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We've been helping students find the right postgraduate course for over a decade.
But postgraduate study abroad in the UK can be expensive: as an international student you may be required to pay higher fees for your Masters. This page is designed to help.
We’ve explained who counts as an international student and put together information on typical international fees for Masters degrees.
Elsewhere on FindAMasters you can read our guide to international Masters funding in the UK.
Before working out what fees you’ll pay for a UK Masters it’s worth explaining how UK universities determine students’ fee statuses.
You’ll normally be classed as an international student in the UK if you aren’t one of the following:
If you don't fall into either of these categories, you may be regarded as an international student and charged more than the 'home fee' rate for your Masters.
Exceptions can apply in certain circumstances. We've covered some of them below.
Sometimes students from outside the UK or EU can still be entitled to pay postgraduate fees at the 'home rate'.
This might be the case if one of the following applies to you:
Please note that this information is provided as initial guidance only. It is not intended to be exhaustive. Additional conditions may apply in each case and you should check carefully before making an assumption about your fee status.
For comprehensive information on UK fees, we recommend you consult the detailed resources for international students in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, maintained by the UKCISA (the UK Council for International Student Affairs).
In addition to other requirements, you'll often need to be 'ordinarily resident' in the UK in order to qualify for home fees. This typically means you are living normally in the UK (not as a visitor or student) with the legal right to do so.
If you have any doubt about the fees you'll pay (or should pay) for a Masters, check with your university. Their international office will normally have dedicated staff with the expertise necessary to assist you.
And remember, whatever your Masters costs, you may be eligible for financial support to help complete it. Our separate guide to funding for international students explains what sort of help could be available.
There is no ‘standard’ international fee for UK Masters programmes. Instead, UK universities are free to set their own fees for postgraduate programmes.
However, as an international student, you will probably find that your fees are higher than a ‘home’ student.
Your exact fees will vary depending on how expensive your course is to teach and which university you study at.
The following table gives the average cost of a full-time UK Masters degree for the most recent academic year. It’s based on a survey of UK university fees published by Times Higher Education.
It’s important to note that these are overall averages. Individual courses at individual universities may be cheaper than these figures suggest. Or more expensive.
The price a university charges for a postgraduate programme generally reflects how difficult and expensive it is to provide.
International students generally pay around twice as much as domestic students for UK Masters courses.
The average cost of a Masters degree in the UK is currently around £7,946 for a domestic student on a full-time, taught course. That’s slightly over than half the average cost for international students (£15,097).
Remember though that actual fees will vary – and funding is available.
UK universities receive some public money to help reduce costs for their own students. International postgraduates don’t usually benefit from this. Instead, the university will charge you what it regards as being the ‘full’ cost of a course.
The long-term effect of ‘Brexit’ on international student fees in the UK isn’t yet known – and this applies to postgraduate fees too.
However, until the UK actually leaves the EU, the country remains an EU member. This means that the situation of EU students in the UK won't change before 2019.
If you are an EU student beginning a Masters in the UK in the next academic year (2020-21) you will benefit from fee and funding guarantees for the duration of your course.
This applies regardless of whether you are still studying in the UK when the country leaves the EU. It means that:
Unfortunately, we don’t know what the status of EU students in the UK will be after Brexit occurs.
It is possible that the UK will negotiate with the remaining EU member states to provide continued access to ‘home’ fees and funding (and that UK students will also enjoy these benefits in other EU countries).
However, it is also possible that EU students could become classed as international students. This would mean paying higher fees, requiring a student visa and losing access to some funding.
Brexit won’t directly affect international students.
If you are studying a Masters in the UK from outside the EU, EEA and Switzerland, you will continue to require a visa and will only be able to access certain funding. In most cases you will also be charged the higher rate of tuition fees, as explained on this page.
International students should apply for a Tier 4 (student) visa. Postgraduates at 27 participating UK universities are able to apply for the visa through a simplified pilot scheme, which makes the application process quicker and easier.
Last updated 18/11/2019