Advice for International Students:
Advice for UK students:
Studying and living in the UK
Qualifications and checking the institution
- Will my qualifications be recognised in the UK?
- Where can I find out about courses of study in the UK?
- What must I know about the institution where I want to study?
- How do I know which institutions offer UK degrees?
- How do I apply for a place on a course?
- What do I do if I have a complaint against my institution?
- How do I avoid becoming victim to a telephone fraud?
Will my qualifications be recognised in the UK?
You can check the equivalence of your country's qualifications with those in the UK by contacting the National Recognition Information Centre for the UK (UK NARIC). The international recruitment staff at the institution where you want to study may also be able to advise you.
Where can I find out about courses of study in the UK?
The internet is a good place to obtain information about an institution and the courses it runs. For example, you can search for courses on the British Council's Education UK website.
You can look for and apply for courses using the UCAS website.
If you want to find out about postgraduate research and study opportunities, you can check the Prospects website.
Most institutions have details of their courses on their websites, or you can ask them to send you their prospectus, a free booklet which provides information about the institution and the courses it offers. Many British Council offices have copies of these prospectuses, and the British Council also produces a range of Education Information Notes about studying in the UK.
What must I know about the institution where I want to study?
UK immigration permission is granted only for study at colleges and universities which are listed on the Register of Tier 4 Sponsors .
It is very important that you check whether the institution you want to attend is on the Register of Tier 4 Sponsors (in other words, that it has a Tier 4 Sponsor Licence) before you make your immigration application. If the institution does not have a Tier 4 Sponsor Licence, your application will be refused.
How do I know which institutions offer UK degrees?
The UK Government has an official list of institutions that can award recognised UK degrees.
How do I apply for a place on a course?
For undergraduate degree level courses at UK publicly-funded institutions, you should apply through the central admissions system called the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). The UCAS website has information specifically for international students and you can apply on-line.
However, some universities also accept direct applications to their undergraduate degree courses: check with the university's admissions office.
For other courses, for example Postgraduate courses or English Language courses, check the institution's prospectus for the correct way to apply and any application deadlines.
If you wish to study at a private institution, you should apply direct: the institution's website or prospectus should give details of how to do this.
What do I do if I have a complaint against my institution?
See our information on complaints against
How do I avoid being victim to a telephone fraud?
Some criminals target international students, telephoning them and pretending to be from a legitimate organisation (such as the UK Border Agency, or UKCISA). They demand money (a "fine"), and claim that if they do not receive it quickly, there will be damaging consequences (for example, deportation). You can help to protect yourself by being aware of the common features of these fraudulent calls ("scams"):
- The caller may appear to be genuine and convincing, because they have some limited information about you (for example, your passport number, as well as your telephone number and name).
- The caller may give you their name and telephone number, to try to convince you they are genuine.
- They may say that there is a serious problem with your immigration status, and that you need to send a payment.
- The payment is, most commonly, demanded to be made via Western Union as soon as possible, supposedly to prevent further action or investigation by the UK Border Agency.
- The caller will speak in dramatic terms, perhaps talking about deportation, but this is a common fraudster's technique, which can cause you to panic and become pressurised into paying the fake fine.
If you receive such a call (or contact by any other means, for example email or text) we advise as follows:
- Do not give the caller/sender any personal information, and do not confirm that any information they have is correct.
- Do not make any payment. The UK Border Agency does not issue financial penalties. Nor does UKCISA.
- You may wish to tell the caller/sender that you know about the fraudulent contact they are making, and that you will be reporting it to the police and the UK Border Agency. Or you may simply wish to hang up.
- Report the incident to your international student adviser, who can report the fraud to the police and to the UK Border Agency if you wish.
- If you wish, you can report the matter online to Action Fraud
- You can also help other potential victims of this fraud by adding details of your experience to the page about this fraud on the Who Calls Me website
For more information, please see the UK Border Agency website
Whenever you receive a telephone call from someone who you do not know, remember that it could be a scam. Criminals use all kinds of ways to trick you into paying them money, or giving them valuable information about yourself. Not all scams are about immigration.