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Essential activities

The checklist below shows things to do before starting your programme at UCL. These are essential actions that you need to complete.

This page was last updated on 26 August 2020.

Please note that depending on your circumstances, some of the activities below may not be applicable to you.


All students

Make sure you've met all your entry requirements

You'll need to demonstrate that you've met all the entry requirements of your programme before starting.

Sort out your funding

Make sure you know how you'll be funding your programme and that everything is in order. Many students will have funding from student finance bodies and will need to go through a separate application process.

Find out more about student funding. 

Sort out funding for disability support

If you're a disabled student or have a long-term physical or mental health condition, you may be eligible for funding to put appropriate support in place. Student Support and Wellbeing can help coordinate a range of reasonable adjustments to reduce any barriers to study, some of which may require funding.

If this applies to you, please make sure you have researched funding options before you start your programme, and that you have applied for Disabled Students' Allowances if you're eligible well in advance, to make sure funding and support are ready when you start.

Find out more about funding support for disabled students. 

Find somewhere to live

If you're coming onto campus in September, you may have already applied for a place in UCL accommodation - bear in mind that there are application deadlines. More information about moving in and what to expect will be sent to you by the UCL Accommodation team. 

Alternatively, you can look for private rented accommodation. If you're doing this, it's important to not pay anything before you see the property.

Explore UCL accommodation options.

Get help finding somewhere in the private sector. 

Complete pre-enrolment

Later in the summer, you'll receive an email inviting you to complete pre-enrolment. This is a quick online task in which you formally agree to the terms and conditions of your study, set up a password in order to access UCL systems, upload a photo of yourself and confirm some of your details.

Pre-enrolment is the main step you need to take to start out at UCL and should be completed as soon as you can once you receive your invitation email.

Find out more about the pre-enrolment process

Register for modules

After completing pre-enrolment, you'll be able to select some or all of your modules by accessing Portico, the UCL student information service. The email you're sent to confirm that you've completed pre-enrolment will provide more information about this, and will link you to Portico and the UCL Module Catalogue, where you can find out more about the modules available.

The UCL Module Catalogue will provide more specific information about how each module will be delivered in the 2020/21 academic year. 

Some students will have no optional modules and will not need to complete this task.

If you have any queries about module registration, please contact your department in the first instance.

If you have any problems accessing Portico, contact the Information Services Division (ISD) helpdesk by emailing portico-helpdesk@ucl.ac.uk or by calling +44 (0)207 679 0637.

Confirm where you'll be located

Students starting in September 2020 will be asked in an email to confirm where they intend to study at the start of the 2020/21 academic year.  

Pay your fees

You can easily pay your fees through UCL's online payment service.

Read more about paying fees.

Get your vaccinations

If you're under the age of 25 and are able to come onto campus, make sure you've had the meningitis (ACWY) and MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccinations before you arrive. Meningitis and measles are serious conditions and first-time university students are more susceptible.

If you're an international student, you should ideally get your vaccinations several weeks before you leave for the UK. Speak to your doctor to find out if you can get the vaccination(s) in your home country. If you can't, ask your doctor (GP) about this in the UK as soon as you're registered.

Find out more about vaccinations.

Get a student bank account

If you're a UK student or an international student who's able to join us in London this September, opening a UK student bank account is a good idea to manage your money more easily and safely, and to benefit from additional perks such as overdrafts.

If you're on a programme of study lasting less than six months, then you likely won't be able to open a bank account - we recommend pre-loaded cash cards instead in this case.

Find out more information about pre-paid cash cards.

Find out how to open a UK bank account (international students).


International students only

Apply for a visa

If you're an international student, you may need a visa to study in the UK. In most cases, this will be a Tier 4 Student visa or a Short-term Study visa, depending on your circumstances.

UCL’s Student Immigration Advice and Compliance team can support students with any immigration issues.

Find out more about student visa applications.