10 things you didn't know about UCL

4 December 2020

In this article, we share 10 fun and useful facts you probably didn't know about the institution waiting to welcome you in September!

10 things

Whether you're coming to campus or studying remotely, you’ll probably be keen to know more about the wonderful place you'll be joining!

So let us share with you 10 key facts about UCL, some of which might surprise you...

1. UCL was founded in 1826 to open up university education in England to those who had been excluded from it.

2. UCL is ranked eighth in the world's top ten universities by the QS World University Rankings (2020).

3. In 1878, UCL became the first university in England to admit women students on equal terms with men; in 2016-17, 58% of students at UCL identified as women.

4. UCL prides itself on being London’s global university. Students from 150 countries study here, making up more than one-third of the student body.

5. 54% of the nearly 43,836-strong student community is engaged in graduate studies.

6. UCL is the top-rated university in the UK for research strength (Research Excellence Framework 2014), by a measure of average research score multiplied by staff numbers submitted.

7. UCL is associated with several major teaching hospitals – such as the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, the Royal Free Hospital, and Moorfields Eye Hospital – which provide Londoners with first-rate healthcare and contribute to major advances in medical research.

8. Nobel Prizes have been awarded to 29 people who are or were students or academics at UCL. 11 UCL Honorary Graduates and Fellows have also been awarded a Nobel Prize.

9. UCL alumni have achieved outstanding success in a range of diverse fields – take a look and see how many famous names you recognise!

10. It’s not just the people at UCL who are famous - the buildings are often used in filming, for example, the Front Quad was used as a model for ancient Rome in Gladiator. Batman Begins features the DMS Watson library as 'Gotham Print Room', and the Thomas Lewis room in the Rockefeller Building was the setting for the courtroom scene. Perhaps most famously of all, scenes from Inception were shot in the Front Quad, a lecture theatre, and the main library.

Want to know more? Have a peek at this video to hear some students share their UCL experiences!

Last revised: 8 September 2021.