When compared to several other countries, the teaching methods in the United Kingdom are constantly evolving with every passing year to help students develop industry-specific skills. The universities’ innovative new teaching methodologies focus on encouraging problem-solving & research, independent thinking, and self-motivation.
As a result of this in 2018, three universities from the UK got featured in Times Higher Education World Ranking; out of world’s top 10 universities list. This stupendous achievement is an outcome of the UK’s education system and its extensive research capabilities.
Having built a world-class higher education system, the UK welcomes almost 460,000 international students from across the globe each year.
The approach of the UK Education System:
The UK aims at providing higher education for international students in areas including engineering, art & design, science, business & management, finance, and law. Its legacy and reputation as an epicentre of many scientific pieces of research encourage the world’s best thinkers to pursue their higher education across streams in the UK. In fact, the UK is responsible for 8% of global scientific publications.
The UK Education System and its Level of Courses
With actual regulations in the UK education system, the Higher Education comprised 5 levels of courses:
● Bachelor's degree
● A Postgraduate degree that leads to a Doctorate
● A Master’s degree.
● Postgraduate diplomas
● Postgraduate certificates of education (PGCE) and professional degrees.
The following undergraduate degrees are offered by the UK government:
● BA (Humanities)
● LLB (right)
● BEd (pedagogical sciences)
● BSc (Natural Sciences)
● BMus (music)
● EEng (technical sciences)
● BM or BS (medicine)
The following postgraduate/masters degrees are offered by the UK government:
● PGCE, Postgraduate Certificate in Education (Certificate of teaching)
● MA, Master of Arts (Humanities)
● DMS, Diploma of Graduate Studies (management)
● MBA, Master of Business Administration(Business Administration)
● MSc, Master of Science ] (Technical Sciences)
● LLM, Master of Law ] (right).
Mode of Higher Education for International students:
● An undergraduate degree in the UK usually takes 3 years to complete; with an exemption for Scotland as it takes 4 years to complete an undergraduate course in that province. The higher education institutions in the UK offer 4-year sandwich undergraduate courses. This course includes an additional one year at a workplace in the third year, thus making the course duration to 4 years instead of 3.
● Most master’s degrees in the UK have a duration of one year, which allows you to get into the workforce in a short span (when compared to many countries). Also, there are a wide range of courses to choose from including Postgraduate certificates and diploma (PG Cert/PG Dip), Taught Masters (such as MA, M.Sc., LLM, MBA, MRes) and Research Masters (such as MPhil, PhD, DPhil).
● Degree courses related to architecture, or medicine can last up to 7 years. London is home to some of the best universities where you can receive high-quality medical education. On the other hand, the process of getting admission in these universities is tough as it involves clearing a preliminary exam conducted by the respective university.
● International students can receive a Masters degree by another method i.e.) by research. Students engaging in in-depth research activity on a specific domain related to their bachelor’s degree can be eligible to receive a masters degree.
● If international students want to continue their research, they can get admitted to a graduate school and receive a doctorate. For a span of 2 to 3 years, the graduate students can conduct many independent pieces of research, and the results obtained from those researches can be published as a scientific article in either print or online publications. To earn an appropriate degree, international students must produce a thesis based on the respective research conducted in the 2 to 3 years period of time. With a successful review by the admission committee, students will be awarded a doctoral degree.
A qualification framework is a distinctive feature of the UK education system that focuses on the academic standards of higher education in the UK. The two frameworks running for higher education qualifications of UK are:
● The Framework for Higher Education Qualifications (FHEQ) - Degree Awarding Bodies in England, Northern Ireland, and Wales.
● The Framework for Qualifications of Higher Education Institutions in Scotland (FQHEIS).
Quality Assurance Agency (QAA)
An interesting facet of the UK Education System is the QAA (Quality Assurance Agency). This agency is an independent body that works for assuring quality standards and improving the quality of higher education in the UK since 1997.
The official guidelines for setting up quality and academic standards rely on individual universities and colleges, each of which is self-governing and independent, but the role of QAA is to check how well the educational institutions meet their responsibilities, identifying good practice and making recommendations for improvement.
Scholarships for international students in the UK
For a masters degree, the UK government offers several scholarships to international students. Out of those, the most popular masters scholarship is the Chevening Scholarship Program because it covers both academic and living expenses. This scholarship is supported by some leading universities in the UK and financed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. International students not older than 35 years can apply for this scholarship. To avail this scholarship, students should have bagged a top score in their bachelor’s degree with at least 2 years of work experience.
Note: Oxford University allocates over 200 scholarships in various programs every year.
With several options to explore, the UK is the perfect study destination for international students to quench their research thirst. If you are keen on getting a doctoral degree, it's time to contact us and get suggestions from our expert education counsellors to ease your study abroad process!