Have you considered study in the UK? The UK has numerous benefits to offer South African students.


Studying in the UK presents international students with a possible route to immigration and citizenship.

The UK has a Graduate visa, which allows university and college graduates to remain in the UK to search for work for up to two years (three years for doctorate graduates). While you do not need to be employed during that time, you may do any kind of work and there are no salary requirements or number caps.

The Graduate visa can enable you to build your work experience after studying. Thereafter, you may be eligible for a Skilled Worker visa, which can lead to indefinite leave to remain (permanent residency) and eventually British citizenship.


Language barriers can make it harder to adjust and connect with people and could potentially affect your academic performance.

Speaking a common language makes it easier to meet people, make friends and excel at university. And seeing as South Africa is a Commonwealth country, we share a lot of the same culture, interests and sports, making the transition easier.


The UK has a well-earned reputation for excellence when it comes to higher education. UK universities are held to strict standards by the government and have to pass a number of requirements before they’re able to award degrees.

While famous universities include Oxford University and the University of Cambridge, you do not need to attend such a competitive school for world-class education.

A degree obtained in the UK is recognised around the world and is especially valued by UK employers.


The UK has shorter, more intensive courses than the rest of the world, with courses giving you an undergraduate degree and honours within three years. This means you can save time and money while also being workforce ready in a shorter time.


If you study your postgrad in the UK, it’s possible to get your honour’s in just one year. This is due to the fact that UK universities don’t offer separate honour’s programmes. Rather it’s incorporated into the last year of their undergraduate degree.

In general, international students with an undergraduate degree can enrol in what is known as a top-up programme, where they will join this last year of study. However, some universities accept students with undergraduate degrees straight into their master’s programmes.

Master’s programmes in the UK are shorter than most other countries, typically lasting a single year.

Whether you top-up your undergrad with a fourth year of study, or go straight to master’s, you’ll be able to qualify for the Graduate visa.

Get in touch with Sable International’s knowledgeable student advisers to discuss your postgraduate options.


Almost all UK undergraduate university and college applications are handled through the UK’s Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

Before you apply using UCAS, you will need:

  • To have a shortlist of up to five universities prepared
  • A personal statement for each
  • A reference, from a teacher, adviser or professional who knows you

Your personal statement is your chance to make a case for why you should be accepted. Use this opportunity to talk about your achievements and specific interests in your subject. You are allowed only 4 000 characters, so it’s important to make them count.

After you submit your application on UCAS, and pay your application fee, your application will be forwarded to your chosen university or college. You may then be contacted for an interview or with any follow-up queries. Sometimes, you might receive a conditional offer, which means you have a place, subject to specific grades being met.

Postgraduate applications have to be made directly to the universities.

There are two intake periods for the UK school system – September and January. Applications for the September 2023 term are now open.

Sable International’s study abroad advisers can help you every step of the way with both your undergraduate and postgraduate studies, from assisting with your personal statement to registering with UCAS and making your application, to helping you apply for your student visa. 

*All information is correct as of date of publication. These are subject to change as admission and immigration rules change.


Join Sable International for a free seminar in Johannesburg (28 November 2022) or Cape Town (1 December 2022) to learn everything you need to know about studying in the UK. Meet representatives from five UK universities and learn about entry requirements, what universities are looking for when it comes to applications, how you go about getting a student visa and all the experiences you can expect to enjoy when you study in the UK. Sable International’s experts will be on hand to answer all of your questions.

Booking ahead is essential so please RSVP to reserve your place.

Alternatively, get in touch with Sable International at study@sableinternational.com or call us on +27 21 657 1543 for more information about studying abroad.

By Shamiso Miracle

Shamiso Miracle completed her degree in journalism and media studies at the University of Zimbabwe before honing her skills at Savanna News. She then went on to work at iHarare News, becoming a voice for everyday SA citizens who wanted to share their stories. When she's not writing news that entertains and inspires ,Shamiso is an avid reader and a wellness bunny.

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