Many of our graduates dream of taking up further study and work in the UK once they have finished their course. This is a brief guide to the current requirements but for more information on the potential post-Brexit requirements, be sure to check out our article Brexit Opportunities.

Studying in the UK

Studying in the UK

To study in the UK you will need a Student Visa. These are issued by the UK Immigration Service and they will require:

  • Details of your passport.
  • A recent photograph.
  • An unconditional offer of a place on a course offered by a licensed Tier 4 Sponsor, college or university, evidenced by a ‘Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies’ (CAS) form from your course provider (worth 30 points)

So your first step is to look at the colleges and universities who sponsor international students. Review their websites, ask them about entry requirements and once you are happy you can apply for a place on your chosen course.

Some of your previous studies may count towards the entry requirements, for example, our Online Diploma is worth a full 48 UCAS points which will allow graduates to apply for a place at one of the UK’s top universities or colleges and potentially save an entire year of University.

Once they have accepted you and issued your CAS form you can then start the visa application.

You can do all of this yourself however many universities and colleges offer specialist visa support for international students who wish to study with them. In addition there are international student specialist support companies who offer end to end support for a charge.

General Information – UK and other Overseas Destinations

UK Government Student Visa information

Student Visa (Tier 4) Sponsors

List of universities and colleges that sponsor international students

Types of UK student visa

If you’re studying a short course and are over 18 years old, you may be eligible for the short-term study visa. This is valid up to six months for most short courses and can be extended for a stay of up to 11 months for English language courses.

If you’re studying a longer course, you’ll need to make sure your chosen institution holds a Tier 4 Sponsor License. You can either apply for a Tier 4 (Child) student visa (if you’re aged 4-17 and want to study at an independent school in the UK) or a Tier 4 (General) student visa for those aged 16 and over.

UK student visa requirements

Your course provider may be willing to help you to apply for a UK student visa once you have been offered a place on a course; ask to find out if this is the case. You can apply for the visa up to three months in advance of the start date of your course. Check the average visa processing times for your country, and be sure to allow plenty of time.

UK student visas are awarded on a points-based system. In order to meet all the UK student visa requirements, you’ll need to provide:

  • Details of your passport
  • A recent photograph
  • An unconditional offer of a place on a course offered by a licensed Tier 4 Sponsor, evidenced by a ‘Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies’ (CAS) form from your course provider (worth 30 points)
  • Proof of adequate English language skills
  • Proof you have financial support throughout your stay in the UK (worth 10 points)

Proof of financial support can take the form of bank statements or a letter from your financial sponsor, showing you can cover your tuition fees, accommodation and living costs. You must prove that you have £1,015 per month for living costs if studying in the UK outside of London, and £1,265 a month for living costs if studying in London.

You must apply online and can apply up to three months before the start of your course.

UK student visa fees

The current fee for the Tier 4 (General) student visa is £348. You’ll also need to pay a healthcare surcharge of £300 per year in order to access the National Health Service (NHS) during your stay.

The Short Term Study Visa costs £97 for the six month option and £186 for the 11 month visa. Using your UK student visa

When you enter the UK, a UK Border Agency officer will put a stamp on your passport that states the duration of your stay in the UK. For example, if your course is 12 months or more, you can stay for the full duration of the course plus an additional four months.

Before you arrive, you must make sure you are fully immunized, remembering to pack your immunization record in your hand luggage in case you are asked to show the Border Agency officer at your UK port of entry. You should also carry the documents relating to your studies (including your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies or CAS number), your proof of finances and your proof of accommodation.

Working while studying in the UK

All EU, EEA and Swiss students can work while studying in the UK. Students of publicly funded higher education institutions on Tier 4 student visas can work for up to 20 hours per week during term time and full-time during Christmas and Easter breaks.

If you are still thinking about studying in the UK for the first time, be sure to also check out our article Why Study in the UK as well as the Post-Brexit Immigration changes that will make this whole process easier.

If you have any further questions, share them with us on Twitter at @beaconeducate