King’s College London is one of the top universities in the UK based in the heart of London. This no-frills guide will walk you through every step of the admissions process to help make your dream of studying at King’s a reality. Inside, you’ll find the most up-to-date information on KCL courses, detailed insights about the admissions process, and eight top tips for success.

Research Most Competitive Courses

Before embarking on your application journey, you should thoroughly research the courses offered at KCL. Whilst all courses have high academic standards, some are undeniably more competitive than others. Popular courses like Law, Medicine, and Economics usually attract more applicants and therefore have stricter entry requirements. But don’t let this put you off: with a well-planned application, you’ll have a great chance of getting in. 

The first step is to choose a course. If your heart is already set on one, great, but if you’re stuck between two or even three different courses, try asking yourself the following questions:

  • Which subject do I genuinely enjoy? 
  • Which subject can I imagine myself studying for three or more years? 
  • Do I like the course? 
  • Which parts sound exciting? 
  • Which parts look challenging? 
  • How might the course benefit my future career? 

Asking yourself these questions will help you understand if the course is right for you, and if you are right for the course. Remember, it’s a two-way street!

Once you’ve decided on a subject, try to learn everything about it. Dive deep into the course descriptions on the university’s website, paying close attention to modules, teaching methods, and assessment criteria. You could also consider reaching out to current students or alumni via social media to gain insights into their experiences and perspectives. 

Websites like The Student Room, WhatUni, and Reddit might be useful here. By arming yourself with a comprehensive understanding of your chosen course, you’ll be better equipped to showcase your enthusiasm and suitability during the application process.

Meet the Entry Requirements

Once you’ve chosen and thoroughly researched a course, it’s time to familiarise yourself with the university’s entry requirements. King’s College London sets a high bar for applicants, requiring strong grades (A*s, As and Bs) in relevant subjects. However, these requirements can vary depending on the course, so it’s crucial to look through them carefully on the university’s website or through the UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) portal. 

In addition to A-levels and personal statements, courses like Law, Medicine and Dentistry have extra requirements. For example, if you want to apply for Medicine, you’ll have to sit the UCAT test and possibly attend an interview. 

You can find a full list of all the entry requirements you’ll have to meet for your chosen course on the KCL website. Don’t hesitate to contact the admissions team for clarification if you have any questions or concerns.

Prepare Your Documents

Nobody likes paperwork, but it’s a crucial part of the application process. Gathering all the documents you need ahead of time can help streamline your application and present yourself in the best possible light to the KCL admissions team.

Academic Transcripts

Ensure you have up-to-date and official academic transcripts. These documents should clearly state your qualifications and the grades you’ve achieved. For students pursuing their studies in non-UK educational systems, it might be necessary to provide a certified translation or a credentials evaluation.

Reference Letters

Reference letters are a significant component of your application. Choose referees who know you well and can speak to your academic potential and personal character. Typically, these should be your teachers or professors. Guidance on how many references to include and in what format can usually be found on the university’s admissions website.

Proof of English Proficiency

If English is not your first language, proof of proficiency in English is required. Accepted tests usually include IELTS, TOEFL, or Cambridge English exams. Check the specific requirements for your chosen course as the required scores can vary.

Writing Samples

For applicants to Master’s programs, you may need to include writing samples. Choose works that showcase your critical thinking, research abilities, and proficiency in academic writing. Ensure these are relevant to the course you are applying for.

The Personal Statement

The part most undergraduate applicants feel most nervous about is the personal statement. It’s your opportunity to show how enthusiastic you are about your chosen course and why you’d make a great KCL student.

Starting Your Personal Statement

Begin early to give yourself plenty of time to brainstorm ideas and draft a statement that reflects your true interests and personality. This preparation allows you to craft a narrative that is both genuine and compelling.

Content and Structure

Focus on demonstrating your enthusiasm for the subject rather than listing achievements. Approximately 75% of your personal statement should relate directly to your academic interests and pursuits, including any relevant activities outside of school. Use specific examples to highlight your skills and experiences.

Start with a strong introduction to grab attention, discuss your academic and related experiences in the body, and conclude with a clear statement of your career goals and reasons for choosing the course.

Revision and Feedback

After drafting your personal statement, seek feedback from teachers, mentors, or family members. Their external perspectives can provide valuable insights and help refine your statement. Additionally, thorough proofreading is crucial to eliminate any spelling or grammatical errors, which can undermine your application’s professionalism.

Authenticity and Honesty

Remain authentic and honest in your writing. Highlight your true strengths and interests without exaggerating or fabricating details. Authenticity resonates more with admission teams and helps you stand out as a genuine candidate.

Final Tips

Stay positive and focused throughout your personal statement. Show your passion for the subject and your motivation for choosing KCL specifically. A well-prepared document package, paired with a compelling personal statement, significantly enhances your application’s effectiveness.

Sit the Entrance Exams

Which courses require entrance exams?

For certain courses, particularly those in highly competitive fields such as Medicine, Dentistry, and Law, you may be required to sit entrance exams as part of the application process. These exams assess your academic knowledge, critical thinking skills, and overall suitability for the course. Common entrance exams include the UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT), the Biomedical Admissions Test (BMAT), and the Law National Aptitude Test (LNAT). These tests are difficult and stressful for students, so we’ve compiled some helpful tips.

How to prepare for entrance exams 

Firstly, start your preparation early. Make yourself familiar with the format of the test and practice as much as possible. The more you practise, the more comfortable you’ll feel on the day. When it comes time for the real thing, pace yourself. Time management is crucial, so don’t get bogged down by one question. If you’re stuck, move on and come back to it later. 

Remember to read all instructions carefully; it’s easy to trip up on silly mistakes if you’re rushing. And try to stay calm. Of course, that’s easier said than done, but remember that these tests are just one part of your application. So do your best, but remember that it’s not the be-all and end-all.

Attend Your Interview

Which courses require entrance exams?

Not all courses require interviews, but they’re quite common for programs like Medicine, Dentistry, and Law, where interpersonal skills and communication abilities are highly valued. As we said earlier, these courses also tend to have the highest numbers of applicants, and interviews are just another way for the university to gather more information about potential students. 

How to prepare for the interview

If you don’t have to do an interview, great! But if you do, prepare thoroughly by researching common questions and practising your responses with friends, family, or teachers. It’s important to know exactly why you want to study your course and what interests you most about your subject. If you have an interview, they’ll almost certainly ask you about these things. 

How to approach the interview

On the big day, dress well, arrive on time, and approach the interview with enthusiasm and positivity. Listen carefully to your interviewers and the questions they ask you, and articulate your ideas clearly and concisely. 

If you feel yourself straying off-topic, pause to gather your thoughts before starting again. And if you don’t know the answer to something, there’s no shame in admitting it. After all, if you already knew everything, there would be no point in going to university! Try to look at the interview as a two-way conversation, not an interrogation. 

What the interview is really about

The interviewers aren’t there to grill you, they want to see how you think, learn more about who you are, and see if they can teach you. So do your best to express genuine interest in the course, and feel free to ask questions about the curriculum, faculty, and student life. Lastly, whilst it sounds cheesy, don’t forget to be yourself. It is your individuality that makes you stand out from the other applicants.

Apply for Scholarships and Financial Aid

Obtaining a university degree is a great investment in your future, but it can also be expensive. Fortunately, King’s College London offers a range of scholarships, bursaries, and financial aid packages to support students from diverse backgrounds. 

Explore your funding options online, including merit-based scholarships, need-based grants, and other external sources. Research eligibility criteria for these different sources of aid, as well as application deadlines and required documents for each scholarship. Remember, you’ll need to submit applications early to maximise your chances of success. You could also consider taking out a student loan, maintenance grant or getting a part-time job.

Every student is different when it comes to funding their education. What’s important here is that you don’t let financial constraints deter you from pursuing a degree and improving your future career prospects. If you think you might struggle to meet KCL’s financial requirements or can’t afford to live in London, reach out to the university’s financial aid office for help and guidance.

8 Top Tips for Getting into King’s College London

  • Start Early: Begin your preparations well ahead of application deadlines to allow enough time for research, personal statement writing and interview preparation.
  • Choose Wisely: Choose the course that’s right for you: that is, the one that you feel most interested in and excited by, not the one that sounds the coolest or most difficult.
  • Work Hard: Get the highest grades you can in school, and spend time outside of school developing your interest in your subject by reading books and news articles.
  • Show Passion: Show genuine enthusiasm for your chosen course through your personal statement. Remember to include examples of academic engagement outside of school.
  • Be Authentic: Present your true self in your personal statement and interview, showing off your unique experiences and ideas. Your individuality sets you apart from the other applicants.
  • Stay Informed: Whilst you’re applying, stay updated on any changes to admission requirements, deadlines, or procedures by regularly checking the university’s website.
  • Seek Support: If you have any problems or concerns, don’t hesitate to seek guidance from teachers, mentors, or admissions advisors throughout the application process.
  • Prepare for Possible Rejection: Rejection can be difficult, but it’s not the end of the world. There are other fantastic universities out there!

KCL Application FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

The acceptance rate at King’s College London can vary depending on factors such as course popularity, applicant pool, and admissions criteria.

Yes, King’s College London is widely regarded as one of the UK’s top universities. It is known for its academic excellence, research contributions, and global impact.

Yes, King’s College London is a member of the prestigious Russell Group: a group of 24 top UK universities committed to excellence in research and teaching.

Gaining admission to King’s College London isn’t easy, particularly for courses with high demand and limited numbers of spaces. However, with thorough preparation, a strong academic background, and a well-planned application, you can increase your chances of success.

Yes, KCL gives contextual offers. If you have experienced difficult circumstances which have made it harder for you to achieve your required grades, KCL will take that into account.

Getting into King’s College London: The Final Verdict

KCL is an excellent university with a fantastic reputation, especially for Law, Medicine, and the humanities. But is it the right fit for you? That depends on a few things. 

Firstly, it’s tough to get in. Like many Russell Group universities, KCL has high entry requirements and competition can be strong, especially for popular courses like Law and Medicine. You need to be hitting top grades—A*s, As and Bs—and have a strong interest in your subject outside of school to have a chance. 

But if you’ve got the grades, the passion, and the motivation, give it a shot. You’ll get a rigorous education at KCL and boost your career prospects. 

As for whether KCL is right for you, well, that’s a bit more subjective. Think carefully about the course modules, location, facilities, and overall vibe. Is London somewhere you can see yourself living? It’s undoubtedly one of the most interesting cities in the world, but it’s not for everyone. So do your research, visit if you can, and trust your gut. 

Ultimately, it’s all about finding the university that’s right for you, your lifestyle, and your goals. If KCL ticks all your boxes and you’re up for the challenge, start planning your application. It could be one of the best decisions you ever make!