How to get into a UK university as an Indian student?: The United Kingdom is home to some of the world’s best universities, snuggled in beautiful historic towns and bustling vibrant cities.
So if you are all set on heading there to get your education degree, it’s no surprise why. But where do you start?
First of all, you need to know this: UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) is your ticket to getting into a UK-based university or institution.
Distinct to the US system where you’re required to make university-specific applications, in the United Kingdom you are required to write one personal statement, apply to a maximum of five universities and administer it all through one online portal.
Sounds comparatively simple, right? Well, yes and no… fortunately it should be pretty easy to get a handle on, but when you are just starting out it can be rather tricky to know how to steer the application process, visas, and all the other steps and requirements you need to go through and meet in order to begin your academic journey in the UK.
In case if you are from a country within the European Union you are currently treated the same as a British applicant so most of these steps are not really needed.
However, Indian students proceeding to study in the UK may have to complete the steps below for the 2021-2022 university admissions year.
How to Apply to UK Universities: Step by Step Guidance is Here:-
1. Ensure You Meet All Requirements
In the first place, start early – very little can be done if you miss deadline days and you may end up having to wait another year if you are dead-set on studying in the UK. It is also very important to make sure you meet all the necessary requirements to be successful.
You will be required to provide:
- An up-to-date passport
- An English language proficiency qualification
- Evidence of how you will be funding your education/course
- A Tuberculosis test (certain countries)
- And possibly more
To study in the United Kingdom, you will need to take the IELTS test or its equivalent to prove you have sufficient English language skills to complete your course.
Those entering the UK from many countries are required to have been cleared for Tuberculosis so check either your home country is on that list and get tested if so.
UCAS updates its website consistently with all application deadlines so make sure you don’t miss out. If you are applying to study veterinary science, medicine or a handful of other courses, or applying to Oxford or Cambridge, your deadline is expected to be earlier than other subjects or universities so make sure that you have an eye on the deadline.
2. Find A Course And Select Your Universities
In the UK, you select your course before applying to a university and your passion for that specific area of study should be at the leading-edge of your application.
You can get in touch with our admission counselors who will assist you in finding the right universities for you and help you apply. Once you’ve settled on one, have a proper look at UCAS and make a note of its unique code.
You can choose a maximum of five universities to apply to through UCAS, so have fun researching which institutions offer your course by exploring the university websites. Don’t forget to make a good note of your universities’ UCAS codes.
3. Write Your Personal Statement
Your personal statement sets you aside from all other students and is likely to be the key to your success when competing with competitors with similar grades and backgrounds. You have a maximum of 47 lines or 4,000 characters (not words) to sell yourself and your love for your chosen subject or course.
Detail what interests you, what you will take along to the college, why you chose the course and what you have done to show you are dedicated towards your subject area.
4. Apply Through UCAS
The UCAS website is easy to handle and will guide you through the process. You will need to fill out your personal information, the UCAS codes you collected initially for your course and universities, and your personal statement.
As we wrote earlier, this is unlike the US where each and every application is tailored to a particular university, so identical applications will be sent to all the universities you apply to.
If you are successful you will soon get your CAS form (Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies) it is a virtual document with a unique reference number sent to you by the university that accepted you.
Make sure to keep this in a safe place (do not lose it) as it is important and you will need it to apply for your student visa. Moreover, it will have all the important information you need to know about, including details of your course, start date, tuition costs and your official confirmation of a place at university.
5. Pay for Immigration Health Surcharge
To get costless healthcare for the duration of your studies you must pay a £150 (US$210) Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) fee, and it will cover you for one year. You can make this payment online.
Keep your payment receipt safe as you will need it when you apply for your visa.
6. Apply For Your Visa
You will require a Tier 4 (General) Student Visa if you are studying for a full-degree in the UK and a Student Visitor Visa when you are studying for a period of six months or less, which you can acquire through an online application. Aspirants will need to have fingerprints and photographs taken at a visa application Centre (to get a Biometric Residence Permit) as part of your application.
Be more attentive related to your timings for this one: the application needs to be in no less than three months before your course begins but no more than six months, as soon as you received your CAS form so always keep your eyes on your dates.
For a Tier 4 visa, candidates will need to pay around £310 (US$435) fee and £83 (US$116) for a six-month Student Visitor visa.
Applicants may be able to get a visa faster depending on what country they’re in so check with the visa application Centre.
7. Visa Interview
You will be invited to a visa interview, at a visa application Centre or probably via video link, where you will be asked questions typically about your university, course and financial situation. Have all your documents at the ready just in case and be prepared to speak confidently in English about your dream for your studies in the UK.
You are likely to need:
- Tuberculosis Screening Certificate from UKVI authorized TB Test Centre
- CAS form
- Current passport
- English language proficiency test mentioned in CAS form
- Financial proof you can fund your studies
- Two passport photographs
- Academic certificates mentioned in CAS form
- Original birth certificate
- Evidence of payment for immigration health surcharge
8. Start Planning Your Journey
Now you can start making your exciting plans, including your means of travel, to get you safely to your new house in the UK. Talk to the university regarding accommodation if you haven’t already heard anything about it and also you should proceed making your arrangements for your arrival.
If you want to study in the UK for less than six months, you can land in the country up to one week before your programme begins. However, if you are studying for a longer period of time, you can arrive up to 30 days before the course begins.
You will have been given a temporary visa which will allow you to be in the country for that particular period of time. The actual visa comes in the form of your BRP that you will have to collect within 10 days of when you said you’d arrive in the UK and you can face high fines in case you forget, so always make sure you remember. You will have organized when you applied for your visa where to collect your BRP from.
If you are heading off to the UK for your studies/education soon, you might want to have a look at your handy checklist on everything you need to take with you.
9. Arrive In The UK To Begin Your Education
Try to visualize and dream of what awaits you when you arrive: a whole new adventure.
Remember to keep all your documents in an accessible place in your hand luggage to give to the immigration officer if required when you land.
Broken down into attainable steps it doesn’t look quite so intimidating, right? Don’t forget you can get step by step guidance in an even simpler format with 360 College Review, as it is the leading overseas education consultancy in India, with our easy strategies to make sure you do everything you can to get yourself to the UK to advance your education.
Congratulations, you have done it – now the fun begins!
**All the information given above is correct at the time of writing but is subject to change so always ensure you check with your university and the UK High commission if in doubt.