The United Kingdom is made up of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. It has a long history as a major player in international affairs and fulfils an important role in the EU, UN and Nato.
The United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world’s sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP and eighth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It was the world’s first industrialised country and the world’s foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power with considerable economic, cultural, military, scientific and political influence internationally.
The UK has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946. It has been a member of the European Union and its predecessor the European Economic Community since 1973; it is also a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G8, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the World Trade Organization.
England is part of the United Kingdom (along with Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland). It is situated to the west of Eurasia and has an extensive coastline. Such a positioning is responsible for its fairly complex climate, which demonstrates the meeting of the dry continental air and the moist maritime air. This creates rather large differences in temperature ranges and also leads to the occurrence of several ‘seasons’ over the course of one day.
Generally speaking, the parts of England closest to the Atlantic Ocean experience the mildest temperatures, although these are also the wettest and experience the most wind. The areas in the east, on the other hand, are drier and less windy, but also display cooler temperatures.
England is warmer and sunnier than any of the other countries making up the United Kingdom. The month with the most sunshine is July, which is also England’s driest month.
On average, the sun shines for about 1340 hours every year in England. The south coast has the clearest skies (i.e. the least cloud cover) due to the prevailing winds in that area. This means that counties like Kent and Sussex benefit from significantly more sunshine, attracting local and international visitors to their shores. The cloudiest areas are in the northern and western parts of England as well as in the mountainous areas.
Britain has four distinct seasons of fairly equal length – spring, summer, autumn and winter. In winter it is colder and wetter and the days are shorter than in summer.
Different parts of the UK experience slightly different regional climates. These can be summarised as:
- North East – cool summers, cold winters, steady rain all year
- North West – cool summers, mild winters, heavy rain all year
- South East – warm summers, mild winters, light rain all year, especially summer
- South West – warm summers, mild winters, heavy rain all year, especially winter
- The UK is one of the world’s top destinations for university study. Each year, more and more international students from over 180 different countries are choosing to pursue their higher education in a UK university or college.
- British qualifications are recognised internationally and valued by employers throughout the world. As well as academic qualifications, you can choose from a wide range of vocational (i.e. career based) courses, many designed and awarded by recognised industry bodies and world class companies.
- According to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings (2010), the UK is home to half the top 10 universities in Europe and the universities of Oxford, Cambridge and London are ranked amongst the top 10 in the world.
- Although the UK has only 1% of the world’s population, it undertakes 5% of the world’s scientific research and produces 14% of the world’s most highly cited academic papers. By studying in the UK, you have the opportunity to graduate from one of the best education systems in the world!
- Most undergraduate degrees in the UK take three years and masters degrees take one, compared to four years and two years respectively in many countries. So you could save time and money by studying in the UK.
- If your course is longer than 6 months, your student visa will permit you to work in the UK to support your studies.
- Students have access to free health care on the National Health Service.
- Although London can be expensive, many of the UK’s leading institutions are based outside London where the cost of living is much lower. Cities in the North of England, in particular, are considerably less expensive.
- Daniel Craig – Actor
- Rowan Atkinson (Mr Bean) – Actor
- Hugh Grant – Actor
- Sir Richard Branson – Business Magnate (Virgin Group)
- Robbie Williams – Singer
- David Beckham – Athlete (Football)
- Jamie Oliver – Celebrity Chef
- Catherine Zeta Jones – Actor
- The Beatles – Rock Band
- Kate Winslet – Actor
- Marine Chronometer
- Chocolate Bar
- World Wide Web (Internet)
- Tin Can
- Thermos Flask
- French was the official language for about 300 years.
- There is nowhere in Britain that is more than 74.5 miles from the sea.
- London used to be the largest and most influential city in the world. With a population of 12 million, it remains the largest city in Europe.
- The English drink more tea than anyone else in the world.
- London is the world’s largest financial centre.
- Windsor Castle is the oldest and largest royal residence in the world still in use. It was originally constructed in 1070 and rebuilt in stone in 1170.
- London is the first city in the world to have an underground subway system.
- British police do not carry guns except in emergencies..
- Founded in 1534, Cambridge University Press is the world’s oldest printing and publishing house, and the second largest university press in the world.
- About 25% of Londoners were born outside of the UK and can speak over 300 different languages.
- Up to 10 hours / week during term time if attending a Publicly Funded College
- Up to 20 hours / week during term time if attending University
- Up to 40 hours / week during holidays
- Students attending Private Colleges are not allowed to work in the UK
- Minimum Wage: £6.31/ hour
The UK no longer has a post study work scheme. However, provided you have studied a course of at least 12 months in length, your Tier 4 visa should expire four months after your course completion date.
During this four month period you can work full time provided you have finished your course, including handing in all outstanding course work and dissertations.
At the end of the four months you must either leave the UK, or have applied for another visa. If you apply for a work visa (Tier 2), you may continue to work full time while the UKBA processes this.
* The information above may be subject to change. Please refer to http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/ for the most up to date information
LNAT Exam – Law Aptitute Test – Required by some Universities for entry onto an Undergraduate Law Course. Please refer to http://www.lnat.ac.uk/ for more information.
UKCAT exam – UK Clinical AptituteTest – Required by most Universities for entry onto Medicine Course. Please refer to http://www.ukcat.ac.uk/ for more information
Please get in touch with the PTC Team!
Currency: Poung Sterling or GBP £
Country Dialing Code: +44
Countries in UK: England, Scotland, Wales, Northen Ireland
Neighbouring Countries: Ireland, France, Belgium, Netherlands