7 Things You May Not Know About Studying in the UK

These days, there are many study options for students.  Other than studying at the public institutions in Singapore, students can also consider foreign qualifications offered here in Singapore or head to other countries for their studies.  Here are some points you should know before you help your child make the all-important decision.    

#1 You can save time and maybe even money

UK undergraduate and postgraduate courses are generally shorter than in other countries.  For example, students can complete a direct honours undergraduate degree in three years when studying in England, Northern Ireland or Wales.  This means students don’t have to spend an extra year for their honours and that will help to keep the cost of tuition fees and living expenses down.

#2 It is perfect for those who know what they want

For students that know what subject they want to study, the UK is the perfect study destination.  The UK undergraduate curriculum’s emphasis is more on depth, which allows students to get a very thorough understanding of the chosen subject.  This means all the modules in the programme will be related to the subject.  This is different from other systems where breadth is emphasised.   In some other countries, including Singapore, students will have to take classes outside of their field, allowing them to be exposed to a variety of different subjects.  Though there are advantages for both systems, the UK is probably the most suitable for those who know what they want to study.

#3 Application can be a breeze

There is a common online application portal, UCAS, for all undergraduate programmes in the UK.  Students can apply to five different universities of their choice at one go, making the whole application process quite straightforward.  Other than the choices, personal details and teacher’s reference, applicants also have to submit a personal statement.  This is an important part of the application, as it is the only section that students have to highlight their uniqueness, achievements and skills.

#4 Growing number of Singaporeans heading to the UK for pre-university education

Typically, Singapore students are entering the UK universities with the Singapore A-levels, International Baccalaureate (IB) or the poly diploma.  However, these days, more families choose to send their children to UK boarding schools, sixth form colleges (junior college equivalents) or foundation programmes in the UK.  There are various reasons for doing so, and one of them is to help the child get a solid introduction to what it’s like studying in the UK.  

#5 Tried and proven path for many

The UK education system is highly respected all over the world, having produced some of the world’s greatest thinkers, writers, politicians and scientists, both past and present. This is also one of the many reasons why we have over 8,000 Singaporeans studying in the UK, based on the Higher Education Statistics Agency figures for 2016. 

#6 It is more important to find a good fit than the best ranked institution

Lots of students and parents use league tables to decide where to study.  Rankings may be an easy way to give you some indications, but they don’t always provide the full picture.  For a start, there are no official rankings in the UK.  The ones that are featured in the newspapers are created by private organisations or publications.  The tables use different criteria, thus yielding varied results.  Therefore rankings should be used as a supplementary tool in the research process and not as the deciding factor when choosing a university. 

It is also more important to identify a university that is a good fit for the student than one that is high on the world rankings.  Do consider important factors such as curriculum, learning style, location, etc.  For example, Music may be taught from a more academic approach, which includes topics such as history, analysis, criticism.  Alternatively, it can also take a more practical and performance-based focus.  This is why it is always important to look at the course structure and curriculum.

#7 Learning outside of classroom

Last but not least – studying in the UK is also about personal growth.  Being in a popular study destination that draws people from all over, students will be exposed not only to the British culture but also gain insights and perspectives from the rest of the world too. 

While being away from the family and the usual support network may be scary at the first thoughts, the young adult will learn to be more independent and gain confidence.  This experience will be beneficial and can enhance the CV when he or she enters the job market later on.

If you are interested in finding out more about UK education, join us at the British Council’s Study UK Exhibition.  This will take place on Saturday 24 February 2018, at Suntec Convention Centre Level 3.  Don’t miss the unique opportunity to speak directly to the representatives from UK institutions.  Find out more here.