Education in UK
Education in England has been continuously rated one of the best in the world and considered benchmark for all the rest. It is a combination of old traditions and methods which makes it so attractive. Most schools, colleges and universities have history going back in centuries, and they open their door to anyone who wishes to get a high-quality education like no other.
We at Imperial & Legal are here to bring education in England closer to you. We will help you choose a subject area and an institution based on your needs, prepare and submit documents (translate and notarise them if needed) and applications, as well as help you move to the country hassle-free. We will make sure you 100% enjoy your stay and learning in the UK.
Early years and statutory education in England
Education in England is compulsory for children between the ages of 5 and 16. It is normally preceded by early years education. It is available for 3- and 4-year-olds and is all about development and learning for children in a playful form. In some cases, a nursery can be part of the primary education and then it is called reception classes.
When a child turns 5 they enter a primary school, the first stage of statutory education in England, and stay there till they are 11. The National Curriculum covers three core subjects (English, Mathematics, Science) and several foundation subjects (Geography, History, Music, Physical education, Art and design, Religious education, etc.) Statutory assessment of each child’s development and learning achievements is done twice during their primary school life by way of SATs, national tests. They are an indicator of the progress your child has made at school so far.
At 11 years of age children start secondary education. The National Curriculum stays almost the same as in the primary school and reduces considerably at the last stage. Secondary education in England is provided in different types of schools, namely comprehensive schools (they strictly follow the National Curriculum and admit pupils of all abilities and aptitude), grammar schools (they select their pupils by means of an examination taken by children at age 11, known as the “11-plus”), academies (publicly funded independent schools), etc.
At the end of secondary school pupils are normally entered for a range of examinations known as GCSEs after which a General Certificate of Secondary Education is awarded. GCSEs are done in 3 to 10 subjects, including 3 compulsory ones and the rest can be selected by pupils. Current grading scale A* to G (A* being the highest grade) is undergoing changes and will be soon completely replaced by a new scale 9 to 1.
Three core subjects are considered enough by the WES to get a GCSE. However, if you consider studying in a university you will need at least 5 GCSEs A* to C. At the same time, you need to remember that a GCSE Certificate is not enough to apply to study in a university. So, after secondary school, a pupil has a choice, either progress to further education (normally a vocational, work-based learning) or do A-levels and get higher education.
Academic year in England is divided in three terms, autumn, spring and summer. Every term has a half-term break for 4-10 days depending on the council. Christmas and Easter breaks are 11-17 days, and a summer break is around 1.5 months.
A-levels. ticket to university
A-levels are generally a two-year course taken by students as a prequel to higher education. AS levels are obtained within the first year and can be used as a standalone qualification or brought to A level standard in the second year.
Pupils usually take four subjects in the first year and, after AS-level exams, drop one subject and continue with the other three to complete A2-levels. After successful completion pupils are awarded a GCE Advance Level certificate.
AS/A levels are graded A* to E. Every grade has a number of points which will make your overall score for application to a university.
For international students, some colleges and universities, like Cambridge, offer AS/A Levels courses to later gain a place at the university.
Public schools are secondary-level independent schools, privately owned, independent of the state system and educating students for a fee. Now they take both day pupils and boarders. Some of the reasons why public schools are favoured by parents are high academic standards, more attention to each child due to fewer pupils per class, a lot of extracurricular activities, great facilities and many more. They have been providing exclusive and prestigious education for many centuries making them so popular and desired.
While state, government-funded schools follow the National Curriculum, which ensures a high level of learning, the public schools don’t – they decide on their own curriculum to provide even better education. These words are supported by the number of public school leavers that enter top UK universities with easy as compared to their state school peers. It is due to better facilities, a wider selection of subjects and better qualified staff.
Besides, public schools are the only option for international pupils because they don’t have access to state schools. We have been helping students from all over the world to gain admission to public schools in England.
Higher education in England
Higher education is provided by colleges and universities of different levels. There are over 390 HE institutions in the UK and many of them are state universities. HE institutions decide on their own educational policies while the state only controls the level of teaching.
UK universities are normally well equipped with state-of-the-art laboratories and libraries. There is a big number of extracurricular activities for students. Many universities in England will not only give you the best education but also provide a lot of networking opportunities for future career in politics or business.
Types of universities by structure
- Collegiate universities contain a number of colleges, like Oxford or Cambridge, where teaching is done either centrally, and then colleges just serve a residential purpose, or by each college separately;
- Unitary universities where all teaching and services are provided by the central University, etc.
Types of colleges in the UK
- Higher education colleges, they are officially recognised as part of a HE sector and have degree-awarding powers;
- Work-related colleges that prepare students for specific employment;
- Vocational colleges where students develop certain skill sets.
Under- and postgraduate degrees
- Bachelor’s, 3 or 4 years full-time;
- Master’s, 1 to 3 years full-time;
- PhD, 3 years full-time.
Higher education is done by way of lectures, seminars and laboratory work, as well as team activities for a more detailed learning. A master’s or doctor’s degrees involve creating a lengthy, in-depth research.
Ways to learn
- Distance learning, meaning studying remotely and learning in your own time, wherever you choose. You will be using provided materials to undertake course activities and assignments. You will have regular support from your tutor, interact with fellow students via email, online forums, phone and virtual conferencing.
- Work-based learning, where you work and study at the same time
- Blended learning, where you can combine face-to-face sessions with online tutoring.
Whichever you choose, you will end up getting a world-class degree that will make you highly employable for well-paid positions.
Study in the UK with Imperial & Legal
If you want a high-quality education for your child, then UK education system is ideal for you. Do not be put off by all the difficulties and uncertainties – we will help you gain admission to a school or university of your choice. Our experts will sit down with you to discuss your requirements and preferences and then help you select a course and institution that suit you and fall within your budget.
- Visa support
- Assistance in preparing and submitting applications and required documents
- Liaising with the chosen institution on your behalf
- Booking flights and accommodation
- Arranging insurance
We make education in England accessible to anyone. Get in touch with one of our advisers by phone or via website form for a more detailed consultation.