England Study Abroad Program at University College London
About University College in London, England
- Minimum GPA: 3.3 (4.0 scale)
May be higher for some UCL departments
- Application deadlines: September 15 for spring semester (Jan-June)
March 1 for fall semester (Sept-Dec)
March 1 for full year (Sept-June)
- Program advisor: Michelle Mannweiler
We recommend early application to UCL, as admissions are done on a rolling basis.
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We're so excited that you're considering IFSA-Butler's program at University College London (UCL) for your semester or year abroad. UCL is located in the heart of London, one of the most vibrant cities in the world. We're sure you're going to love studying there!
What UCL has to offer
- The oldest and largest institution within the University of London (UL) federation
- A member of Britain's Russell Group of universities, similar to the Ivy League
- Excellent academics across all disciplines
- Located in the heart of London for a truly urban experience
- An active students' union with a modern theatre, snack bars, music rooms, film studio, squash courts and fitness center
- A vibrant arts scene, including a full-length opera each year by UCL's well known Operatic Society
- The Slade School of Art, a department of UCL, offers art students a highly competitive Independent Studio Program
- A new global citizenship program draws on UCL's research-based teaching in multiple subjects to enable students to understand citizenship as a significant intellectual concern of our time
- A new program based at UCL's International Health and Medical Education Center is aimed at future health professionals and other students interested in international health issues
- Click here to view a video about UCL
- Housing is in UCL residence halls or furnished student houses; in a UL intercollegiate residence hall; or in IFSA-Butler housing in west central London
- UCL residence halls and UL intercollegiate halls offer mandatory meal plans, while students in the houses and in IFSA-Butler housing purchase or prepare their own meals
- Because of the competition for student housing in London, we recommend early application to UCL.
- Students are admitted into a maximum of two departments but may be able to take a course from a third department
- Students take four courses per semester
- A member of the prestigious Russell Group of major research universities in the United Kingdom
We look forward to working with you!
Where can I find a list of courses that the university offers?
- Open UCL's online course catalog.
- Scroll through the alphabetical list and click on the department that interests you to see a full listing of courses offered through that department.
- CRefer to the blue 'key information' box on the department pages, as it will tell what semesters the department admits study abroad students (year, fall, spring). If a department does not list fall or spring, it will not admit students to study abroad during these times.
- Select a department to view a listing of courses and credits. Please note the information box on the department pages, as it will tell what semesters the department admits study abroad students (year, fall, spring). A department will admit students to study abroad only during the times listed.
- Be aware that certain departments may charge a higher fee to study within that department. This fee will be charged to you as a tuition differential. To know if a department charges a higher fee, you will need to follow the More Information linklink in the 'key information' box. If the department lists a full-year tuition cost higher than £16,610, there will likely be a tuition differential cost billed to you after you have arrived in London and enrolled as a study abroad student at UCL. For more information, contact your program advisor, or view our UCL fees under the Dates & Fees tab.
What courses am I eligible to take?
As an IFSA-Butler student, you are entitled to enroll in undergraduate courses for which you are qualified and in which space is available. Course descriptions in the online course catalog (see above) include prerequisites you must fulfill in order to enroll in each course. You must take all courses for academic credit, and must complete all coursework and exams in order to obtain credit on the Butler University transcript.
For each course that you list on your preference form, be sure to check the following:
- When determining which courses to take, please bear in mind that the British academic system is an intensive, three-year program.
- First-year (level 1) courses are appropriate for departments in which you have little or no prior experience.
- Second-year (level 2) courses will be equivalent to advanced sophomore or junior-level U.S. courses.
- Third-year (level 3) courses will be equivalent to senior-level U.S. courses.
What if I need to take a required course?
Please be aware that IFSA-Butler cannot guarantee that your host university will offer a particular course, or that you will be allowed to take that particular course. However, if you need to take a required course, you may indicate that it is required on your course preference form. Your IFSA-Butler program advisor will communicate your needs to your host university.
On each department's page, under "Tuition Fee" there is a listing of either Band 1 or Band 2. What does this mean?
Band 1 departments are arts-related departments, such as English, history, economics and mathematics. Science and engineering-related departments plus anthropology, archaeology, fine art, geography, psychology and the Slade are classified as Band 2 departments. The departments located within the Bartlett School of Architecture, Project Management for Construction and Planning are also Band 2 departments. If your home department at UCL is a band 2 department, please be aware that UCL’s standard tuition fee for these subject areas is higher due to the costs of labs and specialized equipment and facilities, and you will be charged differential fees in addition to the IFSA-Butler program fee.
What department am I eligible to apply to?
Most departments at UCL admit students only if they have a background in the area of study. A background of study is two to three college level courses. There are exceptions to this rule, however, and European cultural studies, philosophy, anthropology and archaeology will consider students with various backgrounds. You can only apply to a department that admits students for the period you are there. Year only departments do not admit semester students.
How many departments can I apply to?
UCL prefers that you apply to one department only. If you are accepted into the department, you will be required to take at least 50 percent of your courses in that department and it will be considered your "home" department.
Are there circumstances where a student should apply to two departments?
Yes, there are two circumstances where students should apply to a second department, known as a "joint" department. Please note that applying to two departments will extend the wait time for a decision on your application from UCL.
The first instance applies to English literature majors only. Year and spring semester students who want to study in the English department at UCL will be required to take all their courses in that department unless they apply to a joint department. Acceptance into a joint department means that you will automatically be restricted to taking two courses in the English department, no more and no less, and at least one course in the joint department. Fall semester students who want to study in English must apply for a joint department because the English department will not permit students to take their entire course load in English for the fall semester.
The second instance when a student should apply to a joint department is when they are required to take course by their home university in another subject area. For example, if a student is majoring in economics and their minor is political science, then the student could apply to Economics as their home department and Political Studies as their joint department. This would guarantee them the chance to take at least two courses in Economics and one course in Political Students. Particular courses can never be guaranteed, but the chance to take a course in another department can be by having a joint department.
If I don't have a joint department, do I have to take all my courses in my home department?
No. You must take 50 percent of your courses in your home department (the exception to this rule is the English department). The remaining 50 percent of your courses you can select from various other departments once you arrive on the UCL campus with the understanding that courses outside your home department are subject to space availability and any conditions set forth by the department offering the courses.
I want to apply to the Slade. What do I need to do?
Admission to the Slade is competitive due to the fact that priority is given to students wishing to study for the full year. It is possible, however, to be admitted to Slade for just a semester. A portfolio is required and should consist of 15 to 20 slides of recent artwork. These must accompany the course form and academic statement that are part of this packet of information. The slides must be named, numbered and accompanied by a corresponding slide list. The slide list must detail the number, title, date of work, medium and dimensions of each art piece. Students who are admitted in the Slade will have individual studio space to work in. There will not be an instructor present and students are expected to be able to work on their own, as well as follow their own ideas. Students will have regular meetings with a personal tutor to discuss the progress of their work.
Students wishing to apply to Slade must specify the medium they wish to work in. There are three choices: painting, sculpture or fine art media (including print, film and video, photography and electronic media). When completing the course form, list Slade as the academic home and under ‘courses' list the specific medium you wish to work in (painting, or sculpture or fine art media).
Do any departments have special requirements or restrictions?
- English requires at least a cumulative GPA of 3.4 and two to four college level literature courses completed. Writing courses are not literature courses. The department also restricts students either to taking their entire course load within the department or only taking two courses. Please see the question above regarding when to apply to a joint department.
- 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 have concerns about your qualifications for Economics, please contact your program advisor for recommendations on alternate department options.
- History requires at least a cumulative GPA of 3.4.
- 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.
- Mathematics will accept full-year and spring semester students only.
- Applicants to the Slade School of Fine Art must be art majors or minors. Please see details about Slade in the Courses tab.
- The Language Center and the Management Center are not departments; therefore students cannot apply to them. It is possible to take courses within each of these centers, but that must be arranged upon arrival at UCL.
- Political Studies requires a cumulative GPA of 3.4 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.
CreditsHow many courses am I able to take, and how do I determine U.S. semester credit hours?
IFSA-Butler requires students to enroll in a full course load at the host institution as defined by IFSA-Butler. At University College London, a full course load consists of 16 U.S. semester credit hours per semester or 32 U.S. semester credit hours per year. The number of courses you take depends on the credit value of the courses you select.
RegistrationWhat are the registration conditions?
You must take a full University College London course load as determined by IFSA-Butler. Credit will be awarded on a Butler University transcript based on a typical U.S. full course load. All courses are graded on an A-F scale, and there is no provision for pass/fail or auditing courses unless pass/fail is the only method of assessment for the course. You are not allowed to register for online, distance education or hybrid courses.
You should also be aware that you may be charged additional fees by your home institution or host university to take or process additional credits. Taking less than a full course load may jeopardize your student status and result in personal academic repercussions and/or loss of financial aid.
The course preference form is not a registration form; it is a guideline to let your host university know which courses you are interested in taking abroad. You should discuss your course selections with your academic advisor at your home institution and have several backup choices in mind. Neither you nor the university is bound by your selections, and you will not officially register for courses until you arrive on campus.
What do I need to know about exams?
Because of the differences in the academic systems, you will not know your exam schedule until after you arrive at your host university. Please refer to your program calendar to review the exam period for your host university. Your host university's policies do not permit you to reschedule any exams, request alternate assessments or arrange to have your exams proctored in the United States. If this occurs, IFSA-Butler cannot assist you in conducting an academic record appeal for the course in which you made this arrangement. You will need to complete and submit all academic work prior to departing the program.
How will my home university know what my classes were and what grades I received?
After you have returned to the U.S., your home university will receive a Butler University transcript with the credit you earned at the University College London. The Butler University transcript will report the equivalent U.S. semester credit hours and letter grades. We also will send an official transcript to your permanent address.
Exploring Community & Culture
Student praise for C&C:
"We were able to discuss current issues while bringing information from our classes to the table. My friend from college was in another study abroad program and she was jealous because they didn't have a C&C."
"At first I wasn't sure if I wanted to do it, but it really helped me to see things from a different perspective. I am pretty sure I would not have gotten the same out of my time in London without doing the C&C."
IFSA-Butler's Exploring Community & Culture feature (C&C) is designed to take students' study abroad experiences to another level. It encourages them to get the most out of their time abroad by blending intercultural learning with an exploration of the local community and local community groups. Selected activities will foster your intercultural learning through a series of on-site discussions and self-reflection. Through this special program feature you will be encouraged to engage with the community in which you are living and question your own perspective of the world, while learning to appreciate similarities and differences between cultures and communities.
You may participate in C&C the seminar for three semester credit hours. The C&C seminar is comprised of class discussions combined with instructor-guided field excursions designed to assist you in exploring the complexities and curiosities of London's varied neighborhoods.
Students who have participated in the C&C in past semesters have found it a great way to explore and get to know London and, with their fellow IFSA-Butler students, to learn interculturally from their everyday experiences there.
Click here to view the C&C syllabus.
The following housing options are available during your semester or year abroad. Please note that there are only 30 spaces reserved for IFSA-Butler students in UCL housing, and those are filled on a first-come, first-served basis.
- UCL Student Houses (self-catered)
This housing is located throughout London. Some of the houses are large and purpose-built, while others are converted private houses. Kitchens are provided for students to prepare their own food. Housing is integrated with UCL degree-seeking students.
- UCL Halls of Residence (catered)
There are two halls of residence at UCL, Ifor Evans Hall and Ramsay Hall, both of which provide breakfast and dinner from Monday to Friday except on holidays. UCL halls of residence accommodations have mandatory meal plans. Students with specific dietary requirements are strongly advised to apply for alternate accommodation. Housing is integrated with UCL degree-seeking students.
- IFSA-Butler Housing (self-catered)
Self-catered dorm- or apartment-style housing is available in the neighborhoods of Nottingham Hill and Paddington. Dorm-style housing has double and triple rooms, shared bathrooms and a communal kitchen and lounge space. Apartment-style housing has double and some triple rooms, each with ensuite bathrooms, as well as a communal kitchen and living room.
The following housing option is available for full year students only, in addition to the options above:
- Intercollegiate Halls (catered)
Intercollegiate halls are housing shared by various universities of the University of London federation. Accommodation is in twin or single rooms that share communal bathrooms. Breakfast and dinner are provided daily and brunch or lunch is available on weekends as part of the mandatory meal plan. This housing is integrated with UCL and other University of London degree-seeking students.
Most accommodations provide duvets (bedspreads) and pillows but not sheets. All students, regardless of accommodation, must supply their own towels. It is recommended that you wait until you are in London to purchase any bedding you might need.
Meal plans are available in some housing options. Please refer to the Housing Options tab for specific information on meal plans.
Is my housing included in the program fee?
Yes. Your program fee includes accommodation at the university while classes are in session. You will be responsible for the cost of your meals (whether a meal plan or self-catered) and any commuting costs you may incur. Your housing fee includes the cost of accommodation during university breaks.
Are there any supplemental charges in regards to housing?
Yes. If you are placed in UCL housing that has a meal plan, we will send a separate bill to your billing address.
When will I receive my housing assignment?
You will most likely receive your housing assignment one to two weeks before your departure. However, in some cases you may not receive your housing assignment until you arrive in England for orientation. Your program advisor will notify you of your housing assignment via e-mail when it is released by the university.
Please keep in mind that while IFSA-Butler guarantees housing, we cannot guarantee your preferences.
I want to live in UCL housing. Is there any way to guarantee that I will be placed in university housing?
No. Accommodation within UCL housing is a preference and cannot be guaranteed. How many spaces are available to study abroad students changes each semester, so it is impossible to be guaranteed a specific type of UCL housing. IFSA-Butler guarantees housing, but not your preferences.
I want to live in IFSA-Butler housing. Is there any way to guarantee that I will be placed in it?
No. Students are housed by IFSA-Butler only when UCL accommodations are not available.
I want "on campus" housing. Is it possible to be guaranteed I will be living on the UCL campus?
No. UCL does not have on-campus housing. All of UCL's housing is scattered throughout London and you should be prepared for a commute of 15 to 40 minutes by bus or tube to your classes.
Can I arrange my own housing?
Yes. IFSA-Butler recognizes that some students require independent housing for their time abroad. If you choose not to take advantage of our guaranteed housing, you may sign up for independent housing on the housing preference form. Once you've made this choice, we will not provide housing for you or bill you for the accommodation fee.
Please be advised that housing costs can be high abroad, and many times students living independently end up spending more money than students living in IFSA-Butler arranged housing. If you are hoping to save money by arranging housing on your own, please research your options early so you can compare costs. You must notify us of your intention to live in independent housing by the program application deadline for your term abroad, listed at the top of this page. We are not able to accommodate independent housing requests after the deadline.
Living and Studying Abroad in London, England
Population: 9 million
Location: Southeast England
- One of the most cosmopolitan, hip cities in the world, with an atmosphere of excitement and sophistication
- A major global city with remarkable cultural, historic, artistic, political and intellectual offerings
- Home to many universities scattered throughout different neighborhoods, each with its own atmosphere and attractions
- A diverse population with more than 300 languages spoken within the city
- One of the world's leading business and financial centers
- Use London's excellent transportation links to explore continental Europe
- Take advantage of Britain's extensive rail system to visit other areas of the U.K.
- Take a break from the constant bustle of London and experience the beautiful and historic regions of England
London On Line
Time Out: London
Dates & Fees
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Important: Once you are abroad, please verify the program end date with the department(s) in which you are studying. Ending dates may vary from department to department, and you will be expected to complete all course obligations prior to your departure. Program housing is available only until the program end date.
Your program end date may change due to circumstances beyond IFSA-Butler's control. Upon arrival at your host university, be sure to verify your exam schedule and program end date. We also strongly recommend that you investigate fees and penalties associated with your airline tickets in case you need to make date or route changes.
In the United Kingdom, exams are taken under formal conditions and changes cannot be made for individuals. Exams must be taken where and when scheduled.
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What's included in our England program fees
Academic Year and Fall Payments Due: July 1
Spring Payment Due: November 15
Program Fee Bills
IFSA-Butler will send a single bill for tuition, services and housing. Any bills for tuition differentials and/or supplemental housing fees will be sent separately. Students who opt for independent housing will not be charged the housing component of the program fee.
The housing component of our program fee is based on the average cost of local student self-catering accommodation, usually a shared room in a regular dormitory, apartment or house without any extra features.
Personal Cost Estimates
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These figures are designed to assist students with financial planning but are only estimates based on past students’ experiences at the current exchange rate. Rates are current as of 12/9/2016.
They do not include any entertainment or vacation travel costs. Meals are estimated based on the cost of a weekly standard grocery shop with one or two meals out. If you plan to eat out once a day or more, we recommend using a higher estimate. If you have dietary restrictions or follow a specific diet (gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, organic, etc), you may also wish to budget more due to the higher cost of specialty food items.
The above numbers are general estimates of expenses during a program abroad. We recommend taking into account your current spending habits, the cost of living in your host country and the current exchange rate. Your IFSA-Butler program advisor can be helpful as you attempt to work on a personal budget for your experience abroad.
*Student Visa: U.S. citizens studying in the U.K. for less than six months (180 days) do not need to apply for a visa, but can instead enter the country as a student visitor at no cost. Student visitors are allowed to remain in the U.K. for up to six months but are not allowed to undertake any paid work or unpaid volunteer activities. Citizens of some countries may be required to obtain a student visa. If this applies to you, your IFSA-Butler program advisor will notify you. Detailed instructions regarding U.K. visas will be sent to all students upon acceptance.
Personal Miscellaneous: Covers general expenses of college life, including course supplies, photocopying, toiletries, snacks, personal care, etc.
Commuting: Estimates are for transportation between housing and university. Transportation for personal or recreational purposes is not included in the above estimates.
All costs are in U.S. dollars.
Meet Your IFSA-Butler Team
IFSA-Butler has a dedicated team of staff who are here to help students prepare for their program in London:
Program Advisor Michelle Mannweiler prepares students to study abroad by assisting them with the application process and answering program, cultural and academic questions. Michelle is a Butler University graduate and majored in both middle/secondary education and Spanish. Michelle also studied for a semester in Costa Rica through IFSA-Butler. She joined the IFSA-Butler team in order to assist students in achieving their goals in new and interesting places. Michelle currently advises students planning to study in England and Wales. Michelle can be reached at the email link provided above or at 800-858-0229 ext. 4267.
Student Accounts Coordinator Angelita Shaffer assists with the financial side of study abroad and processes payments and invoices. Angelita can be reached at the email link above or at 317-940-4221.
Student & Parent Services Manager Donnetta Spears is available to both students and parents for travel questions and information. Donnetta has worked with IFSA-Butler since 2000, and she has traveled through parts of Europe, Latin America, Australia and New Zealand. As the mother of 4 college students (including one who studied abroad on an IFSA-Butler program), she has a deep understanding of the ins-and-outs of study abroad from a parent perspective. Donnetta can be reached at the email link above or at 317-940-4252.
Once abroad, our students are in the capable hands of our on-site office, including our resident directors. Click here to read more about Resident Director Lynne Alvarez.
Academic Records Coordinator Abby Miller graduated from Butler University where she worked as a guide for international students from all over the world. From that experience and combined with her own world travels, she knows the amazing experiences that studying abroad can provide. Abby is excited to work with IFSA-Butler students and to help answer any questions about their academic records. Abby can be reached at the email link above or at 800-858-0229, ext. 4217.