Destination Great Britain, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom or UK or Britain, or even England. The United Kingdom consists of England, Wales, Scotland (which together make up Great Britain) and Northern Ireland. The capital city of the UK is London, which is also the capital of England. For Wales the capital is Cardiff, for Scotland it is Edinburgh, and for Northern Ireland it is Belfast. English is spoken throughout the UK, but there are other official languages too, such as Welsh, Scots and Gaelic.
Britain’s system of government has developed over many centuries. Kings once ruled with advice from a council of religious leaders and nobles. This council eventually expanded into the Parliament, which now passes all the country’s laws. Today, the monarch (which can be a king or queen) has no real power.
The United Kingdom has been a leading trading nation for more than 500 years. In the 19th century, British industry helped make the country the most powerful nation in the world. It is still one of the strongest economies on Earth. Much of the north and west of the U.K. is covered in high ground, knife-edged mountain ridges separated by deep valleys. This terrain was shaped in the last Ice Age, when thick glaciers covered the land.
In the south of England, the countryside is mostly rolling hills. In northwest England and the Scottish Highlands are dozens of lakes, called lochs. These were left behind when the Ice Age glaciers melted. They tend to be long and narrow, and some are very deep. Legends say that a giant monster called Nessie lives in Loch Ness in Scotland.
UK education is all about giving you inspiration to develop your knowledge and skills, freedom to be creative, and support to help you achieve your best.
UK schools, colleges and universities offer you a world-class education – the chance to follow your passion for learning and gain qualifications that are respected by employers and academics worldwide.
On a UK course you’ll benefit from excellent teaching and facilities. In order to accept students, UK education centres must meet strict quality standards set by the UK government and education bodies.
With a strong reputation for research, innovation and creativity, UK universities and colleges attract some of the world’s leading academics and industry professionals. You will be encouraged to express your own ideas and think for yourself. UK degree courses develop your critical thinking, decision-making and creativity – skills that are valued by employers worldwide.
This attention to quality is reflected in the UK’s excellent results:
* International undergraduate satisfaction in the UK is very high, at 91% overall. Meanwhile, 85% of international undergraduates would recommend or actively recommend their UK study experience, higher than any major English-speaking study destinations. (UK International Unit, December 2015).
You are allowed to work while studying if you study at a university. International students who study a full-time undergraduate or postgraduate degree course at a recognised university are allowed to work part-time during term term for up to 20 hours a week and full-time during the holidays.
There are thousands of part-time student jobs in London to help support your studies. Many universities have careers and work placement centres to help you find employment. You can also search online at:
Tip – A part-time job will earn you additional money and give you vital extra skills, such as teamwork – great for your CV.
Non-EU students who wish to remain in the UK after they have graduated must apply for a work visa from UK Visa and Immigration. There are several visas you can apply for as a London graduate:
Tier 2 (General) Visa: This is the primary visa to remain and work in the UK after your studies. It is open to recent graduates with a Bachelor’s, Master’s or PhD from a recognized UK university. Before you apply you must have an offer of a skilled job from a licensed employer and be paid a salary of at least £20,800. After five years of employment, Tier 2 visa holders can apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK providing they meet the salary requirements (£35,000) and other relevant eligibility criteria.
Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) Visa: This visa option is open to all students who are developing a world-class business idea. You will need to be identified and sponsored by your university as having the potential to create your own business in the UK. This applies to all graduating students from any subject discipline.
Tier 5 Temporary Worker: This visa allows you to work in the UK for up to 12 or 24 months (depending on the scheme you’re applying for). International students in the UK can apply for the Tier 5 (Government Authorised Exchange) visa to undertake work experience and internships in the UK after their studies. You can apply to switch from your Tier 4 visa to this visa from within the UK.