Waiting for a decision

We want to give you a little information about what happens when we assess your application.

We understand that waiting for a decision on your application can be an anxious time.

So, here is a short guide explaining who reviews your application, and, what you may wish to do whilst you await a decision.

First, we check for a complete application

UCL’s Graduate Admissions Office receives over 90,000 applications every year. Our team of over 40 staff look at each complete application to check that it contains all the information we need to make a decision.

An application is complete when:

  • We receive the application fee (if applicable)
  • We have received the required number of references (if applicable)
  • You have included an official transcript within the application.

To begin, we review each application to make sure we have all the information we need to move to the next stage. 

This includes:

  • reviewing your qualifications, work experience and references (if required), and 
  • requesting any more information from you that we may need. 

Then, our selectors review your application

An admissions selector will then look at your application in full.

The selector will review your application and, depending on the programme you have applied to decide whether you should:

  • be invited to an interview or test, 
  • be contacted to provide additional work such as a portfolio, 
  • be referred to a panel for further review (when applying for a Research programme), or 
  • whether they can make a decision immediately. 

For the majority of applications this process takes around 10 weeks.   

The time it takes for a selector to consider your application depends on the following factors:  

  • The time of year you apply  
  • The number of applications received by the Faculty you are applying to  
  • If you are academically qualified for the programme  
  • If we invite you for an interview or test  
  • If we ask you to provide further information or documentation  
  • If we refer your application to a panel for consideration (research applicants).

Interviews and tests

Only a small number of UCL programmes ask applicants to complete an interview or test as part of their application. If we need you to do this, someone from the relevant academic department will contact you with further details.

If you have any questions you should respond to the sender of the email.   

If you do not receive an invitation to an interview or test, this means that we will consider your application only on the information in your application and (where applicable) your references.

Adding information to your application

We start reviewing your application as soon as it’s complete and, in some instances, more than one selector may review it. 

For fairness and equity, and to ensure that selectors are reviewing the same information, we are unable to allow you to add to your application after submission.

If we need any further information, we will contact you by email to request it.

Last, we send a decision

We consider each application on an individual basis, so we can’t predict how long it will take to make a decision and we are unable to provide an exact date.

We aim to provide applicants with a decision within 10 weeks of their application being complete and will let you know either on your applicant portal or by email if we encounter any delays.


Do not contact us unless the timeframe outlined on the applicant portal has passed and you have not received an update from us as contacting us at this point can cause delays in processing applications.


If you have a deadline to provide your scholarship body with your application outcome, let us know.

We cannot guarantee that a decision will come in time, but the admissions selectors will be aware of the deadline.

What you can do whilst you wait

Whilst your focus up until this point may have been on researching the programme you applied to, we encourage to spend some time now finding out more about the fantastic institution we are.


You might want to explore the incredible range and volume of our research output and how it makes the news every day.

UCL Careers

UCL Careers is a valuable resource which our students can make use of during their studies and after graduating.

UCL Alumni

Whatever programme you have applied to, discover what UCL alumni of the same discipline have gone on to do following their degree.

UCL Minds

Our UCL Minds programme includes lectures, podcasts and exhibitions and is open to the public, as well UCL staff and students. 

Generation One climate action

Read about the creation of the UCL Climate Hub earlier this year, which showcases some of the key actions UCL is taking to help achieve a zero carbon university by 2030.

Innovation and Enterprise

With the help of UCL Innovation and Enterprise we encourage entrepreneurial thinking and provide support and opportunities for students with ideas for a business or social enterprise.

Visit the Doctoral School

Those who have applied for a Research programme will find the dedicated pages of UCL Doctoral School helpful.

International students

If you are applying from outside the UK you will find useful information on the extra support we provide to the large numbers of international students who join us each year.

Take a virtual tour

Finally, if you haven’t had a chance to visit us yet then do take a look at our virtual campus tour.

Further information