How do I get into university in the UK?

If you are a student from outside of the United Kingdom and English is not your mother-tongue language, then to get into university in the UK, you will need to prove that your English level is high enough before you make an application to a degree course.


The most common qualification to show that you have good Academic English is the Cambridge IELTS exam. To apply for most undergraduate courses, you will need an IELTS score/result of 5.5 or 6.0 or maybe even higher. This is the equivalent of a strong Upper Intermediate level of English. The IELTS exam tests your English reading, writing, speaking and listening skills, so you must be good at everything. For more details on what you do in the IELTS test, please CLICK HERE.

If you want to study some “more difficult” undergraduate subjects like Medicine, Physics, Chemistry etc, the university will ask for a higher IELTS requirement of perhaps 7.0 or more. Of course, the best universities like Oxford and Cambridge will also demand a very high IELTS score to be considered for entry on to their undergraduate courses.

Post graduate courses sometimes also have a 6.5 IELTS requirement or higher. So, the first thing to do is to look at the web page of university courses you are interested in studying – they will always say (usually at the top of the page) the IELTS requirement for that course for non-native speakers of English.

You should also start studying English on a high quality IELTS course, so that you can get a good IELTS score. A lot of students leave it to the last minute to begin studying IELTS, maybe only 2 weeks before the test and then are very disappointed when they do not get the IELTS result they need. Please look at this article (with video) which explains how long it takes to go up 1 IELTS band score.


SGI runs a 6-month and 9-month university foundation course leading to placement at a British university.

Every student who has successfully completed this English course has gone on to study at a UK university. Some of our students have gone on to study at the following universities: Oxford university, The University of Westminster, University College London, Saint Martins College of Art and Design, Middlesex university, London Metropolitan university, London College of Fashion, University of Manchester, Kingston University Roehampton University London and many more.

The SGI syllabus is comprehensive. You will study Academic English and IELTS exam preparation lessons in the mornings. There is a strong focus on IELTS, as this is an essential factor in successful university entrance. The SGI teachers will also help you to improve your note-taking in lectures, essay planning preparation and writing, quantitative analysis and seminar practice, so that you have skills in place for the start of your degree course.

During the afternoon classes, you will cover British culture, economics, business and geopolitics in the afternoons.

One of the best features of the course is the help you receive from your individual personal tutor. They will assist you in all your academic needs, give advice on any issues and generally be a helping friend to you during all your time with us at SGI. Your tutor will also give you brilliant advice on how to complete your UCAS application form.


What is UCAS?

To apply for any course in a British university, first you must complete an UCAS form. UCAS means Universities and College Admissions Service.

On the UCAS form you state which are your top 5 choices for degree courses at different universities.

What is the UCAS Personal Statement?

You also have to give all your education history and you must write a personal statement. The personal statement is there for you to describe everything about you, your personality, your interests, your past responsibilities and/ successes and your ambitions.

This is your chance to show your top pick universities why you are such a brilliant choice for them.

How long is the Personal Statement?

You must write everything in a maximum of 4000 characters. A ‘character’ is 1 letter of the alphabet or a space in between words.

This means that you have just under 50 lines to write about the best bits of you.

At SGI, your personal tutor from the University Foundation Course will help, advise and check your UCAS form with you. You will have discussions with your tutor on the best kind of degree course for you. You can also check the written drafts of your personal statement with your SGI tutor and use their experience to make sure that your personal statement says all the right things about you.

This video below has clear and excellent advice on all aspects of the UCAS application process and how to complete your form.


SEPTEMBER 2015 START: The 9-month course begins on 14th September, 2015.

(The 6-month course starts on 4th January, 2016.)

To make an enquiry about any of the above courses, please contact Linda Colney in the SGI school office

Linda’s Email is:

…or you can call her on the phone number that you can see at the top of this webpage.

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A leading ‘English as a foreign language’​ school in London helping you meet your learning objectives in the shortest time.

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