Access and Widening Participation


Young people in care and care leavers

UCL recognises that when applying and entering higher education young people in care can face particular difficulties that their peers are less likely to experience. We are committed to supporting young people in care and care leavers and encourage students to apply to study at UCL. 

Access UCL 

UCL is running an alternative offer scheme for students from groups that are underrepresented at UCL. Eligible students who successfully complete the Access UCL scheme will receive a reduced offer of up to two grades below the standard UCL offer for the programme they have applied to. 

Care leavers who have attended a UK state school for their GCSEs or A levels are automatically eligible for Access UCL. 

Events and activities

Are you currently at school, college or sixth form? Are you in care, or have experienced some time in care when you were younger? We strongly encourage you to take a look at our wide range of outreach activities. Whether you want to have a taste of university life, experience a subject of interest, or learn some study skills required for higher education, then make sure you submit an application to one of our programmes. We’d love to hear form you!

Eligibility and applying

For all our outreach activities we prioritise students from care experienced backgrounds, as long as they also possess the academic potential to meet UCL’s minimum entry criteria. To make sure we can identify you and give your application additional consideration, please make sure to select that you ‘are currently in care, or have been in the past’. If you are uncertain if you meet the care experienced criteria or grade requirements, please contact Amy York (a.york@ucl.ac.uk) who can discuss your situation with you.

Group visits

If you are a Virtual Head/Teacher, LAC Care team, or charitable organisation and would like to know about applying and studying at UCL and/or would like to arrange an activity for your students, then please contact Amy York (a.york@ucl.ac.uk) We would be delighted to host a day or activity for you.

Events for staff who support care experienced young people

If you are a Virtual Head/Teacher, or a designated contact for care experienced students in a school, then we welcome you to make use of our CPD mornings which are hosted throughout the year. Only 90 minutes long, we cover topics such as student finance, applying to university as a care leaver, personal statement writing and transitioning to university. 

No upcoming opportunities organised yet. 

Upcoming events specifically for care experienced young people

Care Leaver and LAC HE Awareness day hosted by HELOA and several London Higher Education Institutions, including UCL. 

The date for the next HE Awareness day will be published in the coming months. 

Student Shadowing Scheme - apply for a day where you can receive one-to-one information and advice, a campus tour and the chance to experience a lecture or seminar with an undergraduate student studying the subject you wish to study at university. 

Named contact for care experienced students

If you are applying to UCL, or currently studying at UCL, and would like to learn more about the various forms of support UCL has to offer care leavers, then please visit our dedicated webpage. If you have any questions or concerns, or would just like to speak to someone in person, please contact Natalie Humphrey 


UCL has produced a guide for care experienced and estranged students which is available to view on the UCL website.