Frequently Asked Questions

Below are the most frequently asked questions for applicants applying to graduate taught and research programmes at UCL (excluding PGCE programmes).


You may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes for entry to the 2023/24 academic year. The applications must be for different programmes. Please note that if an application fee is charged, it will be charged per application.

Specific advice about applying to some departments is outlined below:

If you considering applying to the LLM within the Faculty of Laws, 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.

For the majority of our programmes, applications for the 2023/24 academic year open on 17 October 2022. Please check the Graduate Prospectus for programme specific application dates.

Applications are considered on a rolling basis and therefore may close earlier than the advertised deadline. We recommend that you submit your application as soon as possible. A programme may remain open after the general deadline (31 March 2022) if places are still available and will be closed as soon as it is full or by 30 June 2022.

It is not possible to submit an application once the application deadline has passed and the programme has closed to new applications. Applications can be submitted up to 5pm (UK time) on the deadline date advertised. If you have missed the deadline you will only be able to submit an application for the next admissions cycle, which opens in October 2022.  

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

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

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

Entry requirements

The English language 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.

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. 

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 programme’s prospectus page.

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.  

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.

If you would like to gain accreditation for prior learning, please read through our Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) policy (UCL Academic Manual, Chapter 1, section 2.8) to check that you are eligible. There are rules governing the maximum number of credits that can be recognised and these regulations differ depending upon the type of programme you are studying. Additionally, UCL can only accept requests to gain accreditation for prior learning where the learning has been completed within the last five calendar years before the start of your programme.  Applications for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) may only be made prior to the point of admission. UCL is unable to accept retrospective applications for RPL once you have enrolled on a programme.  If you would like to request recognition for prior learning, you must upload a copy of your completed UCL Recognition of Prior Learning Application Form with your UCL application. Your Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) request will be considered alongside your application. If you receive an offer, your offer letter will include the details of any approved Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). Please note that all Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) requests are considered at UCL’s discretion.

If Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is approved this may impact on how your degree classification for your UCL programme of study is calculated. Credits accrued at UCL and awarded via RPL will be counted as part of the qualification requirements and included in the calculation of the degree classification. However, credit awarded by any institution other than UCL will be counted as part of the qualification requirements but will be excluded from the calculation of the classification. Please see Chapter 1, Section 2.8 of the Academic Manual for further details. Additional information on the degree classification rules for postgraduate taught degrees at UCL can be found in Chapter 4, Section 10.6 of the Academic Manual. If you have any questions regarding the impact RPL will have on the classification of your degree please contact your academic department or the Graduate Admissions team.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) will reduce the number of credits you are studying at UCL and therefore this may impact on your mode of attendance, liability for tuition fees and eligibility for forms of student finance. Please be aware that if your request for recognition for prior learning is approved you will not be eligible for the Postgraduate Student Loan. Before making an application for RPL you should contact our Fees or Funding teams or your student loan provider to confirm what impact gaining accreditation for prior learning could have on your tuition fees, mode of attendance and student loan eligibility.

Application fees

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.  

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

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 special characters, please 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. 

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 contact Admissions on +44 (0)20 8059 0939. You may also receive confirmation of the payment from Barclaycard.

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

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. 

Application fees are non-refundable. 


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.

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 (UK time) on the 10th working day after the application deadline may be withdrawn and not considered further. 

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.

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.  

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

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.  

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.

The quickest way for your referee to provide a reference, is 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. 

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. 

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 once every 24 hours. UCL will not be able to change the referee’s contact details, they must be updated by yourself in the applicant portal.

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. 

The reference portal link sent to the referee will only be active for 30 calendar days. If your referee does not provide a reference for you within this time, you will need to resend the reference request from your Applicant Portal.

Once you have resent the link, your referee will have another 30 days to respond. You can resend the link as many times as you need to up until the reference deadline.

Updating your application

It is not possible to make changes to the application form after you have submitted it.

    Once you have successfully submitted your application and, if required, paid the application fee, you will be provided with access to your applicant portal. If we require any additional documents, we will open your application for you to upload these. We will not open the portal if we have not asked for additional documents to be provided.

    We are unable to replace documents that you have uploaded to your application.

    Once you have submitted an application you cannot change the programme that you have applied for. Applications should be submitted complete and correct. Applicants are advised to check the entry requirements on the programmes prospectus page before making an application.

    If you would like to apply for a different programme, you will need to submit a new application for the programme you wish to be considered for. Please be aware that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes for entry to the 2022/23 academic year.

    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.

    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.

    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. 

    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

    Application status

    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 graduate 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.

    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.  

    Under UCL Admissions policy, reasons for an unsuccessful application are not normally provided for graduate 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

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

    UCL will not accept applications for deferred entry to taught postgraduate programmes. Applicants must apply in the admissions cycle for which they seek entry.

    Tuition fees

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

    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.

    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). 

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

    Student visas

    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. 

    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. 

    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.

    Graduate Admissions

    If you cannot find the information you need in our FAQs or have questions regarding the entry requirements for a programme, please contact Graduate Admissions.

    Staircases in the UCL Student Centre.
    Prospective Student Enquiries

    Graduate Admissions

    +44 (0)20 8059 0939

    More information