What are the best things about a Masters in the UK? First of all, your degree will be highly recognized all over the world. Second, you can finance your Masters not only with stipends, grants and scholarships but also with student loans which have quite small interest. Third, your Masters will last only 1 year – yes just one year and you are done! Last but not least you will improve your English language skills, something that will definitely help in your pursue for a better career.
England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have one of the most diverse higher education landscapes in Europe. British universities have high reputation and are represented among the best universities worldwide. Particularly universities like Oxford and Cambridge are highly rated and take the top 2 spots in the THE – The Times Higher Education ranking.
Masters programmes in Great Britain are divided into ‘taught’ Masters and ‘research’ Masters. Taught coursework is composed of lectures and conventional classes. In contrast, research work consists mostly of an independent project that you finish during your studies. While working on your project, you will receive ongoing support from your teachers.
British universities have a very family-like atmosphere. The courses are rather small, so students, teachers and university staff often form a tight-knit community. As a postgraduate student in the UK, you will enjoy an individualized education and personalized mentoring.
British universities usually have different admission requirements and timeframes. They will accept your application throughout the whole year, however try to be an early bird and send yours as soon as possible because some universities may close the application window since they have reached their limit of applications. With an early application it will be easier for you to find (a) proper funding and an university accommodation.
Always check in detail what exactly is required for enrolling in your desired Masters programme and university and when you can apply the earliest. You will need to send your application directly to the university – many of them have an online application system.
The most common documents you will need are:
All your documents have to be translated in English from a recognized translator.
The standard application deadlines are in June for the winter semester and in January for the summer semester, but as we mentioned above most of the universities accept applications through the whole year.
Tuition fees in the UK are rather high in comparison with other universities in Europe. You have to expect costs of about £6,000 to £10,000 depending on the postgraduate course you choose. Some MBA courses charge fees of up to £30,000.
Your home country plays an important role, as EU and non-EU students pay different fees. But whether you are from the EU or not, you can always apply for one of the many scholarships offered in the UK.
You should definitely check all the funding opportunities, which your desired university offers. What will be taken into account is your nationality, your income and what you actually study. Every university in the UK has a section on their website about funding. So don’t hesitate, make your research and apply!
If your Masters destination is Scotland, have a look at the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS), register and read more about your eligibility as a postgraduate student.
In the UK there are many foundations, charities and trust that provide financial support to Мasters students. Browse Trustfunding.org.uk and find a suitable fund for your study.
Now that you have checked everything, it is time to talk about the student loans. The only drawback here is that you will need to give the money back, but that only happens after your annual income is over £21 000. Let’s assume you have reached this income of £21 000, what you need to pay is just 6% of your income over the minimum amount (£1750 Per month) You earn £2000 per month, this means that you are just £250 above the monthly minimum amount – so in this case you will have to repay only £15 each month. Of course, the more you earn the more you will need to repay.
You can apply online and read more information on the government website - www.gov.uk.
ERASMUS also offers higher education funding and student loans. You can receive a loan of up to €12,000 for a 1-year Master or up to €18,000 for a 2-year Master (or equivalent amounts in foreign currency for banks in non-Euro countries subject to currency fluctuations).
Consider all your options and for additional help you can use the scholarships which is funded by the British government.
On average, the monthly expenses for a student in the UK amount to £1000. Although, depending on your location and lifestyle they can drop to £850.
The average rent that students pay is £535 per month (in London it is around £640). The money you pay for your rent might also cover some utility bills, but this is not very common. The utility bills are £50 on average and they will cover the usage of water, gas and electricity. You should also be ready to pay £30 more for a mobile phone and internet (if you live with more people you will split the internet cost)
Outside of London your student travel card costs £45 a month, but if you study at the London universities expect to pay £90 per month for transportation.
The prices in the groceries stores are quite low compared to the other Westers European countries:
If you want to eat some meal in a pub, it will cost you £8 to £12, and in restaurants from £15 to £25. The prices in London and in the cities in the South are slightly higher.
The United Kingdom is an incredible place – a synonym of the word multicultural. As one of the top destinations for international students the UK will give you the opportunity to meet people from all over the world and it makes no difference at which university you will study, the international students are everywhere.
There is always something to do in the UK, whether you go to a club, pub, concert, music festival or a gig, you will meet young people because most of the cultural events are organized by the students.
If you like history and art there are amazing museums and sites all around. Medieval castles, art galleries, exhibitions – you won’t be able to visit all the interesting places during your studies, not because you will not have enough time, but because there are just too many.
As you have watched some British films or TV series you are wondering: Does it actually rain every day? No! It doesn’t! There are always some sunny days, but even if it rains the weather in the United Kingdom is warmer than the weather in most of the European countries (yes, even warmer than the weather in some of the southern countries – especially during the winter). As a precaution always take an umbrella with you.
It will probably take you some time to adjust to the food habits in the UK, so in the meantime you can just find a place that offers food close to your own national cuisine. You will be amazed how many different national cuisines you can taste in the UK.
As soon as you arrive in the UK you should register with a doctor. Your university will assist you with that, providing a proof that you are a student there. The National Health Service (NHS) gives you access to a wide range of health care services. If you are an EU citizen make sure you have your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) with you, it gives you access to the NHS services for free.
You can read more about this on the leaflet the UK’s Department of Health has prepared
If after reading our guide, you think the United Kingdom is the right place for your Masters, check out what programmes British universities are offering.
What would be even better is to meet with universities from The UK at one of our fairs around Europe. Check out if we are coming to your city or to a city near you and join one of our events, where you can learn from the source and get the best advice about your future Masters in The UK.