Postgraduates from outside the EU

Join over 68,500 international postgraduates who are developing professional and technical skills and knowledge from our world-leading academics

Postgraduate research

The large volume of research activity across the range of subjects (and between them) at our universities creates an ideal environment for postgraduate study.

As an international postgraduate student at a Russell Group university you will be surrounded by a talented, highly-motivated peer group. Our universities attract 43% of non-EU international postgraduates, and more than half of all non-EU PhD students studying in the UK. They have chosen our universities because of the quality, relevance and reputation of the research group or department they are joining.

Our postgraduate students benefit from the high concentration of excellent research found in our universities. The most recent assessment of research quality in UK universities (the Research Excellence Framework) found that:

  • 68% of the UK’s very best, or ‘world leading’, research took place in Russell Group universities
  • Almost twice as much of the research undertaken at Russell Group universities is ‘world leading’ compared to other universities
  • More than half of research in Russell Group universities results in outstanding impact, compared to less than a third in other universities
  • Russell Group universities are more than twice as likely to provide the most conducive environments for the very best research

Entry requirements

Entry requirements will vary by programme and from university to university. Some postgraduate programmes build on your knowledge gained at undergraduate level and so require a degree in a specific subject, while others provide an opportunity to develop a new interest and accept a wide variety of degree subjects. In the majority of cases, you are likely to be required to have a good undergraduate degree (normally a 2:1 or above, or international equivalent).

In some subjects you will be able to progress directly from an undergraduate degree to PhD study, while in other areas it is usual to obtain a Masters qualification before continuing to postgraduate research.

Russell Group universities will be happy to advise you on appropriate entry routes taking account of your educational history and qualifications. In some cases, country-specific advice is given on university websites.

See the University website links section of this page for information on specific entry requirements for non-EU postgraduate students at Russell Group universities.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you will need to submit evidence of a good command of English before starting your degree programme. Universities will usually ask you to achieve a specified level in an approved English language test, such as IELTS, in addition to satisfying academic entry requirements.

The tests approved and scores required will vary from university to university and from programme to programme, depending on the intensity of your course - and therefore the extent to which you will be able to fit in additional English tuition alongside your academic work - and the nature of the English language support which the university is able to offer.


Every year, thousands of students from around the world obtain a visa to study at one of our universities. There is no limit on the number of international students who can study in the UK and if you have secured a place at a Russell Group university the application process for a visa should be straightforward.

The #WeAreInternational project, which seeks to support talented international students as they apply to study in the UK, have produced the videos below to demonstrate how the visa system works.

More information on how to obtain a study visa is available on university websites and from the UK Visas and Immigration service.

Financial support

The two main costs you will face as a postgraduate student are tuition fees and living expenses. Securing financial support for your postgraduate study can be challenging, but the reputation of Russell Group universities puts our students in a strong position.

Your study can be financed in a variety of ways, including sometimes combining support from different sources to build your own funding package.

The main funding options are:

  • Scholarships/awards from external organisations, both in the UK and in your home country
  • Scholarships funded by individual universities
  • Private funding

See the University website links for information on financial support for non-EU postgraduate students at Russell Group universities.


Important notice

We would like to make it clear that 'The Russell Group Association' is in no way connected to or endorsed by the Russell Group or any of our 24 member universities.

'The Russell Group Association' is falsely suggesting that it can provide students wishing to study at UK Russell Group universities with special access arrangements. This is not so.

If you have any doubts, please contact the admissions department of the Russell Group university you are interested in applying to.