What Malaysian students need to know about studying Business and Management in UK.
Once upon a time, high school leavers fill in their university application forms with a particular end goal in mind: to work for the government, earn high benefits and comfortable salary, and finally earn a pension upon retirement that will leave their spouse and children happy and well-off. They learned this from their parents. From their grandparents. From their aunts and uncles who talked highly about that stable life and government servant benefits.
The landscape is changing now.
Day by day, more and more emphasis is given on starting businesses. Countries flourish in its capitalist society as social media makes it possible, even easy, for anyone to start and manage a business. With a degree in business, you will be catapulted head-on into where the money is. Not just build a comfortable lifestyle, but to thrive in it. United Kingdom has many universities that offer excellent degrees in business and management.
Why study Business and Management in the United Kingdom?
The UK is well-known as having one of the most extensive and highly rated universities in the world. A graduation scroll from the UK commands high respect, and for good reason: the country has set international standards of education that is adopted worldwide.
So, why study business and management in UK?
- Get an education recognized worldwide. Regardless of field of study, the applicability of education from UK is relevant almost anywhere in the world, and the international reputation of a degree from the UK is recognised worldwide.
- Improve your English. With the rise of social media and globalization, the need for high command of the English language is the building blocks of doing and expanding business. Studying in the UK not only gives the exposure to adopt the standard English language and pronunciation, but also convinces anyone who glances at your CV of your proficiency, which puts you ahead of everyone else.
- Get a degree faster than in most countries. Unlike many other countries, the duration of study in UK is relatively short but high in quality – on average, only three years for a Bachelor’s degree. This will help you save a lot on tuition fees and living expenses in the long run.
- Support yourself with part-time work. International students are able to work part-time for up to 20 hours a week while during term and full-time during the holidays. After graduation, PhD students can also apply to stay a further 12 months sponsored by your university with full unrestricted work rights. This means high exposure and opportunities to have a taste in intercultural business.
- Engage in an international environement. There exists a large diversity of ethnicities, races and cultures which appears in small-and-medium businesses around the country, promising you with a wide exposure to cultures and business experiences.
The highest benefit of studying business and management in United Kingdom is in the quality of the course itself. Most business courses in United Kingdom are designed to allow students to choose their own areas of specializations from every business discipline, giving you a very personalized degree depending on your passion and interest in the wide field of business.
Business and management degrees in United Kingdom also often come with paid work placements in the third year (for a four- year course), which is designed to build and hone your business skills and give you ideas for your dissertation topic which you will conduct in the fourth year of study. Preparation for the work placement begins from the first year of study via applications and preparation modules, similar to what you will face when entering the workforce after graduating.
How much does it cost to study Business and Management in United Kingdom?
It cannot be denied that the costs of pursuing any degree in any location is never cheap. However, studying Business and Management in the United Kingdom is typically half the price of studying in the United States of America, which is the next most popular option. The top universities which offer business and management courses in the United Kingdom, along with their tuition fees for international students, are:
- Bath University – £17,700/year (2nd most top-rated university for business and management)
- Loughborough University – £17,500/year (popular for studying business)
- Buckingham University – £15,600/year (popular for studying business)
- Lancaster University – £17,500/year (popular for studying business and management)
On average, the cost of studying business and management in United Kingdom is £17,000 a year. Duration of study is between three to four years depending on whether the university offers a work placement as part of the graduation requirements.
Accommodation and living expenses to study in United Kingdom
Most universities in United Kingdom provide a basic breakdown of typical living expenses for international students, depending on the university’s location and facilities. However, expenses in the United Kingdom are similar to living anywhere else, so the typical breakdown is as follows:
|Expense category||Amount in GBP||Amount in RM|
|Accommodation||£50 – 80 per week||RM 270 – 430 per week|
|Food||£20 – 35 per week||RM 110 – 200 per week|
|Transport||£60 for monthly pass||RM 330 for monthly pass|
|Telephone & Internet||£5 – 10 per week||RM 27 – 55 per week|
|McDonald’s combo meal||£5||RM 27|
Note: The amount is RM changes depending on the prevailing currency exchange rate.
Compared to other countries in the east, the United Kingdom is one of the most expensive places to live in and the same applies for its international students. When looking at options for accommodation, universities in United Kingdom offer international students the option of accommodating the university residences, which start from £50 to £80 per week depending on the size of the university. The residences will come with a canteen to buy food, or a kitchen for you to cook your own meals.
Alternatively, one popular option is to find a group of six to eight people and find a house to rent close to the university. A typical house in the United Kingdom has two to three bedrooms and often comes with a spacious attic. Sharing a house between six to eight people brings the cost of rent down considerably to anything from £35 per week depending on the type of accommodation.
Like in any country, it is often cheaper to make your own meals than to dine out every day. Creating a set budget between £20 to £35 per week on food supplies can help you to save on food expenses. If you rent with friends, the shared cost to buy food supplies to make meals together can enable you to set the budget much lower.
Telephone, Internet and Bills
The good news is that with social media apps like Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, FaceTime and Skype, it is possible to skip the need for a landline altogether, which has a base rate of £10/week. For a mobile phone, contracts start at £5/week for calls, and £5/week for standard DSL internet. If you are renting, bills can typically amount to £10/week for water, heating and electricity.
It is important to remember that there must always be additional budget for study materials, travel and fun. Depending on where you live, it is possible to thrive by walking and public transport alone – the weather in the United Kingdom is often pleasant for walking all year round.
How can you save money while studying in the UK?
For international students, make sure you request for your student NUS card which acts like an ID and gives you special discounts in many national stores. The United Kingdom is also active with large, weekly car boot sales where you can buy good quality clothing, old textbooks and household items. Finally, never skip visits to Poundland, Tesco and Asda to save more when buying items and make use of your rights to work part-time to generate some income.
How to apply
To study business and management in the United Kingdom, you will typically need to have STPM (equivalent to UK’s GCE Advanced [A-Level]), Foundation or Pre-University results. For Malaysian students, the Malaysian CGPA is equivalent to the UK CGPA with the highest being 4.0. You will also need to sit for the IELTS English proficiency test, with the standard passing rate at 6.0 and above out of 9.0. For more information, visit our Guide to Study in the UK 2018.
Student visa to study in United Kingdom
To apply for a student visa to study in United Kingdom, you must:
- Have a Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS) from your university for the full-time degree of choice.
- Have evidence of funding to pay for the tuition fees and monthly living costs.
Visa applications are made online at the UK Visa & Immigration website, and you will later be summoned to the visa application centre to have your fingerprints and photograph taken as part of your application. For more information, visit our Guide to Study in the UK.
Opportunities after graduation from United Kingdom
Unlike local graduates who typically have two or three months of work experience done as part of the graduation requirements for a Bachelor’s in business and management, coming from a business program in United Kingdom is often coupled with a year of working experience as part of their work placement program during the third year of study (for a four-year course). This immediately catapults you ahead of the majority of graduates looking for jobs in the working sector after graduation.
With a degree in business and management, careers include (and are not limited to):
- Business analyst
- Data analyst
- Data scientist
- Management consultant
- Systems analyst
- Project manager
- Human resources
- Logistics and distribution
With very few businesses focusing only on a local market, having a degree from the United Kingdom means familiarity with the international perspective of business: this means better opportunities, better options, and a competitive edge from the moment you throw your graduation cap in the air.