Study in the UK

The United Kingdom has one of the most respected and well-established higher education systems in the world. The home of the English language and the location of a multitude of famous universities, makes studying in the UK the first choice for large numbers of foreign students; there are over a quarter of a million foreign students studying in over 3000 UK educational institutions at any given time. Degree and Masters courses are more intensive, and therefore shorter, in the U.K. system, which makes them more affordable since the student has to spend less time abroad. As a country, the U.K. is liberal and multi-cultural and its long history of welcoming international students means the infrastructure is there to provide the support when needed.

Why are students choosing to study in the UK?

  • UK qualifications are of the highest standard, recognised and accepted around the world
  • Degree courses last three years (not four as in many other countries), and master's degree courses can take one year (not two), dramatically reducing your costs.
  • A safe environment, established support services for international students and likely access to free healthcare
  • A vibrant student culture
  • The right to work while on a student visa
  • A multicultural society where international students feel welcome and comfortable

The Higher Education System

The UK has over ninety universities and more than fifty higher education colleges. This extensive system offers a vast range of courses, enabling you to specialise or find a course that exactly meets your requirements. Most of these courses lead to degrees, postgraduate qualifications or MBAs. Over 250,000 people study in the UK every year, taking advantage of the extensive infrastructure that exists to help them get the most they can from the experience. The ethos in the UK’s universities and colleges is truly international, with students from all over the world contributing to the academic and cultural cross-section. British qualifications are a benchmark of educational quality, welcomed around the world. The analytical method of study develops an enquiring, independent and creative approach that equips students to cope with the demands of a globalised world economy as well as maximising their own personal potential. Scientists and institutions in the UK have won almost 100 Nobel Prizes and many of the world’s leaders, thinkers and artists graduated from the UK system of higher education. Back to top.

The Scottish Educational System

The education system in Scotland is completely separate to the rest of the United Kingdom and subject to its own distinct laws and practices. Education is compulsory between the ages of 5 and 16.

Then, at 16, students can also choose to leave school or continue on for two more years of schooling to prepare for vocational training, employment, or higher education.

At the higher Education level, there are 21 universities and colleges of higher education in Scotland. Students can choose from two levels of degree: the general degree, which takes three years to complete and the honours degree, which takes four years. Scotland also offers a wealth of course options at the postgraduate level.

The Costs

UK universities and colleges set their own fees and you would need to check with each institution what their fees are for a particular course. However, the following is a guide to the average charges you might expect.


Post Graduate


£6,250 to £7,650

£6,750 to £8,200


£6,500 to £13,600

£6,500 to £13,600


£6,960 to £18,000

£6,200 to £17,400

The average cost for a full-time MBA course is between £7,500 and £12,000, although in the most prestigious schools the cost for this course could rise to up to £20,000.

The cost of living in the UK varies enormously from region to region and city to city and it also depends on the lifestyle you adopt. Again, as a rough guide, based on research done on the average spending of international students, you should allow £750 a month in London and £600 a month elsewhere. These figures cover accommodation, food, travel and general living expenses. Back to top.


Students with a full student visa are permitted to work in the UK on a casual basis for up to 20 hours a week during course time, and full time during vacations. This earning potential makes it much more affordable for students who need to fund part of their studies through work. Unemployment in the UK is at a historical low and as a result there are many employment possibilities for those wishing to work.

Life in the UK

Although the UK is a relatively small country, it has enormous variety, which stems from its democracy, history and multi-cultural nature. It comprises three separate countries, England, Scotland and Wales, plus the province of Northern Ireland. Each of these has individual and recognisable characteristics. People from all over the world have made their homes in the UK and brought with them their languages, music, food and dress and contributed to a process that has created a diverse and open society. To this diversity is added the contribution that 250,000 international students make. This cosmopolitan mix results in vibrant and fascinating towns and cities all over the country. Outside the cities you will find some of the greenest and most beautiful countryside in the world, a wonderful coastline, mountains, rivers and lakes and picturesque villages. There is a public transport system that will take you to every corner of the country. Popular culture from the UK is known and admired throughout the world and most foreign students will already be familiar with some of the music, film and television produced there, as well as its sporting fame in football, cricket, rugby and many other fields. The UK is a very safe and friendly place to live and an excellent starting point for further European travel during the holidays. People from the UK like to get together and enjoy themselves. Theatres, concerts and art galleries can be found in all large towns and cities; big sports events take place every weekend; the huge selection of pubs are the focal point for many people to relax after work and the cuisine from every country in the world can be found in the numerous restaurants. Back to top.

The Country and Climate

The United Kingdom consists of Great Britain (England, Wales, and Scotland) and Northern Ireland. England has a population of 50 million, and is the largest country in the UK. It has a number of big cities such as London, Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool and outside the cities it is generally lowland country with hilly areas such as the Lake District. In size, Scotland isn’t much smaller than England but it only has a little over 5 million people. This leaves huge areas of unspoilt countryside and Scotland is famous for its lakes (called lochs) and mountains. Glasgow and Edinburgh (the capital) are the biggest cities. Wales has just three million people, with the capital city, Cardiff, the biggest in the country with a population of about 300,000. Its geography is characterised by mountains, valleys, rivers, lakes and a stunningly beautiful coastline. Northern Ireland has a population of 1.7 million with 280,000 living in the capital, Belfast. It is cheaper than mainland UK, has a fantastic musical culture and some beautiful countryside. In Wales, the Welsh language is still spoken by many people, and Gaelic and Irish Gaelic are still used in parts of Scotland and Ireland respectively.

The climate in the UK is moderate and varied. Average daily temperatures in London range from 3 degrees Celsius in the winter to 17 degrees in the summer, although there are, of course, great fluctuations throughout the year. There are also regional differences, with the north being generally colder than the south and the west wetter than the east. Back to top.

The Quick Regional Guide

England: The South

In the south of England it is densely populated, especially in the southeast, and tends to be milder than in the north. Along the south coast there are many towns catering for the tourist industry and for language students who visit to do courses to improve their English. Towns such as Brighton, Hastings, Eastbourne and Plymouth all benefit from large numbers of foreign language students, especially during the summer months. London, the capital, is the biggest city in the UK with over seven million people and a centre of incredible cultural diversity. Whatever you want you can find there and as well as being the UK’s centre of commerce, it is one of the most important destinations for any artist to visit. In the southeast of the UK are the beautiful counties of Cornwall and Devon, a popular location for British people to take their holidays.

England: The Midlands

The Midlands were the manufacturing heartland of the UK and there are a number of quite large cities in the region, such as Birmingham, Leicester, Coventry etc. The countryside of the region is very beautiful, crossed with canals and rivers and many beautiful small towns and villages.

England: The North

In the north of England are some large towns such as Manchester, Liverpool, Sheffield and Leeds. Each of these university towns has a vibrant social scene and great facilities for students. The countryside of the region is spectacularly beautiful with mountains, moors, lakes and wild coastline. Although cooler than in the south, the climate remains moderate and the cost of living is lower.


Wales is a country in its own right and has its own language, which over half a million people speak. The two biggest cities are Swansea and Cardiff, the capital, and both are university towns with a buzzing student life. Rugby is a big sport in Wales and the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff also puts on big football finals such as the FA Cup. Wales if famous for its mountains and valleys and is a fantastic country for walking and climbing. Snowdon is the highest peak and part of the Snowdonia National Park. The coastline is beautiful with areas such as the Gower Peninsula a popular destination for British


Scotland is known worldwide for its exquisite range of whiskeys, many of which have iconic status. The kilt, the Loch ness monster and the sublimely beautiful West Coast are all familiar images of Scotland, and the beauty of the countryside is undeniable. Glasgow and Edinburgh are large, vibrant university towns with a genuine multi-cultural feel to them and a fantastic arts scene. Edinburgh has a festival that lasts all through August and attracts performers from all corners of the globe, both mainstream and alternative and encompassing all art forms. The numerous islands around Scotland are as famous for their traditional life-styles and amazing wildlife, especially birds, as they are for their stunning, remote beauty.

Northern Ireland

This is a province of the UK in the north of the island of Ireland and has as its capital city the beautiful and lively Belfast. Queen’s University, Belfast, is one of the most famous in the UK and the centre of a lively student scene. The Waterfront Hall is a modern and sophisticated venue for the arts, with some of the world’s greatest performers visiting. The countryside of Northern Ireland is very rich -- a green landscape with a beautiful coastline. The province has a lower cost of living than on the mainland and its people are friendly and welcoming with a great sense of humour. The pubs are many and varied and a great place to hear music and relax.


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