The UK is a popular country to relocate to for study. There are over 430,000 international students from over 180 countries who are currently studying in the UK.
There are over 100 institutions called universities and an additional 45 colleges which can award degrees, of which 98% of UK institutions accept PTE Academic. A list of institutions that can award degrees can be found here.
The Application Process
A common method for most students wishing to apply to universities in the UK is to use the UCAS application service.
Through this service you can apply to study in the UK by applying to up to five courses, meaning you don’t have to complete a separate application to each university.
If you’re unsure on specific courses and what the outcomes are, you can check out Unistats to read about what previous students thought about the course, look into the likely costs and also the career potential upon completion of the degree.
Application deadlines for UK universities are usually in October and January. Although, you should check with the specific universities you are applying to in case they have any specific requirements.
Submitted applications typically take up to three weeks to be processed.
Getting Your Visa
If you are not an EU citizen you will need to get a student visa in order to study in the UK. Specifically, you will need to apply for a Tier 4 visa.
You should apply for a student visa as soon as you have your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) number which you will receive if you have accepted an unconditional offer from a university and paid any necessary deposits.
Visa applications are only accepted a maximum of three months before your course starts and cost around £322.
You can find more information on visas, on the UK immigration website.
If you find yourself asking the question ‘How do I study in the UK for free?’ then it’s also worth exploring the many scholarships available to international students.
The National Health Service (NHS) is the publicly funded health care system that covers the UK. It provides free treatment to everyone for certain matters, such as accident and emergency services.
If you have, or are getting a Tier 4 visa, you have to pay an ‘Immigrant Health Surcharge’. This surcharge will give you the same access to the NHS as UK residents.
Working While Studying
While you are studying you may be allowed to work, however it is highly regulated. The maximum hours of work permitted is printed on your visa sticker of Biometric Residence Permit (BRP).
You can find more information on international student working requirements on the UK Council for International Student Affairs website.
For further information, most universities have international student departments to assist with getting everything in order before commencing studies.