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Private providers of postgraduate programs

Across the UK there is an increasing amount of accredited private providers offering postgraduate programs. These independent institutions can be universities, university colleges or colleges, and they are another great option to consider when choosing where to study your postgraduate program.

If you want to find out more about a specific private higher education institution check out our A-Z search of UK higher education institutions.

A university is public or private depending on whether the government or another public authority controls and manages the institution, private institutions receive no direct funding from the government. Many of them, like Regent’s College, IFS School of Finance and the College of Law are registered charities and are therefore not profit motivated, others such as BPP University College are commercial, for-profit entities.

With the introduction of undergraduate tuition fees in the UK, it is anticipated that there will be a growth in the private sector for higher education, in fact Bahram Bekhradnia, Director of the Higher Education Policy Institute, the UK’s only independent think tank dedicated to higher education, says, "Private universities are here to stay – and there are going to be more of them."

The current UK government wants to expand the number of private sector institutes in higher education, Universities Minister, David Willetts, says it is “Healthy to have a vibrant private sector working alongside our more traditional universities.” In fact just four months after being formed, the current government created the first new private University College since the 1970s - BPP University College.
The UK government is keen to encourage a diverse higher education sector which offers students great teaching as well as value for money and choice. And in keeping with current international trends, private institutions in the UK are now well positioned to compete with the traditional universities and offer value, choice and quality to postgraduate students.

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