This information is aimed at successful Advanced Diploma students seeking entry to undergraduate (BSc) Computing/IT related courses and contains specific notes for International students wishing to study in the UK.
Making your decision…
To help you decide where to study, every university and college publish a Prospectus
. Most hold Open Days
throughout the year on which you can visit them and many universities are present at higher education fairs across the UK (usually between March and July)
. If you are unable to attend an open day, most universities will be pleased to offer you a pre-booked tour of their facilities.
The University Prospectus…
Essentially, a brochure which gives you, the reader, information about a university - its facilities…the courses on offer…tuition fees…accommodation…student support services and more. Usually, a copy can be ordered or downloaded from the individual university website. Alternatively visit the UCAS website and follow the links.
What is UCAS?
UCAS is the central organisation that processes applications for full-time undergraduate (e.g. BSc or BA) courses at UK Universities and Colleges.
When must you get your application in?
15th January is the deadline for applications with the exception of Oxford and Cambridge Universities where applications must be in by 15th October.
How many universities can you apply to?
A maximum of 6 choices is available. Some students make only 1 choice at a local university; others will select 2 different courses but most students apply for the same subject at 6 different places.
Making your choice…
Only apply to universities or colleges where you have a genuine desire and intention to go. Consider factors such as living expenses and the cost of accommodation in the university town which will differ across the country.
Your 'Personal Statement'…
Some universities use selection interviews but many base their decision on the application form that you will submit. You may be asked to write a 'Personal Statement'
to accompany your application. This is your chance to tell the university why you have chosen this particular course and why they should want you as a student. As it may be received before they have met you, it is an important part of your application and one which your ACP Course Tutor will be pleased to assist you with.
What happens next?
Once your application has been processed, you will receive a 'Welcome Letter'
(also known as an AS2 letter). You may also be sent invitations to open days and interviews.
Over the last few decades, the UK has grown into a truly multicultural, multiracial society. Many British universities have a long tradition of welcoming students from all over the world, creating a dynamic environment, culturally, socially and academically.
Sources of information for overseas students…
One of the best sources of information for international students planning to study here is your local British Council office. Their booklet 'Studying & Living in Britain'
is available from British Council libraries. Visit their website at:
- The Council for International Education provides useful advice for international students studying in the UK. It publishes a number of information sheets on topics such as travelling, banking and driving in the UK. Visit www.ukcosa.org.uk
You will need to open a bank account in the UK and it is essential that you discuss in advance with your bank how you will transfer funds to your UK bank account. To open an account you will need your passport, confirmation of your local address and the original copy of the university's letter accepting you as a student. You should also check how much you can bring with you in Travellers' Cheques
and/or cash to cover your expenses for the first few days. There is no restriction on the amount of money that you can bring into the UK in any currency but you should check how much local currency you are allowed to take out of your own country as regulations may apply.
Remember that it can take up to several months to clear a personal cheque drawn on a bank outside the UK. International students should not expect to have credit cards issued to them by a bank in the UK so you may wish to arrange for any credit cards issued by your own bank to be used here. Shops will generally only accept a cheque for goods if it is supported by a 'Cheque Guarantee Card'
and some basic bank accounts available to international students may not offer this facility.
Help with accommodation and settling in…
The university itself will also provide guidance and advice and many will have information downloadable from their websites. Experienced staff will assist you with accommodation and this will generally be available to you about a week before your course begins to allow you time to settle in. International undergraduate students who will be studying for at least one full academic year are usually guaranteed accommodation organized by the university, provided your application is received sufficiently in advance i.e. at least three months. Most universities offer a free welcome service where you can make a reservation for someone to meet you at the airport and take you to your accommodation.
Everyone arriving in the UK has to pass through Immigration Control. The rules of entry are strictly enforced but if you have obtained all the necessary information prior to leaving your home country, you should not have any problems.
Nationals of countries not in the EU must obtain a visa. Make sure that you apply for a Student Visa
and not a Visitor's Visa
. UK immigration requires that foreign students have a minimum of 15 contact hours each week. The British government has recently introduced a fee for extending the period covered by the visa. You should try, therefore, to ensure that you obtain a visa which covers the full period that you intend to stay in the UK. If you intend to travel to the UK via an airport in a third country, you may need a Transit Visa,
, even if you don't intend to leave the transit lounge.
Citizens of these countries can enter the UK and obtain a student visa at the port of entry. You must show:
- an acceptance letter from the university/college confirming your place.
- proof of sufficient funds to cover your tuition fees and living expenses without the need to work - although you are permitted to work part-time for up to 20 hours per week (see below).
Citizens of these countries must obtain 'entry clearance' from their local British Embassy or High Commission before
travelling to the UK. You may be asked to attend an interview and must show:
Entry Clearance Interview…
- an acceptance letter from the training establishment showing that tuition fees have been paid (usually in full)
- proof of sufficient funds to cover any balance of tuition fees due as well as living expenses without the need to work or recourse to public funds.
This may be requested as part of the process to obtain a Student Visa
. An Entry Clearance Officer will conduct the interview which can be from 5 to 30 minutes in order to determine whether you:
- are serious about your chosen course of study
- are well informed about the course and how it will be beneficial to your career
- are confident and well presented and have an adequate command of the English language
- fulfil entry requirements for your chosen course
- are intending to return to their home country upon completion of your studies
- are aware of the cost of living as a student in the UK and can provide documentary evidence of those funds.
The Entry Clearance Office will want to see the following documents:
Working in the UK…
- A valid passport
- Evidence of your educational qualifications
- A letter of acceptance and other documentation from the training establishment confirming tuition fees paid and (if applicable) balance of fees due.
- Documentation showing that you have sufficient funds to support your living expenses for the period of study/stay in the UK.
It is now perfectly legal for international students to work 20 hours per week during term time and up to 40 hours per week during vacation periods. The national minimum wage is £4.65 per hour, although in London, a student could earn around £5.50 per hour. The important thing to remember is foreign students applying for a UK study visa must be able to show that they can survive without working.
Further information is available at www.ukvisas.gov.uk
£45.00 per week for a single person is a sensible but not lavish figure to allow for food. It is possible to eat more cheaply by shopping and cooking carefully and/or sharing meals with fellow students. You can expect to pay upwards of £48.00 per week in a shared flat. Accommodation can be found for less but it is likely to be in an unpopular area perhaps away from the university and/or shops and leisure facilities. Books and/or equipment can be expensive. You will often find that the Students' Union runs a second-hand bookshop where you can purchase these reasonably.
Soon after your arrival in the UK it is essential that you register with a Doctor (sometimes called a General Practitioner or GP)
in your local area. If you are on a full-time programme of study lasting six months or more, you will immediately be eligible for free medical treatment in the UK. This includes free consultations with your Doctor and free accommodation, food and medical treatment if you have to go into hospital. You may also be eligible for subsidised dental and optical care. However, a fixed charge (around £6.40)
is made for all medicines obtained outside hospital with a Doctor's prescription (an authorisation for the issue of medicines)
. Dental treatment can be expensive and it is advisable to have a check-up before leaving your own country and to ensure that you have adequate insurance to cover any treatment that you might need during your stay in the UK.
Most universities arrange events designed to welcome new students, details of which will be given to you when your place has been confirmed.
HOST is a national organisation which arranges hospitality for students from overseas, during holidays and at weekends, by placing them with families for short visits. This can be local or elsewhere in the country. Visit their website for more information on www.hostuk.org
and remember to book early, particularly if you would like to spend holidays such as Easter or Christmas with a British family.
In the UK, students' unions have primarily a social and welfare role, rather than a political one. They are considered central to student life at most universities and you will generally become a member automatically. The university usually contributes to the Student' Union fund enabling a range of social and sporting activities and events to be organised.
Each university will have its own Chaplaincy which will welcome students of all religions and none, their role extending to providing pastoral support in the university community. The UK is multi-cultural, multi-racial and many universities are situated in large cities and towns where all of the major world faiths both live and worship.
Structure of the Academic Year…
An academic year usually consists of three terms which are divided by three holidays. There is no formal teaching during holidays but postgraduate programmes usually involve work during the Summer holiday period. Libraries and computer facilities are usually open to students during holidays, except for Christmas and Easter when the whole building will usually close for a few days.
English Language Support…
Even if you have spoken English in your own country, you may find that some additional tuition will assist you in being able to understand lectures, make and read your own notes and to research and understand books on your specialist subject. If you are not enrolled on an English for Academic Purposes course at your chosen university, you may be asked to take an English Test. This is not intended as a 'pass/fail' test but as a means for the university to assess whether you need help with your English, in which case you may be able to join a class for a few hours each week over a period of 3-6 months. Such courses are usually offered free of charge to students whose first language is not English.
Before you can drive in the UK, you must have a valid current driving licence as well as evidence that you and your vehicle are roadworthy and insured in the event of an accident. Visit www.dvla.gov.uk
We drive on the left and you must observe what is known as 'The Highway Code', a copy of which is available on-line at www.highwaycode.gov.uk During your first year in the UK, you will be able to drive unaccompanied using your driving licence from your own country. If you intend to stay in the UK and drive beyond that year, it is important that you take a Driving Test, preferably after a few lessons to ensure that you are familiar with the test requirements. Your drivng instructor will then also help you to apply for your test date. Every car on the public road must display a Tax Disc as evidence that tax has been paid, even if it is not driven. The current cost of a tax disk is around £170.00 for the year and are obtained from the Post Office on presentation of a current MOT Certificate and valid insurance documents.
Driving after drinking even a very small amount of alcohol is illegal in this country and can lead to heavy fines and a minimum 1-year ban from driving. Any subsequent re-offence can lead to imprisonment.
Bus tickets don't have to be purchased in advance of travel and are usually bought from the driver as you get on (some will require the exact fare and will not give change). Coach and rail tickets can be purchased through most travel agents and at stations. The cost of tickets is often cheaper if you purchase them in advance and if you travel outside of certain busy times. A 'Season Ticket' is usually available to cover a week, month, or even a year of travel and holders of a 'Young Person's Railcard' can gain a discount on travel of around 33%. The cost of taxis will be prohibitively high for most students as a daily means of getting around.
Page 15 ©ACP 1988 Revised 2006 - AWEBUNIVERSITYinfo.doc
It is also a requirement in law that each individual owning or renting a television must purchase a television licence (around £130 for a colour television) and you can be fined around £1,000 if you don't. Further information is available on the multi-lingual website: www.tv-l.co.uk
Other useful information…
www.consumerdirect.gov.uk gives lots of useful advice including information on owning a driving a car in the UK.
www.clsdirect.org.uk/index.jsp is a website giving access to legal information.
What's on offer
You have attained you ACP Advanced Diploma and, with good grades in your final examinations together with a satisfactory performance in relevant coursework assessment and projects, you are eligible to apply for entry to a variety of university programmes.
What's on offer?
UK Universities are currently offering a wide range of courses in computing aimed at employment in diverse organisations such as software consultancies, web design consultants, banks and retail wholesale to name but a few. Computer science is one of the fastest growing disciplines in universities and includes exciting developments such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality, mobile computing, robotics and the internet.
Undergraduate courses are often multi-disciplinary allowing students to study a range of course dedicated modules as well as option modules. BSc (Hons) courses in areas such as:
- Business Information Systems
- Computer Science
- Computer Software Development
- Interactive Computing
- Information Systems
- Multimedia Systems
- Software Engineering
|Computer Aided Visualisation
Game Production Management
Computer Games Technology
A common course framework…
If you're not sure what area of computing you want to study, you will not necessarily have to decide straight away. Many awards have a common course framework but differ in relation to the specialist modules that you will focus on in the final year.
How ACP fits into this framework…
During the ACP Certificate, Diploma and Advanced Diploma programme, you will have developed the core skills essential to enable you to become a flexible, rounded practitioner. Your ACP studies will have equipped you with a sound basis for your later professional development and on which to make your choice of specialism at university or college.
Eligibility of holders of the ACP qualification
University recognition of your ACP Advanced Diploma
Provided you have achieved good grades on the ACP Advanced Diploma course, you will automatically be eligible to enrol on a number of degree courses.
For over 20 years, ACP students have progressed from the Advanced Diploma to undergraduate and postgraduate courses at British universities. More recently, our students have proceeded to Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree studies taught at selected ACP centres - many graduating with first class honours grades.
The ACP Advanced Diploma is also a well-established route to 1-year or 2-year Masters degree (the highest level of full-time study available in the UK).
List of UK Universities offering computing courses
|Anglia Ruskin University, Chelmsford & Cambridge||Tel: 0845 271 3333
|Aston University, Birmingham||Tel: 0121 204 4444
|University of Bath ||Tel: 01225 383 019
|University of Brighton, East Sussex ||Tel: 01273 600 900
|The University of Birmingham||Tel: 0121 415 8900
|The University of Bolton, Lancashire || Tel: 01204 900 600
|Bournemouth University, Dorset || Tel: 01202 524 111
|The University of Bradford, West Yorkshire||Tel: 01274 233 081
|University of Bristol|| Tel: 0117 928 9000
|University of Cambridge ||Tel: 01223 333 308
|University of Central Lancashire||Tel: 01772 201 201
|University of Chichester, West Sussex||Tel: 01243 816 002
|Coventry University ||Tel: 02476 790 790
|De Montfort University, Leicester ||Tel: 0116 255 1551
|Durham University, Newcastle ||Tel: 0191 334 2000
|The University of East Anglia, Norwich||Tel: 01603 456 161
|University of East London ||Tel: 0208 223 2835
|The University of Edinburgh ||Tel: 0131 650 4360
|The University of Essex ||Tel: 01206 873 666
|University of Exeter, Devon ||Tel: 01392 263 035
|University of Glasgow ||Tel: 0141 330 6063
|University of Greenwich||Tel: 0800 005 006
|University of Hertfordshire ||Tel: 01707 284 800
|The University of Huddersfield ||Tel: 01484 422 288
|The University of Hull||Tel: 01482 466 100
|The University of Kent, Canterbury||Tel: 01227 827 272
|Kings College London (University of London) ||Tel: 0207 836 5454
|Lancaster University, Lancashire ||Tel: 01524 65201
|University of Leicester ||Tel: 0116 252 2522
|University of Lincoln ||Tel: 01522 886 097
|The University of Liverpool || Tel: 0151 794 2000
|London South Bank University ||Tel: 0207 815 7815
|Loughborough University, Leicestershire ||Tel: 01509 222 681
|University of Luton, Bedfordshire ||Tel: 01582 489 286
|The University of Manchester||Tel: 0161 275 2077
|Middlesex University, London||Tel: 0208 411 5555
|University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne ||Tel: 0191 222 5594
|The University of Nottingham||Tel: 0115 951 5151
|Oxford Brookes University, Oxford ||Tel: 01865 484 594
|University of Plymouth, Cornwall||Tel: 01752 232 137
|University of Portsmouth||Tel: 02392 848 484
|The University of Reading ||Tel: 0118 987 5123
|Roehampton University||Tel: 0208 392 3232
|The University of Sheffield||Tel: 0114 222 2000