UK higher education institutions (universities and colleges offer 2 intakes which is can be interchangeably referred to as semesters. At some universities, an additional intake may be available, however there are limited courses.
September to December
The semester beginning in September also known as winter semester in Europe is the largest intake for students from all over the world and also for students studying in the UK. Most students usually prefer to apply for the September intake given the wide range of courses available.
January to April/May
Compared to the September Intake, there are lesser courses in the January intake and even much lesser courses in the intake beginning in around April/May.
April/May to July
The intake beginning in April/May is best suited for students who are planning to do either the foundation course or the post graduate Diploma, a year before the beginning of their Bachelor and Master degree studies respectively.
Which intake you should apply will largely depend upon the availability following factors:
Your program of Interest at your chosen university
Your academic transcripts and records
Your IELTS or equivalent test report form
Your preparedness to join the program
It is always better to apply once you are fully prepared with all the required documents and transcripts in addition to being mentally ready. Individual universities and individual programs may have their own specific deadlines for international students applying from abroad in order to facilitate or allocate the time for CAS application and visa application process.
It is highly recommended that an International student planning to study in the UK should do so at least before 3 months of the start date of the intake.
When applying, it is equally important to take the following things in account
Time required for the offer letter processing
Time required for obtaining the CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance for studies)
Time required for getting the formalities such as Biometric, Medical clearance and visa application submission
Time required for the processing of your visa application
Due to the current COVID-19 situation, there may be slight changes in the beginning of the semesters at most universities and it is expected that some universities have and others will extend the date of enrolment at the universities for students arriving late.
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