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Universities in UK

UK is one of the leading study destinations in the world thanks to the strong global reputation of UK universities. Four of its universities – Oxford, Cambridge, University College London (UCL) and Imperial College London – regularly feature in the world’s top 10.

Academic year in the UK

Most UK universities begin school year in September or October and finish in June or July. Often institutions have 3 terms a year, beginning in September or October, January and May. Some choose to follow American concept of 2 “semesters” a year, starting in September or October and January.

Below you can find an overview to a multitude of educational options which will give you an idea of qualifications available.

Foundation courses

“Year 0” programs are commonly known as foundation courses that target at students who wish to enter specific subject area such as science and engineering, but who do not want to possess the relevant entry qualifications. These courses run in addition to the main types of qualifications. 

Diplomas and HNDs

Two year Higher National Diploma (HND) or Diploma of Higher Education courses are both popular qualifications, however some students choose to upgrade these qualifications into a degree often by proceeding studies for an extra year.


Most undergraduate students will have completed further education studies in the form of A-levels or equivalent qualifications. You will be studying for your first degree, usually a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BSc). Undergraduate degrees provide a grounding in a subject and typically last for three years, however it’s also possible to study for an accelerated degree over two years, and which includes a mandatory paid work placement.


Postgraduate courses cover higher-level study, including master’s degrees, doctorates (PhDs) and postgraduate diplomas. These typically require you to have completed an undergraduate degree, often with 2:2 honours or higher, before you can study them.

You do not have to study for a master’s degree immediately after finishing your bachelor’s degree – many people opt for further study after they have begun their career in their chosen field, particularly if they feel it would enhance their career prospects, or if they wish to specialise in a particular area of expertise.


Master of arts (MA) or Master of science (MSc)

  • Taught courses most commonly come in the form of a masters degree
  • One to two years full time or two to three years part time
  • Includes seminars, lectures, tutorials, project work, oral work, some research, a thesis/dissertation and exams.
  • In some cases you may have the option of leaving out the dissertation/thesis and gaining a Postgraduate Diploma (PG Dip), useful if you want to specialise in a certain area.


Doctorates (PhDs)

  • PhDs can be started immediately after your first degree or a masters course. They involve research into a chosen topic under the supervision of an experienced academic
  • Three to four years full time or five to six years part time
  • Considered very intellectually challenging
  • Includes a thesis of around 100,000 words and usually an oral presentation.

 Masters programmes by research (including MSc, MPhil, MRes)

Unlike a taught programme, these are masters programmes that rely on your own private research, supervised by an experienced academic.

  • One to two years full time or two to four years part time
  • Similar in structure to a doctorate, only shorter
  • Includes the production of a thesis and usually an oral presentation.

To discuss your requirements, please contact our specialists or call us on +44 (0)203 490 41 21.

+44 (0)203 490 41 21

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London, W1U 6RT