University College London Guide: Reviews, Rankings, Fees and More

Founded in 1826 in Bloomsbury, London, UCL took inspiration from philosopher Jeremy Bentham to extend the higher education world to the public. UCL is a pioneering university that brought educational equality for students of all religions, social backgrounds and genders for the first time in history. Its progressive spirit gave England the first woman to have a law degree in 1888 – Eliza Orme (1848-1937) – as well as one of the first women ever to be elected a Fellow of the Royal Society – Dame Kathleen Lonsdale, a scientist, Quaker and pacifist. In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about this prestigious university.

Summary of University

university college london review

Table of Contents

University College London Overview

UCL is the first university to teach engineering, architecture, and language. It founded the first engineering laboratory in the world for the purpose. Its radical spirit is still strong as seen in its commitment to positive climate action. UCL students and researchers are working on complex contemporary issues such as global health, sustainable cities, human well-being, cultural understanding, transformational technology, justice, and equality. 

Sixteen of the professors at UCL’s Faculty of Brain Sciences are named among the most influential in the world, according to Clarivate Web of Science Highly Cited Researchers in 2021. In 2014, the university also led the country in terms of research strength, according to the REF.

The network of UCL alumni has expanded to more than 350,000 members across 190 countries worldwide. More than half of their 30 Nobel laureates are non-British. UCL’s extensive network brings about bright career prospects for its graduates. According to the survey in Graduate Outcomes by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) in 2019, 62% of UCL graduates found full-time work within 15 months after graduation in a wide range of sectors ranging from financial services and consultancy to health and social care and the creative arts. The median starting salary is £31,000. 

UCL alumni are world-class achievers. Since 1901, UCL staff and alumni have won at least one Nobel Prize each decade in various fields from Physics, Chemistry to Physiology and Medicine.

University College London Courses and Programmes

UCL is home to twelve world-leading faculties with top-tier programmes recognised by reputable education rankings internationally. Some of the top programmes are:

Psychology and Language Sciences

This course combines UCL’s best Psychology course with speech sciences and linguistics. The application for the course content ranges from clinical and educational psychology, speech and language therapy, education and careers relating to behaviour and communication. 100% of its students are satisfied with the quality of the course (National Student Survey). Responses on the teaching quality and learning opportunities are as high as 100%. Up to 90% of students go on to work and/or further study after graduation, with up to 85% in skilled work. Average earnings of UCL graduates in both medicine and psychology fields between 15 months to 5 years after graduation are from £25,000 to £37,500, all belonging to the higher end of the typical range.

Education Studies

This is an interdisciplinary degree that combines knowledge from history, philosophy, sociology and psychology to improve fairness and equality worldwide. According to the National Student Survey during the COVID-19 pandemic, 72% of the course’s graduates were satisfied with its quality. 90% agreed that staff are good at explaining things, and 76% received sufficient advice and guidance during the study. 85% of the students went on to work and/or study within 15 months after the course, with 55% of them in highly skilled teaching professionals. The average earnings for graduates from all full-time Education courses are £24,500 to £27,500, belonging to the maximum range of the national average (Longitudinal Education Outcomes (LEO) dataset between 2010 and 2012).

Medicine MBBS

This is an integrated programme that gives you the chance to work at one of London’s best teaching hospitals – the University College Hospital (UCH). The curriculum focuses on fundamental health problems, clinical presentations and patient pathways. When graduating from this programme, students can receive three bachelors: Bachelor of Science (BSc) and Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS). 80% of the surveyed students were satisfied with the course (National Student Survey). 97% found work and/or went for further studies within 15 months after graduation, with 99% in skilled jobs in the medical field. Five years after graduation, graduates made an average of £49,000 compared to the typical range of £42,500 to £56,000. 

University College London Entry Requirements

Applicants taking A Levels are expected to present at least three full GCE A Levels for entry to undergraduate courses.

There are also International Foundation Year courses which are intensive 1.5 or 2-semester programmes designed specifically to provide you with a pathway to undergraduate degree study at the university.

University 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.

University College London Ranking

  • UCL was ranked 9th globally (Based on 2024 QS World University Rankings) and 9th in the UK (Complete University Guide).
  • UCL’s Arts and Humanities are ranked sixth in the world according to Times Higher Education World University Rankings by Subject in 2024. 
  • Architecture/Built Environment at UCL is ranked best globally by QS World University Rankings by Subject in 2024 for the nineth year in a row. The Bartlett School of Architecture is consistently ranked as the top architecture school for 17 consecutive years by the Architect’s Journal AJ100.
  • Neuroscience, Psychiatry and Psychology programmes at UCL are the best in the UK, producing world-leading research as recognised by the Research Excellence Framework in 2021. Its Neuroscience and Behavioural Studies programmes are ranked the best in Europe and second globally in the NTU Ranking of 2020.
  • The Education programme at The IOE has topped the global chart for nine consecutive years in the QS World University Rankings by Subject from 2014 to 2024. 
  • Law programmes at UCL is consistently listed in the top ten of rankings domestically and globally, ranked number four in the UK by the Guardian University Guide in 2024 and eleventh in the global ranking of Times Higher Education World University Rankings by Subject in 2024.
  • Mathematical and Physical Sciences at UCL are ranked in the top 10 by the QS World University Rankings by Subjects in 2021.
  • Medicine at UCL is the best programme in London and one of the top ten programmes in the world, according to the QS World University Rankings by Subjects in 2023.
  • The Public Health programme at UCL is ranked seventh in the world in the Shanghai Ranking’s Global Ranking of Academics Subjects in 2022. Its research in the field is also among the top in the Russell Group in Research Excellence Framework in 2014.

University College London Fees

Undergraduate tuition fees

For overseas students enrolling in 2024/2025, the annual tuition fees range between £26,200 to £32,100 per year. Medical students will pay £47,000 per year of study. With the exception of the Medicine MBBS programme, most undergraduate programmes charge a fixed fee every year. These fees will remain the same throughout the duration of study.

University College London Accommodation

UCL provides around 7000 beds in 26 halls of both catered and self-catered accommodation for their first-year students. All accommodation options are single rooms due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They are either en-suite or with shared bathrooms, ranging from £156 to £300 per week.

At the catered accommodations, the rent includes breakfast and evening dinner on weekdays and brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. Students can also use a small kitchen to prepare meals. For self-catered accommodations, students may use the shared kitchen facilities to cook.

University College London Reviews

Abigail Irozuru - Law LLB, 2012 - GB Olympic Long Jump Athlete British Indoor Champion 2020

“The attitude at UCL is both fun and focused. You realise that the people you meet on your programme, in the Cloisters and halls will be future game-changers – as well you – and that is inspiring!”

Gavin Alakija - Parent of a student

“My daughter has been at UCL for about three weeks and is loving it. Great comradeship between students, great rivalry between London Universities – maturity, inclusively and intelligence. Many things that are missing from modern Britain.”

Nafisa Madina

“Great campus, people (faculty and students), occasions, events, anything you can think of! The social and study life is 10/10.”

Harry Muzart - BSc 2013-2016

“Great for opportunities to work with renowned academics and get into world-leading cutting-edge scientific research !!!!”

University College London Facilities

Research facilities

UCL heavily invested in their research facilities with a 10-year, £1.25 billion investment plan to create sustainable spaces and best-in-class research facilities. For example, the Life Sciences department hosts the Centre for Biodiversity and Environment Research, the Institute for Healthy Ageing and the Sainsbury Welcome Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour. Meanwhile, the new Eastman Clinical Investigation Centre (ECIC) provides the ideal location for clinical and translational research in oral and dental diseases. 

Learning resources

The UCL Library Services include 16 libraries and learning spaces spread across London. The SSEES Library has many specialist collections of films and documentaries from Central and Eastern Europe and Russia. UCL’s digital library is one of the best in the world, and researchers can work for free at the institutional repository UCL Discovery. UCL Press – UK’s first completely open access university press was also initiated in UCL.

University College London Student Activities and Clubs

There are over 300 active societies at UCL and also cultural societies that welcome anyone with an interest in their group.  Career building societies are also available. Over 70 sports clubs are available at UCL; all go under the collective name of TeamUCL. Competitive participants can compete in the TeamUCL leagues for 11 aside football, six aside football, netball, and 3X3 basketball. There is no need to be a member of any club to play these sports. Serious players can also attend the Elite Athlete Programme and High-Performance Programme to train for national and international games.

University College London Contact

  • Official website: 
  • Phone: +44 (0) 20 7679 2000 
  • Address: Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT.
Apply For University College London - Contact Us

Join our UK Study newsletter and get helpful articles on UK study, admission tips, courses and more delivered to your inbox.

Apply To University College London

We provide free university application assistance and advice. Speak to one of our consultants now!