In a recent conversation with a person born in the UK, he mentioned his son had attended a US college for a year before deciding to move back to the UK to finish school. He told me that apparently if a student completes one year of school at an accredited US university, they can do a combined bachelor's/master's degree in the UK in, as I recall, only an additional three years. Apparently that was what his son was doing.

I unfortunately neglected to ask him for more information regarding the process or where I could find more information online, and have no way of contacting him. A friend of mine and I have been looking into moving to the UK after college anyway, and I recently remembered this conversation and wanted to look into it. We're about to be entering our first year of college in the US, and are considering doing precisely what the man said, completing this coming year and then attempting to apply there for the remaining three years. Not only would it get us to the UK sooner, but it would also be good for costs considering how much cheaper college is in Europe.

Is anyone else familiar with such a system and at least where we could go to begin researching it? I've tried looking online but have, as of yet, found little real information. Or is it just that the information I got was faulty and there is no such system?

  • 2
    Are UK universities significantly cheaper for international students? For non-EU residents tuition fees are generally ~£15-20000+ per year. Other places in Europe are definitely cheaper but not necessarily the UK.
    – nivag
    Jul 15, 2014 at 8:22
  • 1
    Unless you are a EU citizen, you may want to think about immigration issues before going down this road. It might be worth looking at expats.se.
    – StrongBad
    Jul 15, 2014 at 8:59

2 Answers 2


Apparently this is possible but it is at the universities discretion whether your credits are sufficient for entry into the 2nd year. Kingston Uni has some vaguely useful information on their website. In particular applications should be done via UCAS.

I would research some places you would be interested in applying for and contact them directly to see what their policies are. I suspect higher ranked institutions are less likely to accept your credits as sufficient (although I may be wrong).

As pointed out in the comments other things to consider if you are not a EU citizen is visas and tuition fee's. Tuition fees for non-EU students can be significantly higher than for home students (£9000 per year). A quick look at 3 unis gives international fees of:

Kingston Uni: £10750-12350

Brunel Uni: £13000-16000

Imperial College: £22900-25500

Notice the more prestigious institutions are more expensive. When you consider the reduced amount of financial aid (loans, etc.) for foreign students the UK may not be cheaper than US.

  • That is an incredibly useful answer, thank you. I'll give it a bit just to make sure no one comes up with a better one and then probably mark it right. And also, to be fair that puts Imperial College at about my current cost (at a smaller public university) and at about half my friend's costs. So it may still be cheaper. Jul 15, 2014 at 14:35

In the UK, a bachelor's degree lasts three years, and the there are some undergraduate masters degrees available that last four years.

If you complete a year of study at a US university, some UK universities may accept this as enough experience to let you transfer into the second year of a UK degree. This depends upon how closely aligned the two courses are, and how well you performed in the first year.

The other option to consider is that many US degrees include a year of study in another country.

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