Postgraduate Study

Moving to England has made both of us consider getting further degrees, because England has some of the best universities in the world. The opportunity to study at Oxford or Cambridge is one we couldn’t pass up (or at least try for).  The process of finding an overseas masters program was a little confusing at first. However, after much time spent looking for programs and funding opportunities as well as deciphering the differences between American and UK universities, here is what we found about studying in the UK as an international student.

Course Search

The website most useful in looking for a program is Prospects. They have a list of all the universities in the UK including what they have to offer.


There are several ways of paying for school including studentships, Student Support, and scholarships.


Studentships are generally found through your university or program and are equivalent to a graduate assistantship in the US.

Student Support

Information about Government Student Support can be found at the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) website. According to the UKCISA, Student Support is not considered to be “public funds” therefore, a student with a UK visa containing a condition that states “no recourse to public funds” would not be violating that condition by applying for, or receiving, Student Support.


Scholarships are normally limited in number, and have very specific target groups. They are highly competitive. That being said, here are a few scholarships available for international students in the UK.

More information and a more detailed list can be found on the British Council’s Education UK website.


International students enrolled in full-time programs are currently permitted to work for a maximum of 20 hours a week during the term. If you work more than this, you will be breaching the conditions of your visa and may be requested to leave the UK. Rates of pay for part-time work vary, but the current national minimum wage for those over the age of 21 is £6.50 per hour.

Be sure to check your specific visa for the most accurate information about working and studying abroad!

Educational TERMS

One thing we found confusing were some of the terms being used by UK universities. Mst, MPhil, DPhil, etc. A breakdown of what they all mean can be found here or on Oxford’s website.


I kept seeing the phrase A levels thrown around on university websites and because I had never heard of them before, I did a little research. In the UK, compulsory education ends at age 16 and from there students can go on to take A-levels for one or two years in courses they are interested in. They serve as the principal entry requirements for most higher education courses in the UK. Apparently, A levels are similar to AP courses in the U.S.