Having a very long and proud association with excellence in academics, the universities in the United Kingdom have been much sought-after by scholars globally. Not only the universities but the culture, cities, employment opportunities and diversity of the country all come together to make it a preferred place for global students to study for their master’s degrees. Moreover, in September 2019, UK’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson reintroduced the two-year work visa for international students studying at British universities. This move comes after a 7-year hiatus on post-study work visas which started during Theresa May’s term as the UK Home Secretary and majorly affected the UK’s higher education industry which suffered a slump since the year 2013. PM Boris Johnson also said that the move would help the best and brightest students unlock their true potential and begin their professional careers in the UK. This makes the UK an even more attractive place to study in the current times as not only do students get the best education, infrastructure, and international exposure, they also have access to the best career opportunities. Let us now get to know the basics of studying an MS in the UK.
Most of UK’s educational institutions are public universities, which are well-funded by the central government. As a result, they have good infrastructure, facilities and research works going on throughout the year. These universities offer a variety of courses and also enjoy a great deal of autonomy. Private universities in the UK, on the other hand, are less in number, offer accredited degrees and are catered more towards courses like Management, Law, and Business.
The UK also houses some of the best universities worldwide according to both the QS World University Rankings and Times Higher Education World University Rankings. Some of the most notable universities in the United Kingdom include the University of Oxford, the University of Cambridge, the University College London, the London School of Economics, the University of Edinburgh and the Kings College London, to name a few. The institutions offer an array of MS degrees which range from purely academic to vocational degrees.
These degrees are designed to help students specialise in a particular topic within a subject. They include courses such as Master of Arts, Master of Science, Master of Philosophy, Master of Letters and Master of Research. These degrees can be further divided into ‘research masters’, where students are required to do their independent research alongside a flexible course, and ‘taught programs’ which comprise a more structured course.
As the name suggests, these degrees prepare you for a particular role in a particular professional sector and may also involve work placements after the completion of the course. Thus, students are taught how a particular job is done and familiarised with the kind of assignments they would be given through projects and industrial pieces of training. There is also more exposure to real-world applications of the lessons taught and the emphasis is laid on making students industry-ready. The most common professional master’s degrees in the UK include Engineering Masters, Master of Social Work, Master of Fine Arts and Psychology Masters, all of which have great demand among firms in the UK. With the reintroduction of the two-year work visa, UK’s employers, too, are happy as they would have access to more well-qualified and skilled candidates.
Indian students applying to the UK would require a Tier 4 Visa to be accepted into the master’s program of their choice. Other than that, they would need the required English language proficiency required for masters, for which they need to clear either the IELTS or the TOEFL exam score. Other than that, students need to have enough financial aid to sustain their tuition and living expenses in the UK. Additionally, students have to pay an extra £150 with their Tier 4 visa as their annual NHS (Health Insurance) surcharge.
Students with a Tier 4 visa are also allowed to work in the UK for up to 20 hours are a week during their term and unlimited hours during holidays, which gives many students a chance to have a source of income on their side for their expenses. Hence, the UK is one of the best places in the world where you can study, grow, learn and earn.
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