Introduction to the British education system
The education system in the UK is different to that in many other countries. At the age of 16, British children take General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) examinations. Students then transfer to studying A-Levels which last for two years and qualify them for entry to university. Students tend to specialize in these courses and often study for three or four A-Levels. This means that degrees do not last as long in the UK as other countries.
Applying for undergraduate study
If you left school with qualifications other than A-Levels or the International Baccalaureate, you may need to take a Foundation course. A Foundation year gives you important focused skills that UK students receive during their A-Levels and often includes English Language tuition.
An undergraduate degree normally takes three years to complete but can take longer if they include an industrial placement, an additional subject or a year abroad. They are also specialized from Year One.
Types of undergraduate degree include:
- B. Sc (Bachelor of Science) – a science degree
- BA (Bachelor of Arts) – an arts degree
- B. Eng (Bachelor of Engineering) – an engineering degree
- Undergraduate Masters degree (e.g. M. Eng) – an enhanced four year undergraduate degree including extra subjects studied at a deeper level
Applying for postgraduate study
You will usually require at least a 2:1 (approximately 3.0 GPA) but entry requirements will depend on the course you apply for and where you previously studied. Most British masters courses are one year (12 months) in duration
Students who receive good grades in their undergraduate degrees may choose to take a Masters degree, which takes a minimum of one year to complete.
Types of Masters degree include:
- M. Sc (Master of Science)
- MA (Master of Arts)
- M. Ed (Master of Education)
- LLM (Master of Law)
- MBA (Master of Business Administration)
Applying for postgraduate study
All the information needed to complete and submit your postgraduate application can be found in the postgraduate section .
There is no official closing date for applications for most taught or research programmes but you are advised to apply as early as possible.
For programmes which have application closing dates, the closing date will be outlined in the course details. If you would like to apply for funding, you need to know the closing dates for applications of the various funding bodies. You will often need to hold a provisional offer of a place at the University before you apply for a scholarship, studentship or award and you should apply for these as soon as possible.
General entry requirements for postgraduate study
English language requirements
English Language requirements vary by course and department but are usually the equivalent of IELTS 6.0 – 7.5.
Some departments ask that the appropriate score has been met before you apply for a course whilst other departments give conditional offers subject to applicants achieving our general entry requirement level of English Language proficiency before starting the course.
Other entry requirements
Some courses have additional entry requirements such as previous work experience, submission of written work with the application or previous study of a particular subject.
Departments sometimes have different entry requirements so it is important to check the individual course information before you apply:
If you do not have the appropriate subject background for direct entry to first year, or you have not studied the appropriate subjects to the required depth, (which may be the case if you have followed a 12-year education system), you might be eligible to undertake a foundation year course to bring you up to the right level for first year entry.
This is a bridging course designed to provide you with the appropriate academic background for study at Bachelor degree level and includes additional English language teaching if you need to improve your proficiency. If English is not your first language, you will be required to provide evidence of English language ability for entry onto the above foundation year courses.
An English language qualification equivalent to IELTS 6.0 or 5.5 is required .
If you do not have an English qualification equivalent to GCSE English grade C or IELTS 5.5, then you may still be eligible.