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Higher Education System


The UK has a vast variety of higher education opportunities to offer students with over 100 universities offering various degree programs for students from the UK and around the world. In the UK about one-third of all students go on to some form of higher education and this number is well over 50% for students from Scotland. This makes competition for places very fierce and so it is advised to apply early for courses.

In the UK most undergraduate degree programs take three years to finish; however, the “sandwich course” is increasing in popularity, which is four years and involves one year in the work place (normally in your third year). In Scotland the courses are four years in length for undergraduate programs.

For graduate or masters programs they are generally shorter in length and undertaken after graduation of your undergraduate program. Some professional degrees like medicine, veterinary, law etc. have longer programs that can be as much as five years.

From 2007, universities in the UK are allowed to charge students from the UK up to £3,070 per year (depending on the school and location). For students from the EU, you will also only have the pay the same fees as students from the UK, but international students from the rest of the world will have to pay the full school fees which will vary depending on the school. These fees for international students can range anywhere from £4,000 per year right up to £18,000 per year or more.

Choosing the right school is dependent on a large number of factors such as:
  • Location of the school?
  • How much does it cost?
  • Size of the school?
  • Access to home comforts? Place of worship, home foods?
  • Courses available?

It can be a hard task working out which school is best for you, so start early, take your time and research as much as you can to help in your decision. You will also find the following resources useful in your search:


Please note that Scotland has a separate education system and does not conform to the above structure. Please learn more about the Scottish Education System.

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