'Depending on your chosen type of UK study, there are several different ways to apply to UK institutions. Applications are easy and straightforward if you have the right information - you can even apply online for many UK courses.'
You can apply online through the Universities and Colleges Admissions System (UCAS).
Find out more about applying for UK undergraduate courses in UCAS applications for UK study .
Applying for postgraduate or MBA study
Most UK institutions offer an online postgraduate application system that can be accessed through the institution's own website.
There is no restriction on the number of different courses you can apply for, but you should submit your application well in advance of the course starting date. This might be as early as the October of the previous year, and although there may not be a formal deadline for applications, the earlier you apply the better. Courses start to become full during May, so an application before the end of April is encouraged.
Some institutions use the UK Postgraduate Application and Statistical Service (UKPASS) scheme. UKPASS allows you to apply for up to ten postgraduate programmes, track progress and receive and reply to offers. You can see which institutions are part of the scheme and find out more at the UKPASS website.
You can find information on start dates on the ‘course details’ pages in the course finder.
Applying for a UK English language course
To apply for an English language course in the UK, you should contact the UK institution directly for an application form. Before submitting your application, you should think about:
- the number of teaching hours each week
- course dates (some English language courses can be started at any time of the year; others have precise start dates)
- class size
- course fees (what is included and what extra costs there might be)
- the type of accommodation offered and any associated costs
- whether you can gain a qualification if you want to.
You should find most of this information on the ‘course details’ page of your chosen course in the course finder.
You can expect to receive a reply within two weeks of sending your application. If you are offered a place, you will receive a letter of acceptance that will confirm your accommodation requirements and a request for a deposit. Once the school have received your deposit they will send you a letter confirming your place - this letter can be used to support your visa application.
Applying to a UK independent school
Some UK independent schools have formal application procedures and prefer pupils to apply up to a year before they wish to start. Other schools are more informal and welcome applications at any time.
Schools usually prefer new pupils to start at the beginning of the academic year in September, although most will agree to admit pupils at the start of a new term in either January or April.
You can apply directly to the school or through the Independent Schools Council International office (ISC International). ISC International offers placement, consultancy and advisory services to families overseas who are seeking to place a child or children in a UK independent boarding school.
You can find out more about applying to UK independent schools at the ISC website.
Applying for career-based and pre-university study
For Higher National Diplomas (HNDs), you can apply online through the course finder or through UCAS. If you want to apply for any other career-based or pre-university programme you should apply directly to the UK institution that offers the course.
There is no standard closing date for applications to career-based courses in the UK. However, you should leave enough time to apply for a visa, make travel arrangements and find accommodation.
You can search for career-based and pre-university courses in the course finder.
- UKPASS - www.ukpass.ac.uk/students;
- ISC - www.isc.co.uk/InternationalZone_WelcometotheInternationalZone.htm;
- UCAS Apply - www.ucas.com/apply;
- UCAS TV - www.ucas.tv