Studying in Canada

Why study in Canada?

Canada is an increasingly popular alternative to the United States for UK students who want the quality of a North American university education.

  • Canada is a truly multicultural nation with – away from the prairies – a very different culture in comparison with the US.
  • Canadian universities are far more like their counterparts in the UK than across the border and standards are uniformly high.
  • Quebec is proudly bilingual and, although McGill University is English language, a good knowledge of French or a willingness to learn will be an asset in the vibrant city of Montreal. 

Applications can be made online to a chosen university.

  • UK A-levels are recognised.
  • An application for international study can take up to seven weeks to be processed, assuming all the correct information is provided.

Entry and visa regulations

  • A study permit (student visa) is required, after acceptance on to a programme of study.
  • Entry to Canada is dependent on sufficient funds to pay for tuition fees, living expenses and a return ticket home.
  • Character and health checks are also made and may involve a police check or a medical examination, or both.
  • A study permit is issued on arrival against a written notification of acceptance on a course.

Canada is made up of ten provinces and three territories and each one runs its own education system.

  • It is important to complete the study permit application carefully as there are differences not only between universities but provinces.

Funding your study

Tuition fees for international students are higher than for domestic students.

  • The cost of study will depend on the course but most international fees start at about CA$15,000 (£9,300) per year.
  • The Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC) has a useful website illustrating the costs at different universities across the country.
  • Scholarships are available for international students at undergraduate level and there are also specific scholarships for sporting and academic achievements. Find out more from the Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship Programme.
  • The Canadian government and other organisations also offer scholarships for postgraduate and doctoral study.

What about a part-time job?

  • International students with a valid study permit who find a job on campus do not need an extra work permit.
  • However, these jobs are in short supply and part-time work off campus requires a permit allowing the holder to work up to 20 hours per week during term time and full-time during vacations.

Some typical prices in Canada (GBP, March 2015):

  • Apartment rent, 1 bedroom: £436 - £539 per month
  • Meal, inexpensive restaurant: £7.15
  • Meal at McDonalds: £4.50
  • Domestic beer (0.5 litre draught): £2.65
  • Imported beer (0.33 litre bottle): £3.18
  • Cappuccino: £1.98
  • Coke/Pepsi (0.33 litre bottle): £1.01
  • Water (0.33 litre bottle): £0.89
  • Loaf of bread: £1.44
  • Cigarettes: £5.83
  • One-way ticket local transport: £1.59
  • Cinema ticket: £6.36

Staying on after study

  • The Post-Graduation Work Permit Program allows graduates who have been studying in Canada for more than eight months to stay on to work after graduation.

Health and safety

Medical insurance is essential while studying in Canada.

  • Canada is a generally very safe country where people treat each other with respect – cars will stop to allow pedestrians to cross the road (just don’t count on that in Montreal however).

Helpful links

International Rankings

University Rankings 2018–19

University QS
QS World University Rankings 2018–19

Global university rankings compiled annually by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS). QS ranks institutions by the following key indicators; academic peer review, faculty student ratio, citations per faculty, recruiter review, international orientation.

See the QS World University Rankings here, and more on making sense of international rankings here.

THE World University Rankings 2018–19

Global university rankings compiled annually by the Times Higher Education (THE). THE ranks institutions by performance in the following categories; Industry Income, Teaching, Research and Citations.

See THE World University Rankings here, and more on making sense of international rankings here.

McGill University 33 44
McMaster University - 77
Université de Montréal - 90
University of British Columbia 47 37
University of Toronto 28 21

Business School Rankings 2019

Business School Financial Times
Financial Times Global MBA Ranking 2019

Global MBA rankings compiled annually by the Financial Times. MBA programmes are ranked by a number of key indicators including salary increase, value for money, career progression. Note this ranking only applies to each business school’s full-time MBA programme.

The Economist
The Economist Which MBA? Ranking 2018

Global MBA rankings compiled annually by The Economist. MBA programmes are ranked by the following categories; career opportunities, personal development, salary increase and potential to network. Note this ranking only applies to each business school’s full-time MBA programme.

Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

More about the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) accreditation here.

Association of MBA

More about the Association of MBA (AMBA) accreditation here.

European Quality Improvement System

More about the European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS) accreditation here.

Georgia Institute of Technology: Scheller 60 31 Y
Michigan State University: Broad 65 59 Y
Queen's University: Smith - 88 Y Y
University of Edinburgh Business School 87 75 Y Y Y