UK University Admission for International Students: A step-by-step guide
The UK is set to be a dream destination for international students. Home to some of the best universities in the world, the UK is surrounded by beautiful landscapes, historic towns and vibrant cities. If you have a dream of applying to a UK university, we will bring you a guide for international students studying in UK universities. You can start your dream degree by following the step-by-step process below.
First, you need to understand the UK university admissions system, for this: understanding UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) is very important for international students to gain admission to UK universities. UCAS is a unique system in the US university admissions process. For example, in the US, you need to meet university-specific requirements for the application process, but for UCAS in the UK, students need to submit a written personal statement based on this, and you can apply to up to five universities through the online portal.
The process may seem simple, but if you handle it properly. But when you start your application, there are various things you need to know to make the process light and easy. From now on, you can start your trip to the UK smoothly!
International students from the EU may not face difficulties, but will need to meet basic requirements like UK applicants. International students will need to complete the following steps in order to complete the UK university admissions process for 2021-2022.
1. Make sure you meet all requirements
First, look carefully at deadlines and start the application process early – if you miss a deadline, you’ll have to wait another year. Before starting the application, you need to ensure that you have the following documents on hand;
Passport (at least 1 year remaining valid)
English language proficiency qualification (IELTS, TOEFL or other)
Source of funding (how you will fund your studies, i.e. who will pay your fees)
Tuberculosis screening (required in all countries)
For the language proficiency requirement, you will need an IELTS certificate from the British Council or other equivalent evidence of language proficiency from a recognized organisation.
If you choose to study in London, you’ll need at least £1,020 (US$1,430) per month for basic living and tuition fees. For this, you will need to provide proof of source of funds. These fees can be reduced to £820 (US$1,150) if you choose to study outside London!
For UK Entry, international students from various countries are required to provide a tuberculosis (TB) test, so you will need to check that your country is on the list for this requirement. If yes, take the test early!
Check the UCAS website regularly for updates on application deadlines. For veterinary science and medicine, or various other courses, or Cambridge or Oxford, you need to apply earlier than others, so make sure you are up to date with application deadlines.
2. Find courses and universities
In the UK, course selection is an important factor before starting your application. Areas of study are the forefront element of your application. After selecting your course, you can choose from any five universities. Remember to note the subject and university codes UCAS has assigned to you.
3. Write your personal statement
Your personal statement determines the success of your application and your standing in the competition for admission to UK universities. You need to write a comprehensive and concise proposal statement of 4,000 characters (remember characters, not words!) in a maximum of 47 lines. Write down your interests, reasons for choosing this university and course, and what you have already done in your chosen subject area.
4. Apply through UCAS
On the UCAS website, start by memorizing the code you wrote down, then start filling in your personal details, code and your personal statement. In 2021, the UCAS application fee for a university is £20 ($27.51). If you’re applying to more than one university, you’ll pay £26 ($35.75). Click Apply and wait for your CAS form (Confirmation Acceptance to Study) to be accepted by the university that has accepted you! The CAS form is an important document to keep your visa application and other details safe, i.e. it is the official confirmation of your university, course, tuition fee or study start date.
5. Pay the Immigrant Health Surcharge
After receiving your CAS, you only need to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge before applying for your visa. Check out the details of the health surcharge here!
6. Apply for a visa
International students need a Tier 4 (General) visa to study in the UK, which you can apply for online. You will need to upload a photo and have your fingerprints taken at a nearby Visa Application Center (to obtain a biometric residence permit).
7. Visa interview
In the current circumstances, it is more likely that you will have to attend an online interview to obtain a UK visa. The interviewer may ask about your interest in study, choice of destination and evidence of your financial support. You will be invited to a visa interview, either at the Visa Application Center or possibly via video link, where you will be asked primarily questions about you universities, programs and funding sources.
Prepare your journey early after obtaining your visa so you can arrive in the UK on time to join your university!