Study in UK


Cyril Zachariah
Updated on Mar 14, 2022 11:00 AM IST

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  • 2108

    Courses Offered in United Kingdom
  • 20%

    International Students
  • GBP 10000

    Average Cost Of Study


From academic excellence, graduate employment to cross-cultural learning, the United Kingdom is considered among the best study destinations across the world. According to HESA statistics, a total of 485,645 international students were studying in higher education institutions in the UK in 2018/19, up from 458,490 in 2017/18. After China, India has been the second top country of origin with over 26,000 enrollments. 

Indian Student Enrolment in UK Per YearThe Global University Employability Ranking 2019, a total of 16 UK universities have been featured of which five are based out of London and the remaining are spread across the country.  

The country has over 390 universities and colleges, offering 50,000+ programmes in a vast array of subject areas, of which the most sought after fields include engineering and technology, law, medicine, social science and media and communication. The QS World University Rankings 2021 have also named 84 UK universities from the UK out of more than 1,000 universities from all around the globe. Also, among the 120 universities highlighted in the QS Best Student Cities 2019, 14 are from the UK with London at the #1 world ranking, followed by Edinburgh, Manchester, Glasgow and Coventry.

Moving to the UK promises an amazing student experience revolving around a rich diversity of languages, cultures and faiths. It also allows students to dive into its contemporary culture on world-famous events and holidays, apart from a stunning countryside, vibrant performing arts heritage, fashion and sport. Not to mention the huge variety of food that the country has to offer. 

In addition, the UK is the gateway to Europe wherein one can, any day, plan to fly direct to Pisa, Genoa, Rome, Venice and more. It also prides itself on its great transport network and one of the best healthcare systems in the world and low crime rates. Besides, the country is widely known for welcoming overseas students with open arms with the support of international student societies.

Also Read: UK Surpasses 600,000 Int'l Student Goal 10 Years Before Deadline

COVID-19 Response

With health, wellbeing and safety of all students being the top priority of the Government of the UK, arrangements and instructions have been communicated to each university. A student must get in touch with the respective university or school directly in order to get the required information. Here are the latest UK education-related COVID-19 updates:

  • Anybody aged 18 or above in the UK will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccination for free, regardless of their nationality or immigration status. The same be booked after registering with a local GP and getting an NHS number. 

  • Universities and colleges have transitioned to more online classes and alternative examination arrangements. The staff will continue to support them both on campus and virtually. 

  • For prospective students, UK universities will continue to welcome them. However, new processes and arrangements have been put in place to ensure that services and sessions are delivered in online mode. 

  • A number of UK universities have made sure to offer each student the access to Covid-19 support services with a focus on the students’ physical and mental health. 

  • Although a number of higher education institutions in the UK have started to reopen, all the students, staff and faculty members should practice safety practices such as maintaining social distance, using face coverings, cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, avoiding group settings, and more. 

  • Students living at the university should not move back and forward between their permanent home and their home during term time. One must return home only at the end of term for Christmas. 

Are You Planning to Study in the UK?

Why Study in the UK

The UK education system offers flexibility, allowing students to choose courses that suit their career aspirations and lifestyle. As lakhs of international students pursue higher education in the UK, you will get a chance to meet people from different nationalities, sharing their backgrounds and finding out new perspectives. There are numerous benefits of pursuing higher studies in the UK. Some of them are –

Cost-Effective and World-Class Education: Academic excellence offered by UK universities has a long-standing reputation that can be traced back to the 11th century. Even today, there are over 160 universities and institutions in the country, of which 84 are featured in the 2021 QS World University Rankings. Degrees from these universities are valued across the world, which work best in the future, no matter which industry or location.

International students in the UK enjoy financial benefits and given that the duration of a UK degree is less compared to other countries, studying in the country in any way becomes affordable. Besides that, the country is well known for offering numerous scholarships, grants and bursaries to students from outside the UK.

Great Work Opportunities: International students in the UK are allowed to work part-time for up to 20 hours per week during term time and full-time outside of term time. They may also do a work placement as part of their course or take up an internship which goes a long way in developing new skills, earning money while studying and preparing themselves for the professional world.

The UK government has recently announced a post-study visa or Graduate Route, allowing international students graduating from Summer 2021 to stay and work in the UK for the next two years.

Also Read: Stay Back Period and Post Study Work Permit in the UK

A Welcoming Student Community: According to the QS Best Student Cities, 14 of UK cities are featured in the top 120, making it one of the top student destinations in the world. Whether it is Oxford or Edinburgh, each city in the UK guarantees a wholesome and vibrant student community.

Being the second most popular destination for international students, the UK is a multicultural country where university campuses value diversity and different food, traditions and cultures and interests. This further leads to unique and new student experiences almost every day.

Affordable Cost of Living: Although this is primarily dependent on the location and the area one will be shifting to, in general, the UK boasts decent living standards at affordable prices. Cities such as London, Brighton and Oxford could be a little pricey, but affordable cities such as Aberdeen, Newcastle and Manchester offer high quality of education and lifestyle.

Healthcare in the UK is usually free of charge for international students and they can also make the most of student discounts offered on travel, shopping and food to save money.

Gateway to Explore All of the UK: An international student, if chooses to study in the UK, may easily travel to other parts of the UK and explore its rich culture and history. From landscapes, inclusive culture, great food, festivals, sporting events, castles and palaces, students will be able to see more of the UK.

In London, each area has its own distinct character, which can be experienced in Camden, Little Venice, Brixton, Notting HIll, Shoreditch and more. Students may also venture out into the greenery of the British countryside, full of rich valleys, dramatic coastlines, gleaming lakes, and so on.

Courses to Study in the UK

UK universities are known to offer the best globally recognised degree programs. There are plenty of degree options available for students from across the globe to study in the UK. The degree programs offered at UK universities are unique and it prepares students to solve real-world problems. It helps students to build critical thinking abilities and upgrade their skills to succeed in a career of their choice.  

Students from around the world know the importance of higher education in the UK and many of them desire to pursue higher education from one of the best universities in the world located in the UK. It is a dream destination for many students as acquiring higher education from the UK helps students to broaden their vision and expand their career opportunities.  

Degree options in the UK are available in a wide range from general to specialised courses at all levels of study. Some degree programmes are unique and career-driven and prepare students to join a workforce soon after the completion of their studies. It is up to the student to choose the right course and university in the UK to give a kickstart to their career. Here is the list of popular courses to study in the UK for international students: 


Agriculture & Forestry


Applied & Pure Sciences

Business & Management

Creative Arts & Design


Computer Science & IT


Education & Training

Hospitality & Leisure

Humanities and Liberal Arts

Health & Medicine

Journalism & Media



Social Sciences 


Education System in the UK

Education system in the UK can be categorised into primary education, secondary education, university preparation, further education and higher education. Primary and secondary education in the UK is legally attended by students from 5 years of age until 16 years of age. This can further be divided into based on age groups or five “key stages”, according to the National Curriculum introduced by the UK in 1988:

  • Key Stage 1: Foundation year and years 1 and 2: for those aged between 5 and 7 years old

  • Key Stage 2: Years 3 to 6: for those aged between 8 and 11 years old

  • Key Stage 3: Years 7 to 9: for those aged between 12 and 14 years old

  • Key Stage 4: Years 10 to 11: for those aged between 15 and 16 years old

  • Key Stage 5: Years 12 to 13: for those aged between 17 and 18 years old

Primary Education

Some primary schools can be divided into infant and junior levels, which start from the age of five and continue until the age of 11. While the infant level is for those aged between 5 and , the junior level is for children between the ages of 7 and 11.

Secondary Education

Secondary education includes the key stage 3 - years 7 and 9, for those aged between 15 and 16 years old and also the key stage 4 - years 10 and 11, for those aged between 15 and 16 years old. The UK school system, here, requires students to study subjects such as Math, English, Science, Humanity and a Modern Language along with optional subjects like Art, Music, a Regional Language, Physical Education, Computer Science, Design Technology.

The key stage 3 can be further divided into junior and senior school- the former from year 7 to year 8 and the latter from year 8 to year 9. Year 9 is considered quite important under the British school system given that most students here make the transition from junior to senior school.

In the last two years of secondary education in the UK, students prepare for the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) examinations which are taken after two years. Here, students study compulsory subjects such as English, Math, 2/3 Sciences, History/Geography, Modern Language etc along with other 9 and 12 subjects.

University Preparation

In the UK education system, after secondary education, students can start a two-year program which leads to Advanced level examinations. University preparation falls under years 12 and 13, when students specialise in three to four subjects relevant to the subject they wish to study at university level.

Those who would want to study over three to four subjects can continue into more subjects with the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme offered by independent schools.

Further Education

This is nothing but vocational education after completion of secondary education from the age of 16. A college of further education or state sixth form college in the UK works as an alternative to private education. They provide GCSE and A level courses along with foundation and diploma courses. These can further be extended to BTEC courses designed specifically for development of practical skills and knowledge in a specific subject such as Psychology, Sport, Engineering, Business, Art & Design and more.

Higher Education

Higher education in the UK refers to a great range of tertiary qualifications recognised across the world. This includes three-undergraduate programs, one-year postgraduate programs or research master’s programs that last for two to three years.

Find the Best Course to Study Using Our Comprehensive Search

Curriculum and Degrees Offered in the UK

In the UK, there is a unified higher education in Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland. However, elementary and secondary education along with upper-secondary and vocation education systems are somewhat different in Scotland than in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

The degree structure or higher education in the UK is categorised into the following:

  • Bachelor’s degree: A bachelor’s degree in the UK is also known as the first degree courses, awarded with honours, which typically takes three years to complete in Wales, England and Northern Ireland and four years in Scotland. Courses that comprise practical work outside the institution may usually take four years. Some specialist courses and vocational or professional degree courses may take longer to complete. These courses may be in the fields of dentistry, medicine and architecture that may take six to seven years to complete. The undergraduate study in the UK results in degrees such as Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Engineering, Bachelor of Education or Bachelor of Law.

  • Master’s degree: A taught Master’s degree in the UK takes one year and a research Master’s degree and Master of Philosophy (MPhil) takes two years. A doctoral degree (PhD), on the other hand, usually takes at least three years to complete.

Higher education throughout the UK is offered at various universities, colleges, schools and institutes. They may offer both academic and professional programs irrespective of their title. All these HEIs in the UK have the authority to frame their own curricula, program requirements and grant recognised degrees.

Grading System in the UK

The UK has a peculiar grading system in higher education that aims at giving a more accurate picture of a student’s academic performance.

Letter Grade


Grade Definition

Degree Class


Honours Degree

Foundation Degree



Excellent to Outstanding





Good to Very Good

Upper Second 2:1





Lower Second 2:2



40% – 49%


Third 3












Types Of Universities/Higher Education Institutions in the UK

Mentioned below are the different types of higher education institutions in the UK:

In the UK, universities along with other directly-funded higher education institutions are independent and autonomous organisations with their own legal powers, both academic and managerial. They may vary in history, size, mission, reputation and so on.

Historically, higher education institutions in the UK were primarily divided into universities, which offered traditional academic courses and polytechnics which focused more on vocational and professional higher education. However, these distinctions can be found in universities established before and after the 1992 Act. Pre-1992 Act universities, which were established by Royal Charter, are more research-based and traditional in terms of teaching academic courses, whereas post-1992 Act universities offer a wide range of vocational courses.

Some Pre-1992 universities are established by specific Acts of Parliament. Nevertheless, the universities of Oxford and Cambridge were established neither by an Act of Parliament nor a Royal Charter.

Universities and University Colleges: Not all HEIs in the UK are allowed to use the title ‘university’ or ‘university college’. As of today, institutions registered with the Office for Students (OfS) have the right to use ‘university college’. According to the UK, universities and university colleges in the country have degree awarding powers and can grant foundation degrees, bachelor’s degrees, taught awards and research awards.

Other Publicly-Funded Higher Education Providers: Apart from universities and university colleges, the UK also has a lot of colleges and other institutions such as further education colleges that do not have degree awarding powers but offer complete courses leading to recognised UK degrees.

Courses provided here are validated by degree awarding institutions under a format recognition arrangement.

Alternative Providers: Higher education in the UK is also offered by an increasing number of government-independent private institutions known as ‘alternative providers’. These include both for-profit and not-for-profit organisations, which are neither a further education college and nor have any direct source of direct funding.

Higher Education Organisations in the UK

There are a number of higher education organisations in the UK that can be broadly categorised into the following:

Accreditation Agencies Rectors’ Conferences or Councils
Qualification Authorities Ministry of Higher Education
University Associations Other local, regional, national or international organisations

Here are some of the major organisations in the UK established to regulate and oversee higher education in the UK:

Universities UK Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education
Department of Education GuildHE
Higher Education Funding Council for England Advance HE
Higher Education Statistics Agency Higher Education Funding Council for Wales
UCAS British Council
British Accreditation Council Russell Group
Department of Business, Innovation and Skills Scottish Funding Council

Here’s Why the UK Could Be The Perfect Study Abroad Destination For You!

Accreditation in the UK

Universities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland

The UK does not give governmental authority to accrediting agencies and hence they are more focused on private institutions and professional study programmes. Higher education institutions in the country are recognised by the British government through legislation such as a Royal Charter or an Act of Parliament. These are the institutions, also known as ”recognised bodies”, that can award degrees to students.

Institutions that are called “listed bodies” are those that have not been recognised by legislation but can still offer a program leading to a degree awarded by a “recognised body”.

Other institutions can award their unique degrees and deliver diplomas also known as “recognised awards”. These institutions are under the authority of the Department for Business Innovation and Skills.

Universities in Scotland

Scottish HEIs are accredited by the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills and the Quality Assurance Agency. In Scotland, institutions should be deemed “recognised bodies” by the UK government in order to be able to award degrees.

UK On-Campus Student Life, Athletics & Extra-Curricular Activities

Campus life in the UK means stepping into a whole new world of new opportunities, green spaces, getting involved in different activities, making new friends among several other things. Campuses in the UK are safe with a low level of crime and violence on the streets.

Drinking tea and joining campus societies or clubs are part of the UK university culture. The country is a centre of world music and university campuses are considered the best places for popular artists and bands.

Every UK university has a Students’ Union that focuses on providing each student with the best university experience possible. They organise various fun events throughout the year such as comedy nights, fundraising, gigs and many more. From academic to political, religious and musical societies, every university in the UK offers a huge range of groups to choose from and pursue an existing or new passion.

Almost every sport ranging from rugby to American football is made available for students to play and participate in. The UK university sports culture even lures in students who are not keen sports players because of university rivalry. Most matches in the country are played on Wednesdays, considered equal to sports.

Campus universities provide everything any student possibly needs including shops, a gym, medical facilities, cafes and even a bar. This creates a close-knit student environment, making it extremely fun and memorable.

Best Places to Study in the UK

London continues to claim top spot in the list of Best Student Cities not only in the UK but across the world, according to QS Best Student Cities 2022. Given below are the top 10 places to study in the UK:

QS Best Student Cities 2022 Rank


Overall Score

















Newcastle Upon Tyne














Study Cost in the UK

Following is a table giving an idea of how much it will cost you to study in the UK:

Tuition Fees

Accommodation Costs

Living Expenses

Visa Fee

UG Courses: £10,000 and £38,000 per annum - For lecture-based courses

PG Courses: £11,000 - £32,000 per annum

£685-£3,182 per month

£677-£1,067 per month


Note: Figures mentioned here are indicative.

Health And Support Services For International Students In The UK

With low crime rates and one of the best healthcare in the world, the UK is known to be a safe and secure study destination for international students. 

Healthcare in the UK

The National Health Service (NHS) in the UKis considered one of the best healthcare systems in the UK. Unlike a lot of countries, the UK does not require students to get private medical insurance when studying in the country. 

However, students who need a visa to study in the UK, have to pay £470 per year as an immigration health surcharge to gain access to the NHS. The same can be paid while applying for the visa. This covers free medical treatment including emergency and hospital care along with dental care for a reduced price at an NHS dentist. 

International students, however, may have private health insurance in addition to the health surcharge. This may preferably cover health-related costs such as loss of fees if unable to complete the course, costs incurred returning to home country for treatment and private medical treatment. 

Family members applying for a dependant visa will also have to pay the surcharge in addition to the visa application fee.

Students are also recommended to register with a general practitioner (GP), a doctor who looks at patients with general health problems, after arriving in the UK. In order to register with a local doctor or GP, an international student may register in the institution's own Health Centre, if any, or any doctor that is close to where they live. For the same, one must carry a letter of proof of being a student, passport and any loose immigration documents.

In case a student is granted a visa for less than six months or the student is required to be in the UK for short study periods, they can take out medical insurance as they will be liable for NHS charges for the treatment they receive in the UK except for in a medical emergency which is limited. 

Some treatment in the UK is free for everyone, which includes:

  • diagnosis and treatment of sexually transmitted infections

  • accident and emergency services

  • family planning services

  • diagnosis and treatment of certain infectious diseases

  • COVID-19 tests, treatment and vaccination

  • Treatment of conditions caused by torture, domestic violence, female genital mutilation or sexual violence

  • compulsory psychiatric treatment or treatment that has been ordered by a court

  • treatment in prison or immigration detention

For other treatment, overseas students might have to pay.

Health Insurance for International Students in the UK

Even if the UK offers free NHS treatment, international students should consider enrolling in an insurance policy which covers other medical costs. These may include:

  • Costs of returning home if a family member or relative is ill,

  • Costs of relative visiting in the UK if the student falls ill,

  • Returning a body home for burial, in the worst case scenario,

  • Cost of retuning home for treatment,

  • Lost fees if unable to complete the course, etc.

Other Support Services for International Students in the UK

Universities in the UK give prime importance to student welfare, for which they have implemented measures, allowing students to reach out whenever they feel stressed or face any problems. On campus, they may speak to their tutor, student welfare officer or the student’s union in case of general welfare support.

Besides these, the top support organisations for international students studying in the UK include the Great British Magazine, UKCISA, Student Minds, British Council, The Student Union (mostly affiliated to the National Union of Students (NUS), the university’s international office.

Applying to Study in the UK? Have Your Applications Reviewed Now!

FAQs on Study in UK in 2023

Can I work/study anywhere in the world after graduating from a UK university?

A UK university degree is one of the highly recognised and reputable qualifications around the world. The post-study work and higher study opportunities for students with a degree from a UK university are immense due to its impeccable standard of education.

How is student life in the UK?

The UK has been one of the top study-abroad destinations in the world for specific reasons, which include the overall student experience. While the UK has been recognised for the quality of education provided, the UK government and the universities have taken several measures to ensure that students feel welcomed and are supported throughout their studies.

What is the healthcare system in the UK like?

The UK healthcare system is one of the best healthcare systems in the world, with most of the healthcare services being almost free for almost, even for international students. Additionally, international students are not required to compulsorily pay for health insurance, however, students can still opt for private insurance.

Why should I study in the UK?

If you are an aspiring student looking to study abroad, the UK may just be the right option for you, since the UK is home to some of the best universities in the world, with a relatively affordable living situation. Additionally, with access to cost-effective world-class education on offer that leads to great work opportunities upon graduation, the UK may just be the option you are looking for.

Where is the best place to study in the UK?

With its heart in the largest city, the UK certainly boasts offering the best to international students in London. However, it would be appropriate to say that the country offers some of the best courses and universities of the world in several other locations. Among some of the ideal study destinations in the UK, apart from London, are Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester, Coventry, Birmingham, etc.

What is the weather like in the UK?

The UK is home to some of the most beautiful weather conditions in the world, with temperatures varying between 0 degrees Celsius and 35 degrees celsius at the extremes. The temperatures also fluctuate as you go more inland, with Scotland being among the coldest areas in the UK and West of England and Wales being home to warm summers and mild winters.

What are the top areas of study in the UK?

Being one of the top study abroad destinations in the world, the UK offers some of the most popular areas of study. According to global rankings such as the QS World University Rankings and THE Global Rankings, include Business Studies, Accounting and Finance, Undergraduate Law, Economics, Art & Design, Computer Science, Mechanical Engineering, Politics, Electrical Engineering and Biological Sciences.

How do I find and apply for a course in the UK?

While commonly students apply to both graduate and undergraduate courses, if you are interested in pursuing higher studies in the UK, we recommend registering yourselves with us and connecting with our dedicated study abroad experts, who will evaluate your profile, find a suitable course for you, and help from start to finish in enrolling in your dream university abroad.

Is a study gap acceptable in the UK?

UK universities accept international student applications even if there is a gap year between their programme of studies. While the conditions will vary between universities, students with a gap year must clearly mention a valid reason behind the gap year, which include, studying for an entrance exam, gaining relevant work experience, sudden health or family emergency, etc.

Can I study in the UK without IELTS?

Yes, an international student can pursue higher studies in the UK without having to attempt the IELTS exam. Several universities around the country offer admissions without the applicants needing to provide an IELTS score. However, certain terms and conditions like securing 60-70% or above, completing your previous academic degree/programme in the English Language, etc. (conditions will vary between universities) must be satisfied. Additionally, UK student visa requirements may still warrant proof of English proficiency.

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