Hand writing on book with British flag and student holding books with graduation hat

How many years do you study in UK universities? Entry age and semester system of UK universities

In recent years, many Hong Kong families have chosen to immigrate, and more and more parents prefer to send their children overseas for education. Among them, due to the long history and mature development of the education system in the UK, as well as its excellent reputation for education services, it has become the first choice for Hong Kong people to study abroad. What is the education system in UK universities like? How many years do you study in UK universities, and what is the entry age? In this article, we will introduce you to the semester system in the UK and help you understand the best time for your child to study abroad.  



Primary, secondary, and university education system in the UK  


It is well known that education in the UK has become very international, and there are many ways for overseas students to study in the UK from primary school to university. The support system is also very complete, with local guardianship, boarding facilities, medical insurance, etc., which allows parents to feel more at ease when sending their children to study abroad.  

The education system in the UK is easy to understand, mainly divided into Year 1-6 primary education stage (ages 5 to 11), Year 7-9 junior high school education stage (ages 11 to 13), Year 10-13 high school stage (ages 14 to 17), and university stage (starting from age 18). 

Classroom full of students

Source: Unsplash

How many years it takes to do a degree in the UK? What is the admission age for university?  


The UK education system are similar to the old Hong Kong education system where it takes 7 years to complete secondary school programmes. For university, most of the degree programmes in England takes 3 years, and 4 years for those in Scotland. Similar to Hong Kong, students are usually 17-18 years old when admitting to universities. In the UK, there are 3 semesters in each academic year, which are Fall term (starts from October), Spring term (starts from January) and Summer term (starts from Mid-April). There are around 10 weeks in each semester.  


Bachelor's degree  


Like most places, UK universities offer bachelor's degrees in humanities (BA), education (BEd), science (BSc), engineering (BEng), and other fields. In England, Wales, and Ireland, the university course system is generally three years, and if the course includes internships or exchange programs, it will be extended to four years. Some specific majors such as medicine and architecture require longer study time.

Lecture hall full of students

Source: Unsplash

Master's degree



The UK's master's degree program is divided into two types: Taught Course and Research Course. In addition to the common Master of Arts (MA) and Master of Science (MSc), there are also programs such as Master of Laws (LLM), Master of Engineering (MEng), and Master of Architecture (MArch). The taught master's program is generally one year, and the research master's program is two years. The taught master's program is basically the same as the general university's teaching model. Students need to attend classes, participate in group discussions, and submit coursework and essays. They also need to take subject exams at the end of the year. The research program mainly focuses on writing research papers, which is more suitable for those who want to continue their studies for a doctoral degree.  



Preparatory courses and bridging courses help students adapt to new learning environments more quickly.  



Students who have completed the public exam in Hong Kong but have not obtained satisfactory results can choose to enrol in the university foundation program or the international first-year course. After completing the preparatory course, students can enrol in the first year of university, and those who complete the international first-year course can enrol in the second year.  



In addition, students who are currently studying for a Higher Diploma (HD) or Associate Degree (ASSO) in Hong Kong can choose to enrol in a top-up degree course. Depending on the course selected by the student, after completion, the student can enrol in the second or third year, which opens the door for students who are unable to study at a local university or who want to complete their degree in the UK.  

After understanding how many years you study in UK universities, the semester system, and entry age, are you interested in studying in the UK?

asian students studying together with Macbook

Source: Unsplash

If you want to know more about the specific ways to study in the UK, please contact us. We will help you prepare for studying abroad! 





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