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Guide To Study in the UK from Malaysia

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Tea and biscuits, anyone? The United Kingdom (UK) has been one of the top study destinations for decades, for all the right reasons! The UK is made up of 4 different nations; England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. Each country has a rich history and impressionable educational institutions, so you’ll be spoilt for choice. 

If you are looking for a guide on how to study in the UK from Malaysia, we at Mayflower have just the right thing for you! Make sure you have everything below prepped before applying for your dream university in the UK.


Why Choose To Study In The UK?


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‘Ello, mate! If you have been dreaming to wake up with a posh English accent, perhaps it's time to consider studying in the UK! Asides from its pleasant accent, the UK offers a world-class education—in fact, arguably the best in the world. After all, they did invent the English language, and is home to some of the greatest minds in academia.


The UK also provides its students with state of the art facilities and resources that can be used to their benefit. Malaysian students studying in the UK also have the unique opportunity to be taught by accomplished experts and academics, most of who are the writers of the very textbooks they are going to be studying!


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With so many perks, it’s hard to say no when given the opportunity to study abroad in the UK. The UK is a place with a long history; with culture, societies, iconic architecture, and the host of huge international events—it certainly is one of the best places to study at!


Where To Study In The UK?


The United Kingdom’s top universities are scattered all throughout its 4 countries, with each region having its own notable choices of universities to attend. Generally, the biggest difference for each country would be the cost of living—but make sure to do your research!




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The land of the (late) queen, England is the reigning champion when it comes to the number of officially based universities. It is also an extremely popular option as it is heaven for football fans in Manchester, the dreamy countryside of Coventry, the rebellious soul of Birmingham, and of course, the capital city itself—London! It is home to the biggest student population. However, it is also the most expensive country to live in in the UK. Life in London alone could rack up 1,250 to 2,000 GBP (RM6,600 to RM10,670) per month on accommodation alone. Prepare your finances well!


Northern Ireland


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Surviving periods of historical struggle, Northern Ireland still stands tall and prideful as one of the UK’s best places for academia. The birthplace of classic writers such as Oscar Wilde and Samuel Beckett, Northern Ireland is one of the UK’s best places to pursue literature. In the capital city Belfast, Malaysian students will be able to experience the otherworldly beauty of Northern Ireland that has served as the background to many pieces of fantasy media!




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With Edinburgh as its capital, there’s no mistaking the one and only Scotland. From its rich culture of kilts, bagpipes, and haggis—Scotland recently was ranked as the second-best UK city for students after London, thanks to Glasgow growing in popularity. Scotland is home to four of the oldest universities in the whole world, those of which have been around since before the 16th century!



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The affordable choice for big city slickers, Wales’ capital Cardiff brings a refreshing take to city life. With over 44,000 students that are attending the four universities that are based in Wales, you can count on an enriching academic life while saving on living costs. PS: there are tons of castles to visit on your days off too!



Top Universities To Study At In The UK

Home to some of the oldest and most prestigious institutions in the world, universities in the UK remained unrivaled when it comes to reputation. Everyone in the world has heard of Cambridge and Oxford University, and for good reason too! Degrees awarded by UK universities are considered the best and are almost guaranteed opportunities for a good career after graduating.

Here are the Top 10 Best Universities in the UK that you can begin your education journey with:

According to Times Higher Education Ranking 2023*

·   University of Oxford

·  University of Cambridge

·  Imperial College London

·  University College London (UCL)

·  University of Edinburgh

·  King’s College London

·  London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

·  University of Manchester

·  University of Bristol

·  University of Glasgow

Asides from being consistently ranked as the highest UK universities, these universities have also ranked globally worldwide and have remained respectable institutions since their creation.


What Do You Need To Know About UK Universities?


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The application for a UK university is a little different than the rest, which may confuse Malaysian students. However, fret not, Mayflower will help guide you throughout this process!

When applying for further studies at any UK university, all students must submit applications and documents to the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Students can do their research and apply for courses online via UCAS as well. It’s important to remember that when submitting your UCAS application, a personal statement is what will make you stand out.


1. Entry Requirements


From a technical standpoint, the entry requirements to study in the UK are with test results that we already have.


  • Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) is equivalent to the UK’s GSCE Ordinary (O-Level) and the Scottish Certificate of Education (SCE) Standard Grade
  • Sijil Tinggi Pelajaran Malaysia (STPM) is equivalent to the UK’s GSCE Advanced (A-Level), International Baccalaureate (IB), and the Scottish Certificate of Education (SCE) Higher Grade.

That being said, some institutions may require you to take A Levels based on certain subjects and courses. Therefore, make sure to contact the university you are applying to for verification and what credentials you will need in order to apply. 

For existing students who are currently doing a twinning or tertiary programme with a UK university, you will be exempted from this requirement. However, please make sure to check with your current university if there are any additional academic requirements before completing your final year abroad in the UK. 


2. Language Requirements

An impeccable understanding of both spoken and academic English is absolutely necessary in order to secure a position as a student in the UK. As a Malaysian student applying to study in the UK, be aware of the following requirements:

  • Some universities will specifically inform you which subject passes are required in order for you to proceed with their programmes
  • The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) results unfortunately can only be used for Visa applications, especially if the tests were taken outside of the UK.
  • Malaysian students are recommended to take the International English Language Testing Systems (IETLS) to secure their language understanding.

Do note that several courses, such as Law and Medicine, may require a higher score than other programmes. Therefore, you should do your best!


3. Tuition Fees and Living Costs

Studying abroad can be quite costly. However, graduating from the UK will pretty much secure your future, so it’s a great investment! Depending on the course and university you ultimately apply for, the cost of tuition fees will differ.

Here is a rough estimate of what it could cost to study in the UK per year:

  • Bachelor’s – 10,000 GBP to 38,000 GBP (RM53,400 to 202,300)
  • Masters – 11,000 GBP to 32,000 GBP (RM59,000 to RM170,000)
  • Ph.D. - 14,000 GBP to 30,000 GBP (RM69,400 to RM160,000)


As for the cost of living, the city you choose to study and live in in the UK will make a huge difference in your expenses. Major cities such as London and Glasgow might be more costly but closer to tourist attractions and events, while smaller and quieter cities such as Cardiff and Belfast may not have as much going on—but be far cheaper in comparison.

Make sure to prepare your finances if you are keen on studying abroad in the UK!


4. Application Process and Visa Requirements

Once you’re set on studying in the UK, you can begin your application process! The process of applying for a UK university is pretty simple, just follow our steps below.


i.           Choose a course and university.

ii.          Do research and write your personal statement.

iii.         Submit your application and all your necessary documents via UCAS.

iv.        Receive confirmation of application.

v.          Receive your Offer Letter and Acceptance Letter.

Next, it’s time to start your Visa application! As a Malaysian student, you must apply for a Tier 4 (General) Student Visa up to 3 months before your programme begins in the UK. Note that the fee for this may be as steep as RM1,863 and more as you may be subjected to additional fees for health insurance. 


A very important thing to note is that Malaysian students are also required by law to take a tuberculosis examination at specialised and approved test clinics. Please visit the link here to learn more information. 

Prepare the following documents to upload alongside your application:


  • Passport with an expiry date no less than 6 months before the end of your study period
  • Academic transcripts
  • English as a Second Language certification
  • Proof of sufficient funds (parent or guardian’s annual financial statement) of a minimum of 60,000 GBP or RM177,870.
  • A statement from a parent or guardian agreeing to support you financially during your period of study.
  • Confirmation of acceptance for studies reference number (CAS) from UCAS and your university.
  • Tuberculosis examination test results. 


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And that’s it! You should receive your Visa 120 days before your course begins. Your academic journey to the UK is about to begin, so rejoice! 


With that, we conclude our list of all you need to know about admissions and studying in the UK! We at Mayflower hope that you understand the requirements to study in the UK a lot better now and that your application process will be smooth. In fact, we’d like to help you out a little more ;) 


For all students applying to study abroad, flights purchased under Mayflower will be entitled to exclusive perks such as free baggage allowances and complimentary date changes*! This is a special rate for students, but we also offer a special package for parents who would like to accompany their kids! Students struggling with Visa applications may also reach out to us for help as Mayflower is here to make your education journey a lot smoother. 


For any further inquiries, don’t hesitate to reach out to us!