International Postgraduate Research: First few weeks

Beyond your busy first few days, there's still a lot you can do to help you settle in and start to make the most of your UCL experience. This checklist will help you find your feet as you move into the first few weeks of term.

First few weeks checklist

1. Meet your support staff

  • Supervisory Team
    The key to your academic and professional development as a researcher, your supervisors should be your first port of call for advice and support on almost any matter: if they can't help directly, they can help you find out who can.
  • Department Graduate Tutor
    Departmental Graduate Tutors (often referred to by the acronym DGT) are experienced members of academic staff in each department, from whom you can seek advice if you need to talk to someone beyond your immediate supervisory team.
  • Affiliate Tutor (if this applies to you)
    If you are an affiliate student you may have an Affiliate Tutor to help with specific issues. Learn more about the support available to you as an affiliate student.

    Learn more about the support available to you.

2. Make sure you are aware of your visa responsibilities

If you're an international student coming to the UK on a Student visa, then there are certain responsibilities that you must adhere to in order to maintain your visa rights. Make sure you read and follow this guidance.

3. Apply for a National Insurance number (if you are eligible)

If you are an international student eligible to work in the UK and would like to do so, then you’ll need a National Insurance (NI) number. Your NI number allows the government to properly record your National Insurance contributions and the taxes that you should pay. You can start work without one, but you’ll have to apply immediately. Apply for your National Insurance number.
Find out more about working in the UK as an international student.

4. Sign up for societies

Attending the Welcome Fair and signing up to societies is open to our postgraduates. Find something of interest in our Students' Union clubs and societies list, or in our events calendar

5. Apply for a TV licence

In the UK if you use a TV, computer, tablet or phone to watch or record BBC programmes as they are being shown, or if you download or watch BBC programmes on iPlayer, then you are legally required to get a TV licence. Find out more about TV licensing.

6. Check for Council Tax discounts

Depending if you are living with others who are full-time students, or not, check to see if you are exempt or eligible for a discount with your council tax. 

7. Register to vote 

To make sure your voice is heard in UK elections, you will need to register to vote. You can find out if you are eligible to vote on the electoral commission website