Countries » Entry Requirements

Entry Requirements United Kingdom

 

There are many different entry requirements depending on your chosen type of UK study. The great thing about studying in the UK is that even if you don’t meet the requirements for one course, you can choose another at a different level and work your way up. The UK offers a range of study options to suit international students at all levels.'

Improving your English language skills 

You will need a good understanding of English before you can study at most further and higher education institutions in the UK. Studying an English language course in the UK, such as English for academic purposes (EAP) or a pre-sessional course, will prepare you for further study. You can search for these and other English language courses in the course finder. 

Another option is to take an English test such as IELTS in your home country before you come to the UK. The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is the world’s leading English test of its kind, testing the four language skills: listening, reading, writing and speaking.  Over 1,000UK institutions recognise IELTS and the test is available in over 125 different countries. 

You can find out where your nearest IELTS test centre is at the IELTS website

You could also take the Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic), which is administered online at Pearson testing centres. The test is recognised by more than 100 institutions in the UK and accurately measures the English language listening, reading, speaking and writing abilities of non-native speakers. 

You can find out more and prepare for the test at the PTE Academic website

Entry requirements for UK undergraduate study
 
The qualifications you need depend on the course you want to study. You should have completed at least 13 years of education in your own country or in the UK, and have taken pre-university qualifications equivalent to UK A-levels, Scottish Highers or National Diplomas. 

If you haven’t got these qualifications yet don’t worry – you can still study in the UK. Try searching for a career-based or pre-university course in the course finder. 

Example qualifications required: 

  • HND - qualifications equivalent to one or two UK A-levels, two Scottish Highers or a Higher National Certificate or BTEC National Diploma; or an international foundation year. Plus IELTS 5.5-6.0
  • Foundation Degree - qualifications equivalent to one or two UK A-levels, one or two Scottish Highers or a National Diploma; or an international foundation year. Plus IELTS 5.5-6.0
  • Diploma of Higher Education - qualifications equivalent to one or two UK A-levels, two or three Scottish Highers or a National Diploma; or an international foundation year. Plus IELTS 5.5-6.0
  • Degree - qualifications equivalent to two or three UK A-levels, three or four Scottish Highers, a Higher National Certificate or Diploma, or BTEC National Diploma; or an international foundation year. Plus IELTS 6.0-6.5

Entry requirements for postgraduate or MBA study

To begin a postgraduate course in the UK, you'll need to hold an undergraduate degree from the UK or overseas. You'll be expected to have obtained a first or good 2:1 (or international equivalent) in a directly related subject and you'll need to speak English to at least IELTS 6.5 level for most courses. 

Example qualifications required: 

  • Pre-master's - undergraduate degree plus IELTS 5.0-5.5
  • PG Cert/PG Dip - undergraduate degree plus IELTS 6.5-7.0, or a pre-master's course
  • Master's degree - first or upper second class undergraduate degree plus IELTS 7.0, or a pre-master's course
  • MBA - first degree, 2-3 years’ business experience, plus IELTS 6.5-7.0
  • PhD - master's degree, plus IELTS 6.5-7.0

Entry requirements for UK independent schools

To apply to a UK independent school, you'll need to have a good standard of education from your own country. You won't be expected to have passed formal qualifications, but may be asked to sit the school's own entrance exam in subjects such as English and maths. 

Some schools may ask students to sit entrance exams in English and maths. The common entrance exam is also used by many schools for students who enter at the age of 13. 

Entry requirements for career-based and pre-university study 

The qualifications you’ll need will depend on the course you want to study. Some qualifications (such as A-levels Scottish Highers and and BTEC National Diplomas) are below university level and lead directly on to higher education. Others (such as HNDs and foundation degrees) are university-level qualifications that enable you to join a degree course in the second or third year. 

Example qualifications required: 

  • BTEC National Diploma - good general high school education equivalent to four GCSEs grades A –C, plus IELTS 4.5-5.0
  • AS/A-levels - good general high school education equivalent to five GCSEs grades A –C, plus IELTS 4.5-5.0
  • Scottish Highers/Advanced Highers – Good general high school equivalent to six Standard Grade qualifications grades 1-3, plus IELTS 4.5-5.0
  • International Foundation Year - twelve years of school education or equivalent in your own country, plus IELTS 4.5-5.0
  • HND - qualifications equivalent to one or two UK A-levels, two or three Scottish Highers or a BTEC National Diploma or an international foundation year, plus IELTS 5.5-6.0
  • Foundation Degree - qualifications equivalent to one or two UK A-levels, two or three Scottish Highers or a BTEC National Diploma or an international foundation year, plus IELTS 5.5-6.0

Useful links:

Check your University /College status here
http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/documents/employersandsponsors/pointsbasedsystem/registerofsponsorseducation
UKBA website:
http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/countries/india/?langname=UK%20English
For Visa Application:
http://www.vfs-uk-in.com/
University Rankings:
http://www.webometrics.info/

Where a Tier 4 (General) student is allowed to work, he/she must not fill a full-time 
permanent vacancy (other than on a recognised Foundation Programme) unless he/she:
• has successfully completed of course at degree level or above at a Sponsor that 
is a Recognised Body or a body in receipt of public funding as a higher education 
institution from the Department of Employment and Learning in Northern Ireland, 
the Higher Education Funding Council for England, the Higher Education Funding 
Council for Wales or the Scottish Funding Council; and
• has made a Tier 2 application supported by a Certificate of Sponsorship assigned 
by a licensed Tier 2 Sponsor before his/her Tier 4 leave has ended (and any 
appeal against that decision has been determined) and 
• will be employed in the role for which that Certificate of Sponsorship was assigned; 
and
• he/she has yet to receive a decision on his/her Tier 2 application.

 

Types of work for international students

In certain circumstances, Tier 4 students will be permitted to undertake a work placement 
as part of their course, providing it is an assessed part of the course. Whether or not a Tier 
4 Student is permitted to have a work placements as part of their course together with the 
amount of time they can spend on the work placements will depend on the level of their 
course and where the student is studying
If the student is doing a course at NQF level 6 or above, with a Recognised Body, Higher 
Education Institution or as part of a study abroad programme, any work placement(s) he/
she takes must be no more than 50% of the length of the student’s course in the UK, unless 
there is a legal (statutory) requirement for a longer period of work placement.
For example: The course is a 2 year Masters – 12 months at the institution + 12 months 
work-placement.
If the student’s course is at NQF level 5 or below with an HTS sponsor, or if he/she is 
studying a course at any level with a sponsor that is not an HEI, any work placement(s) he/
she takes must be no more than 33% of the length of the student’s course in the UK, unless 
there is a legal (statutory) requirement for a longer period of work placement.

Tax File Numbers

Your UK National Insurance number is a unique personal number allocated to you that is used to identify you to HM Revenue & Customs and the Department of Work and Pensions.
It ensures the Government correctly records any contributions you are entitled to. Your National Insurance contributions go towards the UK social security and the state pension system.
Everyone who works in any capacity in the UK will need to register for an national insurance number. 
If you intend to work in the UK, you need to apply as possible. You will need to quote your NI number to your employer's accounts department for taxation purposes and contributions will be taken each time you are paid.
If you don't have a NI number, you will be required to contribute more than normal in NI payments so it's wise to get yours as soon after arriving in the UK as possible. Further to this you will not be able to claim any of your overpaid taxes back or opt to get a NI rebate. It is therefore vital to obtain this number when you start working.
The Revenue and Customs Department (the HMRC) no longer accept 'temporary' National Insurance numbers. After applying you will receive your National Insurance Number and card in the post a while later and you should ensure your employer is aware of this number.