You are now starting a new academic phase which is the culmination of your hard work thus far. It is a completely different phase to the earlier ones, nonetheless should be complementary to them.
It is a new life experience that will shape your personality in terms of skills acquired and the challenges to be faced and through which you would learn and explore yourself and potential.
Freedom and independence are the first things that come to one’s mind when travelling alone and away from home, however, with these also a sense of responsibility is expected. Your country expects your valuable contribution to its progress and prosperity. We hope that the coming years will be of great benefit and value at academic and personal levels alike.
What you need to do before travelling
It is very important to register on the Cultural office website via Login & Registration. You should upload your personal and academic details on kcouk.org before you set off to the UK, and as soon as your scholarship is approved. Make sure you know the location of the college/university you have been enrolled at, so that your academic advisor can assist you and follow up on your case before you arrive in the city/town where you will study. This would also facilitate contact with us should you need to enquire about how to get to your place of study, and will help in saving time to open a file for you.
We strongly advise you to have a sufficient amount of money to cover your accommodation and personal expenses for the first two weeks, until procedures of opening a bank account and money transferred from the Cultural Office into your account are completed.
Recommendations on airport procedures
Please prepare the following documents upon arrival and before meeting the immigration officer:
- Boarding card which is normally distributed in the airplane, after filling out the required information.
- Passport with the visa page
- A copy of the University/College offer letter
- The address of residence in the place you are going to study in.
Higher education in UK
BA (Bachelor Degree)
This stage usually lasts for three years to study towards the award of a Bachelor degree (e.g.: BA, BEng, BSc…). However, some bachelor programmes take longer (e.g. MEng, MPharm, etc). Whereas disciplines such as: Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Science range between 5 and 6 years of study. In Scotland, the education system is completely different as there is an extra year to study at all universities. The student has to study a foundation year followed by 4 years of study.
Most Masters programmes are one-year, full time, taught programmes. They involve examination of taught modules/ subjects and a short dissertation to be completed following successful completion of the taught part.
PhD (Doctor of Philosophy):
A PhD is usually awarded following completion of three years’ further studies beyond the Masters degree and successfully presenting a thesis for the doctorate in Philosophy (DPhil or PhD). At the end of this period the student is required to undertake a thesis defence called Viva to gain the PhD award.
Stages of Undergraduate studies
This is the language stage which is required for the students whose English language competence needs to be improved in order to meet the university entry requirement. Students will need to pass an IELTS test and score 5.5 or the equivalent score in TOEFL (please check the language entry requirement for your course).
Students undertake a course of English Language skills and take an IELTS exam or equivalent. The required score differs from one university to another and from one programme of study to another. Students should check the score level required by the university they are interested in.
This is a one year preparation course especially designed for overseas students and helps enhancing students study skills. This year is not counted in your degree course as it is considered as “year zero”
This stage consists of studying an undergraduate degree programme at a university approved by the KCO (please check KCO website). This undergraduate course is studied over 3 years in England and Wales and 4 years in Scotland- depending on the discipline. However, Medicine and Dentistry, for example, take longer to complete.
University & Colleges Admission Services (UCAS)
This service helps people to apply for university courses in the UK. Students can apply for foundation and 1 year of their university degree through their website www.ucas.com
The site explains how to apply for each type of course, the entry requirement for these courses and the documents to be provided for enrolment. You have to be aware of the registration deadline and make sure you contact the Cultural Office to check whether the University of your Choice is approved.
The academic year in the UK runs usually from September till June. Very few run from January till August.
If students are not satisfied with any of the decisions taken by the university regarding their studies, they can lodge an appeal. There are set procedures for appeals (please check with student offices)
Students must attend all their classes. The Cultural Office monitors attendance registers for each student very closely. The Cultural Office is usually notified of any absence especially if there was not a good reason to justify it. In this case the student gets a warning. Attendance should not be lower than 80% and if it goes below that and the absence re-occurs, the administration department of the institution contacts the Cultural office and other relevant parties.
Students are expected to maintain high level of self-conduct, in and out of lectures. Educational institutions have a zero tolerance policy towards any inappropriate conduct at any level. If the Cultural Office receives an official complaint, it will be reported to the sponsor to take the relevant actions.
It consists of a transitional programme usually called “Foundation Programme”, but it can also go under the title of “Access Programme”.
Foundation year is a one-year intensive course that leads to entry to a wide range of universities in the United Kingdom. However, it is not counted in the number of years the actual university course will take. It is usually referred to as “Year Zero”. However, passing this year is crucial, in order to secure a place at the course of your choice.
UK Grading System
A= 70% +
F=39% and below
International Student Office
Most universities have an International Student’s Office where free advice can be obtained on matters such as visa, accommodation, and life in the UK in general.
If a student is absent for a medical reason, he/she should provide a medical certificate from their doctor. If the health problem is likely to prevent you from sitting the exam, you should present this certificate as soon as possible. Please check the regulations at your university in this regard.
An academic year is usually run in three terms. Some universities/departments which follow a modular programmes structure, students are assessed on the basis of their performance in each module as prescribed by the rules and regulations of their department.
These rules and regulations differ from one department to another and from one discipline to another. Students have, therefore, to check with their tutors regarding those rules and regulations.
Once the student is enrolled, a personal tutor is allocated for him/her, to advise and monitor their work throughout the academic year.
Plagiarism and cheating
Plagiarism and cheating in exams are taken very seriously and the student is held accountable and therefore has to suffer the consequences. Students must ensure that they do not copy other students’ work, from the internet or any other source. In case the student uses material from the internet or from any written material (hard copy) it should be referred to in a clear and academic way.
The student is not officially registered until he/she completes all the official registration procedure required by the university. He will then be issued a Student ID card which allows him to access the university’s library and other facilities within the university.
Students can usually re-sit exams in August for any module they scored less than 40 %.( please check the procedures followed by your university and how the re-sit grades are calculated).
Academic transcript which is an official document listing students’ academic performance and progress is issued at the end of the academic year.
Student counselling Service
Each university has a team of trained counsellors who can provide counselling to students who might suffer from stress or any other types of problems.
Students must carry their personal ID at all times. If it is lost or stolen, they should apply for a replacement card from the Students’ Services Centre at the university.
Students receive their timetable and the exams schedule either by email allocated to each student at an educational institution and/or handed by the educational department.