Study in the United Kingdom (UK) - Studycor

Study in the United Kingdom (UK)

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Every year more than 400,000 international students are welcomed by the UK as they come to study higher education courses. In addition to being ranked as some of the best in the world, UK universities are renowned for aiding students in developing their skills, many of which are highly desirable to employers.

Skills such as critical thinking, confidence, and creativity are fostered and nurtured in you through lively lectures, and actively engaging with your tutors. Discussions and practical projects, both as part of a group and on your own, are just some of the ways in which UK universities will challenge and develop you.

English-speaking employees are incredibly valuable to employers, and by studying in the UK you’ll be expanding your understanding of the language with the help of high-standard facilities at your university.

The UK is known for some of the world’s best research facilities in a number of industries. By studying in the UK, you’ll gain access to these and can take your education further as a result.

Regardless of whether you seek to study at a postgraduate or undergraduate level, in a further education college or boarding school, the UK offers safe, multicultural environments in order to enable you to do so.

The UK education system is divided into four core levels. These are primary education, secondary education, further education, and higher education. Legally in the UK, children must attend both primary and secondary education from the ages of 5 to 16 years old.

Requirements for Entry

There are a number of varying requirements for each level of UK education, all of which must be met if you want to gain access to that level of education.

English Language

Your level of competency with, and understanding of, the English language will be a key aspect of being accepted to major programs, such as degree programs. Proof of your level of understanding will be required by most educational bodies, which you can demonstrate through one of the following three widely accepted tests of your ability to speak English.

  • TOEFL – Test of English as a Foreign Language
  • IELTS – International English Testing System
  • UCLES – University of Cambridge Local Examination Syndicate

Entry Requirements for School

The UK school education system is broken down into Key Stages, which are as follows.

  • Key Stage 1 – Children 5 to 7 years old
  • Key Stage 2 – Children 7 to 11 years old
  • Key Stage 3 – Children 11 to 14 years old
  • Key Stage 4 – Children 14 to 16 years old

Key Stages 1 and 2 usually take place at primary school, with students moving on to Key Stages 3 and 4 at secondary school from the age of 11.

At the end of each Key Stage students are assessed on their understanding. The most important assessment occurs when students are 16 and are nearing the end of Key Stage 4 education. This is the point when students are pursuing their General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSEs) in their chosen subjects. Once students have completed their GCSEs they can choose to either finish school and enter the world of work, or continue on to further education, and higher education.

Requirements for GCSE Courses

You will need to register with your school for your GCSE education years, and the requirements generally depend on the specific school you are intending to study at. Aside from the school’s own requirements, the exams boards in the UK will require that you have a good understanding of the English language, since all tests will be taken in English. See the English requirements above.

Entry Requirements for A-Level Courses

Similarly to GCSEs, the school you wish to study at will have their own requirements for A-level entry. A 6th form college might require that you have 5 GCSEs with grades at or above a C. On the other hand, an independent school might require 10 GCSEs with grades at or above a B. As you can see, your level of education determines which schools you can study with.

A-levels prepare you for higher education programs, which is why many consider them to be even more difficult that some university courses. When considering A-level study it’s important to consider your level of understanding of the English language, since these much harder courses require a more expansive knowledge of English.

Entry Requirements for Vocational Courses

Basic vocational courses are similar to GCSEs in that you aren’t likely to need any formal qualifications in order to study them. The only requirements would be an understanding of the English language, and literacy skills, though each school may have their own requirements as well, which is why it’s always worth checking first.

Entry Requirements for University Courses

Each university course has its own requirements in the UK, and as a result they vary depending on the type of course you’d like to study. Most will require a student to have passed their A-levels at or above a certain grade, such as 4 B grades, or the equivalent in GNVQ or BTEC. Universities themselves may have their own requirements for potential students, as well as the requirements for signing up for the course. An example of this would be the fact that both Oxford and Cambridge require an interview before students are considered for entry, while many other universities don’t have this requirement.

Students coming to the UK to study from overseas don’t necessarily need to have been educated in the UK school system, or have taken A-levels. However, the administrator for the course you are interested in will need to be contacted so that you can find out their requirements of you from your home country.

When and How to Apply

Every UK university application is made through the Universities and College Administration Service (UCAS). To apply you will simply need to fill out an application form on the UCAS website.

You should try to get your application in well before the deadline date, particularly if you wish to study at a top university.

These are the five steps to UCAS applications.

1) Registration

The first thing you must do is register your details with UCAS. It’s important to double check that you enter your details correctly here.

2) Find a Course

The course you choose could be for three or more years, meaning you need to make a choice that you’ll be happy with for that period of time. When you’ve found a course that you’re happy to commit to, note down the unique UCAS code associated with it. This is required for the application form.

3) Find a University

Choosing a university is more than simply looking at the league table position and choosing the highest one. Each university has facilities, accommodation, societies, and much more that make them individual in so many ways. You should take your time picking the right university for you, in the right location too.

Once you’ve found the perfect universities, and made a shortlist of those you’d like to attend, note down their unique UCAS codes.

4) Fill out the Application Form

The application form is used to apply for five different choices of university. It’s up to you whether you apply for the same course at five different universities, or five different courses at five different universities.

It’s important to remember that you can only send one personal statement, which are generally course specific, when deciding what to apply for.

5) Send the Application and Wait for Replies

Once your application has been sent to your chosen universities, you need to wait for them to respond. Each university has many students applying for their courses, and they need time to consider every individual.

Non-EU International Students

For students from a non-EU country it’s possible to submit a UCAS application between the 1st of September and the 30th of June for the academic year preceding the academic year that studies will begin.

Most students apply well in advance of the 30th of June to make sure that spaces at their chosen universities, for their chosen courses, are still available. This also allows plenty of time to deal with travel, immigration, and accommodation arrangements.

EU International Students

Students applying to study in the UK from within an EU country need to send their UCAS application by the 15th of January in the academic year preceding the one in which studies begin. Any applications received after this date will be treated as late. Different dates apply for Oxford and Cambridge universities, and for art design and medical courses.

Remember to check your eligibility for any scholarships, grants, or loans in addition to your UCAS application.

You will need to apply through UCAS, working with their program as follows.

  • Applications open for the next year on the 1st of September
  • EU Nationals deadline for applications is the 15th of January
  • The main application deadline is the 30th of June
  • Clearing Process begins from the 30th of June and end on the 30th of September

Important notes

  • The application process for Oxford and Cambridge is slightly different, and different dates will apply as a result. Please contact the universities directly for accurate information on deadlines that apply to you
  • The most popular courses fill up extremely fast, and you should get your application in as early as possible to avoid missing out on your chosen course
  • Any students who didn’t achieve sufficient grades for their chosen course and university will need to look for another one. This process is called Clearing

You need to gather all of the required information for your application and make it through UCAS. The required information is as follows:

  • Requirements the university has for international students (which you will need to check with the university prior to applying), and your applicable test scores
  • A personal statement
  • A letter of reference
  • Payment to UCAS

Please note that all Non-EU students are required to have a UK VISA before they can study in the UK. You can use our guide in order to learn how to apply for this VISA.

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