Having chosen to study in the UK, you will need to choose which type of course will be appropriate for you. It is really important that you get this right at the beginning. Whilst it is possible to change courses after you have started, finding that you have chosen the wrong course will be time wasting and expensive.
Firstly determine whether you need an Undergraduate, Postgraduate Masters or Doctors course. Most international students will likely to be Undergraduate students. Each university will have its’ own entry requirements for each type of course and you will need to determine if you have the right equivalent qualifications.
As a guide, the International Baccalaureate or UK A level qualifications should enable you to enter for an undergraduate degree course. If you have an undergraduate degree, or its equivalent, then you will able to enter for a Postgraduate Masters degree. Similarly, Postgraduate Doctorates are for those with both an undergraduate and Masters (or their equivalents) degree.
In the UK, most undergraduate courses last for 3 years. This may vary slightly between universities but the exact length and times should be readily available from individual universities. Each year is split into three terms (or semesters) and starts from October and ends in June the following year. Masters courses are generally one year long.
When you have chosen which type of course is appropriate for you, you will need to decide which University will be the best for you. It may well be that you base your decision upon purely the geographic situation of the University. One with good international travel connections so that you can travel easily to home and back during breaks. Whilst this may not be the best academic reason for your choice it may be the most pragmatic.
Another pragmatic choice may be based upon the financial cost of the course. This will vary from university to university.
Some universities will have a specific specialism for example scientific research, medicine or art etc. You will need to research this carefully. People you know may well be able to recommend a university that specialises in your particular area of study. Each university will have a Prospectus and an admissions department which should be able to help you make the correct decision.
Having decided upon the area you wish to be in within the UK, the course and the university, also having been accepted, you will need to consider things like your accommodation whilst you are living here. It is equally important that you get this right. You will find that there is a large range of accommodation available to you in the UK. From single rooms in a shared house with shared facilities, to luxury well situated and appointed, purpose designed apartments. If you cannot settle or you are unhappy where you live, study will become difficult, if not impossible. You may need to spend some time on getting this right and it has to be sooner rather than later – don’t leave this to the last minute.