So far, our latest Masters study adventure has led us to Amsterdam and Berlin. Next up, how about we land in the UK - more precisely in London - and get into details about the Masters opportunities there? Perhaps many of you are also curious about the on-going effects related to Brexit as well – a topic which we will definitely include in this guide. Oh, this article would not be complete without some British English now and then, so keep your eyes peeled. Right, carry on!
Serving as the capital of England and the United Kingdom, London is a global city located in the South-Eastern part of Great Britain. From a historical point of view, Londinium – established by the Romans in AD 43 - was the very beginning of what we know today as a world center of art, business, education, fashion and technology. The Tower of London, or Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress of the Tower of London, the Big Ben – officially known as Elizabeth Tower, and the London Eye are among the most iconic sights of the city. Did you know that the London Underground, better known as the Tube, is actually the oldest underground railway system, which began operations back in 1863?
But before getting too carried away, London is just as impressive when seen through the perspective of higher education. The capital is home to more than 40 universities welcoming a student population of over 400,000 seeking exceptional quality of education, top-of-the-class teaching methods and world-leading research. And statistics provided by ranking sources certainly prove the point:
|Universities in London||THE's World University Rankings 2020||QS Top Universities 2020|
|Imperial College London||10||9|
|University College London||15||8|
|King's College London||36||33|
|London School of Economics and Political Science||27||44|
|Queen Mary University of London||110||126|
Or in other words, a total of five universities in London are represented in the global Top 150! Furthermore, all five are also “public research universities” playing a major role in the delivery of the UK’s total of 54% world-leading research. Below you can find a list with even more higher education institutions, including the ranks of some of them according to THE’s World University Rankings for 2020:
In terms of Masters studies, most of these universities offer a wide variety of programmes taking only one year to complete, which in turn makes them both cost-effective and time-efficient. Subject areas are diverse and rich, with a portion of them often labelled as world-class. For example, the fields of sport – football, cricket, motorsports and tennis, and politics . Speaking of which, there is no doubt that students coming from member countries of the EU are set to be most affected from Brexit, with most uncertainties revolving around the introduction of student visas and the discontinuation of the Erasmus+ programme.
In addition, there is also the financial effect, as there is growing concern over the chances of the current tuition level to increase further. At the bottom line, Brexit is postponed until 31 January 2020, when it will also become clear if a certain deal between the EU and the British Parliament is possible.
Generally speaking, a Masters study in the UK can be relatively cheap and more affordable in comparison to that of a Bachelor. Both EU and UK students are supposed to pay £9,250 per annum for a Bachelor, whereas Masters programmes can cost around £6000 to £8000 for a 12-month course.
This mostly depends on the chosen field and university – while tuition fee figures are higher for international students. But since we are talking about London, the majority of the universities from our previous lists, for example, offer Masters study opportunities in the range of £10,000 and above for EU/UK students and almost twice as much for international.
Still, it is quite easy to find a lot of useful information regarding scholarship and funding opportunities on the official websites of the universities. If we take the University College London as an example, there is a dedicated page allowing to choose from different schemes based on specific criteria, eligibility and value.
In the UK, there is also the existence of tuition fee loans, that allow students to receive a certain amount of finances for the funding of their study-related costs. Goldsmiths, University of London can provide you with a similar option, but keep in mind that in all cases, there is an included interest rate and conditions under which you must begin paying back your loan!
Finally, keep in mind that you might also be eligible for a bursary that can cover a large percentage of your tuition fee expenditure. The Birkbeck Postgraduate Bursary provided £3000 for full-time postgraduate and £1500 for part-time students per year in 2019.
Before diving into the unlimited choices of exciting activities to do during your free time in London, there is the need to plan your accommodation for the period of your studies. Unfortunately, however, there is no centralised online system where you could scout for housing within a certain city or region. Each university in London provides details regarding public halls of residence or on-campus accommodation directly on their website.
And since we have mentioned almost every higher education institution from our previous two ranking lists, shall we continue the trend? At St George’s, University of London, there are shared rooms with an equipped kitchen and bathroom. Rents are charged weekly and amount between £168 and £178 depending on the room type. Furthermore, there is Internet access provided and of course, on-site facilities and good transport connections.
Another example is the King’s College London, where you can choose from a rich variety of residence locations coming at different prices. Offers even include private rooms priced above £200 and once again, charged on a weekly basis. To sum up, it would be a good idea to plan ahead a rough number of around £700to £800 per month for your public accommodation provided by the university of your choice. In most cases, Internet and utilities are included in the rent and even access to facilities such as gyms – and this is certainly healthy for a tight budget.
On another note, the private market is also a possibility, with prices there fluctuating above £1000 for a monthly rent. This is a straightforward rule, as it is inevitable to expect paying at least 20-30% more than for public housing. Of course, the prices hugely depend on the district and your personal taste, which is why it is best to either consult with realtors or simply scout their website offerings.
Living costs are the other major component of each remaining budget – which, by the way, can round up to £1100 - £1200, or €1280 - €1400 in London, in a good case scenario. With prices dictated by a high living standard, you can prepare for the following costs for general products such as:
And even though it is highly likely that you are aware of the ISIC card, another source for discounts is TOTUM. Both of these can be mostly useful for entertainment, shopping and free time while getting around the capital. This is possible thanks to the London public transport network, which also provides reduced pricing, or 30% to be exact, for bus and tram passes that can be acquired for one week, month or a full year. You can check out more information about student travel through the provided link.