study in uk


Education System

The UK's education system is categorized into four key areas: primary education, secondary education, further education and the higher education respectively. It is legally mandatory for the children in the UK to attend primary and secondary education, running from the age 5 years, and extends to the 16 years.International students, especially the ones from India would likely to enroll themselves for Further Education, where they undertake A-Levels, GNVQ's, BTEC's or other similar qualifications. The prospective international students, who plan for admission to a college or a university, should complete the further education.

Most international students will secure an entry straight into the UK higher education system, after completing the equivalent education of the UK's Further Education. The entry level requirements in the UK's universities vary widely.

The UK higher education courses are designed for short term duration. The full-time bachelor's degrees is of three academic years (in comparison to four years or more in other countries), and full-time Master's degrees are of one academic year. The international students will find it interesting as they save money on annual fees, and additionally, it means the students earn graduate degree, and start earning sooner.

The UK Degrees are widely recognized and respected by employers, universities and governments across the globe. The varsities in the UK adhere to the oldest established educational system, which is still succeeding in a global competition. Students will feel the confidence of studying in colleges and universities of international reputation.

One of the obvious advantages that international students will experience while opting for the UK varsity is affordability. Besides, the character of education system followed in the UK is such that it saves the time and processes the application quickly.

Quality education is the forte of the UK's education system, and international students will experience this thing, once they are successfully enrolled in the university. All Masters (and this also includes the MBAs) are of ONE ACADEMIC YEAR. International students have the option to finish most under graduate degrees in 3 years (including engineering), which are generally of four academic years in other countries.

Sandwich Study Programme

Sandwich Study Programme is an innovative study programme available to the international students, wherein they avail the unique opportunity to work for an additional year (or otherwise the third academic year), and resume the studies in their final year. Majority of the UK varsities offer the Sandwich Study for various courses. The study programme will help international students to find appropriate work and get paid for it.

Admission Procedure

The UK higher education system strategically follows a diversified and innovative admission procedure. The underline ideology behind it is to provide a transparent way and easy access to the high quality education, which is recognized across the globe. The entry requirements to a particular course or a university are based on specific skills and knowledge of applicant. The details on admission procedures and methodology followed are available university or college's website.

Admission to Undergraduate Course

Admission to an undergraduate study programme requires the applicant to have education qualifications like A-levels, International Baccalaureate, Scottish Higher, or equivalent qualifications from his/her country of origin, in related subjects. More information is available on respective University and/or College website.

Admission to Post -graduate Course

The admission to post graduate course is based on the course of study during the under-graduate studies. The qualifying marks of Under-graduate College will ultimately decide the future decision made by the college for securing admission in postgraduate course. In several cases, work experience is also a pre-requisite for gaining entry to the course.

Knowledge of English Language

If the applicant is applying form the country, where English is not the first language of study or communication, the College/University will ask him/her to provide relevant proof. The applicant may even be asked to exhibit English Language qualifications before the final process of enrolment is completed. Essential knowledge of English language is also necessary at the time when you apply for the UK Study Visa.

For information on the English language requirements for Tier 4 visas, the applicant needs to check with the respective University/College website.

Study Visa

The study visa for the UK is based on an elaborate tier system, which analyzes the requirements of adult on various levels. The Tier 4 - Student (Adult) visa is specifically for the students who are planning for post-16 education in any of the UK University for full time Course of minimum 6 months. International students need to have at least 40 points to qualify for a regular course in any of the UK University. The bifurcation includes:

30 points – The prospective student should have "Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies" (CAS) for pursuance of academic course in any of the approved UK institution (which is the sponsor), licensed by the UK Home Office.It is significant here that the university is accredited.

10 points - The prospective student need to show the evidence of sufficient funds (readily available for maintenance) to support themselves while in the UK. These funds should not come through the means of employment in the UK. The prospective student needs to provide the Bank Statement and Confirmation Letter stating the proof that there is sufficient money to provide for course fees and living costs for specific time period.

Tier-4 Points Based System (PBS)

The UK Visas and Immigration is a modernized guidance system, which presents the clear cut criteria to enroll and study in the UK. In the recent years the points-based scheme is introduced, which covers the migration to work and study in the UK. Here are few excerpts from the scheme:

  • Letter of Sponsorship from licensed educational institution to study full-time on any academic program, which awards the qualification, recognized under National Qualification Framework (NQF);
  • Prospective students entering the UK and enrolling for an academic program of over 6 months duration will undergo assessment under Tier 4 of the student category;

Soon after all the conditions of the offer are met, the licensed institution (which is the sponsor) will issue a Certificate of Acceptance of Sponsorship (CAS) for application of the student Visa.TheCertificate of Acceptance of Sponsorship (CAS) is in the form ofa unique ID number.

CAS Documentation: Passport number, passport issue and expiry dates (where the student has a passport). The prospective student applicant forstudent visas will also need to demonstrate he/she has funding for the first year of the tuition fees

Student visas will be issued for named institutions and students wishing to change university either before or after coming to the UK will need to apply for re-approval.

ATAS- Certificate(Academic Technology Approval Scheme): The postgraduate research students and undergraduate students in science, engineering and technology subjects will need an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate prior to applying for a Tier 4 visa.

Tier 4 (General) Eligibility Requirements

The applicant should:

  • Be genuine student
  • Be at least 16 years old
  • Have parental approval to study and for care arrangements, if the applicant is less than 18 years of age
  • Have a valid Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)
  • Manage the maintenance requirements (LIVING EXPENSES)
  • Explicitly show proficiency in English (IELTS or through previous study)
  • Have a valid Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) clearance certificate if studying a relevant subject
  • Not spend over 3 years in the UK studying below degree level as a Tier 4 (General) migrant
  • Not spend over 5 years studying at degree level or more (for applications submitted on or after 6 April 2012)

The Immigration Rules comprise provisions for an application, which may be refused under the "general grounds for refusing". The Home Office issues a comprehensive internal guidance on the general grounds with respect to the refusal of the application. The Home Office staff refuses applications, in case the prospective applicant disapproves on:

  • Behavior (which is used as the means of deception in an application, misrepresentation, fraud, forgery, non-disclosure of material facts);
  • Character, conduct or associations (criminal history, deportation order, travel ban, exclusion, national security);
  • Immigration history ( which generally includes breaching conditions, using deception}.

Visa processing time:

The prospective student needs to apply for the visa within three months of intended travel date. Processing time will vary,which again depends upon the time as well as the volume of the applications. Generally, the visa is offered within 7 - 14 Workings days.

Prerequisites for Study Visa

If you are planning to study in the UK, you need to apply for a valid Study Visa. However, even before you go for the Visa, it is quite essential that you have the appropriate strategy in place. Here is the outline of the strategy:

  • Choose the right course/program
  • Identify the suitable institution
  • Prepare essays and statement of purpose
  • Arrange for recommendation letters
  • Prepare the application forms along with the required documents
  • Send the application pack and obtaining an unconditional offer from the institution of interest

NB.: This process could slightly vary with the every case, as institutions may sometimes send a conditional offer at first.

Admission Fee & Student Welfare

The cost of education compared to the cost of living in the UK for international students varies and largely depends on the type of course curriculum that the applicant has finally chosen. In higher education, the duration of study of courses is generally shorter in comparison to other countries. Several full-time undergraduate courses usually take three years for completion, whereas full-time postgraduate courses are completed in a little more than a year. This structure is methodical and helps in keep tuition fees and living expenses at the low.

The further education courses are variable in nature. International students have the option of undertaking foundation course, later on deciding, whether he/she wishes to carry the study and convert the 'top up' to a full degree. It eventually means that international student can take a sabbatical to return home, or may even alternate between interlude of work and study.

Fee Structure in the UK

Tuition fees for UK higher education and further education is variable, and much of it depends on following four factors:

  • Whether the international student applicant is from the European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA), or any other country;
  • Whether the applicant has chosen to study England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales;
  • The level of study;
The tuition fee:
  • In England and Wales, maximum permissible tuition fee £9,000 per year
  • In Northern Ireland, the maximum permissible tuition fee £3,575 per year
  • In Scotland, tuition is free.

The tuition fees for international students from another country outside the EU/EEA range from £3,500 a year to about £18,000 per year. It will depend on the course as well as the university/college. International students applying for post graduate study programme show the variation in tuition fee.


International students applying for the course of study in the UK, should compare the tuition costs and find out what is included or not included. In some universities/colleges, the international students may be charged extra for books, study materials, examinations, etc. Students should understand about budgeting and its management, especially, with respect to accommodation, food, Day-to-day living costs, Travel and sightseeing in the UK Health and travel insurance.

Student Welfare

The level as well as the type of support on offer will depend on whether the international student has given the choice of study in England, Wales, Northern Ireland or Scotland, and also on his/her personal and family circumstances. In certain incomparable circumstances, non-EU/EEA students are liable to apply for funding.

Students who think they qualify for welfare and support, have to apply within nine months of beginning of the academic year.


The UK is one of the academically rich countries, where international students will find solace and diversification in education. The country is an interesting place to live and intermingle in a diversified, tolerant and multi-cultural society.International students from the oriental world make the head way to some of the best universities in the UK, which by large enjoy global reputation. As many as 71 of the UK universities have found entry in the QS World University Rankings® 2016-2017, and of which, there are four ranked in the world's top 10.

The University of Cambridge earns the status of fourth prestigious university in the world, followed by University of Oxford holding the sixth rank, and then UCL (University College London) at seventh rank and finally the Imperial College London, placed at the ninth position. King's College London (KCL) and the University of Edinburgh earn the position within top 25 universities, whereas the University of Manchester and London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) come inthe top 40 position. 18 UK universities fall in the top 100, and there are another 12 universities, which are makingto the top 200.

Undergraduate degrees in most of the UK varsities are of three years. The courses in Scotland seem to be a year longer. There are also the UK universities, which provide fast-track undergraduate courses, and these are completed in two years' time frame.International students have a choice of selecting a vocational-based 'foundation degree', which runs for one or two years, and holds similarity to the US associate's degree.Students begin their higher education with a bachelor's degree, but there is also an option to enroll in an undergraduate degree, which would ultimately lead into a master's program – with four academic years.

Here is the list of the prestigious universities all around the UK, which can be chosen:

South West of England South East of England East of England
  • Bournemouth University
  • Imperial College
  • University Of Bath
  • University Of Bristol
  • University Of Exeter
  • University Of Exeter In Cornwall
  • University Of Gloucestershire
  • University Of Plymouth
  • University Of The West Of England
  • Open University
  • Oxford Brookes University
  • Royal Holloway, University Of London
  • University Of Brighton
  • University Of Buckingham
  • University Of Kent
  • University Of Oxford
  • University Of Portsmouths
  • University Of Reading
  • University Of Southampton
  • University Of Surrey
  • University Of Sussex
  • Cranfield University
  • University Of Cambridge
  • University Of East Anglia
  • University Of Essex
  • University Of Hertfordshire
  • University Of Luton
  • Norwich School Of Art And Design
East Midlands West Midlands North West of England
  • De Montfort University
  • Loughborough University
  • Nottingham Trent University
  • University College Northampton
  • University Of Derby
  • University Of Leicester
  • University Of Lincoln
  • University Of Nottingham
  • Aston University
  • Coventry University
  • Keele University
  • Staffordshire University
  • The University Of Birmingham
  • University Of Central England In Birmingham
  • University Of Warwick
  • University Of Wolverhampton
  • Lancaster University
  • Liverpool John Moores University
  • Manchester Metropolitan University
  • University Of Bolton
  • University Of Central Lancashire
  • University Of Liverpool
  • University Of Manchester
  • University Of Salford
London Area Yorkshire and Humber North East of England
  • Brunel University
  • Imperial College
  • King's College London
  • London Metropolitan University
  • London School Of Economics And Political Sciences
  • City University
  • London South Bank University
  • Open University
  • Mary University Of London
  • College Of Art
  • Thames Valley University
  • University Of East London
  • University Of Greenwich
  • Middlesex University
  • University Of London
  • University Of Westminster
  • Wimbledon School Of Art
  • Leeds Metropolitan University
  • Sheffield Hallam University
  • University Of Bradford
  • University Of Huddersfield
  • University Of Hull
  • University Of Leeds
  • University Of Lincoln
  • University Of Sheffield
  • University Of York
  • Northumbria University
  • University Of Durham
  • University Of Newcastle Upon Tyne
  • University Of Sunderland
  • University Of Teeside

Work Permit

The UK university system is similar to the universities in other countries, and offers the international students part time job opportunities, during the course of their studies. The maximum permissible work limit for each week is 20 hours, and for carrying out these work hours, an international student has to apply for the work permit. Working in the UK's university culture help the students to not only earn, but also provides them the opportunity to become self-dependent in their lives.

The university based part-time jobs will introduce you to a career or the interest area. It also provides the necessary experience, which lets you stand out of the crowd during the interview sessions. Part time jobs build up a strong network and professional relationship, as well as increases the chances of your employment after completing the formal studies.

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