Do you think that studying in the UK is the solution for you? Do you want not only to secure the best possible start for your professional future but also broaden your horizons, make connections with people from all around the world, and refine your English language skills? You’re right, studying at a university in England will make all of this within your reach. So, check what requirements you need to meet to start your undergraduate studies in the United Kingdom.
What are the requirements to study in England?
„Same, same, but different”. This is the term we can use to describe the requirements that individual universities in the United Kingdom set for candidates applying for studies. On one hand, it all comes down to having a sufficient level of English language proficiency and achieving a specific score on your high school transcript. In addition to that, there are requirements for studying in England such as preparing a Personal Statement and obtaining references. Moreover, for some study programs, presenting your portfolio will also be necessary. Let’s move on to a more detailed discussion of the requirements for studying in England.
Requirements for studying in England – English language proficiency
What can I say? Without English language proficiency, you won’t be able to manage your studies in the United Kingdom. You need to be proficient enough in this language to easily understand what the lecturer is saying, actively participate in discussions that form the basis of many courses, and write assignments. Basic conversational English won’t be enough. Universities in England are well aware of this, which is why they have very specific requirements regarding your English language proficiency level. How are they?
The IELTS language certificate
First and foremost, most universities in the United Kingdom consider language certificates. If you plan to obtain one, prioritize the IELTS language test above all. While some universities also accept its equivalents, such as TOEFL, IELTS is the most popular.
Of course, it’s not just about obtaining the certificate; it’s about achieving the appropriate scores on the test. For most undergraduate studies in England, it’s sufficient to achieve an overall score of 6.0 points. However, for certain programs (e.g., medical fields) or particularly competitive universities, you will need to achieve an overall score of 7.0 points.
Partial scores from individual sections of the test also matter for this. In some cases, the university requires that none of the partial scores be lower than 5.5 points. Furthermore, sometimes universities only focus on certain sections of the test, such as reading, writing, or speaking, and attach less importance to the rest. Therefore, before you apply to a specific university in the United Kingdom, thoroughly familiarize yourself with the admission requirements for the chosen course of study.
High school graduation exam in English
In the United Kingdom, some universities accept high school graduation exam results in English. Usually, the university requires a specific result (e.g., 70%) from this subject, whether at the basic or advanced level. In the case of such universities, you won’t need an IELTS certificate.
What if you don’t meet the language requirements to study in the UK? Fortunately, this doesn’t rule out your dreams of undergraduate studies in England. Almost all universities offer special preparatory English language courses. These are designed specifically for students who don’t have an IELTS certificate or didn’t receive the required score on the test.
Classes within such a course will ensure that by the start of the academic year, you will easily communicate with lecturers and classmates.
High school graduation exam grades
During the admission process for undergraduate studies in the United Kingdom, your high school graduation exam results are also taken into consideration. The average grade from all subjects you took in your high school graduation exam is of great importance. Most universities require this average to be between 60% and 80%. Of course, the more prestigious the university or the more competitive the program, the higher these requirements will be.
You should also know that universities in the United Kingdom pay attention to the level at which you took a specific subject in your high school graduation exam. Most often, they require you to pass two to three subjects at around 50-80%, but at the advanced level.
Do the subjects you take at the matura exam matter? Yes and no. It all depends on the course you intend to apply for. For some of them, it won’t matter at all. On the other hand, for others like medicine, it will be crucial. To ensure you don’t miss out on your chances of getting into a good university in the United Kingdom, thoroughly check these requirements and based on them, choose the subjects and levels you will take in your high school graduation exam.
Cover letter, references, and portfolio
Although it might surprise you, even the best grades on your high school graduation exam don’t guarantee that you’ll be accepted to your dream university in the United Kingdom. In the UK, what matters most is the personal statement you write, also known as the Personal Statement. If you don’t approach this task properly and simply copy a statement from the internet, you can forget about being accepted to undergraduate studies in England.
A motivational letter is meant to showcase your character to the admissions committee. In it, you can present your academic and extracurricular achievements and highlight your hobbies. Of course, you need to write the Personal Statement in English.
Another incredibly important document is the references. It’s a type of cover letter, most often written by one of your teachers. It should contain information that indicates you will excel as a student in the chosen field at your selected university.
For some fields, especially artistic ones, you will also need to prepare your portfolio.
Admission criteria for individual universities in the United Kingdom are very transparent. If you dream of studying at a specific university, check its requirements in advance and prepare for them while selecting your high school subjects.