Postgraduate research: international students
For detailed information about studying as an international student at each Russell Group university visit our members' websites using the links (right).
Some programmes build on knowledge gained at undergraduate level and therefore require a degree in a specific subject while others provide the opportunity to develop a new interest. In the majority of cases you are likely to be asked to achieve a good undergraduate degree (normally defined as the equivalent of a UK upper second class degree or above).
Practice also varies from one subject area to another. In some subjects, it is normal to progress directly from an undergraduate degree to PhD study while in other areas, it is usual to obtain a Masters qualification before progressing to postgraduate research.
Russell Group universities are happy to advise on appropriate entry routes, in the light of your educational history and qualifications. In some cases, country-specific advice is available on university websites. Vitae offers guidance and advice for international students.
You can find details of specific entry requirements on each university's website.
Securing financial support for postgraduate study can be challenging but the reputation of Russell Group universities places students in a strong position, when seeking funding. Students finance their studies in a variety of different ways, sometimes combining support from different sources to build their own funding package. The principal funding options are:
• Scholarships/awards from external organisations, both in the UK and in students’ own countries of origin.
• Scholarships funded by individual universities.
• Bank loans and career development loans.
• Private funding
Around 50% of non-UK students are self-financing.
The following websites may be useful:
In order to benefit from the demanding programmes offered by Russell Group universities, it is important that you have a good grasp of the English language before taking up your place. In addition to satisfying academic entry requirements, universities will ask you to provide evidence of this, usually by achieving a specified level in an approved English language test, such as IELTS or TOEFL.
The tests approved and scores required will vary from university to university and from programme to programme, depending on the linguistic demands of the programme, the intensity of the timetable (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 get a visa to study at a Russell Group university. There is no limit on the number of international students that can study in the UK and if you have secured a place at university the application process for a visa is not as complicated as you may have heard. The video below follows two Indian students as they gain their visas and realise that some of the myths just are not true:
Other websites you may find helpful are:
The UK Council for International Student Affairs
UK Border Agency - How to apply for a student visa
Finding out more
There is no one definitive source of information on postgraduate study opportunities. However, the following websites may be a helpful starting point:
Find a PhD
Postgraduate Studentships UK