Deciding which university you prefer and which subject you enjoy is just the first step for international students to take when applying to study in the United Kingdom. Here are some general processes which all students from outside the UK have to take in order to gain entry onto a British university course.
Before applying to a course you should make sure you are adequately qualified and stand a good chance of acceptance. All courses will have stated their entry requirements online or in their prospectus, but international students will often have qualifications which are entirely different to those specified. Contact the university or use an agency such as IEC Abroad to help determine the value of your international qualifications, and which courses you are eligible for.
It is also wise to research and choose some courses and institutions in the event that your original choices reject your application. Additional applications to universities can be made via the Clearing process for unsuccessful candidates.
The UCAS application is how all students gain entry into UK universities, regardless of their nationality. These applications can be completed independently or with the help of an adviser, such as IEC Abroad. The majority of courses have a deadline of January 15th for completed UCAS applications; however Oxford dentistry, medicine and veterinary courses have a deadline of October 15th. Additionally some art and design courses have a deadline of March 24, but you should check individual courses to make sure.
By May 5th you should have received any successful offers from your chosen universities. If no offer is received you have been unsuccessful, and successful offers must be replied to by June 8th.
UK student visa applications can take several weeks and may only be applied for within three months of your course start date, and a full student visa is only awarded upon the receipt of an unconditional offer from a UK educational institution. A Tier 4 student visa is the standard requirement for international students, and some courses may help you apply for this. Alternatively there are six-month student visas which you may use to visit educational institutions before the offer of a place and study briefly, but these will need to be upgraded as soon as possible.
Many courses have minimum requirements regarding the English language proficiency of their international students, and whilst there are several ways you may demonstrate this, the simplest option is to take either the IELTS or TOEFL tests. Take these tests well in advance of your UCAS application, as upon completion each test will give you a registration number which you can provide to your university enabling them to verify your abilities.
There are quite a few pieces of documentation an international student may need, so it is wise to acquire them well ahead of time. Having physical copies of all educational qualifications is useful, and any documents which prove your ability to fund yourself are essential. These may come in the form of bank statements or scholarship acceptance letters.
If you have any questions about the process or requirements to study in the UK for international students, contact IEC Abroad today.