Indian students are the third largest group of international students in the UK. As of 2017/18, there were 19,750 Indian students seeking to get a degree in UK universities.
The outstanding quality of education, countless studying options, modern educational approaches, student job opportunities, future prospects, relevant practice, and an overall exciting studying experience, in one of the best countries in the world, are just some of the reasons why Indian students want to study at UK universities.
But, unfortunately, many students from India have difficulties to understand the whole process of applying for a university degree course in UK because the information is scattered around the internet and often confusing.
For someone who may not have a basic knowledge of UK universities, it is hard to navigate through this information.
In this article we’ve compiled a complete set of information, in the form of a step-by-step process, an Indian student must have to go through to apply for a university degree course in the UK.
Find a university and a course
As you might easily guess it, there is a large number of universities in the UK, whereas the number of degree courses on offer is way higher than that. For a home student it may not be hard to condense his focus in two to three universities and decide fast about which one to chose.
But for international students, including you as an Indian student who may not have prior knowledge of most universities in the UK and their degrees it require a little more research before making the final decision.
However, there’s no need to worry about this part. As long as you know what are your academic goals and what type of the course gets you there this won’t pose a problem for you at all.
Nowadays you can reach all universities in UK using the Internet. So, sit down at your computer and do your research.
You’re free to choose your personal research strategy, but in case you need something to start with, do as explained below.
In this article, we’ve compiled the list of all recognized universities in the UK. We recommend you do a fast scanning of the list and according to your personal studying goals, your financial capacities and the location of your desire.
From there you can narrow down your focus on just a few universities, this way giving you time for checking carefully everything you want to know about that particular university or course.
You might want to analyze its study modules, the proportion of lab-based sessions during the course, the profile of its academic staff and similar things. These will definitely help you decide and choose the most suitable university for you.
Check the requirements
Once you’ve decided about what course you’re willing to enroll in, it’s time to know what you need to do in order to be admitted. This is to say, you need to check the university’s entry requirements.
There are no typical requirements for all UK universities, therefore you need to contact the University of your choice by yourself and ask about details. Overall, entry requirements for Indian students in the UK change depending on the type of the course you want to apply for.
The list of documents required to study in the UK as an Indian student:
- Recognized Qualifications
- Transcript of Grades
- English Proficiency
- Motivation or Reference Letter
- Relevant Work Experience
Be aware that qualifications attained overseas are most of the time not recognized in UK. For that, you may be required to attend a foundation year to gain certain knowledge in particular subjects your regular course is concerned with.
Motivation, Reference Letter and proof of work experience are optional and are usually required at highly-reputed universities, where the competition and selection criteria are fierce. Also, these documents are mostly required when you apply for a postgraduate degree.
Always keep in mind that this initial stage is crucial for the whole process of applying to study in UK as an Indian student because every detail counts. If your application paperwork doesn’t contain all documents precisely as required it may lead to certain admission delays and eventually to a complete failure. If necessary write them down and mark each document you have completed you have gained possession of. In the end, do a re-check or multiple checks.
Also, never hesitate to reach your university by email and ask them for every issue it may get in your way during the whole process of application.
After you have completed the documents required it is time for submitting your application. Typically, international applications in UK are collected through online means. The majority of UK universities are part of the joint online application platform UCAS.
Those universities which don’t support an application through UCAS usually run their own online application platform.
To upload your documents you must first scan them into a PDF or JPG format. In addition to your documents, the application form may also include a standard application form which you have to fulfill properly.
Wait for the admission letter
As soon as you complete the submission of your application, the University of your choice will send you an email to confirm they have received an application from you. Note that UK universities collect a large number of applications, therefore, it normally takes time to check them all. In normal conditions, the university will notify within few weeks whether you’re given a place at their university or not.
Get your student visa
Indian students must get a student visa in order to be permitted to study in UK. Student visa in UK is regarded as Tier 4. You can apply for your Tier 4 visa once the university of your choice confirms you’ve been given a place in their institution. By that time you will also have to collect required funds to prove you can cover the cost of living and studying in UK.
To get your student visa in UK you need to submit the following documents:
- Valid Passport
- Proof of English Proficiency
- Proof of Financial Means to fund your stay in UK
- The result of Tuberculosis Test
- Proof of parental or consonant guardian if you’re under 18
When to apply?
You can apply for your Tier 4 visa in UK at the maximum 3 months before your course starts. The processing of your visa application can take up to three weeks at maximum. You can check its processing at any time you want.
Student Visa fees
Currently, it costs £348 to apply for your student visa from overseas. The same fee will be applied if you apply for any dependant of yours.
It is also important to know what benefits and what restrictions does your student visa in UK applies to you. A Tier visa allows you
- Work part-time
- Bring family members in UK (dependants)
- Get public funds
- Work full-time
- Work in certain professions, for example as a dental surgeon or professional sportsperson
For a more detailed explanation, this article about UK student visa for international students can be very helpful.
Scholarships to study in UK for Indian students
Numerous funding options count for a higher attractiveness of UK universities. Indian students who want to study in UK can easily reach access to scholarships awarded from different resources. We highly recommend you take your time and do a little research to find one because it can alleviate a big financial burden.
The variety of UK scholarships include governmental and non-governmental resources.
Here are the government-funded scholarship schemes in UK:
- Chevening Scholarships
- Commonwealth Scholarships
Except for the UK public scholarships for Indian students, there are also a lot of universities or other third parties which offer numerous funding options for their international students. Some of them include the followings:
- Gates Cambridge Scholarships
- Rhodes House Scholarships
- MBA Skoll Scholarships
- Edinburgh Global Research Scholarships
- UK Scholarships from British Council
- Denys Holland Scholarships
- Kingston University London Scholarships
A more complete list and information about eligibility criteria and application requirements for these scholarships are covered in our article UK Scholarships for international students.