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Preparing to Study in the UK


We are currently updating this section - thank you for your patience



We are currently reviewing this section due to changes from both Brexit and Coronavirus. Please check back to this page regularly for updates. If you have an urgent question you can email our student advice team who will be able to help. There are also some other links and contacts below that may be of use.




More Useful Information

You may find the below information helpful, but if you still need help, remember to check back to this page regularly as we update it, but you can also email us any questions and we will do our best to help.


Finance in the UK


How much money will I need to bring?

It is not a good idea to carry large amounts of cash with you to the UK. Most students have access to a debit or credit card, or use travellers cheques to cover their immediate needs. However, you might want to bring cash for your first few weeks; we recommend around £500 for day-to-day expenses such as transport and food (this does not include cost of accommodation).

Students staying for 6 months or longer usually open an English bank account after they have arrived in the UK. For students studying on short courses, it may not be possible to open a bank account, so please check before you leave home to make sure you can use your debit or credit or cash card in the UK.


The cost of living in the UK

The UK Visas and Immigration recommends that international students allow for £1015 per month to cover living expenses. While living in the UK and studying on a full-time course at Bath College, you will need to learn a very useful skill, which is how to manage your money.



One of the main things to budget for is food. The college has a reasonably-priced coffee shop and cafeteria where you can buy healthy food, or you can buy the ingredients and cook for yourself or together with other students in the kitchens if you are in shared accommodation. There are several supermarkets within walking distance of the college, and smaller specialist food shops to meet the needs of most students.



You will not need to budget for a lot of text books but this will depend on the course you are studying. There is also an excellent library and study centre in the college.



Bath College is in the centre of Bath, and most accommodation is within walking distance or a short bus ride of the town centre. However, you may want to take trips at the weekend or during holidays so you should budget for occasional longer trips.


Social activities

Although you will be studying hard, you will also have time for relaxing, and for following your outside interests, whether it is sport, cinema, dancing or visiting other cities.


TV licence

You will need a TV licence (£159) if you watch live TV programmes (as they are being broadcast) and you are in your own accommodation, whether it is on a TV, mobile phone or a computer. If you are in homestay, the host will already have a TV licence for the house. If you watch live TV without a licence, you could be fined up to £1000. However, if you only watch programmes which you have downloaded or on ‘catch-up’ services, you don’t need a licence.


The International Student Calculator can help you plan and manage your money and to see how other students have budgeted for life at university in the UK.


For more advice on opening bank accounts in the UK, see UKCISA’s page on Opening a Bank Account


For more detailed practical financial advice, see the section on Money on the Education UK website.


Immigration & Visa


Getting a visa

Your nearest British Council office will be able to tell you whether you need a visa to enter the UK, or you can check the UK Visas & Immigration website link . Processing time of visas depends on the British Embassy or High Commission you are applying to, as well the time of year that you apply.


Short-term study visa

If you are a national of the EEA (the member states of the EU,  Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein) the following does not apply to you.  If you are not a national of the EEA, are 18 years old or over and want to enter the UK as a student to study a short course for six months or less, you can apply for this type of visa.  Students 18 years or over and studying English Language courses can come to the UK for up to 11 months.  (Please note that student visitors are not able to work in the UK).


Tier 4 Students

If you are a national of the EEA (the member states of the EU, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein) the following does not apply to you. If you are not a national of the EEA and want to enter the UK as a full time student to study anything other than English Language, you must be able to show that:

1. You have been accepted for a course of study: 

that is at a level that the UK Visas and Immigration will accept with a provider that is a licensed Tier 4 sponsor that is at least 15 hours per week of organised day-time study. Under the Points Based System you will need to have the course acceptance confirmed with a CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies) number to gain 30 of the 40 points required. The College can issue this CAS number within a statement confirming the details of the course and how you meet the requirements to be a TIER 4 student once we have received all the relevant documentation and a deposit from you.

2. You can meet the costs of your course, accommodation & living expenses.

Under the Points Based System you need to claim 10 points for these costs. For an initial application, made out of the UK, you will need to show that you have the total tuition fees for the academic year (unless you have already paid in full) and the maintenance fees as required by the Home Office. Before the College issue the CAS, we need to confirm that you have the appropriate financial statements to submit when you apply for your visa. This is very important, because if these documents do not follow the requirements, your visa application may be rejected, and there may not be time to make another application. The financial documents must show that you will have enough money to pay living costs for the time you are in the UK and any remaining tuition fees. You must have had this money in the bank for at least 28 days, and this 28-day period must end no more than a month before your visa application date. The statements must be in English, or be official certified translations.


You can find full details of the supporting documents you need to show with your visa application, including financial documents, in the government’s ‘Guide to Supporting Documents. If you have paid in part you need to show the remainder of the course fees for the academic year, the maintenance fees and be able to provide the receipt of payments already made. 


For further information and advice on obtaining visas, please visit:




Your first week at College


When you arrive at College, you will attend an induction programme. During this programme you will:

  • Receive more information about the College, your course and about living in the UK
  • Meet the teaching staff and other students on the course
  • Have placement test (if you are studying English as a Foreign Language)
  • Receive further course information 
  • Discuss any accommodation queries
  • Receive help regarding opening a bank account
  • Receive information regarding registering with a doctor and a dentist
  • Receive information regarding registering with the police
  • Be given a letter of enrolment and attendance (if required)



We can also help you with information on:

  • Working in the UK while studying
  • Council tax
  • Driving in the UK
  • Travel queries
  • Student Railcards
  • General immigration matters e.g. visa extensions
  • General enquiries about living in the UK



Funding Implications of Brexit


Bath College welcomes prospective students from all over the world and is able to access a variety of funding streams to help EU and international students pay for their course.


On the 23rd June 2016, the UK voted to leave the EU, which is likely to have an impact on the funding available to EU students to study a course at a college in the UK.


This page provides the latest information on the eligibility of EU citizens accessing funding for UK college courses whilst the details of Brexit are being decided and implemented.


2019-20 enrolment


England has confirmed the same funding package, as for 2018/19 and before, for EU students commencing study in 2019/20. This means they will “be able to access financial support for the duration of their course on the same basis as is available today” – see England’s published 2019/20 statement. This published statement was added to by a ministerial statement in parliament on the same day, in which it was indicated that family members are included in these provisions – see England’s ministerial 2019/20 statement.


On 21st January 2019, a representative of England’s Department for Education confirmed to us that its “assurances are not altered if the UK leaves the EU without a deal: EU nationals (and their family members) who start a course in England in the 2019/20 academic year or before will continue to be eligible for home fee status and student finance support from Student Finance England for the duration of their course, provided they meet the residency requirement”.


2020-21 enrolment


On 28th May 2019, the Universities Minister announced that EU students starting courses in 2020/21 will have guaranteed home fee status.

“EU nationals who start a higher education course in England in the 2020/21 academic year will remain eligible for undergraduate and postgraduate financial support, Advanced Learner loans as well as FE and apprenticeships support, whether a deal for leaving the EU is in place or not.”


2021-22 enrolment


There have been no decisions on fee status or student support following the UK’s full withdrawal from the EU.


More information

For more information please see: