Four reasons why you should study a STEM degree in the UK | Top Universities

Four reasons why you should study a STEM degree in the UK

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Aisha Khan

Updated Jun 19, 2023




From Isaac Newton to Stephen Hawking, the UK is one of the leading countries for scientific research and technological innovation. Almost 680,000 international students chose to study at UK institutions during the 2021/2022 academic year, with STEM (science, technology, engineering, medicine) being one of the most popular subject areas.  

So, if you know you want to study a STEM subject and are wondering where you should study, here are four reasons why the UK may be a great option for you. 

Home to top-ranked institutions across several STEM subject areas 

Widely recognised for their world-renowned subject experts and esteemed faculty members, the UK’s top universities are among the world’s best for studying STEM.  

According to the World University Rankings by Subject 2023, the top 10 universities for medicine include four UK institutions: University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, UCL, and Imperial College London.  

As an example, studying medicine at UCL (ranked sixth in the world) means joining a prestigious medical school which has educated doctors since 1834 and produces 350 distinctive 'UCL Doctors' each year.  

The school’s location in the heart of London facilitates collaboration with several major hospitals and NHS teachers, providing students with a world-class undergraduate medical education. 

The UK also excels in engineering and technology, with three UK institutions featured in the top 10 universities for electronic and electrical engineering.  

A key aspect of the electronic and electrical engineering undergraduate programme at Imperial College London is the substantial final-year project. You’ll be implementing technical information assimilated over the course of your degree and develop novel approaches to present-day problems, showcasing your originality. 

The course is also professionally accredited by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), demonstrating to employers that you have achieved an industry-recognised standard of competency. This provides international recognition of your qualifications which you can use to launch a career abroad. 

Improve your career and employability prospects 

Speaking of careers, another huge advantage of studying a STEM degree in the UK is the wide of range of opportunities available to build your professional experience.  

The UK is well-known for its strong links with science and tech industries. Several multi-national companies have headquarters in the UK, such as GlaxoSmithKline, Vodafone, Unilever and AstraZeneca.  

As many STEM degrees incorporate placement years or internships, you can benefit from learning industry-led approaches in preparation for your career.  

The introduction of the Graduate visa welcomes international students to apply to stay in the UK and find employment opportunities after graduating. If you’ve finished an undergraduate or postgraduate degree in the UK, you can apply to stay in the UK for up to two years after your course. PhD graduates can stay for up to three years.  

International students are also able to work 20 hours a week during term time.  

A unique student experience 

Students at LSE

Whether you’re studying in London, Manchester or Bristol, you’re guaranteed to have fun in some of the most vibrant student communities, as well as opportunities to visit cultural attractions on your doorstep.  

Tongyang Xu graduated from the University of Edinburgh, having studied an MSc in Drug Discovery and Translational Biology. He said he initially felt pressure undertaking an intense master’s, especially as a Chinese student who had never been abroad for a long period of time.   

However, he said: “It’s been an unforgettable and thrilling experience. After finishing two semesters of study, I could tell my skills had improved, I made lots of friends with many of my classmates and I learned a lot from my lecturers.”   

So how does the university ensure that international students are integrated into the student community? “We had welcome weeks with club activities such as a library treasure hunt, numerous activities through the student union and many helpful seminars. 

“The University of Edinburgh encourages and organises student ambassadors to share experiences with new international students, both online and offline. I was one of them myself. We were trained to lead new and prospective students around the campuses and explain things to them. It’s a very fun and interactive experience” he said. 

You can apply with a QS counsellor 

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