Study in the United Kingdom

Britain is full of contrasts; whichever direction you travel you will find a wide variety of landscapes and diverse cultures to explore. England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are all unique countries with their own customs, cultures and traditions. With around 61 million inhabitants, Britain is an extremely diverse nation with a strong culture of racial integration and unity.

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Why United Kingdom?

The UK is a world leader in English language teaching. Over 600,000 learners a year come to the UK to help achieve their ambitions, to experience modern UK life, and to use the language in its natural home. Qualifications from the UK are recognised and respected throughout the world. Your qualification will be a solid foundation for building your future, boosting your career and prospects for a higher salary. Quality standards for all UK institutions are among the best in the world.

The UK is famous for its history and tradition. The largest country in the UK, England, encapsulates much of this. England's capital, London, is a leading centre for banking, insurance and commerce as well as being a magnet for young people. Many cities around the UK are have made their mark with world class shopping, restaurants, nightlife and music scenes. The UK is a cosmopolitan place to live. Many thousands of families from around the world have made the UK their home, creating a richly diverse, open-minded, multicultural society. There are also more than a quarter of a million international students in the UK at any one time.

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Where can I study?

There are more than 3,000 educational institutions that welcome international students to the UK. The broad range and flexible approach of the UK education system means that you're free to choose exactly what you want to study. You can choose from a variety of routes through the education and training system, combining different types of course according to your needs and abilities. Many courses can also be taken through distance learning in your home country.

- Language courses in English
If you want to learn English, there are accredited institutions throughout the UK, from the south coast of England to the north of Scotland and also in Wales and Northern Ireland. You can choose the type of language institution you want to study at: a specialised language school, a college of further education or a university. State and private institutions offer different advantages. In a state institution you will have the chance to mix with UK students studying other subjects. In a private language school there are usually smaller classes and more individual attention and less UK students. Up to the age of sixteen, you will probably learn English in a language centre which runs summer courses. Independent schools also run these courses.

All parts of the UK are English speaking. You will be able to use your English in everyday life, through film and television, newspapers and books, shopping and entertainment. The UK has a long tradition of excellence in teaching English as a foreign language. UK qualifications in English language are internationally respected.

– Independent Schools
At a UK independent school you'll gain a modern education, while experiencing centuries of tradition. The GCSEs and A-levels you'll study have a strong academic focus that will prepare you for university. A-levels are respected across the world and that's why they are taught in many countries outside the UK.

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– Career based and pre-university
These courses gives you the ultimate opportunity to immerse yourself in a subject area that fascinates you. Courses can last for up to two years and you can choose from thousands of opportunities in science and technology, computing and business, art and design, social sciences, the humanities and many others.

– Undergraduate
A UK undergraduate education gives you an amazing opportunity to immerse yourself in a subject that fascinates you. Courses can last for up to three years (four with a placement in industry or overseas), and you can choose from thousands of opportunities in science and technology, computing and business, art and design, social sciences, the humanities and many others.

– Postgraduate
A postgraduate course in the UK gives you the ultimate opportunity to pursue your own specialist interests. You'll be expected to initiate and develop original research under the supervision of academics at the top of their fields. Courses last from one year to four years, and you can choose from thousands of opportunities in the arts, sciences, social sciences and humanities.

Tuition fees at universities

EU students at UK universities pay fees in the same way as UK/home students. From 2006, universities in England can charge full-time undergraduate students up to £3000 per academic year, depending on the financial circumstances of students, or their parents. There are separate rates for non-EU international students. Please visit for more information.

Costs of living

The cost of living varies between different regions of the UK; London, for example, is more expensive than average and costs may also be high in other major UK cities such as Edinburgh and Manchester. Many shops, theatres, cinemas, museums and galleries offer special reductions for students and special student fares are often available on buses and trains. Most universities have a student cinema, nightclub, theatre and other entertainment available that you can enjoy for much less than similar entertainment will cost you off-campus. Health care is often free for international students.

UK degrees can take only three years and postgraduate master's courses only one year compared with four years and two years in most other countries. This means you will save a great deal on both tuition fees and living costs and you will be able to start working and earning money sooner. UK degree courses are shorter because they are more intensive, and therefore more efficient in terms of your time and money.


Thousands of scholarships and bursaries are offered by UK institutions just for international students, while more than 21, 000 international students receive scholarship funding from the UK Government every year.


Most UK universities own accommodation, which they manage and rent out. As an international student, you'll usually be guaranteed a room in university-owned accommodation during your first year in the UK. This can have many advantages: it's usually located on campus or very close to lecture theatres and other facilities, it's a great place to meet other students and you know exactly who to go to if any problems arise.

Almost all institutions running English language courses will help arrange accommodation for their students. There is a wide range of accommodation types available from staying with a family, in college halls or student flats to hotels and hostels.


You can find out whether or not you need a visa, and how to go about applying on - Do I Need A UK Visa.

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For more information, go to:

British Council
Education UK
Universities UK
Official British Tourist Authority

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Last update: 16 Oct 2012


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