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A Guide to Top 5 Best Universities in UK for International Students!

Learn about the top universities in the UK for international students! In addition, explore famous universities for pursuing a master's, along with reasons why a student should choose the UK as a study abroad destination.

Table of Contents

Do you want to study in the UK? But unaware of the top universities there. Do not worry! This blog will brief you about the best universities in UK for international students. In addition, it will help scholars understand the application process in detail, along with the top five famous courses to study in the UK. Lastly, the writing will take learners through the scholarship programmes offered by the country.

The UK is a union of four nations - England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Each shares some similarities and differences that make the overall experience unique. The country is renowned for its world-class education and high-quality teaching. Education goes beyond classroom studies here, with students having hands-on learning experiences from some of the top-ranked universities in the world.

This blog will enlighten its readers on the best universities in the UK for international students. It will highlight the top universities, application processes, popular courses, scholarship programs, and university intakes in UK available.

So, let's dive in and explore the exciting opportunities awaiting in the UK.

Top Universities to Study in the UK

The United Kingdom is home to hundreds of universities. In addition, the best part is a majority chunk of those which rank the highest in QS World University Rankings. With so many choices/options in hand, it can become confusing for students to choose one perfect institute- one of their dreams. Here is the list of universities in the UK for international students, which consistently ranks at the top of the chart. So, let's swoop into it to learn more.

University of Oxford

The University of Oxford is one of the oldest and most prestigious universities worldwide. It lies in Oxford, England, with a rich history dating back to the 12th Century. The college has a unique collegiate system consisting of 39 independent colleges and six private halls. Oxford has successfully created a global impact through research, collaboration and the alumni network. Thus, the university plays a role in shaping academic, cultural and intellectual landscapes through children globally.

Student Life

There is no typical Oxford student and no single Oxford experience. At Oxford, scholars will receive the best education with beautiful experiences and memories. So, in a nutshell, student life at Oxford can be what scholars want it to be.

Course Fees
  • Between £33,050 and £48,620 ( Overseas Student )
  • Between £9,250 and £12,250 ( Home Student )
Accommodation
  • £14,850 for the 2024-25 academic year
Rankings
  • 3rd QS World University Ranking
Acceptance Rate
  • 17.5% Only
Intakes
  • June and October
Eligibility Criteria
  • Year XII qualification
  • A1 Grade in any subjects relevant to the course applied for.

University of Cambridge

The University of Cambridge is located in Cambridge, England. It is another renowned and prestigious institution with a legendary history and a strong academic tradition. The university's history dates back to the early 13th century, playing a critical role in educational development. The university includes 31 independent colleges with its facilities and staff. Cambridge is committed to academic excellence and providing students with a community sense within a larger scholarly institution.

Student Life

Studying at Cambridge is one of the best experiences- From leading academics to meeting diverse students, and the cherry on top, living in the beautiful city of London. The university has an incredible student community with over 500 active clubs that a person can be a part of.

Course Fees
  • Between £25,734 and £67,194 ( Overseas Student )
  • £9,250 for the year ( Home Student )
Accommodation
  • £14,600 for the 2024-25 academic year
Rankings
  • 2nd QS World University Ranking
Acceptance Rate
  • 21% Only
Intakes
  • June and October
Eligibility Criteria
  • Year XII qualification ( 90% or above )

Imperial College London

Imperial College London is a world-famous university in the heart of London, United Kingdom. The college is known for its focus on science, engineering, medicine and business. It is one of the leading research institutes, with cutting-edge research across various fields. ICL has a robust international presence, which helps to attract a diverse student body and staff. The university is regarded as one of the top and has positioned itself as a key player in international higher education.

Student Life


Student life at Imperial College London is an experience known for its vibrant social life. The college offers a range of clubs and societies to learn and explore. Students often participate in extracurricular activities and enjoy the diversity.

Course Fees
  • Between £37,900 and £53,700 ( Overseas Student )
  • £9,250 for the year ( Home Student )
Accommodation
  • £14,838 for the 2024-25 academic year
Rankings
  • 6th QS World University Ranking
Acceptance Rate
  • 14.3% Only
Intakes
  • January, September and October
Eligibility Criteria
  • Year XII qualification ( Between 90% - 92% )
  • A1 Grade in any subjects relevant to the course applied for.

University College London

University College London is the first university institute in London, UK. It was founded in 1826 and was established with a commitment and idea that education should be open to all regardless of religion, sex and gender. UCL is dedicated towards innovation and inclusivity, which attracts a diverse and international student crowd. In addition, its central location in London, with a vigorous research culture, makes it a prominent institution in the global academic landscape.

Student Life

UCL is a multi-disciplinary university- the World's leading and impacting research institute. The university is proud to have produced 30 Nobel Laureates and is located in the heart of London, making it the best place to study.

Course Fees
  • £17,710 for the year ( Overseas Student )
  • £9,250 for the year ( Home Student )
Accommodation
  • Between £153.30- £316.89 for the 2024-25 academic year
Rankings
  • 9th QS World University Ranking
Acceptance Rate
  • 33% Only
Intakes
  • January and September
Eligibility Criteria
  • Year XII qualification
  • High grades in three higher level subjects.

University of Edinburgh

The University of Edinburgh is a prestigious and historic institute in the capital city of Scotland. It was founded back in 1582, making it one of the oldest universities in the English-speaking world. The campus is in the heart of Edinburgh, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with modern facilities and state-of-the-art research centres. It encourages global collaboration and exchange programs with a diverse student body and partnerships with famous institutes worldwide.

Student Life

Around 100,000 students call the University of Edinburgh home, giving the city a unique buzz. The university has flexible programmes, with world-class facilities and award-winning support services. It ensures that a learner has an exceptional experience.

Course Fees
  • £25,200 for the year ( Overseas Student )
  • £9,250 for the year ( Home Student )
Accommodation
  • £11,000 for the 2024-25 academic year
Rankings
  • 22nd QS World University Ranking
Acceptance Rate
  • 10% Only
Intakes
  • September and January
Eligibility Criteria
  • Year XII qualification ( Minimum 80% )

Now that we have discussed the top courses, fees, rankings, eligibility and intakes in UK top universities concerning international students. Let’s now understand the application process in detail

Application Process to Study in the UK for Indian Students

Did you know that 3 Lakh Indian students went to pursue higher education in the UK in the year 2023? The United Kingdom has successfully maintained its reputation as the best study-abroad destination. But the question remains- How can one overcome the hurdle of making an application process? Let's walk through the process step-by-step to learn more.

  • Decide on a university and course through careful research with the help of the search tool. It is critical to check the course entry requirements before moving ahead.
  • If a student wants to apply to UG courses in UK, register and apply through UCAS (Universities and College Admissions)- a common portal to apply to UK universities.
  • If a learner wants to apply to postgraduate courses in the UK, check the individual course's website because they have their specific entry requirements.
  • Once a person applies, it is vital to track the application process. If accepted, then congratulations. But if a student receives the conditional offer, they need to fulfil a few extra requirements.
  • When the above processes are done and dusted, it is time to arrange for the funding as the cost of course and living.
  • As an international student, one must obtain a visa to study in the UK. One must not delay the visa application process, as government procedures take time.

When a student's visa offer and funds are ready, it is time to get packing! A person can now start looking for flights, accommodations, and anything else required.

Do you want to pursue your higher education in the UK?

For professional guidance on the best universities in the UK for international students, visit Gradding.com. Connect with an expert today! Talk to the Expert Now!

Top Courses to Study in the UK

Did you know the UK has an average student retention rate of 82%? According to the QS world rankings 2023, it is home to 17 best universities worldwide. The higher standard of education and superior courses make it even more desirable to pursue higher education for many international students. The UK is a hub of world-class universities, experienced faculties, and multiple opportunities in different fields.

Let's learn about the top courses in UK for international students so that they can understand in depth and make better career choices in the future.

Business Management

Business Management as a course is flexible with diverse disciplines in finance, marketing, human resources, etc. Thus, the courses have become an essential part of many sectors, which puts them in more demand and increases the scope of employment after studies. Moreover, this course not only offers theoretical knowledge but also provides hands-on projects from related industries.

Engineering and Technology

One of the most prestigious degrees recognized worldwide is Engineering; This is the reason engineering graduates are always in high demand. But did you know that engineering degrees in the UK are mostly shorter than in any other country? It allows students in the corporate world much sooner and encourages them to develop a firm understanding of the basics through practical experiences.

Medicine

The UK is one of the best places to study healthcare and medicine, ranked second in the Scimago Journal and Country rank. Medical Schools in the UK offer a vast range of programs, including dentistry, pharmacy, clinical psychology, and pathology. With medicine being the fastest growing industry, high-quality programmes result in high employment in the UK and internationally.

Law

The UK is home to globally recognized law courses. Students who pursue their law degrees from universities in the UK can open doors to profitable career opportunities worldwide. Law courses here offer specializations to become a solicitor, barrister, conveyancer, judge, etc. The course design is in a way that focuses on the development of essential and critical skills.

Social Sciences

As a subject, Social Science is vast in itself. Students have diverse options to choose from. The skills a person learns in the given subject area benefit professional and personal lives both. It allows a certain flexibility to the students to pursue their careers from a countless list of opportunities. Students can opt for sociology, political science, criminology, economics, geography, psychology, etc.

Media and Communication

In today's fast-paced world of technology, this has become the popular choice of study for international students. In the UK, universities offer various combinations of courses to study from. It helps students to develop outstanding people, social and communication skills. In addition, pursuing media from the UK allows international students to understand the latest happenings worldwide and attain exposure to different communities and their ways.

Here are the top five courses that students can pursue at the leading universities in the UK. Let's take a quick look at the top ten universities famous for their master's programs.


10 Famous UK Universities for Masters Programme

Did you know universities in UK for masters are some of the finest in the world? It adds to a lot of confusion since around 100 + institutes offer master's programs across different fields. It is one of the most unpleasant situations that can haunt a student's career.

So, for a clear understanding, let's discuss the ten best universities in UK for Masters.

University of Oxford

Oxford University provides hard and intensive postgraduate programs with a strong emphasis on independent work.

Average Tuition Fees £28,000/ year
Popular Courses
  • MSc Precision Cancer Medicine
  • MSc Advanced Computer Science
  • MSc Software And Systems Security
  • MSc Financial Economics

University of Cambridge

The University of Cambridge offers over 300 courses, including both taught and research degrees, across a wide range of academic disciplines.

Average Tuition Fees £33,000/ year
Popular Courses
  • Masters in Finance
  • MPhil Engineering
  • MPhil Medical Science
  • MPhil Advanced Computer Science

Imperial College London

Imperial consistently ranks in the top 10 universities worldwide, with a large proportion of world-leading research than any other UK university.

Average Tuition Fees £35,700/ year
Popular Courses
  • MSc Financial Technology
  • Master Of Public Health (MPH)
  • MSc Investment And Wealth Management

Universities College London (UCL)

UCL is recognised globally for providing a multicultural environment to develop skills that can lead to productive careers after graduation.

Average Tuition Fees £25,000/ year
Popular Courses
  • MSc Technology Management
  • MSc Systems Engineering Management
  • MSc Space Science And Engineering

The University of Edinburgh

The master's programme at the University of Edinburgh involves coursework with assessment and independent dissertation work.

Average Tuition Fees £34,000/ year
Popular Courses
  • MSc Accounting and Finance
  • MSc Finance, Technology And Policy
  • MSc Sustainable Energy Systems
  • MSc Advanced Power Engineering

The University of Manchester

Manchester University attracts students with its world-leading research and strong links to global industry across various disciplines.

Average Tuition Fees £28,000/ year
Popular Courses
  • MSc In Business Psychology
  • MSc In Business Analytics
  • MSc In Accounting And Finance
  • Full-time MBA

King's College London

King's College London is a famous university with five campuses in the capital, known for its leading research and groundbreaking discoveries.

Average Tuition Fees £29,000/ year
Popular Courses
  • MSc Advanced Computing
  • MSc Cyber Security
  • MA Ancient History
  • MSc Robotics
  • MSc Engineering With Management

The London School of Economics and Political Science

LSE is famous for its excellence in teaching and research across social, political, and economic sciences.

Average Tuition Fees £18,000/ year
Popular Courses
  • Master of Public Administration (MPA)
  • MSc Statistics (Financial Statistics)
  • MSc Risk And Finance
  • MSc Management And Strategy

The University of Warwick

A Master's degree at Warwick is challenging and inspiring. Expert-led teaching helps students gain the skills and knowledge to achieve their ambitions.

Average Tuition Fees £22,000/ year
Popular Courses
  • MA Psychology And Education
  • MSc Data Analytics
  • Master in Journalism
  • MSc International Business

The University of Bristol

Bristol University offers customized programs to its students for cultural, learning, and professional needs, promoting theory and research engagement.

Average Tuition Fees £20,000/ year

Popular Courses

  • MSc Data Science
  • MSc Aerospace Engineering
  • MSc Robotics
  • MA History

These are the universities in the UK offering master’s programmes. Let's now briefly discuss scholarship programmes available for international students.

UK Scholarship Programmes for International Students

The United Kingdom is one of the most popular study abroad destinations for international students in the world. This beautiful country carries the legacy of its globally recognized institution with a quality lifestyle and a culturally rich environment. However, studying abroad is no doubt expensive. Thus, students need not worry about it; the UK offers notable scholarships to its international learners.

Let's learn more about the various scholarship programs in detail so that the students can know better and apply according to their needs and demands.

Chevening Scholarship

British Chevening Scholarships is one of the top-ranking scholarships in the UK for international scholars. The scholarship looks for students with a vision and strong desire to make the world a better place. The program provides many benefits to selected students, like education funding, flight fares and living expenses. It allows them to get the best quality education in the UK and fulfil their dreams.

Eligibility Level Scholarship Awards
One-year Master’s Degree The scholarship rewards up to £18,000 (INR 18.59 Lakh).

Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship

The Commonwealth Scholarship Scheme aims at the student crowd who cannot afford education in the UK without a scholarship. The scheme design supports future innovators and leaders. It attracts outside talent to the universities in the UK and also promotes sustainable development overseas. The program fully funds the student education costs whilst covering the airfare and providing living allowances.

Eligibility Level Scholarship Awards
  • Citizen or a permanent resident of a Commonwealth country.
  • Undergraduate Honors Degree
  • The scholarship rewards up to 35,500 USD (INR 29.53 Lakh).

GREAT Scholarship

The GREAT Scholarship is in partnership with UK universities for international students from various countries to pursue a master's degree in any field. The British Council, together with 72 UK universities, launched the program. Students are welcome to apply for courses in different subject areas at institutes worldwide. Applicants should be very serious while applying for this aid because they will be judged on their vigorous academic merit.

Eligibility Level Scholarship Awards
  • Citizen or residents of India, China, Indonesia, Turkey, Malaysia or Thailand.
  • Undergraduate Degree
  • Recipients get a minimum award of GBP 10,000 (INR 10.53 Lakh).

Gates Cambridge scholarships

The Gates Cambridge Scholarship is an award to pursue study at the University of Cambridge. The scholarship is competitive, with only 1.3% of applicants receiving it. Its mission is to build a worldwide network of future leaders who commit to improving the lives of needful ones. The program covers the entire tuition fee and living expenses of a student.

Eligibility Level Scholarship Awards
  • A citizen of any country outside the United Kingdom.
  • One year postgraduate course (full-time).
  • The scholarship rewards typically between £30,000 - £45,000 per year. (INR 31.59 to 47.35 Lakh).

Rhodes Scholarship

The Rhodes Scholarship is an excellent opportunity to join a group of talented young people worldwide to study at Oxford University. Applying for this aid is a big challenge, but it is an experience which has helped generations of people to succeed. Students receive funds for all living expenses, including accommodation and travel charges.

Eligibility Level Scholarship Awards
A Honors Undergraduate Degree The scholarship rewards typically £19,092 per year. (INR 20,10 Lakh).

Here are some of the famous scholarship programmes that prospective students can apply to before starting their academic journey in the UK. But the question remains: Why UK? So, let’s jump into the blog to know the top five reasons why an international student should study in the UK.

Why UK? Top 5 Reasons

Why study in the UK? It is one of the common questions that arise in people's minds when they are choosing among the best UK universities for international students. However, there are many reasons to choose the UK above other countries. It offers students the most augmenting experience, a diverse culture, excellent academics, and an opportunity to turn their lives around. The UK ranks among the top 3 destinations globally regarding academic credibility. Thus, a student earning a UK degree gets worldwide exposure, besides the high standard of education.

Here are a few points in detail that a student must consider when deciding to study in public universities in UK for international students

Quality Education

The United Kingdom is home to around 160 universities, some of them being the best universities in the world. Most universities here are internationally accredited, allowing students with reputable qualifications. Universities provide diverse subjects and mixed courses for students with the best faculties and research resources available

Exceptional Teaching

UK curriculum emphasizes hands-on learning experiences where students are encouraged to study in smaller groups. It allows them to express their opinions freely, fostering a positive environment. The lectures here emphasize more on critical thinking and vigorous learning. Scholars have free lab access, practical workshops and work experiences depending on their course.

Big Communities

Studying in the UK changes a student's life forever. The United Kingdom is a hub of diverse cultures and a centre of education for most international students. Travelling around most cities is convenient and cost-effective. It allows people to meet with ease and fosters a collaborative environment.

Work Opportunities

UK universities are strict on academia; every university has a specific career services team that assists students in making influential resumes and trains them to search for the right jobs and interviews. Students in the UK are also allowed to work part-time during their term, which qualifies them to gain practical work experience.

Easy Accommodation

Living in the United Kingdom is an experience in itself. Most universities in the UK provide accommodation facilities to international students. They can choose from diverse options from on-campus to off-campus, from on-suite to shared, from catered to self-catered and many more. The cost of living depends on the accommodation type the person chooses.

To conclude, most international students prefer the UK, whether they are looking for a shepherd’s pie or academic excellence. In this blog, students gain a clear insight into the best universities in the UK for international students. Moreover, it help scholars learn about the application process and provide details on the top courses to study in the country. Then, readers get to know more about the various scholarship programmes that are ideal for the learners. It is the ultimate guide for international students to make their dreams come true and come out with flying colours.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. How Can I Find and Apply for a Course in the UK?

You can find a course search function on the Study UK tab on the Gradding website. Moreover, this makes it easy to choose among hundreds of different universities. If you want to make the process more customized and easy, you can try the new AI feature available on our website.

2. Can I Work in the UK with My Study Visa?

Many students can work with a student visa, but not all. It depends on the type of visa you have. Students on full-time undergraduate and PG courses in UK are allowed to work.

3. Is It Possible to Defer My University Offer? 

You have a right to defer your university offer up till your starting date of the semester. But to accept the defer or not is in the hands of the university. One should state a proper reason for deferral, like health issues, family problems, etc. 

4. How Many Study Gaps Are Accepted in the UK?

If you wish to study in the UK, more than 2 years study gap is allowed for the undergraduate studies and a maximum of 5 years for the postgraduate study program. However, some universities do accept longer study gaps if you provide a proper reason for the same.

5. What Is the Average Cost to Study in a UK University?

The average fee structure of UK universities starts from £10,000 to £38,000 per year (INR 9.5L to INR 36.5L). You can also search and apply for various scholarship options available for international students to study in the UK.

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