The UK education system is flexible, so you can study in a way that suits your lifestyle and career aspirations. When you study in the UK you meet people from different nationalities, sharing their backgrounds and discovering new perspectives.
The benefits of studying in the UK
Depending on what program you are looking at, the entry requirements will vary for international students. Although this page will provide you with some useful information with which to arm yourself about what is needed to gain entry into UK courses, you should inquire specifically about any course that you are considering.
What you will find in common throughout all courses and schools is that you will need to show competency in the English language.
For most schools and courses, your level of understanding and competency in English will be key to your acceptance in a major program such as a degree program. You will need to make sure you have a good level of English understanding and you can do this by taking one of the following commonly accepted tests of English ability:
Entrance to take your GCSE's will depend very much on the school with which you are attending as you will generally need to register with a school for your GCSE education years (14 to 16 years old). Apart from the school’s requirements, the main requirements by the exams boards in the UK is that you have a good level of english ability as the exams will be taken in English - see English requirements above.
Like with GCSE's it will be very dependent on the school you wish to attend as to what the requirements are to study A-levels there. For example, a 6th Form College may require that you have at least 5 GCSE pass grades of C or above, compare this to an independent school who may require 10 GCSE pass grades of B or above. So this will be very much dependent on the school.
You also need to consider that A-levels are a much higher level of work and so a very good understanding of the English language will be needed to work at this level. Some people say that A-levels are harder than most degrees programs as they prepare you for higher education.
As with GCSE's you will generally not need any formal qualifications to enter basic vocational course. Literacy skills and proficiency in the English language would be the only requirements, but again you should check with the school or institution that is running the program as they may have their own requirements.
Each course in the UK sets it own entry, so they vary considerably. Most degree programs in the UK will require that the student have passed either A-levels and attained certain grades, for example 4 B grades, or equivalent grades in a BTEC or GNVQ. So within a university different courses will have different requirements and universities as a whole may have certain requirements that all students will have to meet. For example, the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge generally require all students to attend an interview, other universities will not require this.
Also, as an international student coming to the UK you can still attend University even though you may not have taken A-levels and have not been educated in the UK system, but you will need to contact the administrator of that program to find out what credentials from your home country you will need to provide.
Many international students in the UK take a part-time job, work placement or internship alongside their studies. The hours and type of work you do will depend on the type of visa and your sponsoring university or college.
Most international students need a student visa to study in the UK. Finding out whether you need a visa to study is easy - simply check here on GOV.UK .
Your student visa will allow you to live and study in the UK throughout your course.
If you attend a pre-departure briefing in your home country, you will pick up more handy tips on your visa application.
If you are 16 or over and want to study at higher education level, you’ll need to apply for a Tier 4 (General) student visa.
You need to wait until you have an offer from a university or college before applying for your Tier 4 (General) student visa. Your university or college will then be able to give you a document called a Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS). To do this, your chosen institution needs to be approved by the UK government as a ‘licenced Tier 4 sponsor’.
Find out more about Tier 4 (General) student visas .
Short-term study visas are available to students who want to join courses that are up to six months long or English language courses up to 11 months long.
Find out more about short-term study visas .
There is a wide variety of safe and modern accommodation on offer for students in the UK and universities and colleges have dedicated accommodation teams that will help you find the right type of living environment to suit your needs.
Many universities and colleges have halls of residence that are on-site or nearby. If you prefer to rent your own accommodation, your university and college accommodation office can usually help you.
Even in shared living accommodation, students usually have a bedroom to themselves, often with an en-suite bathroom.
To help you start planning, the main options are outlined below.
Most UK universities offer places for new students in their halls of residence. Halls can vary from single rooms with shared kitchen and living areas to self-contained studios.
You can often choose from catered halls (with a dining room where you can buy cheap meals) or self-catered halls (with kitchens where you can cook your own food), depending on your preference.
Halls provide a safe and comfortable home-away-from-home that is good value for money, with services like wifi and contents insurance included in the cost of your rent.
Most halls welcome both female and male students, but there are usually single-sex halls available too.
Many students in the UK live in private, rented accommodation in the second year of their studies and onward, giving a taste of life beyond the campus.
Most private student accommodation is already furnished, but you may need to provide your own items such as kitchen utensils and bedding. You’ll also need to factor in the costs for utilities.
Rented accommodation is strictly regulated in the UK, so if you do have any issues you will always be able to get them dealt with.
Many UK cities now have private luxury developments built for students. Accommodation ranges from private self-contained studios to apartments. Fully furnished and equipped with designer fixtures and fittings, residents can expect cinema rooms, 24-hour security, on-site gyms and round-the-clock concierge services.
A homestay - where you live with a UK family in their home - can be a great opportunity to experience UK culture first-hand. Your university may be able to help you arrange this, or you can contact one of the homestay agencies registered with the British Council.
Brunel University London is a single campus based in West London. Only 15 minutes from Heathrow airport and 25 minutes from central London. All students are guaranteed campus accommodation for the duration of their course. Everything is within 10 minutes walk. A very safe area and campus. We are a very career focused university and offer 1 year paid internships on all of our undergraduate courses