Differences between studying in the UK vs the USA | AHECounselling

Differences between studying in UK vs USA

The decision of which educational system is superior American or British, isn't easy. Both countries have an extensive history of high-quality education, according to the global rankings of universities. In reality, according to the data, the top 200 institutions worldwide are found in the US and UK. It is interesting to note that, according to the British Council, American employers prefer UK graduates because of the instruction method taught in a tutorial and the focus on independent studies in the UK. Despite the top quality of education and the excellent educational environment in both countries, There is a significant distinction between the two nations in terms of the structure of universities and the student culture. We'll examine the primary differences between US and UK educational systems.

Here is a quick summary of the main differences between the American Education System and the British Education System:




Length of Time

BA 4 years

MA 2 years

PhD 5 years or more

BA 3 years

MA 1 year

PhD 3 years of PhD

Academic Term

Most schools follow the semester system, however some schools utilize a trimester system or even a quarter method. Most schools begin their classes from mid-to-late August and finish in May.

A majority also employ the semester system, however others use quarter or trimester systems. The time between the start and the close of an academic year differs by institution.

University Organization

They are typically divided into subject-specific schools However, they do not usually have much independence from universities.

University is an umbrella organisation for all the colleges. Colleges are quite separate from one another.

Style of Education

A broader range of liberal arts, and study outside of your major.

You can only take classes in your college.

Depth vs Breadth




Writing and reading assignments that are constantly being completed

No assignments, or general assignments during the course of





Based on the overall performance of all assignments

Most of it is based on the last exam


A significant social event; sports scholarships are available.

Sports that are intramural; usually there are no athletic scholarships to be had.

Living Situation

Dormitory with roommate. Off-campus accommodation is occasionally is available.

Dormitories with no roommates generally. Off-campus housing can be found in most cases.

Difference Between UK and USA Education System

1. Choosing your degree at the start or during the course

In the United States, students usually do not have to declare their major until the conclusion of their 2nd (sophomore) calendar year. This allows ample time to explore and the possibility of changing your mind. Students can also enroll in compulsory courses in core subjects, such as writing math, political science, and science, which could be outside their course of study.

On the contrary, the UK requires students to select their significant before they arrive at the campus, and there are not many additional classes that are needed.

If you're still not particular about your choice of major or would like to try something new for one or two years and want to try something new, the USA is probably the best alternative. If you're 100% committed to a particular subject and are looking to begin and start learning, then the UK could be the right place for you.

2. Course length

The length of courses in the UK is shorter than compared in the US. The bachelor's degree awarded in the UK typically lasts three years, compared to the American four years. The process of obtaining a master's degree in the UK usually takes just one year, whereas it takes two years in the US. In addition, a Ph.D. degree in the UK is generally between 3 and four years (except for certain courses), and in the USA, it is typically between 5 and seven years.

This is a year with lower tuition costs and living expenses. Due to the length of their courses, most students choose to pursue their studies in the UK.

3. The costs of education

The costs that differ between these two countries could occasionally be massive. However, they are not always. A law that took 2012 allows universities in England may charge up to the amount of PS9,000 (approximately $14,300) annually.

The fees for international students are usually significantly more expensive. In essence, the government sets the fee amount, and universities determine the place they'd like to be on this scale.

Contrary to this, the colleges in the USA have no restrictions regarding the amount they cost, and their costs are able to vary widely.

The fees in the US typically are divided into tuition fees for in-state students and out-of-state tuition costs, in addition to the distinction between public and private institutions. The cost for a private school is approximately $29,000 per year, and some go as high as $50,000 per year.

4. How to study

The universities in the UK tend to be lecture-based and can include the occasional examination, but it's unusual for students attending UK universities not to have a formal examination until the end of the term or perhaps the year's end examination.

The universities in the USA, However, tend to be more assessment-based, and students will receive weekly, bi-weekly or monthly tests that will be paired with a final test for an overall grade.

The USA system is still full of lectures. However, they could be combined in smaller workshops or seminars as you'd encounter within the UK. It's a huge difference, and which one is best for you will be based on your individual studying practices.

5. Specialization and choice of courses

In the UK colleges, they give students the opportunity to focus on their preferred subjects, whereas US universities provide an all-encompassing and general education that covers many disciplines. So, the UK has got wide choices of courses, with numerous and highly specialized courses. The courses are great in the case that you are aware of what you'd like to learn. Law or Medicine in the UK is available at the degree level, whereas in the US, students must complete a "pre-med" course before they are able to take part in Law or Medicine courses. Assistance with writing assignments or essays is available anytime via the internet, using websites such as AHECounselling.

6. Opportunities for work

Although it is true it is not the case that the UK or the USA offer any type of job guarantee after completion of their studies, their regulations differ.

Within the USA International students in the USA are able to stay in the United States for only 60 days after the completion of their studies. After that, you'll be required to enroll at another school or participate take part in one of the Optional Practical Training (OPT) programs to obtain employment under An F-1 visa. It's not necessarily an easy option to get into, and many students leave within 60 days.

In the past, things were extremely like in the UK. However, recent changes have meant that international students can be eligible to stay in Britain for up to 2 years. UK and work for at least two years. This lets you really get to know the country beyond the formal educational system. This also gives you time to research other possibilities should you want to remain longer.

7. Part-time Job

The US has strict regulations on off-campus employment. International students are permitted to work a maximum of 20 hours per week at the campus. The situation is completely different from the UK and the US, where students from tier 4 are permitted to work 20 hours per week outside of campus.

8. Accommodation

There are halls of residence for students both in the UK as well as the US, and it's easy to get your own bedroom in the UK; however, when you are in the US, you might have to share a room with fellow students. Private and off-campus types of accommodation are available following the first year of US students. In the UK dormitories, students are provided with self-catering in contrast to the US counterpart typically provides meals for all students.

What you think of as your favorite tea (as they call it to say in The UK) is entirely up to you. Some people enjoy having a partner in the beginning, which can be challenging, while for some, the thought of sharing space at the age that is 18 can be the worst nightmare they can imagine.

9. Clubs and societies

In the United States, clubs vary from marching bands to varsity sports as well as sororities as well as fraternities. Students often pay the same attention to extracurricular things as to their classes, which allows them to enjoy a broad and varied college experience.

In the UK, the sports societies are typically run and managed by the Athletic Union, with commitments that differ based on how involved you'd like to be.

Societies are flexible and generally don't require any minimum commitments of time, which allows you to integrate extracurricular activities around your studies. The UK also doesn't provide some clubs or societies similar to what the USA has.

10. The environment

The UK and the USA are quite different in their cultural practices and what they provide. In the USA, you can find a variety of cultures. The USA is a diverse nation in both its climate as well as its inhabitants.

Depending on the location you wish to study, you could be near the beach, near the forests and snow, or in a city, there's it.

While the UK boasts stunning beaches and beautiful coastlines and stunning cities such as Birmingham, Manchester, and London but it isn't as diverse.

If you're aware of the kind the environment that you'd prefer to learn in, and you're looking for a place to study, then the UK is the right place to be. However, If you're interested in exploring diverse cultures and climates, perhaps the USA is more suitable.

11. Postgraduate opportunities

Higher education in both countries differs from one another.

In the United States, students who seek to improve and become specialists in their field start by choosing to attend graduate school. Be it engineering, law, or medicine, the majority of professions require a specialized degree at a graduate school.

In the UK, many students have already learned plenty about their field before they even consider taking on a postgraduate degree.

While in the USA, students are able to enter medical or law school without having fully explored these subjects, In the UK, it is not common for students to be accepted into an undergraduate course without an understanding of the topic.

However, it is possible to pursue both medicine and law in the UK without a degree in either subject. However, you must have a qualification in a related discipline at the majority of universities.

12. Visa Rules

It's always difficult to get an American Visa since it is accompanied by a strict procedure and is not the same as studying in the UK. It is mandatory to extend your Visa after a specific time in your home country if you choose to study within the US. Because of this, many students choose to attend a university in the UK.

Frequently asked questions

Why is the UK better than America for studying ?

Undergraduate degrees in the UK normally take three years to complete, postgraduate degrees take one year, and PhD degrees take three years. In contrast, US degrees are often lengthier, lasting four years for undergraduate degrees, two years for postgraduate degrees, and five years for PhDs.

Is UK better than US for international students ?

Undergraduate degrees in the UK normally take three years to complete, postgraduate degrees take one year, and PhD degrees take three years. In contrast, US degrees are often lengthier, lasting four years for undergraduate degrees, two years for postgraduate degrees, and five years for PhDs.

Is it cheaper to study in UK or USA ?

Studying in the UK is often less expensive than studying at institutions with comparable rankings, such as those in the US.

Why choose UK over USA for Masters ?

The UK provides a quicker and maybe more cost-effective alternative with typically shorter courses and slightly lower prices (at least in comparison to the USA). It could be most appropriate for students who are already ready to specialize and focus on a particular field of study at the master's level.

Is it better to move to UK or US ?

Living expenses in the UK are 0.49 percent cheaper than those in the US. In the UK, rent is generally 22.55% less expensive. In London, a moderate lifestyle would cost $4,700 per month, but a similar lifestyle in New York City would cost $5,822.

Is US education harder than UK ?

Academically, the UK secondary model is probably more demanding than the US one (although you obviously have to pick the right subjects...), and many UK students studying in the US have spoken about how the first year (or sometimes two years) of their university education really wasn't much of a challenge.

Is UK Masters valid in USA ?

In India and the USA, any graduate-level degree from the UK is accepted. It's not simply recognition; if you're worried about having the credentials required for a job, don't be.

Which country degree is more valuable ?

United States

Is it easier to get a job in USA or UK ?

In terms of employment, compensation, and pay scale, the UK is more fortunate than the US. You can find more employment options, greater pay, and a wider range of wages in the UK. There are fewer employment, lower salary, and fewer people who make more than $35,000 in the US.

Can I work in USA after studying in UK ?

The J-1 visa, which permits temporary labor in the USA, can be applied for by students, recent graduates, and professionals.

Are US salaries higher than UK ?

In comparison to the UK, the average pay in the US is greater. The cost of living, healthcare systems, and required perks are only a few of the elements that contribute to the disparity in compensation rates. In addition, salaries vary by industry, age, and gender (or type of work).

Why UK is better than US for study ?

Undergraduate degrees in the UK normally take three years to complete, postgraduate degrees take one year, and PhD degrees take three years. In contrast, US degrees are often lengthier, lasting four years for undergraduate degrees, two years for postgraduate degrees, and five years for PhDs.

Which country is best for students USA or UK ?

More US colleges are included among the top 100 worldwide. However, the UK is a close second.

Is US better or UK for Masters ?

The UK provides a quicker and maybe more cost-effective alternative with typically shorter courses and slightly lower prices (at least in comparison to the USA).

How can I get UK work visa in USA ?

You must first have obtained a job offer (in the form of a certificate of sponsorship) from a UK employer who possesses a sponsor license issued by the UKBA in order to submit an application for a UK Work Permit.