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Home / Higher Education / Education System Of Uk

Education System of UK

Resource for the latest information of Education System of UK. It contains useful information of Education System of UK along with guide to Study Abroad, Universities, Scholarships, Application Documentation, Student Visa process and Student Life.

Education System of UK

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Students come to study in the UK at many ages and many overseas students attend high school in the UK before proceeding on to higher education ie Universities and Colleges. Full-time education is compulsory up to the age of 16 and is provided by state-funded and independent, full fee-charging schools. State-funded schools follow the National UK Curriculum.

Independent schools follow a very similar curriculum as well as having their own special areas of expertise.

Preparatory & primary education in the UK

Preparatory education provides basic instruction across a broad range of subjects.

Students normally do two Key Stage tests as part of the National Curriculum at the age of seven (Key Stage 1) and at the age of 11 (Key Stage 2).

Overseas students can enter preparatory education as boarders, at the age of seven and go on to an independent school for their secondary education at the age of 12 or older.

Secondary education in the UK

Secondary education is for pupils aged between 11 and 16.

General education in the UK continues across a wide range of subjects until students are aged 14.

They then continue with Maths, English, and science, and choose additional subjects to study for the GCSE (SCE Standard-grade in Scotland).

These courses take about two years and finish with exams at the age of 16.

The common age of entry for international students is usually 12 years, with other preparatory students moving into secondary education.

At the end of compulsory education, students have the choice of either leaving studies to begin working or moving onwards to post-16 education.

Post-16 education in the UK

Students who want to proceed to a degree course in Higher Education stay in secondary education until the age of 17 or 18.

They then complete A-levels in three or more subjects.

Many schools offer International Baccalaureate as an alternative to A-levels.

Students who want to train for a particular career pathway can choose from a broad range of vocational and technical courses, which are offered by Further Education (FE) institutions, colleges and schools.

Further Education institutions can be state-funded or independently funded. They are all permitted to admit overseas students.

State-funded Further Education institutions include:

Sixth-form colleges
Colleges of Further Education
Tertiary Colleges
Specialist Colleges
Colleges of Further and Higher Education.

Independent Further Education colleges offer a smaller range of courses than the state sector institutions.

In addition to vocational/technical qualifications, many Further Education institutions offer GCSEs , A-levels, the International Baccalaureate and Foundation courses in order to prepare students for Higher Education degree courses.

Post-18 education in the UK

There are three main types of education available to students over the age of 18 in the UK:

Vocational/Technical courses
Degree courses
Postgraduate study.

Degree courses and postgraduate study are usually called Higher Education (HE).

Most professional courses, such as accountancy, finance, pharmacy, dentistry, law, medicine, etc, are offered at the Higher Education level.

Degree courses lead to the award of a Bachelor's degree (or, a Master's degree). They are available from Higher Education institutions (universities, Higher Education colleges and institutions) and some Further Education institutions.

Universities range in size of student numbers from less than 3,000 students to over 15,000, and teach a broad range of courses.

Higher Education colleges and institutions are usually smaller than the universities.

Many offer similar programmes to the universities whilst others specialise in specific subjects.

Postgraduate study offers a pathway to postgrad certificates and diplomas, Master's degrees and doctorates.

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