Information for parents and guardians of UCL students


London Life

As a parent or carer, you may be anxious about your child living and studying away from home. Information can be found here about life in London for students and support offered by UCL

Bikes locked near campus

UCL and the surrounding area of Bloomsbury is generally a safe place to live, work, and study. However, as with any big city, it is always worth taking sensible precautions. We therefore have additional measures in place to support student safety on our campus.

We have 24/7 Security cover from a dedicated team of security officers, who patrol the campus and can be called at any time. The campus is also monitored by CCTV and ID cards are required to access most of our buildings.

In our accommodation, Student Residence Advisers (SRAs) and Wardens live alongside students and every night there is someone on duty to help in the event of any emergency, or if support is needed.

We also have a Crime Prevention and Personal Safety Adviser who shares important safety and security messages with our students around online safety, keeping property secure or addressing personal safety issues. Advice is available by email, phone or by making an appointment for a virtual or face-to-face meeting.

The crime-rate in and around campus is low, although when crimes are reported they tend to involve theft of unattended valuables including phones, laptops, bags, and bicycles. We therefore recommend that students keep their valuables in sight to help deter opportunistic thieves.

More information about staying safe at UCL can be found at the UCL Security website and our Student Support and Wellbeing team have put together some useful tips and advice on staying safe in London which is available here

Cost of living

Needless to say, life in London as a student is significantly cheaper than visiting London as a tourist. Students have access to reasonably-priced central London accommodation, subsidised travel on public transport, and discounts across a wide range of shops and restaurants. University living costs can vary according to a student's lifestyle, but a detailed breakdown of estimated living costs can be found here.

Student accommodation

Student in UCL accommodation
Although it is not compulsory, most students opt to live in UCL student accommodation in their first year of study. It can be a great way to make friends with students from other programmes and start a more independent life in London. We offer a wide variety of rooms with different options such as catering or self-catering, en-suite, single or shared. Most of our student accommodation is within walking distance of the campus, with no accommodation more than 20 minutes away on public transport.

In subsequent years, students usually rent in the private sector with their friends. We know that for most students this will be their first experiencing of renting independently, which is why the Housing Service provides advice and guidance to students through this process. We can help students find accommodation through registered property owners, check contracts before students sign, and provide information and legal advice for students around renting. 

Student Support and Wellbeing

UCL has robust Student Support and Wellbeing services to ensure that all students can get the support they need to flourish at university.

When students join us they are partnered with a Transition Mentor – an older student who can help them get their bearings, settle in at UCL, and answer their questions. For international students there is also an Orientation Programme to help them settle into life in the UK.

All students also have a Personal Tutor, an academic from their department who provides academic and pastoral support throughout the degree programme.

Throughout their studies, students can contact our Student Support and Wellbeing team, a dedicated team of specialists offering advice, information, counselling, and disability assistance as well as help with any difficulties that they may be experiencing.