UK Education System, its advantages and disadvantages

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Research into the world of the UK education system


The education system of the UK is well known across the world. Its accomplishments in the field of education include its interactive teaching methodologies, high quality of education, informed students, and top-ranked universities. Also, UK Universities can be seen constantly ranking high in the global charts of university rankings. These universities follow a holistic culture of rewards and recognition Some of the lists where UK universities have made their mark in recent times include Times Higher Education Ranking, QS World Rankings, and Academic Rankings of World Universities. In addition to this, the degrees of UK universities are recognized as well as highly preferred by different employers worldwide.

In the UK, the education responsibility is delegated to four jurisdictions such as Scotland, Wales, Ireland, and England. The main differences can be found in secondary as well as general education. This results from the variation in the Qualifications and Credit Frameworks, of its different regions.

Article Summary

The education system of the UK is highly reputed across the Globe. It is one of the most credible and oldest systems, which is trusted by the people of the world. Not only students love to experience the world class culture offered by the universities of UK but the companies also wish to hire the best talent produced by such acknowledged institutions. This article aims to describe the system of UK education, its advantages, disadvantages and various courses offered by the universities of the UK.


Further, the UK education system is categorized into four stages including primary education, secondary education, further education, and higher education. Among these, higher education basically comprises bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees. As an International Student, one can easily begin his journey to university education in the UK with the help of pathway programs. These pathways programs generally include the foundation and English language courses.

Apart from this, a qualification framework is considered imperative to maintain the standards of academics in higher education. For higher education, two parallel frameworks are present. The first is “ The Framework for Higher Education Qualifications of Degree Awarding Bodies in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (FHEQ)”. The second framework is “ The Framework for Qualifications of Higher Education Institutions in Scotland (FQHEIS)”.

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How to study in the UK?

How to study in the UK?

Studying in the UK is a dream for many students. In order to fulfill this dream, they have to follow a number of careful steps. Given below is a detailed account of the steps which they should take.

  • Introspect and finalize a course to pursue

    First of all, students should introspect and finalize a course to pursue. This is important because their career and future, both depend on the selected course. So, if the students are clear about their academic preferences, they can proceed with the next step. But, if they are not, they should spend quality time to introspect and finalize the academic course they wish to pursue. For this, they should sit at a peaceful place and list down their career preferences and select the one which appeals to them the most. This becomes even more important in the present scenario of globalisation, with innumerable options in hand.

  • Select a University

    After finalizing the course, the second step is to select a University. For this, the students have to search the internet for top-ranking universities which offer their preferred courses. Once they find the list of top-ranking universities, they should start visiting their websites one by one. Further, while going through the different websites, students should look for important parameters such as the fee structure, infrastructure, and faculty. It is in light of this knowledge that they can analyze the suitability of different Universities for them to give wings to their career goals. As they continue searching through different websites, they should also pen down the names of the Universities which they find appealing.

  • Check the requirements for application

    After preparing a list of the preferred Universities, the students have to proceed towards checking the requirements for application. They can find these requirements easily by visiting the websites of the selected Universities. In order to prevent missing out on anything, it is important for students to note down the documents required. After this, they have to gear up and make arrangements for the different requirements for application.

  • Fill the application form

    Once the students are ready with the required documents they can start filling the application forms for the selected Universities. They can do so through the website of Universities and College Admissions Service (UCAS), which deals with the admission process for UK Universities. Further, it is not compulsory for the students to fill the entire application form in one go. If for some reason, they have to leave filling the form midway, they can save the progress and get back to filling the details later.

  • Review the application and submit

    Before submitting their application form, it is important for students to review it once. They should make sure that they have filled in all the details correctly. Once they complete this process, they can finally submit the application form.

  • Wait for the admission letter

    After submitting the application form, the students have to keep their fingers crossed and wait for the admission letter. The waiting time can stretch to a few weeks. This is because a plethora of students apply to get admission to UK Universities every year. Further, if the students manage to impress the admissions committee with his qualifications and skills mentioned in the application form, they receive an admission letter. It is sent to them via email. So, it is advisable for students to keep their email notifications on. If not so, they should keep checking their email inbox at regular intervals of time.

  • Arrange the required finances

    Once the students receive their offer letter, they have to start making arrangements for the required finances. If they have any trouble doing so, they can get financial support in the form of loans. They can get the details of different financial support services available for them by visiting the website of University and College Admissions Service (UCAS). Later, to repay their student debts faster, students can take up various best-paid remote jobs to earn extra income in their free time.

  • Receive the student visa

    After completing the above-mentioned steps, the students can proceed towards applying for a visa. If they have applied for a short-term course, they can get a short-term visa and if they have applied for a long-term course, they need a 4 Tier student visa to study in the UK. Further, the students can get to know about the requirements for the type of visa required and other details regarding the visa application process by visiting the website- There in the search box, they can search the term- student visa and then choose from the options displayed to get their queries answered.

Advantages of studying in the UK

  • The degrees of UK colleges and universities are well recognized around the world. It is a matter of privilege and pride for students to get education from UK colleges, which is truly acknowledged by the government and private bodies of the globe.

  • With high-quality education comes good opportunities. Studying in the UK brings the same hype to the career of a student. Also, it helps him to get better opportunities in his life with respect to work.

  • A student applying for education in the UK gets a number of choices in terms of colleges and courses, to choose from.

  • There are also many short-term and part-time courses which allow the student to work along with studies. There are many part time jobs, which employ students or daily wage workers. This helps the students in earning bread for themselves.

  • The research and development facilities provided by the universities of the UK are world-class. This allows the students to experience quality education and learn life lessons from their universities.

  • The universities of the UK offer a multicultural environment. This hones in students the skills to live and adjust to a similar environment.

  • The universities of the UK offer a number of scholarship options, which make it easier for the students to single-handedly support their education.

Disadvantages of studying in the UK

Along with advantages, comes disadvantages too. The same is the case with the UK education system. Though the country is believed to offer world-class education, it has a number of drawbacks also, which put the students in difficulties.

  • The strict education culture of the UK sometimes makes it tough for the students to adjust. The norms of the college are really strict which is quite challenging for the students to cope with on an everyday basis.

  • The courses in the UK are highly focussed, due to which a student can complete his graduation, in comparatively less amount of time. This adds to the burden on the students. The students have to quickly grasp each and everything and move ahead in their lives.

  • Not every student has the capability to match the standards of the UK education system. This increases the stress level of the students. It puts them in tension and thus even affects their health in the long run.

  • With the education process moving too fast, students get little time to think, what they want to become in the future, whether they want to become a CEO or just another employee. This often puts them in a bad situation, where either they are not able to decide or they end up taking the wrong route.

  • The country offers a highly professional education environment. This often leads to creating a void in the heart of the student, where he lacks the ability to connect personally with people. This also results in making him feel secluded in a foreign land

Best universities in UK

The UK is considered one of the most popular destinations for students to pursue higher studies. It is home to three of the top 10 universities of the world, as per the rankings of world universities. The degree given by any of the UK universities is recognized internationally by employers, government bodies, and Universities.

The top 5 universities of the UK include the University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, Imperial College London, University College London, and the University of Edinburgh UK.

The University of Oxford is considered the oldest university in the world as well as the second oldest surviving University. However, the exact foundation date of this university is unknown but there is evidence of it taking place as far as in 1096. It is located around the medieval city center of Oxford and comprises 44 colleges and over a hundred libraries. There are a total of 22000 students of which 40% are international students representing 140 countries.

There are a number of benefits of studying at Cambridge University such as teaching and learning attributes, International curriculum, assessment, and international recognition. The students of Cambridge University are highly confident about their qualifications. Their qualifications are valued by employers as well as universities across the world. Along with this, the international curriculum instills a global standard of education. It also offers a number of programs that inspire and challenge the students.

Following is the list of top universities of the UK along with world university rankings.

Name of the universityWorld University Rank
University of Oxford1
University of Cambridge3
Imperial College London10
London School of Economics and Political Science=27
University of Edinburgh30
King’s College London=36
University of Manchester=55
University of Warwick77
University of Bristol87

Best courses in the UK

There are a number of popular UK courses that can be opted for by international students. These include business studies, accounting and Finance, undergraduate law, economics, art and design, computer science, mechanical engineering, politics, electrical engineering, and biological sciences.

The main focus of a business and management degree is on planning running and operation the organization. Students have the opportunity to look at each and every part of the business including finance, human resources, administration, and marketing. Business and management programs also offer University placements in globally recognized organizations.

On the other hand, accounting and Finance courses are also helpful for crafting unique perspectives. It also provides in-depth knowledge of mathematics, commerce, sociology, psychology, political science, and economics.

Further, all the UK law courses provide an opportunity for the students to take their professional life on a positive route. The universities of the UK have associations with the best companies in the world and assist their students in grabbing the perfect opportunities in highly reputed names around the globe.

Additionally, the universities of the UK give students the opportunity to pursue combined courses. This may include a law course, with another subject including journalism, politics, and business. Moreover, economics students can develop their problem-solving, computing, written, oral and data analysis skills, all of which are highly recognized by employers.

Moving further, there is also the provision of Studio based work in the art courses including sculpture, installation, painting, printing, digital media, and photography. Any of these can be selected by students as per their own interests.

Furthermore, a computer science degree from a UK university will help the students to develop core skills that are required in businesses and their future organizations. The universities offer training on New tools development kits. Such programs prove highly beneficial for practical fields including software engineering game development, Information Technology, security, and design.

Adding on, Mechanical engineering is also an emerging engineering discipline that is preferred by a number of international students. It includes the principles of Material science and physics for design, maintenance, manufacturing, and analysis of mechanical systems.

The courses in the universities of the UK are highly demanding. Many students from around the world come to the cities of England to get a graduation cap on their heads. Some of the popular courses offered by UK universities include

  • Business

  • Natural Sciences

  • Engineering and Technology

  • Medicine

  • Law

  • Social Sciences

  • Sports Sciences

  • Media and Communication

  • Arts

  • Hospitality and Tourism

Why study in the UK?

The higher educational institutions, as well as qualifications of the UK, have a remarkable reputation in the companies of the world. It not only allows the student to bag a degree from a reputed college but also helps him stand tall among the list of other candidates while applying for jobs worldwide. This along with many other reasons, make students aspire to study in the universities of the UK.

In fact, many other nations like to follow the education system of the UK because of well-proven education techniques. The reason, why a student should look for options to study in the UK include some of the following reasons:

  • It offers a wide variety of courses available in varied universities and colleges. The students can opt for whichever course, as per their interest, and then move towards a rightful direction of their career.

  • The universities offer short-term as well as long-term courses, which makes it easier for students to choose a course in accordance with the available time.

  • Also, there is a provision to work along with studies. This facility allows the students to self sponsor their studies. It further acts as a great opportunity for the students to learn the practical implications of their course.

  • There are many short-term English language courses. These language studies are essential to help the students form a base for themselves to do well in the UK education system. Moreover, it is highly beneficial for international students, as these courses get them closer to learning the basics of the English language.

  • The research facilities in the universities of the UK are highly advanced. It also supports its students financially to enable them to dwell in the depth of the subjects and learn the results by heart. In addition to this, the practical experience that the students get through these research projects acts as a great source of development for them and their future associations.

  • Most of the universities of the UK offer merit-based scholarship programs as well as funding opportunities for international students. This helps them to support the students in their living and taking the load of their study expenses.

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Studying in the UK: Scenario for international students

The environment of the UK education system is undoubtedly very professional, but at the same time, it is very welcoming. The diverse range of students that enroll in the various universities of the UK, makes it easier for fellow international students to adjust themselves to the foreign environment.

There are many undergraduate and postgraduate courses available in the colleges of the UK for international students. These are further offered in multiple fields of education. The variety of courses that are provided by the universities of the UK help the students learn the intricacies of the respective course by heart. Following is the list of courses offered by the universities of the UK for international students.

  • Business and Administrative Studies

  • Engineering and Technology

  • Social Studies

  • Creative Arts and Design

  • Law

  • Biological Sciences

  • Medicine Subjects

  • Computer Science

  • Languages

  • Physical Sciences


Hence, it can be said that in the UK, universities constantly rank in the top rankings of world universities such as the Times Higher Education Ranking, Academic Rankings of World Universities, and QS World Rankings. In addition to this, the degrees of UK universities are recognized as well as highly preferred by different employers worldwide. Though qualifying for admission into such reputed colleges is truly tough, a student for sure must try once in his lifetime to bag this opportunity of a lifetime.

Further readings

Article By:

Charles Wilson

An extraordinarily great conceptualiser, Charles Wilson has written content on some key educational topics. He has written guest posts for some of the most read blog spaces including Hop Online and Home Room.

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How does the UK education system work?

The UK education system is one of the most dependable and well sorted education systems. It has four basic levels of education which consists of primary education, secondary education, further education and higher education.

How to improve education system in UK?

Out of many ways to improve the education system in the UK, few include revising the quality of education at the lower level, retention of teachers, more saving plans to ensure increased enrollments in colleges and adding a modern approach to the education funding schemes.

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