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Education System in the UK

Before applying to UK universities you may have completed your secondary studies from your country but unfortunately they will not be initially accepted in UK. For this you will have to undergo a one year International foundation course to bring your qualifications up to the required mark acceptable for the course you want to take up.

Undergraduate Degrees and their Duration

All undergraduate degree courses in UK last for 3-4 years. This however does not include the Degrees in Medicine, Veterinary Sciences, Veterinary Medicine and Dentistry which are of 5 years duration.

Combined and Joint Honors Degrees

An interesting aspect of UK universities is that several of them offer two or more subjects for specialization in a Combined and Joint Honors Degree. A Combined Degree is one wherein different subjects are studied and do not necessarily bear equal importance, whereas a Joint Degree is one wherein two subjects are studied and they bear equal importance. These two subjects may be closely related or distant yet connected in some way.

Sandwich Courses

Through Sandwich Courses you would be involved in both study and work experience, that is, you would be expected to spend an year or two blocks of six months each of your course duration in a working atmosphere related to your course. Following which you would have to return to the University to complete the final year of study. This would extend the duration of the three year course to four years.

Pre-Masters Program

Many UK universities provide a one year Pre-Masters program, during which you would study a specialist subject, academic English and study skills that would prepare you for eventually taking up a Masters program.

Postgraduate Degrees

The major Postgraduate Degrees, namely, Masters in Arts, Masters in Science and LLM. last for an year whereas Research Degrees, namely, MPhil. and PhD. stretch from one to three years. Types of Postgraduate Degrees: Postgraduate Degrees in UK encompass three kinds:

  1. Specialist: As the name suggest these are advanced degrees wherein you will be able to further enhance your chosen discipline of the Bachelors Degree. To be eligible for study under this degree you are required to have completed your Bachelors in the same discipline.
  2. Conversion: A conversion degree course caters to those of you who intend to change your choice of subject or stream to pursue postgraduate studies.
  3.  Research: Again as the name suggests, a research course is the best for you 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 and rather than sitting in a classroom this course entails self-study.

Student VISA for the UK

Conditions for applying for a visa in the UK

While applying for UK student visas, one should be selected to study at a publicly funded university or college, a bonafide private institution or a fee-paying independent school. While filing the application for a student visa for UK, one should make sure that they either 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.,

An applicant filling student visa forms for UK should 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 ones intent to leave the UK at the end of ones 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 are denied the right to work full-time in a permanent job. However, once the course is over, you can apply for work permit employment, 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:

  • VFS

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.

Mandatory documents

  • 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 New Delhi

British High Commission,
New Delhi – 110021

Student Life in the UK

Multi-cultural environment,

Students can enjoy a multi-cultural environment and celebrate cultural diversity. One gets a very cosmopolitan feel, with all the comforts. Discrimination issues need to be dealt with lots of patience and understanding.


You should contact your local British Council office about any scholarships that are available to students from your country wishing to study in the UK. The scholarships administered by The British Council are allocated more than one academic year in advance of the start of the course, so you should start enquiring at least eighteen months in advance.

Cost of living

This will vary according to where in the UK you decide to study. London and other big cities will be more expensive than other areas. Many institutions have a pre-arrival guide for international students, which contains information on cost of living, travel, accommodation and so on. This is usually sent out to new international students, and is often also available on the institutions website.


Most universities and colleges provide accommodation on or near to their campus. University apartments, residential colleges and halls of residence are generally available. International students often enjoy staying at the halls of residence as they have opportunity to mix with many other students on a full-time basis. This is also one of the cheapest options for accommodation. Meals and some cleaning services are usually provided.

Work permission

Most students on courses of more than 6 months will be given a passport sticker that allows them to work part-time during the term (up to 20 hours a week) and full-time during the vacations. However, for immigration, you must be able to show that you can afford to study and live in the UK without needing to work. You must be able to show other sources of funding apart from your part-time work.

Sports, recreational and cultural activities

A number of major sports originated in the United Kingdom, including association football (soccer), rugby football (rugby), golf, cricket, tennis and boxing. Campuses offer spacious surroundings suitable for social, sporting and other outdoor activities. They are also centrally located for students to experience the sophistication of our cities and excitement of our entertainment facilities. There are plenty of opportunities for international students to have an enjoyable time with friends.

National Health Service (NHS)

If you are on a course lasting 6 months or more you can get treatment from the National Health Service (NHS) from the beginning of your stay. You will not have to pay for hospital treatment, but you may have to pay for some dental treatment and a standard charge for medicines prescribed by a doctor, depending on your income.

English Proficiency

A major advantage of studying in the UK is the opportunity to perfect your knowledge of the English language – one of the most important skills in the international business world.,