How Much to study in the UK
How much does it cost to Study in the UK?
Boasting both one of the world’s strongest economies (even post-Brexit) and some of its top universities, the UK is one of the premier destinations international students, professionals, and families. When it comes to studying in the nation, students are faced with a wide range of opportunities provided by the UK’s over 150 higher education institutions, colleges, and universities.
Composed of 4 distinct countries and a plethora of cultures, settings, and options to choose from, it is no surprise that studying in the UK comes at a cost that ranges widely depending on the choices made by students. Here are a few things to consider when studying in the UK that will directly affect the amount you spend while you’re there:
Which UK Country Will You Study In?
The UK has a rather confusing system by which it organizes its regions: the nation is made up of four separate, distinct countries that all come together to form a united kingdom, aptly called the UK. Each country (England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland) have unique aspects to them that will impact the cost of study for students, as well as the cultural and day-to-day experience in which they involve themselves. Here are some quick facts about each country for students to consider when applying to schools.
England is the largest of the four countries, with 84% of the UK population calling it home. It also has some of the largest cities in the UK, most notably of course being London, which has a population of nearly 9 million. Other major cities in England include Birmingham, Liverpool, and Manchester. England, even when excluding London, is the most expensive of the four countries, and university prices match this trend: average tuition for non-EU international students in England is approximately 17,500 GBP per year. Popular schools in England include the University of Bedfordshire and De Montfort University.
While Scotland is the second-most populated country in the UK, its size drops immensely from England’s. Overall, its population is just over half that of London, with 5.3 million citizens (about 8% of the UK’s population). Edinburgh is its capital and largest city, but the country is also known for its beautiful nature. Scotland has over 600 square miles of lochs and nearly 800 islands, 130 of which remain uninhabited. Scotland’s cost of living and study, like it population size, is second only to England: the average tuition for non-EU international students in Scotland is approximately 17,000 GBP annually. Bear in mind, however, that an undergraduate degree from Scotland takes approximately 4 years to complete, whereas it usually takes only 3 in the other UK countries. Popular schools include the University of Dundee and Heriot-Watt University.
About 25% the geographical size of Scotland, Wales is the third country in the UK in terms of population. Boasting nearly 3 million citizens, the country is located directly west of England and is ruled by the Prince of Wales. The largest cities in Wales include Cardiff and Swansea, and while the local language is Welsh, only about one-fifth of the population can actually speak this. Home to the mythical King Arthur and the Round Table, Wales has a lower cost of living and study than England and Scotland: the average tuition for non-EU international students is 13,000 GBP each year. Popular schools include Cardiff University and Swansea University.
The only country in the UK to be on a separate Isle, Northern Ireland is the final region of the UK. With a population of only just over 1.5 million people, Northern Ireland is known mostly for its capital city of Belfast, the construction site of the Titanic over a century ago. The country remained part of the UK after the civil war in 1921, which saw the separation of Ireland and Northern Ireland, the former of which removed itself from the UK. Northern Ireland is the least expensive option for students in the UK: the average tuition for non-EU international students is about 12,000 GBP per year. Popular schools in Northern Ireland include Queen’s University Belfast and Bangor University.
Which Degree Level Are You Pursuing?
The cost of studying in the UK often varies depending on the level of the degree a student desires.
For most non-EU international students seeking a Bachelor’s degree in the UK, the average annual cost of study is around 15,000 GBP. Unlike in locations like the US where degree programs typically take 4 years to complete, most countries in the UK only take an average of 3 (with the notable except of Scotland, where students should expect to complete their undergraduate degrees in 4 years). This means, in total, a degree is typically between 30,000 and 45,000 GBP.
Non-EU international students pursuing a postgraduate degree in the UK can expect similar annual prices of between 10,000 to 15,000 GBP per year. However, students at this level typically take less time to complete their degree program, meaning the overall cost will be lower than for undergraduate students. However, it is important to remember that the field of study and program will cause the price to vary. For example, postgraduate students enrolling in laboratory-based or clinical-based programs tend to pay significantly higher annual fees, sometimes up to 42,000 GBP in fields like medicine.
Taking Brexit into Consideration
The UK’s decision to leave the EU has left many students wondering how the move will affect the cost of their tuition. Luckily, for non-EU international students, the impact should be hardly measurable, if noticeable at all. International students within the EU might face a slight to moderate price increase, but for students who were not benefitting from the EU partnership in the first place, the Brexit decision should not be cause for worry or hesitation.