A Postgrad's survival guide to UCLU's Welcome Festival

Freshers’ Week is a rite of passage for university newcomers, undertaken in a heady haze of alcohol, peer pressure and the desperation to latch onto new friends as quickly as possible. But you’ve done it all before, all the excitement, all the hype, and it was great the first time around, it really was. Now you’re older and - hopefully - wiser, and looking for something a little different.

This sounds rather like I’m about to describe a week of sensible jumpers, Bovril and chess. But UCLU’s Welcome Festival really does have some fantastic opportunities for postgraduate and mature students to enjoy! Over half of UCL’s student population are postgraduate or mature students, and your Union has a team dedicated to bringing you the very best opportunities London has to offer.

Of course there are structured meet and greet events which can be a real aid to help settle in to your first few days, but being a mature(-ish!) adult postgrad means you’re probably better versed at getting around independently and entertaining yourself. Check out events that open up the city, or bring the city to you, such as Ghost Bus tours and our Vintage Fair.

And don’t count yourself out just because an event is pitched to fresh-faced 18-year-olds - it doesn’t mean there isn’t something great in it for you too. From Jazz Jammin’ sessions to Tea Tasting and Disco Yoga, our events are open to everyone, and we’re sure you’ll have a great time. Why not check out our Rooftop Campfire Cocktails with Midnight Apothecary? It guarantees to be a fantastically chilled evening!

And what about Clubs & Societies we hear you ask? You’re an old hat among the Volleyball Team and have that uneasy history with the Knitting Soc (don’t even ask), so you know exactly what you’re looking for - right?

Well, eight new clubs and societies have been inaugurated this year at UCLU, from Data Science Society to Mixology Society, so it’s probably a good idea after all to get yourself along to our Welcome Fair - who knows what you could be missing out on?


If you’re a part-time postgrad, you might have a little more time on your hands to get stuck into volunteering? Heck, there are even plenty of opportunities for full time students too! The Volunteering Services Unit (VSU) is UCLU’s dedicated facility for students who want to get involved with volunteering projects in the local community. You can give as much or as little time as you can spare; learning new skills, making friends, and contributing to other people's lives.

If you’re looking for part-time employment alongside your studies, check out the JobShop. Why not sign up to our JobShop mailing list for updates? Once a fortnight, we will send you a roundup of the best jobs, giving you the inside scoop.

Welcome Fair , 1st + 2nd October

Welcome Fair, 1st + 2nd October

If you’re an old hat at this ‘living away from home’ game, chances are you were a little more adventurous when it came to finding the perfect student abode here in London. But whether you’re enjoying the hipster delights of Hackney or even if you’ve ventured south of the river, it’s helpful to make UCLU your hub when you’re on campus - and there are plenty of creature comforts to enjoy.

Check out The Study on the 2nd floor of the UCLU building at 25 Gordon Street. It has three distinct areas in which you can relax or engage in group work and individual study with plasma screens, desktop computers and white boards as well as tables for group work. There are plenty of couches to relax on, the study is a fully-equipped facility with microwaves and appliances for you on campus.

Did you know there’s a dedicated postgraduate common room for students from all faculties just around the corner from the Print Room Café? Chow down on some very reasonably priced home-cooked meals (you’re still on a student budget after all) and retreat to the tranquility of your very own undergrad-free zone.

The Print Room Café, hosting our  Welcome BBQ , 25th September

The Print Room Café, hosting our Welcome BBQ, 25th September

Have you heard that UCLU has a Postgraduate Sabbatical Officer position? This year’s elected officer is Mark, who works closely with other reps and students to improve conditions for Postgraduates at UCL. This involves campaigning, lobbying, sitting on a range of UCL committees and coordinating with others officers; both on a regional and national level. You can keep in touch by following @UCLU_PSO or emailing pso@ucl.ac.uk.

It’s also a good idea to familiarise yourself with UCLU’s Postgraduate Association, a section run by postgrads, for postgrads.

The Postgraduate Association run events and activities just for postgrads throughout the year. Be sure to check out the full events calendar.

It’s also a platform for the UCL postgraduate community to campaign collectively for your rights, represent your needs and interests to UCL, and come together socially and academically. UCL has one of the largest systems of postgraduate study in the country with nearly 52 per cent of students engaged in graduate studies. At UCLU we're here to be the voice of all our postgraduate members, provide services, support & advice and facilitate opportunities to share common interests.

UCLU is your students' union, led by students.