Getting Started

Should I study full time or part time?

Foreign Students's picture

With most courses in the UK, students have the choice between studying full time and part time. Studying full time lets you gain your qualification much faster and means that you focus completely on your course rather than trying to balance it with work. For a full time undergraduate course the number of hours spent in seminars and lectures can vary from anything as low as 7-8 hours (for an English Literature course for example), to 40 hours a week (for Science and Maths courses). Studying full time also often makes it easier to make friends with other students on your course, as you will see them most days.  

However, there are also advantages to studying part time, which are perfect for students who want to work during their studies or if they have a busy family life that they have to also fit in. Part time courses usually take at least twice as long as full time ones.

Should I study an undergraduate or postgraduate course?

Foreign Students's picture

If you only have your school qualifications or a qualification below degree level, then you should be looking at undergraduate courses. These are the standard degree level courses in the UK and usually take 3 years.

You should only be looking at a postgraduate course if you have an undergraduate degree (or the equivalent). If you want to do a postgraduate course, you should start with a Masters (which is usually only 1 year) and then go on to do a PhD.

Do I have to be fluent in English to study in the UK?

Foreign Students's picture

Every study institution has its own requirements for the standard of English you must have. If it is not your first language, most institutions require you to prove your English language ability by taking an exam.

The two most common exams are the 'International English Language Testing System', or IELTS and the 'Test of English as a Foreign Language', or TOEFL. For the former, most universities require international students to have a score of between 6 and 7.5. For the latter, students can take a paper based test, which requires a score of 550-620 at most universities, or an internet based test which students need to get between 80 and 105.
If your English language levels are not up to this standard, then most universities will offer their own English language courses here in the UK, or you can choose one of your own at our Language Schools page.

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