Students who wish to study at a UK university must fulfil a number of prerequisites. In the following passages, we will discuss the UK universities’ entry requirements comprehensively. Naturally, the requirements vary based on a number of determinants, such as what you wish to study. For instance, undergraduates will have different requirements compared to postgraduate ones. Typically, universities in the UK offer international students a number of pathways to secure admission at a university of their choosing.

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Students from all over the world aspire to study in the UK. Universities in the UK have one of the most diverse student bodies, having around 500 thousand international students every year. International students can pursue either their undergraduate degree or master’s degree from an acclaimed university in the UK. The UK promises to provide international students with rich and promising experiences. Studying in the UK means earning degrees and qualifications recognised by academics and employers worldwide. You will also graduate from the programme with the knowledge and skills needed to secure a good job.

If you want to enrol in a university in the UK to further your education, it is pertinent to know if you meet the requirements to study in the UK. Today, we will cover the following topics:

  • Things you need to know about studying in the UK
  • The requirements to study in the UK

Here’s What You Need to Know about Studying in a University in the UK

  • You can select from more than 50,000 courses in around 80 subject areas.
  • The UK is home to over 390 universities and colleges.
  • You need to submit your university application through the university site, or through the university representative, or through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) portal.
  • You need to submit your university application before the deadline. Different universities and programmes have different deadlines and key dates, so make a note of them.
  • The tuition fees vary from university to university and also depend on the course. It might be possible for you to obtain financial aid with your tuition fees, or you can consider applying for a scholarship.
  • Your living expenses will differ based on where you choose to study. For instance, it is more expensive to study in larger cities, such as London, than in smaller cities.
  • Most international students are required to apply for a visa to enrol in a university in the UK. They will need to abide by certain work permit restrictions, which are 20 hours during the term time and need to meet certain English language qualifications.
  • Your respective university will inform you of the English language proficiency required for certain courses. If English isn’t your first language, you’ll need to take an approved English language test, such as IELTS or Pearson test However, if you have studied in English or your higher secondary exam has good marks, the university may exempt you from the English requirements. Some of the universities also organise internal English tests, which will give you an opportunity to test yourself in order to meet English requirements.
  • In most cases, first-year students will be provided with university accommodation, but other accommodation options are available.

UK Universities Entry Requirements

Read the following to learn the requirements of studying in the UK:

English Language Skills

International students need to sit for an English Language Proficiency Test (EPT) if they want to study in the UK. As the countries in the UK chose English as their medium of instruction (MOI) in academic institutions, the students needed to prove their English skills. Furthermore, English is the first language of the United Kingdom as well. As a result, foreign students need English for their daily communication outside the classroom as well. If you want to live in England or Scotland, then being fluent in the native language is a must. All students are required to have a decent comprehension of the English language in order to apply to the UK as part of study in UK requirements.

The most prevalent option that students undertake is the IELTS exam. The abbreviation means International English Language Testing System and must be taken in your country of origin. It can be completed online and in person as well. The IELTS has gained a reputation as the foremost examination of a candidate’s English skills. This is why the vast majority of UK universities cite it as a prerequisite. The IELTS tests the four fundamental skills: listening, reading, writing, and of course, speaking.

Moreover, students also take the Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic) exam. This is administered online at designated Pearson testing centres. Also, a lot of UK universities accept PTE scores nowadays. Furthermore, UK universities accept the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). This test is also designed for non-native English speakers who want to study in the United Kingdom. There are multiple editions of TOEFL. Such as internet-based tests and paper-based tests. In both formats, the students need to show their language skills in four dimensions (reading, writing, listening, and speaking).

Undergraduate Study

This brings us to the next step, i.e. undergraduate studies. There are several stipulations that must be met in order to gain admission into an undergraduate course of your choosing. First and foremost, students need a minimum of 13 years of education prior to their application. Basically, they must have taken any qualification that is tantamount to the A-level exams conducted in the UK, the Scottish Highers, or National Diploma.


The list of study requirements in the UK does not end there. If students want to study HND, they need one or two A levels or two Scottish Highers. Even a Higher National Certificate or BTEC National Diploma will suffice. The only other requirement is a score of 5.5 or higher in the IELTS exam. Those who want to begin their studies at the foundation level must have a couple of UK A levels, the equivalent of two Scottish Highers, or a National Diploma. Of course, a 5.5 band score or higher in IELTS is also mandatory for admission.

Next, we have the diploma level. Students need two A-level passes, three Scottish Highers, or even a National Diploma. Even completing an international foundation year will do. IELTS is also a necessity, at a minimum UK IELTS band requirement of 5.5. If you wish to move directly into your degree, then you need three A-level passes or four Scottish Highers. A Higher National Certificate, Diploma, BTEC National Diploma, or Foundation Year will also do the trick. An IELTS score of 6 and higher is also needed.

Qualification Requirements for Undergraduate Study

  1. Higher National Diploma (HND)
    • Qualifications are equivalent to two Scottish Highers, one or two UK A-levels, a BTEC National Diploma, a Higher National Certificate, or an International Foundation Year. You also need an overall IELTS score of 5.5 to 6.0.
  2. Foundation Degree
    • Qualifications are equivalent to one or two Scottish Highers, one or two UK A-levels, or a BTEC National Diploma, a Higher National Certificate, or an International Foundation year. You also need an overall IELTS score of  5 to 5.5.
  3. Diploma of Higher Education Degree
    • Qualifications are equivalent to three or four Scottish Highers, two or three UK A-levels, or a BTEC National Diploma or a Higher National Certificate or an International Foundation year. You also need an overall IELTS score of 6.0 to 6.5.
  4. Bachelor Degree
    • If a student has got results in their higher secondary, A level or successful completion of the foundation year, students can also join to three years bachelor’s degree in the UK. In this case, you need an overall IELTS of 6 to 6.5.

Postgraduate Study

The United Kingdom is worldwide recognized for its excellent education system and quality of research. Moreover, in many UK universities, students can complete their masters within just one year which also attracts foreign students to study in UK universities.

Types of Postgraduate Courses in the UK

Masters’ Degree: Students need to complete their three or four years bachelor’s degree to enrol in a UK master’s program. This degree allows students to achieve more in-depth knowledge of your undergraduate course of degree. There are two types of master’s degree available in the UK universities. Such as,

  • Masters of Coursework (Taught)
  • Masters of Thesis (Research)

Some common and popular master’s degrees in the UK are:

  • Masters of Arts/MA: This is a wide range of humanities and social science fields. Students from the humanities and social sciences can enrol in this degree. As the areas of humanities and social science are huge, students have more options to explore new fields
  • Master of Science (MSc): Some of the UK universities prefer students from a science background; some are considerable.
  • Masters of Engineering/M.Eng: It covers a wide range of engineering-specific fields. Most engineering courses prefer students with the same undergraduate degree and work experience
  • Masters of Law (LLM): The future lawyers who have already done their LLB can enrol in this course
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA): A highly specific and globally recognised course of study. Students who want to build their careers in business or corporate areas should enrol in this course. Students from any genre can enrol in this course after completing their undergraduate studies. Students might need to have work experience to get admission in this department
  • Postgraduate Diploma: Generally, Postgrad Diploma courses do not have any thesis program and it is shorter than the master’s program. The undergrad students who want to boost their skills on a particular subject enroll in this course
  • Professional Qualification: The graduate students who want to enlarge their practical and professional skills for a specific job can enroll in this job. Learners might need professional experience for enrolling in this course
  • Conversion Course: The students who want to change their subject and wish to explore a new field can enroll in this course. For example, you might study Computer Science in your bachelor period but now you want to study Masters in Business Administration (MBA). Mostly, students just need an undergraduate degree and EPT score to enroll in this course. However, some courses do not accept conversion students
  • Doctor of Philosophy: A Doctor of Philosophy or a PhD is the highest academic achievement for a student. Generally, the students who want to join the academia sector enroll in this degree. A large number of students enroll in PhD after completing their master’s program although it’s not essential every time. Moreover, the PhD applicants must have excellent academic history and English Proficiency Test (EPT) score. Furthermore, PhD applicants need to have work/ teaching experience

Qualification Requirements for Postgraduate Study

  1. Pre-Master’s Programme
    • Undergraduate degree.
    • An IELTS score of  5.5 to 6
  2. PG Cert/PG Dip
    • Undergraduate degree or a Pre-Master’s course.
    • An IELTS score of 6 to 7 (depending on the University)
  3. Master’s Degree
    • Have an upper second class or first undergraduate degree or a Pre-Master’s degree.
    • An IELTS score of 6 to 7 (depending on the University).
  4. MBA
    • First undergraduate degree.
    • Two to three years of business experience.
    • An IELTS score of 6.5 to 7.0.
  5. PhD
    • Master’s degree
    • An IELTS score of 6.5 to 7.0.

To study for a master’s degree, the main requirement is an undergraduate degree. A grade of 2:1 or better in a subject that is directly related to what you want to pursue at the postgraduate level is also obligatory.

Related Content:-

If you want to study in the UK but need expert guidance and assistance to apply to your desired educational institution, AHZ can help. We offer free student consultation and aim to make the entire admission process seamless.

To learn more about admissions in top-ranking UK universities, reach out to AHZ for help.


Document Requirements to Study in UK for International Students?

• Academic Transcripts.
• Certificate of completion of studies with minimum marks.
• UK Student Visa.
• Valid Passport & other ID proof.
• Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies.
• Letter of Recommendation.
• Statement of Purpose.
• Scores of English Proficiency tests.

Can I study in UK with 50% marks?

Getting into a top university requires a 12th grade GPA between 80% and 95%. Students at medium-tier universities should have a 12th-grade GPA of 60% to 80%. Colleges in London rarely accept students with grades between 50 and 55% in the 12th grade.

Can I study in UK without A levels?

The answer is yes, you can go to university in UK without A-Levels. However, understand that UK universities are quite competitive hence an equivalent academic qualification is a need. Thankfully, many of them are accepted to prestigious universities.

What is the maximum age limit to study in UK?

A student visa can be applied for at any age. If you are 16 or older and have been offered a place on a course in the United Kingdom, you may apply for a Tier 4 (General) student visa.