Flash Sale: UCAS 2022 clearing sale is now live. Find and book your room before they sell out!
Flash Sale: UCAS 2022 clearing sale is now live. Find and book your room before they sell out!
Student life is very vibrant in the UK, especially if you intend to study in London, the capital. Last year, the UK accepted 605,130 international students from all over the world. This year, the number is expected to rise to over a million. While living in the UK, you can experience a different culture, engage with natives and new communities, and study for a better future.
To apply to an international university in the UK, you need to be familiar with the UK's higher education system. The UK has more than 100 universities with thousands of colleges and schools to prepare students for higher education.
A university year is usually divided into two semesters, one in September and the second one in January. Most undergraduate programmes last 3 or 4 years maximum, with very few lasting 5 years. The final year of a 5-year course is usually called a “ Sandwich” year, and it is becoming highly popular with international students due to its practical nature.
To choose the correct destination, check the cost of living in multiple cities in the UK. If your budget is not high, choose one of the affordable cities in the below diagram. If you have an open budget, choose a city that fits all your criteria. You can find a list of the top cities amongst international students in our blog.
If you know what you want to major in, read about the top universities in your major and how to find yours. Check the top university ranking leagues and read about the top professors in your field and where they teach. For more tips, check out our blog.
To access more info with infographics and extra details, download our expanded guide as a PDF.
The UCAS, an abbreviation for Universities and Colleges Admissions Service, is a non-profit organisation that handles student admission procedures to a university. Its services include UCAS applications for undergraduates as well as application services for conservatoires and postgraduates. Use the UCAS Hub to search for the courses you like and read their requirements.
1. Choose A Course
2. Apply online
3. Pay Application Fees
4. Track Application
5. Decide on an offer or wait for clearing to apply.
You can check the deadlines on our deadline list.
Your UCAS application must be accepted if you intend to apply to a university in the UK. To do so, you can use an agent to help you with the process, or you can simply apply as an independent student. If you are applying as an independent student, the following are the major documents and details you need to include in your application.
Basic Information: Your basic information, like your email, date of birth, name, parents' occupation, and financial situation, is very much needed in your application, and you can’t skip them. Make sure you write your name exactly as it is on your ID or passport. There is also an optional section for personal questions. It is up to you to answer this section. However, some universities like it when candidates are open about their backgrounds.
Education History: Ensure you add all your secondary education details, exam results and qualifications. If you haven’t graduated yet or you are still waiting for exams, sometimes UCAS can help you forward your results to universities. However, since that is not always guaranteed, it is always better to attach your results to your application. Ask your reference to add your expected results to their letter if you are still a student!
Employment History: While this section is not mandatory, it does help if you include any employment history in your application to demonstrate your commitment and responsibility. Part-time jobs count as experience for this part, so don’t hesitate to add them; however, don’t add volunteer work.
Personal statement: Your personal statement is a detrimental factor when it comes to studying in the UK. Before submitting your application, make sure you write a good personal statement and have it proofread by someone else. If you feel that you need help with your personal statement, read our tips, and you shall be fine.
Reference Letter: If you have connected your application to your school via a Buzzword, chances are your teacher has already added your reference letter to your application by the time you are done with it. If that didn’t happen though, or if you are applying independently, you can always ask a teacher or a professor to write you a reference letter and attach it to your application.
Finally, pay your application fee and submit your application to UCAS. The application will then move to universities that should either send you an offer or mark your application unsuccessful.
While applying online via the UCAS system, there are several terms that you will find new to your eyes. To help you understand these terms, we have divided them into two categories: qualification terms and application terms.
If you are not sure what certificate you wish to pursue or you feel confused by the abbreviations you see on universities' websites, we have compiled a list of these abbreviations and their meanings to help you understand.
Doctor of Civil Law
Doctor of Medicine
Doctor of Letters
Doctor of Science
Doctor of Music
Doctor of Philosophy
Doctor of Clinical Psychology
Doctor of Engineering
Master of Surgery
Master of Science
Master of Letters
Master of Philosophy
Master of Studies
Master of Theology
Master of Business Administration
Master of Fine Art
Master of Public Policy
Master of Arts
Master of Biochemistry
Master of Chemistry
Master of Computer Science
Master of Computer Science and Philosophy
Master of Earth Sciences
Master of Engineering
Master of Mathematics or Mathematics and Statistics
Master of Mathematics and Computer Science
Master of Mathematics and Philosophy
Master of Physics
Master of Physics and Philosophy
Bachelor of Divinity
Bachelor of Civil Law
Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery
Bachelor of Letters
Bachelor of Science
Many of these degrees are also offered as either honours or non-honours degrees. You can understand the difference from our blog.
PS: For international students, some international exams and certifications could be required to prove certain essential skills for their specialisation. Check all Qualification Information Profiles on Ucas’s Website: https://qips.ucas.com/
Further Education College: A further education college is an institution that is not a higher education institution. It mostly offers diplomas, courses, and lessons for secondary school students or students who have left secondary school. In the USA, the term "school of continuing education" is used instead of "further education" for such establishments.
Advanced Higher: A Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework taken by students aged 16 to 18. This is usually taken after a similar qualification award called "Higher", and it lasts a year.
CertHE: A Certificate of Higher Education that typically takes one or two years to finish.
DipHE: A Diploma in Higher Education awarded after two years.
GCSE or General Certificate of Secondary Education: It’s an academic qualification for students aged 14–16 in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
Student Services Department: The Student Services Office is the office responsible for student applications, registration, examinations, and appeals.
Admissions Office: As a part of the student services department, this office is responsible for central admission systems, policies, and admission procedures.
Award Certificate: A certificate issued to students with their degree classification and date of conferral.
Date of Conferral: The date of conferral is the date of your graduation ceremony or the date your academic achievement was recognised by someone at a public ceremony.
Bank Letter: A document provided to students who wish to open a student bank account.
Since you’re a university student, you’re eligible to apply for a student visa. This is one of the most crucial steps in your application.
You should start the visa application process three months before your course starts.
Your course duration and the length of your studies will determine how long you stay. You may stay in the UK for up to five years if you are enrolled in a degree-level course. You may stay in the UK for up to two years if the course is below the level of a degree. There is an option to extend your visa if you meet the eligibility criteria. When applying for a student visa from outside the UK, it costs £348, whereas doing so from within the UK or extending an existing one costs £475. During the application procedure, there is also an additional healthcare surcharge fee that must be paid.
This is the final step of the process, securing a student accommodation. We know it could be much of a hassle, but Casita is here to your rescue. We offer a plethora of rooms across the UK, including ensuites, studios, and apartments. You can book the room that best suits your needs with Casita with three easy steps using Casita’s website filters.
This is the first stage in booking a room with Casita. Enter the city or school you plan to attend in Casita's search box. The browser will then redirect you to a new page with all the available student residences near your university or the city centre. Explore your options and use the filters to highlight preferred facilities and room types.
After you’ve displayed the list of properties in your chosen city, you’ll be able to see the distance between the university and these properties. Additionally, you can look up the lowest rent for each listed student accommodation.
This is where our dedicated multilingual accommodation experts step in. Once you've chosen the room you want, click the Enquire button. If you fill out the form's message box, our team will get your booking request and learn more about your preferences; then they’ll contact you shortly to help you secure your accommodation.