Undergraduate (HNC, HND, BA, BSC)

Undergraduate education is post-secondary education up to the equivalent of a bachelor`s degree. Students in UK usually enter undergraduate education from the age of eighteen after obtaining their A-levels. Full time undergraduate courses in the UK vary from one to four years depending on the type of course you choose:
• (1 year) Higher National Certificate (HNC)
• (2 years or 3 years with a year in industry /overseas) Higher National Diploma, foundation degree, Dip HE
• (3 years) Bachelor’s degree (4 years in Scotland or with an extended year in industry)

With a further one year research study (four years together)

Foundation and Pre-master courses

Foundation courses are a 1 or 2 year preparatory, career- related higher education courses for school leavers as a basis to progress on to a degree course and are intended to give a foundation in a subject that enables the holder to go on to employment in that field. They are available in many subject areas including, but not limited to; art and design, media and communications, engineering and hospitality management.
Many courses will guarantee a progression on to a master`s course at a particular university.

Full time courses vs. Part time courses

Most degree courses can studied as a full time or part time course. Full-time postgraduate courses in the UK vary from 1 year to 4 years, depending on the type of course you choose;

• (1 year courses): Postgraduate Certificate/Diploma, some full time Master’s degrees
• (2-year courses): Other Master’s degrees and part time Master’s degrees
• (3- 4-year courses): PhDs

In the UK you can also undertake part-time courses for many programs. Part time courses usually take twice as long as the full time course and it commonly undertaken by student who has some other activities apart from studying (i.e. working). Students on full time courses will find that they have work limitations, either through their visa (the student visa does allow you to work but regulates time during your course sessions), or through rigorous course work. If you need to obtain a student visa to study in the UK, you will have to undertake a full time course with at least 15 course contact hours weekly.


A-levels are a pre-university qualification and prerequisite undertaken prior to undergraduate courses. They are available in subjects from the humanities, arts, sciences and social sciences, as well as in practical subjects such as engineering, leisure and tourism. The student studies up to 4 subjects simultaneously over 2 years; taking AS-level examinations at the end of your first year and A-level qualifications at the end of your second.

An AS-level qualification is the equivalent of 50% of an A-level. At both AS- and A-level, coursework accounts for between 20% and 30% of the marks, with the remainder assessed by examination.

Postgraduate Course

There are a wide range of UK postgraduate courses; one can start with a postgraduate diploma course (PG Dip) and then transfer to a master’s degree or start with an MRes (Master of Research), which can then lead to a PhD.
Most of the postgraduate courses last 1 to 4 years when undertaken full-time, depending on the chosen course. In the UK, 3 main masters exist:
• Taught master’s (MA, MSc, LLM, Med, etc.)
These courses last in general 1 year and consist of 2 elements; modules (attending lectures and seminars and writing essays and taking examinations) and the dissertation.
• Research master’s (MRes, MPhil)
On a Research Master’s degree you usually don’t have to attend lectures but instead you devote the year on research for your dissertation. The final mark will be the quality of your thesis.
• Master of Business Administration (MBA)
A Master of Business Administration is a business taught master’s course, which gives a step up into the managerial ladder.
To begin a postgraduate course in the UK, you need to hold an undergraduate degree from the UK or overseas. Generally, you will be expected to have obtained a first or good 2:1 (or international equivalent) in a related subject. Moreover, you need to speak English to at least IELTS 6.5 level for most of the programs.
If you are an international student (and not a member of the EU), you will need to apply for a student visa. Depending on your age, length and level of the course there are different types of visas available.

English courses

The English language courses in the UK include all the language skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) and are offered against different programs. Depending on your placement test, you will be categorized in different English levels and courses, from beginners to intermediate or advanced. English language institutes offer courses that are part time in the morning, afternoon and evening, but one can also take them intensively. The period of time in which the course extends over is variable, but can range from 2 weeks to 1 year.
Some of the courses are General English courses, English for business or English for academic purposes. You can choose between one-to one tuition or being taught in small classes. Schools and institutions usually offer preparation courses for the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) or the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language). If English is not your first language, it is recommended that you consider an English language course before your degree program, regardless if you have the proper scores for admission (please see pre-sessional course information below)
The fees you will have to pay for an accredited English language course vary; it depends on the type of course you study and the school you enroll in.

Pre-sessional courses

Before you study at a further or higher education institution such as a University in the UK you may need to attend an English language course such as a pre-sessional course. The courses run predominately throughout the summer for 5-12 weeks and are full-time and intensive for non-native speaking students. The courses prepare you for the demand of a higher education by improving your language skills within an academic context.

Online degrees

Online degrees can be earned through the use of the Internet, rather than attending a college or a university which can be time-saving and flexible.. Online degrees imply a variety of English learning courses, bachelor or master degrees depending on the University that offer the distance learning courses. It is possible to study for an online degree from the UK (and the US) from the comfort of your home country, for those wanting the degree but are not able to travel and relocate.

GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education)

The GCSE is an academic qualification in a specific subject, which can be gained at independent schools. Generally the students are aged between 14-16 years and are in secondary education. This is often required from students who want to continue their studies in the UK and move on to a further degree. At an independent UK school, GCSEs are the standard school-leaver qualification before you reach 16. The exam is up to 12 subjects and some of them are compulsory, including English and mathematics. You can select others, such as single or combined sciences or foreign languages. GCSEs provide a good all-round education that you can build on at college or eventually at a university. After this you are also able to do your AS- and A-levels.
If you are an international student, you usually need a guarantor who is a UK citizen and over the age of 25.