K M Enayet Hossain
09 December, 2022

5 min read


Apply to Study in the UK from South Africa

Studying in the UK provides clear directions to South African students who are on the crossroad with education in home country.

Do you want to study in the UK from South Africa? Do you need help with UK university admission and student visa application? We, Total Student Care, an international education agent commit to help and support South African students who are pursuing higher studies abroad and want to ‘Apply to Study in the UK from South Africa’.

Admissions are open at our partner universities in the UK – submit your initial application to commence your Study UK journey.

Study in the UK – Key Information

Academic level
Level 3 to Level 8

Qualification type
Foundation, Undergraduate, Postgraduate & Doctorate

Study mode
Full-time, part-time or on-line

0.5 year to 4 years*

Throughout the year*


Study UK – submit admission inquiry

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Take the first step to your study in the UK journey

Find a course 

Choose the right course that meets your academic and career goals for the financial budget you have.

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Find a University

Research and choose the right university and campus location for the course you have decided to study.

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Find how to apply

Learn what documents and information you will require to make a successful application for your admission.

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Contact us

Contact our professional team for further details and support for admission and student visa application.

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  1. Offering 15,000+ courses at 100+ study locations
  2. Availing almost any subject and year-round intakes
  3. Helping students from any country, on-line and off-line
  4. Providing end-to-end services, almost 24/7
  5. Maintaining 99% visa success rate
  6. Equipping 14+ years accumulative admission experience

Cost of Studying in the UK for South African Students South African Students

The cost breakdowns below are average figures of expenses that a typical South African student will spend on commonly studied subjects at commonly chosen universities in the UK while living a UK life like other international students. However, these costs may vary for certain courses at top universities. For living and maintenance costs, students are in control and can choose to spend more or less as per their financial ability or necessity. This is a general guideline for South African students to prepare for their budget to study in the UK.

Tuition Fee

Course Level Average Cost (GBP) Average Cost (ZAR)
Foundation courses (Full fees) 10000 to 15000 206202 to 309303
Undergraduate courses (per year) 11000 to 15000 226822 to 309303
Postgraduate courses (Full fees) 11000 to 16000 226822 to 329923
Doctorate courses (per year) 14000 to 16000 288683 to 329923

Most of the universities offer some scholarship ranging from GBP 500 to GBP 5000 which will reduce tuition fee cost.

Living cost and Maintenance costs per month

Details Average Cost (GBP) Average Cost (ZAR)
Accommodation 400 to 500 8248 to 10310
Utility bills 30 to 40 619 to 825
Travel 100 to 150 2062 to 3093
Food 140 to 180 2887 to 3712
Mobile phone 10 to 30 206 to 619
Entertainment 40 to 100 825 to 2062
Other casual irregular costs 20 to 50 412 to 1031

Students get 30% discount on travel card and different types of discount on shopping.

Visa application and IHS (International Health Surcharge) fee

Details Cost (GBP) Cost (ZAR)
Student visa application (One-off) 348 7176
IHS (per year) 470 9691

Visa application and IHS (International Health Surcharge) fee may change per year by Home Office. Please check visa application fees calculator & IHS fees calculator to find out how much you will have to pay for your application.

Once you submit your visa application online, pay the student visa application fee and IHS fee via gov.uk website, you will then be asked to book an appointment with TLScontact by creating a TLScontact account. You can then book an appointment at UK Visa Application Centres in South Africa from the available centres, dates and times. You may wish to buy additional optional services TLScontact Visa Application Centres offer.

Earnings from working in the UK on student visa

Students will have the right to work while continuing their studies in the UK i.e. 10 hours per week if they are studying foundation course, 20 hours per week studying a bachelor, masters or PhD course. Students will be able to work full time per week during holiday period in between your course.

Student earning in the UK per month

Details Average earning from student job (GBP) Average earning student job (ZAR)
Part-time work 460 to 800 9485 to 16496
Full-time work 1600 to 2000 32992 to 41240

For up-to-date currency rate, please check oanda.com.

Popular subjects South African Students choose to study in the UK

The most popular subjects South African students choose to study at UK universities include:

  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Management
  • Business
  • Economics
  • Marketing
  • Computer Science
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Project Management
  • Environmental Studies
  • Aviation
  • Food and Beverage
  • Biology
  • Law
  • Education
  • Geography
  • English Language
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Mathematics
  • Engineering
  • Psychology
  • Psychiatry
  • Dentistry
  • Medicine
  • Health & Social Care
  • Nursing & Midwifery
  • Social Work
  • Film & Photography
  • Fine Art
  • Sociology

Documents required for admission application

In general, initially students are required to provide the following documents for university admission applications:

  • All final official academic certificates and transcripts
  • Two academic reference letters
  • Up-to-date CV
  • Passport
  • English Language proficiency certificate i.e. IELTS
  • Personal statement of purpose
  • Research proposal (for MPhil, PhD course)
  • Portfolio of works (for art/design/architecture/film etc. course)
  • ACCA registration confirmation for ACCA course
  • Past visa refusal documents (if applicable)

Why choose to study in the UK from South Africa?

9 top reasons South African students choose to study in the UK

  • High quality education with internationally recognised degree
  • Gain knowledge and skills for highly paid employment
  • Enjoy high standard student life while living in the UK
  • Love discrimination free social and cultural environment
  • Articulate your English language proficiency to fluency
  • Network & connect people from the world for future prospects
  • Earn money during study visa and post study work visa
  • Switch to skilled work visa to develop a career in the UK
  • Stay back in the UK via a range of Immigration routes


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)s

Q Do I need to sit IELTS test to prove my English language proficiency from South Africa?

A All international students coming to study in the UK on a Student Route visa are required to demonstrate their proficiency in English language one way or another. The minimum English language requirements for each programme are specified in the course description at the university where you are applying. Some UK universities accept The South African National Senior Certificate (SANSC), English Grade 3 or above in place of IELTS or equivalent.

However, for foundation course or courses with pre-sessional English, you will need to sit IELTS or other UKVI approved SELTs.

Q What is the entry requirement for UK undergraduate courses from South Africa?

A Applicants with the following quali?cations will be considered for entry on an undergraduate course:

  • National Senior Certificate (with matriculation) with grades 66655. Some subjects may require higher grades
  • Senior Certificate (with matriculation endorsement) with at least BBBCC
  • A recognised International Foundation course from a UK institution

If you have not achieved these results, you should supplement your Senior Certificate with an international foundation year or equivalent.

Equivalency table of grades when compared with A Level
A Level Senior Certificate National Senior Certificate Grade Percentage
AAA AAAAB 77776 95–100%
AAB AAABB 77766 90–94%
ABB AABBB 77666 85–89%
BBB AABBB 76666 80–84%
BBC BBBBB 66666 75–79%
BCC BBBBC 66665 70–74%
CCC BBBCC 66655 60–69%
Q What is the entry requirement for UK postgraduate courses from South Africa?

A For entry onto a postgraduate course, UK universities will normally require a 4 year bachelor’s (honours) degree, Professional bachelor’s degree or a bachelor’s degree in technology (BTech). The grade requirements may differ from course to course or university to university. You can check your grades from the table below to find out if you fulfil the entry grade required by the UK University where you want to study –

Equivalency table of grades when compared with UK University entry requirements
South African degree classification South African degree classification (%) Alternative name UK University degree classification
1st class 75–100% Distinction 1st
2nd class division 1 70–74% Pass 2.1
2nd class division 2 60–69% N/A 2.2
QCan I bring my dependants if I am on UK student visa?

A Yes, you can bring your dependants (partner/Spouse or children) to the UK if you study an eligible course at an eligible university. Please check our guide ‘How to apply: Student dependant visa for UK for details.

Q What is academic reference? Will I need to provide academic references/letters with UK university admission application?

A You will need to provide details for 2 academic referees or submit 2 academic reference letters with your university applications. Find more about academic references in ‘Matters related to academic reference letters’ guide. You can also check our ‘Sample Academic Reference Letter’ in the student resources section for better understanding of the requirements.

Q How much money will I need and which financial evidences I need for UK student visa?

A You will need to have tuition fees for your course and money to maintain yourself in the UK. Please check our guide ‘UK student visa: Financial evidence – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)’ for more details.

QWhere are the UK Visa Application Centres in South Africa?

A There are 5 UK Visa Application Centres in South Africa. Please find their addresses, opening hours below –

Centre Address Opening hours (except public holidays)
Cape Town Upper Ground Floor, Media Quarter Building, Corner of De Smit Street and Somerset Road, De Waterkant, Cape Town, South Africa
  • Opening Hours: Monday to Friday, 08.00 – 15.30
  • Standard & Premium Appointments: 08.00 – 15.30
  • Prime Time Appointment: 08.00 – 08.30
  • Passport Return: 10.00 – 15.00
Durban 430 Peter Mokaba Ridge, 3rd Floor, The Atrium, Durban, South Africa
  • Opening Hours: Monday to Friday, 08.00 – 15.30
  • Prime Time Appointment: 07.30 – 08.30
  • Passport Return: 08.30 – 15.30
Johannesburg 2nd - 3rd Floor, 24 Central Building, Gwen Lane and Fredman Drive, Sandton, Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Opening Hours: Monday to Friday, 08.30 – 15.30
  • Standard & Premium Appointments: 08.30 – 15.30
  • Prime Time Appointment: 08.00 – 08.30
  • Passport Return: 09.00 – 15.30
Port Elizabeth Ground Floor Building 66, Fairview Office Park, Greenacres, Port Elizabeth, South Africa
  • Opening Hours: Monday to Friday,08.30 – 15.30
  • Prime Time Appointment: 07.30 – 08.30
  • Passport Return: 08.30 – 15.30
Pretoria 1st Floor, Menlyn Corner, Growth Point building, Corner of Lois/Atterbury Road, (Opposite to Menlyn Park Shopping Centre) Menlyn, Pretoria, South Africa
  • Opening Hours: Monday to Friday,08.30 – 15.30
  • Prime Time Appointment: 08.00 – 08.30
  • Passport Return: 09.00 – 15.00

Need more information?

If you are not sure about your admission needs and want to consult us before making your decision, get in touch with our student counsellors –

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