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UCL Graduate degrees

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Frequently Asked Questions

Below are the most frequently asked questions for applicants applying to postgraduate and research programmes at UCL (excluding PGCE programmes). If you are applying for a PGCE please visit our dedicated teacher training webpages.

Applications

Can I apply for more than one postgraduate programme? 

You may submit more than one application as long as you apply for different programmes. Please note that if an application fee is charged, it will be charged per application. 

Some departments have specific advice about applying to their departments, this is outlined below: 

If you are applying to programmes within the Bartlett School of Architecture, we strongly recommend that you apply for a maximum of two programmes within the department. You can, however, still apply for additional programmes in other departments.  

If you considering applying to the LLM within the Faculty of Laws when application reopen in November 2021, you should apply for either the general LLM or one LLM specialism route. You are not permitted to apply for both. If you want to study an LLM with a specialism, you should apply to the relevant LLM specialism route. If you are unsure at this stage, whether you want to specialise or would like to study a general LLM, then you should apply to the general LLM route. 

UCL does not accept multiple applications for the same programme in the same academic year. 

When is the best time to apply?

Applications are considered on a rolling basis and therefore may close earlier than the advertised deadline. We advise that you apply as early as possible.

The application deadline has passed, can I still apply? 

It is not possible to submit an application once the application deadline has passed. Applications can be submitted up to 5pm (BST) on the deadline date advertised. If you have missed the deadline you would only be able to submit an application for the next admissions cycle which opens in November 2021.  

Can I submit my research application before I have confirmed who will be supervising my research?

We advise that you contact the academic department before submitting your application to identify a supervisor who will be available to supervise your research. 

My university will only provide my transcript directly to UCL. What should I do? 

The transcript section of the application form is mandatory. If you would like to send your transcript to us securely through your University’s transcript service, please upload a word document to your application confirming that you will submit your application through your University’s transcript service.

Once you have submitted your application please have your University’s transcript service send your transcript to transcripts.pgadmissions@ucl.ac.uk.

Please note that this email address can only be used to provide transcripts directly from your University’s transcript service.  

Entry requirements

What are the English Language Requirements for my postgraduate programme? 

The English requirements for a programme are stated on the programme’s prospectus page. You may be required to meet the UCL Standard, Good or Advanced level or obtain specific scores in a UCL recognised test. UCL’s English language policy details all of the ways in which you can meet the minimum English language Requirement for your chosen programme of study.

Do I need to have taken a recognised English test before I apply for my postgraduate course? 

The required evidence should, if possible, be included with the complete application. However, you can submit your application before you have taken a test.  If either unsatisfactory or no evidence of English language proficiency has been provided with the application, admission will be conditional upon the provision of such evidence. This condition will be clearly indicated on the offer letter and must be fulfilled before enrolment at UCL. 

Will I need to attend an interview for my graduate programme? 

A small number of programmes at UCL use interviews as part of the selection process. This will usually be outlined on the programme’s prospectus page, however, if you would like to receive confirmation please contact the academic department directly using the contact details on the right-hand side of the programme’s prospectus page.

Do I need to provide a CV with my application? 

You are not required to provide a CV with your application. However, it can often be a good way to summarise your education and work experience.  

My programme requires a portfolio, how do I submit it? 

Once you have submitted your application it will be reviewed by admissions selectors who will email you with instructions if they would like to view your portfolio. Please do not upload your portfolio to your application or email it to admissions.

I want to transfer credits from a previous Masters onto a Masters at UCL, can I do this? 

If you would like to transfer credits from one postgraduate taught programme to a programme at UCL please read of our Recognition of Prior Learning policy (Academic Manual, Chapter 1, section 2.8) carefully. It will confirm whether you are eligible to transfer your credits. If you are eligible, please complete the UCL Recognition of Prior Learning Application Form and submit it as an additional document in the Personal Statement section of the application form. 

Application fees

I have submitted my application but did not pay the application fee, how can I pay it?

If your programme requires an application fee to be paid then it cannot be considered until the payment is successfully made. When you submitted your application, you should have been directed to the payment page. If you closed the browser before making a payment you should receive an email from us within 24 hours of submitting your application which will contain a link to pay.

Do I need to pay an application fee? 

A standard application processing fee applies for most graduate taught programmes, with a small number of exceptions. For full details please go to our Application fee webpages.  

Do I have to pay an application fee for each application I make? 

Yes, if you apply for more than one programme the fee is payable for each application which requires an application fee. 

Why is my application fee payment not going through? 

There can be a number of reasons why your payment is not going through: 

  • Please do not use a Firefox browser to make your payment.  
  • We do not accept American Express or Diners Club 
  • The payment system does not accept non-anglicised characters so you would need to ensure that you only use anglicised characters when making the payment. 
  • The payment may have been blocked by your card issuer/bank. You should contact them to inform them that you are making an overseas payment. 

If you are still encountering payment issues you may ask a family member or friend to make the payment on your behalf. 

Can I apply for a (graduate) application fee waiver? 

UCL acknowledges that prospective students living in conflict zones, or affected by displacement, may face considerable difficulties in paying the application fee. UCL is firmly committed to making the application process accessible to individuals disadvantaged by such circumstances and would be pleased to consider written requests for suspension of the application fee.

Should you wish to make such a request, please contact Graduate Admissions.

Please do not change the subject from Application Fee Waiver Request. 

Can I have my application fee refunded if I no longer wish to be considered or am unsuccessful? 

No, Application fees are non-refundable. 

Can I have an application fee payment receipt? 

An application fee receipt email will usually be issued to you within 15 working days of your payment being made. If 15 working days have passed and you have not received a fee payment receipt, please call us on +44 (0)20 3370 1216. 

Updating your application

How do I change the postgraduate programme I have applied for? 

If you have submitted your application and received an email inviting you to your Applicant Portal you will need to contact us. Please note, that we can only consider these requests if you have not received a decision.  

If you have received an offer or been unsuccessful, we will not be able to consider your application for another programme. You will need to submit a new application for the programme you wish to be considered for.

How do I make changes to my postgraduate application form after I have submitted it? 

It is not possible to make changes to the application form after you have submitted it. If you need to update some of the information you have provided, please upload a document to your Application Portal providing the updated information. You do not need to inform us that you have provided this additional document. 

How do I upload additional documents to my postgraduate application? 

Once you have successfully submitted your application, and if required, paid the application fee, you will be provided with access to your applicant portal. You can upload additional documents by logging into your applicant portal. You do not need to inform us that you have provided this additional document. Please note that we are unable to delete documents that you have uploaded to your application.  

Can I replace one of my supporting documents after submitting my postgraduate application? 

Once you have successfully submitted your application, and if required, paid the application fee, you will be provided with access to your applicant portal. We are unable to replace documents which you have uploaded to your application. You can upload additional documents by logging into your applicant portal, but both the original and new documents will be visible to admissions selectors. 

How do I change the contact details on my postgraduate application? 

If you have not submitted your application, you will be able to go to section two of the application form to update your contact details. If you have submitted your application and received an email containing the link to the applicant portal, please log in to change your contact details.  

Please note that whilst you can change your correspondence email address, the email address used to register your account with us will remain your log in username. 

How do I change my mode of attendance? 

If you have submitted your application and received an email inviting you to your Applicant Portal you will need to contact us. Please ensure that you are only requesting to change to a mode of attendance which is available. You can check this by visiting the prospectus page of your chosen programme of study.  

Important: If you are intending to study at UCL on a Student Visa you will only be permitted to study on a full-time basis.

I’m a research student, how to do change the start date I have applied to? 

If you have started but not submitted your application, you will be able to change the proposed start date of your research degree in section one of the application form.  

If you have submitted your application please contact the academic department directly to inform them of your wish to change your start date, once this has been agreed, the academic department should inform their colleagues in the Graduate Admissions Office.

Can you please delete all my personal data and information submitted in my application form? 

If you would like us to remove your details from our systems you will need to submit a request to the UCL Data Protection team

References

Am I required to provide references with my application?

Most programmes require you to provide the details of referees who can be contacted to provide references. The section “Application and next steps” of your programme’s prospectus page will confirm how many references are required.

How do I provide details of my referees? 

You will be asked to provide the contact details of your referees within the application form.

How do I replace or amend my referee's contact details? 

Once you have received access to your applicant portal you will have the option to amend or replace the contact details of your referee and resend the reference request email. You will only be able to resend the reference request one every 24 hours. 

Please note that if the option to resend the request is still present, then this means that we have not received a reference from this referee. 

My referee has not responded, can I provide details of a new referee? 

If your referee has not responded you can replace their details with those of a different referee by logging into your Applicant Portal.  

Please note that you will only be able to provide details of a new referee if your initial referee has not yet responded.  

My referee hasn’t received a reference request, what should I do? 

When you submit your application, your referee will automatically be sent a request for a reference. On some occasions these emails do end up in a referee’s Junk/SPAM folder. If you need to resend the reference request, you can do so once you have received access to your applicant portal.

My referee is not able to upload their reference, what can they do instead? 

The quickest way for your referee to provide a reference through the link they receive in the reference request email. However, if they are unable to use the link, they can provide a reference to us by following the instructions in the email they receive. 

My referee does not have an institutional/professional email address, can they send their reference from their personal email address? 

UCL prefers to receive a reference from an organisational email address, however if this is not possible, please ask your referee to upload a signed reference on institutional or company headed paper. 

Can a graduate application be processed without the required number of references being received?

UCL will only process an application when the required number of references have been received. Due to the competitive nature of graduate admissions at UCL please note that applications which have outstanding references at 5pm (BST) on the 10th working day after the application deadline may be withdrawn and not considered further. 

Is there a deadline for providing references? 

We advise that you ensure that your references are submitted soon after you submit your application. To help with this we suggest that you contact your referee just before submitting your application to let them know that they should receive a reference shortly.  

Due to the competitive nature of graduate admissions at UCL please note that applications which have outstanding references at 5pm UK time on the 10th working day after the application deadline may be withdrawn and not considered further, unless otherwise stated on the programme’s prospectus page. 

If I am not able to nominate academic referees, can I nominate professional referees instead? 

At least one of your references must be academic and from someone who has taught you at degree level. If your programme requires two references the second reference can be either academic or professional.  

If you have been out of higher education for more than four years you can provide professional references instead.  

We cannot accept references from friends or family.  

Application status

Can I check the status of my postgraduate application?

Once you have successfully submitted your application, and if required, paid the application fee, you will be provided with access to your applicant portal. You can access the Applicant Portal to check the status of your application. When there is an update to the status of your postgraduate application, you will receive an email informing you of a change to your status. If your application status on the portal has not changed then your application is still under consideration.

When will I receive a decision on my postgraduate application? 

UCL receives a very high number of applications to study with us and it can take time to review them all. Your application is important to us and we take time to evaluate it carefully. We understand that waiting for a decision can be unsettling, but once we have reviewed your application, we will ensure that we update your application portal with our decision.  

If no decision is available on your applicant portal it means that we are still considering it and have not yet made a decision.  

Can I ask for feedback on an unsuccessful postgraduate application? 

Under UCL Admissions policy, reasons for an unsuccessful application are not normally provided for postgraduate programmes. However, the usual reasons for rejection may include:  

  • The degree-level qualification(s) undertaken by the applicant is/are below, or projected to be below, the minimum entry requirement for the programme of study 
  • The degree-level qualification(s) undertaken by the applicant is/are not in a relevant subject for the programme of study applied for 
  • Entry to the programme of study is very competitive and the number of applications received exceeds the number of places available 
  • There is insufficient relevant work experience to compensate for not meeting the minimum academic entry requirement 
  • There is insufficient relevant professional experience (where this is required by the admitting department) 
  • If you contact the academic department directly, they may be able to provide you with further feedback. 

Unfortunately, applications cannot be reconsidered once a decision has been made. You are most welcome to apply for the programme in the following or subsequent years, especially when the intervening time has been spent strengthening your application. However, please note that applications will be considered anew and in competition with all other applications for that particular intake. 

Offers of admission

I have received an offer what should I do now? 

Congratulations on receiving your offer. Please visit our Offer Holder FAQs for more information on what you should do next.

How can I defer my offer? 

Please visit our Offer Holder FAQs for more information on deferring your offer.

Tuition fee deposits

Do I need to pay a tuition fee deposit? 

It will be stated in your offer letter if your programme requires you to pay a tuition fee deposit to secure your place. You do not need to pay a tuition fee deposit unless you have received an offer of admission. More information about paying your tuition fee deposit can be found on the Offer Holder FAQs.

How do I pay my tuition fees? 

For information regarding tuition fees, including how and when to pay, please go to our Pay your fees webpages.  

As a postgraduate student, will I be eligible for Home or International tuition fees? 

UCL will only make an assessment of your fee status at the point of offer. However, we provide details of how UCL assesses your fee status on our Student Fee Status webpages. You can also obtain independent guidance from the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA). 

How do I appeal my fee status? 

For information about appealing your fee status please go to the Offer Holder FAQs

Student visas

Do I require a visa to study at UCL? 

If you are UK national, Republic of Ireland national, a citizen of a Crown Dependency or have Pre-settled or Settled status you will not require a visa to study at UCL.  

Most other students will usually require a student visa to study at UCL if they are coming to study in the UK for more than 6 months. However, a number of different UK visas will still allow you to study in the UK so please visit our student visa webpages to check which visa you will need. 

My programme is less than 6 months in duration. What visa will I need? 

The standard visitor visa can be used for those coming to the UK for short periods of study (up to 6 months). Details of how to apply for a standard visitor visa can be found on our visas and immigration webpages

How do I apply for a student visa? 

You can only apply for a student visa once you hold an unconditional offer. For more information about applying for a student visa please visit our Offer Holder FAQs