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Do I need a visa to study in the UK?

Yes you do need a visa. Our advisors will help you apply for an 'entry clearance' (visa) in time for your studies.

I don't know whether my qualifications will be accepted by a UK university. How can I find out?

There are two organisations that can help you find out: The British Council, which has offices all over the world, and UK NARIC, the UK National Agency Recognition Information Centre,. They may have slightly different standards, but it should give you an idea of what the universities are looking for.

Will I miss out by choosing a distance-learning course instead of actually studying in the UK?

A distance-learning course will give you the same high-quality qualification as having studied in the UK. However, there are some things you should consider. Living in the UK will improve your English (if it isn't your first language), you will meet many new friends and potential contacts for work, it will broaden your knowledge of the world, and it's fun! There may be some cases where having a distance-learning course might mean your future salary is slightly lower than if you studied a full-time course, but these are rare and the difference is minimal.

What is the difference between traditional A-levels and A-levels in applied subjects?

Traditional A-levels are purely academic. A-levels in applied subjects combine practical work-related training and academic study. They are available in a range of topics directly applicable to industry, like applied ICT, engineering and applied business, and are made up of six (three AS plus three A2) units of study. Double Award A-levels made up of 12 units are also available. They are increasingly being taught at more and more further education institutions throughout the UK.

How much are tuition fees for an undergraduate or postgraduate course in the UK?

For each academic year, you can expect to pay £8,000 to £13,000 in fees for classroom-based courses, £9,000 to £16,000 for laboratory or workshop-based courses and £11,000 to over £26,000 for clinical courses. These are estimates only and can vary with institution and location. International students will pay ‘overseas' fee rates that are higher than ‘home' fees for UK residents, which are subsidized by the UK government. You may qualify for these lower fees if you are classed as a UK resident or you come from an EU member country. Your institution will have the final say on whether you qualify.

How much will it cost to support myself during a postgraduate course?

For one academic year of nine months, the current estimate is about £9,180 for London and £9,135 for elsewhere (£1020 a month in London and £1015 a month elsewhere). This should cover the cost of accommodation, heating, lighting, food, clothing, books and daily travel. These are estimates only and can vary with institution and location.

Will I be allowed to work while I am studying?

You are only entitled to work if you study at either a higher education institution or a publicly funded further education college as defined by the UKBA.

What kind of financial help or funding is available to international students?

Scholarships are option. There will be many different types available, as your own government and the UK government, plus many other organisations, bodies and institutions, will be interested in encouraging the best from your country to study abroad. Competition for scholarships is fierce and you should make sure you apply early. For all scholarships, you must show academic merit and research potential.

When should I organise somewhere to live?

It is strongly advised that you find somewhere to live before you leave your home country. Your university will send you information on your accommodation choices, whether renting from the university itself or from recommended private landlords. If you cannot, then at least book a few days in a hotel or hostel before you leave to give yourself a base while you look around for somewhere to stay. Again, your university should be able to recommend a suitable place for you.

Will I need a visa to study in the UK?

You will. If you are a visa national. As the name implies, a visa national will need a visa for every time they enter the UK, whatever the length of stay. You will be a visa national if you:

The UK Border Agency website has a 'Do you need a visa?' section to help you find out if you need a visa to come to the UK.

Even if you are not a visa national, it is compulsory to get entry clearance to enter the UK as a student. However, non-visa nationals will not need a visa if they are intending to come for six months or less. Also, you can avoid the need to obtain entry clearance in advance of travelling if you choose to come as a Student Visitor. If you have any doubts about whether you qualify for entry, you should apply for a visa before you travel to the UK.

When should I apply?

You should apply in good time for your entry clearance so that you are not delayed in getting into the UK. It can get very busy in visa sections, especially over the summer when lots of students are applying.

Use the UKBA’s country finder to find out how to apply in your country, the location of visa application centres, how long it generally takes to process visa applications, and how your documents will be returned to you.

Can I work while I’m a student in the UK?

You are only entitled to work upto 20 hours a week if you study at either a higher education institution.

Can I visit campuses before I choose a course?

Yes. The Prospective Student visa allows you to stay in the UK to do this for up to six months. You will have to prove that you intend to follow a course of study but that you have not yet been accepted onto a recognised course of study at an approved UK institution, and that you will be able to support yourself financially during this period and not work while in the UK. Should you then be accepted on a course, you can then apply while in the UK to switch to an Adult or Child Student visa under the Points-based Scheme. You will have to follow the normal requirements for this, including getting a ‘Visa Letter’ from the institution you have chosen.

How can I find out more about British culture while I am studying?

Students sometimes find themselves cocooned in campus life and don’t really experience British culture. One way around this is to stay with a UK family in their home. HOST (Hosting for Overseas Students) can arrange for you to stay with a suitable family either for the weekend, Christmas or full time. It’s a great way to see how the British who aren’t students live. You will only have to pay for your travel there and any family you have with you will be welcome as well.