complete the application form, you will have to know which UCL undergraduate degree you wish to apply to during the UPC, and which two optional subjects you want to take on the UPC. 

Please refer to our optional subjects selection guide to make sure you choose the correct subjects.

You must choose one undergraduate degree only.

You must also have prepared several documents which you will have to upload:

  • proof of immigration status
  • proof of address
  • if available:
    •  your latest school or university transcript(s)
    • a reference from a teacher or education professional. They can use our reference template

You will also be asked to write a personal statement. You can find advice on what we expect to be included on the UPC How to Apply page.

Finally, we will ask you for an English language qualification; however, if you are not able to have one, we will invite you to an academic English assessment at a later stage.

2. Take the entrance test(s)

After you have sent your application, if it is assessed as suitable, you will be invited to take one or two entrance tests.

There are two dates when you can take the entrance tests:

  • Saturday 20 April 2024
  • Saturday 8 June 2024

Each test lasts approximately one hour and has to be taken online. You will not be offered to take the tests at other times so make sure to prepare for these tests carefully.

You can find advice and practice tests on the UPC website.

We will mark your entrance tests and, if you are successful, we will send you an invitation for an academic interview. 

If you are applying to the UPCH and do not intend to take Mathematics, you will be sent a small text - the Critical Thinking task - to read before the interview.

3. Have an interview

If successful in the tests, you will be invited for an interview.

In the interview, we’ll assess your suitability for the course.

For UPCSE applicants, the first part of the interview will challenge you on a subject-specific question, topic or problem.

For UPCH applicants, you’ll have received a Critical Thinking task to prepare before the interview. The admissions tutor interviewing you will ask you questions based on the text – or text and images – you'll have studied.

The second part of the interview will be a chance for us to know you better and we’ll ask you questions on your past or current studies and interests; your degree aim and your personal statement.

We may invite you to a second interview with the Bowman Scholarship Coordinator. This is a confidential discussion where we may discuss any questions relating to your application, additional financial needs as well as health and wellbeing.

Following the interview, we will inform you a few days after whether we will consider you for the Scholarship.

Additional eligibility criteria

You will need to show that you meet the additional eligibility criteria on your accommodation plans and financial situation by 1 July 2024.

We will ask you to submit:

  • Proof of housing in London or the Greater London area (e.g., tenancy agreement, signed declaration of host or sponsor, confirmation from UCL Student Housing) for September 2024 - July 2025;
  • Proof of personal financial support for your living costs (£3,000) and if applicable, for your accommodation costs (£8,000). This can be either be proof of available funds and/or proof of sponsorship or bursary.

If you don’t have an English language qualification, or are not able to provide one, we will invite you to an academic English assessment.


The Bowman Scholarship Selection Panel will assess your application, and consider your academic and personal achievements, future academic plans and financial situation.

You will be informed of the result by 26 July 2024.

Accepting the Scholarship

If you receive the offer of a Bowman Scholarship, we will send you a confirmation form to complete and send back to us.

Next steps

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About Dr Peter Bowman

Dr Peter Bowman

Peter joined CLIE in October 2005. He taught chemistry on the Undergraduate Preparatory Certificate for Science and Engineering (UPCSE).

Later, Peter coordinated the science team and became the UPCSE's admissions tutor.

In his 15 years with CLIE, he made a real difference across his areas of expertise. His dedication to education and teaching was outstanding. Our students praised his innovative teaching and his commitment to chemistry.

Peter represented CLIE and the UPC on worldwide recruitment, admissions and marketing trips. He shaped the life of many young international students in sharing our academic vision with them.