UCL Arts and Sciences

UCL can simultaneously be the best and worst university experience and so goes for London. It’s an incredibly rich experience to be there, in an academically demanding and socially multicultural environment. As goes with anything, there are many positive aspects and an equal amount of negative ones but overall, in my experience, I would say it’s an awesome formative and educational experience.

I met some of the most inspiring teachers and people so far

Maria Tudor

First Impressions

Firstly, I have to mention that if you’re considering UCL, be mindful that it has one of the lowest student satisfactions ratings in the UK. However, if you’re aware that life at university will mostly be self-learning and handling many things by yourself, then the good parts will be more relevant. The low student satisfaction can be felt in many of the departments, especially in the investment of teachers into how they deliver their lectures. I would say that there is a higher percentage of uninvested/uninterested teachers than invested ones. Even so, it’s also a place where I met some of the most inspiring teachers and people so far, so it’s not entirely unpleasant. It might
just be that in comparison with other universities, especially newer ones, the teachers will be more disinterested. This ties into how the uni is starting to become more of a business than an educational institution. They seem to focus on collecting as much money as possible, both for research and salaries, but this has sometimes led to neglecting students on the short term, for example: it led to overcrowding of the campus. Other negative aspects include the fact that you can very easily feel left entirely by yourself, both because of the huge size of the university and the functional model of
the system, referring to how we are supposed to rely mostly on self learning. These factors can easily factor in into mental health issues, both for people that were already predisposed to them and people that were not.

You will most defintely meet amazing people

Good parts, bad parts. 🙂

These being said, and summing up most of the negative aspects of UCL, in the Arts and Sciences departments things are not as bad. The directors of the programme are very invested in our well being and educational progression. We have one of the best common rooms on campus and
honestly, who else has free donuts every Thursday at 5pm? :)) during this time, the directors come and sit with us, give us the chance to give them feedback and they continuously look to improve the student experience. Some of our modules have good to very good teaching and there is more
involvement from the upper levels, which obviously made us ourselves be more satisfied. As I said above, these aspects vary wildly from department to department in UCL. The resources UCL offers as a whole are decent, from laptop loans, to access to thousands of academic papers (both online and offline), study spaces, disability support etc. Some services are more efficient than others (and some of them are very bad), but at least they are there and they do try their best to offer a helping first hand or at least guide you to other resources. The personal tutors we are all assigned have a similar role and serve for good first-hand advice and guidance. Other things that I have deeply enjoyed in this uni are the variety of people that I came across and the huge array of perspectives I got to be in contact with (way for multiculturalism), as well as the vast and diverse clubs and societies that the student’s union has created. Any hobby you can imagine, any activity, any sport, any interest – there is a club or society for that. And getting involved in some of them has been a pretty epic experience, so my advice is, wherever you go at uni, get involved in some clubs or societies. And finally, if you enjoy the big-city life, central London is a pretty awesome place to live in during your student years, with very relaxed places like Regent’s Park, to vibrant and lively places like Camden Town and Soho
nearby.

London is a place which gives you lots of opportunites for your free time.

This is a very short and poor sum-up of my experience at UCL, but feel free to contact me if
you want details or have any questions, maybe I’ll be able to offer better insight in a private chat 🙂