Zoomabroad logo


A complete guide to applying to any university in the UK

Saumya Singh      December 26, 2022

About this article


Some of the world's top colleges are found in the United Kingdom, home to stunning mediaeval villages and busy, lively capital. So it’s no surprise that you've decided on your further education there. But where do you even begin? Firstly, you must be aware that:  The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is your ticket to a UK-based university.


In contrast to the US system, which requires you to submit university-specific applications, you would only need to prepare one personal statement, apply to a maximum of five universities, and do so through a single online site in the UK. Doesn't it appear to be relatively straightforward? 


Fortunately, it should be pretty simple to grasp. Still, when you're just getting started, it can be challenging to understand how to manage the application process, visas, and all of the other procedures and criteria you'll need to complete to begin your UK journey.


Most of these formalities are not necessary if you are from a European Union nation. However, you will be processed the same as a British application. However, due to the uncertainty surrounding the status of EU international students in the UK following Brexit, you may be required to complete the steps outlined below for the university admissions. 


We've put up an easy-to-follow, comprehensive guide with crucial information to assist you in completing the application process for your preferred institution in the United Kingdom.


1. Ensure you meet all your requirements


First, start early — there is little that can be done if deadlines are missed, and if you are dead bent on studying in the UK, you may have to wait another year. It's also critical that you make sure you satisfy all of the prerequisites for success.


You may need:

An up-to-date passport

English Language Proficiency qualification

Proof of how will you be funding your studies


To study in the United Kingdom, you must pass the IELTS or an equivalent examination to demonstrate that you have sufficient English language abilities to finish your programme. In addition, if you want to study in London, you must show that you have at least £1,020 (US$1,430) a month in living expenses and the financial means to pay for your tuition. Outside of London, pricing reduces to £820 a month (US$1,150).


Many nations require Tuberculosis (TB) clearance before visiting the UK, so check to see whether your native country is on the list and get tested if it is. Make sure you don't miss out on any application deadlines by checking UCAS' website often. If you're applying to study medicine, veterinary science, or a few other courses, or at Oxford or Cambridge, your deadline will most likely be sooner than for different topics or universities, so double-check.


2. Find a course and select your universities


In the United Kingdom, you select your course before going to university, and your enthusiasm for that field of study should be evident in your application. If you are unsure, you can search our website to locate a course that interests you. Once you've decided on one, look it up on UCAS and write down the unique code.


You have the option of applying to up to five universities, be it Manchester College, Birmingham City University, Leeds College of Arts etc.,  so have fun studying which ones offer your subject and visiting their websites. Don't forget to write down your universities' UCAS codes as well.


3. Write your statement


Your statement distinguishes you from all other students and is likely to be critical to your success when competing against students with comparable grades and backgrounds. You have a maximum of 47 lines (not words) to sell yourself and your passion for your chosen subject. Detail your areas of interest, what you will add to the institution, why you choose the course, and what you have done to demonstrate your commitment to your field.


4. Apply through UCAS


The UCAS website is simple to use and will walk you through the application process. You'll need to fill out your personal information, as well as the UCAS codes for your course and universities that you acquired before, and your statement.


As stated before, this is not the case in the United States, where each application is personalised to a single university; hence, similar applications will be submitted to all of the colleges to which you apply.


UCAS now costs £13 (US$18) for applying to a single institution for a single programme, or £24 (US$33) for applying to several institutions or programmes. After you've paid the charge, all you have to do now is sit back and wait. If you are accepted, you will get your CAS form (Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies), a virtual document with a unique reference number that the university received you would provide to you.


Keep this somewhere secure (don't lose it) since you'll need it to apply for a student visa. It will also contain all of the vital information you require, such as course specifics, start dates, tuition fees, and formal confirmation of a university seat.


5. Pay for immigration health surcharge


You must pay a £150 (US$210) Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) fee to access free healthcare during the length of your study. This price covers you for one year. This cost can be paid online. You'll need your payment receipt to apply for your visa, so keep it secure.


6. Apply for the visa


If you are studying for a full degree in the UK, you will require a Tier 4 (General) Student Visa, and if you are only studying for six months or less, you will need a Student Visitor Visa, which you can apply for online. As part of your application for a Biometric Residence Permit, you'll need to get your fingerprints and photos taken at a visa application centre.


Keep an eye on your dates for this one: the application must be submitted no later than three months before starting your study and no later than six months after you get your CAS form, so keep track of your dates.


You must pay £310 (US$435) for a Tier 4 visa and £83 (US$116) for a six-month Student Visitor visa. Check with your visa application centre to see whether you may acquire your visa sooner, depending on the country you're in.


7. Visa interview


You will be called for a visa interview, which will take place in a visa application centre or through a video link and will focus on your university, course, and financial status. Prepare to speak convincingly in English about your ambitions for your studies in the UK by having all of your documentation on hand.


You are likely to need:

  • Tuberculosis Screening Certificate from UKVI approved TB Test Centre.
  • CAS form
  • Current passport
  • English language proficiency test mentioned in CAS form
  • Financial proof you can fund your studies
  • Two passport photographs
  • Academic certificates said in CAS form
  • Original birth certificate (and translation if not in English)
  • Proof of payment for immigration health surcharge

9. Plan your journey


You may now start making exciting preparations, including your mode of transportation, to deliver you securely to your new home in the United Kingdom. If you haven't previously heard from the university concerning housing, contact them and make plans for your arrival.


You can arrive in the UK up to one week before your programme starts if you are studying for less than six months. You can reach up to 30 days ahead of time if you are studying for a longer time.


You'll have been awarded a temporary visa that allows you to stay in the nation for that amount of time.


How can Amberstudent help you?


We at AmberStudent are devoted to giving you the best experience and option for student accommodation worldwide because we understand its value. We have updated ourselves with the latest COVID-19 policies and would be more than eager to assist you in those.


Author’s Bio: 

Chinmayee Rout completed her graduation from Delhi, pursuing her goals of being a passionate reader and writer. She has worked with ET and PTI and many big agencies. Being a Delhiite, she’s fond of hopping food stalls and travelling to new places. She connects with the world through her writings. 

Saumya Singh
Saumya Singh

Content Writer

Saumya is an enthusiastic reader with a keen inclination toward literature, academics, and marketing. Ideas, strategy, and impact are what keep her belief in marketing intact. Oh, and playing with content is her hobby.

Share this article

Subscribe for weekly updates

Recommended articles