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Study UK: Prepare to Study and Live in the UK

Be prepared for university study in the UK by familiarising yourself with UK culture and higher education.

45,560 enrolled on this course

Study UK: Prepare to Study and Live in the UK
  • Duration

    4 weeks
  • Weekly study

    3 hours
  • Digital upgrade


Understand how to make the most of life and university study in the UK.

The prestige of a UK university education attracts students from all over the world. However, research shows that transition to UK study is not always easy. Many feel challenged by an unfamiliar educational system, cultural differences, and working in a different language.

This course will give you all the help you need to study and thrive in the UK. You’ll become familiar with studying in English and how higher education courses are structured, gaining a clear understanding of what to expect. You’ll also develop self-study skills, whilst getting a taste of life in the UK.


  • Week 1

    Finding your place

    • Getting started

      Welcome to Week 1! Meet the team who will be guiding you and your fellow Learners through this course. Find out what you'll be learning over the next four weeks.

    • Higher education in the UK

      Gain an understanding of the UK higher education system, and learn a little more about the institutions and study programmes available in the UK.

    • Independent study

      What does independent study mean? Find out what the expectations are and learn about setting goals to effectively manage your time. Hear from others about their experience of independent study.

    • Academic Skills

      Lectures are very common on most HE programmes so it's important to be prepared for them. Find out what a lecture is, its purposes, and learn new strategies that'll help you make the most of this method of teaching.

    • Life in the UK: Choosing accommodation

      You may already know where you're going to study but have you considered the types of accommodation that are on offer? Find out what's available for you and which type is best for you.

    • Review and reflect

      Find out about some useful apps that are particularly relevant to this Week's topics, watch this Week’s round-up and reflect on your learning.

  • Week 2

    Finding your voice

    • Welcome to Week 2

      Knowing how to communicate your work and ideas at university can be scary. Learn what's expected of you when taking part in group work, seminars and presentations, and take away some useful strategies that can help you.

    • Seminars and group work

      Seminars and group work allow you to explore and discuss ideas within a smaller group and provide a key learning opportunity at university. Find out what is required from you, and the processes involved to help you be successful.

    • Presentations

      Find out how to prepare and deliver a successful presentation, and how you may be assessed at university. Take the chance to practise with your other Learners and hear from students about their own experiences with presentations.

    • Life in the UK

      You've learned about communicating at university but what about outside of your studies? In these next Steps explore some tips about building your confidence in speaking English, and hear from others about their experiences.

    • Review and reflect

      Find out about some useful apps that are particularly relevant to this Week's topics, watch this Week’s round up and reflect on your learning.

  • Week 3

    Finding the right information

    • Welcome to Week 3

      Last Week you looked at speaking. This Week you’ll explore the importance of reading, applying a range of skills to reading for your academic studies, and making the most of your university’s library and support services.

    • Ways to approach reading

      Academic reading is very different from reading for leisure. In the next few Steps you'll learn how to actively engage with text and understand and activate critical thinking. You'll also get a chance to apply these skills.

    • Using your library

      Libraries are a hub of information and offer a quiet retreat for study. But many university libraries offer this and much more. Find out what resources and support are readily available for you to get the most out of your studies.

    • Life in the UK: Taking care of yourself

      Moving to a different country to study can be overwhelming. Hear from some of our students about their experiences of living in the UK, and find out what support universities have to offer.

    • Review and reflect

      Find out about some useful apps that are particularly relevant to this Week's topics, watch this Week’s round up and reflect on your learning.

  • Week 4

    Putting it all together

    • Welcome to Week 4

      In this Week, you'll be looking at the importance of academic writing. You'll find out how to approach written assignments, and learn what academic integrity means and the key part it plays in your studies.

    • Academic writing

      Academic writing can be daunting especially if English isn't your first language. In the next few Steps you're guided through with some expert advice and tips to help you write in a more academic style.

    • Academic integrity

      Discover what we mean by academic integrity, how it relates to your work, and learn techniques to integrate references to other sources into your writing.

    • Assessments

      Examine the range of assessment types used in universities, understand the difference between formative and summative assignments, and hear some advice about performing to your maximum potential in assessments.

    • Life in the UK: Preparation for arrival

      In the next few Steps explore some tips that will help you get started when you arrive in the UK, and find out what little piece of home other students brought with them.

    • Review and reflect

      Find out about some useful apps that are particularly relevant to this Week's topics. Reflect on your learning for this Week and throughout the course and find out what's next.

When would you like to start?

  • Date to be announced

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Learning on this course

You can take this self-guided course and learn at your own pace. On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Demonstrate an understanding of UK academic culture and the engagement expected of you
  • Explore the way teaching and learning is organised in UK higher education and its key terminology
  • Reflect on the language knowledge and academic skills you need to achieve success
  • Assess the resources that are available to you to support your learning
  • Reflect on the positive contribution you will make to UK academic life through the diversity of perspectives you bring
  • Develop the confidence you need to feel prepared for study in the UK

Who is the course for?

This course would be of immense benefit to international students who have been accepted to study at a UK university.

Who will you learn with?

I’m an English for Academic Purposes teacher & materials developer at the University of Reading. My research interest is different modes of thought & reasoning across different language & cultures.

Who developed the course?

British Council

The British Council builds connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and other countries through arts and culture, education and the English language.

We work on the ground in more than 100 countries. In 2019-20 we connected with 80 million people directly and with 791 million people overall, including online and through our broadcasts and publications.

Study UK

Study UK is a global campaign that promotes the UK as the first-choice study destination to international students and their influencers. It is the UK’s only national-level campaign that showcases the UK’s outstanding higher education offering.

The GREAT campaign

The GREAT campaign showcases all four corners of our nation to inspire the world and encourage people to visit, do business, invest and study in the UK.

What's included?

British Council are offering everyone who joins this course a free digital upgrade, so that you can experience the full benefits of studying online for free. This means that you get:

  • Unlimited access to this course
  • Includes any articles, videos, peer reviews and quizzes
  • A PDF Certificate of Achievement to prove your success when you’re eligible
  • Learning on FutureLearn

    Your learning, your rules

    • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps, but you can complete them as quickly or slowly as you like
    • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
    • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

    Join a global classroom

    • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
    • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
    • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

    Map your progress

    • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
    • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
    • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

    Want to know more about learning on FutureLearn? Using FutureLearn

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    Get a taste of this course

    Find out what this course is like by previewing some of the course steps before you join:

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