Language courses in the UK are the most obvious choice for learning English. There are more language schools here than in other English-speaking countries, and there are programs for everyone: company employees, students, tourists. Course durations vary from 1 week to a year.

Advantages of English courses in the UK

  • Wide choice of cities and schools. There are more English courses in the UK than in any other country, with about 360 language schools in 87 cities. For comparison, the US has 310 and Canada has 225.
  • Variety of courses. You can find courses for any purpose: standard English, Business English, English for professionals, international exam preparation, summer courses for teenagers, and so on.
  • Class start time. Most language schools recruit new students for standard courses every week. In other words, you can start learning at any time.
  • Job. If you want to attend a course lasting more than 11 weeks, it is necessary to apply for a student visa. Student visas allow you to work 20 hours a week, and during holidays — 40 hours.
  • University preparation programs. If you need English for higher education, you can find several programs that prepare for admission: Foundation, A-Levels, Pre-Master's, and International Year One.

Disadvantages of language courses in the UK

  • Course cost. The average price for courses in the UK is higher than in other European countries. For example, a week of intensive courses in Germany will cost you 201 USD, in Spain — 239 USD, and in France — 196 USD. In Britain, an analogous course will cost 536 USD per week.
  • Student visa. Getting a long-term student visa is difficult. You need to pass the SELT language proficiency exam. In addition, you will need a Confirmation Acceptance for Studies letter from an accredited educational institution.
  • Additional summer costs. Due to the high demand for courses during the summer season, schools increase the cost of programs by 26 USD per week, and housing prices increase by 38 USD per week.
  • Dialects. There are about 40 dialects in the United Kingdom. Some of them, like Scottish or Geordie, are very difficult to understand — even for native English speakers[1]. This can reduce the choice of viable cities when looking for a school.

UK language course fees

SchoolProgramWeeksTuition fees/weekCityLiving in a residence/weekHomestay/week
LSIAfternoon 101-11192 USDLondon, Brighton, Cambridge262-479 USD153-262 USD
General 201-50358 USD
Intensive 241-50415 USD
Intensive 301-50473 USD
Pathway12-48409 USD
Academic English4-48409 USD
English for Business1-50473 USD
TOEFL 30 / TOEIC 30 / IELTS 301-50473 USD
Cambridge 304-12434 USD
One to One Lesson1-5074 USD/Lesson
Plus Courses1-50370 USD
9 Day Compact9 days6,075 USD/9 days
English for Teaching12473 USDLondon, Brighton,
Club 40+1-4690 USDLondon, Cambridge
Medical English1-8415 USDLondon
English for Law1-8415 USD
Junior Courses1 -4958 USDLondon, Brighton, CambridgeIncluded in the course costIncluded in the course cost
ECGeneral English1-23434 USDLondon, Brighton, Bristol, Manchester, Cambridge332-741 USD185-409 USD
Intensive English1-23536 USDLondon, Brighton, Bristol, Manchester
Academic Semester / Year24-99351 USD
Intensive Academic Semester / Year24-99422 USD
One-to-One1-50115 USD/lesson
IELTS1-23434 USD
English for Work1-12536 USDLondon , Brighton, Bristol
Cambridge8-10536 USDLondon, Brighton
English in the City1-4536 USD
Business English1-23434 USDLondon
UniBridge Standard4-99422 USDCambridge
UniBridge Intensive4-99530 USD
Fast Track Standard1-99575 USD
Fast Track Intensive1-99703 USD
Enroll in a language course with UniPage

When applying for a language course, many hours are spent clarifying the nuances behind courses and finding accommodation options in the UK. Our experts will help you save valuable time.

At UniPage, we cooperate only with accredited language centers, which, besides offering quality education and accommodation, provide discounts to our clients. Our experts will select a program by type and intensity, help you apply for and book a course, and explain all of the intricacies behind the course contract.

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Types of language courses in the UK

Types of programIntensityGroupMin. language requirementsAvg. cost per week
One to One5-501Starter (A0)370-3,704 USD
Afternoon 101010-15Elementary (A1)294 USD
General English2010-14Starter (A0)434 USD
Semi-Intensive Courses2410-14Starter (A0)511 USD
Intensive English3010-14Starter (A0)536 USD
Academic Semester / Year20-3010-14Starter (A0)422 USD
English Plus2+1Starter (A0)115 USD/lesson
Exam Preparation IELTS / TOEFL / TOEIC / Cambridge20-3010-14Intermediate (B1)460 USD
Academic English2510-15Intermediate (B1)409 USD
English for Work3010- 14Intermediate (B1)473 USD
English for Teaching25-3010-15Intermediate (B1)728 USD
English in the City3010-14Starter (A0)536 USD
Business English20-3010-12Upper Intermediate (B2)434 USD
General English with Work Experience2010-14Intermediate (B1)396 USD
UniBridge Standard206-8Elementary (A1)422 USD
UniBridge Intensive3010-15Elementary (A1)530 USD
Fast Track Standard1610-15Starter (A0)575 USD
Fast Track Intensive2610-15Starter (A0)703 USD
Club 40+2010-15Elementary (A1)690 USD
Junior programs (6-17 years old)2010-15Elementary (A1)926 USD
Live and Study in Your Teacher's Home10-301Starter (A0)1,405 USD
University courses6-4810-15Intermediate (B1)575 USD
Pathway20-3010-15Intermediate (B1)17,883 USD/year

Language schools in the UK are distinguished by a variety of English programs. The most common are standard courses:

  • Afternoon 10, General English, Semi-Intensive English, and Intensive English differ from each other in intensity and do not have any distinct features.
  • One to One. If you want to learn a language one-to-one with a teacher, this course is for you. Such a program is more expensive, but the lessons are far more effective. In addition, you can choose how many hours per week to practice.
  • English Plus. Students can purchase individual lessons in addition to standard English courses.
  • Academic Semester / Year can also be attributed to standard courses, but they last longer — from 24 weeks and onward. The advantage of this program is the duration: the longer you stay in the country, the better you develop your skills and fluency. Academic Semester / Year is suitable for those who are serious about improving their English.

In addition to the standard courses, there are those with additional options:

  • Academic English — this program is aimed at developing academic English skills. These help students better absorb university-level material: making presentations, reading scientific publications (academic reading), and writing essays, articles, and reports (academic writing).
  • English for work will help develop communication skills in a work environment. Business correspondence, negotiations, communication with colleagues, reports — you work out all of these situations as part of the course. In addition, you can find specialized Medical English and English for Law programs, which cover professional vocabulary.
  • English for Teaching is a 20-hour General English course and 5-10 individual teaching lessons where the student learns to plan English classes, develop language skills, analyze students’ needs, and correct mistakes.
  • Business English prepares you for a career in an international environment. During the course, you improve language skills in the areas of crisis management, team building, finance, international business, ethics, and corporate social responsibility. The Business English format depends on the school: there are classes in mini groups, individual lessons, and the LSI center offers an intensive 9 Day Compact course (82-92 lessons in 9 days).
  • English in the City is suitable for those who want to not only learn English in the classroom, but also practice it in a natural environment. Throughout the week, students of this course study a certain topic in the classroom, and during the weekend they put this knowledge into practice — visiting various places in the city and interacting with locals. For example, if the topic of the week is art and culture, then an extracurricular lesson takes place in a museum or gallery.
  • General English with Work Experience is ideal for students who want to improve their English while developing their professional skills. You devote 20 hours a week to learning English, and the rest of the time you do an internship at a company. It is not paid — instead, you will have to pay 1,150 USD[2].
  • UniBridge Standard, UniBridge Intensive, Fast Track Standard, and Fast Track Intensive are combination programs that include several types of courses. For example, UniBridge Intensive is 12 General English, 8 Academic English, and 10 Exam Preparation lessons per week.
  • Live and Study in Your Teacher's Home allows the student to live in a teacher's home and learn the language. During the course, you study English 10-30 hours a week. However, your learning is not limited to lessons alone: ​​you continue to practice the language during shared meals and excursions.

Pathway

This program helps students get into a university. If you have a low GPA or an insufficient language level and want to enter a foreign university, you should pay attention to one of the Pathway programs. There are four options in Britain: Foundation, International Year One, Pre-Master's, and A-Levels. Such programs are offered at language schools and some universities, such as King's College London and Cardiff University. However, it is best to look for private providers like Kaplan and OnCampus. They partner with multiple universities around the world, so you have a wider choice of universities at the end of the program. During the course, you not only improve your language skills, but also brush up other disciplines that you need for admission. If a student successfully completes the course, he is guaranteed to enter one of the partner universities[3].

University courses

University courses are intended for those who do not have a high enough language level for admission to a bachelor's, master's, doctoral, or Foundation program. Often, students enroll with a conditional offer. Very few universities offer such courses — for example, The University of Southampton, The University of Birmingham, and The University of Sheffield.

More about the types of language courses

Features of admission to UK language schools

To enroll in standard language courses in Britain, it is not necessary to know the language. When you arrive at the school, you take a test. You are assigned to an appropriate group depending on the result. However, before booking, you should take an online test yourself and determine your approximate level. This must be done because some programs only accept the B1 level and above — such as Business English, international exam preparation, and Pathway programs.

New groups at language schools usually start every Monday. That being said, start dates should be clarified on the official website of the selected school, as they may vary depending on the center and program.

To book a course, you need to:

  • Fill out the online registration form
  • Pay the registration fee or deposit*
  • Receive a booking confirmation and a link to pay for the course
  • Pay the course fee and additional expenses no later than 2 weeks before the start of the course
  • Receive an invitation from the school

* Depending on the school, you need to either pay a registration fee (about 83 USD) or deposit (255-319 USD). The deposit amount is deducted from the base price of the course. If you decide to cancel your booking, the registration fee and deposit are non-refundable. Therefore, it is important to carefully read the contract, as the conditions for money returns are indicated there.

Pathway programs have stricter requirements: you need to complete 11 years of secondary education and pass the IELTS exam with a score of 4.0-5.5. In addition, the student must send a package of documents along with the registration form.

Required documents:

  • Passport copy
  • Copies of previous UK visas
  • IELTS UKVI certificate
  • Previous educational documents and transcripts translated into English

To increase the chances of admission, you can attach additional documents:

When choosing a school, it is also important to pay attention to accreditation. If the language center does not meet state standards, you will be denied a visa.

Learning process in English courses

The curriculum at UK schools is focused on maximum language immersion: in the classroom, even elementary-level students communicate solely in English. This is called the communicative teaching method — it allows you to master the spoken language much faster than you would if performing endless grammar exercises and memorizing words.

The schools also offer a variety of entertainment programs, which include visits to museums, local pubs, galleries, concerts, and neighboring cities. Thus, you study the history and culture of the country, which are closely related to the language.

Accommodation options while studying in the UK

Accommodation optionsMealsNumber of people per roomMin. cost per weekAvg. cost per week
Host familyNone / breakfast / breakfast and dinner1-2224 USD319 USD
School residenceBreakfast / breakfast and dinner1-2243 USD441 USD
ApartmentNone1-3766 USD/month1,150 USD/month
HotelsOptional1-2511 USD1,150 USD

Additional expenses

ExpenseAvg. cost
Consular fee383 USD
Registration fee83 USD
Accommodation45 USD
Medical fee600 USD
Study materialsUSD/week
Delivery of an invitation by express mail96 USD
One way airport transfer192 USD
Additional summer accommodation fee38 USD/week
Additional summer tuition fee26 USD/week

Check the school website for additional costs.

Cost of UniPage services

Visa for language courses in the UK

A visa is required for studying in language courses and Pathway programs. The visa type depends on the duration of the course:

  • Standard Visitor Visa to study — up to 6 months
  • Short-term Study Visa — from 6 to 11 months
  • Student Visa — long-term courses from 11 months

Requirements for Standard Visitor Visa and Short-term Study Visa same:

  • Application form
  • International passport
  • Proof of financial solvency
  • Confirmation of accommodation payment for the entire period of study (hotel booking, rent contract, hostel payment receipt)
  • Payment receipt for the course
  • Invitation from an accredited school or university
  • Round-trip flight booking confirmation
  • Tuberculosis test results
  • Written consent of a parent or guardian for the child's stay abroad
  • Proof of kinship or adoption
  • Notarized translation of documents into English

The cost for a visa is 255 USD.

To apply for a Student Visa, the following documents must be attached to the previous list:

  • Confirmation Acceptance for Studies (CAS)
  • Secure English Language Test (SELT) — B1-B2 level

The average registration cost is 447 USD.

In addition to the embassy consular fee, ​​you need to pay a medical fee. The cost is determined on a case-by-case basis. You can calculate it here. If you are applying for a Standard Visitor Visa, you do not have to pay a fee.

Learn more about UK Student Visa requirements

Working while taking a language course in the UK

With a Standard Visitor Visa and Short-term Study Visa, you cannot apply for a job.

A long-term Student Visa allows you to work 20 hours a week. During the holidays, you can work up to 40 hours. However, there are a few exceptions. A student cannot:

  • Be self-employed
  • Work as a professional athlete or coach
  • Work in the field of entertainment as an actor, musician, or dancer
  • Get a permanent job
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Most popular language schools in the UK

LSI

LSI is an extensive network of schools with 16 centers in seven countries. Five of them are in the UK: in London, Cambridge, and Brighton. There are courses for all age groups and learning purposes:

  • Teenagers from 9 to 17 years old can spend 2 weeks of the summer at school.
  • Older generations can combine language learning with a cultural program designed specifically for them as part of the Club 40+.
  • If you are over 16 years old, you can take General and Intensive English.
  • University applicants choose Exam Preparation, Academic, and Pathway courses.
  • Business English is available for company employees.

The school provides accommodation for students of all programs: a room in a host family or a hostel. In addition, LSI offers a variety of activities: during the week, you can attend a tea ceremony, go on a trip along the Thames river, see a play at the West End theatre, and go to Paris or Amsterdam on the weekend. However, you need to pay for the room and excursions separately. Only courses for children and teenagers include meals, accommodation, and activities in the program price.

EC

EC English is a network of English language centers in the US, Canada, UK, Malta, Ireland, and South Africa. In the United Kingdom, there are schools in London, Brighton, Bristol, Cambridge, and Manchester. In addition to standard courses, they offer English in the City, English for Work, Business English and Academic Semester / Year. Cambridge also has a combined Fast Track and UniBridge program. The cost of the programs includes workshops, lectures, conversation clubs and British pronunciation lessons.

EC places its students in hostels and host families. Meals and accommodation must be paid for separately.

CES

Center of English Studies (CES) are English schools for children and adults in London, Oxford, Edinburgh, Leeds, Worthing, and Harrogate. Here, you can prepare for the IELTS and Cambridge exams or learn the language in General and Intensive Courses. Teenagers 12-17 years old can spend several weeks in a summer program. Students live in dormitories or host families. Students over 17 pay for accommodation and meals separately.

Best cities to study English in the UK

The United Kingdom is an island nation that consists of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales. English is the official language in the country, spoken by 92% of the population. However, depending on the region and city, you will hear different dialects — there are about 40 of them in total. Even though each one of them is a variant of English, it is sometimes difficult to understand whether a person speaks a dialect or a completely different language. Therefore, it is worth paying attention to the region when choosing a school, especially if you are just starting to learn a language: when you do not understand what a native speaker is saying, it is very demotivating. But if you have a high level, dialects will help you improve your English even better.

Dialect map of the UK
Dialect map of the UK

London

London is the capital of Great Britain and one of the most visited cities in the country. About 20 million tourists come here every year[4]. This bustling city will satisfy everyone's needs. History buffs will fill their phone's memory with photos of the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, and the Houses of Parliament. Shopaholics will enjoy strolling the streets of Covent Garden, while foodies will appreciate afternoon tea ceremonies at the hotels and restaurants of the city.

RegionGreater London
Population7556900
Spending per month1,125 USD

Edinburgh

The capital of Scotland is the center of culture and art. This city is especially famous for its festivals. Among them are the Edinburgh International Book Festival, which hosts more than 1000 authors every year, and the Fringe, the largest arts festival in the world. If you choose a school in Edinburgh, be sure to visit Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace. However, do not forget that Scottish is one of the most difficult dialects to understand.

RegionScotland
Population464990
Spending per month815 USD

Liverpool

Merseyside County Center lies on the east bank of the Mersey River Estuary and is a major port for transatlantic shipping. Therefore, the Merseyside Maritime Museum and the Royal Albert Dock, a complex of docks and warehouses, are popular among tourists. However, it was not the port that brought the greatest fame to the city — but The Beatles. This is where the legendary musicians began their careers.

RegionNorth West England
Population864122
Spending per month865 USD

Brighton

Brighton is a small town on the banks of the English Channel. It used to be a fishing village, but in the 18th century, the city turned into a famous seaside resort. The Palace Pier and the Royal Pavilion — the summer home of George IV — are the most visited places in the city.

RegionSouth East England
Population139001
Spending per month968 USD
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