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University College London

University College London (UCL)

Key Information
Rank 6
Location London, England
Established 1826
International Students 53%
Famous Courses Medicine, Science, Law
Key Information
Location London, England
Established 1826
Famous Courses Medicine, Science, Law

University College London (UCL) Overview

University College London is the oldest and largest college of the University of London and is known as ‘London’s Global University’. It is ranked 9th globally (QS World University Rankings 2025) and 2nd in the UK for research power (2021 Research Excellence Framework). The University was founded in 1826, and over 40,000 students are currently enrolled at the institution, 53% of whom are international.

UCL is a member of the elite Russell Group of UK universities and is also part of the League of European Research Universities, a consortium of European research universities that seek to influence policy in Europe and to develop best practices through mutual exchange of experience. The UCL staff and alumni have won 30 Nobel prizes, and 840 professors and 7,000 academic staff are dedicated to research and teaching across 11 faculties. UCL students benefit from close associations with several major teaching hospitals, such as the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, the Royal Free Hospital and Moorfields Eye Hospital.

There are over 650 UCL master's programmes and almost 500 undergraduate degrees. The University College London acceptance rate varies depending on course type and study level but is around 63%. This means being accepted on to a UCL course is challenging but manageable if you show the required academic acumen.

University College London is currently promoting the idea of education for global citizenship to ensure students are given the freedom and encouragement to explore ideas from different cultural perspectives while working on projects of international importance.

University College London (UCL) Services for International Students

The International Office at University College London holds an orientation programme for new overseas students prior to the start of the term. This helps them settle into their new surroundings so they can hit the ground running.

All undergraduates are also allocated a personal tutor, but departments have departmental and faculty tutors available. Your tutor can assist with:

  • Settling into life at UCL through practical guidance, support and encouragement
  • Opportunities to discuss your academic progress and develop your confidence with independent learning
  • Support if the going gets tough, from advice on keeping up with your studies to sources of specialist help
  • Ways to enhance your academic studies and build your CV
  • A reliable point of contact throughout your studies, enabling you to make the most of your time at the University

The UCL Student Union also has one of the largest selections of clubs and societies in the UK, making it desirable for those who wish to socialise away from study.

University College London (UCL) Rankings

  • 6th in the Times University Guide 2024
  • 8th in the Guardian University Guide 2024
  • 9th in the QS World University Rankings 2025
  • 22nd in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2024
  • 17th in the Academic Ranking of World Universities 2023

University College London was ranked the second-best university in the UK for research power, with 93 per cent of the research graded 4* ‘world leading’ and 3* ‘internationally excellent’. UCL's research received a 'grade point average' of 3.50 (out of 4) – an improvement from 3.22 in 2014.

The UCL Institute of Education has been ranked as the best university in the world for the study of Education for the last nine years (QS World University Rankings by Subject) and also received the Queen’s Anniversary Prize, a celebration of excellence, innovation and public benefit in work carried out by UK colleges and universities, in 2015.

In addition to the number one position for education, eight other subject areas from UCL are ranked in the QS World University Rankings by Subject global top 10:

  • Archaeology (3rd)
  • Architecture and the Built Environment (3rd),
  • Anthropology (4th)
  • Pharmacy and Pharmacology (4th)
  • Anatomy and Physiology (6th)
  • Medicine (7th)
  • Psychology (7th)
  • Geography (9th)

University College London (UCL) Accommodation

All full-time, first-year international undergraduate and postgraduate students are guaranteed accommodation, which includes catered Halls of Residence, self-catered student housing, catered inter-collegiate halls, and privately rented accommodation organised by partner organisations.

University College London (UCL) Location

University College London is based in the heart of London, primarily in Bloomsbury, close to a wealth of academic resources that includes museums and libraries, academic and professional bodies, theatres, hospitals and medical institutes.

A new state-of-the-art UCL East campus is also being constructed adjacent to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. It will eventually house eight UCL faculties and become home to 4,000 students and around 260 academic staff.

University College London (UCL) Alumni

  • Alexander Graham Bell (Inventor of the telephone)
  • Christopher Nolan (Director)
  • Mahatma Gandhi
  • Junichiro Koizumi (Japanese Prime Minister, 2001-2006)
  • Chris Martin (Coldplay singer)
  • Ricky Gervais (Comedian)

Breckett Front   I believe my success is due to the great support provided by SI-UK. I was advised the right IELTS courses to attend and they also helped with my visa application. I really want to share with you my positive experience and I would definitely recommend SI-UK to my friends.  Breckett Front

Fatima Parveen Psychology at University of Nottingham