Studying in the UK

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For a comprehensive list of post-secondary institutes in the UK, search the UCAS website: http://www.ucas.com/students/apply/. It gives the entry requirements and detailed information on each university and every program offered. Students applying to UK institutes need to do so through the UCAS website.

Undergraduate degree: The completion of High School until Grade 12, and being 18 or older as of the 1st of October the year you are admitted. If you are planning on studying abroad temporarily, an undergraduate GPA of 2.3 is a common minimum requirement (which is a C+ or 67-70%).

Graduate Degree:An undergraduate GPA of 2.3 is a common minimum requirement (which is a C+ or 67-70%). There are 3 types of Graduate Degrees in the UK:

  • Taught – 12 months, and is structured with classes and a thesis. It is structured like a Canadian Master’s degree, but it is more professionally focused and therefore shorter.
  • Postgraduate Diploma/Certificate – 9 months, and is taught the same way as a ‘Taught’ Master’s degree, but does not require the completion of a thesis.
  • Research – 12-18 months. This would be recommended for students who have done some research already, since you will be working closely with a research advisor. Many students who choose to do this Master’s level also choose to pursue their PhD after, and some of your work done during the Master’s may be credited towards your PhD.

Studying Medicine in the UK

Program Structure

Students begin studying Medicine directly after high-school – around the age of 18-19 years old. They obtain a ‘specialized’ undergraduate degree that is between 5-6 years, and contains 2 years of academic study, and 3 years of clinical training in teaching hospitals.

Another route you can take to becoming a doctor in the UK is to do a Bachelor’s degree in a related Science field, and then apply to study Graduate Entry Medicine.

Admission Requirements

To study medicine, students are required to sit additional entrance exams in addition to achieving very competitive grades in high school. These additional tests include the United Kingdom Clinical Aptitude Test (required by 23 universities), and the BioMedical Admissions Test or BMAT (required by 5 universities). You are also required to submit a Personal Statement and undergo an interview in order to be admitted into a Medical School. An example of weight assigned to each of these requirements are:

  • High-School Grades: 50%
  • UKCA: 15%
  • BMAT: 15%
  • Interview: 20%

6 medical institutes require that you also take the GAMSAT UK test, but it is only applicable to students who have finished an undergraduate degree. For more information, check out this website: www.readmedicine.com

Studying Law in the UK (NB: Does not include Scotland)

Program Structure

The LLB is a Bachelor’s of Law Undergraduate degree, and it takes 3 years to complete. After completion of this degree, you’ll need to get further credentials through practicum, internships or by taking professional exams such as the Legal Practice Exam or the Bar Vocational Course. Achieving these credentials take from 1-3 years after the LL.B to complete.

Specifically, there are two paths you could choose after doing a basic LL.B in the UK : Become a Barrister or a Solicitor.

To become a Barrister: After your LL.B, you will need to apply to join one of the four “Inns of Court” and then complete the one-year BPTC (Bar Professional Training Course), and then undergo a year of training in a set of barristers’ chambers.

To become a Solicitor: After your LL.B, you must enroll in the “Law Society of England and Wales” and take a one-year course called the LPC (Legal Practice Course). This is usually followed by two years of apprenticeship.

Admission Requirements

To study an LL.B, it is not required to have an undergraduate degree in a particular background. Some schools may require you take the LNAT (National Admissions Test of Law), which is similar to the LSAT of North America. Currently, 8 Law Universities are using the LNAT as admission criteria and the mean average score of 2010/2011 entrants on the multiple choice section of the LNAT was 17.7 out of 40 points. Other institutes require that students achieve high grades in the country equivalent of A-Levels – which in Canada, is roughly translated to Grade 12 marks.

If you wish to pursue the 1-year LL.M (Master of Legal Law), it is required to hold an undergraduate degree in a related field (eg. Criminology, International Relations, Political Science).

Studying Pharmacy in the UK

Program Structure

Like Law and Medicine, Pharmacy is also studied just after high-school graduation. At most UK schools, students enter into the BPharm or BSc (Pharmacy) undergraduate degrees, which is 3-4 years. Following this is one year of Master’s studies (MPharm), and once the BPharm and MPharm are completed, the graduate qualifies as a practicing Pharmacist.

Admission Requirements

Competitive grades are required for Pharmacy courses in the UK. For example, students looking to obtain their MPharm from high school will require above 80% in Grade 12 level Math or Biology, and above 70% in Chemistry and at least one other Math or Science course. In addition, an overall average of 80% is also a common requirement.

Visa Requirements for the UK

To obtain a General Student Visa (if you are older than 18 years old and are planning on studying in the UK for more than 6 months), then you need to earn 40 points. 30 of these points come from official acceptance from an institution on the “register of sponsors” i.e. credible institutions. You can find out more on the UKBA website. The remaining 10 points are earned by demonstrating that you have enough means to afford the tuition fees and living expenses.

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