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TOP-30 international colleges in the UK that provide high-quality courses for international students

Education information

In addition to private boarding schools in Great Britain, there is also a large number of international colleges. The main aim of international colleges (they are often called Six-form Colleges and Tutorial Colleges) is to prepare both English and foreign students for GCSE and A-level, for entering higher education institutions and higher schools. Flexibility of programs and academic concentration bring excellent results. Practically, students from international colleges attend the GCSE course for a year, and A-level for a year and a half. Whereas at traditional boarding schools, such courses last two years. Usually Six-form Colleges accept students at 15-16 years.

At international colleges studying programme consists of a basic general studying course and separate classes (languages - English and foreign, selected disciplines of any profile).

TOP-30 international colleges in the UK have strict discipline, control of attendance and achievement. At the same time, often there is no school uniform. International College easily solves the problem of adaptation and integration of students. Moreover, relationship between teachers and students are usually more democratic than at private boarding schools.

TOP-30 international colleges in the UK that provide high-quality courses for international students

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Differences between international colleges and boarding schools: key advantages of Six-form colleges

  • There is no busy extracurricular programs. Each self-respecting boarding school in the UK opens for students numerous sports and creative clubs and studios, choirs and orchestras, drama workshops. International colleges are focused on the academic component of the course
  • At boarding schools in England and Great Britain, traditionally much attention is paid to the education of etiquette and good manners, personal qualities. International colleges aimed at the performance of students. It is assumed that to the senior classes children have already learned how to behave in a right way
  • Small study groups and classes - usually no more than 6 people, and individual lectures and seminars can be held in mini groups of 2-3 people
  • In comparison with getting bachelor's degree in British universities, a certificate at the college will cost approximately 1.5-2 times cheaper. At the same time, diplomas of good colleges are also valued very high. Actually, a lower price is a significant plus for foreign students
  • All studying programs are compiled and updated in accordance with the current requirements of the society and employers. It means that graduates have the highest chances of successful employment
  • Strong practical studies. If you are preparing to enter the university, a big part of your time will be occupied by academic and language studies. If you get a degree - a lot of attention is paid to the practical application of knowledge, internships and practical work. Due to it, college graduates quickly become high-demand, qualified specialists
  • You can transfer from programme to programme if necessary, without taking a bunch of additional exams. It is usually enough to confirm a high level of knowledge and command of English (for example, to provide a report card with grades and a language certificate TOELF/ IELTS).

Main studying programs at 30 best international colleges in the UK

  • Advanced academic studies (2-6 months): an excellent opportunity to deepen knowledge of priority subjects (usually 1-3 subjects) before entering university
  • University Foundation programme (8-9 months) - complex pre-university programme: Studying subjects + intensive course of academic English
  • GCSE (usually 1 year): a programme to complete a course of undergraduate education. Students finish it by 15-16 years
  • A-level programme (usually 1,5 years, sometimes 2 years): the gold standard of British education. It gives an opportunity to enter best universities without additional entrance examinations and tests. Deep, complicated study of 3-5 selected subjects practically at the university level
  • Certificate or diploma (32-52 weeks): ordinary or advanced level. It allows to start working after graduation - it's very convenient for specialties that do not require deep theoretical knowledge (like medicine, jurisprudence, architecture, etc.)
  • Bachelor's degree (3-4 years): the first stage of higher professional education, which gives an opportunity to work not only in junior positions (as a certificate or diploma), but also to qualify for rapid career growth

How to choose an international college in England?

In order to choose the right international college from TOP-30 schools for foreign students, there are several key principles:

  • Identify the top priority specialties that you plan to study in British universities and high schools
  • Review the rating of British universities. Don't hesitate to contact SMAPSE specialists, that will find figures of The Times, The Daily Telegraph and other authoritative commissions.

Choose every option that meets your needs and requirements. It's essential to do not stop at Oxford and Cambridge. Many profile universities that match your chosen specialties may even be more suitable. For example, if you want to make a career in business and management, pay attention to the universities of Lancaster and Warwick, as well as the Manchester University of Science and Technology and the famous London School of Economics and Political Science

  • Perhaps international colleges have the right to teach students on their undergraduate programs. Often this opportunity is provided for finance, tourism and hotel business, international relations, information systems, economics, accounting, management, banking. Do not miss this opportunity! In addition, often not only bachelor's programs are offered, but also professional courses and advanced studying (for example, designer, tour operator, make-up artist) - duration of studies will be 6-24 months
  • Decide what is more important for you - public or private college. Here everything is simple: the principle is the same as at boarding schools. Private ones provide more saturated and diverse infrastructure, but state ones cost significantly less. In general, the educational level is high in both versions.

SMAPSE advises you to pay attention to the following options:

  • Abbey College (for example, Abbey College Cambridge) - the most powerful international colleges in England and the UK, located in a number of cities in the United Kingdom. Intensive academic preparation and high-qualified teachers help graduates easily enter even such elite universities as Cambridge and Oxford
  • CATS College (for example, CATS College London) is a very extensive network of international colleges in Britain, which is part of TOP-3 in terms of educational programs for high school students. There are special preparation programs for Cambridge, as well as for medical faculties (traditionally they have the highest competition of entrants)
  • Bellerbys College (for example, Bellerbys College Oxford) - colleges of this network invariably enter the TOP-30 in the country, and graduates enter universities from among the TOP-30 of Great Britain and the world
  • MPW College London - a young London international college can be proud of its statistics: more than 90% of foreign graduates successfully enter British universities and higher schools. There are special programs for admission to specialties with a high competition: medicine, pharmaceutics and veterinary science, dentistry.

General statistics on education in the UK - ratings, specialties, universities

Best schools in England and UK according to Smapse Education

1 Cardiff Sixth Form College
2 Sevenoaks School
3 Queen Ethelburga's College
4 Brighton College
5

The National Mathematics and Science College NMSC

6 Concord College
7 Westbourne School
8 Wellington College
9 Rossall School
10 d'Overbroeck's College
11 Dulwich College
12 Fettes College
13 Stonar School
14 Wycliffe College
15 Lucton School
16 King's School Canterbury
17 ACS School Cobham
18 Hurtwood House
19 Uppingham School
20 Scarborough College
21 King's College St Michael’s
22 Mill Hill School
23 Windermere School
24 Clifton College
25 Badminton School
26 Oakham School
27 Oundle School
28 Stowe School
29 Cheltenham College
30 Bromsgrove School
31 Sidcot School
32 Prior Park College
33 Millfield School
34 Oswestry School
35 Caterham School
36 City of London Freemen’s School
37 Buckswood School
38 Brooke House College
39 Taunton School
40                   St Clare's Oxford
41 Repton School
42 Royal Russell School
43 King's Ely
44 Leys Cambridge
45 Leighton Park
46 Bedford School
47 Fyling Hall
48 Royal Hospital School

Best boarding schools in England and UK 2018

A/A* % Name Day/Board Boy/Girl Day GBP Board GBP
1 88.92 Westminster School Both Co-ed (Boys Only 7-16) 29,709 39,252
2 88.68 Cardiff Sixth Form College Both Co-ed 16,600 42,750
3 83.54 Oxford International College Both Co-ed 21,000 42,000
4 83.06 Brighton College Both Co-ed 24,420 44,460
5 81.43 Concord College Both Co-ed 14,280 39,900
6 71.25 Ruthin School Both Co-ed 14,000 34,500
7 64.12 City of London Freemen's School Both Co-ed 18,279 30,816
8 64.11 Oundle School Both Co-ed 23,505 36,690
9 61.74 Marlborough College Both Co-ed   37,815
10 60.87 Rugby School Both Co-ed 22,437 35,760
11 60.00 Wellington College Both Co-ed 30,375 41,580
12 59.06 Caterham School Both Co-ed 18,900 36,570
13 58.33 Hurtwood House Both Co-ed 28,950 43,428
14 58.22 Epsom College Both Co-ed 25,266 37,263
15 55.71 St Peter's School Both Co-ed 18,075 32,280
16 54.80 Uppingham School Both Co-ed 26,313 37,590
17 54.17 Bellerbys College Cambridge Both Co-ed 27,060 38,940
18 53.71 Abbey College Cambridge Both Co-ed 29,000  
19 53.40 Bishop's Stortford College Both Co-ed 19,839 31,923
20 53.37 d'Overbroeck's Oxford Both Co-ed 23,850 38,700
21 53.19 Canford School Both Co-ed 27,723 36,420
22 53.00 Christ's Hospital Both Co-ed 23,310 35,850
23 52.01 Ashford School Both Co-ed 16,800 37,500
24 51.14 Dean Close School Both Co-ed 24,600 37,413
25 51.00 Monkton Senior School Both Co-ed 20,910 33,345
26 49.50 Dauntsey's School Both Co-ed 18,990 36,300
27 48.51 Cheltenham College Both Co-ed 28,575 37,770
28 48.43 West Buckland School Both Co-ed 15,060 33,660
29 48.06 Wells Cathedral School Both Co-ed 18,801 31,464
30 47.66 King's Ely Both Co-ed 21,459 39,441

IB rankings of small schools in England 2019

AVG. Points Name DAY/BOARD BOY/GIRL DAY GBP BOARD GBP Cohort size
36.7 Westbourne School Both Co-ed 14,010 35,850 11
36.5 Sherborne Girls Both Girls 21,975 37,050 17
34.1 Gresham's School Both Co-ed 27,000 37,890 16
32.1 International Community School Day Co-ed 27,540   14
31.0 Ellesmere College Both Co-ed 18,990 34,533 12
28.0 Buckswood School Both Co-ed 13,950 29,700 18

Top boy's schools rankings 2018

A/A* % Name Day/Board Boy/Girl Day GBP Board GBP
1 86.44 Winchester College Boarding Boys   38,100
2 84.73 St Paul's School Both Boys 25,032 37,611
3 80.12 Eton College Boarding Boys   40,668
4 68.48 Tonbridge School Both Boys 30,342 40,446
5 65.00 Harrow School Boarding Boys   40,050
6 62.62 Dulwich College Both Boys 20,448 42,681
7 62.21 Abingdon School Both Boys 19,950 39,750
8 60.68 Radley College Boarding Boys   38,325
9 55.08 Warwick School Both Boys 13,194 28,758
10 53.15 Whitgift School Both Boys 20,640 40,140
11 50.85 Merchiston Castle School Both Boys 24,210 32,910
12 47.89 Loughborough Grammar School Both Boys 12,549 28,752
13 43.46 Monmouth School Both Boys 15,816 32,061
14 43.40 Sherborne School Both Boys 30,375 37,500
15 41.00 Reed's School Both Boys(Co-ed 6th form) 24,675 31,800
16 38.46 The Oratory School Both Boys 24,966 34,299
17 36.69 Bedford School Both Boys 19,842 33,558

A-level rankings 2018

A/A* % Name Day/Board Boy/Girl Day GBP Board GBP
1 88.92 Westminster School Both Co-ed (Boys Only 7-16) 29,709 39,252
2 88.68 Cardiff Sixth Form College Both Co-ed 16,600 42,750
3 84.73 St Paul's School Both Boys 25,032 37,611
4 84.30 Wycombe Abbey School Boarding Girls 29,205 38,940
5 83.54 Oxford International College Both Co-ed 21,000 42,000
6 83.06 Brighton College Both Co-ed 24,420 44,460
7 81.43 Concord College Both Co-ed 14,280 39,900
8 80.12 Eton College Boarding Boys   40,668
9 76.17 Highgate School Day Co-ed 20,970  
10 71.79 St Mary's School - Ascot Both Girls 27,630 38,790
11 71.25 Ruthin School Both Co-ed 14,000 34,500
12 70.39 University College School Day Boys (Co-ed 6th form) 20,328  
13 68.74 Hampton School Day Boys 20,055  
14 68.48 Tonbridge School Both Boys 30,342 40,446
15 66.78 Downe House School Both Girls 27,495 37,530
16 66.55 St Catherine's School - Guildford Both Girls 18,375 30,285
17 65.00 Harrow School Boarding Boys   40,050
18 64.11 Oundle School Both Co-ed 23,505 36,690
19 62.62 Dulwich College Both Boys 20,448 42,681
20 62.21 Abingdon School Both Boys 19,950 39,750
21 62.00 Benenden School Boarding Girls   37,950
22 61.74 Marlborough College Both Co-ed   37,815
23 61.15 Woldingham School Both Girls 23,190 38,040
24       60.87 Rugby School Both Co-ed 22,437 35,760
25 60.68 Radley College Boarding Boys   38,325
26 60.00 Wellington College Both Co-ed 30,375 41,580
27 59.68 Mayfield School Both Girls 21,000 33,900
28 59.06 Caterham School Both Co-ed 18,900 36,570
29 58.33 Hurtwood House Both Co-ed 28,950 43,428
30 58.22 Epsom College Both Co-ed 25,266 37,263

IB rankings of large schools in England 2018

AVG. Points Name DAY/BOARD BOY/GIRL DAY GBP BOARD GBP Cohort size
40.2 Wellington College Both Co-ed 30,375 41,580 96
39.4 Sevenoaks School Both Co-ed 27,585 42,084 224
38.6 Whitgift School Both Boys 20,640 40,140 40
38.0 Ardingly College Both Co-ed 23,985 37,800 45
37.5 Bromsgrove School Both Co-ed 17,085 38,220 45
37.4 Headington School Both Girls 19,905 40,185 36
37.0 Fettes College Both Co-ed 29,925 36,495 40
36.9 Marymount International School Both Girls 24,985 42,305 36
36.5 St Clare's Both Co-ed 19,878 41,375 102
36.2 Haileybury Both Co-ed 26,646 36,144 50
35.6 Stonyhurst College Both Co-ed 20,550 37,350  
35.4 Oakham School Both Co-ed 21,360 35,010 63
35.1 Brentwood School Both Co-ed 19,800 38,799 33
34.7 King Edward's Witley Both Co-ed 21,285 34,050 127
34.5 Worth School Both Co-ed 24,570 35,220 39
34.3 Bedford School Both Boys 19,842 33,558 28
34.1 Christ's Hospital Both Co-ed 23,310 35,850 28
33.9 Windermere School Both Co-ed 18,300 32,280 34
33.8 Felsted School Both Co-ed 24,495 37,485 29
33.6 Charterhouse School Both Co-ed 33,630 40,695 58
33.0 St Leonards School Both Co-ed 15,474 37,452 61
32.7 King William's College Both Co-ed 23,250 34,250 55
32.3 Taunton School Both Co-ed 20,070 37,380 24
32.2 Bryanston School Both Co-ed   39,693 24
32.0 ACS Hillingdon International School Day Co-ed 25,890   22
31.9 ACS Cobham International School Both Co-ed 27,650 47,870 78
31.0 Box Hill School Both Co-ed 20,220 36,450 24
31.0 Rossall School Both Co-ed 13,740 35,085 20
31.0 Scarborough College Both Co-ed 15,282 30,165 20

Rankings of schools in England by GCSE 2018

A/A* % Name Day/Board Boy/Girl Day GBP Board GBP
1 97.85 St Mary's School - Ascot Both Girls 27,630 38,790
2 97.33 Westminster School Both Co-ed (Boys Only 7-16) 29,709 39,252
3 96.14 St Paul's School Both Boys 25,032 37,611
4 95.75 Eton College Boarding Boys   40,668
5 95.20 Wycombe Abbey School Boarding Girls 29,205 38,940
6 93.56 Hampton School Day Boys 20,055  
7 92.45 Highgate School Day Co-ed 20,970  
8 92.00 Sevenoaks School Both Co-ed 27,585 42,084
9 91.11 Winchester College Boarding Boys   38,100
10 90.44 Brighton College Both Co-ed 24,420 44,460
11 88.01 University College School Day Boys (Co-ed 6th form) 20,328  
12 87.43 Concord College Both Co-ed 14,280 39,900
13 87.29 Badminton School Both Girls 16,425 37,575
14 87.25 Tonbridge School Both Boys 30,342 40,446
15 87.00 Wellington College Both Co-ed 30,375 41,580
16 84.88 St Catherine's School - Guildford Both Girls 18,375 30,285
17 84.55 Downe House School Both Girls 27,495 37,530
18 84.44 Dulwich College Both Boys 20,448 42,681
19 84.00 Harrow School Boarding Boys   40,050
20 83.79 Headington School Both Girls 19,905 40,185
21 83.70 Abingdon School Both Boys 19,950 39,750
22 83.12 City of London Freemen's School Both Co-ed 18,279 30,816
23 82.17 Oundle School Both Co-ed 23,505 36,690
24 81.75 Rugby School Both Co-ed 22,437 35,760
25      80.42 Caterham School Both Co-ed 18,900 36,570
26 80.26 Benenden School Boarding Girls   37,950
27 78.31 Warwick School Both Boys 13,194 28,758
28 77.07 Epsom College Both Co-ed 25,266 37,263
29 77.04 Radley College Boarding Boys   38,325
30 75.72 Ardingly College Both Co-ed 23,985 37,800

Best boarding schools in England by GCSE 2018

A/A* % Name Day/Board Boy/Girl Day GBP Board GBP
1 97.33 Westminster School Both Co-ed (Boys Only 7-16) 29,709 39,252
2 6.14 St Paul's School Both Boys 25,032 37,611
3 95.75 Eton College Boarding Boys   40,668
4 95.20 Wycombe Abbey School Boarding Girls 29,205 38,940
5 92.00 Sevenoaks School Both Co-ed 27,585 42,084
6 91.11 Winchester College Boarding Boys   38,100
7 90.44 Brighton College Both Co-ed 24,420 44,460
8 87.43 Concord College Both Co-ed 14,280 39,900
9 87.29 Badminton School Both Girls 16,425 37,575
10 87.25 Tonbridge School Both Boys 30,342 40,446
11 87.00 Wellington College Both Co-ed 30,375 41,580
12 84.88 St Catherine's School - Guildford Both Girls 18,375 30,285
13 84.55 Downe House School Both Girls 27,495 37,530
14 84.44 Dulwich College Both Boys 20,448 42,681
15 84.00 Harrow School Boarding Boys   40,050
16 83.79 Headington School Both Girls 19,905 40,185
17 83.70 Abingdon School Both Boys 19,950 39,750
18 83.12 City of London Freemen's School Both Co-ed 18,279 30,816
19 82.17 Oundle School Both Co-ed 23,505 36,690
20 81.75 Rugby School Both Co-ed 22,437 35,760
21 80.42 Caterham School Both Co-ed 18,900 36,570
22 80.26 Benenden School Boarding Girls   37,950
23     78.31 Warwick School Both Boys 13,194 28,758
24 77.07 Epsom College Both Co-ed 25,266 37,263
25 77.04 Radley College Boarding Boys   38,325
26 75.72 Ardingly College Both Co-ed 23,985 37,800
27 75.00 Charterhouse School Both Co-ed 33,630 40,695
28 74.74 Burgess Hill Girls Both Girls (Co-ed 2 - 4) 18,900 32,400
29 74.26 Whitgift School Both Boys 20,640 40,140
30 72.62 Marlborough College Both Co-ed   37,815

Top girl's schools rankings 2018

A/A* % Name Day/Board Boy/Girl Day GBP Board GBP
1 84.30 Wycombe Abbey School Boarding Girls 29,205 38,940
2 71.79 St Mary's School - Ascot Both Girls 27,630 38,790
3 66.78 Downe House School Both Girls 27,495 37,530
4 66.55 St Catherine's School - Guildford Both Girls 18,375 30,285
5 62.00 Benenden School Boarding Girls   37,950
6 61.15 Woldingham School Both Girls 23,190 38,040
7 59.68 Mayfield School Both Girls 21,000 33,900
8 57.69 Malvern St James Girls' School Both Girls 19,380 40,755
9 56.39 Badminton School Both Girls 16,425 37,575
10 55.38 Burgess Hill Girls Both Girls (Co-ed 2 - 4) 18,900 32,400
11 54.65 Headington School Both Girls 19,905 40,185
12 54.44 Roedean School Both Girls 21,495 38,565
13 53.38 The Godolphin School Both Girls 21,090 36,225
14 51.03 Moreton Hall School Both Girls 28,725 34,875
15 50.00 Talbot Heath School Both Girls 14,403 25,515
16      48.02 Haberdashers' Monmouth School for Girls Both Girls 15,816 32,061
17 46.62 Royal High School Both Girls 14,595 32,286
18 42.42 Farlington School Both Girls 17,670 29,850
19 39.90 Queen Anne's School Both Girls 24,135 35,580
20 36.09 Sherborne Girls Both Girls 21,975 37,050
21 35.83 Queenswood School Both Girls 26,325 35,350
22 35.71 Harrogate Ladies College Both Girls 16,035 36,510
23 34.44 Heathfield School - Ascot Both Girls 22,800 36,630

Rankings of British colleges 2018

A/A* % Name Day/Board Boy/Girl Day GBP Board GBP
1 88.68 Cardiff Sixth Form College Both Co-ed 16,600 42,750
2 83.54 Oxford International College Both Co-ed 21,000 42,000
3 81.43 Concord College Both Co-ed 14,280 39,900
4 58.33 Hurtwood House Both Co-ed 28,950 43,428
5 54.17 Bellerbys College Cambridge Both Co-ed 27,060 38,940
6 53.71 Abbey College Cambridge Both Co-ed 29,000  
7 53.37 d'Overbroeck's Oxford Both Co-ed 23,850 38,700
8 47.21 Cambridge Tutors College Both Co-ed 15,900 39,990
9 44.09 CATS College Canterbury Both Co-ed 26,490 41,775
10 42.55 Bosworth Independent College Both Co-ed 12,600 30,300
11 39.29 CATS College Cambridge Both Co-ed 24,990 44,775
12 32.94 Mander Portman Woodward - Cambridge Day Co-ed 28,305  
13 31.01 Bellerbys College Brighton Both Co-ed 27,060 43,704
14    30.53 Abbey College Manchester Both Co-ed 12,750  
15 30.50 Chelsea Independent College Both Co-ed 24,000 48,000
16 29.75 Cambridge Centre For Sixth Form Studies Both Co-ed 21,000 48,000
17 28.65 Rochester Independent College Both Co-ed 18,000 36,900
18 24.86 CATS College London Both Co-ed 24,990 49,980
19 24.83 DLD College London Both Co-ed 23,000 50,500
20 20.93 Ealing Independent College Day Co-ed 16,050  
21 16.39 Padworth College Both Co-ed    

Best colleges in London 2019 rankings

1 Chelsea Independent College
2 Abbey DLD College London
3 MPW College London
4 Kensington Park School
5 CATS College London
6 Bellerbys College London
7 David Game College London
8 Cambridge Tutors College
9 Ealing Independent College
10 King’s College London

Top 21 boarding colleges in England 2019 by Smapse Education

1 Cardiff Sixth Form College
2

National Mathematics and Science College

3 Abbey College Cambridge
4 d'Overbroeck's College
5 MPW London
6 CATS Cambridge
7 Kensington Park
8 DLD London
9 King's College St Michael’s
10 Bellerbys Cambridge
11 Chelsea Independent College
12 MPW Cambridge
13 Bellerbys Brighton
14 CATS London
15 St Clare's Oxford
16 Bishopstrow College
17 CATS Canterbury
18 Bellerbys London
19 Ealing Independent College
20 Cambridge Tutors College
21 Abbey Manchester

 

2020 rankings: top 33 schools and colleges in London and suburb

1 Abbey DLD College London
2 Sevenoaks School
3 Chelsea Independent College
4 ACS Cobham International School
5 MPW College London
6 Westminster School
7 Mill Hill School
8 St Pauls School London
9 Kensington Park School
10 Harrow School
11 CATS College London
12 David Game College London
13 Hurtwood House School
14 Brentwood Private School
15 Bellerbys College London
16 Caterham School
17 International Community School
18

TASIS the American International School in England

19 City of London Freemen’s School
20 Dulwich College
21 Ashbourne College
22 Epsom College
23 Royal Russell School
24 Rochester Independent College
25 Worth School
26 Felsted School
27 Queenswood private boarding school
28 LVS Ascot School
29 Eaton Square Private School London
30 Cambridge Tutors College
31 Marymount International School London
32 St Christopher School Letchworth
33 King Edward's Witley Private School

 

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