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Study a graduate program in the UK

Graduate programs in the UK

The UK has some of the oldest and most established universities in the world, and consistently ranks in the top ten countries for graduate study in global league tables.

It is at the forefront of modern technology, business, medicine and the arts, and is an innovative and exciting place to study your postgraduate degree.

Postgraduate courses in the UK combine both tradition and modernity, with a strong focus on helping students into work through work placements and vocational training.

Population: 62,640,000

Education overview

The UK education system is home to more than 160 higher education institutions, offering more than 55,000 postgraduate courses.

Graduate programs in the UK fall into three main categories:

  • Taught Masters (MAs/MScs/MEng)
  • Research Masters (MRes/ MA by Research)
  • Doctorates and PhDs

Taught Masters are postgraduate courses that follow a similar pattern to undergraduate study, with lectures, seminars and tutorials. You will be expected to research topics yourself and take and independent approach to studying.

Research Masters are often seen as pre-cursor to a PhD. You will research a particular topic independently and focus on improving your research skills to produce a dissertation or final projects.

Masters programs in the UK generally last between 1-2 years, with PhDs taking up to four years to complete.

Immigration and visas in the UK

EU citizens are permitted to take a graduate program in the UK providing they fulfil the following:

  • Are studying in the UK for more than three months
  • Are enrolled at an accredited university or institution
  • Have proof of sufficient funds to cover your graduate program in the UK for its duration

Non-EU students will need to apply for a student visa under the tier 4 visa category. They will need to demonstrate the following:

  • Proof of funding to cover a postgraduate course and living costs
  • A confirmation of acceptance to study (CAS) reference from a university with sponsor status
  • Adequate English language skills

It is normally also necessary to demonstrate that you have adequate study abroad travel insurance, which you must buy before you travel.

You can find out more about visas at the UK Border Agency.

Life in the UK

The UK has a high standard of living and is a great place to study for your postgraduate course. It is a very multi-cultural place and is used to welcoming international students on graduate programs.

Many UK universities have dedicated international societies to help new postgraduates make friends and they will organise typical British events such as trips to the countryside, theatre and pub.

UK citizens take sport seriously and football is a national obsession. Cricket, tennis and athletics are also popular, particularly after the region'ÂÂÂ’s success in hosting the 2012 Olympic Games.

Working in the UK

The UK is one of the world's largest economies and has an extremely competitive job market. Despite recent visa changes, international students with good English language skills and a good postgraduate qualification are still in demand.

Growing industries in the UK include engineering, science and education and many large multinational companies offer graduate schemes. These are particularly common in the banking, technology and engineering sectors, which are good destinations for international students.

You can search for the latest graduate jobs in the UK at TheBigChoice.com.

Accommodation

The cost of accommodation in the UK varies depending on where you choose to study your postgraduate course. There are two main types of accommodation while studying:

  • University accommodation - such as halls of residence
  • Private accommodation - House and flat rentals

Accommodation costs in the UK are more expensive in major cities such as London, Manchester and Birmingham. As a guide, a room in a shared house will cost between £200-600 a month.

Climate in the UK

The UK has a temperate climate, meaning it doesn't have extremes of temperature. It has relatively cool summers and mild winters. The winter season runs from November to March, with summer between June and August.

Transport

The UK has a well developed transport infrastructure and as a small country is very easy to travel around.

Public transport is plentiful, but costs vary depending on the city you are studying your postgraduate course in. As a guide, expect to pay the following:

  • Weekly bus pass - £10-£25
  • Taxi - £2-£3 per mile
  • Train from London to Manchester - £20-£70 depending on when booked

Currency

The currency of the UK is the pound sterling.

What to do next

If you would like more information about studying a graduate program in the UK, fill out our Free Application Service and we'll get in touch with you promptly with tailored information on studying abroad, great courses and advice on how to apply online.