Aprant Agarwal
Study Abroad Expert
Updated on Apr 7, 2020 12:13 IST

Documents required for admission in UK

The qualifications and documents depend on the course you want to study. You should have completed at least 12 years of education in your own country or in the UK, and have taken pre-university qualifications equivalent to UK A-levels, Scottish Highers or National Diplomas.

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Entry requirements for UK undergraduate study

  • For HND: qualifications equivalent to one or two UK A-levels, two Scottish Highers or a Higher National Certificate or BTEC National Diploma, or an international foundation year; and IELTS 5.5-6.0
  • For Foundation Degree: qualifications equivalent to one or two UK A-levels, one or two Scottish Highers or a National Diploma; or an international foundation year; and IELTS 5.5-6.0
  • For Diploma of Higher Education: qualifications equivalent to one or two UK A-levels, two or three Scottish Highers or a National Diploma, or an international foundation year; and IELTS 5.5-6.0
  • For Degree programmes: qualifications equivalent to two or three UK A-levels, three or four Scottish Highers, a Higher National Certificate or Diploma, or BTEC National Diploma, or an international foundation year; and IELTS 6.0-6.5

Entry requirements for postgraduate or MBA study

To begin a postgraduate course in the UK, you will need to hold an undergraduate degree from the UK or overseas. You are expected to have obtained a first or good 2:1 (or international equivalent) in a directly related subject and you would need to speak English to at least IELTS 6.5 level for most courses.

  • For Pre-master's: undergraduate degree plus IELTS 5.0-5.5
  • For PG Certificate/PG Diploma: undergraduate degree plus IELTS 6.5-7.0, or a pre-masters course
  • For Master's degree: first or upper second class undergraduate degree plus IELTS 7.0, or a pre-master's course
  • For MBA: first degree, 2-3 years’ business experience, and IELTS 6.5-7.0
  • For Ph.D: master's degree and IELTS 6.5-7.0

Documents Required for UK Universities 

Collating documents to apply for admission can be a tedious task if one does not have a comprehensive list of which documents should be sent in. Each and every document has an important role to play and must be prepared very carefully. The documents mentioned below are to be sent in the same order as specified. 

Here is a list that complies with the application requirements of British universities:

Completed application form of the university

Every university has its own application form which can be downloaded from the university’s website. Some universities have a different application process for different departments especially management schools. If this is the case, specific application forms must be filled and sent else the university may not consider the application or may return it. When the application session begins all universities make available latest application form on their websites. The applicants must download the same and fill. If the university accepts online application then the applicant must opt for it as these reach the universities immediately and are processed faster. The name must be written very carefully and exactly as it is on the passport. If the latest application form is not available online, the same can be requested from the international office of the college or the university.

Check: Reasons to Study at Cambridge University

Statement of Purpose

SOP or Statement of Purpose for British universities is drafted differently from what the American universities look for. The SOP to British universities is an introduction to you and the reasons behind opting for the university and course. It needs to be specific and to the point. If the applicant is sending an application for different courses then the same SOP cannot be sent. SOP cannot be copied from other copies of applicants as these are checked for plagiarism. If caught, the application is turned down.

Letters of Reference

The British universities require two letters of reference (LORs) and these must be from the last educational institution (college or school) that the applicant has attended. If the applicant has some work experience then a letter must be written by an immediate manager. These should be on the letterhead of the institute, sealed and signed. These should be specifically addressed to a particular university. Both the letters of reference cannot have the same text body. There are specific formats available on some universities’ websites and that format must be adhered to. LOR cannot be self-written.

Work Experience Letters (if any)

Experience letters from all the companies where the applicant has worked are required. It has to be on the letterhead of the company and issued by HR. If there is no HR department it must come from the head of the organisation.

IELTS/TOEFL Score Sheets

If the applicant has appeared for English language ability tests then a photocopy of the original score sheet must be attached. If the applicant has not appeared for it by the time of sending application then it should be specified on the application form the date when one intends to appear for it. As soon as the applicant receives the score sheet it should be sent to the university.

Relevant certificates of extracurricular activities

Certificates of any additional courses or activities that put to use your leadership qualities and effectively helped you develop a well-rounded personality should be attached.


If applying for a creative course like the design or creative arts, it is mandatory to attach a portfolio of work else the application cannot be considered. The format in which the portfolio can be sent may differ according to each university.


If requested, passport size photographs should be attached.

Copy of the Passport

This document is not mandatory to be sent to all the university but some universities may ask for photocopies of your passport.

For UG Courses

The application is sent through UCAS and not directly to the university. These are time-bound application and usually, the dates end much earlier than the course commencement which usually is 30th June every year. Until last year the deadlines were up to 12 midnight but this year onwards it is up to 6 PM (UK time). There are extensions as well at times but one must not rely on them as the seats get filled fast at the university. The UCAS dates are extended only if the universities have multiple seats left to be filled. For details and last dates please refer to the official website of UCAS.

After the UCAS deadlines pass, ‘Clearing’ dates are announced. Only one application per student can be submitted to only one university through clearing. For some PG courses like Teaching, Social Work and Performing Arts UCAS can be used. For all the other courses there is a direct application to the university.

If there are some additional documents that the university needs from the applicant then they will issue a Conditional Offer Letter, which means the applicant needs to meet certain conditions to get an unconditional offer letter. If the documentation is completed and the university is satisfied with the application then it issues an Unconditional Offer Letter. The student can then begin the loan process and other formalities for a visa.

Read More: April and May Intakes in the UK for Indian Students

About the Author
Written by
Aprant Agarwal
Study Abroad Expert

Aprant Agarwal is a seasoned study abroad expert at Shiksha Study Abroad, specializing in countries that include Canada, the Netherlands, UAE, and Finland. He holds more than 2 years of experience in the study abroa... Read Full Bio

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9 years ago

The article is more on entry requirements and not on documents required as the headline suggests

Reply to

9 years ago

I'm 31years old so I can apply any courses pls guidance

Reply to

9 years ago

applying for a course will depend on your profile and your educational qualifications. Also, you will need to show what you have been doing since you completed last course of study for instance work ex.