UCL (University College London)



Overall ranking: Came 9th out of 123 in the Complete University Guide for 2015.

History: Founded by a group of liberals in 1826, influenced by the social reformer Jeremy Bentham, with the aim of providing education for all regardless of religion, race or gender.

Address: Gower Street, Bloomsbury, in the heart of London's university-land. The UCL Medical School also has campuses at hospital sites in Hampstead and Archway in North London.

Ambience: UCL's location in central London offers outstanding benefits, positioned as it is within walking distance of the British Museum, the British Library, the University of London Union, Regent's Park and the West End. A friendly and cosmopolitan atmosphere.

Who's the boss? Professor Michael Arthur, formerly Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leeds and the former Chair of the Advisory Group for National Specialised Services (NHS), the Worldwide Universities Network and the Russell Group of Universities.

Prospectus: 020 7679 3000 or download one here.

UCAS code: U80

What you need to know

Easy to get into? No. Entry requirements range from A*A*A to ABB at A-level, plus a pass in a further AS-level or equivalent, depending on the course. You'll also need a GCSE grade C or equivalent in English language and maths. See here for more information.

Vital statistics: England's third oldest university, and impressive academically, UCL is London's research and teaching powerhouse. Of the 28,800 students, over half are undergraduates, while 43 per cent of UCL students come from outside the UK. There has been at least one Nobel Laureate from the UCL community every decade since the prizes began in 1901.

Added value: The inert gases, hormones and vitamins were all first discovered here. More than 190 undergraduate programmes for first year entry. However, the number of undergraduate programmes taught is much greater as many offer routes into other programmes after the first year. One of the top universities in the world, with the highest number of professors of any UK university. The union runs a fitness suite at Bloomsbury Fitness, has its own sports grounds and full access to the Somers Town Community Sports Centre for a whole host of sports. New programmes are on offer as of 2015, including applied medical science (BSc and MSci), human evolutionary sciences (MSci) and geography with qualitative methods (BA). A huge new infrastructure project, the Bloomsbury Masterplan, is now also underway. Work includes a £26m programme to create a high quality terrace improving routes through the Wilkins Building to Gordon Street and upgrades to the Bloomsbury Theatre; the total refurbishment of Wates House; and a new Student Centre adjacent to the Bloomsbury Theatre. Extensive refurbishment of The Kathleen Lonsdale Building and re-planning to provide a single home and state of the art facilities for Earth Sciences, along with the creation of specialist teaching facilities and a learning hub, is expected to be completed for 2016/17 intake. UCL is one of 24 Russell Group universities, dedicated to the highest levels of academic excellences.

Teaching: Ranked 103rd out of 123 in the Complete University Guide for student satisfaction.

Graduate prospects: Very good- ranked 9th with 80.7% of students entering graduate employment.

Any accommodation? Yes, UCL offer halls and student houses. Catered halls are £137.30 to £154.35 for a single room, and £167.30 to £203.70 for double rooms. Self-catered student houses start from £100.45 for a single room and £178.50 for a one-bed flat.

Cheap to live there? Nope - this is London. Around £120 per week minimum if you share a house.

Transport links: Mainline rail stations nearby include Euston, King’s Cross and St Pancras International (Eurostar terminal). Close to tube stations at Euston Square, Warren Street, Euston, Goodge Street and Russell Square.

Fees: £9,000 a year for UK and EU students on all undergraduate programmes. Fees for 2015 entry may be higher. International undergrad student fees start from £15,200.

Bursaries: All full-time UK/EU students who apply for income-assessed student support where assessed income is £42,620 or less (for 2014 entry) will be eligible to receive a UCL Undergraduate Bursary. See here.

The fun stuff

Nightlife: The union runs a full entertainments programme, and has a number of bars, café bars and catering outlets. There are also pubs and clubs around the university. Leading theatrical and comedy performances are on all year round at the on-campus UCL Bloomsbury Theatre, which also hosts union productions. Discos and live music of all kinds are on offer. Plus there's London on your doorstep.

Price of a pint: Around £3.65 here in the city- often more.

Sporting reputation: Pretty good- 25th in the BUCS league.

Calendar highlight: The UCL Summer Ball has become legendary among students and is held on campus each May. The Welcome Ball is hosted by none other than the Ministry of Sound- a night not to be missed.

Notable societies: The American Society looks particularly cool- it hosts a Super Bowl party and a Thanksgiving Dinner. There are many societies dedicated to particular countires and cultures, reflecting the cosmopolitan nature of the student community. Then there's the Human Powered Flight Society which builds human powered planes and flies them...apparently.

Glittering alumni: Alexander Graham Bell, telephone inventor; Mahatma Gandhi; Ricky Gervais, creator of The Office; Jonathan Ross, TV and radio presenter; Chris Martin, lead singer of Coldplay, plus the entire band. 21 Nobel Prize winners are among graduates and academics.

Alternative prospectus: Got any burning questions about UCL to get off your chest? Check out The Student Room's UCL page.


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