UK Education System
The education system in the United Kingdom has four central parts:
- Primary Education
- Secondary Education
- Further Education
- Higher Education
Children must attend primary and secondary education in the UK from age 5 to 16 years old.
This stage is also known as the UK’s key stage one and two; it continues from age 5 to 11 years. These schools might also be divided into Infant ( key stage 1, age 5-7) and Junior (Key stage 2, age 7-11) levels.
In the Primary School level, the year groups are:
Year R (Reception) (4 – 5 years)
- Year 1 (5 – 6 years)
- Year 2 (6 – 7 years)
- Year 3 (7 – 8 years)
- Year 4 (8 – 9 years)
- Year 5 (9 – 10 years)
- Year 6 (10 – 11 years)
The first two years of secondary education are 7 and 8 years. These levels are included in some Junior schools and are also a part of senior school.
Every student must study Math’s, a Modern Language, Humanity, and English. There is a list of various subjects besides these mandatory subjects from which students can choose.
This year of secondary education is crucial as most of the students from Junior schools transit to Senior School. It is also an excellent foundation for the GCSE program and is an entrance to all schools. Students study Math’s, Humanity, Sciences, Languages, and English. Besides, students are given the authority to choose a few subjects from each school’s optional subject list.
Years 10 and 11
General Certificate of Secondary Education or GCSE
Year 10 and 11 are the last two years of secondary education; students have to make preparation for the GCSE exam. Students have to study some compulsory subjects along with the subjects of their preferences. At the end of the two-year GCSE program, students receive their GCSE Certificates following the examinations on each studied subject.
The GCSE results and the preferred subjects are significant for their Further Studies (IB or A-level) and their University admission.
Intensive 1-year GCSE: In year 11, some schools offer GCSE program for one year to international students. These one-year courses are for plus 15 years aged students with the proper academic level from their own country. Some subjects are studied (6 maximum).
International General Certificate of Secondary Education
The IGCSE program prepares international students for IB and A-Level. Students study 5 to 7 subjects, Math’s, Science, and English included. There is a list of subjects available for IGCSE students. At the end of Year 11, students have to give exams of every subject, and they receive IGCSE Certificates.
University Preparation (12 And 13 Years)
A-level study: A 2-year program in which a student has to specialize 3 or 4 subjects.
International Baccalaureate (IB): Students who wish to study more than 3-4 subjects may study IB diploma. They are permitted to study 6 subjects, 3 at HL or higher level and 3 at SL or standard level. Different subjects are offered at different study levels (HL/SL). Written exams are mandatory at the end of each course.
University – Undergraduate Study
A bachelor’s degree of British takes about three years for completion, and most are awarded at the honors level. First degrees are BSc (Bachelor of Science), BEng (Bachelor of Engineering), and BA (Bachelor of Arts).
University – Postgraduate Study
In the UK, Postgraduate courses are very intensive, which means that courses are shorter. A master’s degree takes 12 months for completion, an MEng – Master of Engineering and MA – Master of Arts. A Master of Business Administration or MBA takes 2 years. A Ph.D. research degree takes between 2 and 7 years.