The basics
THE UK: Applying to University

Nigerian students applying to a UK university

Practical advice for Nigerian students applying to study in the United Kingdom

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Nigerian students are expected to meet the following entry requirements for undergraduate courses in the UK which may differ depending on the school:

  • Internationally recognised English language qualification, such as IELTS or equivalent, SSCE (WAEC) English C6 or above is usually accepted at the discretion of each university
  • Minimum of three passes at GCE A-level at grade C or above, and five passes at GCSE/IGCSE level at grade C or above, including English and Maths with equivalent qualifications such as African WAECs - 6 passes at grades 1-6, including Maths and English
  • One year International Foundation course with Senior School Certificate (SSCE) or West African Senior School Certificate (WAEC) or the NECO with a Grade B or C in at least 5 subjects to qualify for the International Foundation Programme
  • One year of undergraduate studies at a recognised Nigerian university with an average CGPA of approximately 3.5 out of 5 may also be accepted


It is best to check with the admissions department of each university whether your certificate is recognised. For universities which are members of the Northern Consortium (NCUK) a completed international Foundation year (IFY) programme with required academic level will be considered for admission, such as a course at Oxbridge School, Lagos. Other colleges in Nigeria may be offering a foundation course with direct entry to undergraduate programme in the UK.



Supporting documents

  • Copies of academic transcripts and certificates
  • Any examinations left to take
  • Proof of English proficiency (please, see guidance above)
  • Two letters of reference (academic and professional)
  • Personal statement outlining the reasons for applying
  • A copy of your passport photograph ID page
  • One recent passport-sized, colour photograph
  • Contact address and address of parent/guardian if you are under 18

You will need to submit your undergraduate application via UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service), online or using university’s application form.


UK postgraduate programme requirements


Many British universities have two programme start dates in September and January and last for approximately 12 or 16 months. Applications can be made on the official website of your selected institute or by filling in a typical application form which most universities have online.


Supporting documents


  • Grades for qualifications received: Upper Second Class Bachelor’s degree (UK 2:1 degree) with an average CGPA of 3.5 out of 5 or above from a recognised Nigerian university
  • Some universities may accept a Lower Second Class Bachelor degree (UK 2:2 degree) and others may require you to have already undertaken some postgraduate level study
  • Any examinations you are waiting to take
  • Your English qualification score (IELTS, PTE Academic, Cambridge Advanced or other tests as outlined by your chosen university)
  • A personal statement (usually between 500 to 700 depending on the programme requirement)
  • Two letters of reference (academic and professional)
  • CV showing relevant work experience
  • Photographic ID, address and a passport-sized photograph.


Making and accepting the offer


If you have completed your education and have met all the entry requirements, you will be sent an unconditional offer, otherwise, the offer will be conditional. A decision is made within 10-15 working days of receipt of your completed application and supporting documents. If you wish to accept the offer you must confirm your acceptance and pay the registration and tuition fees or deposit.


Application deadlines


Nigerian students need to apply for Tier 4 student visa to study in the UK and have to pay the fees as well as meet the finances requirement. Visa applications can be made 3 months before the start of your course once you have received unconditional offer and CAS (no more than 6 months after receiving it). Processing currently takes about 10 days when applying in Abuja, Nigeria. Many universities have large Nigerian student community and representative offices in Nigeria which can promptly assist with the application.


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