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Study in the UK: A Guide for International Students

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An education in the United Kingdom is an opportunity to immerse yourself in an educational tradition dating all the way back to 1096. The higher education system in the UK includes some of the world’s top ranked universities. 

Choosing the UK as your study abroad destination means more than a top-quality education. The four distinct nations of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland all contribute to the U.K’s diverse landscape, from bustling urban centers to the tranquility of the British countryside. 

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All four nations are all enticing destinations in their own right – from the glittering nerve center of London to the gritty charm of Glasgow, the craggy peaks of Snowdonia to the green slopes of Northern Ireland, this historic country is packed with opportunity. What’s more, the U. K’s extensive transport network means that you are never far from the next city, landmark or pub.

Read more below about the different types of higher education in the United Kingdom, as well as a few details you should consider during your preparations for studying abroad.

The UK - Quick facts & figures


England, Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland




66 million

Area Size

242,495 km²


2.34 million (458,000 international)

Academic Year

September - June


Pound sterling (£)

Calling Code


Time Zone


A small church in the Wales countryside

More about the United Kingdom

Boasting over 150 higher education institutions, studying abroad in the UK will provide you with the opportunity to put your passions into practice at any of the country’s teaching institutions.

One of the oldest democracies the last millennia, studying abroad in the UK will give you exposure to an exciting convergence of tradition and innovation that spills over into its education system.

With a study culture steeped in rich heritage and well-regarded research outputs, studying in the UK is an investment in your academic future. Furthermore, being home to such high numbers of international students means that the UK has fostered an open-minded student culture that makes the United Kingdom a perfect place to pursue your education in a diverse environment. 

Education System

There are over 3,000 institutes for international students to choose from throughout the United Kingdom. Take a minute to find out more about how the UK higher education system works.

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Student Visas

What kind of study visa do international students need to study abroad in the UK? UK student visas are awarded on a points-based system, obtained by submitted certain information and documents.

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Housing & Living Costs

Most UK universities own accommodation which they rent out to students, commonly called ‘halls’. But many other housing options also exist if university halls are not your thing.

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Tuition Fees & Scholarships

Tuition fees for the United Kingdom vary depending on where you are from and where you are studying. Find out more about costs as well as scholarship opportunities for international students.

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Language & Culture

The UK has a long and rich history and culture. Find out more about what it offers in terms of language, culture, and more!

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Application Process

The facility for undergraduate admissions in the UK is The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). There are two rounds of applications each year. Find out more here.

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Ready to look at studying abroad in the UK? Use our search engine to find and compare top programs in the UK today!

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Last update: 18 Nov 2019

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The Higher Education System in the UK

The number of international students studying in the UK has been consistently rising. If you’re planning on studying in the UK, you will have a wide range of higher education institutions and programs to choose from when finding the perfect fit for you! All UK universities are independent bodies maintained by tuition fees, research outputs, and government funding.
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Last updated: 5/11/2017

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Andrew from New Zealand took charge of his own destiny and made his own path, moving to the UK to study at one of the leading music conservatoires in its field. Read more about Andrew's adventure here.

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