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Higher education system in the United Kingdom
With four of the top six universities in the world, the UK is one of the world's top student destinations! London, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Belfast... you're bound to find a city that suits you to study while improving your English.
British education is recognised worldwide. In practical terms, this means that international graduates who choose to study in the UK receive a higher basic salary than if they had studied in their home country (BIS Career Tracking of International Graduates, 2011).
British universities are all about improving your knowledge and skills. They help you to develop your creativity and succeed!
Organization of studies
Each university defines the program of its degrees, up to the doctorate. A wide range of subjects is proposed, with poles of excellence: life sciences in Scotland, physical and engineering sciences in Southampton, human sciences in Glasgow...
The organisation of studies in Scotland is significantly different from that in the United Kingdom, go directly to the corresponding sheet.
After the baccalaureate (undergraduate): the HNC (higher national certificate) and HND (higher national diploma) courses, as well as the foundation degrees (FdA, FdSc) lead to a professional qualification.
At the university, the undergraduate course lasts 3 or 4 years and leads to a bachelor's degree. In Scottish universities, the undergraduate degree can lead to a master's degree. Work-linked training courses often include a one-year work placement.
Universities in the United Kingdom are fee-paying. In England and Wales, tuition fees have risen sharply since 2012: up to €9,860 for 1 year undergraduate (undergraduate studies in 3 or 4 years). In Northern Ireland, fees are around €4,130. Fees in Scotland are lower with an average of €2,100 per year. If you are on the SAAS (Student Awards Agency for Scotland) programme, you will pay nothing.
After the bachelor's degree (postgraduate): at the university, after two more years, the writing of a thesis and the defence of a dissertation, students obtain a master's degree or a master of philosophy (MPhil) degree. To follow this 2nd cycle, you must have obtained a bachelor's degree.
For the postgraduate course, the costs are around €3800 per year but can be higher, up to €30,000.
After the master's degree: two or three years after the master's degree, the candidate can present a thesis for the doctor of philosophy (DPhil or PhD).
Higher education and major establishments
Universities in the United Kingdom are recognised for disciplines such as engineering, science, law, finance and business. The UK education system has a degree of flexibility that will allow you to find the perfect combination of courses and training.
Here are the most important universities in the United Kingdom:
- University of Cambridge (5th best university in the world!)
- IT services : Oxford university
- University College London
- Imperial College of Technical Sciences and Medicine
- Manchester University
- University of Edinburgh
- King's College London
- Bristol University
Admission requirements for studying in the United Kingdom
If you want to apply to a British university, you will need to start early. Find out at the beginning of one academic year about the following year, as applications are often due in December for the following academic year. Undergraduate registrations are centralised by UCAS. To register for a postgraduate degree, contact the university that interests you directly.
The selection is made on the basis of a file, then by an oral test as well as a language test (IELTS, TOEFL, CAE, ...). The score required by each establishment is indicated on its website. In general, it takes 6 to 6.5 out of 9 on the IELTS test for the undergraduate cycle and between 6 and 7 out of 9 for the postgraduate cycle.
To find out more about registering at the university, go to the Push site, which offers a guide written by students for students.
England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have over 500 language centres. You can study in the UK at a specialised, private language centre, or at a school, college or university that offers many other disciplines.
Before choosing a course, you should make sure that the center is renowned and recognized by the UK government and educational organizations.
Each language center defines its own conditions to ensure that you have the right level of English to successfully complete the course. Many courses do not include any admission requirements.
Tuition fees depend on the course and we cannot give you an average cost. Some tuition fees include for example :
- Books and course materials
- Examination and diploma fees
- Excursions and trips in the surrounding countryside
- Social events and parties
You can find out about tuition fees on the website of each language center.
To join the university, you will have to take an English test. The recognized tests are :
- Cambridge exams: 6 exams of different levels offered by the British Council. Price: 207 € for the CAE and between 100 and 250 € for the other tests.
- IELTS, International English Language Testing System: The schedule of tests in Paris is available on the britishcouncil website. Price : 195 €.
- The TOEFL iBT, Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet-Based Testing: Schedule and locations for the test are available at www.ets.org. Price: about 185 €.
Scholarships offered to study in the United Kingdom
Studying in the UK is expensive and tuition fees vary depending on the institution, type (undergraduate or postgraduate) and length of study. French students can benefit from different grants to study in the UK :
- Bourses Erasmus dans le cadre d’un programme d’échange Erasmus scholarships in the context of an exchange program
- Entente Cordiale scholarships awarded to students and researchers who, through their work or professional projects, contribute to the consolidation of ties between France and the United Kingdom
- Grants and financial assistance from the UK Government and the devolved administrations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Find here the main organizations that offer scholarships.