The UK is one of the prime destinations for international students who want to study away from their home country.
Because of this, many students seek ways to apply to a UK university.
Studying in the UK is a great way to experience UK life. And international applicants often dream of walking the streets of UK even before they have the opportunity to be there.
Also, many people desire to work in UK and they seek different alternative to achieve this goal.
As an international student, you won’t be able to study and work in the UK if you don’t apply to a university.
Most students who want to study in the UK that I have encountered don’t know how to apply to a UK university.
They have the desire.
And even a scholarship, but don’t know how to apply to a UK university.
This mirrors the vast majority of international students out there who desire to study in UK. I wrote this article to answer all your questions about applying to a UK university.
I have no doubt you will find it helpful.
Bear in mind that the UK comprise four countries – England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.
In the UK, you will have a great platform to achieve your goal as an overseas student.
Why should I study in UK?
And just in case you are still double minded about choosing UK as your preferred study destination.
Consider these benefits of studying in UK to help you reach a quick decision.
1. Overseas students have access to student loans
Studying in UK as an overseas student is expensive compared to other countries.
The tuition fee of most UK universities is twice the tuition fee amount of universities in other countries, like Sweden.
So you would need all the support you can get as an overseas student. And student loans provide support real quick.
UK is one of the few countries overseas students can access loans. Moreover, student loans are designed to help you with some basic cost, say book cost.
While you have to pay back some, others you don’t have to pay. Although most loans you don’t have to pay back are reserved for UK students.
As an overseas student, you may be able to get up to £1,000 loan per year.
That’s great support you can get studying in UK.
2. UK courses are shorter
Perhaps the nicest thing about studying in UK is the shorter duration of courses. The duration of studying in UK is shorter than other countries.
And since there are no inhibitions to the UK academic calendar such industrial actions, expect to finish your course sooner.
While the duration of UK undergraduate course is 3 years, medicine and surgery lasts 5 years.
Master’s course take 2 years, and you can go to sleep knowing two years is two years.
Fortunately, this is high quality education at all levels. Check out top degree courses to study in UK.
3. You will get enough support in UK schools as an overseas student
The student support at UK universities is heart warming. As an overseas student, particularly in your first year, you will need plenty of support.
Studying in UK is a great opportunity to get needed support.
Personally, I considered studying in UK before finally moving to Australia.
The thrilling support given to overseas students in UK was what influenced my decision.
Why I didn’t study in UK?
I got scholarship to study in Australia, and that was the turning point because I had strong financial need. I couldn’t afford studying in UK.
And even though the students loan is great, it wasn’t enough to cover basic costs. That was my peculiar situation, yours might be different.
You will need someone to talk to as an overseas student. Most importantly, in your first year trying to settle in the UK. You will get wonderful councillors to help you through.
Also, the university unions in UK are a great place to get support as an overseas student.
Now you know the benefits of studying in UK.
Next on your mind now is how to apply to a UK university to get started. But before showing you how to apply, I will provide answers to frequently asked questions.
I can imagine you are asking these questions as well.
Good enough, this article provide answers to questions that are on your mind about studying in UK.
Can international students study in UK?
The UK is very welcoming for international students.
There are no restrictions, which means students from all countries can study in UK.
What do I need to study in UK?
You would need your;
- academic transcripts.
- A personal statement.
- And other documents that confirm your identity (such as international passport) overseas.
Can international students study in UK without visa?
International students outside the UK need a Tier 4 student visa to study in UK.
You won’t be allowed to enter the UK without a student visa.
A next door neighbour studying in UK started his visa application about seven months before his course start date.
So, a study visa is something you need to prepare for.
Is studying in UK expensive?
Studying in UK is quite expensive. Besides that, the tuition fee of most UK universities is more than £12,000 for overseas students.
My friend who studies Electrical Engineering at Birmingham pays a tuition fee of £18,700 per year. Although he is from a fairly rich home, he needed a 50% tuition-fee scholarship.
He now relies on that scholarship to maintain his overseas student status.
Currently in third year, he pays £9,350 tuition per year, thanks to a partial tuition scholarship.
Not so much for an overseas student, is it? Overseas tuition fee is generally higher.
How much does studying in UK cost?
You simply add up your tuition fee for the duration of your course. Say your tuition fee is £12,000 per year. That sums up to £36,000 in three years (standard duration of UK undergraduate courses). That’s aside living costs.
Therefore, no standard cost of studying in UK. Because, your overseas tuition fee and living costs make up the cost of studying in UK.
Depending on your course and UK city you study, living expenses vary.
Bear in mind that expenses are quite higher in major UK cities if you take up off campus accommodation.
Most international students supplement these costs with scholarships or students loan.
Can I get a scholarship to study in UK?
There are numerous scholarship opportunities for international applicant to study in UK. Just as there are other study grants you can access while studying in UK.
You may need to check scholarship listings to find scholarships you might be eligible for.
Can I work while studying in UK?
International students are eligible to work in the UK.
Though, not all overseas students are allowed to work during term-time in UK. Whether you like to work and study notwithstanding.
It all depends on the terms of your immigration pass, which includes work permissions.
In the case of my friend studying in UK, he is unable to take up employment. For some reason, he has not been allowed to work as an overseas student.
He is currently in final year of uni. Although he is able to volunteer with organizations, and then, he also gets experience from his coursework.
Bottom line is, there are students-friendly jobs in UK for overseas students. Though you won’t be able to get just any job you desire in UK.
Why? There are certain work-restrictions for overseas students on Tier 4 study visa.
Taking up part-time employment can give provide extra income that helps you support yourself in UK.
And then, part-time work in UK are designed such that they don’t interrupt your studies.
Besides that, UK has flexible work hours and this suits students, particularly overseas students who want to work and study.
However, there are specified maximum hours overseas students can work in UK. Check your confirmation of acceptance letter.
Also, ensure you don’t let work stop you from making progress with your course. Because, you are required to finish your study in UK by the course deadline specified in your confirmation of acceptance. Everything else is secondary.
And in case your course don’t permit working part-time, you can leverage on work placement in organizations.
Most UK courses allow for placement (work experience after final year). Though you may not earn. Still, you would be able get relevant work experience which might help your application for employment in UK.
That’s what many overseas students want in the long term – work in UK after school.
Can I work in UK during course vacation?
It’s possible to work at the end of term as an overseas student in UK. That’s if you have immigration permission to work and study.
But make sure you don’t exceed the number of hours allowed to work per week. Because, there are very strict work policy for overseas students in UK.
Can I work after studying in UK?
You can work in the UK after finishing school.
Remember I mentioned placement and volunteering? That’s where it help – working in UK after school.
You might be able to work in UK when you finish your course. And you will need a work visa to work in UK.
So you would need to change your Tier 4 student visa to work visa on completing your course.
The UK tier 4 student visa policy explains the permissions and work permissions for overseas students.
Do I need IELTS to study in UK?
International students are required to show English proficiency before studying in the UK. That’s because English is the language of learning at UK schools.
How do I prove English proficiency to study in UK?
You take prescribed English tests. The IELTS, PTE, and Cambridge C1 and C2 are very popular among UK schools for testing English proficiency.
Having acceptable scores in any of those tests helps you meet the English language requirements to study in UK. Find out more about proving English proficiency.
Can I have dependant while studying in UK?
If you are married, you can have your spouse or child join you in UK.
Can my dependant work while I study?
Your dependant is allowed to work while you study in the UK, especially if you are taking a full time undergraduate or postgraduate course.
This is perhaps one of the most amazing things about studying in the UK.
Can I study in UK after Brexit?
International students, including EU students can still study in the UK after it leaves the European Union (described as Brexit) which takes effect from January 1 2020.
Studying in UK is a lot expensive. And, most foreign students are unable to afford UK tuition fees without a scholarship.
You would be able to get a full scholarship to study in UK, if you read this eBook I wrote. It’s a win-win.
If you are interested in studying in UK, you will need to submit a course application. This is the challenge of international students who want to study in UK.
They don’t know how to go about applying to a UK university.
Let me show you how to apply to study in UK.
How do I apply to a UK university?
As an international student, follow these steps to apply to a UK university.
You will find ‘how to apply’ in the answers that follow.
1. Decide on the course you want to study
You would need to approach your course provider (university) to confirm that they offer your desired course of study. Normally they would.
But if they don’t, you could decide on a related course or look up another university.
UK universities have variety of interesting courses, and you can major too.
2. Ensure you meet the course requirement
Look up the academic requirements of your preferred course on the website of the course provider (the university).
UK courses have slightly different academic requirements. Be sure you meet the requirement for your course.
3. Prepare relevant documents
Ensure you have the required documents to study in UK. You would need these documents to complete your course application.
4. Apply through UCAS. UK universities and colleges don’t accept direct applications from students for full time degree courses.
So you apply to a university through the UK Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).
However you can apply directly to the university depending on how you chose to study.
Do I need to pay application fee to apply to UK a university?
You would need to pay an application to apply to a UK university.
UCAS application fee is £20. And you can apply for more than one course in your application, which costs £26.
Applying for more than one course means you could be considered on your course That is, if for any reason you don’t meet the entry requirement of your preferred course.
You won’t be able to submit your course application on UCAS website without paying application fee.
How do I pay my UCAS application fee?
You can pay UCAS application fee through MasterCard, Delta, Visa Debit Card or other recognized debit cards for international transactions.
Application fee is paid through UCAS website.
Do I need personal statement to apply to UK a university?
You would write a personal statement as part of your application to study in the UK. See my guide on writing a personal statement.
Do I need to have English test score before applying to a university?
Applications to UK universities can be started without having an English test certificate.
However, I highly advise you prove your English proficiency before starting your course application.
Studying in UK is a great opportunity to live your passion, no matter your course. Moreover, if studying abroad is your ultimate goal, studying in UK may be worth it.
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Are there questions that are peculiar to your current situation you’d be glad to get answers to?
Please let me know in the comments below. I’m happy to help.
One more thing. If you’d like to hang out with overseas students in UK, click here to join the Overseas Students in UK Facebook group.
Maxwell is a Dietitian with passion for showing people hope. With nearly a decade experience helping people make key decisions on education and career, you can find him almost everywhere on this site. From answering admission and scholarship questions to creating tutorials and helping others live their best lives though nutrition. Connect with me on Twitter.