The UK is the world centre for English language tuition. Over 600,000 people come to the UK each year to learn English. UK institutions offer a variety of English language courses to suit all needs.
English is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world. It is the major language for computing, education, business, international communications and the Internet. Learning English can open up many new opportunities, leading to a better job, more options in education, or just the satisfaction of learning a new skill.
Studying English in the UK- Although you can learn English in your home country, coming to the UK to study has lots of benefits.
The UK offers high-quality tuition in an English-speaking environment, which can make learning the language faster and easier. You can immerse yourself in the culture of the UK, which can help broaden your horizons and allow you to meet new friends and contacts.
Many courses lead to qualifications. You may need an English language qualification to:
Foundation courses are the special courses designed to make you to familiar with a university degree or further study. If you don’t meet all the admission requirements for your undergraduate degree – such as language proficiency – then a foundation degree will allow you to get the skills you need. Some foundation courses will also guarantee you entry into the first year of your degree.
Bridging courses are usually short, intensive courses that help you get the assumed knowledge you need for your further university studies – such as economic theory, or examination skills. A bridging program or pre-university program is useful if you are returning to study after some time. If you’re planning on studying a Masters degree, a pre-masters program may also be useful.
A first degree, leading to a Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Science (BSc) or equivalent, is gained after three or more years studying at university or a similar institution.
Degrees usually begin at the age of 17 or 18, after a student has finished school. Many mature students also study first degrees in the UK. Some institutions offer two-year degrees, where students study longer and take shorter holidays.
While most first degrees take three years, some courses require longer study. Four-year ‘sandwich’ courses include a year (usually the third year) on a work placement. Language degrees other than English last four years, with the third year taken in the country where the language is spoken. Some programmes, such as medicine, dentistry, veterinary science and architecture, last up to seven years.
UK institutions offer an enormous variety of taught postgraduate certificates, diplomas and Master’s degrees.These are often highly specialised, and a large number are unique. Many of these courses are recognised as amongst the best available.
A doctorate usually takes three years’ study to complete, although it can take much longer or, very rarely, shorter.
A candidate would normally complete both a Bachelor’s and a taught Master’s degree with high marks in each before considering research work leading to a doctorate.
Researchers often work part-time, teaching students on Bachelor’s or taught Master’s degree programmes, or acting as tutors.
Almost all students in any discipline who successfully complete a doctoral research programme graduate as ‘Doctor of Philosophy’ (PhD). A few disciplines use slightly different titles, such as DMus for music or DBA for business administration.
The title ‘Master of Philosophy’ is usually given to all successful candidates who undertake an original research project usually lasting two or more years in any academic discipline.
Students do not usually take examinations for this qualification, but submit a thesis, containing details of their research work, and the conclusions they have drawn from it.
The UK provides a comprehensive choice of work-related qualifications in a wide variety of occupational categories, and at several different levels.
These range from first qualifications for school-leavers to more advanced qualifications such as undergraduate diplomas.
The City & Guilds Institute is a well-established vocational assessment and awarding body, offering nationally recognised qualifications. City & Guilds qualifications cover all areas of industry and commerce and include qualifications within the NVQ scheme at all levels.
Many business and professional areas will have an organisation or body that will represent professionals working in many of these areas. They often provide accreditation in that sector and a means of credibility, as well as financial help, access to specialist resources, advice, networking opportunities, international links and other types of support. Most relevantly, as well as often accrediting programmes, they can also provide sector-specific qualifications.
It is suggested that if you know that you want to pursue a career in a specific area, it is a good idea to check with the relevant UK professional body (or the equivalent professional body in your own country, if there is one) what (if any) professional accreditation is necessary.
Examples of UK professional bodies include