As one of the top student destinations for higher education in the world, the UK more often than not lives up to the hype surrounding it. Find out why in our guide to studying in the UK.

A quick intro to UK
Culture and people
Cost of living
UK Education
    Tuition fees
    Universities in UK
    Top 10 Universities in UK
    Admission requirements
    Student pass and visa
Application process
Spare time

 

A quick intro to the UK

Map of UK

Home to the oldest university in the world, the University of Cambridge, the UK is regarded as having excellence in education--as well as quality of life. Currently standing as the fifth biggest economy in the world, the country has maintained its great power due to its ability to exert influence on a global scale, and moreover has much to offer prospective students in particular, whether it be through entertainment or high standards of education quality. The UK consists of England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland, each country with its unique cultures and people- each country just waiting to be explored during semester breaks of students.

People throughout the history--from politicians, academicians, as well as art and humanities icons, have helped uphold the country's exceptional stature, some of these people coming from other parts of the world. No wonder, the UK has attracted more than 427,686 international students, hoping to be a global bigwig like William Shakespeare, Sir Winston Churchill, Charles Darwin, even The Beatles!

 

Culture and people

Although people from the UK are generally referred to as British overall, each country has a unique set of people referred to in a particular way, such as the English from England, Scots from Scotland, Irish from Northern Ireland, and the Welsh from Wales. It is incredibly useful being well aware of this disparity, so as not to mistakenly offend someone, as well as make yourself more knowledgeable about the diverse people and cultures of the UK. More than just referrals, each country’s people also have their own customs and dressings unique to their culture--you may have definitely seen Scots in their customary dressing, kilts, somewhere or another!

While English is the official language of the UK, a variety of other language, as well as languages with different accents are spoken in the country. Immigrants have been welcomed in the UK for decades, and hence you would find plenty of citizens of different nationalities speaking their own languages in the UK too, creating a very multicultural society.

 

Cost of living

It is no secret that the UK--and in particular, its cities such as London and Edinburgh--weigh more on the expensive side in terms of living costs. However, much of it depends on the type of lifestyle students decide to indulge in and, moreover, the quality of life and entertainment available for students’ pleasure often enough makes up for the costly lifestyle. Below is a breakdown of general living costs as per students’ lifestyle and needs.

Description Cost in GMP (per month) Cost in US$ (per month)
Accommodation 380 - 750 500 - 990
Transportation (per bus journey) 1.60 2.11
Food 140 - 250 184 - 330
Movie ticket (1 ticket) 7 - 10 9 - 13
Mobile Internet/package 10 - 50 13 - 66
Beer (1 pint) 2.75 - 4.50 3.60 - 5.90
Clothes (1 pair of Levi's jeans) 67 88

 

 

Education in UK

It is no surprise the UK is currently the second most popular student destination in the world, according to Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings. Its high-quality education, as evident in its high rankings and quality students produced, is just one of the pulling factors of this nation. Those who study in the UK also have the opportunity to be taught by some of the world's leading academics and experts whose papers and books are cited in researches and studies. Best of all, the country is friendly to foreigners, especially students who want to get the best education.

 

Tuition fees

Even equipped with scholarships, it can be a burden for many to study in the UK, with tuition fees already high and gradually increasing even higher every few years. However, since the UK consists of world-class universities, for those who seek such an education, the country is an ideal destination.

Study Level Tuition Fee, Per Year, in GMP Tuition Fee, Per Year, in US$
Foundation / Pre-U Between 7,000-17,000 9,200 - 22,400
Diploma Between 3,000 - 15,000 4,800 - 20,000
Bachelor's degree Between 11,000 - 37,000 14,500 - 48,800
Master's degree Between 12,000 - 39,000 15,800 - 51,400

 

 

Universities in UK

Currently, there are more than a hundred institutions spread across the UK for students to choose from--with no less than four in the top 10. The oldest university in the world, University of Cambridge, established in 1209, has produced the likes of Sir Isaac Newton and Stephen Hawking. University of Oxford currently at the sixth place, has the current Prime Minister, David Cameron as one of its notable alumni. University College London ranked seventh in the world, is known to be the first to admit women on equal terms with men. Meanwhile, Imperial College London currently in eighth, formed the first academic health science center in the UK.

 

Top 10 Universities in UK

Listed below are the top 10 universities in the UK according to QS World Rankings 2015/2016. Apart from these, several other universities in the UK are also present in the top 300 universities in the world, considering the country boasts some of the most excellent institutions of higher education.

Top ten unis in UK

 

Admission requirements

Since the UK possesses some of the top and hence most popular universities in the world, admission into them is an intense and extremely competitive process as well requiring prospective students to have grades which make them stand out from all their other classmates.

The University and College Admissions Service (UCAS) handles all students’ applications to UK universities, with the exception of a few English language centers and further education courses. UCAS details exactly what students require to apply to their chosen university, and ensures you do not miss any application deadlines. Usually, for admission through UCAS, students are primarily required to provide a transcript of their grades, as well as a personal statement reasoning out the student’s motivation behind wanting to pursue a particular course in the UK, etc. English language proficiency tests are also at times required of students, along with admission tests catered by some universities in the UK.

 

Student pass and visa

Once students are confirmed through UCAS of their university placement, applying through the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) for a Tier 4 visa is required, which is to be done online three months before the commencement of your degree. In order to do this, you must have the following documents on-hand:

  • Unconditional offer from your university of choice
  • Proof of financial stability
  • Passing marks from a secure English language test (SELT)
  • Health results such as for tuberculosis, if applicable to your nationality
  • Biometrics taken at a visa application center
  • Payment of GMP328 as visa fees

 

Application process

Although mostly done online, the process of applying for your course and student visa to the UK can be a bit complicated. Below is an infographic to help guide you through the process.

UK Journey

 

Spare time

Entertainment in the UK is plenty, both in quality and quantity. London in itself is home to several renowned museums, landmarks, plays, operas and the like, while the entire country is open for travel, whether you tend to lean more towards the modern hustle bustle of the shopping life or adventuring around in search of long-abandoned castles and scenic landscapes.

Nightlife in the UK is by no means quite; clubs and bars are aplenty, with several being catered especially for students’ budgets as well. Heard of Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea? Of course you have, because sports in the UK is a major pastime which brings several millions of people together in unity.

If anything is for certain, it is that while studying in the UK, you will never run out of options of places to travel, adventures to experience, sights to see, and people to meet.