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Study in Leicester, United Kingdom

Population: 329,600

City Overview

Leicester is a city in the East Midlands of England, and is the largest city in the region. It offers a multicultural environment that will allow students from overseas to feel immediately at home – over 70 languages are spoken by the city’s residents.

Life as a student in Leicester is likely to be busy and exciting, with events to get involved in all the time – from parades and festivals to an endlessly vibrant nightlife. With two universities and a thriving student population of almost 40,000, it is an extremely popular destination for those choosing to study graduate programs in the UK.

Education profile

Leicester’s two universities are Leicester University, a world-ranking research institution that regularly places highly in global higher education league tables, and De Montfort University, which has also gained a good reputation for the quality of its research.

Leicester University is especially renowned for its research into space studies, whilst De Montfort excels in English Literature. Both universities offer a wide variety of both taught and research-led graduate programs, in all academic areas. Masters courses usually last 12 months, whilst PhD programs are likely to take longer.

Immigration and visas

In order to study in Leicester, if you are from outside the European Economic Area (EEA), you will need to obtain a Tier 4 Study Visa. In order to do this you will need to prove that you have:
  • Recognised qualifications for the course you intend to study
  • An offer from a UK educational institution
  • Funds to support yourself whilst you are studying
To obtain a Tier 4 visa you will need to acquire 40 ‘points’.

Depending on where you are from you may be able to apply online, or using the application form VAF9. You may also need to submit the following documents, as well as undergoing fingerprinting and a facial recognition scan at a visa application centre:
  • Application form with confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS reference number) – awarding you 30 points
  • The original transcript/ certificate of qualifications relevant to your application
  • Evidence that you have enough money to support yourself t6hroughout your course and pay your tuition fees – awarding you ten points
  • Two recent passport photographs
  • Your original passport
Not all these documents may be required – whether they are will depend on your circumstances.

You can download all the required forms from the UK Border Agency website.

Life in Leicester

Leicester is one of the most multicultural cities in the UK, with an extremely diverse ethnic population, and this reflects onto the daily life of the people who live there. The city plays host to a number of cultural festivals, ranging from Leicester International Short Film Festival and Leicester Comedy Festival to Leicester Pride and a popular Caribbean Carnival. The opening of the 02 Academy means Leicester is also becoming a more popular centre for music, and has begun to attract larger name acts that previously neglected the area.

Leicester is found in the East Midlands of England, and has good rail links to both London and cities in the north and east of the country. There are regular bus services across the city, and three airports (East Midlands, Birmingham and Luton) within an hour’s drive.

Working In Leicester

If you are from outside the EEA and wish to remain in Leicester or the surrounding area to work after you finish your postgraduate course, you will need to check if you fit into one of the schemes that the UK government operates. You need 95 ‘points’ to secure a Tier 1 visa – these will be awarded based on age, qualifications, previous earnings, experience of the UK, English language skill and the money you have to support yourself.

Main industries in Leicester include electronics, clothing, printing, food processing and plastics. 

Find out more at the UK Border Agency website.


Students at Leicester and De Montfort universities often choose to live off campus in privately rented accommodation, either with friends or independently. You might choose to live in a house or a flat, where you will be responsible for paying things such as the electricity and other bills.

The University of Leicester can guarantee overseas students on graduate courses a place in halls of residence whilst they are studying. Fees vary from £74.10 to £213.50 per week.

Weather and Climate

Leicester has a maritime climate, which means it has mild winters and cool summers, with frequent rain. The spring and summer months are between March and August and autumn and winter run from September to February.

What to do next

Are you interested in studying a graduate program in Leicester? If so, you should sign up for our Free Application Service. We'll provide you with tailored information, courses to suit you and the option to apply online for the graduate program you want.