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Home » UK Vs US: Know Which is the Right Choice for You

UK Vs US: Know Which is the Right Choice for You

uk vs us education

It is clear that the United States and the UK are the leading countries in the academic field. This is due to the fact that they have the best-known universities in the world. In addition, they both have excellent research facilities that attract researchers and scientists from all over the world. However, while both provide excellent study environments, the difference between studying in the UK vs the US can be felt in terms of tuition fees, university structure, and many other differences. If you too want to make a uniform decision, you are on the right page!

Do you know?

The US economy is clearly the number one and largest national economy in the world, reaching over $14 trillion in GDP, while the UK is only in 6th place with over $2 trillion.

Gaining an international educational experience can open the door to many opportunities. It’s no wonder why international students flock to universities in the US and UK as they provide excellent academic opportunities that include excellent research facilities and resources.

Want to know more? Continue reading… 

What all is covered in this post?

To make it easier for you, we have created a quick guide to everything you need to know about the UK vs the US.  

highlights of uk vs us education

How to compare between UK vs the US?

The United States and the United Kingdom offer very different experiences for students, ranking among the top three study-abroad destinations for international students. There are huge differences between the US and UK education systems, cost of study and living, employment opportunities, and immigration policies.

Many factors influence the choice of the destination country for studying abroad. Keeping them in mind will make it much easier to decide which one is right for you.

  • Top universities that offer programs in your field of interest
  • The methods of education followed in these institutes (theoretical, research, experimental, etc.)
  • The duration of your course
  • Eligibility criteria
  • The cost of education
  • Cost of living
  • Ease of obtaining a student visa
  • Attitudes towards foreign students
  • Immigration policy

Let’s get started!

Note: To know everything about studying in UK or USA, refer to our Study in UK and Study in USA post!

UK vs US: Education system 

There are two factors that differentiate UK education from the US education system. One is the method of education, and the other is the duration.

Let’s look at both –

Methodology of education

The US education system is known to have a more hands-on, hands-on approach to learning. Students not only learn theory, but they also focus on projects, research, and internships.

On the other hand, the British education system focuses more on theory, delving deeply into certain subjects and not giving students the opportunity to pursue various electives.

Duration of the course

The period of study is one of the main differences for students who want to study in the US or the UK.

While most undergraduate courses in the US last 4 years, in the UK last 3 years.

Similarly, Master’s programs in the US last for 2 years, while in the UK the same program will only last for a year.

This is why most master’s programs in the US require students to complete 12+4 years of study before applying.

Top Universities in UK and US

The US has the largest number of universities in the top 100 world rankings. But the UK is in second place.

Both countries have some of the most amazing institutions.

And so, we suggest you choose the universities depending on the course you are interested in.

However, we give you a brief overview of the top 10 universities in each country. After all, they are among the best universities in the world for a reason.

Top Universities in the UK

A leader in engineering, science, art, business and management, law, and finance, the UK attracts more than 60,000 international students each year.

Four of the top 10 universities in the QS World University Ranking are British, which is the reason for the incredible UK education system.

  1. Imperial College London
  2. King’s College London
  3. The London School of Economics and Political Science
  4. The University of Cambridge
  5. The University of Edinburgh
  6. The University of Warwick
  7. UCL
  8. University of Bristol
  9. University of Manchester
  10. University of Oxford

Note: To know more about this, refer to the Top Universities in the UK post!

Top Universities in the US

33 of the top 100 universities in the world are in the US. Colleges in the US have a hands-on, hands-on approach and provide their students with the latest technology.

Not only that, but students also have access to some of the brightest minds in the world – their stellar faculty.

  1. Columbia University
  2. Harvard University
  3. MIT
  4. New York University
  5. Princeton University
  6. Stanford University
  7. University of California, Berkeley
  8. University of California, Los Angeles
  9. University of Pennsylvania
  10. Yale University

Note: To know more about this, refer to the Top Universities in the US post!

Cost of education in the UK & US

Your exact costs for studying and living in the US and UK will depend on a number of factors. For example, which university you choose, the location of the university, and your lifestyle.

Cost of education

Tuition fees for the same course varies from institution to institution.

But to give you a rough idea, here is the average cost of studying in the UK compared to the US.

  • UK – 10,000 to 26,000 per year
  • US – $15,000 to $40,000 per year in the UK

Keep in mind that programs like engineering, medicine, and MBA are more expensive than others.

Cost of living in the UK vs USA

Tuition fees aren’t the only expense you need to consider when calculating the cost of studying abroad.

You also need to set aside some money for accommodation, food, transport, Wi-Fi, travel, and more.

On average, the cost of living in the UK vs the US-

  • UK – 9,600 to 15,600 per year
  • US – $8,000 to $12,000 per year

Living in the city will, of course, be more expensive. But you can save by choosing cheaper accommodation options.

Note: In the UK the length of training is shorter. This means that your total tuition fees and cost of living in the UK will be less than in the US.

Immigration Policies

The visa processes for the US and the UK are not very different.

However, it is important to note that the US is stricter when it comes to offering entry to international students.

US interview questions, apart from looking at your subject knowledge, also revolve around your future plans. And if there is even a hint that you plan to stay in the US permanently, your application will be rejected.

The UK is easier on foreign applicants. This is why more students are applying for a UK visa, making the competition much tougher.

You may refer to our USA Student Visa & the UK Student Visa procedure posts for more details.

Stay back policy

After graduating from university in the US, you will have 3 months to get a job.

After that, you can stay for 12 months and work in the US. In addition, STEM students get an additional 24 months to live and work in the country.

This is not the case for the UK.

Britain will allow international students to stay and work for 2 years under a new points-based immigration system. This will be true no matter what major you graduate from, what job you take, or your salary!

For reference: What’s STEM, know about STEM courses in the USA from the post!

Job opportunities: UK vs US

The UK is famous for its low cost of living. This means that wages are lower than in the US, but this is not always the case. The UK has a progressive tax system with higher taxes for those who earn a lot and lower taxes for those who earn less. People in the US pay much more income tax on average than people in the UK. Housing in the US is more expensive than in the UK.

Examining salaries, posts, and the like on our website can give you some idea of ​​what you can expect to earn in the UK. There is a non-profit organization in the US that provides details of financial compensation and benefits in most US cities, so check if there is a similar organization in the UK. If you are looking for opportunities, you may want to consider the UK because there are more opportunities.

Also, Read: Doctor Salary in the UK

It’s a Wrap!

There is no right answer to this question because it depends on many factors-

  • First, you need to figure out what course you are pursuing
  • Check which universities offer the best programs in your field
  • Check if you are eligible to apply
  • Look at the cost of tuition
  • Make sure the immigration policy of the country you want to go to is in line with your career plans

Once you follow these steps, you will know exactly which country is best for you.

And if you get stuck at any step or have any other questions, feel free to leave a comment or reach out to us! We will be happy to help.

iDreamCareer is on a mission to reach every state and every child in order to ensure that talent is appropriately delivered to the industry.

Talk to our study abroad experts who have 20+ years of experience to know yourself in and out! We have helped several brilliant but confused minds with the aim to select their most-suited career choices. Hear the success story of Aayush who got an offer from the top 3 universities and is now studying at the University in Ottawa in Canada after getting career guidance from our industry experts!

Also, read


Are wages lower in the UK than in the US?

The average salary in the US is higher than the average salary in the UK. The wage gap is caused by a variety of factors, including the cost of living, the health care system, and mandatory benefits. Wage rates also vary by gender, age, and industry (or type of job).

Is it better to live in the US or the UK?

The US and the UK are among the most preferred countries for migration due to their excellent higher education institutions and thriving economies. The US is the strongest economy in the world, and the UK is the fifth.

Is it easy to move to the US from the UK?

If you are moving to the US from the UK for a job offer, the easiest option is a sponsored work visa. If you have the required skills, you can apply for a work visa. And if you have relatives in the US, a family visa is likely to work for you.

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