Applying to Study in the UK from Abroad

If you’re thinking about coming to the UK to study for your degree then you’ll be in good company. In fact, over 430,000 students come to the UK every year, from over 180 different countries.

Whether you want to study in a cosmopolitan city or you’d prefer a more rural university, there are plenty of options for international students coming to the UK.

Here’s more about UK universities and applying to study in the UK from abroad:

Why study in the UK?

Of course, the most obvious reason to study in the UK is to improve your language skills, but there are many other reasons why the UK is a great study destination:

The UK is recognised worldwide by employers as offering top class education and research facilities. UK research is continually described as “world leading” and “internationally excellent”.

According to the QS World University Rankings, four out of the top six universities in the world are based in the UK.

The UK also has a fascinating history and vibrant culture so you’ll find plenty to see and do during your time away from the classroom.

UK degree courses are often shorter than in other countries, so your tuition and living costs will be less.

UK universities offer a welcoming environment for international students, offering support, activities, and groups especially for their international student community.

Depending on your country of origin you may find plenty of other students from your country, culture, or faith studying at the same university.

What financial assistance can I get in the UK?

If you’re considering studying in the UK then you’ll be pleased to hear that there are many financial support options for international students in the form of loans, grants, bursaries, fellowships, scholarships, and financial awards.

The British Council website has plenty of information about scholarships and financial support for international students.

In some cases you may also be able to work whilst you study to boost your income. Check the UK Visas and Immigration website and The UK Council for International Student Affairs for more information on working in the UK as an international student.

How do I decide which university to go to?

There are 160 universities in the UK that can award degree level qualifications so you’ll have plenty of study options.

In comparison to education courses in other countries UK courses tend to be very specialised right from the start and students have a lot of flexibility in what they study during their time at university.

When you’re trying to decide which universities are the best remember that there are a number of independent ranking systems.

UK universities are generally ranked on categories such as student satisfaction, career prospects, costs, teaching standards, research standards, and student care.

It’s worth thoroughly researching each university that you’re interested in using a number of different sources to get a full picture of what the university is really like.

UK universities also hold open days for prospective, so if you’re able to visit the university before applying, contact them to find out their open day dates.

If you’re unable to visit the UK before you apply for university then UCAS attends higher education events around the world. Take a look at the UCAS website for dates of international events.

How do I apply to UK universities?

Applying to UK universities is simple as all applications are done through the UCAS website.

You can do this either independently – as most students do – or use an adviser to help you with your application and/or visa.

Once you’ve figured out what you want to study and the universities you’re interested in studying at then you can start the application process.

All of the applications are handled online so you don’t need to worry about filling out forms or important documents getting lost in the mail.

You’ll need to submit your completed application by 15th January (or 15th October the year before if you’re applying to Oxford or Cambridge, or to study Medicine, Dentistry, or Veterinary courses).

As well as the UCAS application you may also need to take an English language test to ensure that you meet the language requirements of your chosen university. Check with each university that you’re applying to as they may require you to take a specific English language test.