Studying in the United Kingdom as an international student can be a rewarding and enriching experience. In 2022, the UK was ranked the #1 country chosen by international students followed by USA, Canada & Australia. The UK boasts world-class universities, a diverse student community, and a rich cultural heritage. However, navigating the application process, securing funding, and adjusting to life in a new country can be challenging. With this blog, we hope to help you understand studying in the UK holistically, making it easier to take your first step towards a world-class education abroad.
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Higher education in England is provided by Higher Education (HE) colleges, university colleges, universities and private colleges. There is a perceived hierarchy among universities, with the Russell Group being composed of the country’s more prestigious universities.
The typical first degree offered at English universities is a bachelor’s degree, which usually lasts for three years. As for the master’s degree, the duration is one year. Although many institutions now offer an integrated master’s degree, particularly in STEM subjects, as a first degree, which typically lasts for four years, the first three years run parallel for the bachelor’s course.
During the first degree, students are known as undergraduates. The difference in fees between integrated and traditional postgraduate master’s degrees is that the fees are capped at the first-degree level for the former, making it a more attractive option.
The UK has a system of levels in education to provide a common framework for classifying and comparing different types of qualifications. This system helps to ensure that the qualifications offered by different universities and higher education institutions are recognised and understood by employers, other educational institutions, and the public. The official classification of qualifications is determined by the UK government’s regulatory body for higher education, the Office for students (OfS).
This table provides a general overview of the different qualification types that are typically included in each level of the UK higher education framework. Keep in mind that this classification system is subject to change and new qualification types may be added or reclassified over time.
|Level 6||Bachelor’s degree with honors (BA Hons, BSc Hons, etc)
Integrated master’s degrees (MEng, MPharm, etc.)
|Level 7||Master’s degree (MA, MSc, LLM, etc.)
Postgraduate certificates and diplomas (PGCert, PGDip, etc.)
Professional doctorates (such as DBA, DClinPsy, EdD, etc.)
|Level 8||Doctoral degree (PhD, DPhil, etc.)|
If you want to know more about UK education in detail, please visit the official UK government websites mentioned below:
UK Council for International Student Affairs – https://www.ukcisa.org.uk/
British Council – https://study-uk.britishcouncil.org/
Official UK Government Website – https://www.gov.uk/
The UK offers a wide range of courses across different disciplines, making it a popular destination for students from all over the world. From business and finance to engineering and technology, the UK has a variety of popular courses that cater to the diverse interests and career aspirations of international students. Here are some popular fields of study along with it’s international student population in the country.
|Field of Study||Total International Students|
|Business & Management||1,46,000|
|Media & Design||26,000|
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Home to some of the world’s most prestigious and respected universities, the UK offers a wise range of courses and opportunities for students from all over the world. These universities are known for their academic excellence, cutting-edge research, and world-class facilities, making them a top choice for international students seeking a high-quality education. Here’s a list of some of the most popular / top universities in the UK:
|University College London||12||London|
|Imperial College London||13||London|
|University of Edinburgh||34||Edinburgh|
|University of Manchester||63||Manchester|
|University of Birmingham||89||Birmingham|
Germany has two intakes. The main intake is the Winter intake and the secondary intake is the Summer intake. Indian students usually prefer the winter intake as this enables them to complete their undergraduate degree by June / July and fly to Germany in the subsequent months.
|Intake||Start Preparing By||Applications Close By|
|Fall (September)||january||July / August|
|Spring (January)||June||October / November|
Studying in the United Kingdom can be a dream come true for many students from around the world, offering access to world-class education and exciting cultural experiences. However, one of the biggest considerations for prospective international students is the cost of education. The table below shows the average fees for various program types in the UK.
|Program Type||Typical Number of Years Education||Average Annual Tuition Fee (In Indian Rupees)|
|Undergraduate Education||3||£ 22,200 (Rs 22 lakhs)|
|Postgraduate Education (Except MBA)||1-2||£ 17,109 (Rs 17 lakhs)|
|MBA||112||Rs 29 lakhs – Rs 48 lakhs|
Average living cost per year (In Indian Rupees): Rs 10 – Rs 18 lakhs per year
|steps||Validity (Duration)||Condition to Maintain||Eligibility to Obtain|
|Apply for PSW (Post Study Work Visa)||2 Years (UG & PG students), Non-Renewable Up to 3 Years (PhD students),Non-Renewable||-Successful completion of degree
-Should be on a Tier 4 visa
|It will allow students to work full-time in most jobs but excluding jobs such as sportsperson or coach|
|Skilled Worker Visa||Can stay on this visa for 5 years, later, will need to extend it.||-You’ll usually need to be paid at least £25,600 per year or £10.10 per hour, whichever is higher.
-Your job should be eligible for the visa
-Your employer should be an eligible licensed sponsor (they provide you with a COS letter for your visa)
|-Find a skilled job (A Rated Job) within 2 years of your PSW visa
-You must not travel outside of the UK until you get a decision. Your application will be withdrawn if you do
|Apply for ILR (Indefinite Leave to Remain) (i.e. PR)||For Life||– Should have stayed in the UK for at least 5 Years
– Continue working in a field related to your master’s & under an eligible employer
|Even if you change your employer make sure the new employer is a licensed sponsor|
|Citizenship||For Life||Should hold an IRL for one year at least
– Should be extremely fluent in English
Please note: The duration of the study, as well as your PSW years, will not be counted towards your PR, till you get an ‘A-Rated Sponsor Job’ your visa will not be converted into a skilled worker visa.
The following documents are required to apply for the UK Student Visa:
The process to apply for the UK Student Visa is as follows:
STEP 1: Online Registration
Create an account on UK Government Website
Fill out your Tier 4 visa application form (Academic records, travel details, CAS details etc)
Print out the form & sign it
Pay your application fees
STEP 2: Gather All Your Documents
Once you have opened a blocked account, the next step is to gather all visa related documents. These documents have already been listed above.
STEP 3: Biometrics
Once you have completed and paid for your visa application on GOV.UK, you will be directed to the VFS Global website to book an appointment at a Visa Application Centre, so your biometric data (fingerprints and photograph) can be captured.
STEP 4: Submitting the Visa Application Online
Now that you have all your documents in place, submit the Visa Online and wait for a decision. The UK Student visa takes up to 3 weeks to process in most cases, but students should apply as soon as they get their admission. Although, the UK government also provides an option to expedite your process with additional charges under, PV (Priority Visa) & SPV (Super Priority Visa) categories.
Step 4: Credibility Interview:
This may be required as part of the visa application process if the UK immigration authorities need further information to assess the authenticity of an applicant’s visa application & their intentions.
The interview is used to assess the credibility of the information provided in the application such as the applicant’s personal, financial, and educational background, as well as their plans for studying or working in the UK.
The decision to conduct a credibility interview is made on a case-by-case basis and there is no set timeline for when an interview maybe requested. It can happen on any stage of the visa application process.
The UK government runs a variety of scholarship programs to financially support international students who are looking for help funding their studies in the UK. But the three major scholarships provided by the UK government are: GREAT Scholarships, Chevening Scholarships & Commonwealth Scholarships.
|Scholarship Name||Amount||Selection Criteria|
|GREAT Scholarships India||Financial support of £ 10,000 for the students of one-year postgraduate programs||
|British Council Scholarships for Women in STEM||Financial support on tuition fees + monthly stipend for 15 months + Visa & Insurance||
|Saltire Scholarships||Financial Support of
For more scholarships in the UK visit:
If you have any questions about pursuing masters in the UK, or about the study abroad process in general – do contact us; our counsellors would be happy to help.
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