Every year nearly half a million international students come to study in the UK, accounting for 19.6% of the total UK student population. Applying to study in the UK is straightforward and we’ve put together this guide to ease you through the process.

1)      Register

All higher education applications in the UK are made through UCAS (University & College Admissions Service). To start with, you will need to register with UCAS and make sure that all your details are correct.

2)      Find a Course & Apply

Use the UCAS website to research and find the right course and university or college for you. To help you choose, we recommend reading as much as possible about the subjects you’re interested in and compare them. Remember to check the entry requirements for each course which can be found on each course page. This UCAS guide explains most of the higher education terms used in the UK system. Undergraduate & Postgraduate courses have different entry requirements and processes so double check the course you’re applying to for guidance.

3)      Accept your offer

After submitting your application, your university or college will be in touch to let you know if you have received an offer to study, or not. Your UCAS portal will also be updated when an institution has made a decision. An unconditional offer means that you have a place regardless of any pending exam results. A conditional offer means that you need to meet the specified entry requirements in order to secure your place. This is commonly exam results.

4)      Arrange Funding

There are a number of scholarships and bursaries available to international students studying in the UK. View the whole list to see if you may be eligible for one

5)      Apply for a Visa

You may well need a visa in order to study in the UK. You can do a quick check via the Government’s website to ascertain if you require one. A student visa will allow you to live and study in the UK while you are on your course. There are two main types of student visa:

Tier 4 (General) Student Visas – for those over the age of 16 and looking to study at a higher education level.

Short-Term Study Visas – for students who want to join a course that is 6 months long, or, an English language course up to 11 months long.

If you’re looking to work during your stay, you will need to check your visa type and your sponsoring college or university as this will determine the type of work, and the number of hours that you can carry out.

6)      Prepare for your stay

You’ve got your offer confirmed, a student visa sorted, now you just need to pack your bags and prepare for a life studying in the UK. Don’t forget to book flights and get student accommodation sorted with plenty of time before the start of term.