Why United Kingdom?

  • Second study destination for international students after the US
  • Major financial hub of Europe
  • Multicultural society offering opportunity for great exposure
  • Old, rich, and tumultuous history for students with this kind of interest
  • Scottish system of education quite distinct from the education systems in the rest of U.K.
  • Home to some of the world’s renowned Universities

Location and Geography

With a total area of 244,820 sq kms, The United Kingdom is a sovereign state situated at the west of continental Europe. It comprises of four countries: England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland is the only part of the U.K. with a land border (with the Republic of Ireland); the rest of the state is surrounded by bodies of water (the Atlantic Ocean, the North Sea, the English Channel, and the Irish Sea. The English Channel separates the U.K.’s southern coastline from France.

The United Kingdom is well known for its level plains and rolling green countryside in the south and the east. The north and the west has the landscapes which include rugged hills and low mountains. The capital city is London.


The U.K. has a temperate climate, and one that is remarkably varied due to all the water surrounding the area. It has an unpredictable climate and conditions can change greatly from one day to the next. Scotland in the north tends to be cooler than England, while Wales is generally wetter with more cloud cover. Temperatures generally range from around 0º Celcius in winter to 32º Celcius in summer.

Education System

The education system in the U.K. (except for Scotland) comprises four main sectors: primary,secondary, further education, and higher education.
Full-time education is compulsory for all children aged between 5 and 16. Students ordinarily attend primary until they are 11 years old and secondary until they are 16. They may then continue their secondary studies for a further two years (sixth form), leading to an A-level qualification.
Higher education typically begins with a three-year bachelor’s degree. Post-graduate degrees include master’s degrees (usually one year and/or research) and PhDs (at least three years).

Specific Information for International Students

The U.K. ranks second to the U.S. in international students’ preferences for study destinations. Since the 1999 launch of the Prime Minister’s Initiative (PMI), the U.K. has focused on providing more international student places in further and higher education. The U.K. has numerous further and higher education institutions for the international student to consider, and English-language courses are readily available throughout the four countries.

UK Visa Application

Visa applications for the four countries composing the United Kingdom go to the U.K. Border Agency. Students from the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland do not need a visa to study in the U.K. However, they need to meet the entry requirements of the course they wish to undertake within further and/or higher education, including specific English-language level requirements required(e.g.,IELTS).

International students from outside the EEA must apply for a Tier 4 (Points Based System) Visa. They can apply for a student visa through the Visa Application Centers in other countries (See www.visas.gov.uk).

Tier 4 (Child) Student: Students can apply for this visa if they are between four and 17. If they arebetween 4 and 15, they must be coming to the U.K. to study at an independent fee-paying school.

Tier 4 (General) Student: For students coming to the U.K. for their post-16 education. Student Visitor: Students must be 18 or older, want to study in the U.K. for up to six months, and not want to work while studying. Students with this visa cannot switch to a Tier 4 (General) student visa in the U.K.; they would have to apply for it from their home country.

The visa application can be submitted at the visa application centers spread across different locations in India.

Employment & Stay back Options

Full time students enrolled at Universities or Higher Education institutions are entitled to work part time during term time which is limited to a maximum of 20 hours per week and full time during holidays. Students from Universities and Higher education institutions can switch to Tier 2 visa in case they meet the eligibility criterion for the same.

Related Links for more information:

www.ukvisas.gov.uk U.K. Border Agency: general information on all types of visas
www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk Detailed information on student visa requirements
www.directgov.uk Public services in the U.K.: info on education and student finances for EU citizens
www.scit.wlv.ac.uk/ukinfo Interactive map locations of universities throughout U.K.
www.educationuk.org British Council website with links to the different countries in the U.K.
www.britishcouncil.org British Council
www.culture.gov.uk Department of Culture, Media, and Sport
www.ukcisa.org U.K. Council for International Students Affairs – info on fees, funding, and support
www.iefa.org International Education Financial Aid website
www.uk.internationalstudent.com Comprehensive information for prospective international students
www.nus.org.uk National Union of Students: advice on living in the U.K.
www.ielts.org International English Language Testing System: English language proficiency testing


www.scotland.gov.uk Higher education website
www.universities-scotland.ac.uk Universities Scotland
www.sfeu.ac.uk Scotland Further Education Unit – information on Scotland’s colleges
www.scotland.org.uk Scottish business and economy
www.scottishlaw.org.uk Collection of websites with information on Scottish law
www.visitscotland.com Official website of Scottish Tourism Board