At King’s, we're committed to supporting all members of the wider community to reach their full potential.
This article was written by a Black student at King’s who has kindly shared their experiences and tips on accessing support, connecting with support groups and getting the most out of their time at King’s.
Embrace your culture
King’s is a diverse community, and your heritage should be a source of pride. King's College London Student Union (KCLSU) runs a series of events for black students, particularly in Black History Month, while cultural societies run events and workshops that can also enrich your experience throughout the year.
However, be encouraged to explore your whole identity. Coming to university in London, where there is a dominant Black culture, can make you feel like being Black means a certain way of life.
Don’t be afraid to try new things, new looks or new hobbies even if they don’t fit other people's pre-conceived notions of what it is to be Black.
Explore Equality Diversity and Inclusion Courses
Consider exploring courses that focus on diversity, inclusion and social issues, if they align with your interests.
Some programmes offer optional modules that provide a unique perspective to enrich your overall educational journey. For example, our Decolonising Mental Health Research module champions a decolonised and inclusive approach to education.
Build a network
Finding and connecting with people who share your experiences can be extremely beneficial when at university.
A support network does not have to share your cultural identity, but it does often help to know that there are people who have a shared understanding of things like institutionalised racism and microaggression. And it's always good to find people who won't look at you funny if you choose not to code switch.
Here are a few societies to check out:
- The KCL African and Caribbean Society aims to provide a platform for showcasing and celebrating African and Caribbean culture, as well as holistically providing for our members holding events that cater for their cultural, social, educational and professional requirements.
- The KCL Black Students Network is a community of societies and student groups that represent black students at King’s College London.
Member societies include:
Important to know: If you need support, or have any questions prior to joining, you can contact the Wellbeing lead and speak to them about your experiences or concerns.
To see all of the available clubs and societies at King’s, visit our KCLSU webpages.
If you're struggling with any aspect of university life, don't suffer in silence. King's has a range of different support services that can help you.
Nationally, BME students are consistently awarded proportionally fewer 1sts and 2:1s compared to white students. There are many systemic reasons for this discrepancy, but its existence makes it especially important for you to reach out if you need help.
Similarly, don't hesitate to seek Academic support when taking assessments at King's.
Mental health support
King’s offers support for everyone, but they also provide tailored support for students from backgrounds.
To learn about the specific types of support available to you, please read our article Race, inclusion and race equality - how we can support you.
Conversations about race run by two mental health practitioners from the Counselling & Mental Health Support Service. The group provides an opportunity for students to have therapeutic conversations about race and the impact of racism and racial discrimination on individual wellbeing.
The charity Black Minds Matter UK connects Black people with free mental health services. They work with professional Black therapists to support your mental health. They also offer free mental health Resources.
Support with harassment, bullying or microaggressions
We're committed to creating an inclusive, respectful and safe community at King's. If you experience discrimination of any kind, you can report the incident and get help at our Report + Support webpages.
Network and try internships
Internships are a valuable way to gain practical experience and mentorship. They can be found at King's and beyond.
Our Careers & Employability Service can help you search for internships. It also provides support specifically for students from minoritised backgrounds.
Join Black People Talk
The charity Black People Talk works in collaboration with Black people and allies to reduce mental health inequality.
They also run support groups for Black students called Black Students Talk. They provide psychoeducational resources for self-help and work to make Black students feel seen, heard and supported.