The UK is made up of Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) and Northern Ireland, and is one of the 27 member states of the European Union (EU).
- London – England
- Edinburgh – Scotland
- Cardiff – Wales
- Belfast – Northern Ireland
Land and water: 242,900Km2
The UK – approximately 60.6 million (England 50,714,000; Wales 2,977,000; Scotland 5,108,000; Northern Ireland 1,733,000).
The two official languages in Britain are English and Welsh, English being the most widely spoken. Scottish Gaelic is also spoken in some parts of Scotland.
The majority of the population is English, Scottish, Welsh and Irish. However, Britain is an extremely diverse nation with a strong culture of racial integration and unity.
Most people are Christian (71%), although all other religions including Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Islam and Sikhism are freely practised. About 23% of Britain follow no particular religion.
The UK is a constitutional monarchy that is a representative democracy, where Queen Elizabeth II is recognised as the head of state, and the elected Prime Minister – Gordon Brown – is the head of government.
The UK is a leading trading power and a financial centre. Agriculture is an important industry and highly efficient. Primary energy, like coal and oil, are major contributors to the economy, but services like banking and insurance are the greatest contributors.
Britain’s unit of currency is the Great British Pound (sterling) – GBP. The symbol for the pound sterling is £.
London 4 hrs 30 min behind IST
Britain has a fairly temperate climate and is sometimes overcast. The weather can vary greatly from day to day, but generally summer (June-August) is a warm 14-25 °C, and winter (December-February) is a cool 1-4 °C.
Seasonal variation & what to wear
Whatever the season, the British weather is liable to change from day to day, so if you are wondering what to wear, it is a good idea to bring a selection of items including some light clothes, items you can layer (that way you can add or remove layers depending on temperature), at least one warm pullover and a waterproof coat or umbrella. To get a better idea about what to pack, look at the seaonal variations you can expect in Britain:
Spring (March – May)
In spring, you can enjoy wonderful sunny weather, but it can also be cool or wet. Temperatures fluctuate from around 6 – 11 °C. May can have very warm days – up to about 18 °C.
Summer (June – August)
Most days in summer are warm to hot, but evenings can be cool. Temperatures average around 14 – 30 °C, although it can be up to around 35 °C on some days.
Autumn (September – November)
In autumn there can be very warm days, but equally there can be cool ones too. Temperatures fluctuate around the 7 – 18 °C mark, but are likely to be much warmer in September than November.
Winter (December – early March)
Winter sees Britain’s shortest and coolest days (about 7-8 hours of daylight) but these can be crisp and bright. Temperatures fluctuate from around 1 – 5 °C.
Made up of four countries- England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the United Kingdom is a very popular study destination for Indian students.
- The UK has more than 100 universities and around 165 higher education institutions including universities and colleges.
- With ancient and traditional universities such as Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial, University College London to modern universities, the UK offers something for every students in a variety of subject areas.
- Taught Master courses are only for 1 year. You do not need 16 years of education to pursue a Masters degree in most subjects.
- Most undergraduate (bachelors) degrees are for 3 years in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
- Scotland has some excellent universities, a different education system than the rest of the UK and a 4 year undergraduate degree.
Application Process and Deadlines in the UK
Applications for Bachelors degree courses are made through the Universities Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) that is a centralised application system.
Students can apply to a maximum of 5 institutions/courses only.
15 October for medicine, dentistry and veterinary courses and all courses at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge.
15 January for all other courses except certain art and design courses that have a 24 March deadline.
30 June is the final deadline for international students and after this all applications go into Clearing.
There is no single centralised system for postgraduate applications and students have to make applications individually to each institution.
Deadlines vary from course to course and institution to institution. Our counselling staff can help you with identifying these deadlines.
The costs incurred by a student can be divided into
• Tuition fee of the course and
• Living cost.
Tuition fee for both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes ranges from GBP 4000 to 18,000. Tuition for laboratory based courses is usually higher than classroom based courses. Medicine, Dentistry courses have much higher tuition fee.
The living cost in the UK is higher in big cities such as London and lower in smaller towns and cities. The UKBA has defined the living cost for the purpose of obtaining a student visa. This is as follows-
• GBP 1000 per month in Central London
• GBP 800 for outer London and the rest of the UK
Education in the UK is internationally recognised for its quality and variety. The UK’s top priority is to pursue the highest possible standards and to ensure access to good education for every child, young person and citizen. EU and overseas students from all over world come to the UK for an first-class education. The welcome, the culture and the richness of experience that comes from living in the UK is an education in itself.
Each year, hundreds of thousands of international students come to study in the UK because we offer such outstanding opportunities. There is a huge range of degree courses offered by more than 180 institutions – the University of London alone has more than 40 institutions. You can study towards internationally-recognised qualifications in medicine, law, accountancy, architecture and other professions; or in the arts, media, humanities, business, science and technology. There is a spectrum of research and postgraduate degrees where students are guided by academic supervisors with world-class reputations. For families from the EU and overseas living in the UK, each community is served with a choice of state-run and independent schools. There are also international schools, boarding schools and specialist schools which provide education from nursery to university.
- English language courses
- Independent schools and colleges
- Career-based and pre-university courses
- Undergraduate degree courses
- Postgraduate programmes
English language courses
The UK – as the home of the English language – has a long tradition of teaching English to speakers of other languages and English language schools have much experience of working with students from all over the world. Courses are available at all levels, providing as much or as little support as you need. And class sizes are small so teaching staff can pay close attention to your learning needs.
Our English language teaching style is mainly practical and you’ll be encouraged to communicate from the moment you enter the classroom. The wide range of creative teaching methods includes games, role-playing exercises, problem-solving and group discussions. You will also be able to use technology and language laboratories to study independently.
Independent schools and colleges
Independent boarding schools in the UK are well-known for the quality of their teaching and their excellent facilities. You can expect to be taught in a small group, where your teacher will give you all the individual attention you need to help you achieve your academic goals. Independence, sociability and a love of learning are all gained from studying at independent schools.
UK schools regularly welcome many international students like you and make special arrangements such as providing English language support.
Career-based and pre-university courses
If you are on a career-based course you’re encouraged to take responsibility for your own studies with extensive support from tutors and lecturers. You might find yourself working on projects with other students, spending time in college libraries and being assessed through practical demonstrations, as well as through essays and examinations. Your course will combine practical skills with a sound academic underpinning, all geared towards a particular career or job.
Most students on career-based courses study at further education colleges. At these colleges you will be assigned a personal tutor who will monitor your academic progress and can advise you on how to improve your study skills or tackle particular academic problems. Most colleges also provide English language support.
Undergraduate degree courses
During degree programmes, some specific elements will be compulsory but others will be optional, allowing you to tailor the course to your interests. The core topics of your course will be outlined to you through lectures.
More in-depth analysis will take place in smaller tutorial and seminar groups where you’ll prepare topics in advance and discuss them with the other students and the tutor. You will be assigned your own personal tutor with whom you can review your individual progress and discuss any problems. You’ll need to read extensively around the subject and you’ll be encouraged to form your own ideas and opinions. The close contact between students and tutors is a particular strength of UK degree courses.
If you choose a technical subject, you are likely to spend a large portion of your time in supervised laboratory work, designed to develop necessary technical skills.
UK institutions also provide excellent English language support for international students like you. Many have language centres where you can use language-learning materials. Many also offer in-sessional English classes for international students. In-sessional courses provide support tailored to your needs, focusing on the language and study skills to help you in the work for your main course.
All postgraduate programmes require you to do a great deal of work on your own initiative. On taught courses, postgraduate tutors and lecturers will provide the framework of the course and, within this, you will be able to pursue your own interests. On research programmes, the principal teaching method is original research, which you complete under academic supervision. Writing a dissertation about your research forms a substantial part of the programme. Many UK research programmes now begin with introductory taught courses that provide training in research skills to help you prepare for the advanced research you’ll need to do.
Close contact between students and tutors is a particular strength of all UK degree courses, with opportunities to review your individual progress and discuss any problems. As with undergraduate degrees, UK institutions also provide excellent English language support for international students. Many have language centres where you can use language-learning materials. Many also offer in-sessional English classes for international students, focusing on the language and study skills you will need for the work on your main course.
Master of Business Administration (MBA) courses are a particularly intensive, challenging and rewarding form of taught postgraduate course. You’ll be expected to work through a very large amount of material, complete projects and assignments and give regular presentations. Teaching methods characteristic of MBAs include case studies, simulations and business games.