Tuesday 15 January 2019


The British Council has launched its Study UK: Prepare to Study and Live in the UK massive open online course (MOOC), which helps international students prepare to study at a university in the UK. Nearly 8,000 learners from 174 countries participated in the first run in September 2018.

The course, is designed to familiarise students with the ways of teaching and learning in the UK, as well as student life. It is entirely free, and registration is now open.

The MOOC will run for four weeks starting on Monday 7 January, with 12 hours of content available. The course includes video lessons from experts in the higher education sector, a Facebook Live session on 10 January, and mentor support throughout.

The course will cover:

Characteristics of higher education in the UK, from active engagement, critical thinking, and evidence-based argumentation, to independent study and academic integrity;

Teaching formats in the UK, from lectures, seminars and tutorials, to student presentations and group assignments, and the roles and functions of each;

Course assessment in the UK, such as written and oral exams, and coursework; 

Support services, from library facilities and English language support, to counselling and financial advice; 

Practical guidance on UK student life, from finding accommodation and making friends, to packing and what to do on arrival.

Fiona Samson, GREAT Britain Campaign Director at the British Council, said: We’ve taken our knowledge and experience of working with international students for many years and applied this to a course that aims to make students feel at ease, more confident and well-prepared for study in the UK, she said.  

“This is for all international students who are about to embark on a life-changing experience and will allow them to join an online community of peers in the same position. With more than 273,000 new international students coming to the UK to study every year, we recognise that preparing for success is beneficial not only for the students themselves, but also for UK higher education institutions and the reputation of the UK as a study destination.”

The University of Reading worked with the British Council to create the MOOC.  

Vincenzo Raimo, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Global Engagement) at the University of Reading, said: “I'm proud that the University of Reading has played a key role in developing this MOOC, which will support international students studying in the UK, particularly those coming to the UK for the first time. It's an important tool that shows the UK as a welcoming destination for international students and takes them through some of the challenges they might face.”

The course is co-funded by the British Council and the GREAT Britain campaign as part of their joint Study UK drive. It can be accessed at www.futurelearn.com/courses/prepare-to-study-uk

Notes to Editor

For more information, contact nicola.norton@britishcouncil.org  

About the British Council

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We work with over 100 countries in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Last year we reached over 75 million people directly and 758 million people overall including online, broadcasts and publications. We make a positive contribution to the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust. Founded in 1934 we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. We receive 15 per cent core funding grant from the UK government. britishcouncil.org

About the Study UK campaign

The Study UK campaign promotes the best of British education overseas and supports the global objectives of UK universities. The Study UK initiative focuses on the experiences, knowledge and confidence that students can gain from UK study, whether in the UK or overseas, or through distance learning, online provision and other models. The campaign is being delivered by the British Council in partnership with the global GREAT Britain campaign and supports the whole UK higher education sector.

About the GREAT Britain campaign

The GREAT Britain campaign showcases the very best of what the UK has to offer to encourage the world to visit, study and do business with the UK. It has generated returns of more than £3 billion for the UK economy since 2012.