With hundreds of world-class universities and a wealth of cultural and natural history, the United Kingdom is one of the best places to be in. It is a cultural hotspot with a wealth of different cuisines, languages, and communities that ensure anyone there will feel right at home.
In 2019/20, the UK was home to over 500,000 international students enrolled in universities all over the country. These universities highly encourage foreigners to apply as it helps foster a more open-minded and culturally-diverse community. If you are an international student looking to start your academic journey in the UK, read the guidelines below.
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Application Requirements for Applying for Bachelor’s in the United Kingdom
The following documents are basic requirements for all universities to apply for a bachelor’s degree in the UK. Of course, the list of requirements may be longer depending on where you’re applying to.
A-Levels (or Advanced Level qualifications) are one of the basic requirements to get a bachelor’s degree in the UK. These are subject-based, school-leaving qualifications in the United Kingdom. Students can choose up to five A-Levels that cover a wide variety of topics like economics, physics, international relations, architecture, and more. These subjects are taken for two years and serve as preparatory courses for university.
Most UK universities will be expecting A-Levels for undergraduate admission, which means international students will need more than a high school diploma to apply for a UK university. Accepted equivalents include the International Baccalaureate (IB), Advanced Placement (AP), and Cambridge International Examinations (CIE).
The personal statement will be one of the most important documents in your application for a bachelor’s degree in the UK. It lets the university know if you’re both qualified and well-suited to their standards. With thousands of domestic and international students enrolling in UK universities every year, personal statements help universities find students who are both academically gifted and well-suited for their school.
Your personal statement must either be 4000 words or less, or 47 lines or less—whichever comes first. Your statement must have the perfect mix of enthusiasm, motivation, and academic and extracurricular activities. It also must be tailored specifically for the university you’re applying for—using the same statements for all universities will significantly lower your chances of getting admitted.
A reference letter is a positive endorsement of you and your skills and qualifications. It is usually written by a teacher, guidance counselor, or principal and never by friends or family. Only one is needed for your application for a bachelor’s education in the UK, but you can let the university know if you wish to submit more than one.
Bachelor’s Degree Language Requirements for the United Kingdom
The primary language of instruction in the United Kingdom is English. Most, if not all universities in the UK will require proof of English language proficiency, and you cannot apply for a UK student visa without this proof either. Your test results must come from an approved and accredited testing center.
The most recommended test for undergraduate students is IELTS for UKVI. This standardized exam is managed by the British Council and is the only one accepted by the UK Visas and Immigration. The test is comprised of four parts—listening, reading, speaking, and writing. Depending on your applied university, you will need a score of 6.5 for each of these sections.
If you come from an English-speaking country or have obtained a degree from an English-speaking country, you do not need to submit proof. You can refer to this list here.
How to Apply for Bachelor’s Programs in the UK
The deadline for undergraduate applications in the UK is around October for medical courses and courses at Oxford and Cambridge. For all other courses in other universities, the deadline is in January.
Generally, however, the UK is very lenient towards international students and will oftentimes have a wider application period for them. You can still submit applications even past January. However, you should still aim to submit your as early as possible to account for your visa, accommodation, and scholarship applications.
1. Know What You Need
Every university in the UK will have its own set of undergraduate admission requirements. Before you start your application for a bachelor’s degree in the UK, you must make sure to visit their websites for a complete list of their requirements. Admission applications take months to process and come with an application fee, so please do not waste your time and money by submitting incomplete applications that will ultimately get rejected. Some universities will require prerequisites for certain courses as well, so please make sure you’re actually qualified to study your intended course.
Here are some of the UK’s most acclaimed schools for international students:
Compile all your requirements accordingly.
2. Register for a UCAS Account and Apply
UCAS (or Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) is an organization that operates university admission processes all around the United Kingdom. Their website offers a wide range of services that include a university search tool, information for students, information for parents and guardians, tips and tricks for admission, deadlines, and plenty more.
Their website also hosts an application portal that can be used for most, if not all, major universities in the UK. This allows prospective students to submit applications to several universities in one convenient place. To apply, simply create an account on their website, look for up to five of your preferred program/s at preferred school/s, fill in application details, and upload your compiled application documents. This application can be edited and saved as many times as you’d like before submitting it.
Some universities may ask for an interview or a qualifying exam as part of their application process.
3. Arrang Post-Application Documents
After you’ve submitted your application and received an offer from the university, there are several documents you need to take care of.
If you’ve applied without proof of English language proficiency, you’re going to receive what’s called a conditional offer. This means that you can only be admitted to the university if you submit your IELTS or TOEFL scores. These tests are in high demand and usually take weeks to process, so you’re going to want this done as soon as possible. You will need an unconditional offer and a confirmation of acceptance of studies (CAS) letter before you can move on to the next step.
The next is your student visa application. This is a crucial requirement that you need for you to obtain a bachelor’s degree in the UK. The application process is quite complicated and takes up a lot of time. Depending on where you are from, you will need to submit financial statements that show you can support yourself throughout the course; health insurance fees; a tuberculosis exam from an accredited center if you come from any of these countries; a passport with at least six months validity and one blank page; your English proficiency test results, and your CAS.
Submit your visa requirements at least one month before the start of your semester. Once you’ve arrived in the UK, you will need to claim your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) from your assigned post office. This is an identification card signifying that you are now allowed to study in the UK as an undergraduate student.
I hope that this article on Study Bachelor’s in the United Kingdom was helpful. To know more information on how you can study in the UK, visit the UK Scholarships Page.