University College London (UCL) is a regular attendee of OSC’s IB University Fairs and we are delighted to have them provide us with their insight into the value of the International Baccalaureate.

The International Baccalaureate is a highly valued qualification for UCL and other prestigious UK universities. This is because the students who have obtained the IB diploma have demonstrated that they are skilled, knowledgeable and hard-working which is exactly the kind of person that studies at a world-leading university, such as UCL.

Having a broad high school education means that IB students are accustomed to thinking in new ways about topics and combining knowledge from different disciplines to offer original ideas in discussions and writing. As an institution that offers 200 undergraduate programmes in 11 different faculties, UCL strongly supports this multi-disciplinary approach, with many programmes spanning traditional boundaries. For example UCL offers programmes such as Arts and Sciences, Mathematics with Modern Languages, History and Philosophy of Science, and a huge range of more traditional programmes which also allow students the flexibility to follow their own academic interests.


IB students also have experience of self-directed research, composing extended essays, and understanding knowledge itself, making them competent in many of the skills required for degree study. These students are therefore attractive candidates to study at academically excellent institutions like UCL. The workload involved in taking an IB diploma also demonstrates that successful students are diligent, motivated, and hard-working. The IB allows them to hone excellent soft skills such as time management and organisation while juggling a high number of disciplines. These skills are not only imperative to make the most of university life, and excel academically, they are also skills that benefit IB students throughout their professional and personal lives.

IB students are a globally-minded group, often having lived and studied all over the world, many of whom are competent in foreign languages, and with academic and career aims which take them beyond the confines of their physical place of study. UCL looks for students who can bring this global outlook to their academic work and their lives in London. Around 37% of UCL’s students are not from the UK, and in the region of 150 countries are represented in the student body, making it truly, ‘London’s Global University’. We therefore look for undergraduates whose outlook reflects the far-reaching and ambitious attitudes of our students.

For all of these reasons UCL has a long tradition of valuing IB students. As an academically selective institution, UCL requires students to obtain 36-39 points overall in the IB diploma, with 16-19 points in 3 higher level subjects. The exact grades and specific subjects that we require vary according to subject, but details can be found on our website or by contacting the International Office: [email protected].

OSC offer a University Tour in the UK and US, by attending you can gain expert help and advice on university applications and choices from experienced College Counsellors and university admissions staff. Find out more here.