Imperial College London Guide: Reviews, Rankings, And More
Imperial College London is a top ten university in the UK that specialises in science, engineering, medicine, and business education. The university is part of the Russell Group and has an excellent reputation in research. Read our full Imperial College London guide below.
Summary of University
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Imperial College London Overview
The university that we now know as Imperial College London started out as a unification of the Royal College of Science, Royal School of Mines, and City and Guilds of London Institute, and received a royal charter in 1907. After merging with St Mary’s Hospital Medical School in 1988, the Imperial College School of Medicine was formed. Later, in 2004, the Imperial College Business School was opened by Queen Elizabeth II. This led to the school’s specialties in its unique combination of subjects today.
Imperial College London boasts excellence in education and research. The university’s specialty in science, engineering, business and medicine shows in its programme rankings in national league tables. The university has 14 subjects ranked among the top ten in the UK, which includes Physics & Astronomy, Mechanical Engineering, Computing, Civil Engineering, and Medicine (Complete University Guide 2023).
The university is part of the Russell Group and is widely recognised for its research quality and output. According to Times Higher Education’s 2021 league table, Imperial ranked first in the country for research. In the 2023 Complete University Guide, the university placed third in the country for research quality. Imperial was also one of the leading contributors to a NASA Mars lander craft which landed on Mars in November 2018.
The university has had 14 Nobel prize winners among its alumni and former staff. They have made some of the biggest discoveries of our time, such as Sir Cyril Norman Hinshelwood, a chemist who researched the mechanism of chemical reactions; Sir Alexander Fleming, a microbiologist who discovered penicillin; Peter Higgs, a physicist who theorised the existence of the Higgs boson particle; among many other prolific scientists associated with the university.
Overall, Imperial College London is an outstanding choice for students who are seeking science, engineering, medicine, or business education. It has a great reputation for its education standards and research, and has consistently been placed among the top ten universities in the country.
Imperial College London Courses and Programmes
The university is well-known for its programmes in science, engineering, business and medicine. Imperial College London has 14 subjects ranked among the top ten in the UK and these top courses include Physics & Astronomy, Mechanical Engineering, Computing, Civil Engineering, and Medicine.
Imperial College London’s undergraduate programmes in Computing includes a BEng in Computing, MEng in Computing, along with options for specialisation in artificial intelligence and machine learning, management and finance, security and reliability, and more. Imperial’s outstanding engineering courses in Computing ranked fifth overall in the country for the subject in 2023 league tables (Complete University Guide).
Entry requirements for Imperial’s Computing programmes are some of the university’s highest requirements, demanding 160-200 UCAS tariff points or about A*A*A – A*AAA. Graduates of this programme are well-qualified as IT engineers, as the programme is accredited by Institution of Engineering and Technology and BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT. Upon completion of the course, graduates of this programme are awarded the additional qualification of Associateship of the City and Guilds of London Institute (ACGI).
Imperial’s MBBS and BSc in Medicine programme is a 6-year programme that is ranked 6th in the country, making it one of the top medical schools in the UK. The course is accredited by the General Medical Council, where graduates will obtain a primary medical qualification with their degrees which allows them to take on a Year 1 post in Foundation Year programmes.
Entry requirements for the medical programme starts from 144 UCAS tariff points, or AAA. According to 2017 medical schools admissions policies, Imperial would typically make an offer at AAAb, which is 3 As at A2 and a B in an AS subject. Imperial’s medical programme is among the highest rated by students for satisfaction rates, based on the latest National Student Survey.
Ranked as the number one programme in the UK for aerospace technology programmes, Imperial’s Aeronautical Engineering course is a great choice for aspiring engineers. The programme offers one course in the subject, a four-year Master of Engineering degree with honours.
Entry requirements for this programme are among the toughest in the university, requiring 168-200 UCAS tariff points, which is roughly equivalent to A*A*A – A*AAA. This is also the reason why the university ranks first in terms of entry standards for this subject. This programme also excelled in terms of graduate prospects, ranking second among other aerospace technology programmes in the UK, according to the Complete University Guide 2023.
Imperial College London Entry Requirements
Entry requirements at Imperial College London range from 144 to 200 UCAS tariff points. This is roughly the equivalent of AAA to A*AAA at the A-Levels. Most subjects require 144 points while its courses in Aerospace Engineering, Civil Engineering, and Computing have a higher requirement of 160-200 points (A*A*A – A*AAA).
Imperial’s computing programme has the highest application to admission ratio, meaning that there are most applications per place for this programme compared to others offered by the university. In the academic year of 2020/21, Imperial had a 12.2% admissions rate for undergraduate programmes. This, combined with its low offer rate of 32.5% in the same year, makes Imperial one of the most difficult UK universities to enter.
Imperial College London Entry Deadline
In the UK, all university applications (including those submitted by international students like you) go through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service, more commonly known as UCAS.
Most undergraduate courses will share the same deadline of 31 January of every year. Some courses such as Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Sciences and universities such as Oxford and Cambridge have an earlier deadline of 16 October in the year before admission.
For more information about key dates and other UCAS deadlines, take a look at our article UCAS Deadlines 2024.
Imperial College London Ranking
Imperial has quite an outstanding reputation for its programmes in science, engineering, business and medicine which is reflected in its programme rankings. In 2023, Imperial College London ranked 5th in the UK (Complete University Guide) and 6th globally (QS World University Rankings). The university has 14 subjects ranked among the top ten in the UK which includes Physics & Astronomy, Mechanical Engineering, Computing, Civil Engineering, and Medicine.
Imperial is part of the Russell Group and is known for its research quality and output. It ranked 1st overall on Times Higher Education for research in 2021 and 1st for research quality on the Complete University Guide 2023.
Imperial College London Fees
Undergraduate tuition fees
As of the 2022/23 academic year, tuition fees for international undergraduate students at Imperial College London range between £36,700-£37,900 per year for most courses. Medical courses cost more, starting from £50,400 per year. These fees do not include accommodation, transport to campus, or any other miscellaneous fee.
Imperial College London Accommodation
Imperial College London offers 2,500 single and twin rooms, which are mostly occupied by first-year students. According to the university’s website, there are currently eight halls of residence offered to undergraduate students. Half of the residence halls are located in South Kensington while others are located around London.
Rooms in South Kensington start from £127 a week and go up to £331 per week. These residence halls are located within a short walking distance from the university’s South Kensington campus. The Woodward Buildings and Kemp Porter Buildings are some of the newest halls located in North Acton and these halls offer cluster flats priced between £127 – 191 per week.
Accommodation fees are paid termly and are all-inclusive, covering WiFi, utilities, insurance, cleaning, and hall activity funds. First-year undergraduate students are guaranteed accommodation at the university, as long as they meet application deadlines. Residence halls offered by the university are self-catered single and twin rooms, with the option of en suite or shared bathrooms.
Imperial College London Reviews
Names may be changed to protect anonymity
Zach, 2020 – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
It’s far beyond my wildest expectations. Imperial College helps one balance an intense academic life with other aspects of life needed to keep going forward.
Student, 2019 – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Lovely place to study with brilliant people and a very proactive environment. The campus is taken good care of. Imperial College London really cares about students and is always looking for ways to ease students’ life. I am very happy with this College.
Student, 2019 – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Both challenging and highly rewarding. Have met like minded people, and developed greatly as a person. Have been provided with many incredible opportunities, and learnt from excellent staff and students. Fantastic facilities too. Sometimes lacking in funding for services such as counselling.
Imperial College London Facilities
Imperial College London has set up various facilities, programmes, and initiatives to promote an active lifestyle among its students and staff. Its flagship gym, Ethos, is well-equipped with a main gym, performance room for strength training, and a dedicated functional gym, SW7. Ethos also has a 25m swimming pool, indoor sports hall, climbing wall, squash courts, and a treatment room. There is also an online portal which makes booking quick and easy.
Aside from that, Imperial has a robust campaign to promote active travel and cycling as a means of commuting to the university. The university provides facilities for cyclists, adequate bike storage and security support, discounts on shared bicycles, and has communities on Yammer and Strava for discussions and route-sharing. Imperial’s MoveMore campaign is aimed at encouraging exercise by providing classes, sessions, and friendly competitions, as well as fitness video guides and MoveCast, a wellbeing podcast, which is all aimed at supporting beginners who are trying to get into fitness.
The university has the Central Library in its South Kensington campus and six other campus libraries. There are subject librarians who can help students source reading materials related to their subject at each campus library. Here, students can borrow laptops and tablets, book rooms, access the photocopier and printer, and use study spaces.
The university’s Careers Service is there to support students in planning and preparing for their future careers. It regularly runs events such as careers fairs and provides support on developing good CVs and interview skills. Students are automatically registered on JobsLive, the Careers Service department’s system for searching for jobs and booking appointments with them. The department offers support for all current students and alumni within three years of graduation.
Makers would absolutely love Imperial’s Hackspace which is a rapid prototyping, modelling, and fabrication space. It is a lively environment with workshops, open house evenings, and their unique Hack + Snack collaborative sessions. Hackspace also presents a great opportunity for collaboration and networking through its community channel on Microsoft Teams.
Imperial College London Student Activities and Clubs
Imperial College London’s student union offers many clubs, societies, and projects, which they have named CSPs. There are over 380 CSPs at Imperial, which is reportedly one of the widest varieties of clubs and societies offered by a university in the UK. There are many types of CSPs, ranging from sports activities to academic societies, art and culture clubs, and community projects. There will be ample opportunities to meet like-minded students, participate in an activity you enjoy, and even pick up a new skill or two.
Imperial’s student union, Imperial College Union, is student-led by democratically elected representatives. Over 2,000 students are involved in student union activities every year and volunteer in various roles such as CSP committee members, academic representatives, council members, and more.
For students who enjoy sports, there are over 60 sports clubs that welcome students of any abilities and levels. There are a number of clubs dedicated to general fitness and weightlifting, such as Barbell, Crossfit, and Weights and Fitness. Most other sports clubs are team-based ball games while there are a few aquatic sports clubs and miscellaneous fun sports.
Volunteering is also popular at Imperial as there are over 20 CSPs dedicated to charity work. There are also plenty of opportunities to volunteer at the university – Imperial is part of the Access Project where students can volunteer to be tutors to disadvantaged children.
Imperial College London Contact
Official website: https://www.imperial.ac.uk/
Phone: +44 (0)20 7589 5111
Address: South Kensington Campus, London SW7 2AZ, UK
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