Tuition fee increases

Details for international and postgraduate taught students from 2021-22 onwards.

Why are tuition fees going up? 

In 2020, UCL introduced a new fee structure for 2021-22 onwards. The new structure consolidates 270 different fee levels into 14 price bands for new students.

The new bands align fees with UCL’s position as a global top 10 university and a market-leader, and respond to the high demand for many programmes.

Simplifying fees into bands enables UCL to adopt a more strategic approach to scholarships and bursaries, to support the recruitment of talented students from around the world. Twenty five percent of the additional tuition fee income will be allocated to scholarships.

The new fee bands led to above-inflation fees increases for some programmes, due to the consolidation of these banding structures.

Why are different degrees going up by different rates?

Programmes have seen different fee increases depending on the starting point compared to their new banding.

Which students are most impacted by these fee increases?

Current students will not experience these fee increases. The fee increases affect new postgraduate taught and international students starting their studies from September 2021 onwards. UCL has created an enhanced and refreshed scholarship offer to support excellent students in financial need anywhere to study at UCL. 25% of additional fee income is now allocated to scholarships and bursaries.

How is the additional income from the fee increases being used? 

The new fee structure allocates twenty five percent of the additional fee income to financial support for students. The additional income is also invested in enhancing the student experience, particularly in learning and assessment (eg digital education infrastructure, academic communication support, and laptops for loan), support (eg mental health service, AskUCL student enquiry service, more Transition Mentors, Financial Assistance Fund) and facilities (eg Student Centre, refurbishment of the Science Library). Read about how UCL uses tuition fees.

Who decides how the scholarships are awarded? 

UCL’s student financial support policy is shaped by the Scholarships and Bursaries Working Group, which includes representatives from Students’ Union UCL. The application and assessment processes for central scholarship schemes are administered by the Student Funding Office. Needs-based scholarships are awarded based on financial data and evidence of personal circumstances (eg disability, dependents/single-parent, care experienced). Decisions are made by applying weighted scores to criteria, which identify those students in greatest need of support.

What measures are in place to ensure that the UCLs Widening Participation commitments are not affected by these fee increases?

UCL’s commitment to diversifying our UK undergraduate intake remains unchanged. We currently spend over £13m a year on access and financial support initiatives. The fee bands do not apply to tuition fees regulated by the UK Government (UK undergraduate and PGCE programmes).

We are introducing a new bursary scheme for UK postgraduate taught students, alongside new scholarships for international students.

Find out about the Masters Alumni Bursary for UK UCL alumni from low-income backgrounds.

What measures are in place to assist students who are in, or may fall into, financial difficulty/insecurity due to the fee increases?

Existing UCL students will not be impacted by these fee increases.

UCL implemented ‘Fixed Fees’ for Overseas undergraduates from 2018-19, meaning that students are charged the same amount for each year of study. Previously, fees in subsequent years of study increased by up to 5% annually.

For postgraduate taught programmes of more than one year, fees are published for the first year of the programme, and fee increases in subsequent years of no more than 5% per year. Where fees are specified in advance for each year of the programme, they will be fixed for the duration of the programme.

For students who are in unexpected financial need, UCL provides support for maintenance costs via the Financial Assistance Fund and offers advice and information to help you get a grip on your money issues. You can also get free, confidential and independent advice from the Students’ Union UCL Advice Service

Are students who deferred their entry due to coronavirus and other consequent factors out of their control subject to the increase in fees as well? 

Yes, deferring students are made new offers that reflect the increase in fees.

If a student has started their degree and then interrupted, what would be the impact on their fee status and fees on their return?

Fee status is assessed from the start of a student’s studies.  Interruption of study will not change a student’s fee status.  A change occurs only when a student withdraws completely and re-starts.

Where a student interrupts, their fees on return will increase by inflation only, so they are not suddenly subject to larger increases as a result of the re-banding exercise.

What measures are in place to assist UCL undergraduate students who want to continue postgraduate study at UCL?

There is no specific assistance for students who wish to continue postgraduate study after graduating from a UCL programme. Find out more about how to fund your studies.

What measures are in place to support EU students who are now subject to two simultaneous sudden increases in fees?

EU undergraduate students who began their studies at UCL in 2020 or earlier will continue to pay tuition fees at the same level as UK students for the duration of their programme. If they have gained pre-settled or settled status and have resided in the UK for 3 years, then when they progress to postgraduate programmes, their fees will continue to be equivalent to UK students.

Will there be any exemptions for students who had to defer due to delayed results or courses being full?

No offer-holding student had to defer in 2020-21 because programmes were full. Every student holding an offer who met their conditions had their place honoured.