Universities in the UK for international students

Studying in the UK is an incredibly exciting opportunity for international students. The country’s excellent institutions and longstanding academic legacy provide a wide range of opportunities for personal and professional growth. Every year, thousands of international students decide to study in the UK. In addition to being the location of some of the most prominent institutions in the world, it is also a major cultural hub in Europe.

This blog will tackle the best universities in the UK as well as the cheapest universities in the UK, among many other things that will come in handy in your planning to study there.

Table of contents

Best universities in the UK

Here are the best universities in the UK for international students, ranked by reputable organisations:

University Name THE Rankings QS Rankings Webometrics ARWU CUG The Guardian
University of Oxford 1 3 5 7 2 2
University of Cambridge =3 2 14 4 1 3
Imperial College London 10 6 16 23 6 5
UCL 22 9 8 18 9 9
University of Edinburgh 29 22 56 35 12 12
King’s College London 35 40 49 48 =24 29
London School of Economics and Political Science 37 45 572 1101-150 3 4
University of Manchester =45 32 71 38 19 30
University of Bristol 76 55 81 16 16
University of Glasgow =82 =76 135 =101-150 26 11

Easiest universities to get into in the UK

The universities mentioned in the list below often have the highest acceptance rates for students and are among the easiest universities to get into in the UK . These universities are also among the best in the UK, and the high acceptance rate speaks to both the diversity of their course offerings and the number of students they can accommodate on campus.

  1. Aberystwyth University
  2. Bishop Grosseteste University
  3. Ravensbourne University London
  4. University for the Creative Arts
  5. Plymouth College of Art
  6. University of Sussex
  7. University of Roehampton
  8. Northumbria University
  9. Nottingham Trent University
  10. University of Kent
  11. York St John University
  12. Liverpool Hope University
  13. Coventry University
  14. London Metropolitan University
  15. University of Exeter
  16. University of Wales Trinity Saint David
  17. Newman University, Birmingham
  18. University College Birmingham
  19. University of Winchester
  20. Cardiff Metropolitan University

Cheapest universities in the UK

Discover the following cheapest universities in the UK with top-quality education and diverse communities:

University Name Average Annual Tuition Fees
Ulster University £9,620 – £15,840
University of Hull £11,000
University of Buckingham £12,600 – £13,800
Leeds Beckett University £12,000 – £15,000
University of Sunderland £13,000 – £16,500
University of Chester £14,250
Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) £15,000
University of the West of England – UWE Bristol £15,000
Coventry University £15,300 – £20,500
The University of Law £15,850

Universities in the UK for a master’s degree

In the UK, a master’s degree can be earned in one to two years of full-time study (or three years of part-time study) and can be research-based, course-based or a combination of both. International students can select the preferred degree programme at one of the many specialisations, disciplines and courses offered by UK universities that provide master’s degrees.

Here is a list of the top UK universities for a master’s degree and their well-known MS programmes:

University Name Popular Course
University of Oxford MSc Advanced Computer Science
University of Cambridge Master of Finance
Imperial College London MSc Advanced Computer Science
UCL (University College London) MSc Business Analytics
University of Edinburgh MSc Accounting and Finance
King’s College London MSc Cyber Security
London School of Economics and Political Science MSc Data Science
University of Manchester MSc Finance
University of Bristol MSc Management

Universities in the UK for PhD

There are a number of UK universities for PhD offering a variety of fields, including:

  • Business
  • Economics
  • Medicine
  • Engineering
  • Education
  • Biological sciences
  • Physics
  • Mathematics
  • Political sciences
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology
  • Psychology

There are several other factors that you must consider when choosing a place for your studies, such as:

  • Program availability
  • University ranking
  • Faculty and staff reputation
  • Research facilities
  • Scholarships and funding options offered by the university
  • Graduate employability rate
  • Tuition fees
  • Location

Choosing to study abroad is a big decision as is, so you’d want to make sure that you’re making the right decision when choosing where to study. Speak with your IDP Education counsellor now for FREE to turn your study ambition into action!

Universities in the UK FAQs

1. What are the best universities in the UK?

There are a number of reasons why UK universities are considered among the best in the world. Check out this blog to discover the top universities in the UK and the significance of university rankings .

2. Is it too expensive for international students to study in the UK?

Deciding whether the UK is expensive to study in or not will depend on where you will be attending university as tuition fees vary; it will also depend on accomm odation, groceries, bills as well as other living expenses.

3. How much are UK university fees?

International undergraduate tuition costs range widely. At all levels, degrees in the humanities and social sciences tend to be the least expensive, but laboratory and clinical degree programmes are significantly more expensive. The average annual tuition fees for undergraduate degrees range from £10,000 to £26,000.


Study UX/UI Design Abroad and Level-Up Your Design Skills

Study UX/UI Design Abroad and Level-Up Your Design Skills

If you have a passion for design and want to apply your creativity in a practical manner, UI/UX design might be for you. Design programs can help you refine your skills, learn how to use tools and software, and gain industry knowledge from experienced designers. Studying UI/UX abroad can open the doors for learning unique design styles, from world-renowned institutes equipped with many facilities.

What is UX/UI?

UX refers to “User Experience”, which is the way a consumer of a product feels when they interact with or use a product. Therefore, UX designers design products in a way that they are easy, enjoyable and practical to use.

UI refers to “User Interface” – this relates more to digital products and involves the design and layout of apps and websites. A UI designer is focused on making the screens, buttons and format of a digital product easy and intuitive to use.

Overall, UX/UI design is an interesting design discipline which involves innovating physical and digital products so that consumers can enjoy them to their full potential.

Why Study UX/UI abroad?

If you are interested in becoming a UX/UI designer, you might want to consider studying abroad. Each UX/UI design program differs in their learning objectives and goals, so you have many options to choose from. Aside from the variety, other benefits of studying UX/UI abroad include:

Accredited and Non-Accredited Programs

If gaining accreditation is important to you, or your dream job requires it, many UX/UI programs abroad allow you to gain accreditation upon graduation. Accreditation is one way of verifying your skills if you are a new graduate or have no prior design experience.

World-Class Facilities

UX and UI design courses will focus heavily on practical assignments, where you can put your skills into practice and learn new software tools. Studying abroad means you have more options for design facilities, as many top universities will be equipped with design labs, tools, equipment and software licensing, allowing you to build your design skills without worrying about access to materials.

Different Perspectives

UX/UI courses will be taught by professional designers, with extensive portfolios and many years of experience. Although you will learn fundamentals of UX/UI design in any program, professors in universities abroad might provide new perspectives on design, based on their unique experience and background. UX/UI programs might also offer different specializations, such as communications, health technology, digital products, and mobile design, allowing you to focus on niche topics within UX/UI design.

How to Become a UX/UI Designer

If you are interested in building your design skills, studying a UX/UI design degree from a university or design institution can provide you with opportunities to gain practical experience. Usually taught as a one or two-year master’s program, UX/UI design courses involve learning fundamentals and practical assignments, with a final project at the end. Studying a course at a university is a great way to build your portfolio if you are new to UX/UI design or have no professional experience.

Study Abroad Options for UX/UI Design

Study UX/UI Design in the US

Arizona State University – MS User Experience

This master’s program is focused on UX only, where students learn the fundamentals of UX Design, and then can expand on their interests through a range of elective courses. ASU is equipped with 6 UX-related design labs for their students to use, where they can specialize in UX design in data visualization, health technology, online documentation, and product design.

IIT Institute of Design – Master of Design

This 2-year program can be customized after learning design fundamentals to suit your own design interests and career goals. If you have no formal experience, this masters’ program has foundation courses to cover the basics of design. There are course options to suit everyone, including physical and digital UX, design innovation and product design.

Savannah College of Art and Design – MS Service Design

This innovative course in service design focuses on designing products which are human-centred, and solve unique problems across many industries. The Savannah College of Art and Design has world-class design labs for 3D design labs, printing, and computing. This program also allows you to take an internship as an elective course, allowing you to apply your design education through hands-on experience.

DePaul University – M.A. in Experience Design

This interdisciplinary UX design course allows students to gain first-hand experience through collaborations with local organizations as a part of coursework. With the ability to engage with industry leaders through the course, this M.A. program provides a unique opportunity in niche UX areas such as game development, sound production and film development.

Study UX/UI Design in Australia

University of Technology Sydney – Master of Design

Focused on the applications of design to make positive changes, this course has been developed to equip students to tackle real-world issues through utilizing design. Recommended for students with a design background, this masters’ course encourages collaboration, with students taking advantage of the University’s industry partnerships.

Griffith University – Master of Design

Another course for practising or emerging designers, the Master of Design is focussed on upskilling designers with UX/UI related courses, to help them apply their skills across more industries. Incorporating practical assignments and a major design project, this course is suited to those who are looking to level-up as a designer.

Study UX/UI Design in the UK

UCL – MSc Human-Computer Interaction

Different from regular UX/UI design courses, UCL offers a course focusing on the applications of human-computer interaction in the design of interactive systems. Applicable to many industries, this course is suited to people who desire more than a typical designer role and can apply their skills in a range of environments. Involving practical activities, design lab collaborations and a design project, this course can help you build valuable hands-on experience.

Loughborough University – MSc User Experience Design

An innovative course which allows students to develop critical skills whilst making empathetic and human-centered designs, Loughborough University also aims to expand design students’ knowledge of technology such as AI. A scientifically driven course, students will learn to become analytical and technically-minded designers who can still put the user first.

Kingston University London – User Experience Design MSc

With design projects embedded within every module, students at Kingston University will develop their skills in design, prototyping, evaluation, and analysis. Accredited by the British Computer Society, this course will cover fundamentals before moving on to advanced courses, and eventually the option for specializing in a design niche.

Study UX/UI Design Abroad Through IDP

If you’re interested in studying UX/UI abroad to level up your skills as a designer, consider talking to an IDP Counsellor. Our counsellors can discuss your options for UX/UI design courses abroad, depending on your experience and career goals. Reach out to our counsellors today to get started on your UX/UI studies.


How to Prepare for the IELTS Writing Exam

How to Prepare for the IELTS Writing Exam

When taking the IELTS exam, practicing every section is important as all sections contribute equally to the overall score. However, many students often need to focus more time on the preparing for the writing section, as they feel it has the most room for improvement. If you’re working on your IELTS writing and want to learn more about what you can do to improve your exam scores, this article is for you. Here, we will go through how to prepare for and improve your scores for IELTS writing tasks 1 and 2, for the Academic exam required for admission into university.

What is the difference between the IELTS general and academic exams?

There are two types of IELTS writing exams you can take – general and academic. The general writing exam is usually for those who want to study below university level, or for work and migration purposes. The academic IELTS writing exam is for those who want to study at a university abroad as an international student.

The IELTS writing exam you need to take will depend on which university you wish to study at, so make sure you check with the university directly before applying for and sitting an IELTS exam.

What is in the IELTS Academic writing exam?

Within the IELTS Academic writing exam, there are two tasks. Below we will discuss the differences between the tasks 1 and 2 for the Academic IELTS exam and how to best prepare for them.

IELTS Writing Task 1 Preparation – Academic Exam

As the academic test is for admission into higher education, writing task 1 imitates typical questions or material which will be presented during university coursework and exams. You will be given a chart, diagram or graph and must analyse and interpret the data presented. The recommended time for task 1 is about 20 minutes, where you will need to write a short paragraph summarising the data in approximately 150 words. The writing style for academic task 1 is formal, meaning you should use formal language, sentence structure and grammar.

When preparing for and sitting the academic writing test, make sure you:

  • Read the given chart, graph, or diagram in its entirety, to make sure you understand the main points.
  • Try and note down the key information that you want to talk about, so you can write a clear and coherent answer.
  • Make direct reference to the chart, diagram or graph you have been given, to show you understand the information.
  • Use appropriate terminology and vocabulary in your analysis.

How to prepare for IELTS writing task 2

IELTS writing task 2 involves writing an essay on a given topic or prompt. The writing style for task 2 is formal, and you will be graded on your use of language, grammar and how well you answered the prompt. Task 2 is approximately 250 words, and it is recommended you take 40 minutes to complete the task.  Some of the prompts will ask you to write your essay response in a particular way, such as arguing for or against, discussing the advantages and disadvantages, or writing your opinion on a topic.

When practicing your IELTS essay writing, be sure to:

  • Use a range of prompts so you can be prepared for any essay style in the exam.
  • Try and think of both sides of the argument before choosing which side to write about, to see which side will allow you show off your writing skills the best.
  • Answer the prompt directly. This is key to achieving high scores!
  • Avoid writing a generic, vague essay as this will be marked down for not answering the question.

Tips for IELTS writing tasks 1 and 2

Preparing for the IELTS Academic Writing exam involves becoming familiar with the types of information and prompts you could be presented with. The IELTS writing tasks will be marked according to how well you can show your understanding of the information and topics given, through a well-organised and coherent response. The IELTS organisation actually has criteria for the IELTS writing writing tasks, which are four features of your writing which you will be evaluated on.

We have organised our tips for the IELTS writing exam based on each of these criteria in the table below. Reflect on the meaning of each of the criteria to see what aspects of your writing you might need to improve on. IELTS writing tasks 1 and 2 are very different from each other, and therefore the ways the criteria apply to them will be different as well. Each criteria can be fulfilled in many ways, so reading through all of our tips can help you improve your IELTS writing scores by making specific adjustments to your writing.

The IELTS writing tasks will be evaluated on the following criteria – becoming familiar with these criteria will help you embrace your strengths and work on weaknesses in your writing. Here are the IELTS writing criteria, what they mean, and ways you can apply them in your writing:

IELTS writing.png

Receive study abroad advice based on your IELTS scores through IDP

If you want to know where your IELTS scores can take you, reach out to IDP. IDP counsellors can provide 1-on-1 advice based on your IELTS scores and can help you achieve your study abroad goals. Reach out to our counsellors today to discover where IDP can take you!