University College School, Hampstead (more commonly known as UCS) is an independent day school for boys aged 11–18 and for girls aged 16–18 in Hampstead, North West London. The school was founded in 1830 as part of University College London (UCL) but became a separate body in 1905. The UCS Foundation (which incorporates the pre-prep, junior school, senior school and sixth form) share a 20-acre campus which consists of historic listed buildings, a recently-refurbished sports centre, a 200-seater theatre and a biophilic, environmentally-friendly sixth form centre.
Education at UCS is defined by its founding principle of liberal scholarship, nurturing qualities including intuition, curiosity, confidence, entrepreneurism and creativity. The school has an academic enrichment programme which spans all year groups and takes various forms, including enrichment weeks, the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) in the sixth form and the study of dialectics in Year 7 and philosophy, politics and economics (PPE) in Year 8.
The priority at UCS is the pupils’ happiness and wellbeing – more emphasis is placed on this than academic success. There is a focus on developing life values described as the ABCDs (aspiration, bravery, compassion and decision-making, plus the ‘s’ for self-reflection) with the Young Leader Award and the Headmaster’s Award offering opportunities for character education and self-reflection.
Regardless, academic results at University College School Hampstead are exceptional. Pupils can choose from more than 22 subjects at both GCSE and A level, including five modern languages. In 2021, 96% of all GCSE grades were 9–7 (A*–A equivalent) while 98% of A level grades were A*–B.
Headmaster: Mark Beard
Address: University College School, Senior Branch, Frognal, Hampstead, London NW3 6XH
London Borough: Camden
Admissions contact: [email protected], 020 7433 2117
Age range and gender: 11–18 (boys) and 16–18 (girls)
Number of pupils: 934
Number of places in Year 7: 55 external places, joined by the 60–65 boys who transfer from the UCS junior school
Ratio of applicants to places: Undisclosed
Open day date: Monday 12th September, Thursday 29th September and Thursday 3rd November 2022. Registration is not required.
Overview of selection procedure: Entrance exam, interview and academic reference
Registration opens: Currently open – apply online for UCS Hampstead
Registration closes: Monday 7th November 2022 at 5pm
Assessment date: Thursday 5th January 2023
From September 2022, the termly fees for senior school entry (Year 7 onwards) to UCS Hampstead will be £7,793. These fees include lunch and personal accident insurance.
UCS Hampstead has a bursary programme in place, which demands that its education should not be restricted by factors such as family income and wealth. Approximately 60 pupils in the senior school are currently on bursaries (90% of these receiving a 100% reduction in fees) with plans to significantly raise this number by 2030. Fee assistance is assessed by income bands available to household incomes of up to £100,000 and is offered to candidates who have satisfied the school’s entrance requirements.
Music Scholarships are also available at UCS Hampstead and entitle the holder to a reduction in the annual school fees of between 10% and 25% (or up to 50% in exceptional cases). Music Scholars are also entitled to free instrumental tuition at the school (including voice) at the discretion of the Director of Music.
The term dates at UCS Hampstead for 2022–23 are:
Autumn term: 2nd September – 14th December 2022
Half term: 17th – 28th October 2022
Spring term: 9th January – 31st March 2023
Half term: 13th – 17th February 2023
Summer term: 17th April – 30th June 2023
Half term: 29th May – 2nd June 2023
If you would like to register your son for Year 7 at UCS Hampstead in 2023, you will need to complete the UCS Hampstead online application form and pay the registration fee, which costs £150. Once the application deadline has passed on Monday 7th November 2022, UCS Hampstead will request a confidential academic reference from your child’s current school.
All candidates are invited to sit the 11 plus entrance exam at UCS Hampstead on Thursday 5th January 2023. The results of this exam are combined with the academic references to form a shortlist of candidates for interview.
Interviews take place in late January 2023 and consist of a mini-lesson and a one-to-one interview with a member of the teaching staff. Parents are invited and will have the opportunity to meet senior leaders and current UCS Hampstead pupils.
Boys who are applying for a Music Scholarship will undergo additional steps to the admissions process. Eligible applicants are those who can offer at least one orchestral instrument at Grade 5 or above. If you would like your son to be considered, you will need to complete the online Music Scholarship application form and submit this by Monday 7th November 2022. Candidates are only invited to the second stage if they are successful in the 11 plus entrance exam in January 2023, at which point UCS Hampstead will get in touch to ask for testimonials from your child’s current head of music and instrumental teachers.
Boys who have been shortlisted for the Music Scholarship will be invited to an audition at UCS Hampstead on either Saturday 21st or Saturday 28th January 2023. They will be required to play or sing two contrasting pieces of their own choice with a time limit of 8 minutes in total. They will also have a general interview which will explore their musical interests and activities.
The school will write to pupils and their families with the outcome of their application in mid-February 2023.
There are two papers in the UCS Hampstead 11 plus entrance exam which take 2 hours and 30 minutes overall. The content of both matches the national curriculum requirements for the end of Key Stage 2:
This paper has a time limit of one hour and 15 minutes. It consists of two sections:
Reading comprehension (45 minutes)
Creative writing (30 minutes).
Take a look at our guide to developing your child’s reading comprehension exam skills and 11 plus creative writing guides for parents and children.
This paper has a time limit of one hour and 15 minutes. It consists of three sections:
Download our free Key Stage 2 maths checklist to help your child spot their strengths and areas to revise ahead of the 11 plus exam.
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