Guide to UK Applications • MBA

9 Compelling Reasons Why Students Apply to Study in the UK

POSTED ON 02/21/2023 BY The Red Pen

student abroad in the uk with an umbrella

History, Harry Potter-like scenery, unbridled humour, football and the birthplace of cricket—the UK has a powerful pull. But apart from all its glory, the country has been the cornerstone of higher education for centuries. Its distinguished faculties, unparalleled research opportunities and excellent teaching methodologies contribute towards a stellar undergraduate experience.

Here are nine reasons to consider studying in the UK

1) The tradition of quality education:

The UK has inspired and nurtured some of the finest minds in history and is home to two of the world’s top-three universities. According to QS rankings, four UK institutions—the University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, Imperial College London and University College of London—feature amongst the top ten in the world. It also offers the most diverse range of subjects to explore. From aerospace engineering and marine biology to sports coaching and more, you will find over 50,000 specialisations. Thanks to rich traditions of critical thinking and academic rigour, one in three undergraduate students who study in the UK obtain a first-class degree.

UK universities follow strict quality standards implemented by the government, so rest assured that you will get the best education.

2) The education system:

Due to its colonial past, most of the world is familiar with the UK’s core educational model, so adjusting to its system is far simpler.

While in the US, there is no distinction between “college” and “university”, there is a difference between the university and college systems. You must complete your Further Education (FE) before attempting Higher Education (HE), which includes undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. FE-providing institutions are called colleges, and HE institutions are known as universities.

The bachelor’s or undergraduate degree usually takes three to four years. However, degrees at Scottish institutions like the University of Endinburgh or the University of St. Andrews can take four years to complete.

The degrees are classified as either Ordinary or Honours. A student can earn the latter by taking additional courses.

Some institutions, such as the University of Bristol, the University of Cambridge, Imperial College London and the University of Oxford, allow you to pursue an intercalated or integrated degree. This degree enables you to combine master’s and bachelor’s degrees. It’s important to note that the availability of these combined degree programmes may vary depending on specific subject areas and the programme structure.

The UK uses the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS). Every degree has different credit requirements. Usually, one credit is equal to 10 hours of study. An ordinary bachelor’s degree requires 300 credits, and an Honours degree needs 360 credits. However, if you choose the integrated degree, you must earn 480 credits.

The teaching method in the UK combines traditional lectures with innovative techniques to foster independent thinking and problem-solving skills. Whether in the classroom, the laboratory or on field trips, you will work on real-life problems from your future career.

3) The geography:

Before you decide which country to study in, it may be worth considering how far it is from home. India, for instance, is closer to the UK than the US or Australia, which cuts down your travel time and cost. The UK is also well connected to other European countries by land, air and water. If you feel like heading to Paris for the weekend, you can do so at a minimal expense. Furthermore, the UK is a small size country. The cities and countrysides are less than an hour’s drive away from each other, allowing you to experience the country, irrespective of which university you choose. For example, as a student at the University of Warwick, you can easily opt for an internship in London.

4) The finances:

Courses in the UK education system are shorter and more intense than those in other countries, which means you graduate sooner without compromising on quality. If you study in the UK, you can complete your undergraduate degree within three years, versus the US, which requires four years of study. The shorter duration saves you time and money on tuition fees and living costs. However, studying in the UK is still expensive. The tuition fees for undergraduate international students can vary between £11,400 – £38,000, depending on the university and course. For example, humanities and social sciences degrees tend to cost lesser than laboratory and clinical degree programmes.

But in addition to tuition fees, you must consider the cost of living if you choose to study in the UK. Here’s a breakdown of average monthly living costs for students in the UK:

Living Expenses In London Other Cities Comments
Accommodation at student halls

(Bills provided)

Approx £848  Approx £664 Based on non-catered single occupancies. Budget for more, if you’re looking for catered student halls
Accommodation in private rooms 

(Without bills) 

Approx £750  Approx £554 Based on a room for one person in shared accommodation.
Utilities (Gas, electricity, broadband, TV license) £140 £80
Groceries £155 £116
Socialising (Dining out, cafes and bars) £150 £80 In London, the average restaurant meal is £16, and takeaway coffee is  £2.69.

Outside London, an average restaurant meal is £15, and takeaway coffee is £2.50.

Public Transport £103 £54 Full-time students across the UK receive a 30 percent discount off the standard tube and bus fares with a Student Oyster Card 
Mobile phone (Sim only) £18 £18

Source: British Council

5) The admissions process:

Applying to universities in the UK for an undergraduate degree is straightforward. You may choose up to five courses at once through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). After registering on the UCAS website, you must complete your personal statement, submit letters of recommendation and fill in your academic information. Similar the US, universities in the UK focus on a student’s competitive grades and an unbridled passion for the subject to admit them.

Most international students need a visa to study here. Once you accept an unconditional offer from a UK university and receive a Certificate of Acceptance of Studies (CAS) from them, you may begin the visa application process.

“The clarity of its application system and its judicious nature took the ease off the application process. The element of partiality is greatly removed, and you feel you have a fair chance if you work hard.” – UK applicant.

6) Culture and diversity:

Studying in the UK offers an unparalleled multicultural experience. You will meet students from different nationalities, ethnicities, socio-economic backgrounds, genders, sexual orientations, physical abilities and more. The UK also has a sizeable Indian community. The country’s rich educational resources, including museums, libraries, and historical places, are primarily free and serve as an incredible learning experience. The open spaces, buzzing nightlife, theatre, art and music scene make it an exciting place.

“The fact that I can get my opinions heard and questioned by all walks of life has been instrumental in shaping who I am today.” – Second-year student, Kings College.

“My decision to study in the UK was largely based on the incredible network of academic and cultural institutions. You can spend years in London and still discover something new every day. This kind of education is unparalleled.” – First-year student, SOAS.

7) Research Opportunities:

The latest Research Excellence Framework (REF), which checks the quality of research conducted by more than 157 leading universities in the UK, classified 80 percent of the research as ‘world-leading’ and 43 percent as ‘internationally excellent’.

After the US and China, the UK is the third country conducting the maximum research. In 2021, it contributed 7.5 percent to global research with 492 researchers. This is particularly high, given that the UK’s population is 1/5th of the US and 1/20th of China.

If you’re interested in a research-based career, the statistics prove studying in the UK is right for you. You can team up with leading academic professors at the undergraduate level itself.

8) Recruitment:

UK institutions cultivate strong industry relationships, allowing students to get practical experience in their field within world-leading organisations. Many teachers in UK universities are industry leaders, and studying in here will give you one-to-one access to them, which will benefit you in the future.

The minimum hourly wages from April 2023 are:

Ages 23+ Ages 21 to 22 Ages 18 to 20 Under 18 & Apprentices
£10.42 £10.18 £7.49 £5.28


International students are allowed to work 20 hours per week and 37.5 hours during Christmas and summer break. Compared to other global destinations where students are only allowed on-campus work, UK students can avail of offers off-campus as well, which can cover part of their living expenses.

Under the new Graduate Immigration Route, international students are now eligible to stay back in the UK for two years after completing their undergraduate degrees, irrespective of their major. Other countries tend to offer only a one-year work permit and give preference to STEM majors.

9) Medical Aid

International students have access to free medical treatment while studying in the UK through the National Health Service (NHS) by paying a subsidised International Health Surcharge (IHS).

If you’re dreaming of studying in the UK for your undergraduate degree, you must shortlist universities and decide on your major before you begin the application process. But if you need professional guidance tailored to your needs, please get in touch with us.