Education in the UK
The education system in the UK is state-financed and requires some amount of top-up fees to cover costs. Those who study in the UK are aware about the system within the universities. In the UK school system, we have the Russell Group which is a pool of 24 public research universities that consist of top-ranked and prestigious universities such as the University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, University of Bristol, University of Edinburgh, University of York and University of Glasgow.
Undergraduate Degrees in UK
An undergraduate course in UK takes three years to complete the degree, except degrees in Medicine, Veterinary Sciences, Veterinary Medicine, and Dentistry which span over five years. The UK education system has universities that offer 4-year courses known as Sandwich courses which include one-year job placement. This is offered usually in the third year of the undergraduate degree program.
Combined and Joint Honours Degrees
A fascinating aspect of UK education is that they offer specialization in two or more subjects in a dual degree which is also known as Joint Honours Degree.
This is an opportunity for you if you don’t meet the basic eligibility requirement for an MS in UK degree. You could study Pre-Masters, which is a 4-6 month program required to meet mandatory eligible score to become eligible to pursue an MS in UK degree.
Integrated Master’s Degree
Few UK universities offer fast-track programs where you can obtain a Master’s degree along with the undergraduate degree course. The salient feature of such programs is that you need to complete one year in addition to the duration of the Bachelor’s degree program. Once you complete four years, you will get a Master’s degree along with a bachelor’s.
Most of the UK universities offer the postgraduate degree for one year, sometimes two years if it is a research-based or a doctorate degree (which can be of three years).
Types of Postgraduate Degrees
Postgraduate Degrees in UK encompass three kinds:
You can choose a discipline of the Bachelor’s Degree/master’s degree. To fulfil the requirement to study the degree, the British system enables you to finish your Bachelor’s within the similar discipline.
A conversion degree course is best for students who wish to choose a subject which is not related to their previous background. For Instance, a Bachelor of Engineering graduate could be interested in studying Master of Financial Economics.
A research course is a thesis-based study in a selected area where you want to pursue your research under the guidance of a course mentor or supervisor.
How to apply for universities in the UK
All applications for high-end universities are applied through UCAS and the deadlines are below:
- 1st September of every year – Next year’s application are open for Sept intake.
- 30th June of every year –Application deadline to complete the online application process.
- 30th June – 30th Sept – Deadline for completing the entire process of documentation.
List of documents required for UCAS application
- Standardised Test scores as per University requirements
- A Statement of Purpose
- Reference letters
- UCAS Application fees
Student VISA for the UK
Conditions for applying for UK Visa:
The schools need to follow a set full-time course of at least 15 hours weekly.
During the visa interview, you need to leave a strong impression on the visa officer about having strong career plans post completion of the studies and also intention to return to the home country post course completion.
Permission to work in the UK:
In Tier 4 student visa, in case you are going for an MS in UK, you are allowed to work up to 20 hours per week and during term breaks, public holidays, Christmas and Easter are given a full-time work window. For students aged 16 or 17, the maximum part time work limit is 10 hours per week.
Processing of visa application:
You need to take an appointment for the visa in UK and it is best to set a date at least two to three months prior to your intended date of travel or course start date.
The period between August to January is especially busy for all UK visa offices (for the major intake) and it is highly recommended that you apply well in advance. While applying for the student visa, the fees should be paid only by a bank draft/credit card at one of the Visa Application Centres.
There is an additional handling charge per application which will be levied by VFS. Before going ahead with the Visa appointment, you need to complete a few online forms and make sure you complete the visa file and keep them ready with the original documents.
- Details of your passport
- Application forms
- A recent photograph
- An unconditional offer of a place of residence and evidence of a ‘Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies’(CAS) form from your course provider (worth 30 points)
- Medical Insurance copy
- Proof of English language test score
- Proof of financial capacity for your stay in the UK.
Bank statements with a cover letter from your financial sponsors, showing the evidence of covering tuition fees and living cost; You need to present for £1,015 (~US$1,300) monthly expense for 9 months if studying outside of London and £1,265 (~US$1,600) monthly if studying in London for 9 months.
- Income tax papers of the sponsors.
- Original documents and copies of academic mark sheets and certificates along with work experience certificates, if applicable.
- Proof of payment of fees, if applicable.
- Affidavit of the sponsor.
Arriving in the UK before your course starts:
You are allowed to enter the UK one week before the course start date if your course lasts 6 months or less. In case the course is more than 6 months, then you can enter in the country one month before the course start date.
When to apply for the visa?
You can apply for the Student Visa three months before the start date of the program. Your visa decision is given usually within three weeks.
UK Embassy Details:
British High Commission,
New Delhi – 110 021
British Deputy High Commission
Maker Chambers IV
222 Jamnalal Bajaj Road
Mumbai – 400021
British Deputy High Commission
20 Anderson Road
Chennai – 600006
British Deputy High Commission
1A Ho Chi Minh Sarani
Kolkata – 700071