British universities are acclaimed worldwide for their academic excellence, offering students a chance to fulfil their vast potential following the conclusion of their studies. According to UKCISA, the total number of international students studying in the UK in 2016-17 was 442,375, with 42% of students studying at postgraduate level coming from outside the EU. These numbers are only growing, with the UK expected to lead the way for years to come. However, applying to studying abroad can be daunting. Here, The Guardian Abroad provides a concise and straightforward guide to the international student application process to alleviate these worries:
- First and foremost, choose the course that is right for you – primarily considering your academic strengths and desired career path.
- Next, read as much as you can about all the colleges and universities which offer your choice of course, learning everything there is to know: entry level requirements, university league position, course satisfaction levels, right through to the geography of the location in the UK. If you have any questions not answered online, you can always contact the universities directly – they will be happy and answer any potential queries. Be sure to keep an eye out for education fares in your country, the British Council visit more than 40 countries with such exhibitions.
- For undergraduate course, the only way to apply is through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). It is a simple enough process of registering to the website and applying. For postgraduate courses, you will need to have your personal details, a referee to provide a reference to your character, and a personal statement. Unlike undergraduate courses, these often do not have a deadline, so you can apply at will, although applying early is always the best option. Some courses can be applied for through UKPASS (UK Postgraduate Application and Statistical Service), whilst many prefer to handle postgraduate applications directly, so be sure to check the individual college or university’s website for further details.
- Once your applications have been processed, your university or college will contact you to let you know whether you have been offered a place to study. An unconditional offer means you can accept a place straight away, whilst a conditional offer is subject to you meeting specified requirements. Sometimes, an interview may be required, but for international students this is often virtual given the expense of travel.
- Arrange funding. Fees for UK courses vary, and will depend on a number of factors, including the country you are from, where it is in the UK you are studying and your study level. There are hundreds of scholarships, bursaries and grants available for students who need extra financial support during their studies. It is well worth your time researching for there are numerous potential country-specific, global and awards-based scholarships and fellowships available, whilst you could be eligible for funding from the UK government and many institutions offer their own financial assistance programmes.
- Apply for a visa. Please see our studying abroad checklist on preparing for your stay for more information.
Here at The Guardian Abroad UK Ltd., we offer professional and experienced assistance on pre- and post- arrival support. We are here to help you, tailoring our services to meet your specific requirements. Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information.