Education System

UK education is recognized and respected throughout the world. The student’s UK qualification will be a solid foundation for building the student’s future, boosting his/her career and prospects for a higher salary. UK universities, colleges and schools will provide a vibrant, creative and challenging environment in which to develop his/her potential. Quality standards for UK institutions are among the best in the world. Universities, colleges and schools continually have to prove that their courses meet strict criteria. Many other countries are now trying to follow the example of the UK.

Like all UK education; UK postgraduate qualifications are respected and valued all over the world. A master’s degree, PhD or MBA from a UK university will give students an edge over the competition. It will prove to employers that the students are capable of independent thought and self-discipline, used to conducting and analyzing.

The UK has two distinct education systems; one for England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and one for Scotland. However, each is compatible with the other.

The education system in the UK is different to that in many other countries.

At the age of 16, British children take General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) examinations.

Students then transfer to studying A-Levels which last for two years and qualify them for entry to university.

Students tend to specialise in these courses and often study for three or four A-Levels.

This means that degrees do not last as long in the UK as other countries.

The system is broadly classified into the following four main categories:

Primary Education

Children in UK start their education with primary education at the age of 5 years. It is for 6 years and students will be educated up to the age of 11 at this level. Primary education in UK is sometimes divided into 2 parts – Infant/Nursery schools (age level 5-7) and junior schools (age level 7-11). Secondary Education


Secondary Education

Secondary education encompasses the next level of education between the age group of 11-16 years, which is similar to ‘High school’ in India. Here, students will be pursuing a common set of courses and take the GCSE exam conducted at the end of secondary education.

Nevertheless, many pupils in UK pursue additional 2 years of Advanced level of education (GCE A level) equivalent qualifications as sixth form students. They can also pursue Advanced Supplementary Level (GCE AS level) examsafter secondary education. International students often enter the education system at this point, e.g. taking an A-level course in preparation for further or higher education in the UK.

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Further Education
This level covers (or similar to) post-16 courses that are similar to GCE A-level exams, where course may be either full-time or part-time and for any subject. This is the post-secondary level of education in UK. Pupils seeking admission in colleges or universities have to complete their further education. Usually it includes education for the pupil over 16 years of age with the certification of GCSE or equivalent of it. This is generally taught in FE colleges and later in community learning institutions.

Higher Education
Most higher education begins at the age of 18 at colleges or universities. Most international students will enter directly into the UK higher education system, after completing their home country’s equivalent to the UK’s ‘further education’. It requires above the standard of GCE A-level. For pupil without A-level exam have to take additional 1-year program, especially international students undertake this course as training of university course in UK. Here credits will be awarded for them towards student’s degree.

An undergraduate degree normally takes three years to complete but can take longer if they include an industrial placement, an additional subject or a year abroad. They are also specialised from Year One.

Types of undergraduate degree include:

  • BSc (Bachelor of Science) – a science degree
  • BA (Bachelor of Arts) – an arts degree
  • BEng (Bachelor of Engineering) – an engineering degree
  • Undergraduate Degree with or without Honours (e.g B.Sc Hons) – three-year undergraduate degree including extra subjects studied at a deeper level, or of four-year duration with an year in the Industry, for practical training.

Students who receive good grades in their undergraduate degrees may choose to take a Masters degree, which takes a minimum of one year to complete.

Types of Masters degree include:

  • M Sc (Master of Science)
  • MA (Master of Arts)
  • M Ed (Master of Education)
  • LLM (Master of Law)
  • MBA (Master of Business Administration)

Taught Masters degrees
Taught Masters usually involve six months of intensive tuition followed by six months of project work which ends with a dissertation. Masters degrees by research (M Phil)
Research degrees involve at least one year, sometimes more, of full-time research resulting in an examined thesis. PhD
If you would like to continue to study for a PhD, you will have to conduct a minimum of two years’ research after the award of your M Sc.

In some subject areas, a student may transfer from BSc/BA/BEng to PhD so that they follow a three year research programme for PhD without first obtaining a Masters degree.

Some courses are taught while others require research. Taught courses usually involve presentations, written course work such as marked essays, exams and dissertations. Classroom sessions are highly interactive, requiring student participation.

Notes to Consider:

•  Each level of education in the UK has diverse prerequisites that should be fulfilled for achieving next level entry•  For getting admission in universities of UK, international students need to have minimum score on TOEFL/IELTS. Many universities disregard the English requirement for the students who scored 65% and above in English in their 10th and 12th standards Education System in Scotland

  • Pre-school (3-4 years)
  • Primary school (5-12 years)
  • Secondary school (12-16/18 years)
  • Further education (16+)
  • Higher education (17/18+)
  • Community education (all ages)
  • Lifelong learning

Undergraduate degrees take three years to complete in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, while at Scottish universities they last four years. At the graduate level, a master’s degree is normally earned in a single year, a research master’s degree takes two years and a doctoral degree is often completed in three years.

Professional courses, such as medicine, veterinary medicine, law and teaching, usually are undertaken as five-year undergraduate degrees.