Students under 18 years old

If you are under the age of 18, British law considers you a 'child' and certain steps need to be taken to ensure your wellbeing and safety.

    Questions about being an under 18 international UCL student

    If you have any questions, including rules about entering the UK or healthcare, please contact International Student Support through askUCL who will be happy to discuss your situation with you and provide the relevant support.

    Appoint a guardian who resides in the Greater London area

    The UCL safeguarding policy confirms that, if you are under the age of 18 at the point of enrolment, you must appoint a guardian who resides in the Greater London area. Your guardian would typically be a family member, or a close friend of the family who has agreed to take on this role. If these two options are not available to you, another option is to approach an accredited guardianship service which will be able to provide this support on a privately-arranged basis. Here is the link to the Association for the Education and Guardianship of International Students (AEGIS).

    Choosing accommodation

    When you receive an offer of a place to study at UCL, and confirm that you wish to accept the place, you have three options in terms of your accommodation:

    i) You can apply to the UCL Accommodation Office and will be allocated to one of the three UCL residences’: Ramsay Hall, Ian Baker House and James Lighthill House.  The Management and Warden teams of these halls have received the appropriate security clearance and training in supporting the needs of students under the age of 18;

    ii) You can stay with a family member or a close friend of the family in the London area (who is also likely to be your guardian);

    iii) You can apply to a private student residence in the UCL area, Unite (in Bloomsbury) or Chapter House near King’s Cross. Both residences have a warden, secure access and liaise with UCL regarding support for students under the age of 18.

    UCL strongly advises that students who are under the age of 18 do not live in privately rented accommodation.

    Personal tutor

    Students under 18 will be allocated a personal tutor who is the first point of contact for safeguarding or welfare concerns. 

    Accessing healthcare in the UK

    Under 18 year old students can register with a GP (doctor) in the same way as an 18 year old student can. Please see the UCL website for more details on accessing healthcare in the UK and registering with a GP.

    Opening a bank account

    International 16 -17 year old students can open UK bank accounts however they might find that certain accounts are not available to them. Many UK banks offer specific 'young person' accounts for people under the age of 18 which have certain functions removed such as being able to pay for adult products/content.

    The following accounts are specifically for people under the age of 18, living in the UK:

    Please note that banks have the final say on whether you can open an account with them.

    FOr more information about banks in the UK, please see our dedicated section on the UCL website.

    Off-campus/overnight trips

    Please note that some study and social activities may also include off-campus and/or overnight trips. Due to the legal obligation to abide by safeguarding protocols, participation of students under the age of 18 may be subject to risk assessment and participation in some of these activities may not always be permitted.  

    Data protection

    UCL is required by law to comply with The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). UCL is committed to ensuring that every employee and registered student complies with the Act to ensure that personal information is protected and handled appropriately. Please note that UCL has no obligation to disclose any personal information relating to students to relatives, or guardians and a disclosure without the consent of the student may be a breach of the GDPR.

    Requests received from a relative or guardian will only be considered by UCL upon receipt of the student’s consent in writing.

    Please note that this confidentiality policy applies to all UCL students, including those who are under the age of 18.

    UK Age Restrictions 

    You must legally be aged 18 or over in the UK to purchase the following items:

    • Alchohol 
    • Tobacco and cigarettes
    • E-cigarettes and Vapes
    • Fireworks and sparklers

    There are strict laws prohibiting the sale of certain items to young people. Traders and their staff can be prosecuted if they make an underage sale. Prosecution may result in:

    • fines
    • loss of licence
    • imprisonment