King's College London Acceptance Rate for UK and International students

King’s College London Acceptance Rate

King’s College London (also known as KCL) has a highly selective and competitive admissions process.

As one of the top universities in the UK ranking on the 29th place on the Guardian ranking list, King’s receives thousands of applications each year.

For a limited number of places across its undergraduate and postgraduate programmes competition is high.

We’ll try to present the latest King’s College London acceptance rate compared with other elite universities like Oxford, Cambridge and Russell Group.

Admissions Process at King’s College London University

The admissions process at King’s involves submitting an online UCAS application along with supporting documents like academic transcripts, test scores if required, a personal statement, and academic reference letters

Applicants are evaluated holistically based on their academic achievements, extracurricular activities, relevant skills and interests, and personal attributes. 

With plenty of highly qualified applicants, admission to King’s is very competitive.

In 2021, King’s received over 51,000 applications for undergraduate courses, but could only offer about 8600 places, resulting in a low offer rate.

At the postgraduate level, over 46,000 applicants were competing for around 13,500 seats.

Given the limited number of places, simply meeting the minimum academic and English language requirements is not enough to gain admission.

King’s selects the strongest candidates who demonstrate academic excellence, leadership skills, passion for their chosen field of study, and the potential to excel at the university.

Related: Is King’s College London good?

Why Is the Acceptance Rate Important for King’s College London?

King’s College London acceptance rate, also known as the offer rate, indicates the proportion of total applicants offered admission.

It is a key metric that sheds light on how selective a university is and how difficult it is to gain admission. 

King’s College London has one of the lowest acceptance rates among UK universities.

For 2021 entry, the overall King’s College London acceptance rate was just 16.9% for undergraduate courses and 29.3% for postgraduate programmes

King's College London Acceptance Rate

This puts King’s among the UK’s most selective public universities, on par with Oxbridge and other prestigious Russell Group institutions.

The highly competitive admission at King’s is indicative of its standing as a top global university that draws abundant interest from applicants worldwide.

A lower acceptance rate at KCL enhances a university’s reputation and prestige.

Highly selective universities are perceived as more desirable places to study and more likely to provide students with the resources and connections needed to excel. 

A KCL low acceptance rate also allows a university like King’s to be more discerning in choosing applicants and craft strong incoming classes brimming with promising talent.


Factors Influencing King’s College London Acceptance Rates

Several interrelated factors contribute to the low acceptance rates in King’s College London’s admissions process:

  1. Number of Applications – King’s receives a huge number of applications from well-qualified students interested in attending the university. With limited seats available, this volume of applicants makes admission highly competitive. In 2021, King’s had over 51,000 undergraduate applicants vying for around 8600 places.
  2. Academic Excellence – King’s College targets top academic talent from around the world. The university sets high academic entry criteria, with most admitted undergraduates holding ABB or higher at A-level. Strong incoming student cohorts help maintain its culture of academic excellence. 
  3. University Reputation – As a highly ranked global university, King’s attracts abundant interest from applicants worldwide who are drawn by its reputation for excellence in education and research. This allows the university to be highly selective.
  4. Programme Popularity – Certain programs at King’s like Medicine and Dentistry are hugely oversubscribed, lowering acceptance rates. For the 2021 entry, the Medicine acceptance rate at King’s College London was 6.2% due to exceptional demand.
  5. International Students – Overseas students generally face lower acceptance rates compared to UK applicants. At King’s in 2021, international undergraduate offer rates ranged from 6-12% across nationalities.

King’s College London Acceptance Rate 

Let’s examine King’s College London’s acceptance rates and how they compare with other prestigious UK universities:

King’s College London Undergraduate Acceptance Rate

Below you can see King’s College London undergraduate acceptance rate compared with the best UK universities. 

  • King’s College London: 16.9%
  • University of Oxford: 13.73%
  • University of Cambridge: 15.7%  
  • Imperial College London: 11.1%
  • UCL (University College London): 14.9%
  • Durham University: 74%

Learn more:

King’s College London Postgraduate Acceptance Rate

It’s obvious from the data below that it’s easier to get into King’s College London postgraduate studies than in Oxford or Cambridge.

The postgraduate acceptance rate at King’s College London is 29.3%.

  • King’s College London: 29.3%
  • University of Oxford: 17.9%
  • University of Cambridge: 11.5%
  • Imperial College London: 30.5% 
  • UCL (University College London): 29.2%

We can see that across both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, admission to King’s is competitive, on par with rates at elite universities like Oxford and Cambridge.

Securing a place at King’s requires standing out from the crowd.

King’s College London Acceptance Rates by Course

While the overall acceptance rate provides a broad picture, offer rates at King’s vary widely across academic programs based on their competitiveness.

Here are the 2021 acceptance rates for some popular undergraduate degree courses at King’s College London.

CourseAcceptance rate
Biomedical Sciences7.1%
Business Management22.2%
Computer Science10.4%
King’s College London acceptance rate for courses

High-demand courses like Medicine and Biomedical Sciences have exceptionally low offer rates under 10% because of steep competition for limited seats.

Programmes like Business, Economics, Computer Science, and Law also remain highly competitive with acceptance rates in the teens or lower.

King’s College London Acceptance Rate for International Students

International applicants face additional challenges securing admission to King’s versus domestic students.

Here are the 2021 international undergraduate acceptance rates.

Overall King’s College London’s acceptance rate for international students is 11.5%

We break down the international students acceptance rate at King’s College London by continent in the table below.

ContinentInternational student acceptance rate
North America7.5%
South America14.8%

Competition is remarkably high among students from China and India, with acceptance rates as low as 6-8% for popular majors.

King’s College London University Acceptance Rate For Masters 

At the postgraduate level, King’s received over 46,000 applications for master’s programmes in 2021, but could only admit around 13,500 students due to capacity constraints.

This resulted in an overall postgraduate acceptance rate of 29.3%.

Among top master’s courses, KCL postgraduate acceptance rates in 2021 were:

  • Master in Public Policy: 18.2%  
  • MS in Finance: 23%
  • MA in International Relations: 14.8%
  • MSc in Data Science: 21.6%
  • Master in Laws: 33.8%

So even for master’s programmes, admission to King’s College London remains very competitive for both domestic and international applicants, again on par with Oxbridge.

King’s College London Acceptance Rate vs Russell Group Universities 

The Russell Group represents 24 leading UK research universities. Besides Oxford, Cambridge, and King’s, members include:

In 2021, the average Russell Group acceptance rate was 22.7% for undergraduate and 37.2% for postgraduate programs.

King’s College London’s admission statistics of 16.9% undergraduate and 29.3% postgraduate acceptance are lower than these Russell Group averages.

Along with Oxford and Cambridge, King’s is among the most selective of the prestigious Russell Group universities.

King's College London Campus
King’s College London campus

Factors Affecting Your Chances of Getting Into King’s College London

How to get into King’s College London? Given the extremely competitive admission, what can you do to maximise your chances of securing a place at King’s College London? Here are some of the key elements that make a successful application.

Academic Excellence 

King expects outstanding academic preparation. For undergraduate admission, you need top A-level grades like A*AA-ABB or 38-40 points in the IB Diploma. A strong upward-grade trend also helps demonstrate your potential.

At the master’s level, a first-class degree or GPA of at least 3.7 is recommended. Relevant undergraduate coursework strengthens your background.

Extracurricular Activities and Leadership

Well-rounded applicants who showcase passion and impact through extracurricular pursuits do well. Examples are student government, publications, research, sports, music, drama, community service, and internships. 

Leadership positions and unique activities connected to your intended program of study can further boost your profile.

Personal Statement and UCAS References 

A good personal statement and UCAS reference letter crucial insights into your achievements, background, motivations, and potential. 

An outstanding personal statement conveys your story and highlights experiences that prepared you for your course. Strong reference letters from professors corroborate your academic abilities.

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Admission Exams 

Some graduate programmes at King’s need standardised test scores like the BMAT, UCAT or GRE. For the BMAT test, aim for the 80th percentile or higher. 

International students need minimum IELTS or TOEFL scores, typically IELTS 7.0-7.5 or TOEFL 100-110. Competitive scores strengthen your application.

Final Thoughts

With its global reputation and academic rigour, King’s College London admissions are highly competitive, as reflected by low acceptance rates of around 17% for undergraduate and 29% for postgraduate applicants.

Gaining admission requires world-class academic credentials coupled with an outstanding record of achievement and potential. Top grades, rich extracurricular backgrounds, glowing references, and stellar exam scores help applicants stand out from the crowd. 

While admission to King’s is challenging, graduates gain access to a wealth of resources and opportunities. By targeting academic excellence and showcasing your talents, you can craft a strong application for this prestigious university. Understanding the competitive admissions landscape is an important first step.


What was King’s College London’s acceptance rate in 2021?

In 2021, King’s undergraduate acceptance rate was 16.9% and the postgraduate rate was 29.3%.

How selective is King’s compared to Oxford and Cambridge? 

King’s admission is similarly highly competitive to Oxford and Cambridge, which are the UK’s two most selective universities. 

What acceptance rate do international applicants face at King’s?

In 2021, the King’s international undergraduate acceptance rate was 11.5% overall, ranging from 6-14% by country.

Which undergraduate programs are most competitive at King’s?

The most selective programs are Medicine, Dentistry, Biomedical Sciences, Economics, Law, and Computer Science.

How can I maximize my chances of admission to King’s? 

You need outstanding academics, rich extracurriculars, glowing references, and an engaging personal statement conveying your fit. High test scores also help. Read our guide Getting into King’s College London.