THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO STUDYING IN THE UK
United Kingdom has been a historical leader of the world. The British Empire once stretched across half the world, encompassing colonies in Africa, South America, and Asia. Ruled by an honorary Monarch, United Kingdom has long appealed as a land of opportunities to Indians. Several thousand Indians migrated in and around London after the empire broke up, leading to a mass migration phenomenon. While this phenomenon has long since died, UK still holds considerable leverage as an amazing study abroad destination for Indian students. The high quality of life, expanding career opportunities, the chance to live in an international city like London, and credible education make the UK a top choice for study abroad aspirants.
The UK is an archipelago of islands just off the western coast of France. Though small in size and population, it holds a lot of sway in the UN and other international relations. It is made up of Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and England. Many misinformed people also club Ireland into this group. Though close by, Ireland is an altogether different nation. The capital city, London, is also the cultural, political, and economical hub of the country. Apart from this cosmopolitan city, Cardiff, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Glasgow, London, and Manchester are the other large urban centers with large populations. Till some time back, it was part of the European Union but after a referendum, it will exit the organization soon.
UK follows a very similar pattern of higher education to India which allows the students the get in easily. Unlike USA, UK follows a 3 years’ Bachelor’s program and 1 year Master’s program. Students who have undergone a 3 years’ degree in India such as Arts, Humanities or Commerce will find UK to be a suitable option for their Master’s. The education curriculum is rigorous, research laden, and recognized by many accreditation bodies. Universities such as Oxford, Cambridge, and Manchester regularly dominate the world’s top universities lists. Others like Manchester, Bristol, Leeds, Birmingham, Bath etc. too feature in the top 100. Most of these famed institutions have a long and colorful history, spanning over centuries. Some of the world’s greatest minds have walked through these hallowed hallways.
The shorter courses result in twin benefits. The coursework is much more intensive allowing you to immerse yourself completely in your studies. Secondly, a foreign education becomes much more affordable since you have to pay lesser fees and living expenses. Even with the shortened educational exposure, the quality of education allows students to compete with an American or Australian degree, with confidence and faith. Home to more than 130 universities, students can choose from a variety of courses and programs that cater to their preferences and career needs. Some of the most notable UK alum include Gandhi, Tata, Arnab Goswami, Imran Khan, Bill Clinton, and Dr. Manmohan Singh. If you wish to follow in the footsteps of these great leaders, studying in the UK can serve as the perfect Launchpad.
Another factor that makes UK a suitable option is that international students are allowed to pursue part time job opportunities. Degree students can work for up to 20 hours every week during academic sessions and 40 hours every week during holidays. Diploma students are permitted a concession of 10 hours every week. Keeping the high minimum wage in mind, students can live comfortably if they use their time and money wisely. UK also offers several scholarships the most notable of which are the Cheyenning and Rhodes ones in Oxford. Some only cover a certain portion of your tuition while some generous ones can give you a full ride along with a monthly stipend. The admission requirements are not very stringent allowing even weaker students to get world class degree.
The entry requirements for UK varies from university to university. The more prestigious ones demand better scores in both OIELTS and academics to be considered. Fortunately, the other universities which give a chance to students with weaker backgrounds are also well known globally. Generally, students should aim for more than 75% in their 12th to get into the top tier of colleges. A band score of 6.5 in IELTS with no band less than 5.5 is also required. Masters students should aim anywhere between 65-75% according to the class profile of the university they wish to go to. The IELTS requirements are the same as the Bachelor’s. The English language test can be foregone if students have scored well in their English boards. 70+ marks usually qualifies students to get this waiver.
Students who fail to meet the required English language score in boards or in IELTS can opt for a Pre-sessional English Language Program to get them abreast with the fluency needs. Students who do opt for this pathway will have to give their IELTS in a UKVI approved test center. Only 30 such centers exist in India due to their increased security and answerability.
There are two major intakes for UK universities, one in Fall or September, the other in Spring or January. The application process is streamlined through UCAS but many colleges still demand individual applications and essays. A breakdown of the net cost on studying in the UK for 1 year rounds off to around INR 1300000. If you take IELTS coaching in Jaipur, then the cost will be upgraded annually. This sum includes tuition fees, living fees, medical insurance, miscellaneous costs, and also subtracts the money you can potentially earn as a part time worker. Compared to most nations, a three year program can actually be pretty affordable in UK.
Studying abroad entails a lot of pressure and stress, financially as well as socially. But a country such as UK can allow students the peace of mind required to learn and work hard.