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Posted Dec. 20, 2021

A definitive guide to studying a masters in the UK

Studying in the UKPursuing a masters degree in the United Kingdom has always been a very popular choice for international students.

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The country is considered one of the world’s top study-abroad destinations with the best universities – including the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge – numerous work opportunities and high teaching and learning standards. Every year, the country serves millions of international students with a large variety of master programs, such as MBAs, law, computer science, psychology, media studies and many more. And if you, too, are aspiring to study in the UK, then you have arrived at the right place! In this comprehensive guide, we’ll tell you from scratch how to pursue your masters degree in the UK to forge a lucrative career ahead!

Why study in the UK?

1. Home to top universities of the world

The UK is proud to serve international students with the best educational institutes globally for postgraduate studies. In accordance with the QS World University Rankings 2022, four UK universities have successfully bagged the coveted positions in the top 10: the University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, Imperial College London and University College London.

2. Best student cities

Considering the top factors like desirability, affordability and student reviews, the UK houses some of the best student-friendly cities in the world. As per the QS Best Student Cities 2022, London has emerged as the top city for students worldwide. Along with that, 14 UK cities are ranked under the top 100. So whether you will be staying in the Manchester Uni accommodation or student accommodation at Royal Holloway, these student cities will provide you with the best tourist spots, famous eat out places, massive nightlife and exposure to incredible British history and culture.

3. Short duration of the masters program

Unlike other English-speaking countries, such as Canada and the USA, where it takes on an average of 18 months to two years to complete a masters degree, the duration of masters in the UK takes only one year of full-time study for most courses. There are some exceptions, like MEng, MRes, etc., which can take two to four years for completion.

Financial aid

Studying abroad can be an extravagant affair with high university tuition fees and everyday expenditure. However, the UK provides a good selection of student grants and scholarships for international students, even covering your entire tuition fees and living expenses. Financial aid is generally provided by the government, universities and private organisations.

Top 5 UK universities for masters study

Let’s take a look at five of the top UK universities for masters study

University of Oxford: Popular master programs include Law and Finance; MBA; Taxation; Public Policy.

University of Cambridge: Popular master programs include Corporate Law; MPhil in Economics; Master of Finance.

Imperial College London: Popular master programs include Strategic Marketing; Global Innovation Design; Business Analytics.

University College London (UCL): Popular master programs include Banking & Digital Finance; Clinical Neuroscience; Management.

London School of Economics and Political Science: Popular master programs include Global Media & Communications; Economics; Human Resource & Organisations.

Admission criteria

You can apply for a postgraduate program directly to your chosen university or via the UCAS Postgraduate system. Most universities in the UK accept applications throughout the year, but the significant intake months are September or October and January or February.

In most cases you must have a bachelors degree in a related area for applying to your desired postgraduate course. Some universities may ask for a minimum CGPA (Cumulative Grade Point Average) for which you will have to produce your academic transcripts. Other documents required are your updated resume, personal statement and a letter of recommendation.

You need to provide proof of your English language proficiency, if English is not your native language. For that purpose, you can take a standardised English language test, such as IELTS Academic, TOEFL iBT, PTE Academic, etc.

Student housing

One of the crucial aspects of studying abroad is finding a safe and affordable place to stay. There is no denying the fact that residing in a country like the UK can be an expensive and difficult affair if you’re not careful, and it is a good idea to book your student accommodation in advance to avoid the last-minute hassle. There is a variety of options available for suitable student housing in the UK to choose from, such as:

  • University halls of residence: If you want to experience university life and immerse yourself fully in it, choosing to reside in the university dorm is the perfect option. 
  • Private rentals: Whether you are planning to shift in student accommodation in Exeter or student accommodation in Swansea, you can consider renting a flat or a house from letting agents or landlords if you prioritise your independence more. However, living in a private rental can be pretty expensive; in that case, you can choose to share the place with others, which can help reduce the cost of the rent.
  • Purpose built student accommodation: Also known as private student halls, offer the same style as living as university halls of residence halls, but are managed by private companies. These private student halls are usually well equipped with a gym, TV, laundry, study room, etc.
  • Homestays: If you desire the comfort of a home and want to experience the culture of the UK closely, then renting a room with a local family is an excellent option for you.

Do you require help in finding your ideal home when studying abroad?

Amber student accommodationamber is an international accommodation booking platform that serves millions of students worldwide to locate a safe and budget home. We are continually upgraded with the latest COVID-19 policies and would be happy to give you 24/7 free and personalised assistance in searching for a perfect place for you. You can check out our Instagram and Facebook handles for exciting offers and fresh updates.

Writer: Harshita Anand is a postgraduate in English Journalism and a graduate in Hotel Management. She has worked in many diverse industries and with people from all walks of life. Her well-rounded experience inspired her to constantly learn new things about the world and write passionately about them!

amber is one of many potential private accommodation options for international postgraduate students. Other private student accommodation options are available and Postgrad.com advises you to research all your options thoroughly before making such a commitment. Postgrad Solutions accepts no responsibility for your choice of student accommodation and does not endorse or support amber.

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