- Ways to enter universities in England and the UK
- The main requirements of British universities:
- Incoming and enrollment process
For students planning to pursue higher education in the UK, SMAPSE experts aim to provide as complete, understandable and detailed answers to any questions as possible. Of course, the question of admission is not at all simple, but it can be solved: SMAPSE specialists hope that in this article you will find useful information and answers to all doubts.
Ways to enter universities in England and the UK
In British schools students spend 12 years: this is connected with the fact that many certificates are not recognized as academic enough for admission to universities in the UK. You will either need to study for one or two years at a local university and then begin the transfer procedure (passing the exams in English), or take care in advance and go to the UK for additional educational courses (at a private school, international college or university). The main options for the last 3 - consider each a little more:
- A-level (2 years)
The most complex, but also the most prestigious, traditionally British educational program for hard-working and gifted students. In the most ranking universities and the most prestigious programs with a high competition (for example, medicine) students with A-level certificates are accepted first.
The program is designed for 2 academic years: at AS-level students choose 4-5 high-priority subjects, and in the second year only 3-4 of them remain, for which exams are taken. The scores are awarded according to the 5-point system (A-the highest score, E-unsatisfactory). Institutions themselves determine the passing score for their faculties, but for admission to the most ranked it usually requires at least 3 excellent grades (A * - A). Also, some universities to describe the introductory requirements use the UCAS score system - for example, 280 UCAS points. This is deciphered as follows: A score in the exam is equal to 120 points of UCAS, B is valued as 100 points, and the C ranking is equivalent to 80 points.
- IB, International Baccalaureate (International Baccalaureate, 2 years)
The international program adopted and highly cited in all countries of the world. In the UK on the IB system there are more than 60 colleges and private schools, the choice of subjects in which is really huge! In total, during a two-year intensive course, students study 6 selected disciplines: 3 at the standard level and 3 at the in-depth, more complex. In addition to the end of the course, students must write an extended essay (minimum 80 pages), respectively, pass 6 exams (at both levels), pass a theory of knowledge (TOK) course and a CAS (Creativity, Service, Activity) course. Scores are awarded on a 7-point scale: to obtain a diploma, you need to score 24 points out of the maximum 45 possible, and prestigious and popular universities set minimum requirements at 35 points.
- Foundation Program (1 year)
A one-year preparatory course, especially popular among foreign students. This is a comprehensive program to learn English and the main block of academic subjects. Foundation helps foreign students quickly learn in a new language, cultural and educational environment, get used to the British education system and its requirements, develop academic skills.
Examinations on a one-year course take place 3 times: in December, March and June (for 4-5 exams within each session). A big plus: if you pass the Foundation at the university, upon successful completion of the preparatory program you can automatically enroll in the chosen undergraduate course!
When choosing a foundation, it is important to remember that the most elite universities (Cambridge, Oxford, Imperial College London) do not consider it academically sufficient and do not accept this certificate from their entrants - it will be necessary to pass either A-level or IB. The same applies to prestigious faculties with a high competition. Also, the minus course - most of them here are studying foreign students, that is, integration into the English-speaking British community may be incomplete. To enroll in the Foundation, be prepared to immediately confirm a sufficiently high level of English - IELTS from 5.0.
The main requirements of British universities:
- Secondary education certificate - 12 years
- Age from 17.5 years
- The level of English from IELTS 5.5-6.5 and above
- Certificate A-level (minimum 3 exams) and GCSE (minimum 4 exams) for points not lower than C. If you received another certificate - grades are transferred to the UK system (from A to U) and entered into the UCAS system
- If possible, a bachelor's degree, a report card with grades and a list of all studied specialties (if you are transferring from university to university or applying for a master's degree)
- Personal resume
- Reference letters from teachers and employers, personal curator
- Motivational letter.
Remember that all documents must be translated into English and notarized.
Incoming and enrollment process
Admission of documents and admission of applicants in the UK always takes place on a competitive basis - the more prestigious the university and the chosen specialty, the higher the competition.
Most likely, the selection committee will appoint you an additional interview, ask you to tell personally about your achievements, advantages, successes in academic and other spheres, career and personal goals. What do you plan to achieve by studying the chosen course?
In general, the process of admission and preparation, SMAPSE specialists recommend starting 1-2 years before the expected start of studies. At the beginning of the application process, the most ranking specialties and universities close the reception by October 15 (for example, it concerns Oxford and Cambridge).
If your level of English is not sufficient for a full-fledged, effective education in English universities, you can enter a preliminary intensive language course. This may be a standard course of English or Academic English program-specific educational programs (the Pre-A-Level, the Pre-IB, the Pre-Masters, the Pre-an MBA ), take courses on the preparation of a portfolio or a crash course on specific academic subjects.