Access UCL Scheme

UCL is committed to widening access to higher education.

We seek to recruit and retain the brightest students who will thrive in the rigorous teaching and learning environment at UCL.

Access UCL is our contextual offer scheme for applicants from groups that are underrepresented at UCL.

Applicants that are eligible for the Access UCL Scheme based on postcode data will automatically be identified through their UCAS application. If you are a care experienced applicant, a young adult carer or estranged from your family, please see the guidance below.

Access UCL eligible applicants that are successful in getting an offer, will receive an offer that is lower than the standard entry requirements for the programme.

Please note that Access UCL is not a guaranteed offer scheme.

Check your eligibility

To be eligible you must be attending or have attended a UK state school for your A Levels/Pre-U/IB Diploma and live in an area that has a high level of financial, social or economic deprivation, or low progression to higher education.

You will need to check your eligibility in the academic year you are applying (late September onwards), as we update our criteria and datasets annually.

Other eligibility criteria

If you are a care experienced applicant and under 25 on your first day at UCL, you are eligible for Access UCL. You could have attended a UK state or independent school.

Please make sure you tick the 'time in care' box on your UCAS form.  We may contact you via email to verify your care experience.

For Access UCL purposes, we define someone as care experienced if they have been looked after by a local authority or been in kinship care as a formal agreement with the local authority, for three months in their life. The months do not need to be consecutive.

If you are a young adult carer you may be eligible for Access UCL. A young adult carer is someone whose life is adversely affected by caring for a family member who has a chronic illness.

You must meet the following requirements:

  1. be aged 20 or under on your first day at UCL,
  2. attend/have attended a UK state school for your A Levels/Pre-U/IB Diploma, 
  3. your caring responsibilities must be ongoing. 

Please ensure that you view the Submission of evidence section for details about contacting UCL to verify your young adult carer status.

If you are permanently estranged from your family and have been for at least a year, you may be eligible for Access UCL.

You must be aged under 25 on your first day at UCL and have attended a UK state school for your A Levels/Pre-U/IB Diploma. Please ensure that you view the Submission of evidence section for details about contacting UCL to verify your young adult carer status.

Mature students are assessed against the same Access UCL eligibility criteria as all other applicants. Please note that if you have achieved an undergraduate degree or are in your final year, you will not be eligible for Access UCL.

Submission of evidence

For students who are unable to meet the Access UCL eligibility on the basis of their postcode but wish to be considered under policies for estrangement, care experience, or young caring responsibilities, we will require third party evidence for verification purposes.

Please ensure you contact the Access UCL team on wp.accessucl@ucl.ac.uk for further instructions on how to verify your status no later than two weeks after the UCAS equal consideration deadline for your programme of study, which falls on 15 October 2022 for Medicine applicants and 25 January 2023 for all other UCL applicants. For those applying to UCL programmes still open beyond the equal consideration deadline, please email wp.accessucl@ucl.ac.uk no later than two weeks after you have submitted your UCAS application.

Please note that unfortunately we are unable to consider circumstances not listed on this page for Access UCL eligibility, and UCL encourages students to explore the mitigating circumstances policies of their relevant examination boards instead.

UCL Study Prep

You will have the opportunity to complete a free online module to help you prepare for university and academic study.

UCL Study Prep introduces topics such as academic reading and writing, referencing and plagiarism, and life at university. You can watch videos of UCL students and academics giving advice and guidance about starting out at university.

This module is completely optional and will not affect your contextual offer. Please visit the UCL Study Prep page for further information and to access UCL Study Prep.


Got questions? Get in touch.

Contact us to talk about any questions you have about the Access UCL scheme, or your eligibility.