How Hard Is It to Get Into UCL Postgraduate?

University College London (UCL) is one of the best universities in the UK and globally, ranking eighth in the world in the 2023 QS World University Rankings. It should therefore come as no surprise that UCL postgraduate programmes are extremely competitive. However, how hard really is it to get into a postgraduate course at UCL? And what are the entry requirements you need to meet? This guide contains everything you need to know to maximise your chances of a successful application.

What is the UCL postgraduate acceptance rate?

Across all of its postgraduate courses, UCL has an offer rate of approximately 38%, meaning less than 2 in 5 applicants receive an offer. Some of the most competitive Master’s courses at UCL include:

  • MA Landscape Architecture (~2%)
  • DClinPsy Clinical Psychology (4.8%)
  • MRes Artificial Intelligence Enabled Healthcare (~5.4%)
  • MRes Quantum Technologies (~5.7%)
  • MSc Data Science (~5.7%)
  • MRes Management (~6.8%)
  • MSc Computer Science (~7.6%)
  • MA Comparative Economics and Policy (~8.2%)
  • MClinDent Orthodontics (~8.5%)
  • MSc Machine Learning (~8.8%)
  • MClinDent Prosthodontics (~9.2%)

What are the entry requirements for UCL postgraduate courses?

The entry requirements for UCL postgraduate courses depend on the specific programme you are applying for. For instance, Master’s programmes have different entry requirements to PhDs, and different subject areas have their own prerequisites for entry.

UCL Master’s entry requirements

The minimum entry requirement for UCL Master’s courses is usually a second class (2:2) undergraduate degree from a UK institution, or an international equivalent (e.g. US GPA of 3.0/4.0). However, most courses (particularly the most competitive) require at least a high 2:1 or a first-class classification, and may also specify specific subject requirements. For example, MSc Financial Mathematics applicants are required to have a high 2:1 UK honours degree (or equivalent), including evidence of high performance in key areas such as probability, analysis, and differential equations.

Other UCL postgraduate entry requirements

The entry requirements for most research programmes (including PhD, MPhil and EngD courses) are a first-class or 2:1 Bachelor’s degree from a UK university in a relevant subject (or international equivalent), or a recognised taught Master’s degree. For professional doctorate programmes, such as DDent Dentistry and DECPsy Child and Educational Psychology, you will need a 2:1 Bachelor’s degree in a relevant subject (or equivalent).

It’s crucial that you check the specific entry requirements for your chosen course before applying to make sure that you are eligible. If you require support in reaching the entry requirements for your desired course, reach out for support from The Profs’ degree level tutors. We can help you to not only meet the grades required for entry, but exceed them as much as possible and accompany them with an excellent application to ensure that you stand out to UCL.

Does UCL require admissions tests for postgraduate courses?

One Master’s course at UCL requires an admissions test: MSc Economics. Applicants to MSc Economics must take the GRE (Graduate Records Examination). You must achieve a quantitative score of at least 162 to be considered for the programme.

We recommend that you take the GRE around 6 months prior to submitting your application for MSc Economics at UCL. You will need to leave time to prepare thoroughly for the test and ensure that you are submitting the best possible score. You can retake the GRE up to five times in a one-year period, so if you don’t do as well as you need for your chosen university, you can retake it in 16-21 days.

How to write a UCL postgraduate personal statement

Your personal statement is an important part of most UCL postgraduate applications; it is your first chance to show that you are the best candidate for a place on your chosen course. With so many strong applicants to its postgraduate courses every year, UCL will value your personal statement highly and will use it to help make decisions about who to offer places to.

Unlike during the undergraduate application process, where you are only allowed to submit one personal statement that is then sent to every university via UCAS, your postgraduate personal statement can be personalised to UCL (and any other universities you apply to). This means that UCL will expect to see more research into your chosen course along with your motivations for studying there (as opposed to any other university) and how the course aligns with your future goals.

Our guide to writing a Master’s personal statement gives detailed stages and top tips on how to stand out to even the most competitive universities. Click the button below to read it for free:

How to Write a Master’s Personal Statement

You can also access more personalised, one-to-one support with your postgraduate personal statement by reaching out to our admissions team today. Our network of tutors have a 95% success rate of helping students receive offers from their first and second choice universities so are best placed to give you the expert guidance you need.

How to prepare for a UCL postgraduate interview

Some postgraduate courses at UCL interview applicants as part of the admissions process. Whether you have previous interview experience or not, the structure of a postgraduate interview is unique and will probably be unfamiliar to you. It’s therefore important to know which type of interview you will be facing and how you can best prepare for it.

There are three main types of postgraduate interviews: online video interviews (such as Kira Prep), interviews with admissions staff, and interviews with university alumni. Make sure you check on your chosen course page (or with UCL directly) for details on a potential interview.
Our helpful guide to preparing for a postgraduate interview gives more information on each as well as offering top tips on how to prepare. You can read the guide via the button below:

How to Prepare for a Postgraduate Interview

How we can help

Although UCL postgraduate courses are extremely competitive, it is certainly possible to secure an offer. In fact, our postgraduate admissions tutors have helped countless students receive offers from UCL, as well as other top universities including Oxbridge, LSE, and Imperial. 95% of the students we work with receive offers from their first or second choice university, so if you need support with your postgraduate UCL application, reach out to our team today and let us improve your chances.


When do UCL Masters applications open?

The applications for the majority of Master’s courses open in October (applications for the 2023/24 academic year open on 17 October 2022). Check your individual course page for specific application dates.

How long does UCL take to give offers postgraduate?

UCL does not send out offers on a specific date, however it does aim to provide applicants with a decision within 10 weeks of submitting their application. If UCL encounters any delays regarding your application, it will either let you know via your applicant portal or via email.

If you do receive an offer, you must accept it by going to the offer page of your applicant portal. UCL cannot accept written confirmation of your acceptance via email.

Can I apply for 2 UCL postgraduate courses?

You can apply for a maximum of two postgraduate programmes in one academic year at UCL. The applications must be for different programmes and if an application fee is charged, it will be charged per application.

What is the deadline for accepting a UCL Master’s offer?

There may be a deadline for accepting a Master’s offer at UCL on your offer letter. If there is no deadline or timeline specified, then there is no fixed deadline, however it is encouraged that you make your decision as soon as possible to allow time for both you and UCL to prepare for the start of your studies. For example, if your course starts in September or October and you receive your offer after the 30th June, UCL strongly recommends that you respond within two weeks.

If you will be applying for a student visa, you should aim to accept your offer as soon as possible to allow enough time for your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) number to be issued and for your visa application to be processed. UCL cannot prepare your CAS until you have formally accepted your offer. 

Can I switch my Masters degree UCL?

It is not possible for you to transfer your offer to another Master’s programme at UCL. If you would like to be considered for another course, you will need to apply for that course separately.

How long is a PhD at UCL?

Full-time PhDs at UCL usually take 3-4 years to complete (3 years of research plus 1 optional writing-up year). You can also register for part-time study, in which case your PhD would typically take 5-7 years to complete (5 years of research plus 2 years optional writing-up).

How long is a Masters degree in UCL?

UCL Masters degrees typically last for 1 year if studied full-time. If you choose to study part-time, they usually take 2 years to complete.

How much does a Masters cost at UCL?

The cost of your UCL Masters will depend on the type of programme you are completing and whether you are a UK or international student. Fees for most Master’s programmes range from £10,700-£45,000 for UK students, or £19,300-£57,700 for international students. Fees for MRes programmes are slightly cheaper, ranging from £5,860-£26,200 for UK students and £24,200-£35,000 for international students.