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Study in the UK

Study in the United Kingdom, world’s most popular study destination. Choose from universities like the Oxford and Cambridge that are synonymous with academic excellence.

England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland make up the United Kingdom (UK). There was a time when the East India Company and the British monarchy ruled over half the known world. The British had set up trading outposts and colonies, eventually leaving an English imprint on places as far as Australia, India and the West Indies. Today, Great Britain has a constitutional monarchy with Queen Elizabeth II, her royal majesty, still inspiring the people of the country.

Education system in the UK

It was during the 19th century, when a major expansion in the higher education sector in the UK happened with the awarding of the royal charters to some of the prominent UK institutions. Since then many initiatives were launched to bestow the university status to some of the institutions, which went on to become the popular ones in the world.

Public universities dominate the higher education system in the UK, wherein each university is an autonomous body and has its own unique entry requirements for its students. The structure of each university is not ruled by any government but an independent entity from the university that looks after the financial and strategic health of the university.

Most universities follow a semester academic pattern, and a few other universities follow quarter or trimester patterns. The universities and colleges give importance to the content of the curriculum and intrigue the students to perform in-depth research. Typical degrees that are offered by the UK universities and colleges include Higher National Diploma, Diploma of Higher Education, Bachelors, Masters (both taught and research), PhD and a number of vocational courses.

The UK universities are categorised into colleges of different subjects, which means you need to be sure, beforehand, about which subject you want to study before applying to a college. Unlike in the US where you have an option to choose electives and switch over to some other subject at the end of first year, UK colleges, irrespective of being autonomous bodies, make you stick to your decision and the choice of subject. Hence, you either apply at each college of the subject that you are interested in or you apply through a centralised (common) system that allows you to apply at various colleges at the same point in time.

Types of higher education institutions 

In addition to universities and colleges that are the recognised institutional bodies conferring degrees in both undergraduate and postgraduate levels to its students, there are some institutions that fall in the category of ‘listed bodies’.

Listed bodies do not have any authority to award degrees, but they can do offer some vocational and pathways programmes that may lead to direct employment or transition to a degree programme.

Why study in the UK?

A favourite amongst Indian students since ages!

The UK Institutions like the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge have stood the test of time and have continued to inspire and challenge students to become outstanding individuals and responsible citizens, with their excellent courses. The UK has a strong Asian community with people from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal.

Though the USA still rules the roost with some of the top institutions in the world, institutions from the UK are going equally strong. Going by recent trends, many Indian students study at institutions like the Bangor University, University of Edinburgh, University of Dundee and the University of Glasgow. This trend is also linked to the fact that these cities are less expensive when compared with living in London, Birmingham or Leeds.

Life in the UK

Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and England all have their specific traits. Depending on which city you live in, the way of life could differ drastically. For example, you might find that life in London is hectic and busy; while life in Dundee and Bangor is more relaxed and simple. The British are very private people; their calm and reserved nature should not be mistaken for arrogance. While travelling in the London underground railway system, one can notice people standing and sitting methodically; lost in their own worlds, reading a book or listening to music. It is very rare for strangers to make conversation in a public place. 

Punctuality and the queue system are hallmarks of British life – one is expected to be on time for an appointment, and it is considered impolite to be late without informing your host or the person whom you are scheduled to meet. The queues are methodical and display a sense of military-precision. Whether it is a bank, a railway station or an airport, one has to wait for one's turn in queues. There is no shouting and jostling and manic, shoving of people in queues and this is good part of the British culture.

You can read more on the student life in the UK.

Places to Visit

The UK offers a treasure-trove of places to visit for the intrepid traveller. Some of the popular places to visit in London are Windsor Castle, London Zoo, London Bridge, The Tower of London, Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, Saint Paul's Cathedral and many more.

The best thing to do would be to get a London Pass — a pre-paid card that allows you access to more than 60 popular tourist destinations in and around London. The card comes with various validity periods and is extremely useful for sight-seeing in London.

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all have their own enchanting sight-seeing spots as well.

Learn how to apply for a UK student visa

The UK is also facing stiff competition from countries like Australia, Canada, Singapore and Malaysia which offer similar courses at a much lesser cost. In spite of all this, the allure of a British degree is still strong, and applicants to popular institutions like the London School of Economics, the College of Law and Brunel University continue to rise in numbers.

Study options

Degrees usually take one year lesser to complete than what it takes in the USA, i.e., bachelors programmes (full-time study) usually last for 3 years and masters programmes for nearly 1 year. The academic calendar is varied, wherein some universities that follow quarter or trimester terms may have extended academic period – starting from September or October till May or June.

Cost of studying in the UK

The cost of studying in the UK for international students – bachelors programmes could cost somewhere around £10,000–35,000; and postgraduate programmes could cost somewhere around £9,000–42,000, depending on if it’s a classroom-based or laboratory-based programme.

Scholarships for international students 

Some of the popular scholarships to apply for include 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.

Benefits of studying in the UK (on why it makes sense to study in the UK)

  • Still the very best for education in law, sciences, management and humanities.
  • Has the finest research and teaching facilities.
  • Students can find affordable housing options, and lots of student hostels and home-stays are available.
  • A strong Asian community in the major cities in the UK.
  • A degree from a reputed institution in the UK will enhance your CV.
  • A number of scholarships are offered by numerous organisations and universities.
  • Some colleges and universities allow students to work part-time (20 hours per week). But the institutions that are listed on the official UKVI sponsor list and the list of recognised bodies are only allowed to give such liberty to their students.
  • Meritorious students can progress to a doctoral course and conduct research.

The UK still holds the helm of being one of the most outstanding and charming European countries. With a population of 65.6 million (Worldbank), the country has its doors open for you to be there and experience its education quality and everything that comes along with it. 

Planning to study in the UK?

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Planning to study in the UK?

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Study abroad expert.
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