Study in the United Kingdom

A Guide for Higher Studies in United Kingdom for Indian Students

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The outstanding quality of education, countless studying options, modern educational approaches, student job opportunities, future prospects, relevant practice, and overall exciting studying experience, in one of the best countries in the world, are just some of the reasons why Indian students want to study at UK universities.

High quality education

The UK is one of the world’s most popular destinations to study higher education, with more than 500,000 international students enrolling each year.
  • One of the world’s leading destinations for international students, second only to the USA. UK universities are among the best in the world, and consistently perform well in world rankings. They also have a reputation for world-class research.
  • UK higher education degrees and qualifications are recognized by employers and academics worldwide.
  • Students get the opportunity to develop the skills, knowledge, critical thinking, and connections to drive forward their careers.
  • High quality postgraduate study opportunities are also available at the majority of UK universities, with some universities offering sponsorship to extend Tier 4 visas.

Why choose higher education in the UK?

Going to university in the UK is a great way to expand your knowledge, meet new people, experience a new culture, and enjoy new experiences. You’ll get plenty of support at university, and a chance to experience a great student lifestyle. Whatever your interests, there's a huge range of clubs and societies, as well as a diverse social life on offer.The benefits:
  • Choose from over 50,000 courses, in more than 25 subject areas.
  • UK courses are generally shorter than other countries, helping to reduce overall tuition fees and accommodation costs.
  • It can be possible to work while you study too – find out more from UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) and the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA).
There are two student categories under Tier 4 of the points-based system: 
  • Tier 4 (General) Student Visa – This category is for students coming to the UKfor higher education and the applicant must be at least 16 years old.
  • Tier 4 (Child) Student Visa – This category is for children between 4 and 15 years of age coming to the UK for their education. Children between 4 and 15 years old can only be educated at independent fee-paying schools.

Cost of Visa

The fee for the Tier 4 General Visa is £348. The methods of payment are stated below.
  • Online using either a MasterCard or Visa card
  • Through demand draft at the visa application center and selected branches of Standard Chartered Bank.
  • Through Cash at the visa application center and selected branches of Standard Chartered Bank.


Student visa requires you to carry a lot more documents than you would for a tourist visa, by comparison. You need the mandatory documents along with supporting documents of financial and academic records. Make sure you refer to this checklist before going to the consulate for the visa interview.You should have the following documents before applying:
  • A completed student visa application form
  • A letter of acceptance on the course - Your approved education provider will give you an acceptance letter (CAS) and a visa letter which are official and unconditional offers of a place on a course of study. The visa letter must be issued no more than six months before you apply. The applications where the visa letters are older than six months will be refused. Having a visa letter does not guarantee the application will be successful. The applicant must meet all the requirements of the category and any other requirements of the immigration rules.
  • Proof of funds - The money you need to show covers your course fees for your first year of study and living costs for up to a maximum of nine months. The amount you will need depends on whether you are applying as a child or adult and also whether you will be studying in or out of London. You must show that you have held the money for at least 28 days. The end of that 28-day period must not be more than one month before the date of your application.

How to Apply

There are several steps to apply for a visa. UK student visa applications are processed within three weeks of the completed application being lodged.Step 1 - Check if you qualify
  • You must be able to show that you have:
  • A confirmed place at the school, university or college where you intend to study. It is called a ‘confirmation of acceptance for studies’ (CAS).
  • Enough money (also known as ‘maintenance or funds’) to cover your course fees and living costs in the UK.
 Step 2 - Get your documents readyStep 3 - Apply online You will need to register and create an account on the official UK Visa website. When you have completed your online application form, you will need to print and sign your completed form. You must use the online appointment calendar to book an appointment at the visa application center. When you have completed your online application, you will receive an email message containing your application number. Step 4 - Pay your application fee. There are 4 ways to pay your visa application fee. 
  • Payment at Bank - You can pay your fee at some branches of the Bank. The bank will issue a demand draft in favor of the 'The British High Commission'.
  • Demand draft from a nationalized or foreign bank - You can pay your fee by getting a demand draft issued by a nationalized or a foreign bank. Bank charges for this service will vary. The demand draft must be in favor of the 'The British High Commission’.
  • Payment at the visa application center - You can pay the visa application fee at the visa application center when you submit your visa application.
  • Pay online - You can pay your visa application fee online using a Visa or MasterCard credit or debit card.
Step 5 – Visit the visa application center on the appointed date. You must book and attend an appointment at the visa application center to submit your application and facial photograph and fingerprints.

UK Point-based Visa System

Students should be informed that the UK Visa is a point-based visa system and it is essential for applicants to meet all the requirements of the Immigration Rules and have 40 points in total.
Students are required to have a valid Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies from a fully licensed Tier 4 sponsor30 points
Students should have enough money to cover course fees and monthly living costs (also known as maintenance or funds)10 points
Any student who has done even a little bit of research into studying abroad will know it doesn’t tend to come cheap.With flights, health insurance, visa and processing costs, rising tuition costs in most countries, as well as sky-high living expenses, you’re going to need a decent-sized bank account for that coveted overseas stint.So here are some of the best scholarships to study abroad in the UK you could be eligible for:

Through the UK government

Chevening Scholarships

The UK government offers a global scholarship programmes called “Chevening”. It is open to all international students who meet the Chevening eligibility criteria, which states you must have applied for at least three degree courses in the UK, usually one-year Master’s courses.

Commonwealth Masters Scholarships

If you are from a “Commonwealth country” and are hoping to pursue a Master’s degree in the UK then the Commonwealth Scholarship could be for you.The UK Department for International Development (DFID) provides funding for tuition fees, exam fees, airfare cover to and from the UK, a personal maintenance allowance, “initial arrival allowance” to cover extra costs in the first few days, exam fees and even a thesis grant if needed.

Gates Cambridge Scholarships

Hoping to pursue a full-time postgraduate degree at the University of Cambridge? This scholarship will cover all your costs.

Rhodes Scholarships at University of Oxford

The Rhodes Scholarship was set up in 1902 and is the world’s oldest international scholarship programmes at one of the most prestigious universities in the world. It awards exceptional postgraduate students from certain eligible countries.

Edinburgh Global Research Scholarships

Each year, the University of Edinburgh offers 30 scholarships to international students hoping to undertake a PhD research programmes in any field of study. The scholarship reduces tuition fees to the rate given to domestic students (and students who are from countries in the European Union) but does not cover maintenance costs.

Denys Holland Scholarship at University College London

Undergraduate students from any country are eligible for this scholarship if they would be unable to fund their studies at UCL otherwise and show a desire to throw themselves into university life inside and outside of their studies. The student will receive GBP9,000 (US$12,870) every year of their degree which they may use towards their tuition or as a maintenance loan.
The education system in the UK is divided into four main parts, primary education, secondary education, further education and higher education. Children in the UK have to legally attend primary and secondary education which runs from about 5 years old until the student is 16 years old.Types of UK UniversityThere are currently around 130 universities in the United Kingdom. From millennia old to brand new, universities in the UK vary on everything from age to size to prestige. With such diversity, it’s not an overstatement to say that there is a university for everyone in the UK. With many of the world’s top universities both in terms of graduate prospects and QS World Rankings, the UK has so much to offer within its higher education system.The problem is that with so many universities, it hard to start comparing them straight away. Most universities are informally categorized by their age and nicknames, but the unofficial categories used in the press like ‘Red Brick’ and ‘Plate Glass’ often mean nothing to international students.Universities formed around the same time often are similar in style and prestige, so a lot can be learned from looking at what group your university of choice belongs.
Appear for the TOEFL test and set out on the adventure of living in the UK as a student can be an expensive affair depending on how extravagantly you spend. As an Indian student studying in the UK, you may often end up comparing the cost of everything with the rates back in India. On an average, as per some estimates, studying UK can cost you anywhere between INR 19 lakhs to INR 39 lakhs* depending on the course you do and where in UK you are studying.If you're an Indian student planning to study in London, please note that you are required to show that you can afford at least Rs.1 lakh (£1,265) per month in order to get a Tier 4 Visa.You must also note that the cost of living is higher in London and South East England compared to the rest of England and Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Which means that studying in Universities like University College London (UCL), Imperial, and Oxford would prove to be more expensive than getting a seat in Nottingham, Cardiff, or Leicester.An approximate budget has been given below to help you understand the cost of living in UK for Indian students.


The rent for the place you stays will form a fixed and major part of your budget in the UK (apart from your tuition fees). You can seek accommodation from the university you plan to attend, or look for private accommodation outside. University accommodation usually includes the price of internet connection (if available), cost of basic utilities (like electricity, gas, and water), welfare support staff, 24-hour security and personal possessions insurance.Private accommodation can be more expensive than most university accommodations and it is wise to look for accommodation close to campus if you plan to stay outside so that you will not have to spend on travel. Take help from your university's campus-based service which will help you find affordable private accommodation, if available.Some residential halls or apartments may require one month's rent as deposit, which will be returned when you leave. The cost of any damage or repair will be subtracted from the deposit. Again, please note that monthly expenses in UK will vary according to the location of your university.
At the age of sixteen, following two years of study, students may take A-Levels (Advanced Level examinations) required for university entrance in the UK. Over these two years following secondary school education, students specialize in three or four subjects that are usually relevant to the degree subject they wish to follow at university.At the end of the first year, students take AS level examinations. They continue with three or four of these subjects in the second year and convert them into full A level qualifications at the end of the year. A-Levels are state examinations and are recognized by all UK universities, and by institutions worldwide.Schools in the UK do not generally rank pupils within their year; currently, the principal standards are the GCSE, SCE and AS and A-Level examination results.

18 Plus

Once a student has been through all the misadventures and hardships of compulsory education, it is time to decide his or her own fate. The first three years of university education will be in an undergraduate degree program. An undergraduate degree may be a BA (Bachelor of Arts), BEng (Bachelor of Engineering), and BSc (Bachelor of Science).On completion, a student may also apply for a postgraduate program and a Ph.D. What makes higher education so appealing is that — unlike school — students are at university or college because they want to be, learning more about a subject or job they really enjoy.Choosing a university or college is an important decision, so examine all of the options. Here is a useful link that will provide all the information you need before making up your mindIn addition to academic achievements at university, students also gain many social advantages. They will be involved in various out-of-school activities, find new friends and gain insight into future careers.And, since higher education is optional, expect to finance your Bachelor’s degree by yourself. Check out this section of the UK government website, dedicated to university funding.
Keep hearing the terms Red Brick and Plate Glass universities? Are you wondering what bricks and glass have to do with universities? Ancient UniversitiesFor hundreds of years there were only a small handful of universities that were founded in England, Scotland and Ireland. The earliest was the University of Oxford in 1096 and the latest of the Ancient Universities was the University of Dublin in 1592.
  • University of Oxford
  • University of Cambridge
  • University of St Andrews
  • University of Glasgow
  • University of Aberdeen
  • University of Edinburgh
  • University of Dublin
Red Brick UniversitiesRed Brick originally referred to 6 Civic universities that were given charters in the late 19th Century in the big industrial cities of the UK. The term Red Brick referred to a building at the University of Liverpool which was built from Red Bricks, but the term also referred more generally to "new" buildings/institutions.
  • University of Birmingham
  • University of Liverpool
  • University of Manchester
  • University of Leeds
  • University of Sheffield
  • University of Bristol
The 6 original Red Brick institutions were then joined by a number of other universities as the definition was relaxed to include universities given a charter between 1900 and 1963.
  • Aberystwyth University
  • Bangor University
  • Cardiff University
  • University of Dundee
  • University of Hull
  • University of Wales Trinity St David
  • University of Leicester
  • University of Newcastle Upon Tyne
  • University of Nottingham
  • Queen's University Belfast
  • University of Reading
  • University of Southampton
  • University of Swansea
Plate Glass UniversitiesPlate Glass Universities were the next batch of universities to be given royal charter between 1963 and 1992.
  • Aston University
  • University of Bath
  • University of Bradford
  • Cranfield University
  • University of East Anglia
  • University of Essex
  • Heriot-Watt University
  • Keele University
  • University of Kent
  • Lancaster University
  • Loughborough University
  • University of Stirling
  • University of Strathclyde
  • University of Surrey
  • University of Sussex
  • University of Warwick
  • University of Ulster
  • University of York


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