Teaching & Learning


Major additions to teaching and learning space in 2018

22 November 2017

UCL’s teaching estate will see substantial increase in capacity in the coming year, as projects come to fruition under Transforming UCL

Lecture theatre in Torrington Place

UCL’s teaching estate will see a substantial increase in capacity in the coming year, as major projects come to fruition under Transforming UCL, our extensive building and refurbishment programme.

In January 2018, new teaching spaces will come into use at 1-19 Torrington Place and Central House, as well as in the Main Quad Temporary Pop-up.

1-19 Torrington Place will provide the largest amount of contiguous high-quality, centrally bookable teaching space on the Bloomsbury campus. It will feature 10 new teaching rooms of capacities ranging from 18 – 120 seats, refurbishment of existing lecture theatre and breakout/informal learning spaces. Spaces include a Technology Enhanced Active Learning (TEAL) room for a media-rich, collaborative learning experience.  This project has included improved access to the building, the installation of gender neutral toilets and water fountains to support wider inclusion and sustainability initiatives.

Central House will feature a 91 seat lecture theatre and breakout space on upper Woburn Place. This project has taken existing office space and developed it into new teaching and learning spaces.

The Main Quad Teaching Pop-Up, a 5-year facility with a striking design reflecting the rich history of UCL, will consist of two 100 and two 50-seat lecture rooms. The artwork wrap was one of the last works of the late noted sculptor and UCL professor Edward Allington, and of  Jo Volley, Senior Lecturer at the UCL Slade School of Fine Art.

These three projects will deliver 965 additional teaching seats from January 2018.

Later in 2018 Bentham House – home of the Faculty of Laws – will reopen with over 700 teaching seats, with the potential to add additional seats to this, and student study space and the first phase of the refurbishment of the Institute of Education to provide further teaching and student social space, including refurbished Student Union facilities and informal learning spaces.

In total, 2,788 additional teaching seats will be delivered between September 2017 and the end of 2018 – that’s an increase of over 20% on centrally bookable teaching space provision.

At the end of 2018, UCL’s flagship New Student Centre on Gordon Street, in the heart of our campus, will provide a mix of learning spaces, creating different types of individual study and group collaboration settings, as well as more social learning environments. These 1000 new ‘study seats’ are in addition to the 534 study spaces that were opened during 2016-17 across UCL Library Services. The New Student Centre will be a focal point for university study and events.

Professor Anthony Smith, Vice-Provost (Education and Student Affairs) said: ‘This significant investment is part of UCL’s commitment to teaching excellence and a stand-out experience for our students, prioritising teaching and study space that reflects rapidly changing ways of learning, and doing it in a responsible and sustainable way.’

Sian Minett, Director of Estates Portfolio & Business Services, said: ‘It is great to see these milestone projects coming to fruition alongside operational changes to support UCL’s Education Strategy.  We are hugely committed to improving both the quantity and quality of the teaching and learning estate and – whilst there is still much work to be done – these projects should make a tangible improvement for students and staff alike.’