Home Studying Abroad UK Universities – Rankings, Universities, Courses, Application, Fees
UK Universities

UK Universities – Rankings, Universities, Courses, Application, Fees

by Aatif Nafees
Reading Time: 11 minutes

UK Universities – The UK is one of the most popular destinations for international students around the world. Home to 130 universities, the UK welcomes close to half a million international students every year and offers them a world-class education and opportunities to work post education. THE World University Rankings 2020 has listed 11 UK based universities in their list of top 100 universities around the world.

For nearly a decade, the number of Indian students going to the UK each year had been sliding but the trend reversed in 2017-18 with 19,750 students going to the UK, which was significantly higher from the previous years. The main reason for this was the number of tier 4 or sponsored study visas granted to Indian nationals climbing up by 33%.  Last year, the Vice-chancellor of Glasgow University was quoted as saying, “The UK’s leading universities have recruited many more overseas students, particularly from China and India, to offset a series of financial challenges arising from Brexit,”

In this article, we will discuss some of the key information (cost of education, top courses, application process, and more.) about top universities in the UK

Things you need to know before applying in UK Universities

  • Application process and using the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS)
  • Understanding the course curriculum and grading system
  • Overall tuition fee 
  • About the city where the university is situated and the cost of living in the city
  • Part-time work options
  • Visa application process
  • Health insurance plans

Study Abroad

UK Universities – List of best Universities in the UK

 TOP-RANKED UNIVERSITIES IN THE UK IN 2020

University Name

Timer Higher Education (THE) Rankings

Quacquarelli Symonds(QS)Rankings

Location

2020

2020

 

Global Rankings

National Ranking

Global Rankings

National Ranking

 

UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD

1

1

4

1

Oxford

UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE

3

2

7

2

Cambridgeshire

IMPERIAL COLLEGE LONDON

10

3

9

4

London

UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON

15

4

8

3

London

LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS AND POLITICAL SCIENCE

27

5

44

8

London

UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH

30

6

20

5

Edinburgh

KING’S COLLEGE LONDON

36

7

33

7

London

UNIVERSITY OF MANCHESTER

55

8

27

6

Manchester

UNIVERSITY OF WARWICK

77

9

62

10

Coventry

UNIVERSITY OF BRISTOL

87

10

49

9

Bristol

UNIVERSITY OF GLASGOW

99

11

67

11

Glasgow

*QS Rankings are based on Academic Reputation, Employer Reputation, Faculty Student, Citations per Faculty, International Faculty, International Students.

* THE Rankings are based on Teaching standard, Research, Citations, Industry Income, International outlook.

UK Universities – Main Universities 

Below mentioned are the complete details on the 4 most reputable colleges amongst international students (particularly Indian). One can easily say these colleges provide top-notch academic experiences and their degrees ensure outstanding careers to all of its students

UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD

Number of Full Time Enrolled (FTE) students – 20,664  

International students – 41%

Number of students per staff – 11:2

Female : Male ratio – 46 : 54

Key Facts

  • Oxford was ranked #1 in the world by the Times Higher Education Rankings for 2017, 2018 and 2019.
  • It receives, on average, more than 6 applications for each available place.
  • It has the largest volume of world-leading research in England.
  • It offers more than 350 graduate courses across the disciplines.
  • It is the second oldest operational university in the world after the University of Bologna.

University of Oxford – Popular courses

According to the 2020 report published by the Times Higher Education, University of Oxford is globally ranked – 

  • #1 in Computer Sciences European Teachings, Clinical, Pre-clinical and Health courses
  • #2 in Social Sciences
  • #3 in Business and Economics, Life Sciences
  • #4 in Law and Education
  • #5 in Engineering and Technology
  • #7 in Physical Sciences

University of Oxford – Tuition fees and living cost

According to Oxford University’s website, the annual course fees payable by overseas students is between GBP 25,740 and GBP 36,065. Clinical medicine fees will be significantly higher. Fee status is based upon where the applicant lives, his / her nationality, and in certain cases, the level of any previous study. 

Application Process

  • The process of application at the University of Oxford starts with choosing the course and deciding on an open application on Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).
  • Academic references and personal statements are to be prepared during this time. 
  • Applicants need to check if they need to take a test (special requirements). 
  • The most important part of the process is submission of the application with documents, references and statements before the relevant deadline. 

Application Cycle

  • June – Selection of courses, application on UCAS starts
  • Mid-October – Deadline for application submissions and get test candidate number
  • Late-October – Test dates
  • Early – November – Written work submission
  • Mid-December – Interviews
  • January – Decision and offer letter

UK Universities – Required Documents

  • UCAS application
  • References
  • Personal statement
  • Transcripts (High School and/or University where required)

UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE

Number of FTE students – 18,978

International students – 37%

Number of students per staff – 10:9

Female : Male Ratio – 47:53

Key Facts

  • The University of Cambridge is ranked #3 in the world ranking, #4 in world reputation and #2 in European teaching rankings by the Times Higher Education.
  • It is the fourth-oldest surviving university in the world and the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world.
  • It serves more than 18,000 students yearly. Nearly 4,000 of its students are international, coming from more than 120 countries.
  • The university is split into 31 autonomous colleges.
  • The university is home to over 100 libraries, which between them hold more than 15 million books in total!

University of Cambridge – Top Courses 

The University of Cambridge offers 356 undergraduate courses and 156 postgraduate courses via 6 schools. These six schools are spread across the university’s colleges namely: Arts and Humanities, Biological Sciences, Clinical Medicine, Humanities and Social Sciences, Physical Sciences and Technology. 

Times Higher Education has ranked University of Cambridge globally as – 

  • #1 in the world for Life Sciences
  • #2 for Art and Humanities, Law and European Teachings
  • #3 for Clinical, Pre-clinical & Health, Engineering & Technology and Physical Sciences
  • #4 in Business & Economics
  • #5 for Social sciences and Computer Sciences 
  • #7 in Education

Study Abroad

Application process 

  • All the applicants to the University of Cambridge must submit an application to UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) before the relevant deadlines. Applicants will receive a mail directing them towards completing the Supplementary Application Questionnaire (SAQ)
  • International students who wish to be considered for an overseas interview and scholarships must submit a Cambridge Online Preliminary Application (COPA). This will generate a reference number, which is to be mentioned on the SAQ. Academic transcripts are to be submitted after that. 
  • All the candidates with a realistic chance of getting the admission will be called for interviews. International students can request for overseas interviews as well.
  • The last stage of the application process will be admission assessments. Most applicants are required to take a subject-specific written admission assessment, either pre-interview or at interview.

Required Documents 

All applicants need to submit the following documents before the relevant deadline –

  • COPA
  • UCAS application
  • Supplementary Application Questionnaire (“SAQ”)
  • COPA fee payment (where applicable)
  • Transcripts (High School and/or University where required)

Application Cycle 

  • Early September – UCAS application opens
  • Mid October – COPA deadline for students to be interviewed in Cambridge, Canada, Hong Kong, India, China or the USA
  • Late October – SAQ deadline for most applicants
  • End October – BMAT for Medicine applicants. Pre-interview assessments taken.
  • December – The majority of interviews in Cambridge take place in the first three weeks of December (some maybe a little earlier).
  • Early January- Winter pool takes place and decisions are posted to applicants
  • End January- Final decisions to pooled applicants
  • Early March- Mature students second round applications deadline
  • May-June 2020 – A-Levels, IB and other examinations are taken – including STEP, where required for Mathematics and other applicants.
  • August 2020 – Examination results published and confirmation of conditional offers

University of Cambridge – Tuition fees

The cost of studying at Cambridge can be divided into ‘University Composition fee’ (payment made via your College to the University to cover the cost of your education) and ‘Maintenance fee’ (the estimated minimum cost of living during the time at the University). The cost of undergraduate courses is between GBP 19,197- GBP 30,678 per year for non-EU students (excluding medicine). The cost of studying for most master’s and doctoral programs is between GBP 20,424- GBP 29,343. Cost varies depending on the subject and level of course.

University of Cambridge – Notable Scholarships 

  • Gates Cambridge Scholarships for International Students
  • Cambridge International Scholarships
  • Vice-Chancellor’s Awards & Cambridge International Scholarships 2020
  • Oxford and Cambridge Society of India Scholarship
  • Cambridge Trust Scholarship

University of Cambridge – Life at Cambridge 

There is a lot going on within the University and its colleges, and with students accounting for about a fifth of the city’s overall population, Cambridge is a great place for a student to be. You’ll find hundreds of student societies, world-class sports, debating, performances, art and more. The city also offers a number of great restaurants and bars which regularly host musical events and other student gatherings.

IMPERIAL COLLEGE LONDON

Number of FTE students – 16,760

International students – 56%

Number of students per staff – 11:7

Female : Male Ratio – 38:62

Key Facts

  • Imperial College London is a one-of-a-kind institution in the UK, focusing solely on science, engineering, medicine and business.
  • Its neighbours include a number of world-leading cultural organizations including the Science, Natural History, Victoria and Albert museums, the Royal Colleges of Art and Music, the English National Ballet and the Royal Albert Hall.
  • Imperial is one of the most international universities in the world, with 59% of its student body in 2018-19 being non-UK citizens and more than 140 countries are currently represented on campus.
  • It houses the UK’s largest brain bank and a special centre for Climate Change.

Top Courses

Formed with a vision focusing solely on science, engineering, medicine and business, ICL offers more than 80 courses at the undergraduate level and more than 230 courses at the postgraduate level. 

Times Higher Education (THE) ranks it globally at – 

  • #11 in Engineering and Technology and Physical Sciences
  • #7 in Computer Sciences
  • #4 in Clinical, Pre-clinical and Health courses
  • #16 in Life Sciences 
  • #14 in European Teaching

Application process 

To apply for a full-time undergraduate programme at Imperial College London, you must make an online application via the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service – UCAS with Code 150. If your school or college is registered with UCAS, you will be able to apply the same way as UK students; otherwise, international applicants will need to apply online independently. Applicants are responsible for paying the correct application fee, for obtaining and attaching the academic reference and for submitting the completed application online to UCAS. 

Required Documents 

Following documents are required at the time of application from international students –

  • Photographs
  • Passport (Original)
  • Previous Qualifications (as listed on your CAS) – Original Certificate or transcript (+ translation, if required)
  • English Language (pre-sessional students only) Original Certificate
  • ATAS Certificate (if listed on your CAS)
  • Bank statements – If you will be using your parents’ bank statements to show evidence of funds you will need to include:
    • A letter of consent from that parent
    • Original birth certificate or a notarized copy
  • Scholarship Certificate – If a scholarship has been received
  • TB Test Results (Original)

Application Cycle

  • Mid – Late May – The opening date for UCAS
  • Early-September – UCAS will make applications available to universities
  • Mid-October: Deadline for submitting applications

Tuition fees

Tuition fees for overseas students are set by the College. These vary depending on the course. Most of the courses will cost between GBP 28,000 – GBP 32,000, with a few exceptions which cost a bit higher. Overseas fees are expected to rise each year by a certain amount, as per the inflation. Some of the courses involve extra costs that are not covered by tuition fees. Examples include printing costs, books and field trips.

Notable Scholarships 

  • Brilliant Minds MBA Scholarship
  • Riles Family Scholarship
  • Advisory Board Scholarship
  • Dean’s Excellence Awards
  • Future Leader MBA Scholarship
  • Social Impact Scholarship
  • Reaching Out MBA Scholarship (ROMBA)
  • Forté Scholarship
  • Scholarship for Women in Finance by Imperial College Business School, London
  • Imperial Women’s Scholarship
  • President’s PhD Scholarships, Imperial College London 
  • Imperial College PhD Scholarship In Chemical Engineering
  • Imperial Loyalty Bursary
  • Imperial Business Scholarship
  • GMAT Excellence awards
  • Chevening Scholarship
  • GREAT Scholarships 2020 – India

Life at Imperial College London

It’s not all work and no play at Imperial College. The choice of over 380 clubs and societies is one of the largest at any UK university. All first-year undergraduates get guaranteed accommodation in one of the halls of residence. Central London location means students are perfectly placed to enjoy all that the city has to offer. The students can join clubs and societies which offer activities like sports and martial arts, arts, music and entertainment, a student-run cinema, charitable events, student media including a student-run newspaper, TV station and radio station, outdoor activities including caving, gliding and canoeing and much more.

UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OF LONDON 

Number of FTE students – 32,665

International students – 52%

Number of students per staff – 10:7

Female : Male Ratio – 57:43

Key Facts

  • UCL was founded in 1826 and is ranked #10th by QS Global University Rankings 2020.
  • Students from 150 countries study at UCL, making up more than one-third of the student body.
  • 53% of the nearly 39,500 students are enrolled in graduation courses.
  • UCL is the top-rated university in the UK for research strength (Research Excellence Framework 2014).
  • UCL is associated with several major teaching hospitals – such as the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, the Royal Free Hospital, and Moorfields Eye Hospital.
  • 29 alumni and 11 honorary graduates from UCL are Nobel Prize laureates. 

Top Courses

THE World University Ranking 2020 has ranked UCL globally at:

  • #6 in Arts and Humanities
  • #4th in Psychology and European Teaching
  • #8 in Clinical, Pre-clinical and health courses. 
  • #10 Life Sciences
  • #11 in Social Sciences
  • #14 in Law
  • #21 in Business and Economics
  • #33 in Physical Sciences

Application process

  • Check academic, English language and visa requirements for the programme of study.
  • Apply by going to the UCL Apply Online system and then selecting the appropriate level of affiliate study. Provide the following to complete the application process –
    • A valid email address for your referee
    • An academic transcript provided in English and in electronic format
    • Your personal statement
    • Home institution confirmation
  • Submit the application before the deadline. For entry in September, for the Autumn Term only or a full year, the application deadline is 31 March and for entry in January, for the Spring and Summer Terms only, the application deadline is 30 September the previous year.
  • If selected, apply for student accommodation, and visas

Required Documents 

Following documents are required at the time of application from international students –

  • Academic transcript
  • Application fee
  • English language requirements
  • Personal statement (3,000 character limit, including spaces)
  • References – 2
  • Research proposal (PhD)

Cost of Education

UCL’s tuition fees are set annually and with up to 5% hike each year. The tuition fees cover registration, tuition and supervision for each academic year. Fee for the overseas students enrolled in undergraduate and master’s programmes during 2019-20 session was between GBP 15,220 – GBP 29,220. For the research courses, the fees were between GBP 20,170 – 28,410. The cost of living for an academic year including accommodation, food, travel and other day-to-day costs is estimated at around £20,000. 

Notable Scholarships 

  • British Chevening Scholarships
  • Commonwealth Scholarships for Developing Commonwealth Countries
  • Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme at UK Universities
  • Charles Wallace India Trust Scholarships
  • Saltire Scholarships
  • University College London (UCL) Scholarships

Life at UCL

UCL offers a very rich cultural environment for its students. It has some of the most impressive theatres, museums and art collections with opportunities for students to explore more. UCL offers a number of support and health services to all students including a day nursery, health centre and facilities for those with disabilities. UCL also offers many clubs, societies and volunteering opportunities to its students.

UK Universities – FAQs

Q: What are QS and THE Rankings?

A: QS World University Rankings and Times Higher Education University Rankings are the annual publications of university rankings that comprise the global overall and subject rankings for all the best universities in the world, based on the quality of a university’s research, teaching, student reviews and employability.

Q: What are the living costs while studying in the UK?

A:  According to the National Union of Students, the average living costs of studying in the UK in London are about GBP 13,400, compared to GBP 12,100 for the rest of England. According to the University of Cardiff, the total is about GBP 7,300, while the University of Edinburgh estimates the figure for Scotland to be about GBP 15,400. Queen’s University Belfast estimates the costs of studying in Northern Ireland at GBP 10,200.

Q: What are UK student halls like?

A: Many universities in the UK have their own student halls on campus reserved for first-year students. These halls tend to provide good value for money, with easy access to all the facilities you need, and opportunities to mix with other students.

Q: Do students tend to work part-time during their studies?

A: Yes. Many students at universities in the UK have part-time student jobs, typically in hospitality, academic tutoring or for their student union. If you are an international student, there may be restrictions on the total number of hours you are allowed to work. There should be a sticker in your passport indicating the exact number (usually 10 or 20 hours). 

Q: What are the UK visa requirements for students?

A: In order to pursue your education in the UK, you will be required to apply –

  • For a Tier 4 (General) student visa if your duration for the study is more than 6 months
  • Student Visitor visa if your duration for the study is 6 months or less

Study Abroad

You may also like

Leave a Comment