With a wide range of postgraduate courses available, including master's degrees, PhDs, and postgraduate diplomas, international students can choose from a variety of programs to suit their interests and career goals.
Pursuing a postgraduate degree in the UK can provide students with valuable skills and knowledge that can enhance their career prospects and enable them to make a significant contribution in their respective fields.
In this guide, we will provide a comprehensive overview of the types and popular postgraduate courses in the UK for international students and the application process.
Table of Contents
- Postgraduate courses in the UK for international students
- Types of postgraduate courses in the UK for international students
- 5 Popular postgraduate courses in the UK for international students
- How to apply for postgraduate courses in the UK for international students
- Cost of postgraduate courses in the UK for international students
- Frequently asked questions
Postgraduate courses in the UK for international students
Postgraduate courses in the UK are designed to provide advanced academic and professional training to students who have already completed an undergraduate degree or equivalent qualification. These courses are typically more specialised and in-depth than undergraduate programs, allowing students to focus on their areas of interest and expertise.
Postgraduate taught programs in the UK are available in a wide range of subject areas, including business, finance, law, engineering, science, social sciences, humanities, and the arts. These courses typically last for one or two years, depending on the program and the institution, and may lead to a Master's degree, a Postgraduate Diploma, or a Postgraduate Certificate.
Types of postgraduate courses in the UK for international students
Postgraduate courses in the UK are typically divided into two categories: taught courses and research courses.
1. Taught courses
Taught courses are similar to undergraduate courses in that they involve lectures, seminars, and coursework. However, postgraduate taught courses are more focused and specialised. Taught courses usually last for one year, although some may be longer.
There are various types of taught courses available in the UK, including:
- Master's Degree (MA/MSc/MBA): A Master's degree is a popular postgraduate course in the UK. It is a higher level of study than an undergraduate degree and usually takes one year to complete. Some courses may require two years of study.
- Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip): A Postgraduate Diploma is a shorter course than a Master's degree, usually taking six months to a year to complete. PGDips are often offered as a stepping stone to a Master's degree.
- Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert): A Postgraduate Certificate is the shortest course available, usually taking a few months to complete. PGCerts are designed to provide specific skills or knowledge in a particular area.
2. Research courses
Research courses involve independent study and research, often resulting in the submission of a thesis or dissertation. These courses are typically longer than taught courses and can take up to four years to complete.
The research courses available in the UK include:
- Master of Research (MRes): MRes is a research-based postgraduate degree that allows students to specialise in a particular area of research. The course usually lasts for one year.
- Master of Philosophy (MPhil): MPhil is a research-based postgraduate degree that requires students to produce an original research project. The course usually lasts for two years.
- Doctor of Philosophy (PhD): PhD is the highest level of postgraduate study available in the UK. It requires an original research project and can take up to four years to complete.
5 Popular postgraduate courses in the UK for international students
International students have a wide range of postgraduate courses to choose from in the UK, depending on their interests and career goals. Some of the most popular postgraduate courses for international students in the UK include:
1. Business and management
Business and management courses are among the most popular postgraduate courses in the UK, attracting students from all over the world. These courses cover topics such as finance, marketing, leadership, and entrepreneurship, and can lead to careers in a variety of industries.
Law is another popular field of study for international students in the UK. Postgraduate law courses can provide advanced training in areas such as commercial law, human rights, and international law, and can lead to careers in law firms, government agencies, or international organisations.
The UK is known for its excellence in engineering, and many international students come to the UK to pursue postgraduate courses in this field. These courses cover a wide range of topics, including mechanical engineering, civil engineering, and electrical engineering, and can lead to careers in industries such as aerospace, automotive, and energy.
4. Computer science
Postgraduate courses in computer science are also popular among international students in the UK. These courses cover topics such as software engineering, artificial intelligence, and data science, and can lead to careers in industries such as technology, finance, and healthcare.
- Computer Sciences Courses in UK
- Undergraduate Computer Sciences courses in UK
- Postgraduate Computer Sciences Courses in UK
5. Medicine and healthcare
The UK is home to some of the world's leading universities and medical schools, making it a popular destination for international students pursuing postgraduate courses in medicine and healthcare. These courses cover topics such as clinical medicine, public health, and biomedical research, and can lead to careers in healthcare organisations, research institutions, or academia.
Also read: Should you study in Ireland or the UK?
How to apply for postgraduate courses in the UK for international students
If you're an international student interested in pursuing postgraduate studies in the UK, you'll need to follow a few steps to ensure a successful application process. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you through the process:
Step 1: Research and choose your course and university
The first step in applying to a postgraduate course in the UK is to research and choose the right course and university that aligns with your academic interests and career goals. You can use the UCAS website, university websites, and other relevant platforms to search and compare different universities and courses.
Step 2: Check the entry requirements
Once you've decided on the course and university you want to apply for, it's important to check the entry requirements. This may include academic qualifications, English language proficiency, and any other specific requirements that the university may have. Be sure to review these requirements carefully to ensure you're eligible to apply.
Step 3: Prepare your documents
After confirming that you meet the entry requirements, you'll need to start preparing your application documents. This typically includes a personal statement, academic transcripts, letters of recommendation, a CV, and evidence of your English language proficiency. Make sure to double-check the required documents for each university you're applying to, as they may vary.
Step 4: Apply online
Most UK universities offer online applications for postgraduate courses. You'll need to create an account on the university's application portal and complete the online application form. You'll also need to upload your supporting documents as part of your application.
Step 5: Pay the application fee
Once you've completed your application, you'll need to pay the application fee. This fee may vary depending on the university and course you're applying for. You can usually pay this fee online using a credit or debit card.
Step 6: Wait for a response
After submitting your application, you'll need to wait for a response from the university. This may take several weeks, so be patient. If your application is successful, the university will usually send you a formal offer letter via email.
Step 7: Accept the offer
If you receive an offer, you'll need to decide whether to accept it or not. Once you've accepted the offer, you'll be sent further information about the course and how to enrol. You may also need to pay a deposit to secure your place on the course.
Step 8: Apply for a student visa
If you're an international student, you'll need to apply for a student visa to study in the UK. You can apply for a Tier 4 visa online, and you'll need to provide certain documents such as your passport, offer letter, and evidence of your finances. It's important to apply for your visa as soon as possible, as it can take several weeks to process.
Also read: A list of low-fee universities in the UK
Cost of postgraduate courses in the UK for international students
The cost of postgraduate courses in the UK for international students varies depending on the institution, course, and location. Generally, postgraduate courses are more expensive than undergraduate courses and international students may be charged higher fees than domestic students.
According to the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA), the average cost of a postgraduate taught course for international students in the UK ranges from £14,000 to £30,000 per year, depending on the course and the university. However, some courses, particularly those in business, law, and medicine, can cost significantly more.
It's worth noting that tuition fees are just one aspect of the total cost of studying in the UK. International students will also need to consider accommodation, living expenses, and any additional course-related costs, such as textbooks and equipment.
Also Read: How to cut cost while studying in the UK
Postgraduate courses in the UK are an attractive option for international students seeking high-quality education and opportunities for professional development. With a vast array of world-renowned universities, diverse course offerings, and a welcoming cultural atmosphere, the UK offers an exceptional learning experience.
You might also like:
- Masters in shipping and port management courses in UK
- Masters in pharmacy courses in UK
- Masters in cybersecurity courses in UK
Frequently asked questions
What are the eligibility requirements for postgraduate courses in the UK for international students?
Eligibility requirements for postgraduate courses in the UK vary depending on the course and institution. Generally, international students are required to hold a Bachelor's degree or equivalent qualification in a relevant field, as well as meet English language proficiency requirements.
How much do postgraduate courses in the UK cost for international students?
The cost of postgraduate courses in the UK for international students can vary depending on the course and institution. On average, international students can expect to pay between £14,000 to £30,000 per year for a postgraduate taught program, and between £16,000 to £26,000 per year for a postgraduate research program.
How long do postgraduate courses in the UK take for international students?
Postgraduate courses in the UK can vary in length depending on the course and institution. Typically, postgraduate taught programs last for one or two years, while postgraduate research programs can take between two to four years to complete.
What are the benefits of pursuing postgraduate courses in the UK as an international student?
Pursuing postgraduate courses in the UK as an international student can provide numerous benefits, including gaining advanced academic and professional training, developing new skills and knowledge, experiencing a new culture and way of life, and potentially expanding career opportunities.