International Student Applications: What You Need To Know

Specialist Applications, UCAS

22nd November 2020

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International students make up almost 20% of the entire UK university student body, with a further 20% of UK university staff coming from international backgrounds1. Students from overseas offer a wealth of valuable knowledge and cultural diversity to our student population here. With prestigious world academic rankings and the widespread reputation of a UK education, UK universities continue to be a popular choice for European Union (EU) and non-EU students alike.

With Brexit changes and the host of COVID-19-related travel restrictions that are in play at the moment, applying for study as an international student in 2021 may seem like a confusing prospect. The fundamental principles and opportunities for international students applying for university programmes in the 2021 academic year remain the same, but there are some changes to the application process due to Britain’s exit from the EU.


Although Brexit may seem like it has been going on a while, the biggest changes to international students will come in after the end of the year. International undergraduate students living in Britain and hoping to study here further in 2021 may have understandable concerns about applying for Master’s and PhD programmes post-Brexit. Here are some key points about the changes and consistencies associated with the Brexit process:


  • All current EU students will continue to have the right to live in the UK up until December 31st 2020, with citizens of the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland who are residing in the UK on or before this date advised to apply for the UE Settlement Scheme.


  • #The UK government are introducing a points-based immigration system and new routes for visa applications for international students are now open. Prospective students will require 70 points to be granted leave.


  • Outside of university capacity, there will be no limits placed on the number of international students who can come and study in the UK.


Ultimately, although the process has changed, you should still feel confident to apply for postgraduate and undergraduate study. The cultural awareness, independence and networking opportunities that have broadened the horizons of international students studying in the UK year on year speak for themselves and when it comes to the application, we’re here to help. More information about changing immigration routes for students can be found here.

The Course Application

The application route for courses commencing in 2021 will remain largely consistent with previous years. Like previous years, new undergraduate applicants hoping to apply and move to the UK for the 2021 season are expected to submit applications to UCAS by January 15th 2021 and Master’s applications will continue to operate through respective university systems.

Within such a competitive sector of university applications, it is vital to crack the personal statement. For any given course, you may be going up against other international students with similarly high grades or professional experiences and the personal statement is your opportunity to really set yourself aside from others. Here at Oxbridge Personal Statements, we are experienced at crafting templates for those aspiring to academic excellence and this is particularly vital if English is not your first language. From the applications team’s perspective, if they have a stack of applications of academically fit individuals, they will look for things to discount people and if your statement does not read in a flowing and purposeful way, this may make the difference between a student slot being offered to you or another applicant.

We endeavour to blend the statement’s technical demands with the unique elements that make you who you are. Whether your enthusiasm to study here stems from the UK’s academic reputation, magnificent university cities or status as a knowledge hub of Europe, we’re here to help at every stage of the application.


1Universities UK International. International Facts and Figures. 2019. Sourced from: [Accessed 17/11/2020].