New Layer New Layer

Education system in the UK

The UK is globally recognised for its teaching excellence. Let’s find out why.

When it comes to world university rankings, the UK has a proven track record. In the 2017-18 Times Higher Education World University Rankings, the University of Oxford and University of Cambridge rank number one and two respectively, with Imperial College London at number eight. Across all global ranking systems, criteria and fields of study, the UK ranks highly for quality of education, student satisfaction and global reputation.

The country also enjoys a great reputation for innovation and world-class research, where you will benefit from the latest facilities alongside a long-standing academic tradition. Many students choose to pursue their higher studies in the UK to also enhance their English language skills and improve their employability.

How it works?

Within the UK, responsibility for education is delegated to each of the four jurisdictions: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. There are differences between the four countries in the educational systems in place, the qualifications offered, and how these are regulated. The differences are most pronounced in general and secondary education. As a result, there are several different qualifications and credit frameworks.

Qualifications framework

There are two parallel frameworks for higher education qualifications of UK degree-awarding bodies, one that applies to Scotland and one that operates in the rest of the UK. These are:

  • The Framework for Higher Education Qualifications of Degree Awarding Bodies in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (FHEQ)
  • The Framework for Qualifications of Higher Education Institutions in Scotland (FQHEIS).


These frameworks are the principal national reference points for academic standards in UK higher education. There are 160 universities and colleges in the UK that are permitted to award a wide variety of degrees to suit most educational aspirations.

Fee structure

Tuition fees for UK higher education and further education courses vary, depending on:

  • Where in the UK you choose to study (there are different rules for England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales)
  • Your study level