About the UCL Academic Manual


About the UCL Academic Manual

The University College London Academic Manual forms the basis of the contract between students and UCL. It is owned by the Academic Committee of UCL and maintained by Academic Services.


The main purposes of the Academic Manual are to:

  • Set and maintain the academic standards of UCL;
  • Promote transparency and consistency across faculties and departments, ensuring that all students are treated fairly and equitably;
  • Provide students with a clear set of expectations in relation to their conduct and achievement.


The following key terms are used in the Academic Manual:

Regulation A binding statement or principle central to the contract between the university and students e.g. minimum requirements for an award, number of credits to be completed, calculation of classification
Requirement A binding statement of minimum standards or expectations e.g. attendance, registration, meeting deadlines, codes of conduct. 
Procedure A binding set of tasks that must be completed for a specific purpose e.g. complaints procedure, irregularities procedure
Process A non-binding set of tasks that are to be completed for a specific purpose e.g. How to register for a module.
Guidance Non-binding, supplementary advice to help staff and students interpret a regulation, policy or process e.g. extenuating circumstances guidance notes.
Variation An acceptable option within the main UCL regulations. 
Derogation An approved exemption or deviation from the main UCL regulations, often due to the requirements of the discipline or of a Professional, Statutory or Regulatory Body. 

Amendments to the Academic Manual

1.  Proposals for new or amended regulations, guidance notes, policies, procedures and forms are considered by the Education Committee and/ or Research Degrees Committee and submitted to Academic Committee for final approval and publication the following year. 
2.  Amendments should not be made in-year other than in exceptional circumstances.
3.  Proposals for change should:
  • Provide for all qualifications in the university, ensuring that any acceptable variations are clearly defined and supported by a robust academic rationale
  • Highlight where authority is delegated to another body
  • Be written and presented in an accessible, specific style and format taking into account the needs of disabled users and readers whose first language is not English, and minimising duplication wherever possible.
4. Where proposed changes might have a significant or adverse effect on current or future students, proposals must be discussed with representatives of the student body.
5. Annual updates to the Academic Manual should be published to faculties and services in July to allow for updates to student handbooks and other materials, and published online in September. The previous year’s Academic Manual should be archived online.

Suspensions of the Regulations

1.  In exceptional circumstances it may be necessary to suspend the regulations temporarily for one or more students. Requests for suspensions must be made on a case-by-case basis to Student & Registry Services and formally approved by the Vice Provost (Education & Student Affairs). 
2.  Suspensions of regulations are reported to the next meeting of the Education Committee or Research Degrees Committee, and an annual analysis conducted to identify common issues that should be incorporated into the main regulations.