Higher Education Institutions
The most reputable higher education institutions in the UK are not necessarily located in London. Certainly, the University of London and the specialist academic institutions such as Imperial College, University College London (UCL), LSE, LBS, King’s College, Queen Mary, London are some of the leading universities in Europe. However, there are universities all around the UK such as Edinburgh, Bath, Durham, York, Reading, Kent, Loughborough, St Andrews, Stirling, Warwick, Cranfield etc which are leading ones in Law, Engineering, Medicine, IT, Psychology, Music, and Architecture.
Regarding the 3 or 4-year programmes, if a student decides to study Engineering it would be better to join a 4-year degree programme, the so-called MEng because his/her degree will be recognized by the Greek authorities (DOATAP) and will be eligible to practice the engineering profession and acquire professional rights soon after he completes his studies. However, the same does not apply if a student studies Law. The LLB 3-year degree programme is the only option followed by an LLM which is the Master’s course. These constitute 2 separate degree programmes. Those interested in studying Psychology, for instance, need to start with a Single Honours degree in Psychology 3 years fulltime in order to acquire the fundamentals to continue for a Masters programme in Psychology and be eligible to practice the profession and acquire professional qualifications and the license to practice the profession in Greece or be eligible for membership with BPS British Psychological Society in the UK.
Studying in Scotland
In Scotland, the degrees are all 4 years fulltime. There are no tuition fees in Scotland. The students apply to SAAS (Student Awards Agency for Scotland). This agency provides funding for EU students coming to Scotland to study an eligible fulltime undergraduate course. The tuition fees for 2018 academic year are 1,885 pounds sterling and the student who has been offered a place needs to apply online to SAAS. In order not to become personally liable for the fees, the student must apply for payment to SAAS.
Students need to apply through UCAS by the 15 January deadline in order to stand good chances to be offered a place. As there are no tuition fees in Scotland, competition is fierce and places fill up very quickly.
Structure of the BA (Hons) degree
The BA/BSc (Hons) degree programme normally runs for 30 weeks over 3 years fulltime. It is divided into 3 Levels; each lasting 30 weeks. The whole course is credit rated at 360 credits, with 120 credits at each level.
Under the framework for higher education qualifications, the levels for the BA are: Level 4 (which is Stage 1 of the course), Level 5 which is Stage 2 and Level 6 which is Stage 3. There is a progression point at the end of each Level and in order to progress, all units of the preceding level must normally be passed.
If a student is unable to continue on the course a certificate of higher education (Cert HE) will normally be offered following the successful completion of Level 4, or a Diploma in Higher Education following successful completion of Level 5.
In order to be awarded a BA or BSc (Hons) degree, the student must successfully complete 360 credits.
Teaching and Assessment
Lectures, seminars, independent study, one-to-one supervision during final year dissertation. In addition, at all levels, there will be a personal tutor available to discuss personal and academic problems. All courses are assessed by essays, coursework, projects, and examination. Students learn through a combination of small group seminars and large group lectures with discussion and debate.
If you are unsuccessful in any of your exams then you will usually be allowed to resit in July following your 1st attempt. Alternatively, if you have failed in more than 50% of the modules, you may be asked to repeat the year or withdraw from the course and retake the exams the following summer. If, however, a student feels that his/her performance is likely to be affected by illness, family problems or personal reasons, the university should be immediately be informed before the exams start. If you inform the department after the exams then there can be no warranty that your circumstances will be considered.
The academic year starts mid-September and ends mid-June. As in most countries, universities in the UK are closed at Christmas from 15 December-06 January and Easter mid-March-beginning of April. There is a 3-month summer vacation. Students can take advantage of the long summer break to undertake an internship and gain some practical skills in their chosen area of study. The universities are offering opportunities for an apprentice to senior year students who wish to work or take a year in industry prior to deciding their specialty.
All universities in England charge 9250 pounds for each academic year.
EU nationals are eligible for a tuition fee loan by the SLC Students Loan Company.
In Scotland, the Scottish Parliament has decided that Scots and EU students will not pay tuition fees, which makes studying in Scotland financially affordable for Greek and EU citizens.
To take advantage of this opportunity, you must apply to SAAS. Applications to SAAS must be renewed every year of your studies!
You can find out more information about eligibility for tuition fee loans, for EU nationals, bursaries grants, and student allowances on the following websites, depending on your geographical destination:
Medical Insurance & Social Security
During the enrolment period students may register with the university medical center. All fulltime EU students living on campus are provided medical care once they are registered with a medical center they will be able to book appointments should you need it. Students enrolled on courses lasting longer then 6 months are entitled to free treatment. A consultation with a GP or nurse is free. If you are given a prescription, you will have to pay for the medicine at the pharmacist. However, dental and optician services are not free.
Tips for finding private accommodation in London
Seven tips for finding private accommodation in London, courtesy of Nicholas Coomber, Housing Advisor, University of London Housing Services:
- Start looking 1-2 months before you have to move. Unlike other cities, there is a high turnover of rented accommodation in London at all times of the year. You don’t need to look 6 months in advance to find somewhere!
- Look in a wide variety of places to find houses and flats. As well as looking online on the University of London Housing Service’s database for properties with our registered landlords and agents, you can use websites like Rightmove or Zoopla, or sign up to alerts from letting agents based in the area you’re looking.
- Work out who you’re going to live with before you start looking. If you don’t have anyone to live with but want to live in a house share, there are often spare rooms in existing house shares being advertised on the ULHS database or websites like com. Or you can rent a room through our Student Homes scheme.
- Budget! Remember to work out your expenses including things like travel, bills, food & leisure, as well as just the rent per month. If you’re looking in a group, keep everyone’s budget in mind – as if your housemate doesn’t pay their rent, you could be legally asked to pay, depending on your contract.
- Don’t pay any money before you’ve viewed the property, and be sure you want it before you hand over a holding deposit – they can be difficult to get back if you change your mind. Always make sure you have a written agreement confirming your offer before you hand over any cash.
- Get your contract checked before you sign it – we offer contract checking appointments at ULHS. If you don’t have time to come in and see us, check out our Contract Checking guide for top tips on what should be included.
- If you’re not sure about something, seek advice. ULHS has advice appointments by phone or in person, or you can speak to UCL Rights and Advice.
For more information, check out our Private Housing Guide which tells you all you need to know – from looking for a place, right up until what to do when you move out.
Tips to save money while a student
The following tips are courtesy of the University of Brighton Student Union:
Whether you need your money to go further for course books or nights out, here’s our top tips for saving a bit of cash at university.
1. Buy your NUS TOTUM card
By purchasing a NUS TOTUM card, you’ll be able to save at some of your favourite high street shops and restaurants around the city, including 10% off on all Co-op goods. Keep an eye on UniDays for even more student discounts.
2. Make the most of discounted rail travel
Did you know that you can get a 16-25 rail card? The card saves you 1/3 off rail fares if you’re a full-time student. Find out more here. Plus, if you’re studying in or around Brighton or Worthing, you can get unlimited travel at a discount with the Unizone ticket.
Learning to budget is a key part of being a student, and all of my friends and I have been able to manage perfectly well with our finances and still had plenty left for fun stuff too! I was worried about being able to afford to come to Brighton but I figured that if it was the uni for me, I’d make it work out.
3. Find free things to do
The South Coast is a great place to live if you’re trying to find things to do that don’t involve your wallet. Take a look at these free things to do near campus.
4. Check out Georgia’s tips and tricks
Media Production student, Georgia, shares her tips and tricks for managing money at university.
I had opted for the catered halls option at Brighton University, because not only does that save me time but also money because that price is included in my rent so that means that I get breakfast and lunch five days a week which definitely helps.
5. Explore your part-time work opportunities
We can help you find part-time work, including roles within the university as student ambassadors, mentors, summer accommodation assistants, or within the Students’ Union. You could also get work that uses the skills you develop on your course like 3D Design Law, Engineering, Business.
6. Ride our free uni bus between campuses
Take advantage of free travel around the city. Our new eco uni bus connects our city campuses. Check the timetable online and displayed on screens in the main university buildings foyers.
7. Subscribe to our Money Matters blog
For practical tips and advice on all things finance related from the university’s Student Advice.
There is a road called London Road that is full of shops such as Pound land and Poundstretcher that allow you to buy essentials at a really low price. If you share with other students in a house and are careful with where you shop for groceries and essentials, the overall cost isn’t so bad.
Setting up a bank account
Opening a bank account can take several weeks, and many banks will only open an account for you after you are a registered student. It is important that you bring enough funds to cover your expenses, especially if you plan to move to London before your designated Registration date.
Update your addresses at the University as soon as possible
Some banks require documentation from the University confirming your registration status. The bank will reject this documentation if it does not include your up-to-date contact and home addresses. Update your address at your University as soon as you have an address in London. Be careful to list the address you live during term-time (usually in London) as your Contact Address and your address at home as the Permanent Address, or the bank will reject your documentation. Also, keep in mind that banks require that your room number be included if you are living in halls of residence.
Research the best bank account for you
It is highly recommended that you select a bank before you arrive in London to save time.
Check in advance to see if your bank at home has a branch near your UNIVERSITY. If you plan to transfer money into your new account, remember that transferring funds will depend on your home bank’s procedures. This can take more time than you expect. Discuss this with your home bank before you leave and remember to bring sufficient funds, such as cash, travellers’ cheques or credit cards to cover any delays. Always avoid travelling with large amounts of cash.
You may want to consider how easy it is to open an account when making a decision about which bank is right for you. For example, consider whether the bank will allow you to pre-book an appointment, and/or look for a bank that will accept your UNIVERSITY offer letter as proof that you are a student when opening an account.
Know what documents you need to open an account
This is the most important step! Each bank branch requires different documentation to open accounts, and branches are very specific about the format of the documentation they will accept.
If you are an unconditional offer holder, please note that your UNIVERSITY may be able to provide you with a letter of introduction for UK banking facilities before you are a registered student. These letters are available from September for those who are eligible. However, not every bank will accept this letter before you register, so check with your bank of choice first to ensure you have what you need.
Make an appointment
You may be required to book an appointment in advance to open a bank account at your chosen branch. Please note that this may also be time-consuming because many students will also be setting up accounts at the same time and appointments near your UNIVERSITY fill up quickly. Some banks may allow you to book an appointment before you arrive in London, which can save you a great deal of time. If you book an appointment in advance, you may want to book your appointment at least a day or two after your registration date, or you may not have access to all the necessary documents to open an account. Also, be sure that your bank appointment does not clash with mandatory Orientation events, lectures or seminars/classes.
TOP TIP: You may find that it is easier to book an appointment at a bank branch further away from your UNIVERSITY or halls of residence. Once your account is set up, you can usually do business with any branch of your bank.
Additional tips for international students
- Ask your bank to send you printed monthly bank statements as these can be helpful if you need to make an application to extend your student visa. The UKBA will not accept electronic bank statements.
- Some banks may charge international students an initial or monthly fee. The additional services provided will vary between each bank. Some banks will also offer a free, but more basic account.
- If you are expecting to receive money from overseas, you should ask what charges may apply and how long it will take to make the money available in your account.
- If you will be cashing cheques issued in other countries into your UK account (for example, US Loan Cheques), then be sure to check that this will not trigger your bank’s anti-fraud procedures, which can result in your account being frozen for extended periods during an investigation.
- If you plan on using a credit or bank card from your home country while you are in the UK, check before you leave home that your card is compatible with UK bank machines, or if there will be any additional charges.
Overseas students must typically be on a programme of study which runs a minimum of six months duration in order to qualify for an account.
Working while studying
Students can work by law part-time up to 20 hours weekly while studying fulltime in the UK. This gives them the opportunity to familiarize with the British culture, make new friends be exposed to a multicultural setting and gain valuable experience. Students can seek employment in the university (library, student union shops, halls of residence) and eventually gain self confidence and a degree of independence when interacting with culturally diverse groups.
Entering the job market
All universities have career offices where senior year students can find job opportunities selecting either part or full time. These offices are well organized and fully informed and are a useful initial approach to finding work. They have links with the relevant industries and organize career day events so that students can meet representatives from companies who are willing to recruit young graduates.
There are also online newspapers, digital job search services, and recruitment agencies. the latter undertake the employee selection on behalf of the companies and shortlist the most suitable candidates. Students can register to create an online account upload a cover letter and their CV expressing their career aims and preferred job position. Students should remain targeted and be focused when applying for a job because the interviewers appreciate committed and enthusiast candidates. it is not always easy to put your foot in!!
However, be patient and above all think outside of the box!
The following might be helpful to you: