Examine within the UK: how to decide on your college?

With its prestigious universities and sought-after specializations, the UK has long been a favorite destination for French Erasmus students. The country moved to the second position (after Spain) since the year 2016-2017. Our clues to help you make your choice.

Tempted by studies across the Channel? From England to Scotland and Wales to Northern Ireland, prepare to discover a wide and diverse range of programs. UK universities being self-governingthey manage their own finances and the content of their courses.

Undergraduate and postgraduate

Postgraduate studies are organized into two phases: the “licenciatura” cycle, which leads to the Licenciado degree, and the “postgraduate” cycle, which ends with the Master’s degree. Note that the length of these cycles varies between universities and disciplines. In Scotland, for example, the Bachelor’s Degree systematically lasts four years and the Master’s one year.

Erasmus+: more applications than vacancies

The United Kingdom is the first destination for French Erasmus+ students. Around 7,000 benefit from an exchange every year. The principle is simple: you will study, for one or two semesters, at a partner university of your home institution. Thus, you remain a student in France and do not pay any additional costs.

Before choosing this mode of departure, check with your institution’s international relations department for a list of British universities likely to host you. Their number is limited (some establishments do not even have any agreement) and places are allocated according to academic results.

If you do not have the possibility to leave the exchange, you will have two strategies: choose a non-English speaking destination offering courses in English, in Scandinavia for example, or apply directly in the UK on your own.

Go it alone: ​​plan ahead!

To the approximately 7,000 students who left with Erasmus, they join the 12,500 young people who left as “free movers”, according to the British Council, i.e. thanks to an individual and paid subscription. France is the second European country to send the most students to the UK, after Germany. A success that should not be threatened by Brexit, at least in the next two years.

the registration website UCAS (University and College Admissions Service) it’s a must pass for those who intend to integrate a Degree soon after the bachelor’s degree. It lists more than 370 establishments, including a hundred universities, almost all multidisciplinary.

In your electronic file, you can choose up to five universities. UCAS will then forward your file to the institutions concerned. 🇧🇷The centerpiece of the file is a cover letter that must have matured long before it was written for it to be really successful and broad enough to cover the five chosen universities, warns Marianne Garcia, project manager at the British Council. It’s important to talk about yourself, about what you like to do outside of your studies, not just about your course.”

Keep an eye on the calendar! Applications are open from September of the year prior to the planned start of the school year. For the most prestigious universities, the deadline is October 15th. For others, it’s usually around January 15th.

Write down: if you want to enter the second or third year of the baccalaureateyou must first contact the university and obtain permission from the Admissions Tutor (Admissions Officer) before applying through UCAS.

international reputation

A criterion to take into account in your choice may be the reputation of the universities. Some rival American establishments in international rankings. The two most famous ones, Oxford and Cambridge (known as “Oxbridge”), are on a par with Berkeley, Princeton, Yale…

Times Higher Education 2018 QS Top Universities 2018 Shanghai (ARWU) 2017
1 University of Oxford 1st University of Cambridge 5th University of Cambridge 3rd
two University of Cambridge 2nd University of Oxford 6th U of Oxford 7th
3 Imperial College London 8th U. College London 7th U. College London 16th
4 U. College London 16th Imperial College London 8th Imperial College London 27th
5 25th London School of Economics University of Edinburgh 23 University of Edinburgh 32nd
6 U of Edinburgh 27 U of Manchester 34th U of Manchester 38th
7 King’s College London 36th London School of Economics 34th King’s College London 46th
8 U of Manchester 54th U of Bristol 44th U of Bristol 61st
9 U of Bristol 76th U. of Warwick 57th U of Cardiff 101st-150th
10 U of Glasgow 80th U of Glasgow 65th U. of Glasgowd 101st-150th

Note, however, that international rankings emphasize research. It is, therefore, interesting to look at them at the “postgraduate” level, namely at the master’s and doctoral levels. Before that, other aspects are more decisive for your choice, such as selectivity, geographic location or the amount of registration feesif you are leaving outside of an exchange.

Find information in French about studying in the UK on the British Council website.
The Guardian newspaper publishes a guide to universities every year.
Push is a website made by students for students.

The Complete University Guide also gathers information about the UK system.

The UCAS platform (the English Parcoursup) provides many tips for a successful application.

10 Questions to Ask Yourself to Narrow Your Choice

Are you hesitating between multiple establishments? To narrow your choice, it’s up to you to do your little investigation by searching the universities’ websites. Here is a list of questions that can help you decide.

1. Is the establishment selective?
2. Are you located in a small town or a big city?
3. Are courses held in large amphitheaters or for small promotions?
4. Will you be able to receive classes in the disciplines that interest you?
5. Is the pedagogy innovative?
6. What services are offered to students (guidance at the beginning of the year, tutoring, etc.)?
7. Are there many international students?
8. Is there accommodation for students with disabilities, top athletes…?
9. Is community life developed?
10. What about extra-student life?

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