Education in the UK
Before applying to UK study programs you may have completed your secondary studies from your country but unfortunately they will not be initially accepted if you want to study in the UK. For this you will have to undergo a one year International foundation course to bring your qualifications up to the required mark for the course you want to take up to study in UK.
Undergraduate Degrees in UK study programs and their Duration
All undergraduate degree courses in UK study programs last for 3-4 years except degrees in Medicine, Veterinary Sciences, Veterinary Medicine, and Dentistry which are of 5 years duration.
Combined and Joint Honors Degrees
An interesting aspect of education in the UK is that several of them offer two or more subjects for specialization in a Combined and Joint Honors Degree. A Combined Degree program is one where different subjects are studied but do not necessarily bear equal importance. A Joint Degree program is one wherein two subjects are studied and they bear equal importance.
UK study programs in different universities provide a one year Pre-Masters program, during which you study a specialist subject, academic English, and study skills before you take up a Masters program.
The major Postgraduate Degrees in UK study programs, namely; Masters in Arts, Masters in Science, and LLM, last for a year whereas Research Degrees in UK, namely; M.Phil, and PhD stretch from one to three years.
Types of Postgraduate Degrees
Postgraduate Degrees in UK encompass three kinds:
These are advanced degrees where you will be able to further enhance your chosen discipline of the Bachelor’s Degree. To be eligible to study under this degree the education system in UK requires you to have completed your Bachelor’s in the same discipline.
A conversion degree course in the education system in UK caters to those of you who intend to change your choice of subject or stream to pursue postgraduate studies.
A research course is if you intend to take up research in a certain area. Here, you would be able to take up research under the guidance of a course mentor.
Student VISA for the UK
Conditions for applying for a Visa in the UK
One should be selected to study at a publicly funded university or college, a bonafide private institution, or a fee-paying independent school.
The school should follow a full time degree course, or a weekday full time course at a single institution involving at least 15 hours of organized, daytime study per week.
Make sure that he/she is able to pay for the course and the living expenses of family members if they come along. While applying for a for a student visa for UK one should make sure that these financial resources are provided for without working in UK or claiming public funds.
The applicant should clearly state the intent of not working in the UK unless he/she is accepted for a course lasting longer than six months. Then one may work part-time or during vacations.
Also during student visa interview make it sure to the interviewer of one’s intent to leave the UK at the end of one’s studies.
Permission to work in the UK
While applying for student visa in UK be clear that during your course of study you can take part-time or holiday work, but you must not work for more than 20 hours a week during term time. The UK student visas rules also state that while you are a student in UK you should not do business, be self-employed or provide services as a professional sportsperson or entertainer.
Also during application for a student visa in UK you cannot work full-time in a permanent job. Once the course is over, you can apply for work permit employment in the UK, which is covered under work permit (INF 13). However, if you graduate in an approved science or engineering subject you can apply to stay in the UK, to look for or to take work, for an additional year after your degree course finishes without getting a work permit. This gets covered under Permit free employment (INF 14).
Processing of visa application
Make an application for a student visa in UK two to three months before you intend to travel.
The periods from September to January is especially busy for the visa office and so make sure you apply well in advance.
While applying for student visa the fees should be paid only by a bank draft (available at the Visa Application Centers). They should be made in favor of:
- British High Commission (If Applying In Northern India)
- British Deputy High Commission – Mumbai (If Applying In Western India)
- British Deputy High Commission – Chennai (If Applying In Southern India)
- British Deputy High Commission – Kolkata (If Applying In Eastern India)
An additional handling charge per application will be levied by VFS. Also as you go for the student visa interview be ready with the documents. The Entry Clearance Officer will try to make a decision using your student visa form and the supporting documents you have provided. If this is not possible, they will conduct a student visa interview. The schedule of the student visa interview will be given to you.
- Income tax papers of the sponsor.
- Student Visa Application form.
- Photograph – size 2 inches x 2 inches.
- Offer Letter from the Institution.
- TOEFL / IELTS score, if applicable.
- Valid passport.
- Visa fee in the form of a bank draft.
- Copies of academic mark sheets and certificates.
- Work experience certificates, if applicable.
- Proof of payment of fees, if applicable.
- Proof of funds – Applicants must demonstrate that they have sufficient liquid assets to pay the tuition fees, living expenses and traveling cost without engaging in employment in UK. Even bank loans are accepted.
- Letter from the sponsor.
A Point to note while applying for student visas in UK
While applying for a student visa to UK, keep in mind that medical care is expensive in UK. However if you come from a country that has a health-care agreement with the UK , or if you are a student in UK for more than six months, you might be eligible for the National Health Service (NHS) if you get UK student visas. However short-term students in UK need to pay for their medical treatment.
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