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Entry requirements

On this page, you'll find the essential entry requirements for our foundation year. This includes eligibility for the UPC, academic requirements by country and English language requirements.

To enter the UCL International Foundation Year, you will need to check that you meet the following entry requirements:

Eligibility


To be eligible to apply for the UPC, you’ll have to meet the following criteria:

  • be at least 16 years old when the course starts
  • be in the last year of high school (when applying) or have already graduated
  • have a qualification that’s unsuitable for direct entry onto a UCL undergraduate degree. Please find further information below.

Academic requirements


To apply to the UPC, you should be able to show excellent grades in your annual high school transcripts.

If you’re applying in your final year of high school, you should provide transcripts from your previous two years. Where possible, you should also provide transcripts for the terms completed in your final year. You’ll find a useful guide to the expected grades for UPC applicants below.

If you’ve finished high school, please provide transcripts from your last three years at school. You should also provide a copy of your high school certificate.

If your country isn’t listed, and you meet our eligibility criteria, we’ll still consider your application if you have excellent grades.

Relevant academic subjects

Some of our academic requirements include specific grades in relevant subjects. In this case, we’ll check via your school transcripts the 3 most relevant subjects you have studied at high school for the UPC pathway you’re applying for, as well as the overall score you achieved at the end of each academic year.

Relevant subjects for the UPC for Science and Engineering (UPCSE) include:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Mathematics 
  • Physics

Relevant subjects for the UPC for Humanities (UPCH) include:

  • Art and Design
  • Economics
  • Geography
  • History
  • Literature
  • Mathematics
  • Philosophy
  • Politics 
  • Social Sciences

Qualifications we accept

Academic requirements by country

Find UPC academic requirements for your country in our A-Z guide.

See country list

Other qualifications we accept

Advanced Placements (APs)

We'll consider you if you have fewer than five AP subjects, taken in the final three years of high school, with a minimum grade of 3 in each AP. If a subject is required at A level for undergraduate entry, the corresponding AP subject is preferred.

AS levels

We’ll consider you if you're in your first year of A levels (AS level) but can’t complete your A levels.

You'll need to take no fewer than 3 AS levels and achieve the equivalent in assessment or predicted scores of no less than B in all subjects and A in the relevant academic subject(s).

If you're able to complete your A levels and apply for a UCL undergraduate degree, we will not consider you for the UPC.

GED (General Education Development), High School Equivalency test (HiSET) or Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC)

You’ll need minimum equivalents of 3.4 CGPA overall.

International Baccalaureate (IB) Certificate

We'll consider you if you have achieved or predicted to achieve scores of at least 5 in 3 relevant individual subjects.

US High School Diploma

You’ll need a CGPA of 3.4/4.

Home Schooling

If you have been home schooled, we will expect that in addition to past academic transcripts or results, or predicted grades if accessible, you're able to show your accomplishments by providing evidence such as:

participation or completion of online courses summer courses

 

We will accept a reference from a previous school counsellor, an academic or a professional who can comment on academic abilities and merit.

  • internships
  • relevant work experience
  • publications in blogs or vlogs.

Qualifications we do not accept

A levels and International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma

We won’t consider qualifications that allow direct entry to UCL undergraduate degree programmes. This includes full A levels and IB Diplomas.

However, if you don't have the required A level or IB Diploma Higher Level subjects for your intended undergraduate degree, we'll consider you if you achieve or are predicted to achieve the below grades:

  • IB Diploma: a minimum total of 32 points and no less than Grade 5 in the 3 relevant Higher Level or Standard Level subjects, and no less than B in the 3 Core subjects (Theory of Knowledge (TOK), Creative, activity, service (CAS), and Extended Essay)
  • A levels: a minimum of 1 A and 2 Bs.
International General Certificates of Secondary Education (IGCSEs)

If you have only taken IGCSEs, you’re not eligible for the UPC. This is because the qualification is below the UPC’s academic standard. If you’ve completed IGCSEs and further studies, we’ll need proof of your further studies (e.g. your national high school certificate).

Please view UCL's undergraduate prospectus to check which qualifications are accepted for direct entry onto a UCL Undergraduate degree programme.

English language requirements


Students who need a visa

If you need a visa to study in the UK, you must have an IELTS for UKVI (Academic) or Pearson PTE Academic UKVI taken after September 2020 at the time of application for us to consider you for the entrance tests.

You need to take your test at a centre approved by UKVI and meet the minimum English entry requirements below.

 UPCSE &
UPCSE for Architecture
UPCH &
UPCH for Architecture
 IELTS for UKVI (Academic)Pearson PTE Academic UKVIIELTS for UKVI (Academic)Pearson PTE Academic UKVI
Listening5.5546.059
Reading5.5546.059
Speaking5.5546.059
Writing5.5546.059
Overall score6.0596.059

Students who don't need a visa

If you don't need a visa to study in the UK, you can apply with an English language qualification that is accepted by UCL for undergraduate entry, except LanguageCert and Trinity.

UPC with a Modern Foreign Languages (UPCMFL):  Applicants with an IELTS for UKVI (Academic) score of 7.5 (overall and in each section), or equivalent, can study other languages. This includes Arabic, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, or Spanish instead of Academic English.

Portfolio (Architecture students only)


If applying for UPC for Architecture, you need to demonstrate drawing and art & design skills as well as the above requirements.

Here are the guidelines for examples of the artwork (the ‘portfolio’) we require for UPC Architecture BSc course:

1. You should provide six freehand observational (i.e. not based on photos) drawings. These could depict objects or people, for example. You should time your drawings, noting the drawing time on each piece. This includes:

  • 3 x 5-minute drawings
  • 1 x 15-minute drawing
  • 1 x 60-minute drawing
  • 1 x 90-minute drawing

2. To show how you develop visual ideas and engage with media, please send at least 10 examples of your work. Your work does not need to be architecture-related. It should come from your everyday life and your experiences of space, place and daily activities. The examples can be in any three of these media:

  • painting
  • drawing
  • 3D work in any media
  • collage
  • photography
  • digital media
  • film

After the portfolio assessment, we might ask you to provide further examples of your work.

Before beginning a UPC for Architecture course, we recommend courses run by The Bartlett Summer School or The Slade Summer School