Life in the Country
The United Kingdom (UK) is a sovereign country that includes England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales. Each country offers both large cosmopolitan cities as well as towns and countryside villages, having diverse society, cultures, languages, and faith that go along with their varied cuisines, strong transport links, music festivals, and international sporting championships. The nature lovers will feel at home experiencing the countryside and coastal towns while the city dwellers will find the cities of London, Manchester, Cardiff, Edinburg, and Belfast to be their new haven. While studying in the UK, you will find that the country is filled with a rich history, diverse nightlife, and opportunities to broaden your horizons.
Attitude and Etiquette of the local People
The most important British etiquette is to be aware of the distinct nations that form the United Kingdom consisting of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. The citizens are British, and while they share many customs, each country has its own set of history and tradition.
The rise of multiculturalism, changing economy, social and gender-specific equality laws have played a role in Britain moving from a rigid class system to a more informal attitude to social etiquette. Britain has seen a shift from the household setting to more corporate business etiquette, becoming a set of written and unwritten rules of conduct to make social interactions with co-workers and international colleagues run more smoothly.
92% of UK residents speak English (or Welsh in Wales) while the remaining having a different language. Polish topped the list of "other" languages spoken. London and the West Midlands has the highest percentage of non-English speakers or those who could not speak well.
Pursuing Higher Education
The UK has always been one of the world's most popular destinations to pursue higher education with more than 500,000 international students enrolled each year, second only to the USA. Universities in the UK are consistently performing well in the world ranking and has a reputation for world-class research. Enrolled students will get the opportunity to develop their skills, knowledge, critical thinking, and connections to help their careers move forward.
The degrees and qualifications are recognized worldwide, helping to expand your knowledge, meet new people, and experience new cultures. The universities provide a wide range of clubs and societies and over 50,000 courses and varied subject areas.
Top Universities in UK with varied Course Options
The UK is home to some of the oldest and top universities in the world. Having an attractive education destination for students from all over the world. The students who wish to explore careers in Management, Law, and Social Studies are prominent in cities like London, Manchester, and Edinburg due to the high-quality education as well as the cosmopolitan lifestyle.
London: Home to the top universities in the world with more than 20 universities like – Imperial College of London, University College London, King’s College London, London School of Economics and Political Science, and Queen Mary University.
Manchester: A city with diverse culture and one of the top student cities that is home to two of the most prominent football clubs, Manchester United and Manchester City. Universities in Manchester include – the University of Manchester, Metropolitan University and Victoria University of Manchester, Royal Northern College of Music, University of Salford, and Manchester School of Architecture. Development Studies and Social Science Studies are the top courses offered by the University of Manchester.
Edinburg: Edinburg is known as the entertainment city of the UK with a growing economy, home to the Scottish Parliament. It is home to some of the world's best universities like the University of Edinburg, and Edinburg Napier University offers courses like Linguistics and Art and Humanities to go along with other top 20 courses offered in the University of Edinburg.
Southampton: One of the greenest and second-most affordable student cities, known as the Maritime Heritage having several luxury hotels and a city plaza, providing a wide range of options of part-time job opportunities for students with convenient transportation service. Southampton is home to the University of Southampton, holding a good rank in Earth and Marine Science School and Engineering and Technology.
Apart from the cities mentioned, there are many other cities with renowned Universities like Liverpool, Reading, Sheffield, Plymouth, Norwich, Brighton, Glasgow, York, Portsmouth, Leicester, Cardiff, Bristol, Leeds, Birmingham, Cambridge, and Oxford.
Part-Time and Post Study Work Opportunities
To be successful in the UK graduate job market, work experience alongside their degree is necessary. Part-time work or an internship related to the degree can help develop real-life work skills and improve industry contacts. A part-time job can also help with the living costs in the UK while gaining work experience.
Most international students on Tier 4 (student) visas studying full-time postgraduate degree (for six months) are eligible to work in the UK while studying, as long as they do not:
Work more than 20 hours per week, except during vacations or in case of an agreed work placement or internship.
Engage in business, self-employment, or offer services as a professional sportsperson or entertainer.
Apply for a permanent full-time vacancy.
Students are allowed to do most part-time jobs. For students unsure of their personal circumstances regarding this, the UK Council for International Student Affairs provides up-to-date and detailed advice for various circumstances.
Students may be able to extend their stay in the UK after they graduate and put their skills into practice if they meet the requirement schemes that are operated by the UK Government.
Post Study Work Opportunities and Permanent Settlement:
The UK post-study work visa (PWS) allows international students to stay in the country after graduation to find work for up to 2 years. During these 2 years after graduation, PSW visa holders can work in the job that they find, to transition to a general work visa in the future. This opportunity to work for 2 years after graduation makes the UK an attractive destination for students looking to start their international career.
A new fast-track visa scheme for attracting the best scientists, researchers, and mathematicians has been implemented in its initial phase. This is done to enable the best students in the field of Science and Research to study and work in the UK.
Routes to permanent settlement
Extending a study permit – To extend your permit, you will also have to extend your passport and make sure that this is done 30 days before the current permit’s expiration.
Apply to change your status and stay in Canada as a visitor – After graduating, a visitor visa will be needed if you do not possess a work permit.
Renewing a temporary resident visa (TRV) – This visa is an official document that will show evidence that the temporary resident conditions are satisfied. International students will have a study permit. And this permit also enables you to live with your spouse and children in Canada.
Applying for permanent resident status – Applying for this will enable you to remain a citizen of your current country and also of Canada after the completion of your immigration process.
The rights of permanent residents: Canadian law and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms will protect you after completing the Canadian citizenship application. Social benefits like free health care will be available as also the freedom of employment, residency, and education anywhere in Canada. Voting or running a political office and holding high-level security clearance jobs will not be allowed.
Residency requirements in Canada: You ought to stay at least 2 out of 5 years in Canada when you are a permanent resident and allowed to live outside Canada.
The UK has a proven track record when it comes to world university ranking with the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge ranking one and two respectively, and the Imperial College ranked number eight, in the 2017-2018 Times Higher Education World University Rankings. The UK ranks high across every global ranking system, criteria, and field of study for the quality of education, student satisfaction, and global reputation that go along with their high level of innovation and world-class research, benefiting from the latest facilities alongside their academic tradition.
How It Works – The responsibility for education is delegated to each of the four jurisdictions in the UK: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. The differences are in the education systems in place, the qualifications offered, and how education is regulated. The differences are more evident in general and secondary education which results in different qualifications and credit frameworks.
Qualification Framework – Two frameworks work side-by-side for higher education qualifications of UK degree-awarding bodies, one framework applies to Scotland and the other operates in the rest of the UK. The frameworks are:
The Framework for Higher Education Qualifications of Degree Awarding Bodies in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland (FHEQ).
The Framework for Qualifications of Higher Education Institutions in Scotland (FQHEIS).
The above frameworks are the principal national reference points in UK Higher Education for academic standards.
There are many public and private universities in the UK that offer higher education. Apart from the public and private universities, there are other types of institutions which include colleges, conservatories, and distance learning universities that provide higher education. The UK has a well-deserved reputation for educational excellence. This is reflected in the university rankings with the top universities being:
The University of Oxford
The University of Cambridge
University College London
Imperial College London
The University of Edinburg
Diverse Study Options
The academic calendar in the UK starts in September or October and ends in June or July. Some courses offer a more flexible range of start dates. The deadline for applications for undergraduate course entry starting in September is typically in January of that year. There is a smaller intake in January for undergraduate, master's, and Ph.D. and foundation courses available. Private pathways providers may offer additional start dates throughout the year.
England has always been the leading language study destination and has pioneered techniques that are used around the world. International students will require to prove their English language proficiency as all courses in the UK are taught in English and so the students must be able to interact fluently and efficiently. IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is the most commonly accepted proficiency test in the UK. Other English proficiency tests include the Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic) and Cambridge ESOL. Along with this, IELTS Academic, IELTS General Training, and IELTS Life Skills are accepted by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) as proof of English proficiency but for student purposes, the UK dictates which IELTS test to pursue.
Types of Qualifications awarded/Types of Degree
There are numerous Bachelor’s and Master’s degree courses that are available for various subjects.
Undergraduate programs take four years of full-time studies to complete in Scotland and three years in the rest of the UK. Students will be assessed through their assignments, coursework, and exams before writing a dissertation in their final year. The entry requirements are set by individual institutions and differ from the destination of study.
Several Master's courses are available and are divided into:
Taught Courses – This allows you to build on knowledge gained during the undergraduate study through lectures, seminars, and practical work.
Research Courses – Focuses more on independent study and involves minimal guidance from tutors.
Master’s programs last for one year full time. Research-based courses can take up to eighteen months to two years to complete. There are different types of postgraduate study which includes:
Doctoral Degrees (Ph.D.)
Postgraduate Diploma and certificates
Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL), Legal Practice Course (LPC), and Bar courses
Here is the list of Universities that specialize in a specific subject area:
Cranfield University: Specialized in Postgraduate Technology and Management Institution.
Falmouth University: College specialized in Arts.
Harper Adams University: Specialized in Agricultural and Rural Education
Royal College of Music: Focused on Musical Education
The tuition fees charged by the Universities and Colleges cover key elements concerning their course and academic life, as well as services that are related to the wellbeing of students and on-campus experience.
The fees for higher education in the UK depend on:
Where in the UK the student decides to study (different rules for England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales).
The Study Level.
For undergraduate courses, tuition fees range from £10,000 a year to about £18,000 a year (depending on the course and the institute). The tuition fees vary for all postgraduate courses.
Employment Opportunities after Completion of a Degree:
The UK has the sixth-largest economy in the world and is home to various international business hubs, which makes it the perfect place for ambitious graduates to start their careers. Competition for graduate jobs are high but candidates with the required qualification, skills, and experience have a better chance of employment. Language skills are becoming increasingly important, making foreign nationals desirable candidates.
The main reason for students to choose the UK for further studies is to launch their careers upon graduation. The one-year Master's program is an attractive option for students to stand out from the crowd but giving equally little time to balance their studies with looking for their dream job. This gives the students an effective and efficient way to plan their future.
Many companies offer programs to students for recruitment that start a year before the roles begin. An example of such a company is Samsung which opens its applications in line with the start of Term 1 for positions that are not available until April the following year. This is a great way to get an early start. However, students are more focused on their initial studies than finding a job or having time to focus on an application at that stage.
The UK is highly globalized. This means that the job market is highly competitive. The major industries in the UK include:
Accounting, Banking, and Finance
Recruitment and HR
Other popular jobs that the students look for are Account/Finance Manager, Business Analyst, Data Scientist, Marketing and Sales professional, Project Manager, Software Developer, and many more.