Study In UK

The UK is known for its outstanding education system and has been attracting students worldwide for several years now. Over the years, it has come out as the key destination for scientific research. The country only accounts for 1% of the world population, however, it accounts for eight percent of all scientific publications in the world!

The UK assures unmatched student experiences. From its world-recognized universities to innovative teaching methodologies to progressive study curriculum, the country offers everything that a student needs to accomplish a successful global career.

Important Facts About the UK

  • The UK hosts some world-renowned universities and colleges, including Cambridge and Oxford. 
  • UK has impressive 90 universities that feature in the QS University Rankings 2022.
  • London hosts 18 universities and is ranked first in the QS Best Student Cities 2023.
  • The Universities of Oxford and Cambridge boasts of their alumni lineage that include many thinkers, Nobel Laureates, artists, and politicians like TS Elliot (writer), Amartya Sen (economist), Hugh Grant (actor), Oscar Wilde (Poet), David Attenborough (broadcaster), Charles Darwin (naturalist), Bertrand Russell (philosopher) and many more.
  • Every year, the universities in the UK are subjected to inspection by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA). These checks ensure that the universities comply with the government-set guidelines for research, learning, and teaching.
  • The students studying in the UK for more than six months can take advantage of the National Health Service.
  • The country allows students to work 20 hours every week and they can earn a minimum wage of GBP 118 a week. 
  • The UK has a 90% student satisfaction rate, which is quite high among all Anglophile countries like the US, Canada, Australia, and Ireland. 
  • Most UK universities have student support centres that guide international students on various issues, making their study and stay in the UK hassle-free.
  • China, India, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Italy, France, Germany, Nigeria, and Greece are a few countries that send most students to the UK.

Education System

In the UK, there are four stages of education. The first stage or key stage 1 is for students between 5 to 7 years; key stage 2 is for students between 7 to 11 years; key stage 3 is for students between 11 to 14 years old; and key stage 4 is for students between 14 to 16 years. However, most international students enroll for the following programs:

  • Undergraduate: This is the bachelor’s program, which spans over three years. Most degrees are awarded at honors level. It takes three years to complete in Wales, England, and Northern Ireland. This may take four years in many Scottish Universities. Many vocational and professional courses may take longer to complete. For instance, dentistry and medicine courses may take six years to complete.  
  • Postgraduate: In the UK, students can enroll for taught and research master’s degree. The taught master’s degree would take a year to complete and the research master’s degree would take two years, as well as the doctoral degree would take three years to complete. The Master of Business Administration takes two years to complete. The PhD programs would take 2 to 7 years for completion. 
  • Vocational Diplomas: There are many vocational sub-degree diplomas offered in the UK. The Diploma in Higher Education (Dip HE), the Higher National Certificate (HNC), and the Higher National Diploma (HND) are a few popular ones among them. These diplomas usually take a year or two to complete. International students can enroll for 2-year vocational diplomas at state colleges, which exempts them from attending the first year and second year of the degree program. Many tutorial colleges offer a one-year diploma program, which is usually equivalent to one-year of university. Students who earn these diplomas can gain entry to the second year at the university.

Grading System in the UK

The universities in the UK follow a letter grade system to indicate the student’s academic performance. The grade A shows that student has outstanding performance, where grade F shows the student has failed the exam.

Below mentioned are grades and their definition that students get at universities in the UK

Grade Letter Percentage Score Degree Class Grade Definition 
    Honors Degree Foundation Degree
A 70% – 100% First Distinction Excellent to Outstanding
B 60% – 69% Upper Second 2:1 Merit Good to Very Good
C 50% – 59% Lower Second 2:2 Pass Satisfying
D 40% – 49% Third Pass Sufficient
E 30% – 39% FAIL FAIL Unsatisfactory
F 0 – 29% FAIL FAIL Unsatisfactory
Actualize Your Study In UK Dreams By Booking Your Free Career Counselling
Session With Our Expert Counsellors

Types of Educational Institutes in the UK

In the UK, the higher educational institutes are categorized as:

1. Autonomous and diverse institutions: They are public-funded, independent, and autonomous.  

2. Universities: There are five types of universities, including ancient universities, civic universities, plate glass universities or 1960s universities, new universities, and Russell Group universities. 

3. Publicly funded higher education providers: These are approved by a higher education institution (HEI) and possess degree awarding powers. Pearson is an example of publicly funded higher education provider.

4. Alternative education providers: These institutions provide education to students who couldn’t complete education for some reasons.  

5. Groups of Institutions: These include institutions of common interest that have formed groups. The Russell Group, the University Alliance, and the Cathedrals Group are some examples of Groups of Institutions.

Top Courses to Study in UK

Top Courses to Study in UK

Popular Universities to Study in UK

The UK has 90 universities, which has made to the list of QS World University Rankings 2022. Of these, 4 universities are listed in top 10 entries.

Institution

UK Ranking World Ranking

University of Oxford

1

2

University of Cambridge 2

3

Imperial College London

3 7
University College London 4

8

The University of Edinburgh

5 16
The University of Manchester 6

27

King’s College London

7 35
The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) 8

49

The University of Warwick

9 61
University of Bristol 10

62

Popular Universities in the UK That Do Not Require IELTS / TOEFL

Many universities in the UK admit students without IELTS/TOEFL. However, they may ask students to submit alternative English scores.

University  Alternate Exam Scores Accepted
Birmingham City University  OIETC, Pearson PTE Academic and PTE Academic Online, Euroexam Academic English C1, LanguageCert International ESOL B1 and B2
Bangor University  Bangor University English Language Test (BUELT), Pearson PTE and PTE Academic Online, Cambridge English Language Assessment, Trinity College London – ISE II & III, Duolingo English Test, LanguageCert International ESOL (both Online and Paper based), IELCA (International English Language Competency Assessment), KITE (Kaplan International Tools for English) 
Robert Gordon University   Linguaskill, Indian State Boards, BACIET – English Test, INTO Foundation Programme English, Language Cert ESOL (B2) SELT Test, PTE Academic, Password English
London South Bank University  Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic), LanguageCert SELT or International ESOL (IESOL) Exam, University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations, Password, IGCSE English as a Second Language / First Language English (Cambridge Assessment)

Many universities also admit students if they score minimum 60% percentage marks in English in class XII. The following are a few prominent ones among them

  • Bedfordshire University 
  • Chester University 
  • London Metropolitan University 
  • Middlesex University 
  • Teesside University 
  • Oxford Brookes University

Popular Cost-Effective Universities in the UK

The cost of education in the UK is high and average tuition fees may range between £10,000 and £26,000 annually for different courses. However, a few public universities assure high quality education at low tuition fees, making education in this country accessible to international students. They charge students anything between £10,000 and £15,000 annually for the undergraduate to postgraduate courses. 

  • Leeds Beckett University – Public university 
  • Teesside University – Public university 
  • London Metropolitan University- Public research university 
  • Coventry University – Public university 
  • York St John University – Public university
  • University of Huddersfield – Public university
  • University of Central Lancashire – Public university
  • De Montfort University – Public university
  • Sheffield Hallam University – Public university
Actualize Your Study In UK Dreams By Booking Your Free Career Counselling
Session With Our Expert Counsellors

Undergraduate and Postgraduate Admission Process to Study In UK

Undergraduate Admission Process:

The admission process in the UK is streamlined and needs to be followed meticulously for effective results. 

  • Choose the university, course, and college. 
  • Register on Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) providing all the personal details. 
  • The UCAS will share a unique username for your perusal. 
  • Sign in to fill in the necessary details, including funding options, special needs (if any), residential status, and more
  • Add course choice, you can choose five courses without any course order
  • Complete full education background with evidence, employment history, and other details
  • Submit personal statements that include the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses
  • Review the application before submitting it.
  • Lastly, add a reference, pay the fees, and submit your application. 
  • Track the application status through the UCAS.
  • Next, accept your offer, as the college or university will contact you to inform if you have received the offer to study or not 
  • Arrange your funding. 
  • Apply for your visa.
  • Get ready to fly to your destination!
Postgraduate Admission Process:

  • Students can apply directly on the university website for postgraduate courses. These websites provide course information and step-by-step guidance on the application process.
  • Many drama, dance, and music courses require application through UCAS Conservatories at postgraduate level.
  • Students planning to take teacher training courses at postgraduate courses must apply through the UCAS Teacher Training portal.

Eligibility Criteria and Application Requirements

Eligibility criteria across UK universities and colleges vary depending on the type of institution, degree level, course, and subject. They must satisfy those requirements to be admitted to these institutes. 

  • For undergraduate courses: The students must possess at least 12th state boards or IB or IGCSE to apply for most courses. Most courses may also require students to submit scores of pre-16 qualifications like GCSE Maths and English, and so on.
  • For postgraduate courses: The students must possess 2:2 in the bachelor’s program. Some courses require students to possess degrees in science-related subjects. However, others may require students to submit details regarding industry experience.
  • The students must possess 2:1 in the Russell group University for bachelor’s program. Some courses require students to possess degrees in science-related subjects. However, others may require students to submit details regarding industry experience.
  • PhD: The students must possess 2:1 in the master’s program and are required to submit a research proposal explaining the study scope.  
  • For all courses, the applicants must demonstrate their English proficiency by undertaking tests like TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE Academic.
  • Some universities may conduct candidate interviews, too. 
  • Lastly, the university may also ask for information on student’s health, finance, and more information.

 In addition to the above, the students required to submit additional documents such as: 

  • Letter of Recommendation
  • Resume/CV
  • Statement of Purpose

Requirements To Study in UK For International Students

  • Undergraduate Programs: If students are planning to do their Bachelor’s in the UK, they must obtain at least 70-80% in grade 12. Apart from this, the minimum score at IELTS should also be 6.0.
  • Postgraduate Programs: Students will require at least 60% in their Bachelor’s in the field they have applied for, and the accepted CGPA in the most of the top Universities 8.0 – 8.5. The IELTS score should be around 6.5-7, and the TOEFL score should be around 95-110.
  • Doctoral Programs: For a Doctoral Program in the UK, students need at least 60% in their Master’s Degree. The scoring should be as follows – TOEFL score 100, IELTS score should be 7, PTE score 66, CAE score 185 and CPE score 185.
  • Diploma Programs: The eligibility for Diploma Programs for students would be the requisite standardized tests plus a relevant bachelor’s degree depending on the course you wish to apply for. Students may also need to appear for tests like TOEFL, IELTS, PTE etc.

University Intakes and Timeline

Universities in the UK accept students in three intakes and follow an academic calendar that begins in September and ends in July. 

  • Fall: This is the September/October intake or primary intake, which attracts a maximum number of applications from international students.  Let’s look at the timeline. 
    • June to August – Take standardized tests like IELTS, TOEFL, GMAT, and GRE.
    • August to October – Shortlist the colleges and courses.
    • October to January – Make the applications, submit the forms and pay application fee wherever required
    • February to May – While awaiting the decisions, start working on the financial part
    • May to August – Accept the offer and apply for the VISA
  • Winter: This is January/February or secondary intake, where universities accept applications for only a few courses. The application period for winter intake is June to September. Let’s look at the timeline.
    • June to August – Take standardized tests like IELTS, TOEFL, GMAT, and GRE.
    • March to June – Shortlist the colleges and courses.
    • July to October – Make the applications, submit the forms and pay application fee wherever required
    • September to November- While awaiting the decisions, start working on the financial part
    • October to December – Accept the offer and apply for the VISA 
  • Summer: This is Spring or May intake and is less competitive than the other two types. The application period for May intake is January to February.

Cost Of Studying in the UK For Indian Students

The UK is the second most-preferred country by international students for overseas education. The cost is undoubtedly not too low, and multiple things need to be considered before making a decision.

Types of Expenses (Annual) Expenses in GBP
Tuition Fees GBP£20,000 -£45,000 for undergraduate degrees; GBP £10,000 – £35,000 for graduate degrees; and GBP£15,000 – £24,000 for doctoral degrees
Accommodation GBP £400-£1724 for student halls; GBP £400-£800 for rooms; GBP £1000 for flats; GBP £400 -£8200 for studio apartments; and GBP £376-£1500 for houses
Travel Costs GBP£140 per month if using public transport systems 
Health Insurance  GBP£470 per year for health insurance;GBP£235 for shorter study courses
Food GBP£150- £250 on food and groceries every month
Extra Costs GBP £50-£100 entertainment;GBP £348 student visa fee (one-time fee)

Types of Student Visa in the UK

Any international student willing to study in UK must possess any of the following visas: 

  • Student Visa: This visa is issued for most high education courses, including graduate and postgraduate programs or long study courses.
  • Child Student Visa: This visa is issued to minors studying at an independent school. The duration for this visa is usually 3 years and 4 months. 
  • Short-term Study Visa: This visa is usually issued to students wishing to learn English in the UK. The duration for this visa is usually 6–11 months.

How to Apply for a UK Student Visa

The UK is known as one of the best countries to study in, as chosen by several international students. The intake pool and student applicants have never been low, even after the pandemic. The reality that the UK is home to several top universities leads to the enormous popularity that the country enjoys.

Follow the below mentioned guide to applying for your student visa:

  • Step 1: Apply to the preferred University (or universities) and receive an unconditional offer.
  • Step 2: Once candidates have received their unconditional offer and have accepted it, the University will give them a document called a Certificate of Acceptance of Studies (or CAS).
  • Step 3: Once students have their CAS, they can begin the visa application process. 
  • Step 4: Get your documents ready for visa application process. 
  • Step 5: Next, pay your visa application fee through Standard Chartered Bank, demand draft from a nationalized bank, or pay online. Else, you can pay the application fee at the visa application center. 
  • Step 6: Visit the nearest British Embassy/Consulate on the appointed date. You can book the appointment at the embassy or consulate office, submit your application form, with fingerprints and photographs. 

Below is the checklist for students to apply for a UK student visa

Below is the checklist for students to apply for a UK student visa

Best Student Cities in the UK

London

Edinburgh

Manchester

Glasgow

Coventry

Nottingham

Birmingham

Aberdeen

Newcastle-upon-Tyne

Brighton

Exams to Study in UK (Course-Related):

Most graduate or undergraduate programs in the UK require the following tests to succeed. 

Law

  • Cambridge Law Test
  • LNAT – National Admission Test for Law

Mathematics

  • Mathematics Admission Test (MAT)
  • Sixth Term Examination Paper (STEP)
  • Test of Mathematics for University Admissions

Medical Courses

  • BioMedical Admissions Test (BAT)
  • Graduate Medical Schools Admissions Test (GAMSAT)
  • Health Professionals Admission Test (HPAT Ulster)
  • University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT)
  • Thinking Skills Assessment
  • Thinking Skills Assessment Cambridge (TSA Cambridge)
  • Thinking Skills Assessment Oxford (TSA Oxford)
  • Thinking Skills Assessment University College London (TSA UCL)

 However, there are also other subject-specific tests. For instance, the GMAT for Business Degrees, GAMSAT for Medical School, etc.

English Proficiency Tests Required to Study In UK

Below mentioned are the exams that prove English proficiency and are required for any non-native English speaker to study in UK, and students are free to choose one among them according to their university and course.

  •  TOEFL:  The TOEFL is welcomed in almost all universities in the UK. The minimum score required varies according to the chosen university and chosen course. 
  • IELTS: The band score for IELTS vary from 6.0 to 6.5, however, many Russell Group universities may need 7.0.
  • PTE: PTE is another prominent test among universities in England, Scotland, Ireland etc. A PTE score ranging from 50 – 75 is required to pass the test and receive admission in the preferred University.

Scholarships to Study in UK

The UK provides numerous scholarships to international students, and they can also be categorized based on your course and University. A few scholarships provide students with a specific amount of money every year or the first year alone. Some other scholarships tend to cover the tuition fees wholly or partially, so one shouldn’t feel burdened about the course fees.

  The following table will help students get an idea of a few scholarships:

Top Scholarships to Study in UK

The following is a list of popular scholarships available for Indian students to study in UK.

Name of the Scholarship Description Eligibility Amount in GBP
Chevening Scholarship This scholarship program is funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and partner organizations. A bachelor’s degree and 2-year work experience Apply to three different UK university courses £18,000 annually
Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship This scholarship program is funded by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission.  The candidate must be below 40 years of age and an Indian citizen. The shortlisted candidate must appear for the interview. Values differ across categories
Charles Wallace India Trust Scholarships (CWIT) This scholarship is awarded by the Charles Wallace India Trust, with the support of British Council.  The candidate must be between 25 and 38 years of age and an Indian citizen.  The CWIT favors candidates who wish to study in any city in Britain other than London.  Values differ across categories
British Council Scholarships for women in STEM This scholarship is awarded by the British Council to women from India and other countries in the Indian subcontinent.  Any woman planning to pursue a course in STEM subject from any reputed UK university can apply for this scholarship. The candidate can apply for master’s scholarships and early academic fellowships Values differ across categories
GREAT Scholarships GREAT scholarship is funded by the British Council and the UK government’s GREAT Britain Campaign.  The candidate must have achieved an undergraduate degree and must showcase interest in the proposed subject area. The candidate must meet the English language criteria of the chosen university.  Minimum annual value of £10,000

Note: Many universities in UK like the University of Cambridge, University of Oxford, University of Sussex, University of Bristol, University of West London also offer scholarships to international students. You can apply for these scholarships in case you are planning to study at these institutions.

Post Study Work Visa in the UK

The UK’s Graduate Route or Post-study Work Visa allows international students to work and stay in the UK for up to two years after completing their masters and three years after completing PhD.  Once the visa term expires, you can apply for a different visa like a Skilled Worker visa. 

There are several benefits of pursuing the Graduate Route  

  • The visa is unsponsored, you can find work by yourself for any skill level. 
  • There are no minimum salary requirements. 
  • Once you find suitable employment, you can switch to Skilled Worker Visa. 

You are eligible to apply for this visa, if: 

  • You are currently living in the UK
  • You hold a Tier 4 General Student Visa
  • You have studied a bachelor’s, postgraduate, or any other government-approved course for a minimum period of time while on a Tier 4 Student Visa
  • Your college or university informs Home Office about the completion of the course

Note: In May 2022, the UK government introduced a High Potential Individual (HPI) Visa, which allows students from non-UK universities to work in the UK. They must possess a degree awarded five years before the date of application. The degree must be obtained from the university that appears on the list of UK’s approved global university list. This visa is granted for a period of two years or maximum of three years if the student has a qualifying PhD. This visa doesn’t guarantee permanent residence in the country.

On-campus and Off-campus Jobs in the UK

On-campus Jobs:

In UK, the students can work on-campus at university libraries, receptions, computer laboratories, cafeterias, gyms, and other areas.

Off-campus Jobs:

Many international students in the UK find off-campus jobs in cafeteria, call centers, hotels, tourism-related businesses, and so on. Nowadays, students are also taking up online part time jobs to support their fees. 

Career Prospects for International Students in the UK

The following are in-demand and highest paying careers in the UK

1. Accounting, banking, and finance (GBP £40,000-£84,500)

2. Education – Primary and secondary school teachers (GBP £25,714 – £41,604)

3. Engineering – Mechanical, Civil, Chemical and Electrical Engineering (GBP £20,000 -£60,000)

4. IT – Cyber Security Analysts, SEO marketers, software developers (GBP £43,000-£54,000)

5. Healthcare – Nurse, Radiographers, and Pediatricians (GBP £24,907-£73,664)

6. Marketing – Analysts and Market Researchers (GBP £24,000-£53,000)

7. Recruitment and HR (GBP£24,000-£80,000)

Your income would depend on your knowledge, skills, and the type of organisation you work for.

Frequently Asked Questions on Studying in UK

If one has planned to pursue higher education in the UK, they may have several questions about studying and living there, and this section answers some of the common questions that students may have in mind. 

Yes, students can work part-time for 20 hours at the maximum in a week. They can work full-time during term breaks.

Yes, you will get language support in the UK even if you have enrolled for another course. Most universities have a language support facility to help you improve the same.

This stands for Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies. The immigration rules in the UK require your host university to sponsor your visa. You will require a CAS number to apply for this visa. The visa officer will check the unique CAS number as well as supporting document to confirm, you have an offer from the university. 

No, you cannot stay in the UK after finishing your studies.  Generally, the length of visa depends on the course duration, as mentioned in the Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS). The students get additional post-study period at the end of the student visa. For instance, if the course duration is 12 months or longer, they will get additional 4 months after the course end date. An international student must leave the country once their existing visa expires. If they wish to stay longer then they must submit the application for visa extension. 

Yes, the 10+2+3 system is accepted by UK universities for Master’s programs.

The UCAS is UK-based organization that operates the centralized admission process for universities in the country.

The visa processing times are usually 3-5 weeks.

Before confirming admission, almost all universities undertake a credibility interview exam.

The Russell Group universities, founded in 1994, rank high in university league tables and focus on research and are committed to deliver excellent learning and teaching experiences. There are 24 universities in this list. 

  • University of Bristol
  • University of Birmingham
  • University of Cambridge
  • Cardiff University
  • Durham University
  • University of Edinburgh
  • University of Exeter
  • University of Glasgow
  • Imperial College London
  • King’s College London
  • University College London
  • University of Leeds
  • University of Liverpool
  • London School of Economics and Political Science
  • University of Manchester
  • Newcastle University
  • University of Nottingham
  • University of Oxford
  • Queen Mary, University of London
  • Queen’s University Belfast
  • University of Sheffield
  • University of Southampton
  • University of Warwick
  • University of York

Most Russell Group universities provide scholarships to student on different criteria. These are granted on the basis of extracurricular activities, discipline, academic merit, etc.

Each university under the Russell Group has its own eligibility criteria; However, there are some standard requirements too. For instance, they all have English language test requirements, criminal records declaration (DBS/Disclosure Scotland for Scottish Universities), entrance interviews, health checks, and personal statement supporting your thoughts on studying in the UK universities.

The Russell Group universities admit students based on three A-level grades. However, some institutions, such as LSE and Cambridge, require an AS-level, too. Thus, applicants are well-advised to see the entry requirements on individual university websites before applying.

When it comes to getting a good job, factors such as grades, experience and interviews will be the real clinchers. However, an honours degree from a Russell Group university can enrich your resume and help find employment in leading companies.

No, study gap is not accepted by the UK universities. You can have a maximum of 10-12 years work experience while applying for the master’s program. The total years of experience will be counted from the year of your graduation. You can have 2-3 year experience if you are applying for bachelor’s program. The gap is not allowed, however, universities may ask you to demonstrate your work experience for the lost years. 

Have any questions?