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Masters in the UK - Guide for International Students

UK is the most preferred choice for studying among international students. Studying in the UK opens doors for your global career and allows you to improve your English language skills. With more than a one-fourth of the UK universities ranked among the top universities across the globe, it attracts about 5,00,000 international students every year. And the majority of them opt for studying masters courses in the UK.

This article gives you the information required to do your master’s degree in the UK - popular courses, top universities, requirements, funding options and more.

What is a Masters degree?

Masters degree in the UK is a level-7 qualification, usually done after completing your undergraduate degree. It is an intense study of the subject you opted for and usually lasts for one year, while in other countries masters is a two-year course.

Why study a Masters degree in the UK?

  • Universities in UK are known across the globe for the quality of education and research standards. Masters from these universities are respected everywhere in the world and is a huge advantage in the international job market
  • With more than half a million international students enrolling every year, UK is culturally diverse. You get to meet new and interesting people from various cultures as part of your studies. This global and professional network will help you once you complete your masters
  • UK’s master’s degree is of one year. Other countries including India needs two years of enrolment for a masters degree. Studying masters in the UK allows you to save on money and time which means that you can enter the job quickly

What are the popular master degree courses in the UK?

In the UK, a masters program is an intense study of the subject in which you have completed your undergraduate study. This will make you an expert on the topic within your subject. Here, masters degrees are categorised into two types - Taught Masters and Research Masters.

Taught Masters: The teaching style is more like an undergraduate program where your subject is divided into various modules and you will have a set timetable of lectures and seminars. Subject expert or academics in charge will lead you through it. It is generally a one year course.

Research Masters: Research masters are more independent in nature and does not involve any timely lectures and seminars. In this, your focus will be on extended projects. Even though you receive expert support you will need to do your research work on your own. Research masters may take two or more years to complete.

Taught masters are the most popular degrees among international students and here is a list of the preferred degrees

  • Computer Science
  • Journalism
  • Business Administration
  • International relations
  • Psychology

What are the popular cities to study in the UK?

UK comprises of 4 countries - England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales. It has about 50 student cities which means you have a long list of options to choose from. Here are the most popular student cities,

  • London, England
  • Liverpool, England
  • Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Belfast, Northern Ireland
  • Swansea, Wales

These cities offer a rich social life and you will get to attend various music festivals, concerts and other events including fashion shows. London is known to be an expensive city and if you are looking to save on your living costs, then check out the below cities

  • Cardiff
  • Bristol
  • Leicester
  • Southampton
  • Manchester

Read affordable cities in the UK to know more

Which universities and colleges to attend in the UK?

Now that you know the popular master’s courses available and the popular cities to study in the UK, let us see the best colleges available. Across the UK, you can enrol with any of the Universities, Business Schools and University Colleges.

Universities in the UK are categorised based on the year they were found in. They are as below:

Old Universities: These are the universities that are found in the 12th and 13th centuries. The University of Oxford is one of the oldest universities in the UK.

Redbrick Universities: These universities are found in the late 19th century and are built in the industrial cities of the UK.

New Universities: The universities found after 1992 comes under this category.

Below is the list of top universities to study masters in the UK,

Top Universities in England

Top Universities in Scotland

Top Universities in Northern Ireland

Top Universities in Wales

All the above-mentioned universities are ranked under University League Tables 2020 rankings.

How much does a masters program cost in the UK?

Typically tuition fees of the master’s program in the UK range between £9,000 - £15,000

(approximately 8.39 lakhs - 14 lakhs INR) per year.

In addition to the tuition fee, you need to pay for food, rent and other expenses during your study in the UK. This may cost you around £15,180 (approximately 14 lakhs INR) per year if you wish to stay in London. As you already know London is an expensive city and you can save up to £3,000 (approximately 2.79 lakhs INR) on your living expenses per year if you wish to stay out of London.

The tuition fee and living expenses for a one-year masters program range between £21,180- £30,180 ( approximately 19.73 - 28.11 Lakhs INR)

What are the postgraduate funding options available to study in the UK?

Studying masters in the UK is an expensive affair and you need to put in lots of effort to accumulate substantial amounts. To relieve you from that financial burden, universities, government bodies and various other organisations provide you with funding. The various funding options include Scholarships, Bursaries, Grants, Fellowships and Loans. These funding options may cover partial to full tuition fees, living expenses including accommodation and flight tickets (to and from the home country). However, the amount funded depends on funds provider and/or on the requirement of the person. In order to get the funding, you are required to fulfil certain criteria. This criterion varies from one provider to another. Check with the provider before applying for the funds. Read postgraduate funding options guide to know more

What are the requirements to study a masters degree in the UK?

Requirements for studying masters in the UK vary from course to course and from university to university. Common requirements to apply for a masters degree include,

Undergraduate or Bachelors Degree: To apply for a master degree you need to have completed your undergraduate degree with at least 60% marks. However, this differs based on the program and the university you opt for.

English Language Proficiency: In order to gain admission into the UK university, you need to prove your language proficiency. You might need to take the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) exam. This language test is to ensure that you will not struggle to understand the course taught in English.

Professional Experience:  All the courses do not require you to have the professional experience to gain admission. However, some courses like Masters in Social Work demand for professional experience to understand your passion and enthusiasm for the course.

Entrance Exams: If you are applying for Business Administration courses (MBA), then you are required to take the GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test). And a few universities ask international students for the GRE (Graduate Record Exam) as well.

On the whole, UK is an excellent place to get a masters degree from and get exposed to various cultures that build your confidence and boost your career. What are you waiting for? Start your study in UK journey today. Contact our student support team for any kind of assistance required to turn your study in UK dream to reality.   

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