How to Get Into UCL


University College London (UCL) is one of the best universities in the UK and internationally, ranking in the top ten of both UK league tables and the QS world university rankings. With its outstanding academic reputation, getting into UCL is the goal of many UK and international students alike. Application rates to programmes at UCL are high and its undergraduate courses are some of the most competitive in the country, however with the right support, hard work and preparation, you can maximise your chances of getting in to study at UCL. With key stats and insider knowledge on how to make your application stand out, the Profs’ admission experts are here to help.

What is the UCL acceptance rate?

In 2020, the UCL acceptance rate was 15.6% (based on data by UCAS). This means that of the 58,690 students who applied, just 9,145 students were offered places at the university. This is a higher number of acceptances than in previous years, and that is largely due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
It’s also worth noting that this is just the average acceptance rate. Many of UCL’s most competitive courses have a far lower acceptance rate, for example Fine Art (BFA), UCL’s most competitive course, has an acceptance rate of around 4.7%. For extra support in applying for UCL’s competitive courses, contact the Profs’ admissions experts.

What are the most competitive courses at UCL?

The most competitive courses at UCL are: Fine Art, Architecture, Computer Science, European Social and Political Sciences, and Politics and International Relations. All of these degree programmes have acceptance rates below 14%. Thankfully, our network of expert tutors can offer one-to-one support for each of these subjects and more.

Is UCL a Russell Group university?

UCL is one of the 24 Russell Group universities and one of the largest research-intensive universities in the UK. Though belonging to the Russell Group of universities isn’t the only mark of a top university (many leading universities are not Russell Group), it is a good indicator that the quality of UCL’s research is very high. In fact, 43% of UCL’s research is rated as world-leading, and the Complete University Guide ranks UCL as the sixth best Russell Group university.

What are the UCL entry requirements?

UCL’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 A level requirements and some of the most common international qualification requirements for UCL courses in general. If your qualifications are not in this table, or for more information on UCL’s English language requirements, check UCL’s full guide for international students. You can also get in touch with the Profs for one-to-one support from one of our international admissions experts.

Qualification Entry requirements
A Levels Range from A*A*A-ABB, depending on the course.
International Baccalaureate (IB) Minimum of 34 points overall, with a combined score of 16 in three higher level subjects and no higher level score below 5. Exact requirements differ between courses.
Abitur (Germany) 1.8 overall and two subject marks of 12.
Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) Level 5 in English Language and Mathematics (compulsory unit) and level 3 in Chinese and Liberal Studies;
And level 5 in 3 elective subjects.
AP (Advanced Placement) and CGPA (USA) Five AP subjects, taken in the final three years of high school;
Or the successful completion of one year of study at a recognised US university, community or junior college, with an overall CGPA of 3.3/4.0.
Other international qualifications Check the full list of international qualifications accepted by UCL.

Note that this is just a general guide. UCL’s entry requirements differ depending on the course you’re applying for, so make sure you check on the specific subject pages before applying. If you’re a UK student and need support in meeting the entry requirements for UCL, then our A level tutors can help you boost your grades.

Does UCL give contextual offers?

UCL does give systematic contextual offers for its courses if you meet its criteria. These contextual offers are lower than its standard offers and seek to increase higher education participation among underrepresented and disadvantaged students. The majority of students won’t meet this criteria and will be made standard entry offers ranging from A*A*A to ABB, but it’s still worth checking if you are eligible for the Access UCL Scheme.

5 tips for getting into UCL

1. Check the specific requirements of your course

UCL has generic requirements that apply to many courses (see the table above). However, for some courses, there are additional requirements you need to meet. For example, if you’re applying for a Maths-based subject like Computer Science or Statistics, Economics and Finance, you’ll need to get an A* in Mathematics, as well as getting the overall grades for entry (typically A*A*A-A*AA). Our A level tutors have a proven track record of helping students achieve an A*, so if you’re finding yourself slipping behind the grades required for entry, reach out to the Profs for support.
UCL also requires you to take an admissions test for a couple of courses (BMAT for Medicine or LNAT for Law) which you’ll need to register and prepare for in advance. For some courses such as Medicine, UCL will also invite you to an interview as part of the admission process. If you need help preparing for your admissions test or interview at UCL, the Profs admissions consultancy is the perfect way to level up your knowledge, grow confidence in your abilities, and give yourself the best chance of success.

2. Aim to get the best possible grades you can

UCL’s acceptance rate is similar to that of Oxford University at around 15%. On the whole, courses are incredibly competitive and high grades go a long way in making your application stand out. For some of the most competitive subjects, including Computer Science and European Social and Political Studies, the entry requirements are as high as A*A*A-A*AA.
Ensuring that you achieve the best grades possible throughout your A-level studies should therefore be a top priority if you want to get accepted into UCL. Our A level tutors have helped many students achieve top grades and get offers from their first and second choice universities, including UCL. Whether you’re falling behind in one subject or need more intensive, all-round support, reach out to our team and we’ll get you the help you need.

3. Think about the long-term plan

Getting into UCL is a great goal to have, but it’s also important to think about the long-term plan. Consider how a degree in your chosen subject from UCL specifically will help you to achieve your future academic or career goals. You may want to go on to study a Master’s or PhD, land a graduate job at your dream company, or even use the skills acquired in your undergraduate to help you set up your own business. Having these goals in mind will help you communicate your reasons for wanting to study your course in your personal statement and prove to UCL that you are motivated and committed to your academic future.

4. Invest plenty of time into writing your personal statement

For UCL’s many competitive subjects, many applicants will achieve the grades required for entry. That’s why personal statements are a crucial factor in deciding who to offer places to. It’s therefore really important to invest plenty of time into preparing and writing your personal statement.
Use this part of your application as a chance to express what makes you unique. Describe your academic and career ambitions, detail your skills and experience, and explain why you would be an excellent candidate for your chosen course. The Profs’ experienced personal statement tutors can provide further guidance on how you can write a stand-out statement that enhances your UCL application.

5. Read around your subject

When it comes to writing your personal statement, ensuring that you have a passionate and in-depth understanding of your subject goes a long way. Knowing where to start can be a challenge here, because what is considered best to read will be different for each individual applicant. It all depends on your existing knowledge of the subject area, which specific interests you have, and your chosen course modules.
Our tutors can help you to understand where the ‘sweet spots’ are and what to read in order to stand out in your application. Reading as extensively around your subject as possible will help to prove that you’re proactive and engaged and that, most importantly, you would make an outstanding UCL student.

How can we help?

At the Profs, we have many admissions consultants who can guide you through the process of applying to UCL, as well as Oxbridge, LSE, and other top universities. In fact, over 90% 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. Get in touch with our friendly team today to access our dedicated support.

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