The Typical Day Of A University College London Student

It is difficult to say exactly what the typical day of a University College London student is like. For humanities students, each day has a different structure. As a philosophy student, I only have 8 contact hours so some days I have only one or two contact hours but even so, there is a pattern to my days:

Disclaimer: This is very much a humanities student’s typical day. If you are choosing a degree in the sciences, for example, this is far from your typical day!

8am – Wake up

This is much earlier than I need to get up on most other days but unfortunately that pesky 9am I have once a week requires this type of torture. It really is not okay to wake up so early. After a few weeks you’ll have your morning routine perfected to just half an hour to give you a little more time to sleep.

8:30 – Run for the bus

If your coming from halls in Camden (as I am), you will most likely have to run/briskly walk to the bus stop. To be honest it would only be a 30 minute walk (if the lights turn in your favour at the crossings which is rare) but who needs the stress of pushing past the slow people clogging up the pavement when public transport is so good?

9am – Seminar

After making it to campus, with 5 minutes to spare, you enjoy (endure!) one of only a few seminars. Due to the small groups you can’t really afford to stay quiet without being picked on at some point in this hour. So you try to combat the tiredness and participate because that is really what you’re there for.


10am – Snack

After not having had time for breakfast because you’re lazy (me) you pop by one of the vending machines in the science library or go to the café to grab a snack. This will either be a sausage roll because why not?, or an extremely over priced item of confectionery.

10:50 – Try to find your lecture theatre

Even half way through the term you will still probably not remember where you’re supposed to be for your lecture. This could be because UCL buildings are practically all over London, or because it has been moved last minute and only just updated on UCL Go. Either way, it is a very stressful 10 minutes.

11am – Lecture

You will spend most of this hour, depending on the lecturer, staring into space and wondering whether it’s just you that doesn’t have  a clue what’s going on. The thought of lunch is the only thing that can get you through this.


If UCL is only good for one thing, it’s the choice of food for lunch. Whether you want to grab a sandwich in the UCL shop, a full on cooked meal at the canteen, or pasta from the Print Room Café, all of your food needs are catered for. Yet it would be completely crazy not to mention the godsend that is NEO Pizza in this list of great UCL lunch destinations. Situated near the engineering building behind the portico, it is in the perfect spot- and the pizza is to die for.

1-3pm – More contact hours

If you’re unlucky, you may have a day where you have even more lectures after lunch. Though, it can be a positive as by then you’re pizza filled and ready to get learning some logic in my case!


4pm – Pub

This may just be a philosophy thing but to finish the day without a visit to the pub is like visiting Paris and not seeing the Eiffel Tower, or ordering Fish and Chips and not getting salt and vinegar- it’s just wrong!

6pm – Back to halls

After a load of pub chips and onion rings, and a pint or two it’s time for the dreaded trip back to halls. If you go back in rush hour, the mistake I always make, you are crammed on a bus all wishing you could be home already.

See Also

7pm – Reading

If you’re like me and are better working in the evening, 7pm is the peak time for productivity. You can get a good couple of hours of reading done- and for a humanities degree there’s a lot to read! Not forgetting having the appropriate snacks which should always involve chocolate buttons or some sweet and salty popcorn.

8:30 – Dinner

Taking a pause from your work, it’s time for dinner. If you’re in self-catered halls this can be an absolute pain (especially if you’re crap in the kitchen like me) I usually make one of two things I can cook: Pasta or something with oven chips. Those in catered halls live a life of luxury and everything is literally handed to them on a plate.

9:30 – More reading (code for Netflix)

You have all the intentions of going back to your work being the productive, good little student you are. However, it’s just not going to happen. Netflix beckons and you think ‘You’ve had such a long day, treat yourself’ forgetting that the long day only had like 2 hours of lectures. You wonder how you ever managed a full school day and then get stuck in to whichever TV series you’re binging.

After a few weeks you’ll have your morning routine perfected to just 20 minutes.

Midnight – Sleep

Let’s be real, the plan is always to be asleep by midnight but is that really going to happen? You think ‘I’ll just scroll through Facebook for 10 minutes’ but after Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter even Pinterest scrolling, you realise it is now more like 2am and you really must sleep. You desperately count how many hours of sleep you’ll have if you go to sleep now, and then turn the light off.

Then repeat.

It should be noted that there isn’t really a typical day for a UCL student and this is just my experience of it. Even within Philosophy everyone has their own ways of planning the day.

Is your typical day extremely different to this? What else goes on in the typical day of a University College London student? Comment below and share the article!
Featured photo source:
Katie Roach

1st Year Philosophy student at UCL

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