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Welcome to UCL – you’ve made a great choice, this really is a special place. But we would say that, having made the same choice ourselves a few years ago! 

UCL is a huge community, and at the heart of that community is the Students’ Union. In a line, the Students’ Union is here to help you make the most of your time at UCL, we’re the place where more happens.

You’ll hear the term ‘UCL experience’ a lot over the next few months. You’ve probably already thought about what kind of experience you’ll have this year. The ‘UCL experience’ covers all of your time at UCL, not just the hours you spend learning your course content. It is as much shaped outside of the lecture theatre (or module zoom call) as it is inside of one. This year is going to be different and with this in mind, we’ve really been considering how to best welcome you and make sure you still have the ‘UCL experience’ regardless of where you are.

Our priority this year is for all members of our community to make the most of their time at UCL - regardless of how they experience it. We’ll be online first, that’s where you’ll start your journey – at events like our Digital Welcome Fair. If you are joining us in London, there will still be the chance to meet and take part in safe small-group activity in-person.

So, who’s in charge of the Students’ Union? Students are – specifically the Sabbatical Officers who are elected each year to run the place. Sabbs for short. We’re here to make your time with UCL the best it can be – from your learning experience to your life in London and everything in between.

There’s seven Sabbatical Officers, each with a different area of responsibility. We’ve put together our advice on starting out at UCL…

Ilyas, Activities Officer

Make sure to get involved in as much as possible, it might seem daunting at first but once you’ve joined in you realise everyone else is in the same situation as you and everyone wants to make new friends.

Sandy, Black and Minority Ethnic Students’ Officer

Community! A supportive community can help you navigate your journey. Complain! You have a right to an accessible quality education. Your voice is crucial to achieving that. Rights & services! Knowing your rights (education, work. etc.) and the support services are key! Start with SSW, Disability Services, the BME Network and our Advice Service.

Carol, Democracy, Operations and Community Officer

It’s normal to be nervous about starting your degree, even more so with what’s happening. Just know that there are people in your corner, people whose job it is to make sure that you have all of the tools and opportunities you need to thrive here at UCL.

Ayman, Education Officer

Do everything you can - your time at uni will go so quickly! You’re at a world-class uni in the middle of a global city, so make the most of it whilst you’re here.

Jim, Postgraduate Students’ Officer

Your academic work is not the only reason you’re here (and although this is likely to vary person to person - it may not even be the main reason). Explore clubs, societies, random small side interests, major big hobbies, dreams, and passions - UCL is a great place to do so.

Yasmeen, Welfare and International Officer

Just take it easy! Whatever it is, there’s no need to rush or force it. Do whatever makes you feel comfortable, know your limits, don’t push too hard and enjoy your time at university because it does go by in a flash and you’ll be gone before you know it.

Aarushi, Women’s Officer

Talk to everyone, they’re just as scared and excited as you are. Try a bunch of different societies, make multiple groups of friends that you know from different places, and ALWAYS back up your essays. You’ll have a lot of fun!


You can find out more about the Sabbatical Officers and what we’re up to his year here.