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How hard is UCL to get into?

I'm looking to apply to UCL this year for a masters. I've been looking at Politics/Law based courses so far (MA Legal and Political Theory), or perhaps even Public Policy.

My question is, how competitive is it to get into UCL for masters for those courses, as well as more generally?

What kind of grade would you have to achieve (e.g. 63%) in first/second year to have a good chance of getting in with some decent references and personal statement?
(edited 8 years ago)

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University College London, University of London
University College London
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Reply 2
UCL wants a minimum 2:1 (60%+) as your final overall grade, but the reality is that the courses you're looking at will be very competitive and a First (70%+) will make you more competitive. It won't be impossible to get in with a 2:1 but you'd need excellent references and a very good application. Depends on the strength of other applicants, which can never be predicted.

Your undergrad first year rarely counts towards your final result, and the second year is generally a lower proportion of the final result than the third year. Without knowing how your years are weighted, we can't tell you what you need to get to achieve a 2:1 or First.
Original post by Klix88
UCL wants a minimum 2:1 (60%+) as your final overall grade, but the reality is that the courses you're looking at will be very competitive and a First (70%+) will make you more competitive. It won't be impossible to get in with a 2:1 but you'd need excellent references and a very good application. Depends on the strength of other applicants, which can never be predicted.

Your undergrad first year rarely counts towards your final result, and the second year is generally a lower proportion of the final result than the third year. Without knowing how your years are weighted, we can't tell you what you need to get to achieve a 2:1 or First.


Really? I certainly knew UCL was competitive but not to this extent.

Several other posters have said that UCL Public Policy for example is quite easily possible with a low-mid 2.1 from a low ranked University.

Hmm. seems its more difficult than I thought then.

What about KCL? Surely that wouldn't be as competitive.
Reply 4
It's a cash cow as long as you have the minimum grades trust me you will get in. I was never impressed with UCL as. University. It's an overrated place and there are much better places to do postgraduate and more affordable such as Bristol, Durham, Newcastle etc.


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Original post by SmaugTheTerrible
Really? I certainly knew UCL was competitive but not to this extent.

Several other posters have said that UCL Public Policy for example is quite easily possible with a low-mid 2.1 from a low ranked University.

Hmm. seems its more difficult than I thought then.

What about KCL? Surely that wouldn't be as competitive.

I've posted about this on another thread already, but it'll all depend on which course you're applying for.
The website of the grad school my daughter is doing her master states the entry requirement is 2.1, but in reality it's such a popular/competitive course they said (in the email communication before the application) most of successful applicants have at least high-2.1 or preferably a first if you're applying straight out of undergrad course. (In fact the large majority of the students there have a few years' career in the industry before they started the course)
Reply 6
My general impression has been that the politics/public policy masters courses at UCL are not that difficult to get into. Indeed, they seem to have a fair amount of people who have been rejected from similar courses at LSE and it seems to be used as "backup" for people unsure as to whether they will get into LSE. So I certainly think it worth the OP making an application. As has been said, references will be important especially if the grades are toward the lower end of the 2:1 range.

This is not true across all UCL courses - economics is pretty difficult to get accepted to, for example, and a strong first at undergrad is probably needed for that.
Original post by Durham_
as long as you have the minimum grades trust me you will get in.


This is completely wrong, at least in my experience. I'm studying an MSc in London (not UCL) and was rejected from another MSc with a 1st at undergrad. The one I'm studying now had over 150 applicants for 20-25 places. This is in biology/medicine though.
(edited 8 years ago)
Reply 8
Original post by xenophile
This is completely wrong, at least in my experience. I'm studying an MSc in London (not UCL) and was rejected from an MSc with a 1st at undergrad. I'm doing another one now and there were over 150 applicants for 20-25 places.



Lol anyone who makes posts like he did generally has some kind of sour grapes issue.
Original post by sj27
Lol anyone who makes posts like he did generally has some kind of sour grapes issue.


Um... why? Because you don't agree with me or because I admit I didn't get into an MSc with a 1st?

I'm commenting based on my own experience instead of 'general impressions' or misleading generalisations like 'as long as you meet the minium grades you'll get in, trust me.'
(edited 8 years ago)
what did you do your undergraduate degree in and what are you now studying?
Im applying to UCL for 2016 entry for infection and immunity.
(edited 8 years ago)
Original post by BioGeek
what did you do your undergraduate degree in and what are you now studying?
Im applying for UCL for 2016 entry for infection and immunity.


If you're asking me, I'm studying infection/immunity at Imperial and my undergrad was related. Actually, I was considering the MSc at UCL but the funding options weren't as good. I'm guessing the UCL MSc is similarly competetive, so I wouldn't assume you'll be accepted just by meeting the minimum reqs. There are people on both courses wth 2.1s though, so don't be put off applying if you don't have a 1st.
Reply 12
Original post by xenophile
Um... why? Because you don't agree with me or because I admit I didn't get into an MSc with a 1st?

I'm commenting based on my own experience instead of 'general impressions' or misleading generalisations like 'as long as you meet the minium grades you'll get in, trust me.'


You misunderstood, I was talking about the person you responded to going on about cash cows.
Original post by xenophile
If you're asking me, I'm studying infection/immunity at Imperial and my undergrad was related. Actually, I was considering the MSc at UCL but the funding options weren't as good. I'm guessing the UCL MSc is similarly competetive, so I wouldn't assume you'll be accepted just by meeting the minimum reqs. There are people on both courses wth 2.1s though, so don't be put off applying if you don't have a 1st.


Yes sorry forgot to quote!
I have just finished my 2nd year with a 74% average so I'm hoping that is good enough!
I'm currently doing a Biomedical Science degree, how many people do they roughly take on for the course and were you interviewed, if so, what questions were you asked?

Thanks :biggrin:
Original post by sj27
You misunderstood, I was talking about the person you responded to going on about cash cows.


Haha, sorry I got that completely wrong. As long as you're laughing with me not at me, lol. :wink:

Original post by BioGeek
how many people do they roughly take on for the course and were you interviewed, if so, what questions were you asked? Thanks :biggrin:


MScs in the dept of medicine normally take 20-25 students/year. I had a skype interview- basically an informal chat about the course and my motivation and experience. The fact that you're doing well in a relevant subject and you're planning ahead are good signs.
Original post by Durham_
It's a cash cow as long as you have the minimum grades trust me you will get in. I was never impressed with UCL as. University. It's an overrated place and there are much better places to do postgraduate and more affordable such as Bristol, Durham, Newcastle etc.


Posted from TSR Mobile


Durham, Bristol and Newcastle are pretty easy to get into as well for PG (assuming you have the grades and ££), many of the PG courses at LSE are also considered cash cow.
Original post by SmaugTheTerrible
I'm looking to apply to UCL this year for a masters. I've been looking at Politics/Law based courses so far (MA Legal and Political Theory), or perhaps even Public Policy.

My question is, how competitive is it to get into UCL for masters for those courses, as well as more generally?

What kind of grade would you have to achieve (e.g. 63%) in first/second year to have a good chance of getting in with some decent references and personal statement?


I know for a fact that Politics/Law courses are not that competitive. International Public Policy lets you in with a 2:1 from a low-ranking uni (the entry requirements are so low they don't even put them on the website!). They might want some volunteering/working experience though.

I find that most Masters courses (especially in the Social Sciences and Humanities) are cash cows and as long as you have a 2:2 or above, the money and some relevant experience (or a decent personal statement) you are in.
(edited 8 years ago)
Original post by SmaugTheTerrible
Really? I certainly knew UCL was competitive but not to this extent.

Several other posters have said that UCL Public Policy for example is quite easily possible with a low-mid 2.1 from a low ranked University.

Hmm. seems its more difficult than I thought then.

What about KCL? Surely that wouldn't be as competitive.


True.
Original post by Juichiro
I know for a fact that Politics/Law courses are not that competitive. International Public Policy lets you in with a 2:1 from a low-ranking uni (the entry requirements are so low they don't even put them on the website!). They might want some volunteering/working experience though.

I find that most Masters courses (especially in the Social Sciences and Humanities) are cash cows and as long as you have a 2:2 or above, the money and some relevant experience (or a decent personal statement) you are in.


What kind of volunteering/work experience would be relevant for a politics/legal theory/public policy based course though?
Original post by SmaugTheTerrible
What kind of volunteering/work experience would be relevant for a politics/legal theory/public policy based course though?


I don't know. I guess working at the SU, political groups... Email them, they are ones to tell you this stuff.

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