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The basics
THE UK: Applying to University

Sri Lankan students applying to a UK university

Practical advice for Sri Lankan students applying to study in the United Kingdom

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Every year, thousands of students from around the world apply to UK universities to meet their needs for continuing education. The United Kingdom boasts some of the oldest, most elite schools in the world and every year they accept many foreign students into their study programmes. If you’re looking to apply to a UK university from Sri Lanka, then this guide can help you get started.



Every school is different and each school has a slightly different process for its applicants. The first thing you will need to do is research which schools you wish to apply to, and what course you intend to study. Check out the university websites and browse through the courses you’re interested in. It’s important to make sure that whichever course you do select provides you with credits that are applicable to your home institution. Depending on which course you choose to study, you may have a few extra application requirements. However, every student applying to a UK university from Sri Lanka needs to complete the appropriate examination. Advanced Levels based on grades AAA are considered for entry to many schools.


Dates and Deadlines

School years tend to run from September to June, but can vary depending on which university you plan to attend. Deadlines for application are typically in the summer prior to the semester in which you plan to attend. As an international student, you will need a visa, so you should plan to begin your application process as early as possible. Some schools allow students to begin their application process as early as one year prior to the semester they wish to begin. October is typically a good month to begin the application process. An early start on your application process will give you plenty of time to make sure you get everything you need.


Language Requirements

Evidence of proficiency in the English language may also be required for students who are applying to a UK university. This can typically be accomplished through completion of an English Language test such as the PTE. Due to the elite nature of many of the schools in the UK, fluency in the English language is highly recommended in order for students to get all the benefits of studying at an elite school.



Students who are ready to apply will need to complete a UCAS application online at www.ucas.com for undergraduate admissions. Any undergraduate student applying to a UK university will need to apply through this website. Select the “apply and track” option to begin. Then select the “register and apply” option and begin your registration. After registering, you can begin your application and track its progress. You will need to know which school you are applying to so that you can provide the UCAS code during the application process. This code can typically be found on the university’s website. If you are applying for graduate admissions, you can apply directly through the school’s website.


In addition, many course programmes require submission of written work as part of the application process. A written work with marks from an instructor from your previous schooling is typically accepted. The written work should be no more than 2000 words. If you know which course you plan to study and to which school you want to apply, it’s a good idea to look at the individual course requirements to ensure that you submit everything you need.


Most schools also require potential applicants to participate in an interview. You will need to make travel arrangements to visit the school for your interview. The interview may be focused on you, which course you plan to study and your plans for the future. If you are invited to participate in an interview, you will receive a letter detailing when and where the interview will take place.


Additional Items

Additional items that you may need for applying to a UK university include a personal statement detailing who you are and why you want to study your chosen course at your selected UK university; transcripts; academic references; an updated CV; and any admission tests or written work that may be required for your specific course of study.


After your application process is complete, you will be notified via post whether or not you have been accepted. Once you receive your letter of acceptance, you will be able to apply for you visa.


For more details on applying to a specific UK university, please visit the website for your university of choice.

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