Cheapest Postgraduate Courses In UK For International Students

Cheapest Postgraduate Courses In UK For International Students

Cheapest Postgraduate Courses In UK For International Students

The United Kingdom is a world leader in higher education, with universities and colleges consistently ranking high among the best in the world. Studying postgraduate in the UK has many benefits, such as short course duration, high quality of teaching and research, a wide range of available programs, and post-study work opportunities.

Despite all these advantages, international students often face several financial challenges, including high tuition fees, living expenses, and very competitive scholarship and financial aid opportunities. The cheapest postgraduate courses in UK for international students can solve this problem.

Benefits of Studying in the UK for International Students

High-Quality Education and World-Renowned Institutions

The UK is well-known for its high-quality education and world-renowned universities. It has some of the world’s best universities, including Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial College London, and UCL. These universities offer high-quality teaching and research opportunities, and employers worldwide respect their degrees. You can make your career anywhere in the world with a degree from a UK university.

Cultural Exposure and Networking Opportunities                                            

The United Kingdom is a multicultural country with a rich history and culture. International students studying in the UK can learn about British culture and meet people from all over the world. As a result, you will have exposure to different cultures. You can also create a network with professionals in your field and build relationships that can help you after they graduate.

Opportunity for Work Experiences through Internships and Part-Time Jobs

As an international student studying in the United Kingdom, you are eligible to work part-time while studying. There, you can work up to 20 hours weekly during semesters and full-time during vacations. You can also apply for internships and other work experiences. It’s a great way to gain practical field experience and improve your employability after graduation.


Overview of Postgraduate Tuition Fees in the UK

How tuition fees vary by course and university

Generally, tuition fees for postgraduation in the UK are higher than those for undergraduate courses. The cost of postgraduation programs varies based on course, university, duration, and location of the university. For example, tuition fees for business, medical, and engineering are typically higher than tuition fees for humanities and social science programs.

Again, top-ranked and prestigious universities have higher tuition fees compared to lower-ranked universities. For example, universities like Oxford and Cambridge have significantly higher tuition fee structures for their postgraduate programs than universities that are lower ranked.

The following table shows the difference in postgraduate tuition fees at various universities:

UniversityAnnual Tuition Fees
University of Oxford£29,000-£59,000
Imperial College London£29,000-£54,500
University of Manchester£19,000-£34,000

The Difference in Fees for UK/EU Students vs. International Students

The UK government subsidizes tuition fees for UK and EU students. So, tuition fees for UK and EU students are lower than those of international students. Generally, EU students enjoy the same tuition fee structure as UK local students.

However, there are some exceptions to this rule. International students from some specific countries like India and Malaysia have the same tuition fee structure as UK and EU students at certain universities. Plus, many scholarships are available for international students that help them cover tuition fees and living expenses.

Factors that Affect the Cost of Postgraduate Courses

Course Duration and Type

The duration and type of a course can have a significant impact on tuition fees. For example, a one-year taught master’s degree course is typically more expensive compared to a two-year research master’s degree. This is because taught master’s degrees typically involve more coursework and less research.

On the other hand, research master’s programs typically involve more independent research under the supervision of a faculty member. Students do not have to take as many courses as a taught master program. Plus, students may also have access to funding from their supervisor or the university.

Location of the University

A university’s location can also severely impact the tuition fee of a postgraduate course. For example, postgraduate courses at universities in London are typically more expensive compared to postgraduate courses at universities in other cities in the UK. This is because living expenses in London are significantly higher than in other parts of the UK.

Prestige of the Institution

The prestige of the institution also affects the cost of a postgraduate course. For example, postgraduate courses at prestigious and top-ranked universities like Oxford and Cambridge are typically more expensive than those at lower-ranked universities. It’s because top-ranked universities have a higher reputation for academic excellence and can attract higher tuition fees from students.


Top 5 Affordable Postgraduate Courses in the UK for International Students

MSc in Public Health

A postgraduate degree in MSc Public Health is designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills they need to work in the field of public health. It teaches students about the social determinants of health, health policy, and program planning and evaluation. The course covers topics like epidemiology, biostatistics, health policy, and health promotion.

Several universities offer this course, including the University of Leeds, the University of Manchester, the University of Liverpool, the University of Edinburgh, and the University of Glasgow. Estimated tuition fees for this course are £11,500 to £15,000 per year.

MSc in Education

This postgraduate course covers a wide range of topics related to education, including educational theory, teaching and learning, research methods, and curriculum and assessment. It is an excellent option for students who want to make a career in teaching, educational research, or educational policy.

Universities offering this course include the University of London, University of Birmingham, University of Bristol, University of Nottingham, and University of Sheffield. The estimated tuition fee is £12,000-£16,000 per year.

MSc in Information Technology

A postgraduate program in Information Technology teaches a wide range of topics, including software engineering, data science, and cybersecurity. This course is designed for students interested in a career in the IT industry.

University of Southampton, University of Surrey, University of Warwick, University of Exeter, and Lancaster University offer the cheapest masters in UK for international students. The estimated tuition fee is around £14,000 to £17,000 per year.


Several universities in the UK offer MBA programs at significantly lower tuition fees compared to many other universities in the UK. Such universities include the University of Strathclyde, the University of Stirling, Heriot-Watt University, the University of Dundee, and the University of Abertay Dundee.

An MBA program is designed to provide students with the skills and knowledge they need to start or manage a business. The estimated tuition fee is around £15,000 and £18,000 per year.  

MSc in International Business  

This postgraduate program prepares students with the necessary knowledge and skills to work in international business. Students learn about international business processes, business relations, and economics.

Universities, including Liverpool Hope University, Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, Royal Veterinary College, Middlesex University, and University of Hull, offer this cheapest masters degree UK. Estimated tuition fees are around £12,000-£15,000 per year.


Scholarship Opportunities for International Students in the UK

How Scholarships can Significantly Reduce the Financial Burden

Scholarship is a great way for international students to fund their studies abroad. A scholarship significantly reduces the financial burden of students studying in the UK. It generally covers a range of expenses, like tuition fees, living expenses, and international travel expenses.

For example, the Commonwealth Scholarship is a full-funded scholarship available to international students from the member states of commonwealth countries. The Chevening Scholarship is another fully-funded scholarship covering all the costs for international students who pursue master’s degrees in the UK.

Apart from the full-funded scholarships, several partial scholarships are also available to international students in the UK. Partial scholarships cover a portion of tuition fees, living expenses, or travel costs.

List of Notable Scholarships Tailored for International Students   

Following is a list of notable scholarships tailored for international students of masters programs in UK:

Chevening ScholarshipsPostgraduate ProgramsTuition Fees, Living Expenses, and Travel Costs
Commonwealth ScholarshipsMaster’s and Ph.D.Tuition Fees, Living Expenses, and Travel Costs
Marshall ScholarshipsPostgraduate ProgramsTuition Fees, Living Expenses, and Travel Costs
Gates Cambridge ScholarshipsPh.D.Tuition Fees, Living Expenses, and Travel Costs
Rhodes ScholarshipsPostgraduate ProgramsTuition Fees, Living Expenses, and Travel Costs

Practical Ways to Fund Your Postgraduate Studies

Part-time Jobs and Work-Study Opportunities

You can work part-time while studying in the UK. It can be a great way to earn some extra money that will help cover your living expenses. There are various types of part-time jobs that you can do in the UK, such as working in a restaurant, shop, or bar or doing tutoring or freelance work.

Many postgraduate programs in the UK also offer work-study opportunities. They allow students to work part-time for the university in a related field to their studies. It will be an excellent way to gain work experience and earn money simultaneously.

Educational Loans Tailored for International Students

Many student loans are available to international students who want to study in the UK. You can use these to cover tuition fees, living expenses, and travel expenses.

Some educational loans are specifically tailored for international students. They usually have lower interest rates and more flexible repayment terms than traditional student loans.

Sponsorships and Grants

Many organizations in the UK offer sponsorships and grants to international students who want to study at different UK universities. All these organizations generally sponsor students studying in a particular field or with a specific interest or background.


Alternatives to Traditional Postgraduate Courses

Distance Learning and Online Courses

Distance learning and online courses are among the best alternatives to traditional postgraduate courses. They offer a flexible and convenient way to study for a master’s degree.

Several UK universities and other organizations in the UK offer distance learning and online postgraduate courses. These courses are generally taught through a combination of online lectures, tutorials, and assignments.

Short-term Postgraduate Diplomas and Certificates

Short-term postgraduate diplomas and certificates in the UK allow students to achieve specialized knowledge and skills in a particular field. These courses are typically one or two years long, and you can complete them part-time. A lot of colleges and universities offer postgraduate short-term diploma and certificate courses in the UK.

MOOCs and Free Courses Provided by UK Universities

Many universities in the UK provide Massive Open Online Courses or MOOCs and free online courses. These two are other great alternatives to traditional postgraduate programs in the UK. Both of them are short-term courses covering a wide range of topics.

MOOCs and free online courses are a great way to learn new skills and knowledge, but you must know that they are usually not accredited. It means that they may not be recognized by employers or professional bodies in your workplace.

Tips for Choosing an Affordable Postgraduate Course

Considering Return on Investment

While choosing a cheaper postgraduate course in the UK, you must consider the return on investment or ROI. It means you must consider the job opportunities and salary boost you will get after completing the course.

Some postgraduate courses will lead you to higher-paying jobs than others. For example, postgraduate courses in business, engineering, and computer science are generally in high demand from employers in the UK.

Researching hidden costs

Apart from tuition fees, several other costs can be associated with studying in the UK, for example, living expenses, materials, and travel expenses. You must consider these hidden costs while choosing a postgraduate course in the UK. You can choose a course that is offered at a university in a relatively affordable city. Again, you may want to pursue a course that does not require a lot of expensive materials.

Utilizing University Comparison and Review Sites

University comparison and review sites can be beneficial resources for choosing an affordable postgraduate course. These websites will allow you to compare many different courses and universities regarding tuition fees, living expenses, and other factors.


The cheapest postgraduate courses in UK for international students can be a gateway to a better life for many since employers around the world highly respect UK degrees. But you must weigh the quality and cost to ensure that you receive a good education and qualifications.

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