Selecting your references
The number of references you need to support your application can be found on the programme’s prospectus page.
contact your nominated referee(s) before starting your application to check they can provide a reference for you
If your programme requires one reference
We’d prefer an academic reference from someone who has taught you at degree level. If you have been out of higher education for more than four years you can provide a professional reference instead.
If your programme requires two references
We need at least one academic reference from someone who has taught you at degree level. If you have been out of higher education for more than four years you can provide a professional reference instead.
Your second reference can be academic or professional.
Providing UCL with your referees’ details
If your programme requires references, you will be asked to enter the details of your referee(s) in the references section of your application form.
Please use your referee’s academic or professional address rather than their personal address, e.g. email@example.com instead of firstname.lastname@example.org. Using a non-academic or non-professional email address may delay the application process.
When you submit your application, your referee(s) will automatically be sent an email asking them to write a reference for you and submit it using a reference portal link.
After you have submitted your application, let your referee(s) know to expect an email from us. Our emails can sometimes go to junk folders.
Please note that the Graduate Admissions Office cannot resend references, update your referees’ details or replace your referee. You will need to wait until you receive access to your applicant portal.
Your applicant portal
After you have submitted your application and, where applicable, paid the application fee, you will be given access to your applicant portal.
Use the applicant portal to check the status of your reference(s), resend reference requests or replace your referee(s).
it is your responsibility to check references have been submitted by your nominated referee(s)
Resending reference requests
From 8 December, the reference portal link sent to your 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.
Once you have resent the link, your referee will have an extra 30 days to respond. You can resend the link as many times as you need to up until the reference deadline.
It is your responsibility to ensure the submission of the required references in good time.
The deadline for us to receive your references is 5pm (UK time) on the 10th working day after the programme closes to applications.
If your application has outstanding references after the reference deadline, your application may be withdrawn.
Encourage your referees to submit their references as soon as possible. Admissions take place throughout the year and programmes can close early.
- Check your nominated referee(s) can provide a reference for you before you start your application.
- Please do not email any references as we cannot accept references from applicants.
- Let your referee(s) know once you have submitted your application.
- Try to ensure your references are received as soon as possible, but remember the final deadline is 5pm (UK time) on the 10th working day after the programme closes to applications.