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Undergraduate prospectus 2022

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Disruptive thinking

We have a proud heritage of disruptive thinking, a reputation for game-changing research and a unique multidisciplinary approach to problem solving.

UCL has confronted humanity’s biggest issues since 1826


At that time, attending university was a rare privilege.

If you weren’t a man from a wealthy background and a member of the established church, higher education was off limits.

Our founders tore up that rule book.

Black and white image of research at desk studying objects in glass cases.

Study participant wearing UCL ear institute EEG skullcap.

Two students study papers on a desk in the Grant Museum of Zoology.

We were the first university in England to welcome students of any religion or social background. We were also the first in England to welcome women to university education.

We have challenged inequality ever since, and we hold a Silver Athena SWAN award in recognition of our progressive work practice.

Each year, we invest £13.5 million in bursaries and activities to support students from diverse backgrounds to enter and succeed.

We were also the first university in England to teach subjects such as engineering, architecture and languages.

Our pioneering heritage makes us proud, but it’s the future that really excites us. Since our founding we have continually innovated our teaching methods.

Our Connected Curriculum makes research the cornerstone of our students’ activity. Our Arts and Sciences BASc leads the way in interdisciplinary study.

Elsewhere, our collaborative teaching methods break down the boundaries between student and teacher, encouraging the bold thinkers of tomorrow.


Learn how to think – not what to think

We are here to further your knowledge, develop your skills of analysis and problem-solving and give you a truly global outlook that draws on diverse cultural perspectives.

Studying in London, you’ll be living, learning and growing your network in one of the world’s greatest cities.

Through our Connected Curriculum you’ll have the chance to work alongside some of the world’s leading researchers. They will drive you to think more analytically and independently – providing opportunities to undertake research activities of your own and create original output.

We are here to further your knowledge, develop your skills of analysis and problem-solving and give you a truly global outlook that draws on diverse cultural perspectives. Learn how to think – not what to think.

We are constantly evolving to meet the needs of our students. Throughout your time here, you’ll have many opportunities to shape our curriculum and how it’s delivered.

A student out of focus stands between two book shelves in a UCL library.

Our collaborative mindset

We actively support collaboration between students and staff across the university, synthesizing approaches from different academic disciplines to develop joined-up responses to the world’s most pressing issues.

Learning as part of an international community of great minds, you will develop the cultural fluency and global outlook that are prized by employers. Our collaborative approach also helps build the essential skills that make UCL graduates so in-demand, such as communication, teamwork, negotiation, entrepreneurship and project management.


Our Nobel laureates 

UCL staff and alumni have won at least one Nobel Prize each decade since the award began in 1901, with more than half of our 30 Nobel laureates born outside the UK.

1904 - Chemistry | Sir William Ramsay

  • Discovered the noble gases: helium, argon, neon, krypton and xenon. 

1913 - Literature | Rabindranath Tagore

  • Wrote profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse.

1915 – Physics | Sir William Henry Bragg

  • Analysed the structure of crystals using X-rays.

1921 – Chemistry | Frederick Soddy

  • Invented the concept of isotopes.

1922 – Physiology or Medicine | Archibald Vivian Hill

  • Founded biophysics.

1928 – Physics | Owen Willans Richardson

  • Discovered the law of thermionic emission.

1929 – Physiology or Medicine | Sir Frederick Gowland Hopkins

  • Discovered growth-stimulating vitamins.

1936 – Physiology or Medicine | Sir Henry Hallett Dale and Otto Loewi

  • Discovered neurotransmitters.

1938 – Physiology or Medicine | Corneille Jean Francois Heymans

  • Revealed how respiration is regulated.

1944 – Chemistry | Otto Hahn

  • Made discoveries leading to the development of nuclear technology.

1947 – Chemistry | Robert Robinson

  • Discovered the structure of morphine and strychnine.

1955 – Chemistry | Vincent du Vigneaud

  • Carried out the first synthesis of a polypeptide hormone, oxytocin.

1959 – Chemistry | Jaroslav Heyrovsky

  • Discovered polarography, widely used in clinical and environmental analysis.

1960 – Physiology or Medicine | Peter Brian Medawar

  • Discovered the key to successful organ and tissue transplantation.

1962 – Physiology or Medicine | Francis Harry Compton Crick

  • Discovered the molecular structure of nucleic acids (DNA).

1963 – Physiology or Medicine | Andrew Fielding Huxley

  • Revealed how activity is co-ordinated by a central nervous system.

1967 – Chemistry | George Porter (Baron Porter of Luddenham)

  • Devised flash photolysis to observe free radicals.

1970 – Physiology or Medicine | Sir Bernard Katz

  • Advanced remedies against nervous and mental disturbances.

1988 – Physiology or Medicine | Sir James Black

  • Discovered the first beta-blocker, propranolol.

1991 – Physiology or Medicine | Bert Sakmann

  • Discovered the role of ion channels in diseases, revolutionising cell biology.

2000 – Economics | James Heckman

  • Discovered the role of ion channels in diseases, revolutionising cell biology.

2001 – Physiology or Medicine | Sir Paul Nurse

  • Enabled new avenues of research in tumour diagnostics and therapy.

2007 – Physiology or Medicine | Sir Martin Evans

  • Introduced gene modifications in mice.

2009 – Physics | Charles Kao

  • Developed the transmission of light for optical communication.

2013 – Physics | Peter Higgs

  • Predicted the particle: the Higgs boson.

2013 – Physiology or Medicine | James Rothman

  • Revealed how substances are trafficked by vesicles in our cells.

2014 – Physiology or Medicine | John O’Keefe

  • Discovered the ‘inner GPS’ in the brain.

2020 – Physics | Sir Roger Penrose

  • Proved that the general theory of relativity predicts the formation of black holes.