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Posted by : Shreya Bhattacharjee

Author Designation : Senior Counselor

Everything you need to know about studying postgraduate courses in the UK

It’s a fantastic opportunity to receive a world-class education, immerse yourself in diverse cultures, and lay a strong foundation for your future career. This guide is here to give you all the essential information you need, from the most popular courses to the top universities in the UK. Universities in the UK are well known in the world for their top-quality education. Critical thinking, creative methods of teaching and quality-control merge successfully in British higher education.

Here are the top reasons why the UK is the best place to study:

1. The highest number of ranked universities. The UK has the highest number of ranked universities in relation to the size of the country: 111 ranked universities. University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, and Imperial College London constantly feature in the world's Top10.

2. Quality of teaching regulated by the government. The UK is home to some of the world's oldest and most prestigious universities. This doesn’t happen by chance. Bodies such as the Office for Students (OfS) and the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) make sure that universities meet national standards for academic quality.

3. Big focus on independent learning and creative thinking. As a student in the UK you will be expected to take responsibility for your learning and develop critical thinking skills. This is different from other countries where lecture-based learning is considered more important. This approach encourages you to take an active role in your learning, rather than simply listening to lectures and memorizing information, which can help you develop a deeper understanding of your subject matter.

The country offers some of the best and most comprehensive support systems for international students, both as part of the university and through government or independent bodies and organizations. It’s no wonder why so many international students choose to study in the UK.

Culture in United Kingdom

People in the UK are generally friendly and polite, with a strong sense of humor and an appreciation for social etiquette. They usually think that it's important for people to have their own freedom, be able to do things on their own, and keep some things private. They also have a deep respect for tradition and history. Some of the most iconic aspects of British culture and traditions include the monarchy, teatime, pub culture, the London Underground, and the Beatles.

Cultural diversity in the UK

The UK is a diverse and multicultural society, with people from many different cultural backgrounds living and working in the country. Approximately 14% of the population of 68 million people belongs to an ethnic minority. Some of the largest cultural groups are from India, Poland, and Pakistan. This diversity is reflected in everything from food and music to arts and literature. Of all the cities in the UK, the highest diversity is in London, where 40% of the population comes from an ethnic minority background. Apart from the capital, Birmingham, Manchester, and Leicester are also great examples of high cultural diversity.

Languages spoken in the UK

English is the official language and by far the most commonly spoken, but there are also several other languages spoken throughout the country, like Welsh, Scottish Gaelic, and Irish Gaelic. At the same time, according to the London Museum, in the capital city, there are over 300 languages spoken today.

Weather in the UK

You probably know the UK has a reputation for being rainy because of its geography. Throughout the year, temperatures in the UK tend to vary between 10 and 20 degrees Celsius. You'll enjoy the warmest and dried summers in the south-east of the country.

Type of postgraduate study

1. Master’s degree – typically lasts 12 months full-time, and is an intense period of in-depth study that will includes lectures, seminars, and possibly research, along with a dissertation

2. Postgraduate research – typically lasts for 12 months full-time, and is an intense period of research into your chosen field, working with a team of experts

3. Postgraduate diploma (PGDip) – typically lasts two terms (30 weeks). Can be studied full-time or part-time, and there is no dissertation. A PGDip can contribute to a master’s degree, as the study is at the same level

4. Postgraduate certificate (PGCert) typically can be completed in one term (15 weeks). Can be studied full-time or part-time, and there is no dissertation. A PGCert can contribute to a master’s degree, as the study is at the same level

5. Postgraduate professional development – can be completed at your own pace over a two-year period, and is worth 50 credits towards a PGCert PGDip, or master's. To compare – a master’s is worth 180 credits

Best universities in the UK

Its centuries-old tradition, high standards of teaching and commitment to providing students with a world-class education, lead to the UK having over 100 world-ranking universities. Here are the top 5 universities in the UK:
1. The University of Oxford is the oldest university in the UK, benefiting from a distinctive collegiate structure. Both students and academics belong to a college or hall, a self-governing organization within the university.

2. The University of Cambridge is, alongside Oxford, one of the ancient English universities consistently ranking among the top 5 in the world, with a rich tradition of over 800 years and world-leading research.

3. Imperial College London started from a vision of Prince Albert (the consort of Queen Victoria) who wanted to create a cultural area to include museums and colleges. The college focuses only on business, science, technology, and medicine.

4. University College London (UCL) the very first university in London is a rule-breaking institution: the first university in England to accept students of any religion and one of the first to admit women as students.

5. The University of Edinburgh is the best Scottish university and the fifth ranking in the UK. With an entrepreneurial and cross-disciplinary culture, it attracts students and staff from across the globe.

Tuition Fees in United Kingdom

British students pay different tuition fees from international students (including EU students). Fees are also different depending on the university or study programme you choose. Tuition fees for international undergraduate students range between £9,000 and £33,500 per year, while tuition fees for international students at postgraduate level cost between £7,000 - £36,400 per year, the average programme being £20,000. For UK nationals, tuition fees at undergraduate level range between £1,820 and £9,250, while postgraduate courses cost between £3,350 and £22,300.

How to apply for scholarship

Once you’ve done your research on how to apply for a scholarship in the UK and shortlisted the scholarships you want to apply to, it’s time to get going with the actual application. Applying for a foreign university scholarship may be intimidating, but if you follow these steps, it won’t be that hard:

1. Check the eligibility criteria: make sure you meet all the requirements, which may include academic achievements, nationality, age, field of study, and more. Applying for a bursary or a university grant may have different rules from applying for a scholarship.

2. Gather the required documents: Financial aid providers all have a how-to-apply for university funding or scholarship page. This is the place to find and check what documents you need, things like transcripts, a motivation letter for applying to the scholarship, and recommendation letters.

3. Complete the application: pay attention as you fill out the scholarship application form to ensure you include all required information.

4. Submit the application: very important step, take a deep breath and click submit!

5. Wait for a response: this may be harder than it sounds. But if you are shortlisted, you will probably be called for an interview or asked to provide additional information. See our advice on how to do well in a scholarship interview.

6. Accept the scholarship: the best part! If you are selected, read through the terms and conditions and accept the scholarship offer if you are happy with the terms.


In the UK, you’ll not only receive a world-class education but also get to experience a rich culture and open doors to fantastic career prospects. By diving into the key aspects of undergraduate study in the UK, exploring the most popular courses, and learning about the top universities, you can make well-informed decisions that align perfectly with your academic and career goals. Sure, the journey might have its challenges, but the rewards make it all worthwhile, setting you up for a successful and fulfilling future.



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