Student Cost of Living. How much is it costing you? Take our survey | No thanks

Applying to a British University

How and When to Apply

  • Make sure you get your application in well before the deadline, particularly if you want to study at one of the top universities in the UK.
  • All applications to UK universities are made through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). Simply fill in a UCAS application form on the UCAS website or visit the nearest British Council office.

Non-EU international students

  • International students from a non-EU country can submit an application to UCAS at any time between 1 September and 30 June in the year preceding the academic year that studies commence.
  • However, most students apply well before 30 June to make sure that places are still available and to allow plenty of time to make immigration, travel and accommodation arrangements.

EU international students

  • Applicants from within an EU country must ensure their application form is received by UCAS by 15 January; otherwise they will be treated as late applicants. Different, usually earlier, dates apply for Oxford and Cambridge, and for medical and art and design courses. Check when an application is due on the application timetable.
  • As well as the UCAS application, remember to check on eligibility for any possible scholarships, loans and grants.
  • Find out more about the UK application process in our Applying to university section.

Tuition Fees for International Students

Choosing to study for an undergraduate degree at one of the top universities in the UK will be a worthwhile experience, but it can also be an expensive one. 

  • International students normally resident in countries outside the EU (European Union) and EEA (European Economic Area) pay near-full-cost tuition fees in all of the UK universities. These are likely to be in the range shown below and in the university profiles. Students from outside the EU will not be eligible for the loans and grants available to UK and EU students.
  • Students from the EU pay the same fees as home students. Non-EU students from the European Economic Area and Switzerland should consult the guidance provided here by UKCISA – the UK Council for International Student Affairs.
  • While many international students from outside the EU receive financial support from their home countries, UK scholarships for international students, whether from the UK government, sponsors or the individual universities themselves are limited. The vast majority are for post-graduate study, although there are one or two schemes for which undergraduates can be considered in exceptional circumstances.

Students from overseas should therefore make sure they have sufficient funds for the full tuition fees and all necessary living costs before leaving home.

  • They will almost certainly be asked to guarantee in writing that they have sufficient funds for the complete duration of their course (see under Entry Regulations below).
  • It is virtually impossible to arrange financial support after leaving home.

Tuition fees for international students (2011)


£ Sterling

Humanities and Social Sciences


Sciences and Engineering


Clinical subjects


  • Some international students may be exempt.
  • However, since February 2012, students who had applied for asylum and have been granted discretionary leave to remain are no longer eligible for home student fees at universities in England (unless they started their courses before April 1 2011).
  • Students with discretionary leave to remain will still be eligible for the home student rate in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Read more about Tuition Fees and Funding and managing your money while studying in the UK.



The most comprehensive, definitive and complete university guide