Located in the Bloomsbury district in London, UCL has a student body of approximately 19,000 and is the oldest and largest college of the University of London system. UCL consistently ranks among the top world universities and offers a comprehensive range of disciplines in the humanities, social sciences, physical sciences, and biomedical sciences. UCL is also home to the Slade School, a world famous studio arts school.
Students are integrated into the regular university curriculum at the host university. Each institution offers a wide-ranging curriculum that enables students to design a discipline-specific program to suit their major program of study.
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Academics & Support
Please note that the 3.5 GPA is the minimum BC GPA required. Due to the competitive nature of UCL applicants, a 3.5 does not guarantee approval by BC. It is recommended that students research a second, less competitive program outside of London as a back-up choice.
The academic system at UCL is different than what students find at Boston College. A full course load at UCL is 4 classes. Students are expected to do more independent reading then at BC. Students’ grades will be based on a limited number of assignments. It is likely grades will be heavily weigh on one final essay or one final exam.
Students are required to take 50 % in their host academic department. Unless otherwise noted, students can complete their schedules with courses offered outside of their host academic department.
All exams must be taken as scheduled. Course information for UCL is available here
Several departments at UCL require significant background in the academic subject:
Students should consult the host university’s course pages to review any course requirements, restrictions or limitations. Students should review and understand the information provided by the host university.
- English requires at least a cumulative GPA of 3.5 and two to four college level literature courses completed. The department also restricts students either to taking their entire course load within the department or only taking two courses.
- Economics requires at least a cumulative GPA of 3.5 and prefers applicants to have previously completed microeconomics, macroeconomics and a statistics course. Successful applicants will have received a grade of ‘A' in both macro and micro. Economics courses in the U.K. have a strong statistical basis. Students who are not accepted directly into the economics department will be unable to take courses above level 1 within this department. If you do not meet these requirements, there may be alternative academic department available. Please consult your study abroad advisor.
- History requires at least a cumulative GPA of 3.5
- History of Art admits only history of art majors. They will not accept fine arts majors.
- Management, Science and Innovation will not accept fall semester only students due to test schedules. Only academic year and spring students will be considered for this department.
- Applicants are required to have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.5.
- Political Studies requires a cumulative GPA of 3.5 with a strong background of courses.
- Chemistry requires a cumulative GPA of 3.5 with a strong background of courses.
- The UCL Psychology department suggests a cumulative GPA of 3.5 to be considered for this department.Please note that UCL will hold an orientation for new students at the beginning of fall and spring terms. Students can usually arrive 1-2 days before the orientation and settle into their rooms. The orientation is mandatory for new students. UCL will send more information when it becomes available.
Housing fees will be paid directly to UCL and costs vary according to the type of accommodation.
Boston College students are normally placed in one of the UCL halls of residence or student houses, three-quarters of which are within a 10 to 15 minute walk from the UCL ‘campus.’ Although UCL cannot guarantee accommodation for students attending for less than the full academic year, students are encouraged to apply for accommodation as early as possible, and every effort will be made to help them. Students who receive university housing will sign a Housing Contract with UCL (similar to a lease). For Spring and Full Year students, if exams are over in the early part of the examination period students will still be responsible for paying the rent on the housing to the end of the exam period.
More information about the residence options and housing fees can be found here
Students may purchase pre-paid cell phones upon arrival (these do not require a contract).
- Fall Term: Starts in mid-September and ends in mid-December
- Spring Term: Starts in early January and ends in early June.
Past participants recommend buying food at larger supermarkets instead of small convenience stores. Another good idea is takeout (called "take away" in the UK) from small local restaurants or having a meal at the UCL Student Union. For affordable hot spots, consult guides like Let's Go London
, or local publications like Time Out
All students are strongly encouraged to take advantage of their membership to the UCL Student Union
. The Union organizes various social and cultural events and provides excellent facilities such as two sports grounds, a fitness center, as well as a full-size swimming facility and theatre. The UCL Union also has over 120 societies and clubs for a variety of interests including politics, religion, sports, and the arts.
In addition to UCL events, Boston College students are invited to participate in monthly activities organized by the Boston College resident director. In the past, activities and excursions have included museum and theatre visits in London and trips to Brighton and Hastings.
London has one of the most extensive public transportation systems in the world. Options include using the Underground (Tube), bus, Docklands Light Rail, or tram system for less expensive transportation options. The Oyster Card is available for all of the previously mentioned methods of transport and is the cheapest and most efficient way to pay for public transportation.
Helpful websites are:
Transport for London