A number of fellowships support graduate study in the United Kingdom, most notably the Rhodes, Marshall, Fulbright, Gates, Craig, and Keasbey. Some of these awards are specific to one university, while others require you to identify the particular institution(s) at which you want to study. In both cases, you need to determine the program of study you want to pursue while on the fellowship. A successful applicant will have sound academic qualifications and a compelling rationale for studying in the U.K.
In order to learn about programs that match your interests, you need to research the opportunities available at various universities, colleges, and institutes in the U.K. Narrowing the field among the more than 150 universities in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland may seem overwhelming. The electronic resources below will help you begin to identify departments and degree programs that match your abilities and interests. Print versions of U.K. postgraduate prospectuses are housed in Brown's Rockefeller Library and the Office of International Programs. Virtually all are accessible on the internet. The Marshall Scholarship site has links to every U.K. institution of higher education. Personal contacts are invaluable, so consult with Brown faculty who may know scholars and programs that match your interests.
When researching these programs, you will come across a number of terms that have meanings specific to higher education in the U.K. Definitions of commonly used terms that you need to understand are provided below.
Academic Staff: Faculty.
Course: A course is a whole program of study leading to a degree or diploma.
Faculty: A division, school, or department. E.g. Faculty of History = History Department. Faculty of Arts may include subjects we would classify in the humanities.
Module: A class, e.g. Chem 20.
M.Phil: A degree that falls somewhere between a U.S. institution's masters and doctorate degrees. M.Phil programs are one or two years in length.
Research Masters: A research masters is a degree program that requires you to have a clear research agenda.
Revising: Reviewing, as in "We stayed up all night revising for our exam."
Scheme: A plan, a way of doing something (no negative connotations).
Taught Masters: A taught masters is a degree program that involves primarily seminars and/or tutorials. Taught masters include a thesis as well as or in place of exams, but the research grows out of coursework and is usually limited to a 10,000-20,000-word dissertation. You do not need to have a thesis topic established when applying to a taught program.
Term: Quarter or semester. "Term" refers to the duration of a particular class.
Tutorial: Independent study or group independent study. Typically a one-on-one academic meeting with an instructor.
General information about schools and study in the U.K.
U.K. Student Life provides information about study in the U.K., including scholarship opportunities.
University of Wolverhampton U.K. Universities Map includes an interactive map of U.K. universities. Click on a university's location to access that school's web site.
Sites that search specific "courses" of study (degree programs)
Prospects focuses on postgraduate study in the U.K.
Hot Courses provides information about both undergraduate and postgraduate courses in London and the U.K. generally.
Hobsons is a commercial site, providing extensive information on postgraduate courses of study in the U.K.
Sites that rank courses (programs) and institutions
The site gives the government rating of the research strengths of most UK programs and institutions. You can search by area of study ("Units of Assessment") or institution; the introduction gives a key. Click on the question mark next to a heading to see what it covers.
The Times and the Guardian's university guides and rankings are similar to the U.S. News and World Report's rankings of American colleges and universities. The Times' downloadable pdf gives overall scores for 2008 along with the 2001 ratings in one helpful table.
Other Ranking sites:
Qualitative Assessment of degree courses in the U.K. rates teaching and student experience by institution and subject.
Hero's presentation of RAE assesses the research strengths of most U.K. programs and institutions. The site allows searching by area of study ("Units of Assessment") or institution. 5* is the highest ranking.
Other places to look for funding
British Council Scholarship Search allows searches by country of origin, subject area, and host institution.
Hot courses: student money allows searches by academic institution, subject area, and key word.
Look through the website of the university you would like to attend. Start with information for prospective students. Then search both departmental and college websites for funding. Do not limit your search to funding earmarked for international students.
• Check Oxford's funding search. Submit your Oxford application early enough to apply for the Clarendon and other university fellowships (usually before the January application deadline).
• At Cambridge, submit your application by the appropriate Gates and other International Trusts deadline--Cambridge time table. In addition to information provided for prospective students, look at the annual "Awards" issue of The Reporter.
If you are interested in Development Studies at any school in the U.K., check the Development Studies Association's guide to funding.
Other helpful sites
The U.K Council for International Student Affairs offers useful advice for international students on immigration procedures, choosing courses, study methods in the U.K, etc.
International Students House provides information about housing options in London.
Goodenough College is a housing option for students doing degree courses in London.
Visa Information, etc:
Advice from the British Council about "Entry Clearance" for students.
Students Abroad: Useful US State Department advice for students traveling and studying abroad, including how to sort out passports and visas, how to vote while abroad, what to do in an emergency, etc.