Come iscriversi alle università del Regno Unito

Many young people dream of studying in the UK, a fantastic way to improve their prospects while immersing themselves in a new culture, meeting people from all over the world and improving their language skills.

UK universities rank amongst the best in the world, offering a huge range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses that are highly regarded internationally.

What do you want to study?

The first thing to do is to decide which specific course you want to study. UK Universities offer many options even for the same degree course, so it’s worth spending some time researching a specific field. For example, if you want to study psychology, do you want to focus on psychopedagogy, or are you more interested in clinical psychology?

In the UK, most degrees are BAs (Bachelor of Arts) or BSc’s (Bachelor of Science). However, different universities may offer both BAs and BSCs for the same subject, depending on the focus of the course.  Make sure to read the structure and find out if it really represents what you want to study.

Undergraduate course or Postgraduate course?

If you are attending university for the first time, you will likely apply for a bachelor's degree program. If you already have a first degree, you may decide to study for a masters or Postgraduate degree. The application process differs according to the type of degree.

For an undergraduate course in the UK, you need to apply through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). The UCAS website offers more than 50,000 university courses, which you can filter by area, by location and by type of study.

Once you have identified the courses you are interested in, it is also a good idea to check the specific university's website to get more information about the course, as well as the university itself and the city.

You can apply for up to five courses, it could be the same course but at different universities, different courses at the same university, or a combination of both.

Postgraduate courses in the UK have their own specific entry requirements and application processes, so check the individual course websites for instructions on how to apply. Find out more detail about postgraduate applications.

What do I need to make an application?

Once you have decided what exactly you want to study, you will need to complete the application process. If you apply through UCAS, you will find six sections: your personal details, your choices, your previous education, your work experience and, most important of all, your personal statement. You will also be asked to provide a referent, who should be someone who knows your academic career (ideally a teacher). One of the issues for overseas students is how to explain their academic qualifications, as these obviously differ from the standard UK qualifications.

The Personal Statement is where you can really stand out - but be careful! You are limited to 4,000 characters. Outlining why you are applying for the courses you have chosen is a good idea, and, as a foreign student, you should describe why you are so eager to study abroad.

Make sure to read How to write a personal statement.

Language Skills

As an international student, you will almost certainly be asked to provide a certificate of your level of English. Most UK universities will ask you for a recognized qualification, such as IELTS and specify the level of attainment you will need.

Some universities may also accept Cambridge exams, such as First Certificate of English or Advanced Certificate of English. They will usually ask for these certifications to be up-to-date (i.e. obtained in the last two years). If you want to apply for a course, you will need to think about your English certificate well in advance to ensure you can provide it by the application date.

Obviously, your language skills will improve during your studies, but it is essential that you have studied English and have a sufficient level.
The British Council offers IELTS preparation courses throughout the year and can advise you on the best path to take, indicating what each level entails.

How much will it cost studying in the UK?

EU students pay international university fees, depending on your chosen university and study level. The only exception is for students from the Republic of Ireland, who can still study at the same fees as UK students and apply for government loans.

Check the cost of course fees with the University or college you are applying to. Most often, this information will be listed on their website. 

In addition to the tuition fees, you will need to cover for your living costs while in the UK. Some areas of the UK are more expensive than others! Contact the international offices of your chosen university (you can find their details in the "International" or "Contact" section of their website).

Universities have a student budget calculator to help estimate the cost of living in different areas of the UK.

Finding somewhere to live

There’s a wide variety of safe and modern accommodation on offer for students in the UK and universities and colleges have dedicated accommodation teams that will help you find the right type of living environment to suit your needs. Many universities and colleges have halls of residence that are on-site or nearby.

This might be a good option for meeting new people and getting involved in university life. You might also consider renting a room in a shared apartment. Sharing an apartment with British students will be a great way to improve your language skills. Even in shared living accommodation, students usually have a bedroom to themselves, often with an en-suite bathroom.

Your university can provide you with more specific advice regarding on-site accommodation options.

Travelling to the UK to study should be exciting, but it can be daunting too. Getting settled in a new country with different customs, languages, food and currency is a challenge. However, the rewards are great: not only will you become more qualified, but the social, linguistic and cultural skills you develop will surely help you in the future, whatever you decide to do and wherever you are.

Find out more: Study in the UK 2021-2022.