Postgraduate Study

Post-grad study as an international student

Are you planning to come to the UK for your post-grad study? Here, we take a look at everything you need to know, from funding to visa requirements.

Are you an international student hoping to pursue a post-grad qualification in the UK? It’s an exciting prospect, but as you’ve probably already discovered, there’s an awful lot that you need to get your head around! From the qualifications you’ll need to how you’ll pay for your course, there are so many things that you need to research and get ticked off your list.

To help you with the planning process as much as possible, we’ve put together this useful guide, covering everything you need to know about studying at post-grad level in the UK.

The UK education system

ukuniversitiesThere are 165 higher education institutes in the UK, offering over 55,000 post-grad courses, including Masters degrees and PhDs. Most of these are in the form of traditional universities and colleges, and they literally span the entire length and breath of the country. In other words, you really won’t be short of options!

Some institutions specialise in specific subjects, where as others might just have an outstanding reputation in a particular field.

It’s worth checking out university league tables to find out which ones are best for your particular subject.

What grades will you need?

degree qualificationTo be eligible to study a post-grad course the UK, you’ll usually need a Bachelors (undergraduate) degree or an equivalent qualification from another country.

In certain cases, relevant work experience might mean that you don’t need the full qualification. For specific details around entry requirements, contact the university that you’d like to apply for.

You’ll also need to be proficient in the English language. Some universities will require you to undertake an assessment in this, so again, make sure that you know what’s required at your university of choice.

If you are still struggling then UK NARIC is a great resource for helping you to translate qualifications from other countries into their UK counterparts.

Fees and funding

bagofmoneyAs an international student, you could fund your course through personal savings, support from your family, or loans. Your home government might also run initiatives to help you cover the costs.

You’ll need to contact your chosen university as well as search for funding in your own country to see if you can get any help.

Always remember that tuition fees are only one aspect of the money that you’ll need to study in the UK. General living expenses could be very different to your home country, so make sure that you carefully research the cost of rent and other costs such as food, transport and utilities.

Visa requirements

EU Students

passportIf you’re an EU citizen, you are allowed to reside in any EU country while you’re studying, providing that you:

  • are studying for a period of more than three months;
  • are enrolled at an approved university or educational institution;
  • have sufficient income to live with the need for any support;
  • have comprehensive health insurance.

Non-EU Students

In the UK, student visas are part of the tier 4 visa category, so you will need to show the following if you are from outside of the EU:

  • proof of funding;
  • a Confirmation of Acceptance to Study (CAS) reference from a tier 4 highly trusted university or institutional sponsor;
  • English language proficiency to level B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

International students coming from outside of Europe will have to meet these requirements when applying to institutions. For a list of institutions that sponsor migrants under tier 4 of the visa category, refer to UK Border Agency – Register of Sponsors (Tier 4) .

Also be aware…

If you’re an international student coming to study in the UK, the Home Office also advises you to:

  • familiarise yourself with the conditions of your visa, including the number of hours you are allowed to work outside of your studies;
  • declare any sums of cash of €10,000 or more (or the equivalent in any other currency) if you are travelling from a country outside the EU.

Are you in the process of planning post-grad study in the UK? Has this helped you to move forward with your organising?