International Student Requirements & UK Education System

See what the requirements are for you to be able to study here in the UK and get an idea of what the UK's education system looks like.

Student Requirements

EU/EEA Student Requirements

  1. Lived in a European EEA, EU country for the last three years.
  2. Grades for the last two years, please scan everything in good resolution, in colour and in one single PDF document.
  3. Translate the name of the subjects and any other information on your certificates, onto a separate Word document.
  4. Copy or scan your passport, and visas if you have it. (If you are not a European citizen or EEA we will need your parents or guardians passports)
  5. Certificate from IELTS or CAMBRIDGE with a minimum of 6.0 or C1, if you have a lower score, you will have to arrange an interview with us in order to check your level of English.

If you want to know the list of EU and EEA countries, please visit the following link www.gov.uk/eu-eea.

Non-EU/EEA Student Requirements

  1. Have been offered a place on a course (HSDC acceptance letter).
  2. Can speak, read, write and understand English (IELTS 6.0 or Cambridge C1).
  3. Have enough money to support yourself and pay for your course – the amount will vary depending on your circumstances.
  4. Are from a country that’s not in the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland.
  5. Have five GCSEs or the equivalence in the UK to Apply to A Levels.
  6. Don’t have any visa refusals in the past.
  7. If you have an agency, please ask them to send an email to international@hsdc.ac.uk.

For the latest updates on requirements and application rules, visit www.gov.uk/tier-4-general-visa.


What does the UK education system look like?

Primary Education

Primary and secondary education is mandatory in the UK. After age 18, education is optional. Primary education begins in the UK at age five and continues until age 11, comprising key stages one and two under the UK educational system.

Secondary Education

In England, public secondary education consists of a combination of different types of school: academies and comprehensive schools. In England, academies are publicly funded independent schools while co-existing with other types of schools such as grammar schools in some areas. Comprehensive schools largely admit pupils without reference to ability or aptitude. Students will enter secondary school from age 11 to 16, for key stages three and four. This prepares them for GCSEs.

Further Education (HSDC)

Once a student finishes secondary education they have the option to extend into further education to take their A Levels, BTECs, T Levels or other such qualifications. Another option following secondary education is an Apprenticeship. UK students planning to go to college or university must complete further education first.

Higher Education

There are three main levels of Higher Education courses:

  • Postgraduate courses: these lead into higher degrees, diplomas and certificates (including Doctorate, Masters – research and taught). Postgraduate diplomas and certificates and postgraduate certificates of education (PGCE) and professional qualifications are also available and require a first degree as an entry qualification.
  • Undergraduate courses: these include first degrees (honours and ordinary), first degrees obtained concurrently with a diploma and intercalated first degrees.
  • Other undergraduate courses which include all other Higher Education courses, for example, SVQ or NVQ: Level 5, Diploma (HNC/D level for diploma and degree holders), HND (or equivalent), HNC (or equivalent) and SVQ or NVQ: Level 4 and Diplomas in Higher Education.

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