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TOP-100 schools and colleges in the UK where international students can take preparation courses to enter universities in England after grade 9, 10, 11

Education information

Undoubtedly, each student, preparing for final exams at school, looks forward to entering universities in Great Britain. It goes without saying that England is a recognized world leader in high-quality secondary and higher education. There is a great deal of famous scientists, politicians, financiers and artists among essential graduates from prestigious British universities. Nowadays, British universities accept foreign students for education, and our SMAPSE team knows everything about how to be fully prepared for entering university in Great Britain and to get exellent education in England after school.

There are many academic programs in TOP-100 schools and colleges in the UK that are focused on preparation to enter universities in the United Kingdom by improving basic linguistic and academic knowledge. Below we will discuss how to enter the universities in England, as well as required documents for universities in the UK.

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Educational system in the UK

The educational system in the UK includes 4 main parts: primary education, secondary education, further education and higher education. Students in the UK are obliged to attend primary and secondary education which starts from about 5 years old until 16 years old. Students are assessed at the end of each stage. At age 16 students get their GCSE's or General Certificate of Secondary Education.

It goes without saying that it is one of the most important stages in their education. They can decide whether to continue their studies or finish school and start working. Those, who have decided to go onto further education, start preparing for entering universities or colleges to acquire higher education. During further education students take their A-Levels, GNVQ's, BTEC's or other such qualifications.

A-level course takes 2 years of learning vocation-related subjects. It is worth noting that mainly because of this reason the universities of the United Kingdom do not accept the certificates of complete secondary education of other countries as sufficient for admission.

Studying abroad after graduating school will require some additional preparation. To make the secondary education, obtained in your homeland, equal with international standards, it is essential to take specialized pre-university courses. They give ex-schoolchildren the opportunity to improve English skills during a short period of time, to identify gaps in their knowledge and bridge the skills gap, to get acquainted with professional vocabulary of their future occupation. Each pre-university programme in Britain suggests deep study of 3-5 subjects with the following examinations on each of them.

preparation for university entrance in England

Studying in Great Britain after school, college, how to enter prestigious universities in the United Kingdom

Many students and their parents from all over the world dream about entering university in the United Kingdom and getting a prestigious higher education in one of the famous and recognised educational institution of the country. Nowadays, Universities of Great Britain offer several programs: traditional bachelor's degree, master's degree and doctor's degree which is also called as “PhD”. It is worth noting that a diploma gives wide career prospects for the graduates.

What concerns rate of enrollment, it has some features that must be mentioned. Despite the chosen occupation, a prospective student needs to be prepared for integration into the new environment. One of the most important issues is excellent command of the language. Frankly speaking, the level of language proficiency should not be lower than “advanced” level. Students can improve their language skills in several ways. The traditional one are language courses. Actually, you can find an appropriate programme in the catalogue created for you by SMAPSE team.

Nevertheless, excellent command of English is not the only requirement. As it was noted previously, it is essential to make your homeland education equal with standards of educational system in the United Kingdom. Therefore, students may take special preparation courses that could ensure further admission to the university.

SMAPSE experts truly recommend you choosing special preparation courses in the best private boarding schools or private day schools in England, as well as in the colleges or universities you are planning to enter if such programs are available there. Pre-university education programs are also available in the international profile centers. Besides, you can easily find such institutions in our catalogue.

It is worth noting that, practically, each student considers a possibility of entering world-recognised university in Great Britain. Our SMAPSE experts present you ways how to move from a simple foreign student to a student of the prestigious British university.

There are 3 main options for foreigners:

  • Firstly, to transfer from a university in the homeland to a British university with a loss of one course. It means that if you are a third year student in a home university, you can become only a second year student in the UK. Nevertheless, you will still need to pass several exams on profile subjects and prove high command of English;
  • Secondly, to finish education at some pre-university preparation programme and after that enroll in the relevant faculty of a British university;
  • Thirdly, to obtain a diploma of a specialist or finish a bachelor's degree in the homeland. In this case you can submit the admission documents for master's degree in the United Kingdom.

Obviously, the most effective way of entering an educational institution in the UK are profile programs that are offered by many universities of the country. In order to take a course, students must be proficient in English at the level sufficient to understand the curriculum. Moreover, students must gain a certificate with an average score close to "excellent".

Due to SMAPSE experts, you can choose from TOP-100 schools and colleges where foreign students can get preparation courses that will help enter prestigious universities in the UK.

UK university preparation for foreign students: admission programs in British TOP-100 schools

University preparation in England

University Foundation Certificate / International Foundation Certificate

The Foundation programme, also called UFC, is one of the most popular pre-university preparation programs for foreign students. Its main distinguishing feature is its universality. Taking this preparation course you will be able to adapt your knowledge to the British educational system and to the academic environment, and also improve English skills.

The knowledge domain of UFC presents teaching methods of Great Britain to foreign students, helps to update or gain knowledge of relevant disciplines. Besides, as UFC is usually held on the basis of colleges or universities, during the education process students can get acquainted with the local atmosphere, linguistic environment, living conditions in residences and on campus. Furthemore, they can choose interesting electives, coteries, hobby groups and communities.

The list of disciplines in the programme is determined by the requirements of a particular institution. It is worth noting that the programme includes a number of mandatory and elective modules. The duration of education at UFC is 1 year, and the enrollment is organized basing on the results of final exams and an English test.

However, the classic Foundation programme does not work for Cambridge and Oxford universities and some other most prestigious universities in Great Britain, as they have their own more complex and expanded pre-university education courses. For example, Pre-U etc.

Following this link you can find the catalogue of TOP-100 institutions offering UFC programme.

International Diploma Programme, IDP

This programme was introduced recently. The contemporary aim is to help successful prospective students from British private boarding and day schools with deep knowledge in relevant disciplines enter a university and at once become a second year student. The programme combines the Foundation course (UFC) and the first year of the undergraduate programme.

During the year at IDP students master the language and several profile subjects. The certificate issued at the end of the programme demonstrates the level of knowledge acquired at this initial stage of higher education, as well as the ability of future student to continue studying at a higher education institution.

Here you can search the catalogue of universities and colleges, as well as private boarding schools and day schools that offer education on International Diploma programme.

A-level programme

What is A-level programme? It is a two-year course that allows you get a certificate of senior secondary education. The main aim of A-level programme is to prepare students for university studies. The programme requires learning up to 6 core disciplines. Examinations at the end of the course are equal to the matriculation examinations. According to the results of A-level programme, admission commitees estimate the knowledge of students and then make a decision on entry onto the course. A-level programme is accepted by the most prestigious universities of the United Kingdom as the only possible way to continue education on the bachelor's degree.

Here you can see the catalogue of the educational institutions offering A-level programme.

International Baccalaureate (IB)

International Baccalaureate is also one of the most popular pre-university preparatory programs. IB is a general two-year school curriculum that makes foreign education equivalent to the national one. Having achieved this programme, it is possible to enter any university in any country without enrollment tests. It is worth noting, the IB diploma is famous for its objectivity. Besides internal assessment by teachers, there is an external assessment that is also given to students by international examiners of the United Examination Center in Great Britain (Cardiff).

International Baccalaureate is recognized in more than a hundred countries of the world. During studying students will be able to update their knowledge on core disciplines, as well as fill the gaps between different educational systems. As s a result, they will be free to choose any prestigious university in Europe, America, Canada or other countries all over the world.

International Baccalaureate is considered to be rather complicated programme. Students study 3 subjects at higher level and other 3 subjects at standard level. Besides, there is a great deal of electives. In addition, great attention is paid to two courses: Theory of Knowledge that teaches to state your point of view correctly, to write essays, to hold a discussion in the appropriate way, and Creativity, Action, Service (CAS) that is focused on social activities, sport activities and creativity.

Here you can see the list of educational institutions that offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) programme.

University preparation in England

Pre-master’s Programme

This programme is the best choice for students who have received a bachelor's degree in their country but don't have a good command of English in order to undertake a master’s degree. The course implies intensive preparation for international language exams that are required by higher education institutions.

Advantages of the Pre-master's Programme:

  • To enter a British university that takes higher rating position. Students with average score of the diploma lower than it is required, have an opportunity to take the Master's programme if they successfully complete the Pre-master's programme.
  • To improve command of English and increase the IELTS level required at master's level.
  • To take new academic disciplines, if specialization is going to be changed.
  • To get acquainted with the academic environment of a British university and effectively prepare for a master's degree.

Here you can get acquainted with the catalogue of educational institutions offering the Pre-master’s programme.

The SMAPSE team would like to note that students who have already finished A-level programme, International Baccalaureate programme or Pre-University programs, have high chances of entering the top universities of the United Kingdom, the United States, and other countries of the world.

International Year One Programme

The Year One programme is a studying programme equal to first year education at the university. Having completed this course, students could enter the second year of bachelor degree course. What concerns advantages of this programme, students do not have to loose one year of studying and could save money. Foreign students will only be studying for 3 years instead of 4 years. In addition, there is special curriculum that allows to smooth shift from secondary education in his country to higher education in the UK. A great deal of universities in the United Kingdom offer this programme in order to save students’ time and help them enter a British university more easily and with less stress tension.

For more information concerning the International Year One Programme, please, do not hesitate to ask our SMAPSE experts.

What should you do before preparing for universities in the United Kingdom

Before choosing a preparation programme for entering UK universities, it is essential to determine your top-priority educational institution. SMAPSE experts highly recommend that you should:

  • examine all available information on universities and offered programs. Then, select several options sorting them in the order of your priority;
  • find information about ratings of the selected institutions and sort them by quality education level. Sources of authoritative information includes “The Times Subject Tables” and “The Complete University Guide”. The quality of education in the United Kingdom is verified by the corresponding national agency;
  • estimate the location convenience;
  • study the material and scientific base of educational institutions. It is also important to find data on the teaching staff;
  • get acquainted with the policy towards foreign students;
  • find out the requirements for applicants
  • get information about the cost of education and the living conditions on campus and in residence.

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Your comment/review/question:
Hello, can you tell me which Russian universities are cooperating with Great Britain so that you can practice in England or become an exchange student?
Smapse LTD
Good day, Love! Information about the cooperation of Russian universities with universities in the UK, you can specify directly from universities. We are not engaged in the organization of practices and student exchanges. Best regards, SMAPS
Smapse LTD
Good day, Love! Information about the cooperation of Russian universities with universities in the UK, you can specify directly from universities. We are not engaged in the organization of practices and student exchanges. Best regards, SMAPS
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