The UK Higher Education System

A British education teaches you how to think, not what to think.

Achieving a degree at a British university tells the world that you have risen to the challenge of studying at an advanced level, whether it is for an under-graduate, masters or PhD qualification. At every level you will be encouraged to excel and to fulfill your maximum potential, to question and analyse information. The teaching and learning culture of British universities is based on independent learning, giving you the skills to develop your intellectual capabilities and to present your conclusions clearly.

A BA or BSc generally takes three years; exceptions are where language students are required to spend a year abroad or where students spend a year in industry. The universities are responsible for the design and content of the courses and maintain the standard of teaching.  This is subject to external scrutiny from the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, which publishes repots on every university it deals with. The system is open and transparent.

A MA or MSc can be earned either though a taught progamme or by research, the former is generally one year, the latter, two years. Both approaches involve original research and students must demonstrate an understanding of research methods and how to apply them. In addition, the MBA degree is offered through university business schools.

A PhD is awarded for original research and takes a minimum of three years full time research. Potential students are often expected to identify a supervisor they wish to work with, based on the subject area they wish to investigate, and must prepare a substantial proposal. This indicates that you already have the skills to carry out research independently and the depth of knowledge of your subject to know where research is required.

There are approximately 170 universities and higher education institutions in Britain. They offer world class experts, support for research and excellent library and laboratory facilities.

Deciding on where to study needs careful thought. Each university is a community with its own style; some are campus universities, others are integrated in their cites. They can be old, new, large or small and all offer a unique experience.  Not every university offers every subject so it is important to know which course you are aiming at.

The web link below takes you to a site where you will be able to search by course, by level of study and find practical advice on making applications.