Study in the UK

Make a choice from top-ranking to cheapest universities that are synonymous with academic excellence. Study in the UK - one of the most popular study destinations.

When you hear about the UK, the picture that comes to your mind may be that of London Bridge or Big Ben. But the UK is not just about London or England. Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and England make up the United Kingdom. The UK has become one of the most popular study-abroad destinations, not just because of its globally ranking universities, but also what its cities offer to international students. Studying abroad is an experience in itself. But studying in the UK takes it up a notch.

Why study in the UK?

The UK is a popular destination for international students since long ago! The reasons are many.

  • UK universities are undoubtfully some of the best in the world. 158 universities from the UK made it to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2022 with 8 of them in the top 50. 89 universities from the UK were listed in the QS World University Rankings 2023. Some of the top universities in the UK are the University of Oxford, the University of Cambridge and Imperial College London.
  • The UK has some of the best student cities in the world. 9 UK cities were ranked in the first 50 best student cities in the world as per the QS Best Student Cities 2023 rankings. London bagged the first prize, with Edinburgh in 10th place and Glasgow in 25th place.
  • The UK has some of the oldest and most prestigious universities in the world. The University of Oxford, the University of Cambridge and the University of London are some of them. Their reputation is unmatchable. It is one of the reasons attracting people from across the globe to study in the UK. Did you know that Mahatma Gandhi studied law at the University College, London?
  • The UK has people not only from China and India but from other Asian countries too. You will find students from Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka too. It will be easy for you to feel at home in the UK.
  • UK universities are also popular for producing highly employable graduates. This means that your chances of landing a job after studying at a UK university are higher. As per the QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2022, 14 universities from the UK were listed in the top 100.
  • With the latest agreement between the UK and Indian governments, it has become easier for Indian students to commence their studies in the UK. Both the countries have decided to recognise each other’s educational qualifications.
  • The UK’s Graduate Route allows international students with an undergraduate or postgraduate degree to stay in the UK for up to 2 years after completing their course. Students with doctoral degrees can stay for up to 3 years.

Some of the benefits of studying in the UK

  • If law, sciences or management is your preferred subject for studying abroad, then the UK is the best choice. UK universities have the reputation for offering the best education for these subjects.
  • UK universities follow the latest research and teaching facilities. There is no question of your education being outdated. You will be prepared for the job market as part of your course.
  • An international degree adds more value to your resume. One from the UK is definitely going to catch the attention of your potential employers.
  • UK universities and numerous organisations offer scholarships to international students. This will reduce your financial burden.

The Education System in the UK

The education system, qualifications, rules and regulations governing higher education institutions vary among the 4 regions - England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Public universities dominate the higher education system in the UK. They are regulated by the Office for Students, a government body. The universities are autonomous bodies and set their unique entry requirements.

The colleges and universities in the UK that have the right to award degrees are called ‘Recognised bodies’. There are around 175 such institutions in the UK. There are other institutions that can offer higher education programmes on behalf of recognised bodies but cannot by themselves award degrees. These are called ‘Listed bodies’. Listed bodies offer pathway and vocational programmes. You can transition to a degree course after this or look for employment. More information about recognised bodies and listed bodies can be found on the UK government website.

The academic quality of these institutions is ensured by the QAA or the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education.

UK universities are categorised into colleges or faculties of different subjects. Check the university/college website or contact our counsellors for more information about the application process and admission requirements. If you are applying for an undergraduate course, it should go through UCAS or the Universities and Colleges Admission Service. For postgraduate courses, it is advisable to check the course details on the university website before applying. The eligibility criteria for different courses will vary. English language proficiency is necessary as the classes are delivered in English.

Study options in the UK

The UK course durations are similar to that in India. Full-time undergraduate programmes take 3 years and postgraduate programmes take 1 year to complete. The academic calendar varies from institution to institution. But a majority of them start the academic year in September. The term system is followed by most universities. But some of them follow the semester system.  September to December is the first semester and January to June is the second semester.

Typical degrees that are offered by UK universities and colleges include bachelors degrees, masters degrees, Graduate Certificates (GradCert), Integrated Masters degrees, Foundation Degree, Higher National Certificate, Higher National Diploma, Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE), Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE), Certificate of Education (CertEd), Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE), Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) and Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert).

Universities and course options in the UK

There are several top-ranking institutions for you to study in the UK. The University of Oxford, the University of Cambridge, Imperial College London, University College London, London School of Economics and Political Sciences and the University of Edinburgh are some of them. However, the ones that are more popular among Indian students going to the UK to study include:

Some of the popular courses picked by Indian students include Management, Marketing, International Business, Accounting and Finance, Business Analytics, Data Science and MBA.

Intakes to UK universities

The UK has 3 intakes:

Autumn intake: September/October

Spring intake: January/February

Summer intake: May

Autumn intake is the major intake for a majority of universities in the UK. It is also the most competitive intake. Summer intake is an additional intake offered by some universities. If you are planning to study in the UK, check if your course is available during the particular intake period. Based on your convenience and availability of the course, you can decide which intake in the UK tot to apply to.

Are you looking to do masters in the UK? Check out the different subject areas for studying postgraduate courses.

How to study in the UK

The first step in any study abroad journey is to identify the course and university you want to apply to. We have developed a unique tool that can help you identify the best course and university based on your qualifications and preferences. If you prefer receiving professional support in choosing the best university, you can simply fill out the form on this page and our experts will get in touch with you and guide you for free.

Once you have shortlisted the universities to apply to, check which are the intakes during which your course is also available. Based on this information, you can start preparing your application. Ensure you clear all the required exams and get ready with the documents. You must start thinking about the ways of funding your studies too. Once you are sure you have all the necessary documents in order, go ahead and send in the application. If you are applying for an undergraduate course, your application should go through the centralised system called UCAS or the Universities and Colleges Admission Service).

Once you are accepted by an accredited UK institution, you can start the visa application process. You should apply for a UK Student Visa if you are above 16 years of age and meets all other requirements.

Once you get your visa, book your tickets to enter the UK before the course commencement date. Our counsellors can help you with every step of the study abroad process and also put you in touch with student representatives at universities abroad. Make use of the free service for a smooth study-abroad journey.

Cost of studying in the UK

The cost of studying in the UK for international students varies from one institution to another. The tuition fee for undergraduate and postgraduate courses can range from GBP 12,000 – GBP 25,000 per year. The average cost of studying at a UK university is around INR 21.5 lakh rupees.

Check out our article for details about the living expenses, accommodation costs, transportation costs and other miscellaneous expenses.

Scholarships for international students

Most institutions in the UK offer scholarships to students enrolling on their courses. Scholarships are available for international students too. Some of the popular scholarships include the Chevening Scholarships, Marshall scholarships and Commonwealth scholarships and fellowships. University scholarships that are on offer include Rhodes scholarship at the University of Oxford, Edinburgh global research scholarship, University of Sussex chancellor’s international scholarship, Bristol University international office scholarships, University of Westminster international scholarships and many more. Read our article on the different scholarship options to study in the UK. You can also speak to our counsellors for more up-to-date and detailed information as they have first-hand information directly from the universities.

Life as a student in the UK

We Indians are used to a tropical climate. There are regions in India that experience extreme weather conditions, however, the UK weather is something you should prepare for. Temperatures can plunge below 0 degrees during winters in some locations.

Moving out of our parents’ house is not something all Indians are used to. So, the big move to a new country with a different culture can feel overwhelming. Hence it is important that you connect with other Indian and international students. Students generally look out for student communities to help them cope in the new country.

The pace of life can vary depending on where you study. For example, a city like London can get hectic while Bangor – the oldest city is Wales – has a relaxed and simple lifestyle.

Few things you will notice as you live and study in the UK:

  • UK people are known for their punctuality. They believe it is disrespectful to keep someone waiting. So whether it is a formal appointment or a casual catch-up, remember to be on time. Inform the person ahead, if you think you can’t make it on time.
  • Follow the queue system. Queues are common in the UK. This is a notable part of the British culture where people patiently wait for their turn at airports, railway stations or banks.
  •  Violating traffic rules is considered a serious offence.

Read more about student life in the UK.

Places to Visit

  • The British Museum is one of the most popular tourist destinations in London. The London Bridge, the Tower of London, Windsor Castle, and the Madame Tussauds Wax Museum are some attractions you shouldn’t miss. The river Thames which has been a subject in Wordsworth’s poem is also something you shouldn’t miss. Big Ben and the House of Parliament are on the banks of this river.
  • You can find food from all around the globe in London. Foodies can check out the local eateries and explore food from different cultures.
  • If you are a football fanatic, you should visit the London stadium to watch your favourite stars play. Chelsea and Arsenal are the most popular clubs.
  • If you plan to visit Scotland, you shouldn’t miss the different festivals like the Edinburgh Fringe. The Edinburgh Castle is also a must-see. Glasgow is famous for its museums and art galleries.
  • National Parks, castles and museums are the major attractions in Wales.
  • The UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Giant’s Causeway is not to be missed when you travel to Northern Ireland.

Your mode of transportation in the UK during your stay will include the subways, buses, trains and taxis. Cycling is also an option. One of the cheapest methods of travelling within London for sightseeing is to get the Visitor Oyster Card. You can access the London Tube, buses, overground trains and more with this card. The best part about the card is that you can use the remaining credits during your future trips to the UK.

FAQs on studying in the UK

Here is our take on some of the frequent questions we came across, about studying in the UK.

Why study in the UK and not in India?

Studying abroad has several advantages. The UK is popular for its reputable institutions, world-class education, research opportunities and graduate outcomes. If your focus is only on the academic part of it, the UK is best for the standard of education that it offers to students. If your goal is to land a high-paying job, a coveted international degree from the UK can give you an edge in the competitive job market. The cost of studying a professional course in India is increasing every year. You must weigh the pros and cons and take a decision on where to study.

How much does it cost to study in the UK from India?

The cost of studying an arts course in India is not the same as studying MBBS in a private institution. A similar disparity exists in all countries abroad, including the UK. The tuition fee will differ based on the course and institution you pick. In general, the cost of studying an undergraduate or postgraduate course can be anywhere between 11 lakhs to 25 lakhs per year.

Can a middle-class Indian study in the UK?

The short answer would be ‘Yes’. Remember that not all students who go abroad to study are from affluent backgrounds. Look for ways to fund your education abroad. Work towards scholarships that will reduce the financial burden.

The UK is undoubtfully alluring! With its picturesque locations, vibrant cities and world-class education, you could ask for nothing more! The UK has a population of 6.72 crores (Worldbank). With more than 10 lakh Indians, the country has its doors open for you, to experience its education quality and unique culture. 

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Planning to study in the UK?

Priyanka Rawat Priyanka Rawat,
IDP Expert
We can help you find the perfect course and university in the UK. Get in touch with us now to get FREE advice!

Planning to study in the UK?

I can help you find the perfect course and university in the UK. Get in touch with us now to get FREE advice!
Education counselor
Priyanka Rawat, IDP Expert
Why we need the phone number?
Our counsellors will get in touch with you using this number.
Why my country code is not displayed?
Because, we offer counselling services only to the countries listed in the dropdown.
Preferred study level *
Select year
Select month

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