Before you decide to study in the UK, there are a few things and facts you should know. 

Putting all the information together can be a bit exhausting, so here’s a short introduction to how it all works here in the United Kingdom.



So, an undergraduate degree is the first level of higher education. Mostly everywhere. In the UK, it lasts three or four years, with possible placement year or international exchange year.


Each and every one of those years is divided into terms or semesters (minor differences, but don’t worry about that). Autumn term lasts until December, generally before everyone leaves for Christmas break, and the exam period for Autumn term is throughout January. 

Spring term starts in February and lasts until approximately April and its exam period lasts throughout May. 


So technically, if you get done everything in time, you might start your summer vacation as early as June.


Once you’ve completed your Undergraduate or Bachelor’s degree, you will be a recent graduate. And if you wish, you can proceed to continue with graduate degrees.



Graduate degree is a term that might confuse students, but it generally relates to Master degree. Once you’ve finished your Bachelor’s, you can enroll in a Master degree which lasts one year. There are two types of Master’s – taught and research degree. It mostly depends on the course you decide to study. Taught Masters graduates get a title of MPhil, MSc or MA, whereas Research Masters graduates get a title of MReS



Postgraduate degree is everything above Master’s, i.e. doctorate. Doctorates in the UK last three year full time and six years part time. Although everyone thinks of PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) when someone mentions doctorate, there are other degrees as well, depending on your course of study. Other types of doctorate are called Professional or practice-based doctorates and they include EdD, DBA, DSocSci, DProf, etc as titles of a person that finishes the degree.


Bologna system

UK Universities are part of the Bologna system since it was launched in 1999, as are most of the European universities. If you’re really interested what that means feel free to explore more here, but what really matters is how that process affects your studies. The Bologna process brought ECTS grading points, which makes grades (1-10 or A-F) a bit less recognizable. In the UK, ECTS points are being counted as double compared to European mainland universities, which means that 60 European ECTS points (one semester value) equates to 120 points in the UK. ECTS grading scale matches these success percentage scores:


Degree Class Percentage Score ETCS Grade
First-Class Degree 70% -100% A
Upper Second-Class Degree 60% – 69% B
Lower Second-Class Degree 50% -59% C
Third Class Degree 40% -49% D


Degree class is also a UK thing, with First-Class and Upper Second-Class degree being the most successful ones that are necessary for further education, i.e. Masters or Doctorate degree. So if you’re willing to study all the degrees available, you might want to aim for the high scores. 


This information can be quite confusing and seem like too much to handle all at once. We would recommend just focus on your studies, do your exams and essays the best you can, and you’ll pick up everything else on the way. You can always contact us for further information.