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Masters (MS) in UK: Top Universities, Fees, Eligibility, Scholarships, Scope

Komal Yadav Komal Yadav
Study Abroad Expert

MS in UK is a 1 to 2 year full-time degree mainly focused on science, mathematics and management subjects. It can be research-based, course-based or combination of both. 35.8% of the total students studying masters degree in the UK universities belonged to the international population in the year 2017-18.

Masters Enrollment in UK (2017-18)
  • The average tuition fee of top universities in UK for MS is between 20,000 GBP to 30,000 GBP (equivalent to 19 lakhs – 28 lakhs INR).
  • Part-time MS in UK universities takes 3 years to complete.
  • Some of the popular specializations among international students are management, computer science, architecture, psychology, etc.
  • After completion of MS in UK, you can earn up to 35,000 GBP (33 lakhs INR) per annum. 

Why Study MS in UK?

UK is considered one of the most popular study abroad destinations after the USA. According to the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD), in 2016, 8.6% of the international students chose the UK as the study destination, second after the USA (19.4%), leaving behind countries like Canada (3.8%) and Australia (6.7%). 

Some of the reasons for pursuing MS in UK are as follows: 

  • Top Universities of the World: Some of the top universities of the world offering MS programs, including the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge, are located in the UK. 4 universities, according to QS News, and 3 universities, according to THE, were in the top 10 in the ranking of 2020. 
  • Home to Best Student Cities: QS News Ranking of 2019 for Best Student Cities included 14 cities of the UK in the list of 120 from countries across the world. 7 of them were in the top 50 with London ranking at 1st position. 
  • Duration of the Programs:Masters in Canada, USA, or any other country takes on an average of 1.5 to 2 years to complete. However, if you are studying in the UK, the duration is 1 year in most cases. Only some of the programs such as MEng, MRes require 2 to 4 years for completion. 
  • Future Scope: Graduates of MS in UK can earn up to 35,000 GBP per annum. This is 29% higher than what bachelor's degree graduates earn in this country. Also, with 5 to 10 years of experience, the salary increases by approximately 40%. Some of the top recruiters for graduates of MS in the UK are NHS, Aecom Corporation, Amazon, JP Morgan Chase & Co, etc. 

Top Universities for MS in UK

According to THE Ranking of 2020 for world universities, following are the top universities in UK for MS along with their popular programs: 

THE Ranking 2020UniversityPopular Programs
1University of OxfordMS - Law and Finance; Public Policy; MBA; Taxation
3University of CambridgeMasters in Corporate Law; MPhil in Economics; Master of Finance
10Imperial College LondonMS - Strategic Marketing; Global Innovation Design; Business Analytics
15University College LondonMS - Banking & Digital Finance; Clinical Neuroscience; Management
27London School of Economics and Political ScienceMS - Global Media & Communications; Economics; Human Resource & Organizations
30University of EdinburghMS - International Marketing; International Human Resource Management; Accounting & Finance
36King’s College LondonMS - Computer Science; Finance Analysis; International Marketing
55University of ManchesterMS - Commercial Project Management; Pollution & Environmental Control; Data and Knowledgement
77University of WarwickMS Engineering Business Management; Master in Journalism; MS Data Analytics
87University of BristolMS - Accounting & Finance; Data Science; Economics

According to the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) of the USA, the maximum number of international students for Masters (MS) in the UK were enrolled in the University College London, for the 2017-18 session, followed by the University of Manchester and the University of Edinburgh. 

University-wise Enrollment in Masters in UK (2017-18)

Popular Programs for MS in UK

Apart from MS in UK, other available degrees are MBA, Master of Arts (MA), Master of Research (MRes). Coursework equivalent to 160 credits is required for completion of the program. Following are some of the popular programs available as a masters degree in the UK universities, along with top universities offering them: 

ProgramUniversityProgram DurationEstimated Total Fees (in GBP)
MBA in UKLondon Business School;
Cambridge Judge Business School;
Said Business School;
Warwick Business School
1 - 1.25 years40,000 - 87,900
MS in Computer Science in UKUniversity of Oxford;
Imperial College London;
University College London;
University of Edinburgh
1 year30,000 - 34,000
Masters in Architecture (M.Arch) in UKUniversity College London;
Manchester School of Architecture;
University of Cambridge;
University of Sheffield

1 - 2 years
21,000 - 40,000
MS in Management in UKImperial College Business School;
London School of Economics and Political Science;
Warwick Business School;
Alliance Manchester Business School
1 year23,000 - 30,000
MS in Marketing in UKUniversity of Edinburgh;
University of Bristol;
University of Exeter;
University of Bath
1 year20,000 - 26,000
MS in Psychology in UKUniversity of Oxford;
University College London;
King’s College London;
University of Edinburgh
1 - 3 years23,000 - 53,000

Admission Requirements for MS in UK

Students can apply for universities in the UK via a common application portal known as UCAS. However, not all universities and in some cases few programs of a university do not accept applications via this portal. Instead, they have their application portal through which students can apply. 

Intake Month for MS in UK

Most of the UK universities accept application throughtout the year with no specific deadlines. However, major intake months are September or October and January or February. Hence, international students are advised to apply accordingly. 

MS in UK Eligibility

  • 2:1 or 2:2 bachelor's degree in a field related to the program to which you are applying
    • 2:1 (upper second class) is equivalent to 60%
    • 2:2 (lower second class) is equivalent to 50%
  • GRE or GMAT score (varies with the program)
  • Work experience (mainly required for management programs)
  • Research Proposal (for postgraduate research programs)
  • Interview (depends upon program)

Documents Required for MS in UK Admission

  • Scanned copy of transcripts from all the institutes previously attended
  • English translation of non-English transcripts
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Personal Statement
  • 2 to 3 recommendation letters
  • Updated Resume

English Proficiency Requirement for International Students

International students from non-EU countries are required to demonstrate proficiency in the English language by submitting IELTS, TOEFL, or PTE scores. Minimum score requirements for admission in top universities of UK are as follows:

  • IELTS: 6.0 to 7.0
  • TOEFL (iBT): 90 to 100
  • PTE: 60

Student Visa to UK

Tier-4 (General) visa is the student visa in UK required for pursuing full-time degree. It is valid for entire duration of study with additional six months. International students should apply for this visa at least 3 months prior to the commencement of studies. Documents required are:

  • Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)
  • Sponsorship from the university
  • Proof of financial stability
  • Copy of passport

MS in UK Cost of Study

Cost of studying from a foreign destination has three types of expenses associated with it: Pre-arrival Cost; Tuition Fees and Cost of Living. These are discussed in the detail below. 

Pre-arrival Cost

These expenses are incurred before arrival to the study destination and include costs such as registration fees of tests required to study in the UK, health insurance fees, application fees, etc.

Tabulated below are some of the major pre-arrival expenses that an international student has to pay: 

Fee TypeCost (in GBP)
UK Student Visa348
Health Insurance260 per annum
IELTS162 - 180
TOEFL298 - 918

Tuition Fee of MS in UK

Among all the popular masters in the UK, MBA has the highest annual ROI. The average fees of the program is 50,000 GBP per annum. However, the salary offered to graduates is 88,000 GBP per year. 

Annual Salary vs Fees Comparison of Popular Programs

Cost of Living in UK

Accommodation in the UK costs around 500 to 700 GBP per month which forms a major portion of living expenses for an international student. Other expenses include transportation, food, household items, utilities etc.

An average cost of living in the UK for an international student can be broken down as follows: 

Type of ExpenseCost per year (in GBP)
Utilities500 -730
Course Material400
Food and Household Items1,500

Scholarships for MS in UK

Studying masters in the UK is costly for international students due to various expenses associated with it. However, many external funding agencies, the government of UK and universities offer scholarships to ease this financial burden.

Some of the scholarships for international students in the UK offered by top universities are tabulated below: 

UniversityScholarshipAward (in GBP)
University of OxfordOxford Centre for Islamic StudiesTuition fees and living expenses
University of CambridgeTrinity Hall - Mann Studentship for Sciences10,000 to 40,000
Imperial College LondonStevenson Funds7,500
University College LondonAlumni Scholarship10,000
London School of Economics and Political ScienceHilde Himmelweit Scholarship2,000
University of EdinburghJohn Fisher High-Performance Scholarship50% of tuition fees
King’s College LondonNorman Spink Scholarship10,000
University of ManchesterGREAT Scholarship 2020Tuition fees
University of WarwickWMG School ScholarshipTuition fees
University of BristolThink Big Postgraduate Scholarship5000, 10000 & 20000

For more scholarships in UK, click here

Jobs and Salary after MS in UK

After completion of the MS in the UK, you can either look for a job or pursue higher studies. The average salary of a student with a doctorate degree is 64,000 GBP per annum which is approximately 23% higher than what a masters graduate earns.

MBA and Executive MBA are the top-paying master's degree in the UK with an average per annum salary of 88,000 GBP and 100,000 GBP per annum respectively. Financial services and executive management are the highest paying sectors for a graduate.

Top Paying Masters in UK

Sector-wise popular jobs in the UK with per annum salary is tabulated below:

SectorAverage Annual Salary (in GBP)
Financial Services77,000
Executive Management & Change70,000
Legal Department61,000
Compliance, AML, KYC & Monitoring57,000
Legal & Paralegal56,000
Graphic Designing24,000
Software Development32,000
Data Analysis and Management38,000

Post-Study Work Visa after MS in UK

Post-Study Work Visa, also known as Graduate Route, allows students to stay-back for 2 years in UK after completion of degree, as per new policy of UK government launched in 2019. This applies for everyone graduating in 2021 or later. Also, the upper limit on acceptance of visa applications was eliminated. International students are required to look for a job in UK within 6 months of their Tier-4 visa stay-back period to be eligible for Post-Study Work Visa in UK.

Over a million international students come to the UK every year for a masters degree because of its high-quality education, top-ranking universities, and friendly culture. Although the cost of education is higher than some of the other countries, the salary offered after completion of the study is more than what you pay for your education. Thus, pursuing MS in the UK is worth the time and money for an international student.


Ques. How much does MS in UK cost?

Ans. Tuition fees of MS in UK costs around 20,000 to 30,000 GBP. MBA programs have slightly higher fees of 40,000 to 80,000 GBP. 

Ques. Is it good to study MS in UK?

Ans. According to QS News Ranking of 2020, 4 universities of the UK offering an MS degree rank among top 10 universities of the world including University of Oxford and University of Cambridge. Also, the program duration is only 1 year as compared to other countries like Canada and USA. Hence, UK is a fairly good destination for pursuing MS.

Ques. How many years is MS in UK?

Ans. MS in UK takes approximately 1 to 1.5 years to complete. The duration of MRes and MEng degrees is 2 to 3 years. 

Ques. Which MS course is best in UK?

Ans. It largely depends upon the interest of the student that which masters degree he/she may want to pursue. However, MBA offers the highest annual ROI with average fees of 50,000 GBP and average salary of 88,000 GBP. Other popular MS degrees are computer science, architecture, marketing, management, etc.

Ques. Can I get a job after MS in UK?

Ans. Yes, you can work after MS in UK. The average salary offered to graduates is 35,000 GBP per annum. Major paying sectors are financial services, airlines, legal departments, etc.

Ques. Can I pursue MS in UK without IELTS?

Ans. If you are from a non-EU nation, you will probably be required to demonstrate proficiency in English language by submitting IELTS scores. However, you can also submit TOEFL or PTE scores as a substitute of IELTS. International students not having any of the mentioned scores must undertake an additional English language program if selected for admission in the university. 

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