Study in the UK – Higher education

Higher Education

Over 130 higher education institutions or universities in the UK , all except one are government-funded. Some are specialized colleges in art & design, music, dance, and agriculture etc. Some are comprehensive universities which offer a wide range of subjects. UK universities with long history and tradition usually provide courses from undergraduate through doctoral levels, while new universities upgraded from polytechnics offer courses on foundation and higher diploma levels alongside undergraduate and postgraduate degrees.

Entry requirement

Universities in the UK accept students aged 18 or above who have good grades in GCE A-level, International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB Diploma) or equivalent qualifications like Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE). Students who do not hold required grades maybe asked to take one year foundation course. English language proficiency is also one of the pre-requisites for entry to UK universities. Students are expected to have an average of IELTS 6.0-7.0 for entry to an undergraduate degree. For HKDSE English most universities will consider ranges from Level 4 to Level 5 depending on subject degrees.

Getting into a postgraduate degree student should have an undergraduate degree of related discipline and IELTS 6.5 or above. If your qualifications do not match with the required grades, you may study for a one-year pre-masters course to bridge the gap. Graduates of three-year diplomas with working experience may also be considered for direct entry to a master degree.


Undergraduate degrees in the UK normally last for three years, sandwich or those with placement are 4 years. Medicine, dentistry and architecture may take as long as 6 years. They can be classified as BA, BSc, BEng, LLB, BEd and MB. Postgraduate degrees can be in the modes of taught (e.g. postgraduate diploma and masters) or research (e.g. MPhil or PhD).

Tuition fees (annual)

Arts including business GBP11,500 – GBP16,000
Science & Engineering GBP12,000 – GBP20,000
MBA GBP15,000 – GBP40,000

The above fees are for reference only.