The cost of studying in the UK: Part I

The United Kingdom is an island nation made up of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

England is the birthplace of Shakespeare, David Beckham, The Beatles, fish and chips and tea.

With London as the capital, and a globally influential centre of finance and culture, studying in the UK is an experience unlike any other.

However, for Malaysians, studying in the UK may seem daunting when you’re looking at how much it would cost to study there.

But worry not, your dream of studying in UK is attainable.

The most important decision to make when studying in the UK is choosing the right university. This depends on two main factors – the university’s reputation and its location.

While a university’s ranking might be important and there are many prestigious universities in the UK, the tuition fees at such universities will also cost more.

However, there are other important aspects to consider when choosing the university you want to study at – how well a university supports their international students, their teaching and research quality, employability after course completion, and others.

For example, if you are looking to study a niche programme such as aeronautical engineering, it is perhaps advisable to study at a more modern university that has the ties, expertise and technology in such industries instead of aiming for a traditional university. This ensures that you have all the resources you need to excel.

In 2017, international students paid between £10,000 and £35,000 (approximately RM53,813 to RM188,346) annually for lecture-based undergraduate degrees. An undergraduate medical degree can cost overseas students up to £38,000 per year.

At all levels, humanities and social sciences degrees tend to cost the least, while laboratory and clinical degree programmes are markedly more expensive. Since undergraduate studies usually last longer, it’s logical that it may cost more.

However, there are some unique Bachelor’s programmes where you can graduate with a Bachelor and Master degree at the same time, thus saving time and money.

Universities in London usually carry higher tuition fees, compared to countryside-based universities. Additionally, universities that are state-funded charge lower tuition fees than those with private ownership.

The living costs in London could go up as high as £16,000 per year whereas anywhere outside of London would cost about £12,000 per year.

This may sound like a lot of money but also keep in mind that most universities in the UK have shorter programmes – three years of undergraduate study as compared to four years of study in the US or Australia and one year of postgraduate study compared to the usual two years of postgraduate study in other countries.

Instead of London, you can consider studying in cities like Aberdeen, Manchester and Newcastle Upon Tyne.

The cost of living in Newcastle Upon Tyne is 39% lower than living in London, with the cheapest available rent being 65% lower than in the capital.

When it all adds up, studying in the UK is actually much more affordable than you think.

Not to mention, most courses in the UK in fields such as engineering, business, banking and accounting and those in the public sector come with the option or mandatory industrial placements.

This means that the student gets to put their knowledge into practice while earning a salary at the same time. These long-term internships can last between six to 12 months and can go a long way in reducing a student’s living cost.

A student can earn an average of £15,000 per annum during their placement year.

Students are also allowed to work a maximum of 20 hours per week during term time, earning some extra money for themselves.

With all this information, doesn’t it seem like the dream to study in UK is now within your reach?

Article contributed by Interstudy Education Consultants Sdn. Bhd, Tel: 03 – 8601 9525 / 03 – 8601 9526 (Subang Office), Website: