When it comes to London, people naturally associate it with terms "the capital of the UK" and "the city of fog." For students seeking higher education, London is also the number one global study destination in their minds! According to the survey results of QS Best Student Cities 2022, considering factors such as university rankings in the respective regions, international student population and ratio, safety, and livability, London, UK, once again topped the list and became the most popular study city among international students worldwide. As the capital of one of the major global economies and home to many influential museums where classical and modern cultures blend together, along with several world-renowned higher education institutions, London has become a globally recognised hub of academia.

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Among the array of higher education institutions in London, the most well-known are the three universities that are part of the "UK G5 universities," namely UCL (University College London), LSE (London School of Economics and Political Science), and Imperial College London. Many students are accustomed to referring to them as the "University of London" or simply "London University." In fact, "London University" or "University of London" is not an exclusive nickname for these three universities but also includes another 15 higher education institutions located in the London area. These "University of London" institutions each have their own research strengths in different disciplines. However, these institutions, especially in terms of their admission requirements, are generally more competitive. To secure a coveted spot in these prestigious institutions amid intense competition, it is essential to start by considering the "subject" aspect.

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University of London: Institutions Cover Various Fields, Each with Its Own Strengths

As the internationally recognised top study destination for international students, the renowned "University of London" institutions are known not only for their names or overall rankings but for their academic research and teaching quality in different academic fields, reaching a globally recognised standard. By referring to the University of London's website, you will discover that these institutions offer over 50 different types of disciplines, ranging from accounting and finance to veterinary science, covering almost all areas of interest for international students. Among these disciplines, nearly 30 subjects are related to business, law, and social sciences and also encompass some popular subjects among local students, including Business and Management, Economics, Law, International Relations, Politics, Media and Communications, Sociology, and more.

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The UK boasts a rich history and culture, and it is also an important global economy and a developed country, offering international students from around the world a modern living environment. Since the Industrial Revolution, the UK has laid the foundation for modern commerce and industry, as well as various systems such as law and society. London, in particular, is a significant economic city globally, often referred to alongside New York and Hong Kong as the "NYLON" trio, setting exemplary standards in business management and economics. Additionally, London serves as a hub for the exchange of classical and modern cultures, housing numerous culturally influential institutions such as the British Museum, with over 250 years of history and more than 80,000 valuable artefacts; the V&A Museum; Tate Modern; the National Gallery; and many other art galleries that showcase ancient art, applied art, and modern design. This infusion of artistic and cultural vibrancy enriches the business metropolis and provides an environment for international students studying in the UK to explore diverse cultures. It has also cultivated a strong tradition for London's higher education institutions in teaching disciplines such as business, economics, law, social sciences, and media.

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Expertise in the humanities and business, a history of development, and inherent advantages

It is well known that many outstanding students apply to study at the University of London every year, and the admission requirements for some top programmes can be extremely competitive. For students interested in studying at the University of London, it is crucial to understand the rule of "choose the subject first, then the university." It is essential to consider the discipline you are interested in and the desired subject area, especially since each of the University of London institutions has its own expertise. Once you have identified your preferred subject, you can select the appropriate London institution based on their admission requirements. However, some students may focus on the Foundation programmes offered by universities, aiming to strengthen their academic and English language abilities within a short period of time in order to smoothly transition to the academic excellence of the University of London. Interestingly, there are numerous courses on the market that claim to be "University of London Articulation Programmes," showcasing the successful pathway to the University of London. For international students, it is important to identify the "genuine University of London articulation programmes" by considering the following factors:

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Background of the educational institution

Many Foundation programmes claiming to be University of London articulation courses are offered by institutions either established by the University of London itself or entrusted to education groups for management and admissions. However, the University of London's self-established programmes with their own curriculum and admissions still remain a minority.

Range of subject offerings

Most University of London Foundation programmes offer a variety of disciplines for students to choose from. However, it is relatively rare to find programmes specifically dedicated to teaching a particular subject area.

Articulation pathways

Most one-on-one articulation programmes can guarantee progression to the respective original institution upon meeting the specified upgrading criteria. On the other hand, institutions offering one-to-many programmes assist students applying through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) for admission to the University of London. However, there are very few articulation programmes specifically tailored for top University of London institutions such as UCL, LSE, and King's College London (KCL).

While students search for the "genuine University of London articulation programmes," it is worth noting that within the city of London, SOAS, University of London, a member of the University of London for over 25 years, has been offering the ICC International Foundation Programme (ICC). This programme provides an international articulation pathway for UCL, LSE, KCL, and even other Russell Group Universities, and stands tall amidst the bustling city of London.

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The University of London Articulation Programme, offered by SOAS

SOAS, the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, is located in Russell Square in the heart of London, adjacent to renowned landmarks such as the British Museum and UCL. It is one of the important member institutions of the University of London and specialises in various fields related to Asian and African cultures, including economics, business, law, modern languages, and social sciences. It is particularly well-known for its research in Taiwanese studies and Sinology. The library at SOAS is a cultural treasure, housing over 1.3 million precious collections written in different languages from various countries. It is recognised as one of the 35 most important research libraries in the UK, alongside many other University of London libraries and even the British Library.

Unlike other articulation programs in London, the ICC Articulation Program offered directly by SOAS provides courses designed and taught by the university itself. It is suitable for students who have a clear intention to study subjects such as business, economics, law, social sciences, and media. The entire programme includes Academic English and a comprehensive subject called "Understanding the Modern World" as compulsory core courses, which not only enhance students' English language proficiency but also provide a general understanding of the social, economic, and political aspects of contemporary Europe and the world. Additionally, students can choose two elective subjects from a range of disciplines, such as business studies, economics, international development, world history, media and communications, international law, politics, world art, and literature, based on their interests in university-level subjects. During their studies in the ICC Articulation Programme, students receive assistance from the programme's admissions team to apply through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) for admission to their desired University of London or Russell Group universities.

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It is worth mentioning that after applying through UCAS, ICC Articulation Program students are accepted by most University of London and Russell Group universities, including top institutions like UCL and LSE, as well as Bristol, York, Queen Mary, Manchester, and other highly ranked universities. In addition, all ICC Articulation Programme students are guaranteed progression to related subjects at SOAS University, their original institution, as long as they meet the required upgrading criteria. As a result, many students from the ICC Articulation Programme progress to study relevant disciplines at SOAS University.

Being offered and taught by member institutions of the University of London, along with the recognized articulation mechanism, the ICC Articulation Program is open to students with international qualifications like the A-Level, and the International Baccalaureate (IB). It requires an overall score of 5.5 in the IELTS for UKVI - Academic exam, with a minimum of 5.0 in all subtests. The overall admission requirements are similar to those for most foundation courses offered by other UK universities. The university also discusses each applicant's admission and progression plan to truly cater to the needs of international students who are transitioning to studying in London, a new place for them."