Oxbridge traditions and cultural diversity
The United Kingdom, comprised of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, is an island state in North-Western Europe. The UK has always enjoyed an excellent reputation for its educational system, especially in higher education – for a good reason. Some of the finest universities in the world, Oxford and Cambridge, are located in the UK, but there are additionally dozens of other universities that regularly rank in the top 35 universities in the world. A degree from a university in the United Kingdom will be noticed and respected all around the globe.
The UK is home to people from all around the world and British universities also host students from around the globe. When you study in the United Kingdom, you will be able to build a truly international network of friends and future colleagues. It will be a transformative experience as a whole, educating you to become an open-minded member of the global society.
When you study in the United Kingdom, you will become a fluent speaker of the English language, a skill that will certainly be valued by your future employers. Nowadays, employers have a strong preference for multilingual candidates with multicultural experiences. A British education can help students build that foundation.
Recently, the so-called Brexit (the potential exit of the UK from the European Union) has been a hot topic also when discussing the internationalization of the higher education in the United Kingdom. It is still uncertain how Brexit will affect the EU students applying to study in British universities, whether they need to start paying higher fees or apply for a student visa. However, the British government has announced that the situation will remain unchanged at least for the EU students applying to study in the United Kingdom in the 2017 to 2018 academic year. If you are planning to apply to study in the United Kingdom, we recommend to follow the official, updated information on Brexit. If you have a specific question, it might also be wise to contact directly the British embassy or consulate in your own country or the university you plan to apply to.
University studies in the United Kingdom
In the UK, students in higher education are usually 18 years old or over. To get accepted to a British university, a student needs to have completed A-levels, or equivalent, in the UK or in another country.
Higher education in the United Kingdom is divided in two levels: undergraduate and postgraduate programs. Undergraduate programs in the UK include Bachelors’ degrees, foundation degrees, higher national diplomas and other similar degrees. Regarding postgraduate studies, there are Masters’ degrees, MBAs and PhDs. Most degree programs are provided by universities, although many are taught in colleges, special art institutions, business schools or agricultural colleges. The university degrees in the United Kingdom often include specialised modules, and you can tailor your study choices to your interests.
The UK Immigration department requires students to have a £1020 budget/month. However, in reality, the minimum budget to live in UK is £800/ month or even less, if you’re living in a cheaper city. Besides living costs, the tuition fees in the UK are relatively high compared to other European countries. Scotland makes an exception though, as the tuition fees are usually paid by the Scottish government for students living in Scotland and studying their first degree.
Due to the relatively high tuition fees, there are scholarships available for international students who study in the United Kingdom. The scholarships, grants and bursaries are offered for instance by universities, governments, the British Council, charities and various other organisations. The best advice is to evaluate all different options, to apply as early as possible, and to apply for several different scholarships. You can find more information, tips for applying and some scholarship resources on our Scholarship page.
Applying to study in the United Kingdom
First of all, dive into Study Advisory’s university search and find the perfect university for you! We recommend you to read the reviews from former students, since they give you some inside information on the student life and practical matters in the university. In each of the university profiles, you will also find a link to the university’s own website, where you will find the detailed entry requirements and application dates for each of the study programs.
The university admission services in the UK have been centralized to the University and College Admissions Service (UCAS), which handles all undergraduate applications. The UCAS website also provides valuable information to international applicants on how to choose a British university, what to include in your application, how to finance your studies and so on.
In general, there are different application forms and deadlines depending on the type of course and institution you’re applying for. If you have questions about the application requirements, it is advised to contact directly the university you are applying to.
When applying to a university in the United Kingdom, all students are required to write a “personal statement”. It is a written document where you are expected to explain your reasons and motivations for wanting to study the subject you have chosen. Read our tips for applying to university and writing a personal statement here.
Universities in the UK with excellent Study Advisory Popularity ratings
University College London is a very international university, located on a cosy campus in the heart of London. It offers high-quality teaching with a focus on research.
University of Glasgow attracts international students from all over the world. It has a very active student life with countless clubs, societies, sports teams and other activities.
University of Chester is praised for its excellent student services and good organization of the study courses and extra-curricular activities.
Find more universities in the UK with Study Advisory’s university search!
Did you know this about the United Kingdom?
- UK universities and research institutions have produced over 100 Nobel Prize winners.
- The London Eye is the tallest observation wheel in the world and each rotation takes 30 minutes.
- Birmingham is the second largest city in the UK, but there are 30 other places called Birmingham around the world. There’s even a crater on the moon with the same name!