How to Get Into King’s College London (KCL)

‘How can I get into King’s College London?’ is a question that I get asked a lot and this is unsurprising too! Currently, KCL is ranked as the 6th best UK university according to Times Higher Education (2023) and 40th in the world according to QS world University rankings (2024). Its highly regarded research and reputable reputation amongst employers makes it a popular choice, receiving almost 70,000 applicants in 2021, which equates to almost 20 applicants per place. Of these many applicants, only 12.6% were accepted. Each year, many applicants fall short of acquiring the place they want despite having good grades.

Throughout my ten years of experience as a university admissions consultant, I’ve collected a bunch of insider knowledge for getting into Russell Group universities like King’s. The amount of competition for top universities like King’s means that having the right grades is often not enough. That’s why I have written this article to help you maximise your chances of getting in. If you’re thinking of applying to King’s read on for key insider information. 

Our experienced admissions tutors work with you throughout the university application process, providing guidance on how to enhance your academic profile and write a stand-out statement that is tailored to KCL and your specific course. Thanks to our support, more than 95% of the students we work with receive an offer from their first or second-choice universities. For more information on how we can help, get in touch with our team today.

Contents

Is King’s College London a Russell Group University?

Yes! KCL is one of the 24 Russell Group universities. Russell group It is a leading University in the UK and is known for its quality of research, with more than 55% of its research rated as ‘world-leading’ . For more information on the range and quality of research at King’s visit their website or see results for the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 .The Complete University Guide ranks King’s as the 17th best Russell Group University.

Which subjects is King’s College London known for?

King’s is a great university all-around, specialising in a range of subjects and disciplines. According to the Complete University Guide (2024), it is ranked in the top 10 in the UK for 24 subject areas, including Accounting and Finance, Economics, and Psychology.

King’s College London is particularly well-known for its medical school, GKT School of Medical Education. This school offers four MBBS programmes which all follow the same core curriculum. All four MBBS programmes offer their students the opportunity to take on an intercalated degree within King’s or an allied university while attaining a GMC accredited Primary Medical Qualification (PMQ). The standard MBBS course, which is offered to those currently studying towards their A levels (or equivalent), receives 10 applications per place year on year.

If you want to study Medicine you should check out our previous article to learn more about where you can apply, what the application process involves, and whether you have what it takes to do a medical degree!

The school of Law at King’s offers six related programmes that students can switch between after their first year of study which can include the opportunity to study abroad, and the opportunity to attain a dual degree in American Law (JD) or Hong Kong Law (LLM). 

If you wish to study Law (LLB) you can arm yourself with further insider knowledge from our Law admissions experts by reading our guide on applying to Law!

What are the King’s College London entry requirements?

King’s College London’s entry requirements vary depending on the course you’re applying to study and the country you’re applying from. The table below shows the UK qualifications and some international qualifications accepted by KCL, and the entry requirements for each. 

QualificationEntry requirements
A LevelsA*A*A-BBB, depending on the course.
International Baccalaureate (IB)35 points overall (three Higher Level subjects at 776) to 32 points overall (three Higher Level subjects at 555), depending on the course.
APs (USA)555 (with ACT at 30) to 444 (with ACT at 26) in three AP subjects, depending on the course. Alternatively, 55555 in five APs to 44444 in five APs, depending on the course.

Specific subject requirements may also apply (e.g. where an A* in a subject is specified, a 5 in that AP subject must be achieved).

GPA (USA)Minimum 3.3 GPA, depending on the course.
Other international qualificationsKing’s College London accepts a range of international qualifications, for each of its courses. Your qualification may be listed on the individual page for your chosen course. However, if it is not, you should enquire directly with the University about whether your specific qualifications are accepted and the grades required.

For more information on how to apply to King’s as an international student, check on the University’s own support page, read our guide for international applicants, or get in touch with The Profs for one-to-one support from one of our international admissions experts.

King’s also accepts and explicitly states alternative typical entry requirements for a multitude of alternative qualifications such as A Level, IB highers, Access to HE diploma, BTEC nationals, Cambridge Pre-U, and Scottish Highers. You can easily find these by searching the course pages.

If you need support improving your grades to meet King’s competitive entry requirements get in touch with one of our A level or IB tutors to receive award winning support. If you are looking for general support with your application  then reach out to The Profs’ admissions consultants today. We’ll offer a free discovery call to determine your likelihood of achieving a place at KCL and set up any additional support you may need.

Does King’s College London give contextual offers?

King’s College London does take contextual information into account when making offers to its applicants. If you meet certain criteria, you may be eligible for a contextual offer. Contextual offers can be up to two A level grades (or equivalent) lower than the standard entry requirements for any one course. 

Many students won’t be eligible for KCL’s contextual offers, however it is always worth checking. Use KCL’s contextual admissions eligibility tool to find out if you are eligible.

5 tips for getting into King’s College London

Read our 5 tips for applying to King’s College London for insight on how to maximise your chances in the admissions process.

Thanks to our network of experienced tutors, many of whom are Russell Group graduates and ex-admissions officers themselves, we have the very latest and best knowledge on what King’s College London is looking for in top applicants. Get in touch with us today to chat with a member of our team about how we can help you.

1. Do you actually know your specific entry requirements?

Subjects and Grades: 

It sounds obvious, but your predicted grades are very important when applying to a top-tier university. With almost 70,000 applicants, admissions tutors need a quick, accessible tool to compare students’ abilities from all over the world. Predicted grades provide this metric. You can check the course entry requirements for your desired course and related courses using the universities online course search tool. It is important to note that KCL accepts a range of qualification types (e.g. A Level, IB highers, Access to HE diploma, BTEC nationals, Cambridge Pre-U, and Scottish Highers). Many courses require you to be studying certain subjects e.g. Chemistry (BSc or MSci) requires a grade A in Chemistry A level (or equivalent). It is essential that you check the course entry requirements online before you begin to apply! 

If you want to boost your grades you can do so by contacting us! 98% of our school level students get an increase of at least 1 grade!

Insider tip: While it’s true that your predicted grades for A level (or equivalent) will carry a large weighting you should also be mindful of your GCSE grades! Generally speaking, UK based students are expected to have good GCSE grades in Mathematics and in English (6 and above). So if you are predicted high grades for A level but are lacking in GCSE English or Mathematics you might want to consider retaking. Retakes can be especially tough as you usually have to revise the content independently, alongside your studies. Rest assured, The Profs’ subject tutors are on hand to help you attain the grades you need in your GCSE retakes, so get in touch!

Interviews: 

KCL does hold undergraduate and postgraduate interviews. For the MBBS programmes no applicant receives a place without an interview! For more information check the university website. Undergraduate interviews for all other courses are rare but you may be invited for an interview if the following apply:

  • You are applying to very popular courses including LLB Law or Business Management
  • You have a non traditional education background
  • The University wants to assess your skills beyond what was demonstrated in your UCAS application. 

They have 3 interview types: 121, panel interviews, or multi mini interviews where multiple interviewers ask you 1 or 2 questions. KCL states that they will give you at least one week notice prior to the interview. You can read more about the KCL undergraduate admissions process including their policy on interviews online

Check out our video and article on smashing university interviews. We also have expert interview coaches who can guide you through the interview process!

Admissions tests:

If you are applying for LLB courses, such as Law and Politics or Philosophy and Law, you will be required to take the LNAT by the 31st of December (that is before the UCAS application deadline on the 31st of January the following year). If you are applying for Medicine or Dentistry you will be required to take the UCAT the same year you apply. Please note that the Medicine (MBBS) and Dentistry (BDS) course applications close early in the application cycle (typically in mid-October). We at The Profs have excellent UCAT and LNAT tutors! 

STEP or AEA are strongly recommended  for the following courses, and required if you are not studying Further Mathematics:

  • Mathematics (MSci and BSc).
  • Mathematics and Philosophy (BSc).
  • Mathematics with Statistics (BSc).
  • Mathematics with Management and finance (BSc).

STEP or AEA are recommended for the following courses:

  • Electronic Engineering ( MSci and BSc).  

Your application might entail more than you first realise! Check your course online before you begin your UCAS application. The course pages on the university website will give you all you need to know about the application stages for each course, including whether they interview and any aptitude tests they require. 

Get in touch to schedule a 1-to-1 session with one of our expert LNAT, STEP or AEA tutors today!

2. You’ve mentioned a solid 5-year plan, right?

Having a solid plan in place is a key part of your motivation for studying the course. I recommend that you use a top-down approach to your UCAS application. Ask yourself: What jobs can a degree in your subject lead to and do these sound like a career path for you? 

Also, consider which universities offer your course. Be sure to check the applicant criteria, course structure and the rankings for each course at each institution. 

When you have a career, a course, and a university in mind you can always check the graduate prospects for previous alumni. A brilliant way to do this is go on LinkedIn (and sign up if you haven’t already). Also, give the King’s College page a follow – it’s pretty inspiring to see what the previous students have gone on to achieve!

Make sure that your goals are specific to the course you are applying for. For example, if you are applying to study Politics, think about which area of Politics you are particularly interested in (e.g. American Politics, Political Theory, or Comparative Politics). Then consider why you want to explore this particular area, what potential career/s you are aiming to pursue (such as working for the UK government or a global non-profit organisation), and how a Politics degree from King’s will equip you with the necessary skills and knowledge to achieve this.

Top tip: KCL has many discipline related societies with their own webpages showing upcoming events and talks that might be of interest to applicants! You can also stay up to date with the latest research or news going on in the departments by looking at the university careers and employability blog or following the LinkedIn or twitter pages. This is bound to give you some inspiration!

Your long-term goals don’t have to be industry-specific; they may be academic (such as wanting to study a Master’s or PhD) and you may be at the very beginning of your exploration. King’s is highly regarded in general for its research across many disciplines. In fact, King’s research performance is so strong that 14 members of staff and alumni have won nobel prizes. KCL has a large population of postgraduates performing cutting edge research. If you are interested in postgraduate study, KCL is an excellent choice and being an undergraduate here will certainly help you get your foot in the door! 

King’s won’t expect you to be super detailed or stick to your plan at this stage, but it’s good to show that you are motivated and driven, especially considering the reputation King’s College London has amongst employers. In fact, KCL is ranked the 7th most-targeted UK University by the top employers in 2023-2024 (Times Higher Education) and it boasts superb links with hundreds of international and UK-based employers. 

For more support on coming up with a career plan or simply tailoring your personal statement to a university like King’s, get in touch with our team.

3. Lay the groundwork for acceptance

To help prove your commitment to your long-term goals outlined in your personal statement, you should look to gain relevant work experience in your field. Whether paid or unpaid, having experience working in your desired field will provide you with invaluable real-life knowledge about the industry and, of course, looks great to the admissions team!

For some King’s College courses, such as its range of Law courses (single LLB and joint honours), work experience is valued extremely highly, so it’s important that you get experience in relevant settings. For example, LLB Law applicants should try to gain experience in a courtroom, law firm, charity, or governmental organisation. If you’re applying to a joint honours course, such as Politics, Philosophy and Law or English Law and German/Spanish/French Law, you should also try to gain experience that relates specifically to the additional subject area.  Read our guide to applying for Law for more information on competitive LLB programmes!

The MBBS courses and other Medicine related courses such as Biomedical Science are highly sought after year upon year. It’s fair to say you’ll need to have gone that extra mile to prove yourself amongst a crowd that shares your passion. For medical courses work experience is essential. You can try and secure experience working in a care setting or observing in a medical clinic. The idea of work experience with medicine is not only to prove an academic appreciation of medicine BUT it’s also to show that you are aware of the physical and emotional demands of this line of work. Read our guide on applying for Medicine for more information if you are thinking of studying Medicine or a related subject!

Some courses are harder than others to find direct work experience for. If you can’t secure work experience relevant to your chosen subject, try to engage in as many extracurricular activities related to your chosen subject area as you can instead. For instance, if you’re applying for Physics, you could enter a competition like the UK Maths Challenge or British Physics Olympiad, or attend an after school society like a Maths or Astronomy club.

4. How to ACTUALLY go beyond the school syllabus

When it comes to writing your personal statement, showing a genuinely passionate and in-depth understanding of your subject goes a long way. King’s College London values academic, independent, and well-read students, so citing wider reading and other extracurricular activities you’ve done to specifically enhance your knowledge of your chosen subject area will help you stand out. Try to make sure that every book and article you’ve read, club you’ve taken part in, or organisation you’ve volunteered with is clearly relevant to your subject area. You may also want to research summer schools or programmes run by academic institutions if you are thinking of taking a natural science or engineering-based subject. These are typically a week long and are offered to students in year 12.

Work-experience and/or extracurricular work should be showcased in your personal statement. If you’re not sure what to include in your personal statement, reach out to our team of tutors today who can put you in touch with one of our expert personal statement tutors. We can help you to identify where your strengths are and advise you on how to develop your academic and extracurricular profile ready for submitting your application to King’s College London. Additionally, you should check out our article on personal statement writing and listen to my advice on how to write a winning personal statement!

Top tip: You cannot include details about the specific KCL course you’re applying for in your personal statement because this statement will be sent to all of the universities you apply for. However, you can (and should) still do your research into your chosen course at KCL and use this information to subtly tailor your statement. 

For example, you could look at notable tutors/lecturers working in the department and see what research they have done and what modules they teach. If you see something that aligns with your interests, consider citing a piece of research or book they have written, or talk in depth about a specific topic they cover in a module. This could give you a one-up over other applicants when the department comes to making final decisions about who to offer places to.

Top tip: Have you had a look at the King’s SU? The SU is the place to look when you’re thinking about how you might spend your time as a student outside of studying for your degree. KCL’s SU is home to about 300 societies and is a great place to find friends with similar interests. You can find many societies linked to an academic discipline, such as Medicine or Finance. Have a look at the range of societies you could join at KCL and see what activities they do! Perhaps this might give you an idea of any talks going on or key research themes in certain disciplines.

I recommend you research subject focussed societies available at King’s and research their activities, blogs and up-coming events etc. You can try and mention these in your personal statement as it is definitely worth showing that you would contribute to KCL’s community.

Top tip: Have you started extra reading for your chosen course? Demonstrating a willingness to learn beyond the curriculum is essential for popular universities like KCL. Study the module structure of your chosen course and identify topics you would like to learn about in more detail. You can then identify books, articles, events and talks related to the topic. In order to find the right material, your teacher is a good first point of call. Alternatively, you can find credible resources online. Amazon is a good place to look for materials as they have many ratings and reviews and it can be a great place to identify leading textbooks in your topic of interest. It is very important that you can demonstrate to KCL that you are capable of keeping up with university level content. 

Identifying new developments in your field and reading more complex materials is a challenging task and you may want to consider getting some extra help! Get in touch with one of our expert admissions consultants to guide you through submitting a stellar application.

5. Invest in your personal statement

Your personal statement is your opportunity to showcase that you have the academic proficiency for an intensive course at KCL, as well as the drive and ambition to succeed. It’s even better if you can prove that you’ve gone the extra mile to learn more about your desired course!

Writing your personal statement starts with you deciding how you have showcased your ability and desire to study this course. So it’s important to choose the right extracurricular activities and start applying for valuable work experience. At this stage of the application process, it’s important to get your teacher involved! There are many reasons for this. 

For one, they can help you find extracurricular activities and work experience. Secondly, if you do plan on taking on some work experience you will need a teacher’s explicit permission as this might encroach on your study time. Thirdly, your teacher might also need to act as your referee! 

Crafting an excellent personal statement takes time and expertise. For more information on writing an excellent personal statement read our article and watch my video. Our personal statement tutors can provide you with tailored support and expert advice for writing a statement that will win over the admissions team. Be sure to get in touch with us to access our expert and dedicated support. If anyone can get you into KCL, it’s us!!

Note that all students applying to University for 2023, 2024 or 2025 will still be required to submit a UCAS personal statement as normal. However, from January 2025 onwards (October 2024, for Oxbridge applicants), there will be changes to the UCAS application process and students will no longer be required to write a personal statement. Instead, all applicants will answer a series of shorter, more tailored questions provided by UCAS

Get 1-to-1 guidance from an expert admissions tutor

At the Profs, we have many admissions consultants who can guide you through the process of applying to KCL, as well as Oxbridge, LSE and other top universities. In fact, over 95% of our applicants receive an offer from their first or second choice universities! We can even support you in your wider degree-level education, helping you with everything from writing your dissertation to applying for postgraduate courses. Reach out to our friendly team today to access our dedicated support.

FAQs

What is the King’s College London acceptance rate?

In 2021, the undergraduate King’s College London acceptance rate was 12.6% (based on data by UCAS). The university received 67,390 applications and granted places to 8,460 students. However, with the help of The Profs’ expert KCL consultants, more than 95% of students receive an offer from their first or second choice university, so get in touch with our team to maximise your chances of getting in.

Is King’s College London good?

King’s College London is regularly ranked among the top universities in the UK, currently ranking as 6th best according to Times Higher Education and 22nd best according to the Complete University Guide (2023).

How difficult is it to get into King’s College London?

In 2021, the undergraduate King’s College London acceptance rate was 12.6% (based on data provided by KCL). That means King’s college London received 67,390 undergraduate applications and granted places to 8,460 students. On average undergraduate courses at KCL receive 10 applications per place with some of its most prestigious courses such as the MBBS for graduate entry programme seeing nearly 200 applicants per place in 2021! Naturally, most applicants will be high achievers and are likely to attain or surpass the entry requirements for the course. You will need to go that extra mile to beat your competitors. 

When do King’s College London give offers?

King’s College if you apply before the UCAS deadline for your course (either 15 October or 26 January), you will have a decision by 19 May at the latest. Check the individual course pages on the KCL website for information about your chosen course including the application deadline.

Where is King’s College London?

King’s College is located in central and south London. It has several campuses, including Denmark Hill (located in Camberwell), Guy’s (located in Southwark), Waterloo and St Thomas’ (located in Waterloo), and Strand (located on the north bank of the Thames).

How many students are there at King’s College London?

According to King’s College London itself, the University has approximately 29,637 students. 17,879 students are undergraduates, 11,758 are postgraduates, and it has 10,999 international students.

Is it expensive to be a student at King’s College London?

UK domicile students are charged the standard tuition fee of £9,250 per academic year for undergraduate courses. For international students, tuition fees are £33,450 per academic year. For more information about fees and funding visit KCL’s webpages on fees and funding. Perhaps the biggest financial concern here is that a London university comes with London prices for accommodation, activities, and even bills and food! Luckily, KCL understands this and has many options in place to make your residence in London as exciting and financially affordable as possible! Check the university’s web pages on undergraduate accommodation and living expenses which includes very important information about eligibility for discounts on taxes and travel.

Can I apply as a mature student?

A mature student is an undergraduate applicant applying at the age of 21 or over. KCL openly accepts applications from mature students and offers advice to mature students who will be making their UCAS application independently of a school or college. 

Does KCL do clearing?

It is unlikely that you will find a place to study at King’s through clearing due to the Universities popularity. You can find more information about clearing on UCAS.