The UK higher education system
The number of international students studying in the UK is constantly increasing. If you are planning to study in this country, then you will have a wide range of higher education institutions and courses to choose from.
All UK universities are independent organizations, existing in terms of tuition fees, research results and public funding. Like other European countries, the country has a three-tier higher education system.
For a more specialized education, graduate and postgraduate programs give you the opportunity to hone your research interests through more specific education. Masters and PhD programs are typically shorter in duration than undergraduate programs.
UK universities rank among the highest in the world for quality standards at all three levels of study, and UK university degrees are often internationally respected. Regardless of your level of education, studying in London is the right way to progress towards your future career in any field.
Features of higher education in London
UK higher education has undeniable advantages: it is highly reputable and in demand for diplomas, modern standards combined with the best traditions, diverse curricula and a greater focus on the development of students' individual abilities.
Although undergraduate studies at the University of London last only three years (Master - one year), it is highly intensive. Typically, medical, arts and engineering programs last longer than others. In any case, the emphasis is on gaining practical experience and internships.
Studying in London: pros and cons
The main advantage of studying in the British capital is the high level of education guaranteed by the University of London. The University offers a wide variety of undergraduate and postgraduate courses in areas such as economics and business, law, media, social sciences, engineering and other areas, and has partnerships with large employers, which allows you to find good internship opportunities and make useful professional contacts even in your Student days. Thanks to the post-graduation work visa, graduates of the University of London can stay in the country for two years in search of work.
London is a cosmopolitan city where students of any race, nationality and religion can feel comfortable. Of course, nowhere else in Europe will you find the kind of leisure that London's museums, theaters, art galleries, exhibitions and concert halls and major cultural events offer.
But the main drawback of higher education in London can be considered to be the high cost of education and living.
Student accommodation in London: options and prices
As a rule, all first-year students at the University of London, including foreigners, live in halls of residence. The rooms have everything you need, sometimes even your own bathroom, and you will share the kitchen with other students. The halls of residence also have common rooms, study rooms and sometimes a library. In order to get yourself a good room, you will need to take care of this a few weeks before your education starts. The cost of living in halls of residence is between £100 and £550 per week, with options and more expensive.
Many undergraduates team up and rent a large apartment or even a house together - this saves money and gives more freedom. You can search for suitable options using dedicated websites, agencies, student support services and sometimes the landlords themselves work with universities. When calculating your budget, you will need to consider a deposit equivalent to a monthly or one and a half month's rent. Utilities are usually already included in the price and remain a concern for landlords on short-term leases (e.g. six months). In the case of a long-term lease, you will have to pay for your own electricity, TV, etc., but in this case you have the opportunity to get a housing discount.
Tuition fees in London
The average cost for a foreigner to study a bachelor's degree at a London university is £25,000 per year, and £15,000 for a master's degree. The final amount depends on the specialization (the most affordable is humanities, the most expensive medicine) and the status of the university: the most expensive is the education at a ranked university.
There are almost no free options for undergraduate studies in London, but master's students have the opportunity to receive scholarships from the British government or from the university itself. The most important thing is to become a really valuable acquisition in the direction of science.
How to get into the best universities in London
The application process for studying in London may vary depending on your level of preparation and your chosen programme of study.
The main body that handles admissions for UK students is the National Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).
For most undergraduate programmes, students must submit an application on the UCAS website by 15 January in order to be admitted for the following academic year. However, some universities may accept applications until April/May.
Pre-university course or one year of study
English language certificate (IELTS or Multilaterals English test)
Letter of motivation
Letter of recommendation
For MBA program you need to attach a resume + pass the GMAT exam. For graduate students - a description of scientific work, for creative professions (architecture, design) - a portfolio.
Best Universities for International Students in London
1 Imperial College London
ICL is the strongest technical university. It consists of 4 faculties: Engineering, Medicine, Natural Sciences, and Business School. The last one was opened in 2004. Queen Elizabeth II was the chief guest of the ceremony. Here, special emphasis is placed on the practical application of engineering, medical and scientific knowledge in industry, health and trade. The College conducts active research. Its faculty and students delve into the development of global health, climate change and sustainable energy technologies. For example, ICL space and atmospheric physicists have developed a magnetometer that will be used on NASA's Solar Orbiter to study the sun. The ICL School of Medicine has the world's largest Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis research staff, with 296 donated organs.
2 University College London (UCL)
University College London opened its doors to its first students in the early 19th century. The university immediately attracted attention for its progressive views on scientific issues and social relations. The university was the first institution in England to remove restrictions on admission for non-aristocratic students. Thanks to this university, women in England also had access to higher education.
Today, University College London is part of the University of London. The college holds one of the three leading positions in the UK in terms of the number of foreign students.
The university building is located in a quiet area. Nearby is the British Library and the famous British Museum. The area is easily accessible, so it is easy to study from anywhere in London or even the suburbs.
3 King's College London
King's College has been enrolling students since 1829. The college is located at the origin of one of the major British universities: the University of London. Today, this educational institution holds the title of the second largest college in the country's capital. The education received at King's College London is basic knowledge that will certainly come in handy in the future. One of the main features of King's College London is the opportunity to study military science. You won't find anything like this at any other British university.
The location in the heart of the capital makes King's College London very attractive to active and curious students. The five university campuses are compactly located on the banks of the River Thames. Students are within walking distance of famous museums, theaters, and galleries.
4 London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
This school has been in existence since 1895. The school started its activities as a branch of the University of London. The founders of the London School of Economics and Political Science were Graham Wallace, Sidney Webb, Bernard Shaw and Beatrice Webb, who were active public figures and fighters for the active development of science.
The modern London School of Economics and Political Science consists of 19 research centers and more than 20 departments. The school is conveniently located. It is located in the Old Town and does not tire of flashing in the ratings of the best places to live in the British capital.
5 Queen Mary University of London
Queen Mary, University of London is a prestigious university in Western Europe and the third largest educational center in the UK. Buildings, hotels, libraries, student cafes and bookstores are concentrated in the heart of the city, close to the most famous cultural districts and attractions.
Queen Mary University of London provides researchers with everything they need to work efficiently, live comfortably and engage in leisure activities. Queen Mary, University of London's considered location and developed infrastructure allows you to fully immerse yourself in learning and creativity without being distracted by everyday nuances.
Queen Mary University of London enrolls thousands of students each year. More than 20,000 students are currently enrolled, including more than 7,500 foreigners. To this day, the University's leadership is guided by the centuries-old ideal of the classical English-speaking university of developing fundamental research and expanding the frontiers of knowledge, regardless of nationality or political persuasion.
6 Cities, University of London
The university has a history of more than 160 years. In order to build the future university, an English nobleman named the Marquis of Norhampton donated part of his estate, so for a while the educational institution was named after him.
Today, City University is a department of the University of London. City University of London is one of the top 100 universities in the world. The university is a member of numerous prestigious scientific and educational societies.
This university is very fond of foreign students, especially for master's degrees. The university offers an impressive number of master's programs. Students are offered excellent opportunities to realize themselves in the field of science and in their future careers, and as a result many of them become holders of prestigious awards.
7 Birkbeck, University of London
Founded in 1823 in central London, Birkbeck University of London is part of the University of London, one of the largest and oldest universities in the UK. It is known for its strong programs in social sciences and humanities, arts and culture, history and philosophy, communications and media, business and economics, and law. It is one of the leading research universities in the UK. Among the University's graduates are famous politicians, writers, musicians, actors, journalists, TV and radio presenters who work for world-renowned organizations such as the United Nations, Stephen Hawking Lowe, and Shakespeare's Globe.
The University offers education at all levels: preparatory courses for foreign applicants, bachelor's, master's, advanced courses and short courses. A distinctive feature is the availability of evening study formats - it is the only university in London that offers such opportunities.
Birkbeck University of London is highly regarded for the convenient location of its campus - most of the city's iconic attractions, libraries, museums and galleries, parks and squares, stores and entertainment centers are within walking distance.
8 Royal Holloway, University of London
The history of Royal Holloway University College, University of London dates back to its founding in 1886. It is located in Surrey, 19 miles from the center of the British capital. Geographically, Royal Holloway College covers an area of one hundred acres. It is home to more than 8,000 students.
The history of the college began with two educational institutions for women, and by the beginning of the 20th century, in 1900, they were merged into the structure of the University of London as a school institution. In 1986, the Queen announced the merger and named it Royal Holloway College and Bedford New College. The college received its current name in 1992.
9 Brunel University London
Brunel University is a symbol of British innovation in technology, engineering and science. It is where rare technological discoveries are accompanied by unprecedented commercial success. Brunel University strives to maintain the image of a university that combines the quality and rigor of its academic programs with a greater focus on the creative potential of its students. In 2011, the University completed a major renovation of its buildings and facilities: a £300 million investment in educational buildings, research centers, renovation of sports facilities, and new student accommodation, including accommodation for disabled students.
10 SOAS University of London
SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies), University of London, is a public university founded in 1916. For nearly a century, a large number of presidents, ministers, ambassadors, top judges, Nobel laureates and other leaders from developing countries have graduated from here.
SOAS is a unique university. Within its walls are the largest concentration in Europe of world-renowned scientists specializing in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Being a university student is not easy. Every day they bear witness to the issues facing 2/3 of the world's population - democratic development, human rights, legal systems, poverty, religion, social change, and more.