How to Apply To UK Universities as an International Student

Coming to the UK to study is an opportunity that will definitely give you the chance to develop the skills, outlook, and confidence you need to reach your full potential. Make sure that you research the range of courses, colleges, and institutions available and compare them to ensure you select the course that is perfect for you and your goals. You should also check the university website to check the course’s prerequisites or you can apply through an international student recruitment agency.  

This is because the recruitment agencies have all the skills and knowledge to help you in selecting the right course at the right school. If you are unsure of what to do when you find a course on a university website, you can contact the university directly, and they will gladly assist you in locating the information you require.

Register and Apply

Depending on the course that you want to apply for which could be a preparatory course, undergraduate or postgraduate course.  To apply for an undergraduate course, you should register and apply through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

The UCAS application website is used to submit all Bachelor’s degree applications in the United Kingdom (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). The majority of universities will only consider your application if it is submitted through the UCAS system. To apply through UCAS, follow these simple steps: 

  • On the UCAS website, register and create your application.
  • Complete personal details on the system.
  • Apply to up to five programmes in the United Kingdom, at the same or different universities.
  • Include any previous educational qualifications.
  • Include your financial information or that of your parents.
  • Write a personal statement.
  • Some universities may require you to carry out more tests such as the UCAT or BMAT for Medicine, or the LNAT for Law degrees.  

There’s no need to rush because you can save and return to continue your application as many times as you want before submitting the final version.

To write your personal statement which is a written document by you that will accompany your application to attend a university or college. It’s an opportunity for you to explain why you want to study a certain course or subject, as well as the talents and experiences you have that demonstrate your enthusiasm for your chosen course that will lead to your profession.

Other Documents

  • You will also need a written reference from someone who can attest to your ability to complete the course, such as a tutor or one of your school professors. Make sure to contact your referees as soon as possible so that they have adequate time to write this for you.
  • Birth Certificate.
  • Evidence of English proficiency.  Unless you come from an English-speaking country, you will have to deliver proof of advanced English language proficiency. Accepted language tests are IELTS Academic.
  • TOEFL, C1 Advanced or PTE Academic.
  • Copies of degree/diploma certificates.
  • Academic transcripts.
  • Post Graduate applicants may also be required to submit a research proposal.

Deadlines for Applications

  • The deadline for all medicine, dentistry, and veterinary medicine course is Mid October
  •  UCAS’s deadline for EU/EEA students is Mid-January.  Bear in mind that most universities will not accept applications from students after the UCAS application deadlines.
  •  The deadline for international students who are not from EU/EEA countries is the end of June. 
  •  some universities have their own deadlines for international students (particularly for graduate applicants). Ensure to check the universities’ websites or contact the university directly to double-check the deadlines for accepting applications from international students.
  •  The UCAS Clearing process begins in August. Late university applicants who still want to start their degree studies in the academic year can apply for their degree courses during that time

The authenticity of the documents you submitted may have to be certified by a professional authority, ensure that all the documents you submitted can be easily verified so that you do not experience a rejection of your application.

Some universities may request for additional documents after you have submitted your application, also ensure you send evidence well ahead of time to avoid delays or missed deadlines.


Many postgraduate courses do not have a set deadline for applications, so you can apply as soon as you decide to study in the UK. Make sure to apply early in order to ensure the highest possibility of acceptance. Please keep in mind that different postgraduate courses in the UK have varying entry requirements, so visit the individual course websites for details on the requirements and how to apply. 

Acceptance of an Offer and Preparation

Once you have applied and have been given an offer, which could be a conditional or unconditional offer.  Conditional means you have some conditions to fulfil before you can start the course.  In any case, the university or college will contact you to tell you whether or not you have received an offer to study. 

If you applied through UCAS, you can easily track the status of your application at any time.  Once you have accepted the offer, you will be given a confirmation of acceptance by the university which you will need to process some of the requirements for coming to study in the UK.

Arrange a Funding

After accepting the offer, you will need to arrange the fund that will cover your tuition fee, visa application and the cost of living in the UK.  You may be eligible for one of the many scholarships available to help with the cost of your studies.

The UK government offers hundreds of scholarships, bursaries and additional financial support to students from several countries. Many universities offer fully-funded or partially funded scholarships for international students.  You can check their websites for more information.

Apply For a Visa

Most international students will require a visa to study in the UK.  The study visa will allow you as an international student to study and live in the UK all through the course. How to apply for a visa will be covered in one of the subsequent articles.  In the meantime, visit HERE to familiarise yourself with the process.

Once you have applied for the visa and approved it, you may need to check with your university to see if they require for you to pre-enrol online prior to your arrival in the country.

Preparation to come Over and Start your Course

Once you have your offer and your visa, you can now begin to prepare to come to the UK.  You will also need to get your flight tickets, make arrangements for accommodation and any other thing you will need to come and study successfully in the UK.

Upon arrival, check to see if the sticker on your passport says ‘Police Registration,’ If it does, it means you will be required to register at a police station within seven days of your arrival in the UK.

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