As you may already know, the United Kingdom is made of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. Students around the world want to Study in UK, one of the reasons for that being UK University rankings. But first, you need to understand where to start and what United Kingdom Education System is. Here is the detailed description of the Education system in UK:

Education System in UK

1. Education System in England:

Higher Education in England:

After 5 key stages of UK schooling, higher studies in England start at the age of 18 normally, and unlike many other countries, the schooling of 13 years is required. Most international students, therefore, require doing a foundation course before being admitted into the undergraduate program.

Undergraduate studies in England:

Since the 1960s the undergraduate colleges and Universities have been highly funded by State, however, fees have gone up from October 2012 for Universities in England.

The degree rewarded at the end of graduation is mostly a “Bachelor’s”, which is sometimes an “honors”. The typical duration of Undergraduate Studies in England is of three academic years. Some Vocational Degrees have a duration of two years.

Postgraduate Studies in England:

Post Graduate studies are done after getting a bachelor’s degree. The post-graduation studies include:

1. Diploma, Graduate Certificate:

As the name suggests, they are diplomas and certification courses, often done as conversion courses for the subjects that students have not studied at graduate levels.

2. Post Graduate Diploma and PG Certificates:
Shorter than a full master’s program, these are more specialization, subject-related certificates, and diploma courses for Graduate students.

3. Master’s in England:

Unlike other countries, even the full master’s program in England lasts for one year. Some research-based master’s programs are exceptions, and they may run for two years in Universities in England.

4. Doctorate:

Doctorates require a master’s degree for entry. They typically take 3 to 4 years to complete as per the subject. They include Ph.D. and DPhil degrees. There is another type, a “New route” Ph.D., which takes 4 years.

Top Universities in England:

Universities in England

World Ranking

Oxford University


University of Cambridge


Imperial College London


University College London (UCL)


LSE London School of Economics and Political Science



2. Education System in Northern Ireland:

Universities in Northern Ireland:

Higher Studies in Northern Ireland can be done in Open University (online courses), two well-renowned Universities, and Further Colleges for apprenticeships, training programs, and other Degrees. Irish Education System is made of:

1. Queen’s University Belfast: world ranking 180

Home to St. Mary’s and Stranmillis University colleges, Queen’s University is a member of the prestigious Russell Group of research Universities. It is 36th ranked in top Universities in UK, and 180th when it comes to top Universities in the world.

2. Ulster University: world ranking 601-650

With four campuses, it is the largest University in Northern Ireland and the second-largest of all the Universities in Ireland. It has a higher rate of employment in UK, with 92% of students working or studying further after the completion.

Further Education Colleges:

For higher education after schooling, there are six colleges in Northern Ireland, called Further Education Colleges in Ireland:

  • Southern Regional College
  • South West College
  • South Eastern Regional College
  • Northern Regional College
  • North West Regional College
  • Belfast Metropolitan College

Education System in Scotland:

Higher Education in Scotland:

Higher Education in Scotland is the same as in other countries around the world. There are three levels of Degrees after the schooling in Scottish Education System:

1.Undergraduate - First Degree / Bachelor’s Programs

2.Taught Postgraduate - Primarily Master’s Degree Programs

3.Doctoral Research - Primarily PhD Programs

13% of the students studying in Higher Education in Scotland are international students.

Scotland has 15 Universities and 3 other institutes providing higher education degrees to the students. Top Scottish Universities are:

Universities in Scotland

World Ranking

University of Edinburgh


University of Glasgow


University of St. Andrews


University of Aberdeen


University of Strathclyde



Education System in Wales:

Higher Education in Wales:

  • When it comes to Wales Education System, the First degree or a bachelor’s degree remains the same. It takes three years to complete.

  • There is a special undergraduate master’s degree, which typically takes four years to complete and not all college provide these programs.

  • Some colleges provide vocational-based foundation programs, of which the length is typically two years.

  • The Master’s Degree typically takes two to three years depending on the course and subjects.

Here are the top Universities in Wales and their world rankings:

Universities in Wales

World Ranking

Cardiff University


Aberystwyth University


Swansea University


Bangor University



This concludes the Education Systems across UK. No matter where you go, quality education is something that runs constantly when talked about Universities in UK. Across the globe, 76 UK universities are listed in Top Universities in the world.

Read Also:-

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Study in UK: Top 10 Universities in UK 

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About the Author:

Dhruv is Content Creator at He is fond of words and everything related to them. Writing about different things from around the world gives him immense pleasure, and a very healthy by-product is sharing the information and helping others in the process.

Categories: UK

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