Even though the UK is a prominent elite study abroad destination, many do not know they can study for free in affordable universities at little or no cost.
From the 2018/2019 Higher Education Statistics Agency, the UK presently has over 485,645 international students.
What this says is that a large number of students are interested in studying in the UK.
But the not-so-good news is that the cost of tuition in the UK is on the high side which makes it one of the limiting factors for most international students.
Like we earlier stated, taking advantage of the free tuition universities in the UK can help you study for free.
Therefore, in this guide, we have come up with possible ways to help you study in the UK for free.
Also, we have put together a list of free tuition universities in the UK.
Furthermore, we have made available all the necessary information to help you make informed decisions on how to study in the UK.
Also, we have made available the different scholarship programs that these schools have put in place for academically excellent and high performing students, including students with financial difficulties.
If that’s what you intend to find, here’s a complete guide for you!!!
Read Also: UK Scholarships
Studying in the United Kingdom
The United Kingdom is undoubtedly one of the most popular destinations for foreign students.
The reason can be traced to its top-ranking universities, pioneering research, and historic culture.
Besides the good scenery, the UK has gained the notoriety of being home to a world-class education.
In these schools, you can study both undergraduate and postgraduate programs.
What’s the Cost of Studying in the UK?
UK universities charge tuition of about £38,000 (~US$53,700) a year.
Actually, this cost is what makes many students seek to study in the UK for free.
Although there are no tuition-free universities in the UK, there are quality schools that levy lower fees.
Also, at Buckinghamshire New University tuition is about £9,500 ($12,682).
Also, the London Metropolitan University charges about £10,000 (~US$14,130) a year for an undergraduate degree.
Can I Study in the UK for Free?
Yes, you can.
Studying for free in the UK is totally possible.
Therefore, all you have to do is pull the right trigger at the right time.
What are the Requirements to Study in UK for free?
When we talk about requirements to study in the UK it’s ideal you know that these requirements are school-specific.
Some universities have their own preference depending on your course and program of study.
Below, you will find a list of general requirements to study in UK universities.
- UK Visa
- Two References
- Your personal statement
- International baccalaureate
- Curriculum vitae (CV) or resume
- Original copies of your qualification
- Fully completed and signed application form.
- English qualification: IELTS or PTE Academic.
Kindly note that when getting your references, one must come from academic personnel, preferably one who has supervised you.
And for the proof of English language proficiency, some schools will prefer IELTS while the others would want TOEFL or PTE.
Therefore, you have to know the one in which your preferred university requires.
Lastly, on the requirements, some schools place a requirement on the age bracket that should apply.
For instance, the University of Cambridge only accepts students who are 21 years and above.
How Can I Study in the UK for Free?
Basically, there are 3 ways to study in the United Kingdom for free.
#1. Early Submission Of Application
The first way to study for free in the United Kingdom is to submit your application early.
Regardless of the kind, of course, you want to take in the UK, it’s best if you applied for it early.
The reason is that most UK universities receive over 40,000+ applications each year.
Therefore, to stand a chance, you have to enrol on time.
For submission of undergraduate applications, you can easily submit via the Universities and College Admissions Service portal or UCAS.
However, if you’re planning to apply for Medicine or Dentistry in Oxford or Cambridge, you need to complete your application as early as October.
Other course applications, January 15 whereas Art or design programs can submit as late as March.
Although most UK universities accept undergraduate applications until June 30, as we’ve said, it’s best for you to apply early.
Graduate students’ requirements and deadlines are university dependent.
#2. Studying Through Fundings And Scholarships.
Another way to study for free in the UK is studying through fundings and scholarships.
Are there scholarships in the UK?
Yes, a lot of them.
Also, some independent organisations offer a lot of scholarships for international students.
Some of these scholarships include;
- GREAT scholarship
- Chevening scholarship
- Commonwealth scholarship.
However, some of these scholarships are school-specific.
Scholarships for undergraduate students to study for free in the UK
#1. University of Oxford
- Hill Foundation Scholarship – for Russians
- Bright Oceans Corporation Scholarship – for Chinese in Math, Physics, or Life Science.
- Palgrave Brown Scholarship – for Eastern European students
- Reach Oxford Scholarship – students from any developing country.
- Simon and June Li Scholarship – for 2 students from developing countries.
#2. University of Cambridge
- Carlos and Gabriela Rodriguez-Pastor Scholarship – all Latin American students
- Khazanah Cambridge Scholarship – for Malaysian students who wish to study Bioscience, Business, Economics, Law, Public Health, Material Science, Finance, or Nanotechnology.
- Prince Philip Scholarship – for Hong Kongese students.
- Rowan Williams Cambridge Scholarship – students must come from a country dealing with conflict, prosecution, discrimination, or human rights abuse.
#3. University of Warwick
- The University of Warwick offers the Global Excellence Scholarship to 20 students to study for free in the UK.
#4. University of St. Andrews
- International Excellence Scholarship – open to gifted international students.
- Davis United World College Scholarship – open to American students.
- Bermuda to St. Andrews Scholarship – open to Bermudan undergraduate students.
- SOCAR Scholarship – only to students from Azerbaijan.
#5. University of Bristol
- Through the Think Big Scholarship, students can study for free in the UK. It covers the fees for the entire undergraduate stay at Bristol.
#6. Teesside University
- Teesside University offers 3 Commonwealth scholarship slots to students which will cover the full tuition fees.
#7. University Arts London
To study for free in the UK you can take advantage of UAL’s full undergraduate scholarship programs offered to students in their final year of study.
- Xintiandi Scholarship for Chinese/Hong Kongese Fashion Design students.
- JNBY Scholarship
- Grand Prix LVMH Scholarship for any BA Fashion Design students.
Scholarships for graduate students to study for free in the UK
#1. Oxford University
- Dulverton Scholarship – open to European and Sub-Saharan African students
- Jardine-Oxford Graduate Scholarship – available to certain Asian students
- Michael Wills Scholarship – open to African students.
- Oxford-Brunsfield ASEAN Human Rights Graduate Scholarships – given to ASEAN country students.
#2. University of Birmingham
- Chevening scholarship.
- Commonwealth scholarship
- Japan/World Bank Graduate Scholarship program.
#3. Nottingham Trent University
NTU scholarships are usually partial scholarships for international students.
But on the flip side, you can find full scholarship programs to help LLM students coming from Sub-Saharan Africa study for free in the UK.
#4. Royal College of Art
RCA offers a handful of partial scholarship programs for Master’s students, some of which are the Liu Ling Scholarship.
Scholarships for PhD Students To Study for Free in the UK
#1. Oxford University
- Hill Foundation Scholarship – for Russian Federation students
- All Souls Hugh Springer Graduate Scholarship – for Caribbean students
- Oxford-E P Abraham Research Fund Graduate Scholarship – 3 slots open for students who wish to take a DPhil in Molecular Cell Biology in Health and Disease.
- Oxford-Taiwan Graduate Scholarship – for Taiwanese students
- Jardine-Oxford Graduate Scholarship – available to certain Asian students
- Dulverton Scholarship – given to European and Sub-Saharan African doctoral students
- Oxford-Berman Graduate Scholarship – open to Ph.D. candidates in Physics.
Through either of these ways, you might not spend a dime from your pocket for tuition.
And that makes studying in the UK without breaking the bank very possible.
#3. Studying in any of the affordable universities in the UK.
One of the ways to study in the UK for free is by studying in affordable or cheap universities.
Also, most of the universities in the UK have a high cost of tuition.
However, there is a handful that is pretty affordable and can help international students achieve their dream of studying in the UK.
Below is a list of affordable universities in the UK and their average tuition cost;
- Coventry University: £11,900 ($16,630)
- University of Suffolk: £10,000 ($12,900)
- University of Plymouth: £11,000 ($14,540)
- Ravensbourne University: £10,800 (12,500)
- University of Sunderland: £10,500 ($13,440)
- The University Of Cumbria: £10,500 ($13,440)
- The University of Cambridge: £10,500 ($13,440)
- Royal Agricultural University: £10,000 ($13,200)
- University Of West Of Scotland: £10,500 ($13,440)
- Buckinghamshire New University: £11,000 ($14,540)
Read Also: 39 Best Law Schools in UK and Ranking
Now you can see that studying in the UK for free is totally possible.
However, you have to make do with these cheap and affordable universities in the UK.
Have you studied in the UK for free?
Let us know your thoughts in the comment section.