UCL Centre for Languages & International Education (CLIE)


Pre-University Summer School for International High School Students

The UCL Pre-University Summer School for International High School Students is a unique two-week residential course for students who want to experience life at one of the world's leading universities in the heart of London. The academic challenges, combined with a full programme of social activities, offer an exciting experience for summer.

Covid-19 update (Feb 2021) - course cancelled

The 2021 UCL Pre-University Summer School has unfortunately been cancelled in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19). If you are 17 years old and intending to start university this year, you may be interested in our Online English Course as an alternative.

The UCL Pre-University Summer School is open to high-achieving 16 and 17 year old students who want to:

  • Experience student life at a global top 10 university in central London during the summer
  • Develop key skills including: Academic English, critical thinking, presentation and report writing
  • Learn how to conduct a research project at a world leading university
  • Study a range of disciplines in the sciences, arts and humanities
  • Experience what it means to be a UCL Global Citizen
  • Connect and make friends with a diverse range of students
  • Have fun and explore London through a safe and fully chaperoned social programme.

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Course dates

Course dates


2022 dates TBC 

Entry requirements


 This course is for you if:

  • you are an international high school student about to start your final year of high school.
  • you'll be 16 or 17 years old for the duration of the course.
  • English isn't your first language.

Academic requirement

You will need to present excellent grades on your most recent school transcript. We would usually be looking for a GPA of 70% or higher in the previous year of study.

English language requirements

You will need an overall IELTS score of 5.5 - 7.0, or equivalent. Please see other acceptable English language qualifications.

If you do not have an English language qualification, but meet the other requirements (above and below), you are invited to apply, and will be sent a test to evaluate your level of English.

    Other requirements

    • mature, with good communication skills 
    • interested in studying at a UK university and keen to learn about the academic culture and study skills, especially the research skills needed to be successful at undergraduate level.
    • willing to participate in the wide range of academic, cultural and social activities in and outside of London.

    Course structure

    The course is unique as, unlike other summer courses, it doesn't just give you more knowledge about one subject. Lectures, classes and course content on the UCL Pre-University Summer School is multi-disciplinary - covering the sciences, arts and humanities. 

    You will develop key academic skills including: academic English, research, critical thinking, independent study, as well as your ability to work in a team with students from different cultures and nationalities.

    Classes will take place entirely in English. You will be taught in classroom sessions, formal lectures, laboratories and workshops.

    In the second week, you will use the skills and knowledge developed in the first week to undertake a small research project based on a global issue. 

    At the end of the course you will deliver a group presentation on your research to your fellow students and staff.

    The course will also provide you with a great opportunity to meet and learn with students from a variety of countries. Last summer students from Argentina, China, Italy, Japan, Russia, Turkey, Taiwan and Ukraine enrolled on the course, as well as two UK students from UCL Academy.

    Sample timetable

     Day oneDay twoDay threeDay fourDay fiveWeekend
    AMIntroduction to UCL & LondonIntroduction to Academic EnglishAcademic Listening SkillsAcademic Seminar SkillsHumanities Lecture with UCL Lecturer





    Day trips

    Teamwork and university studyScience Lecture with UCL LecturerAcademic Reading SkillsHumanities Workshop with UCL Lecturer
    Becoming a Global CitizenAcademic Writing SkillsIntroduction to Academic Research Skills
    PMAcademic "Treasure Hunt" around BloomsburyUsing IT at UCLScience Laboratory session with UCL ScientistVisit to West End Theatre ProductionResearch Project Work

    Weekday morning classes will be taught on the UCL campus and will focus on academic skills (including academic English, seminar skills and research skills) as well as discipline specific topics e.g. Humanities, Science. 

    On weekday afternoons you will either have further classes on the UCL campus, attend workshops, take part in cultural and social activities around London (such as a visit to a museum or the theatre), or complete your research project (2nd week).

    As part of the introduction to university study, you will be expected to commit some of your free-time to independent study including homework, research, reading, project preparation and presentation practice.

    After the course, you will be presented with a UCL Certificate of Completion which will list the activities you have completed during the course. This may then be used as part of your UCL Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates (foundation course) application.


    The safety, security, and well-being of students on the course is our priority, and as a result, you will be chaperoned and supported by UCL staff and trained Pre-University Summer School chaperones (which will include current UCL students) during all day-time, evening and weekend activities.


    The course is based in the centre of London; a few minutes away from London's top attractions, including: the British Museum, Covent Garden, Oxford Street and the British Library.

    Sufficient time in the evenings will be available for you to experience living in London and the many activities offered by UCL - with the necessary chaperones. 

    During the course you will have opportunities to see famous London sites, such as:

    • Trafalgar Square
    • the London Eye
    • Big Ben
    • the Houses of Parliament
    • Tower Bridge
    • Tower of London, and many more.

    Evenings activities are organised and may include:

    • bowling
    • a boat trip along the River Thames
    • a ride on the London Eye
    • football
    • shopping.

    Weekend activity

    During the weekend you will participate in full-day excursions in and around London. In previous years, students have visited:

    Accommodation and meals


    All Pre-University Summer School students will stay in College Hall, University of London accommodation, situated a short walk away from the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education and the main UCL campus, as well as London's top attractions, including the British Museum, Covent Garden, Oxford Street and the British Library.

    You will be accommodated in single rooms with an en-suite bathroom. All rooms have free WIFI internet as well as a work desk and wardrobe. Towels and bed linen are provided. 

    Staying with the other students in the student residences is an important part of the course experience because it allows you to socialise, maximise your use of English, easily participate in the different events organised for you, and it gives you an idea of what it is like to live in university accommodation.

      Chaperones will be in residence throughout the course to help and assist you during your stay.

      Accommodation costs are included in the course fee.


      You will have breakfast and dinner in the accommodation.

      Breakfast and dinner costs are included in the course fee. Lunch and additional snacks are not provided, but you will be able to purchase food from a range of facilities on and around the UCL campus.

      Fees and expenses

      The cost of the UCL Pre-University Summer School for International High School Students for 2022 is still to be confirmed. As an indication, the 2020 fee was £4,120 per student. It is expected to be slightly higher for 2022.

      The course fee includes:

      • All tuition, course materials and course certificate
      • Sample university lectures
      • Class-related excursions (including travel and entrance costs)
      • 13 nights accommodation in a single bedroom with an ensuite bathroom (check in dates TBC)
      • Breakfast and evening meal in the residence
      • Use of selected facilities on the UCL Bloomsbury campus
      • Full social programme, including weekend excursions
      • London airport pick-up and drop-off (Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted only).

      Examples of items not included in the course fee include:

      • Travel to and from London at the start and end of the Pre-University Summer School
      • Insurance (e.g. travel, possessions or medical/dental)
      • Any associated costs (e.g. visas)
      • Spending money
      • UCL Bloomsbury gym
      • Stationery
      • Laundry
      • Lunch and snacks.

      Further information

      Application process - student looking at computer screen

      How to apply

      Find out how you can apply for the UCL Pre-University Summer School, including the documents you will need to submit, the application process and how to pay.

      UCL Pre-university summer school students in group work

      Student views

      Our students come from a range of backgrounds and cultures, making for a diverse and international experience. Find out what our previous Pre-University Summer School students thought about the course.