Study in UK

Study in the UK

Hundreds of thousands of international students study in the UK each year, giving the UK a consistently high ranking in popularity. With a diverse population and a reputation for prestigious schooling, the UK is a natural location for international students to flock to.

And for students worldwide seeking an English-language education, what better place to study than the country that invented the language? The UK has become one of the top destinations to study around the world.

With traditions of excellence dating back hundreds of years, high-class institutions on every corner, and much more flexibility than many other countries, the United Kingdom has much to offer international students that other English-speaking countries cannot.

International students have always been an important presence in the UK, and their numbers have been growing steadily over the years.

The UK is the second most popular destination for international students, behind the US. The UK has worked hard to capitalize on the growing demand for English-language instruction.

Degrees and qualifications from UK higher education institutions are known around the world as high quality and world-class.

This standard of excellence is set by some of the older universities with recognizable names, such as Oxford and Cambridge, but the tradition carries through to many of the universities and colleges throughout the UK.

When looking for work in the future, this can be a great selling point in your favor.

Education System in UK

UK Education System

The education system in the UK is divided into four main parts, primary education, secondary education, further education, and higher education. Children in the UK have to legally attend primary and secondary education which runs from about 5 years old until the student is 16 years old.

The education system in the UK is also split into “key stages” which breaks down as follows:

Key Stage 1: 5 to 7 years old
Key Stage 2: 7 to 11 years old
Key Stage 3: 11 to 14 years old
Key Stage 4: 14 to 16 years old

Generally, key stages 1 and 2 will be undertaken at primary school and at 11 years old a student will move onto secondary school and finish key stages 3 and 4.

Students are assessed at the end of each stage. The most important assessment occurs at age 16 when students pursue their GCSE’s or General Certificate of Secondary Education. Once students complete their GCSE’s they have the choice to go onto further education and then potential higher education, or finish school and go into the working world.

Our overview of the education system in the UK is divided into five main sections:

Primary Education

Primary education begins in the UK at age 5 and continues until age 11, comprising key stages one and two under the UK educational system.

Secondary Education

From age 11 to 16, students will enter secondary school for key stages three and four and to start their move towards taking the GCSE’s – learn more about secondary education in the UK and what it will involve.

Primary and secondary education is mandatory in the UK; after age 16, education is optional.

Further Education

Once a student finishes secondary education they have the option to extend into further education to take their A-Levels, GNVQ’s, BTEC’s or other such qualifications. UK students planning to go to college or university must complete further education.

Higher Education

Probably the most important subject area on this site, this explains more about the higher education system in the UK and how it works for international students.

Most international students will enter directly into the UK higher education system, after completing their home country’s equivalent to the UK’s “further education.”

Entry Requirements

Each level of education in the UK has varying requirements which must be satisfied to gain entry at that level – learn more about the education entry requirements for the UK.

UK Degree Online

With online programs growing in popularity, this means the availability of top-notch online programs is also on the rise.

If you want to obtain a UK accredited degree without having to relocate to the United Kingdom, choosing to study online is a good option for you.

Getting a UK accredited degree online allows you to fit your studies into your schedule and save money on travel costs while having access to a variety of top programs.

Study Programs in UK

Study programs in the United Kingdom

United Kingdom has a very strong higher education system, with numerous famous universities that are ranked among the best in the world.

UK is the second popular country in the world for international students, just ahead of the USA. It is also in second place in the world by the number of universities in the top-100 of leading international rankings.

UK universities have a brilliant reputation in the world and education in this country will help you to make an outstanding career.

More than 100 universities, including famous Cambridge and Oxford, provide undergraduate and graduate programs for prospective students.

International, as well as domestic students, could choose between Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Ph.D. programs. Bachelor’s programs are three-years in length.

One could choose between different types of degrees offered in England, such as Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Science (BSc), Bachelor of Education (BEd), and Bachelor of Engineering (BEng). Prospective students may also obtain a Foundation degree which is also provided by some universities and colleges.

It takes two years to obtain this degree and after that students may choose whether they want to continue their studies to obtain a Bachelor’s diploma.

Foundation degree may be seen as a first step on the way to Bachelor’s studies, as well as the self-sufficient education which is focused not on scientific knowledge, but rather on the skills which would be important on the job market.

Master’s programs may take one or two years, depending on the area of studies and professional or academic orientation of the program.

Professional programs (such Master in Finance, for instance) usually take one year, while academic programs, which typically lead to Ph.D. programs are two-years.

To obtain a doctoral (Ph.D.) degree students usually have to study between 3 and 5 years, depending on how fast they can write their research thesis.

Universities in the UK have renowned programs in almost every possible field, but this country may be especially attractive for those who study Arts and Humanities – in this area traditions of British education play exceptionable role.

Higher Education Institutions in UK

List of Universities in UK

Below is a list of Higher Education Institutions in the UK. The list of top universities in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland is given separately.

Higher Education Institutions in England:

1. University of Oxford
2. University of Cambridge
3. Imperial College London
4. University College London
5. University of Warwick

Higher Education Institutions in Wales:

1. Cardiff University
2. University of Glamorgan
3. Trinity College
4. University of Wales
5. University of Wales, Aberystwyth
6. University of Wales, Bangor

Higher Education Institutions in Northern Ireland:

1. Queen’s University Belfast
2. St Mary’s University College
3. Stranmillis University College
4. University of Ulster

Higher Education Institutions in Scotland:

1. University of Aberdeen
2. University of Abertay Dundee
3. University of Dundee
4. University of Edinburgh
5. Edinburgh College of Art
6. University of Glasgow

Why Choose UK For Study?

Why Study UK?

The UK is fast emerging as one of the most popular study destinations for education in the world. There are numerous factors that prompt international students to pursue their education in the UK.

UK education equips students with unparalleled academic and professional skills and augments their personal development with an unforgettable cultural experience. Some of the reasons why one should choose the UK as a study destination are as follows

High-Quality Education:

Quality standards for UK institutions are among the best in the world. A lot of education systems around the world have modeled themselves around the British System.

British Education has produced many of the world leaders that have had a huge impact on the modern Society.

A few from the current generation include Bill Clinton, Manmohan Singh, Imran Khan, Benazir Bhutto. Mahatma Gandhi and Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru were also products of British Education.

International Recognition:

With an increasingly globalized world economy, it is imperative to have a degree that is accepted worldwide.

Employers look for candidates with an international exposure yet with knowledge and skills comparable to their home country. UK education being widely recognized easily provides this and more.

Modern & Conducive Learning Environment:

UK institutions use a variety of teaching and assessment methods to encourage independence, as well as mastery of the subject.

The teaching is interactive and extremely relevant to the industry with an emphasis on practical knowledge and skills-based approach. Moreover, the wholesome experience creates a polished individual.

Wide Choice:

UK institutions for many courses offer the option of taking up a work placement as part of its program. Having a work placement integrated into the course gives the students cutting edge knowledge and proficiency as well as the on-the-job training in the area of study.

Work Placements:

UK institutions for many courses offer the option of taking up a work placement as part of its program. Having a work placement integrated into the course gives the students cutting edge knowledge and proficiency as well as the on-the-job training in the area of study.

Examination & Grading System in UK

UK Grading System

The UK education system is unique as so is the grading system applied by educational institutions. However, the reputation of British higher education is largely attributed to such efficient education and grading system.

Due to this many foreign countries have embraced the UK education and grading system either complete or with minor variations.

Grading System in the UK

At the very beginning, you must recall the fact that the grading system of the UK’s constituent countries varies to a certain scale.

Overall, the grading system applied in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland shares a lot of similarities, while the Scottish grading system is different.

Grading system in compulsory education

Compulsory education in the UK is divided into four major key stages. At the end of each key stage, students sat in various examinations and their academic achievement is evaluated against national curriculum levels.

In addition to your test scores, other factors like your projects and your participation in coursework will be taken into consideration to evaluate your performance.

There are 8 such levels and an additional level standing for “Exceptional performance”. Taking this periodical assessment test is mandatory at the age of 7,11 and 14.

Grading system in UK Higher Education

The UK has a unique higher education grading system. Its most unique feature compared to traditional grading systems is that it aims to be more specific in describing students’ academic achievement.

This type of assessment method is highly valued because it offers many advantages. Most importantly it highlights your academic strengths and specific skills, therefore, it helps employers gain a better understanding of your true potential.

Application Process to Study in UK

How To Apply For College In UK

Coming to study in the UK is your opportunity to gain the skills, outlook, and confidence you need to fulfill your potential. Applying to study in the UK is a straightforward process and we will guide you through it step by step.

1. Decide on a university or college and course:

Coming to study in the UK is your opportunity to gain the skills, outlook, and confidence you need to fulfill your potential.

To ensure you choose the course that is right for you and for what you want to achieve it is best to read as much as you can about the range of courses, colleges, and universities available and compare them. It is also important to check the course entry requirements.

You can do this using the course profiles on the institutions’ websites. If you have any questions, you can contact the university directly, who will be very happy to help you find the information you need.

2. Register and Apply :


Applying for an undergraduate course in the UK is simple; there is one place where you can register and apply to all of the UK universities and colleges – you register and apply through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service).


Postgraduate courses in the UK have their specific entry requirements and application processes, so check the individual course websites for instructions on how to apply.

3. Accept your offer:

Your university or college will contact you (usually via email) to tell you whether or not you have received an offer to study. If you applied via UCAS it’s easy to track the status of your application at any time.

If you are accepted with an unconditional offer, then congratulations! You have a place and you can accept straightaway.

If you are accepted with a conditional offer, the place is yours as long as you meet a few extra requirements. This could be achieving certain exam grades or English language test scores.

For some courses, you may be asked to come for an interview before you receive your offer, either on the phone or sometimes in person. Check the course information before you apply to find out whether this is required.

4. Arrange funding:

Now is the time to arrange funding. You may be eligible for one of the many scholarships available to help with the cost of your studies.

5. Apply for a visa:

As an international student, you are likely to need a visa to take up your study place in the UK.

6. Prepare for your stay:

Once you have your offer and your visa, it’s time to get packing! You can now begin to look at things like flights, accommodation, and anything else you will need to help you make the most of your time in the UK.

Advantages of Studying in UK

1. Internationally Recognised Universities

UK higher education and qualifications have a remarkable international reputation and the UK degree is globally by international universities, top employers, and government bodies, creating a huge number of chances to get placed with leading companies.

2. Quality Education

Many countries like to follow the UK’s education system, as its quality is considered as the best in the world.

UK universities are inspected regularly by QAA to assess the standards of teaching, learning, and research to ensure that set benchmarks are met. The Indian education system is also based on that of the UK.

3. Opportunities offered by the UK Education System

  • A wide choice in selecting your field of study and institution.
  • Shorter duration of courses in the UK helps reduce tuition and accommodation costs.
  • The English language support to help you develop excellent language skills, which has crucial importance in the global digital arena and increases one’s chances of employment
  • Promoting close student-teacher interaction with a provision of combining different subjects into a single course.

4. Unique Culture

The unrivaled cultural diversity of life in the UK gives you the chance to experience a multicultural environment, meet fellow international students and develop a range of desirable skills that are necessary to be part of today’s global workforce.

5. Work while studying and Work Permit after studying

Along with your studies, you can work in a part-time job, internship or placement, and develop valuable skills that will be added to your CV.

Your university may assist in providing placement after studies. Also now you are eligible to stay back in the UK for 2 years after completing your degree under the new Graduate Immigration Route.

Visa Requirements for Studying in UK

UK student visa requirements

Your course provider may be willing to help you to apply for a UK student visa once you have been offered a place on a course; ask to find out if this is the case.

You can apply for the visa up to three months in advance of the start date of your course. Check the average visa processing times for your country, and be sure to allow plenty of time.

UK student visas are awarded on a points-based system. To meet all the UK student visa requirements, you’ll need to provide:

  • Details of your passport
  • A recent photograph
  • An unconditional offer of a place on a course offered by a licensed Tier 4 Sponsor, evidenced by a ‘Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies’ (CAS) form from your course provider (worth 30 points)
  • Proof of adequate English language skills, demonstrated bypassing one of the secure English language tests (SELT). You will not need to provide this if you’re from an English-speaking country such as the United States or have completed a qualification equivalent to a UK degree in an English-speaking country.
  • Proof you have financial support throughout your stay in the UK (worth 10 points)
  • If you’re a non-EU/EEA/Swiss student studying a sensitive subject, you may also need an ATAS certificate

Proof of financial support can take the form of bank statements or a letter from your financial sponsor, showing you can cover your tuition fees, accommodation, and living costs.

You must prove that you have £1,015 (~US$1,300) per month for living costs if studying in the UK outside of London, and £1,265 (~US$1,600) a month for living costs if studying in London.

You may also be required to produce documents showing your academic qualifications, and to attend an interview or biometric test, which includes a digital scan of your fingerprints.

Depending on your country of origin, you may also be required to have certain medical vaccinations or undertake a tuberculosis test.

If you’re 16 or 17 years old and applying for the Tier 4 (General) student visa, you must have written consent from your parents/guardians that you can live and travel independently.

You must apply online for the Tier 4 (General) Student visa, ensuring you’ve read the full guidance here. You can apply for up to three months before the start of your course.

Financial Requirements for Studying in UK

As part of a student Visa requirement, international students may need to display sufficient financial capacity for the duration of your studies in order to be granted a student Visa.

To show financial proof of living and studying in the UK, each applicant must show financial capacity to cover:

1. Tuition fees (for one academic year)*

  • 1st year’s fees or full course fees if the course is less than 1 year
  • Will usually be shown on your CAS letter for the amount you have paid for your tuition fee deposit

2. Living expenses (for 9 months)*

  • If living in Inner London, an amount of £1,265 per month must be shown
  • If living anywhere else in the UK, an amount of £1,015 per month must be shown

In order to display exact financial proof, each applicant can do so by means of showing:

  • Bank letter, under you and/or your parents’ name
  • Bank account statement, under you and/or your parent(s)’ name
  • Financial Sponsorship from an international organization approved by UKVI
  • Government Scholarship
  • Student loan from the bank

Evidence of maintenance must show the funds have been held for a minimum period of 28 consecutive days finishing on the date of the closing balance shown on your bank statement.

In order to ensure you are submitting the correct financial documents, check with AUG to review your checklist before submitting your Visa application.

Health Insurance in UK

Healthcare in the UK

The National Health Service (NHS) is the UK’s state healthcare system providing a wide range of health care services including appointments with a doctor, hospital treatment, and dental care.

You should register with a doctor as soon as possible after you arrive in Cambridge. Your College will advise on this and may recommend a GP practice.

Tier 4 students

Those applying for a Tier 4 student visa and coming to the UK for 6 months or longer will be required to pay an immigration health surcharge as part of their visa application fee.

Students will be required to pay £300 per year for the duration the visa will be granted. If the leave includes part of a year that is 6 months or less, the amount payable for that year will be £150.

If the leave includes part of a year that is more than 6 months, the full annual amount of £300 will be payable. Tier 4 dependants will also be required to pay the surcharge. The immigration health charge is in addition to the visa application fee.

For students applying for entry clearance from overseas, the surcharge will apply to visa

The immigration health surcharge will entitle Tier 4 students to access NHS care in the UK at no additional cost in the same way as a permanent UK resident.

This includes at the Doctor’s surgery (known as General Practitioner or GP), a Healthcare Centre, or in a hospital. You may need to pay for dental and optical treatment as well as medicine prescribed by the doctor and collected from a pharmacy.

There are also exceptions for particularly expensive discretionary treatments. If your visa application is not successful, you will automatically be refunded the immigration health surcharge (but not the visa application fee).

The surcharge will not be partially refunded if you depart the UK earlier than the expiry of your visa. The surcharge is also not refunded if you do not use the NHS during your time in the UK.

EEA and Swiss nationals

The UK’s Department of Health has produced a leaflet on Health Care Information for students from the European Economic Area. Non-UK European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss nationals, and their family, are advised to obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before coming to the UK.

If you are exercising your right to reside in the UK as a student under UK EEA regulations you are required to hold comprehensive sickness insurance throughout your period of residence in the UK.

Having a valid EHIC issued by an EEA member state other than the UK satisfies this requirement if you are residing in the UK temporarily as a student.

If you are not entitled to an EHIC, the requirement to hold comprehensive sickness insurance can be fulfilled with a private medical insurance policy that covers the cost of the majority of medical treatment in the UK.

Further information on the requirement for comprehensive sickness insurance is provided by the UK Council for International Student Affairs.

A status granted under the EU Settlement Scheme, designed to protect the rights of EU citizens and their families living in the UK after Brexit, will enable EEA nationals to continue studying in the UK and use National Health Services.

You can apply for a status under the scheme after you arrive to start your studies.

Short study periods

If your course is less than six months or you are required to make several occasional visits to the UK for short study periods and you are from a non-EEA country, you are advised to take out medical insurance as you will be liable for NHS charges for the treatment you receive in the UK except for in a medical emergency and this is limited.

Some countries have a reciprocal agreement with the UK which may entitle you to some free healthcare on the NHS but you should seek advice from the health authorities in your home country about what treatment will be covered.

EEA nationals should obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).

Private Medical Insurance

You cannot take out private healthcare insurance as an alternative to paying the health immigration surcharge as this is a mandatory fee included as part of your visa application.

It is a personal decision whether you also have private healthcare insurance. You may wish to consider this to cover the following potential health-related costs:

  • Loss of fees if you are unable to complete your course
  • Costs incurred returning to your home country for treatment
  • Private medical treatment

If you already have medical insurance in your home country, you may wish to check whether this can be extended to cover your stay in the UK.

Cost of Living (COL) in UK

Living costs for International Students in UK

For international students, undergraduate tuition fees are around £8,000 – £30,000 per year for full-time courses. Note that the higher range is for medical degrees at the best colleges. However, on average, international undergraduate fees is around £12,000 per year.

For postgraduate degrees, the average tuition fees for international students for full-time programs range from £10,000 – £13,000 per year.

For laboratory and research-based programs, average annual fees stand at £14,000. For medical degrees, the average figure is £21,000.

As far as living costs are concerned, these costs will vary greatly depending on your lifestyle, spending habits, and budget. These costs are given by the month. You can calculate your estimated costs based on how long you will be in the UK.

Particulars Monthly Costs:

Rent £450
Food £200Gas and electricity £60
Internet £40
Mobile phone £30
Laundry £25
Stationery and textbooks £40
Clothing £75
Bus fares £45 for a 4-week travel card
Movie ticket £9
Dinner at restaurant £15
Total £989 per month

Accommodation in UK

Student Accommodation

While you are staying in the UK, you will many accommodation options available to you. Your choices will depend largely on whether your college or university has halls of residence, what city you are located in, and the amount of your monthly budget.

When you sign up for a college or university, you will need to indicate that you require accommodation (unless you have something pre-arranged).

Do not assume that you will automatically be given accommodation. As an international student, you will likely be given housing priority.

Self-Catered Halls

Many international students prefer the self-catered option because it allows them the freedom to cook their food and on their schedule.

Self-catered halls are similar to standard halls of residence, but there includes a communal kitchen available to hall residents.

These kitchens so frequently used by students do have a reputation for becoming unsightly when not kept up, so try to do your share in cleaning behind yourself and encouraging the same of others.

Travel Accommodations

Many students across the world consider traveling or studying abroad. However, money is a large deciding factor – especially when you have to take accommodation, visa expenses, and flight tickets into account.

Many students who plan on studying or traveling abroad want to travel the world and see more of the country/continent where their host institution is located.

It can be relatively cheap flying from one country to the other in Europe, with low-cost airlines becoming more abundant there.

High-speed trains are also an alternative that could be less expensive with minimal travel times. Keep in mind that trying to find affordable accommodation – especially at peak times- can be difficult. Hostels are often the least expensive option.

Flats/ Houses

Typically students live in halls during their first year, as it makes adjusting to campus life much simpler and helps in making friends. In their second and third years, some students opt to move into a house or flat not associated with the school.

If you do move into a flat or house, you will have to sign a tenancy agreement, which is a legal document outlining the terms of your stay.

Make sure you fully understand the terms and issues of the contract, and if you do have any doubts talk to your international student advisor who can assist you.

A flat or house is likely the most costly option, and you may find it hard to find accommodation that is close to campus.

However, many students enjoy the freedom to live where they choose, live with whom they like, and choose the type of place they want to live in. With halls, you don’t have this flexibility.

Culture & Language of UK


The UK has a very multicultural society and is very open to new religions and cultures.

While also keeping long-held traditions like maintaining a royal party, the UK has changed greatly and has become much more cosmopolitan and multicultural.

The UK is seen as a destination of great diversity with London being the hub for many international students.

The official state-sanctioned religion in the UK is the Church of England which is of the Christian Protestant faith.

However, there has been a huge decline in the role of the Church in Britain since the middle of the last Century with less than half the population attending Church services or believing in God.

It is estimated that a third of the population has no religious connection. Thirty percent of the UK population affiliates to the official Church of England while ten percent identify with the Roman Catholic religion.

Those who affiliate to the Christian religion outside of Protestantism and Catholicism accept other Protestant denominations: Presbyterian, Baptist, and Methodist. Whilst Christianity is the dominant religion in the UK, minority religions include Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, Judaism, and Buddhism.


The main language in the UK is English, which is spoken throughout the whole country. In Wales, some people still speak Welsh.

However, since all Welsh people also speak English, you only need to speak English in the UK. For such a relatively small country, there are a lot of dialects, and some of them can be hard to understand, even for English people.

Dialects can include:

  • Cockney: people from London (and probably the most common)
  • Brummy: people from Birmingham
  • Mancunian: people from Manchester
  • West Country: people from Devon, Cornwall and Bristol area
  • Scouser: people from the Liverpool area
  • Geordie: people from Newcastle, Middlesborough and Sunderland
  • Scottish: people from Scotland
  • Welsh: people from Wales

Climate in UK

The climate of Great Britain, influenced by the Atlantic Ocean, is temperate and humid, with relatively small temperature variations between winter and summer.

The weather, however, is variable, with frequent changes from day to day or even on the same day.

The average temperatures at sea level are above freezing (0 °C or 32 °F) also in January, when they hover around 4/5 °C (39/41 °F) in the main cities and reach 6 °C (43 °F) in the south-western tip of the country; in July, they range from 12 °C (53.5 °F) in northern Scotland to 18.5 °C (65.5 °F) in the London area.

Precipitation is frequent throughout the country, but it’s more frequent and abundant in the north and in the west.

For example, in western Scotland, rainfall reaches 1,500 millimeters (60 inches) per year, and there are about 200 days with rain (that is, more than one day out of two!), while in Manchester, in western England, 800 mm (31.5 in) of rainfall in 141 days, and in Plymouth, on the southwest coast, 1,000 mm (40 in) of rainfall in 142 days.

The southeast is less rainy: in London, only 600 mm (23.5 in) of rainfall in a year, however, distributed in no less than 109 days.