Programs in the United Kingdom


Science and Technology Information

Information about UK’s S&T initiatives can be gained from the following resources:

Council for Science and Technology (CST)

Advises the government on developing science, engineering, technology and mathematics (STEM) in the UK, improving STEM education and making more effective use of research and scientific advice.

Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS)

The department for economic growth. BIS invests in skills and education to promote trade, boost innovation and help people to start and grow a business. It’s a ministerial department, supported by 49 agencies and public bodies including:


Education System

The process for continuation on to institutions of higher education is the same for all four countries comprising the United Kingdom. After the completion of Secondary Education, students must take the General Certificate of Secondary Education examinations, which mark the end of compulsory education. If they are determined ready to enter institutions of higher education, they can choose to complete a Bachelor’s degree, which can be obtained by completing a three year program. (Scottish universities generally require a longer attendance—typically 4 years—for the completion of a Bachelor’s degree.)

After receiving a Bachelor’s degree, further education is available in the form of Master’s degrees and Doctoral degrees. A Master’s degree can be completed in four years, and a Doctoral with an additional three.

To get more information on the education systems of the UK, please refer to the Eurydice Network website which provides information on and analyses of European education systems and policies and is based within the Education, Audiovisual & Cultural Executive Agency of the European Commission.

The Education system differs between the nations of England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland. Here, we will focus on each individually:

Education System in England

The education system is divided into: Nursery (ages 3–4), Primary Education (ages 4–11), Secondary Education (ages 11–18), and Tertiary Education (ages 18+).

Full-time education is compulsory for all children aged between 5 and 16, with a child beginning primary education during the school year he or she turns 5. Grades are referred to as “forms”, and are completed in one academic year.

Education System in Northern Ireland

The education system is divided into: Primary Education (ages 4–11), Secondary Education (ages 11–18), and Tertiary Education (ages 18+).

Full-time education is compulsory for all children aged between 5 and 16, with a child beginning primary education during the school year he or she turns 5.

Education System in Wales

The education system is divided into: Primary Education (ages 5–11), Secondary Education (ages 11-16), and Tertiary Education (ages 16+).

Students are wholly or partially educated using the Welsh language. Education is compulsory beginning with the term following the child's fifth (third in Wales) birthday, but may take place at either home or school.

Education System in Scotland

The education system is divided into: Primary Education (ages 4–11), Secondary Education (ages 11-16), and Tertiary Education (ages 16+).


Visa Information

The type of visa depends on the purpose of visit. The UK issues visas for the following:

  • Visit: a short stay (generally of up to 6 months) in the UK.
  • Study: a course of study at a UK school, university or college.
  • Work: paid or unpaid (voluntary) work for an employer in the UK.
  • Join Family: coming to the UK, with the aim of staying for a long period or permanently, as the partner or family member of a British citizen or someone who has (or is applying for) temporary or indefinite permission to stay here.
  • Transit: passing through the UK on your way to another country (including countries within the Common Travel Area), without staying in the UK.

For more details, contact the nearest UK Consulate or refer to the UK Border Agency website.