Access and Widening Participation


UCL Access and Participation Plan

The UCL Access and Participation Plan for 2020/21 - 2024/25 has received approval from the Office for Students (OfS).

UCL is one of the world’s leading multidisciplinary universities, committed to engaging with the major issues of our time. At undergraduate level, we seek to recruit and retain the academically brightest students who will thrive in the rigorous teaching and learning environment that UCL provides. 

In recent years, UCL has made positive steps towards improving access, and the retention, progression and success of our students is good. However, we recognise that within our intake there is a relatively low proportion of students from key underrepresented groups and there are some gaps in outcomes for key groups once studying at UCL. This plan sets out how we intend to encourage and support students to apply to UCL, and how we will effect institutional change to address the retention and attainment gaps that appear once students are studying with us.

Update to our Access and Participation Plan 2021

In 2020-21, UCL undertook research to find the most accurate available measure of socioeconomic disadvantage. The research found that, in the absence of free school meals data, the most reliable measure uses Acorn. Acorn is a commercial geodemographic profiling tool, which categorises postcodes into 18 groups, based on a range of public and commercial datasets. Acorn groups L, M, O, P and Q are identified as the most under-represented in higher education.
• L – Modest Means
• M – Striving Families
• O – Young Hardship
• P – Struggling Estates
• Q – Difficult Circumstances

Our revised Access and Participation Plan includes targets to close the gaps in Access and Attainment for students from the most under-represented Acorn groups.

Our Access Agreements from previous years can be found on the OfS website