Student Studying

The United Kingdom attracts more than 500,000 international students each year. With the UK ranking as one of the top three countries most international students choose for studies, the following statistics highlight the percentage of international students that make up all UK universities:

  • International students make up 6% of the total student population in the UK.
  • International students make up 14% of the undergraduate class in the UK.
  • International students make up 2% of the postgraduate class in the UK.

The research also discovered the top five subjects chosen by international students.

Top 5 Subjects Chosen by International Students

  1. Business and Administrative Studies
  2. Engineering and Technology
  3. Social Studies
  4. Creative Arts and Design
  5. Biological Sciences

The study also reflected on the number of students that come to study in the UK from Asian countries.

Students from the Top 5 Asian Countries that Come to the UK to Study

  1. China (106,530)
  2. India (19,750)
  3. Hong Kong (16,350)
  4. Malaysia (14,970)
  5. Singapore (7,020)

As you can see, the UK is an excellent and renowned country to pursue your education. It draws several international students to its shores annually. If you have chosen the UK as “the” or one of the countries you want to travel to for higher education, you need to know your study options. Due to recent implementation of Post-study work visa or point-based migration, the demand of the UK to study has been rising dramatically.

Your 6 Study Options

  1. Foundation or Undergraduate
  2. Pre-Masters
  3. Postgraduate
  4. PhD/Research Degree
  5. Distance Learning

You will choose the study option based on your current educational qualification. However, learning more about each one of them will better equip you to make a well-informed decision regarding the study option that’s right for you presently or will be in the future.

1. Foundation or Undergraduate

An undergraduate degree lasts for three years and features lectures, workshops, and seminars. The undergraduate degree will have a list of the required modules you need to take and a list of optional modules you can take if you desire, but aren’t mandatory. However, not all undergraduate degrees last for three years, as some last for four years.

If your qualification of higher secondary or 12 class results from your home country is not fulfilling direct entry to the bachelor degree, you may need to study a foundation degree/course before joining to the main course i.e. undergraduate degree. Some countries’ higher secondary school or 12 class certificate may not be accepted for the direct entry to a bachelor degree, hence you may be required to do a foundation course before going to a bachelor degree. International students also have the option to enrol in a joint or dual-honours degree program. This type of graduate degree program will split your time across two different courses, which means you’ll have a larger selection of modules with a wider pool of jobs available for you after graduation.

As part of your undergraduate degree, you may have to take a sandwich course. A sandwich course or a training course involves alternate periods between practical experience and formal instruction. In addition to this, you can also take short undergraduate degree programs which are called accelerated course and can be finished by 2 years to 2.5 years

These include the Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE) and Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE). The CertHE lasts for one year and you can either complete it in one year or divide it into two years. The DipHe lasts for two years.

However, if you want to obtain a postgraduate degree later, we recommend choosing a three-year degree program, as postgraduate programs require at least three years of prior education.

2. Pre-Masters

International students who want to improve their English or develop skills in research, academic writing, and presentation can enrol in Pre-Masters. Pre-Masters can range from ten weeks to twelve months to prepare you for a postgraduate program. To qualify for Pre-Masters, you should have completed your undergraduate degree from a recognised educational institution with an IELTS score of 5.5. It is also noted that the Pre Masters normally required if your last qualification is not fulfilling the entry requirements of the main Masters course of the UK University due to you do not good grade or your country’s bachelor qualification is not equivalent to the UK bachelor course. But it is obvious that the Pre-Masters course will prepare the students to do good performance in the masters course by developing study skills and adapting to the life in the new destination.


3. Postgraduate

A Postgraduate or a Masters degree is taken after completing an undergraduate program. Most postgraduate programs last for one year. By completing your Masters in one year, you will save time and money. It will also allow you to start your career immediately after graduating.

Having a Masters degree from one of the leading universities in the UK will improve your career prospects, earn you an internationally acclaimed qualification, and increase your chances of getting better career opportunities during the duration of your job. You can choose from two types of postgraduate programs— Taught Masters and Research Masters.

Taught Masters includes Master of Arts (MA), Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Science (MSc), and Master of Engineering (MEng) with each program lasting for one to two years if you do it full-time.

Research Masters involves developing a thesis under the supervision of an academic. PhD is the most popular research degree, and it can take up to three to four years to finish. You will have to write a thesis between 60,000 to 100,000 words and then present it orally.

4. PhD

A PhD is a research degree that involves doing extensive research on a subject area of your choice. The requirements to qualify for a PhD program in the UK include the completion of a graduate program with honours and a Masters degree. You also need to have a minimum IELTS score of 7.0. Please refer to “Research Masters” under “Postgraduate” for more information on PhD.

5. Distance Learning

Distance learning allows you to study online from your home country. International students don’t need to obtain a visa or reside in the UK to qualify for distance learning. Distance learning allows you to work and study at the same time without leaving your family.

The main benefits of distance learning include studying on your own time, saving time by studying in the comfort of your home, not having to move to another part of the world, and not paying a lot of money to obtain a degree.

The university you’re taking the online course provides you with everything you need to access the study material. You will also have meetings with your tutor. You just need to have an active internet connection.

Are You Interested?

If you want to study in the UK as an international student and need guidance to ensure the successful completion of your application, our experienced consultants can help you. Contact us via our website or request a call back to speak to us.






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  1. sanjana 19th October 2020 at 10:12 am - Reply

    Do I get a Ph.D. scholarship if I wanted to do a Ph.D. in the UK?

    Thank you,

    • AHZ Associates 20th October 2020 at 9:03 pm - Reply

      Hi, Thanks for contacting us. Please Submit this form. Our relevant team will contact you within short time. Stay with us :)

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