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UK Education System

Full time education (or training) is compulsory for all children between the ages of 5 and 18 and lasts for 13 years. At 16 (year 12), many students attend 6th form for 2 years where they take A-Level or IB in year 13 and apply directly to University. You should study 13 years of education before University in the UK.


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Education Stages

Primary School

If you are 5 to 12 years old, you can refer to the comparison chart for the year you should study next.


Secondary School

Secondary school in the UK if for students between the ages of 11 and 18. They take GCSE in year 11 (aged 15) then A-level or IB in year 13 (aged 18). Both GCSE and A-level/IB courses are 2 years however, depending on their previous studies and language level, it may be possible to take in 1 year.


Higher Education

Students who have completed boarding school can take a bachelor degree in a UK. This typically takes three years. Students who do not yet have the correct level to start at University in the UK can take a University Foundation course.


Graduate School

A Masters degree on the UK usually takes 1 year. Most students take a taught course however you can also study a research course. You need to have an undergraduate degree to study for a Masters degree.



Foundation Course

UK boarding school is 13 years. In countries that only take 12 years of school, students take a foundation course at a University or Independent College before entering a UK university.