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Study in UK

The UK Education System

There are three main types of education available to students over the age of 18:

  • vocational courses offered by FE institutions
  • degree courses
  • postgraduate study.

Degree courses and Postgraduate study are sometimes collectively called higher education (HE). Most professional courses, such as accountacny, dentistry, law, medicine, etd, are offered at higher education level.

Degree courses lead to the award of a Bachelor's degree (or, in a few cases, a Master's degree). They are available from HE institutions (universities, HE colleges and institutes) and some FE institutions.

Universitites vary in size from less than 4,000 students to over 10,000, and teach a wide range of courses. HE colleges and institutes are typically smaller than the universities. some run similar programmes to the universities and other specialise in one or more subjects.

Postgraduate study leads to postgraduate certificates and diplomas, Master's degrees (including the MBA) and doctorates (eg Ph.D or DPhil). All are advanced academic programmes for students who already have a good first degree. They are offered by universities, and by some HE colleges and institutes.

Here are the options you can choose from:

Degree Courses

Degree courses are offered by all universities, and by most university-sector colleges and institutes. The most common degree titles include BA, BSc and BEng.

Postgraduate Study

Postgraduate programmes are offered in the UK by universities, and by some colleges and institutes, and fall into two broad categories:

Taught courses
These can lead to postgraduate certificates and diplomas or to Master's degrees. They can be academic or vocational. Many vocational programmes are 'conversion courses' for students from a different subject background. The most common Master's degrees are the MA and MSc.
Research programmes
These can lead to Master's degrees (MA, MSc, MPhil or MRes) or to a doctorate (PhD or DPhil). To be admitted to these programmes, you'll need a good first degree in a related subject.


British business schools offer an ever-increasing range of programmes, from general MBA's to highly specialised programmes for particular business niches like finance or facilities management. All programmes emphasise practical experience. Students need to have two or three year's work experience before starting most MBA courses, and are expected to share this experience in class.

Would you like to know how you can apply?