US and UK University Degrees for Studying Higher Education; They may be the same in the common language, but there are many differences between higher education in the United Kingdom and the United States. From price to length, from accommodation to treatment – there is a lot to consider. The United Kingdom and the United States are two of the most popular destinations for international students. In the United Kingdom alone, there are more than 450,000 international university students.

Here are the articles to explain, What is the Difference between Studying for US and UK University Degrees!

There are some major differences between universities in the UK and the US, such as the application process, length of study, and more. American universities are very different from the functioning of the United Kingdom – from ratings and rankings to accommodation and sports teams, many things make studying in the United States a unique experience.

You’ve probably seen a lot of movies and TV shows about university life in the United States, but it’s hard to separate fact from fiction. How do American universities work? what is the mayor? And how expensive is tuition in America? We have answered all your burning questions below.

You can apply to many American universities;

In the US, you can apply to as many “colleges” as the American university stands known. Although you stand not advised to apply to more than 15 college advisors; they usually recommend that you apply to approximately six to eight colleges.

In the UK, you can apply to a maximum of five universities (four if you apply for medicine, dentistry, or veterinary medicine). It is smaller than the US but has many advantages, including that the application process is much faster and faster; which we will discuss further below.

But the application process in the UK is much simpler;

In the United Kingdom, each student applies to several universities through UCAS. It is a British organization that processes applications for British universities. Here you can select your university options and send your rank and personal statement and this service will store this information.

Everything takes place in one place, which is much faster. You also need to write only a personal statement; which is a short essay on why you want to study the course you are applying for; but because it will exist sent to all the universities you are applying to; should only be part of the course and not a specific university. In the US, the university application process can take much longer. This is because students must apply directly to any university by going to the admissions department of each institution.

There is also a system in the US called the Common Application. It is not as detailed as the UCAS system in the UK; but, it allows you to submit all your applications in one place. Students applying to American universities are usually also required to submit essays for each university they apply to. So when you apply to 10 universities, you have to write 10 essays – all specific to each university.

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University structures are also different;

Universities in the United Kingdom and the United States stand divided into schools by subject – any business course can be part of a Business & Law school. However, one big difference is how the actual courses exist organized.

Confused? Don’t worry, we’ll explain more.

American universities allow students to study many subjects for at least a year before opting for a final degree. It’s not for everyone. For example, if you choose an American university and you have already decided on a final degree; you will have to attend additional lessons in the first two years. If you do not do so, you will not work on your final title. This is not still the issue in the UK. If you choose a combined pricing program, you can study two topics at once. Sometimes you can do more.

For example, at Newcastle University, you could do up to three. This is similar to the US. However, if you choose a proper diploma with honors, you will usually focus on your specialization. However, there are options to obtain optional modules. This means that if you choose to engineer, you will attend engineering courses, including the optional modules you choose. This is why it usually doesn’t take long to complete UK courses; as you will study your chosen topics right away – instead of exploring different options first. Search your country and find the courses you have available.

Student life and accommodation may vary;

There are many opportunities to make lifelong friends in the UK and US. Other things are the same as joining multiple clubs and companies. You will get the opportunity to explore some great cities and create great memories. In the UK, you have accommodation options such as student dormitories provided by universities or even private accommodation.

In the US, students often share dormitories with other students. Or, in some cases, students may apply to participate in a fraternity or association. These are large houses that can accommodate a group of students after a detailed application process. It’s up to you and the lifestyle you want to enjoy.

The tests are the same;

In the United Kingdom and the United States, courses require a lot of reading and assignments. This may include essays, research papers, oral presentations, etc. The only small difference is that the UK is more read-based and focuses enormously on seminars and workshops. However, you will still be doing tasks in both countries.

The final numbers stand usually determined by your homework. Although in some cases your entire degree may be based on an exam. Now that you know the similarities and differences between universities in the UK and the United States; now is the time to find out more about what the UK has to offer international students.

A Comparison Between University Degrees in the United States and University Degrees in the United Kingdom;

The United States and the United Kingdom have some of the best universities in the world, which include such prestigious institutions as Harvard University, Stanford University, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US, and Oxford University, Cambridge University, and Imperial College London in the UK. Therefore, for international students, the decision of whether to study in the US or the UK can be a difficult one. As such, it is important to run through some of the similarities and differences; when it comes to studying in the US and studying in the UK; so that one can get a general idea of what to expect.

Similarities Between Studying For a Degree in the US and Studying For a Degree in the UK;
  • Entry requirements are equally difficult.
  • The student population is likely to be multicultural and of various ages.
  • Courses exist conducted in English.
  • Assessments stand made up of a mixture of exams, coursework, presentations, and/or lab work.
  • Students will assign a personal tutor/supervisor to assist with their work.
  • There is a drinking culture among both US and UK University Degrees students at the university level.
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Differences Between Studying For a Degree in the US and Studying For a Degree in the UK;
  • Degree courses tend to be longer in the US.
  • Also, Degree courses tend, on average, to be more expensive in the US than in the UK.
  • Degree courses tend to be more specialized in the UK than in the US, meaning more choice.
  • The grading system is different.
  • The cost of living in the UK is slightly lower, on average than in the US.

Similarities between US and UK University Degrees;

When it comes to studying for a degree in the United States and the UK; there are several similarities to note. To begin with, the entry requirements for universities in the US and the UK tend to have an equal and comparative level of difficulty. In the US, students stand assessed via the GPA (grade point average) system; which assigns a numerical value to the grades received in high school courses and the SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test); which is an exam that measures general academic skills and knowledge.

Conversely, in the UK, students tend to take A-levels; which are specific subject areas that exist given points by UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) based on the grades received. However, both systems are arguably equally challenging, and even if you have the right grades to satisfy the requirements of a degree course, some of the more prestigious institutions (such as Oxford and Cambridge) will almost certainly also hold interviews as well before offering a place, and consider your extra-curricular activities as well in this application process.

More Similarities;

As one might expect, university students in the US and the UK have a distinct student culture, and while there are differences here, one of the similarities is that students in both the US and the UK tend to have a drinking culture – so this is something you should expect, and it might be very difficult to resist if you do not want to be alienated from your peers. However, it should be noted that the legal age for drinking alcohol is lower in the UK, at eighteen, and so this means that students in the UK typically frequent public houses or student union bars as social gathering points, rather than the house parties that are more typical in the US.

Moreover, student populations in both the US and the UK tend to be multicultural, and although the majority are in the younger age groups, from twenty to twenty-five, there will inevitably be some older, more mature, students as well. Other similarities include, of course, that university courses in the US and the UK are both taught in English; while assessments tend to be made up of a similar mix of coursework, exams, presentations, and/or lab work (depending upon the course).

In addition, in both the US and the UK, students studying for a degree will be assigned a personal tutor/supervisor, although it should be noted that students in the US might be garnered more attention, as university study in the UK tends to be a much more independent and autonomous affair – with students left to their own devices more, and trusted to do the work to a good standard.

Differences between US and UK University Degrees;

One of the clearest differences when it comes to studying for a degree in the US and studying for a degree in the UK is that of the duration of courses, with UK degrees tending to be shorter, at three years in length, compared to the standard four-year course in the US for an undergraduate degree. This is because the system in the US tends to be more general, to begin with, so that students can figure out a particular subject area that they want to study, whereas in the UK this process is carried out in high school (or college as it is called in the UK) so that students already know what they want to study by the time they get to university.

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For many people, a three-year course instead of a four-year course is extremely beneficial, especially if they already know what they want to study, as this can, in effect, help to save a year of their lives, along with another year of study and living expenses. This, therefore, leads to another issue and core difference, which is that degree courses tend to be, on average, more expensive in the US than they are in the UK. Thus, for international students, fees in the UK can be expected to be somewhere in the region of £10,000 per year (or $12,000) for lecture-based degree programs, compared to around £18,300 (or $22,000) in the US.

More differences;

Furthermore, to add to this, the cost of living also tends to be higher in the US as well, with the average cost of living in the UK being around 6.5% cheaper compared to the average cost of living in the US. Therefore, for international students in the US, the total cost of an undergraduate degree, including living expenses and tuition fees, can be expected to be somewhere in the region of $100,000 (or £83,300), while in the UK the total cost of a degree is thought to be somewhere in the region of $80,000 (or £66,000), which is significantly less.

In addition, the grading system for US and UK University Degrees is notably different; with an exceptional score tending to be around 75-80% in the UK, compared to 90-100% in the US for an exceptional score. In fact, in the UK, it is virtually impossible to achieve a score of greater than 80% on a degree course; which is something that American students would find very difficult to understand; due to this number being more like a grade C in America.

However, UK university degree courses do tend to be more specialized than those in the US; which means that students in the UK tend to have more choices; and can more easily find a niche area of study that interests them the most. As a result, though, studying for a degree in the UK also tends to be a more independent learning experience; with students being expected to do a large degree of autonomous study and research away from the classroom to build upon current existing knowledge bases, rather than simply studying what others have done.

Final Thoughts;

So, while there are several similarities between university degrees in the US and university degrees in the UK; there are also several notable differences that you will need to consider when choosing where to study; it all comes down to where your priorities lie. Thus, if money is not an obstacle, and if you are not sure exactly what you want to study yet; then perhaps studying in the US would be best.

However, if you are operating on a relatively tight budget; and if you already have a specific area of study in mind, then the UK might be the best option; it comes down to circumstances. Overall, there are some top-class universities in both the US and the UK; which exist renowned all over the world, and both will be equally difficult to gain access to. It is a big life decision when choosing where to study for your university degree; as this is likely to change your life path and what you do. Therefore, it is important to know the similarities and differences between US and UK University Degrees, to make the most informed choice possible.

Difference between Studying in US and UK University Degrees Image
Difference between Studying in US and UK University Degrees; Image by Mohamed Hassan from Pixabay.

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