The United Kingdom is home to many top-ranked universities and is one of the most preferred academic destinations in the world. With a world-class education system and exciting career opportunities, this beautiful continent is attracting a large number of students from across the globe. myglobaluni has already covered the why and the how- let us now look at the average cost of studying and cost of living in the United Kingdom, top universities, Intakes, Visas, Visa requirements and various other factors.
Let us look at the average cost of studying and cost of living in the United Kingdom-
The average cost of study in the UK-
- Undergraduate bachelor’s degree- GBP 10,000 to GBP 20,000 per year
- Postgraduate master’s degree– GBP 10,000 to GBP 20,000 per year
- Doctoral degree- GBP 15,000 to GBP 24,000 per year
The average cost of living in the United Kingdom-
- Fees for Visa Application– 348 GBP
- Housing– 500 GBP monthly
- Transportation– 150-200 GBP monthly
- Food– 150-200 GBP monthly
- Clothing and Leisure– 50 GBP monthly
- Telephone and Mobile- 50 GBP monthly
According to the QS World University Rankings 2022, the Top Ten Universities to study from in the United Kingdom are-
- University of Oxford
- University of Cambridge
- Imperial College London
- The University of Edinburgh
- The University of Manchester
- King’s College London
- The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
- The University of Warwick
- The University of Bristol
Best Universities in the United Kingdom for Postgraduate-
- University of Oxford
- University of Cambridge
- Imperial College London
- London School of Economics and Political Science
- University of Edinburgh
- King’s College London
- University of Warwick
- University of Manchester
- University of Bristol
- University of Glasgow
- University of Birmingham
- University of Southampton
What are the United Kingdom’s Intakes?
There are mainly two intakes in the UK, September/October Intake and January/February Intake. Some universities in the UK also provide April / May intake for a few courses.
- January Intake
January intake is the secondary intake. Not as many courses are offered in the January intake compared to the September intake, but this intake allows the students who have missed admission in the main intake. It gives students some more time to work on their applications. The application deadlines will fall between June and September and will change from course to course and University to University.
Universities with January intake in the UK
Birmingham City University
Edge Hill University
University of Chester
University of Greenwich
University of Sunderland
Anglia Ruskin University
Birkbeck University of London
City University of London
De Montfort University
Oxford Brookes University
University of Brighton
University of Lincoln
University of South Wales
- September Intake
The main intake in the UK is the September intake. It is also called autumn intake in the UK. Most Universities in the UK offer all the courses in the September intake. The application deadlines for the September intake will fall between February and May of that academic year. However, it will always vary based on course and changes from University to University. Students should check the respective university for the details.
Universities with September intake in the UK
Birmingham City University
Bucks New University
University of Central Lancashire
University of Reading
University of Hertfordshire
University of Surrey
University of Derby
University of Westminster
University of Wolverhampton
University of Leeds
London Metropolitan University
University of Bradford
- May Intake
May UK university intake is not much available. Yet you can find some courses in May intake as well. Universities such as Coventry University, Northumbria University, Southampton Solent University, University of Bedfordshire, etc. offer May intake in a few courses for international students.
What are the requirements to study in the Uk?
- Students must have a 50% or higher in Standard XII to be accepted for admittance to an undergraduate program.
- A degree equal to a British bachelor’s degree will be considered for PG programs. Students must have at least a 2nd division bachelor’s degree.
- English Language Requirements- Because the scorecard for these tests is valid for two years, students should familiarise themselves with the university calendar and apply for admission carefully.
Test and Average Score Required
- IELTS- 6.0-6.5
- TOEFL- 80 – 90
- PTE- 56 – 61
What are the required Documents?
- All official academic transcripts and grade cards
- Passport size photographs
- Passport photocopy
- UK student Visa
- Updated CV/Resume
- Portfolio (if asked or required)
- English Language Proficiency Test Scores
- GMAT/GRE scores
- Letter of Recommendations
- Statement of Purpose
- Research Proposal (for PG Research)
How to Apply to UK Universities: Step-Wise Guide?
- Step-1: Shortlist Courses and Universities
The primary step in the application process is to shortlist courses and universities according to your academic profile and preference. Students can shortlist courses and universities through AI-Course Finder and generate a list of universities where they are most likely to get through and plan their application process.
- Step-2: Know Your Deadlines
The next step is to know the exact deadlines of universities and colleges in the UK you are planning to apply to. International students have to take the application process well in advance (one year to 6 months before the actual deadline). This ensures that students can fulfil all the college requirements such as SOP, letters of recommendation, English proficiency tests, funding/scholarship options, and accommodation.
- Step-3: Take Entrance Tests
The third step in the application process for UK universities requires students to take tests like IELTS, TOEFL, PTE, or GRE/GMAT/LNAT/BMAT/MAT (in some courses). In some universities, students can be given submit scores for SAT or ACT exams.
- Step-4: Compile Your Documents
The next step is to compile all the required documents and test scores for the application process. This means students should start writing their SOPs, getting letters of recommendation from teachers and supervisors, and arranging their financial statements along with other documents like tests scorecards. With the COVID-19 pandemic, students must download their vaccine certificates and specify the administered vaccine for the application.
- Step-5: Get Started with Your Application
Once you have all the documents in place, students can start the application process either directly or through UCAS. Students applying to UK universities that accept direct applications can start by applying through the official university website. They have to select the courses, pay the application fees and start the online application process.
What are the types of student visas?
- Student visa (previously Tier 4 visa)
If you are 16 or over and want to study at a higher education level, you’ll need to apply for a student visa through the Student Route. From 5 October 2020, the Student Route has replaced the Tier 4 Route. The Student Route falls under the UK’s new points-based immigration system. You need to wait until you have an offer from a university or college before applying for a 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 licensed sponsor. You will need to complete an application and have it accepted before you arrive in the UK. You will need to pay an application fee (£348 for students) and have a current passport or another valid travel document. You will also need to pay a fee called an Immigration Health Surcharge. This gives you access to the UK’s National Health Service. Students receive a 25 per cent discount on the usual cost of this surcharge – so the rate for student visa holders is £470 per year. You can apply for a student visa up to six months before your course starts.
- Short-term Study Visa
If you are studying a short course in the UK you can apply for a short-term study visa. This visa will allow you to study in the UK for 6 months, or 11 months if you are studying an English language course. To qualify for a short-term study visa, you must prove:
- you have been accepted on a course in the UK at a recognized place of study.
- you have enough money to cover the costs of your study and to cover your living costs for the duration of your studies.
- you can pay for your return journey.
The documentation you will require to meet the above requirements is as follows:
- a current passport.
- bank statements or payslips.
- details of your travel plans and where you intend to stay.
- a letter of acceptance from the place you plan to study, on headed paper, stating the name of the course, the duration, and the cost.
- you may also be required to show medical test results depending on the country you’re from.
If you are under 18 you will also require prior arrangements for your travel and stay in the UK and have permission from a parent or guardian. You will also have to provide the contact details of a parent or guardian. The short-term study visa costs £93 for a 6-month visa and £179 for the 11-month option. On a short-term study visa, you cannot work, bring family members or extend the visa.
Documents required for student visas-
- a current and valid passport. (Should have validity for more than 6 months from the date of application of visa)
- Proof of financial stability
- Details of your travel plans and where you are about to reside.
- Health checkup report.
- Keep a blank page on your passport for the visa.
- If you have collected all the documents, recheck and make sure that everything is in English. If not, then you need a certified translator who can translate all of them into English.
What is the CAS Letter?
Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) is a very important document you need to know if you are planning to study in the UK. You must have a CAS before applying for the UK Student Visa (Tier 4 General). CAS is an electronic document issued to you by the college or university that you have chosen to study at. Your CAS will be valid for student visa application for six months from the date of issue.
Your institution will also send a unique reference number that will match up with your CAS. You must mention this reference number on the Tier 4 visa application form. The visa official processing your application will check this number and corroborating document to confirm that you have an unconditional offer from the university.
Your college will also send along the information they have used to generate your CAS. This is called a ‘CAS statement’ and it is sent to you by email. The CAS statement is not required for your Tier 4 visa application but it gives all the information about your course and sponsor and some information about the money that you need to complete your Tier 4 visa application form. In case there are any inconsistencies between the information used by the university to create the CAS and the information you provide on your application form, then your visa application could get refused.
The CAS statement tells you the following information-
- 14 digit reference number for the CAS
- Sponsor License Number (SLN) of the university where you intend to study
- Start and end dates of your course
- Title of the course
- Tuition fees for the first year or the entire course.
- Any tuition fees that you have already paid to the university
- Any accommodation fees that you have already paid
- Assessment of your English language ability i.e. IELTS or TOEFL scores
What is the Immigration Health Surcharge?
The Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) is a fee levied on the majority of UK visa applications. The IHS is on top of other Home Office immigration fees and is designed to land in a different government pocket. Also known as the NHS surcharge, it essentially adds £624 per year per person to the cost of a UK visa, or £470 a year for children, students, and Youth Mobility visas.
The Immigration Health Surcharge must be paid by most applicants and their dependents seeking permission to enter under the UK’s domestic Immigration Rules (i.e. those applying from outside the UK) unless it is for six months or less. Short-term visitors and fiancé(e) visa applicants are therefore not required to pay. The majority of applicants for limited leave to remain (i.e. those applying from inside the UK) also need to pay, even if less than six months of leave is sought.
Applicants for indefinite leave to remain do not have to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge.
The current fee is £624 per year. This is set out in the Immigration (Health Charge) (Amendment) Order 2020 and is displayed on the government website. Students and those on the Youth Mobility Scheme benefit from a lower cost of £470 per year. So does anyone who is “aged under 18 years at the date of the application (whether that person is the applicant or the dependent of the applicant)”.
In most cases, you can calculate the IHS due for a particular visa application by multiplying the number of years of leave applied for by £624. If the duration of leave is not a round number of years, it needs to be rounded up to the nearest half-year
The Immigration Health Surcharge will be paid on the date of your visa application submission. With the move to mandatory online forms for the majority of immigration applications, the process of paying the IHS has been streamlined so that it is impossible to progress your application without first paying the IHS.
After you have finalized your application form, you will be taken to a page to pay the IHS and then taken back to your application to continue on to pay the application fee. You will need a credit or debit card for this; it’s not possible to pay by cheque or bank transfer, and cash is only accepted by those applying from North Korea.
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This is a three-part series to A comprehensive guide to studying in the United Kingdom