Prime EducationPrime Education

faqs for students

I’m an undergraduate

How do I apply to a UK university or college?

UK undergraduate admissions are done through a central online system called UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). It can be a bit hard to understand, so we do it all for you. To apply to higher education in the UK you need to show evidence of a good level of English Language. The most desired English Language qualification is an IELTS. In order to gain a place on an undergraduate degree in the UK, an IELTS score of at least 5.5 will be required, but most places only accept 6.0 or higher. (Institutions with a fierce international reputation, like Oxford and Cambridge, will want a minimum of 7.0.)

The first thing we do is provide a consultation, where we get to know you and your situation so we can advise you on the most appropriate courses to apply for. For International students, most universities will require students to gain a place on a foundation course, prior to an undergraduate degree. This allows you to gain a general higher level of understanding in your subject area while brushing up on your English Language skills so that you are in the best position you can be for your undergraduate degree. Most courses require a foundation year in the UK, which we can also sort out for you.

If you’re a sponsored student, there may be certain conditions to your sponsorship which could limit the institutions or courses you apply for.

We can also apply to universities for you in Ireland (or any university across the world. Different documentation will be required depending on your choice of country but the same process will apply.)

What documents do I need?

When we send your application through UCAS, we require a list of documents including academic transcripts, written references, a list of any previous work experience and a copy of your passport. The most important document is your personal statement. You can apply for up to 5 undergraduate courses through UCAS. This can be for 5 different universities, or 5 different courses at the same university, or any mixture of them. But we make it as simple as possible for you: you give us all the information we need, and then we do the rest for you.

What’s a personal statement?

A personal statement is your chance to persuade the universities you’re applying to that you’re someone they want to teach. It’s 600 words or 4000 characters long and the only time you get to show your institutions how enthusiastic and interesting you are and tell them why you want to study the course you apply for.

You can only write one personal statement, which gets sent to all the places you apply to. Be careful: if you apply for two different subjects, the same personal statement has to do for both of them.

At Prime Education, we’ll guide you when writing your personal statement, and we’re on hand all the time to answer any questions you have it. We’ve all had to write personal statements, so we remember how hard it is to get it exactly perfect!

I’m a postgraduate

How do I apply for a postgraduate degree in the UK?

Studying for postgraduate education in the UK is a fascinating and enriching experience, but it can be hard to apply for. In the UK, most universities ask you apply to courses separately, but we will apply everywhere on your behalf to save you all the work. Most postgraduate courses in the UK want an IELTS of at least 6.5, but some places may accept 6.0. Equally, the more prestigious universities may want an IELTS score of 7.5 of above.

If you’re a sponsored student, there may be certain conditions to your sponsorship which could limit the institutions or courses you apply for.

All applications though Prime Education start off with a friendly consultation, where we get to grips with your wants, needs and personal situation which allows us to research and recommend the best courses for you. Knowing exactly what you want and need means we can focus on the institutions that’ll be the best fit for you.

What documents do I need?

When you’ve decided what courses you want to apply for, we’ll give you a list of the documents we need from you, which includes an academic transcript, a copy of your passport, a list of previous work experience and a written reference. You will need to submit personal statements with your applications. We will then submit these on your behalf and keep you up to date on all information.

What’s a personal statement and do I need to write one?

Yes. They might be called something different, but postgraduate courses usually ask for a piece of writing similar to an undergraduate personal statement as part of the application. In general they are a chance for you to explain why you want to study this course, and why the university should admit you to their course. These may vary in length and content depending on the course and university applied to.

If the personal statement specifications for different postgraduate courses are different, you may need to provide a separate personal statement for each course. We will advise you on this and help you as much as we can.

I’m an English language course student

How do I apply?

Applying to study an English language course at a language school is a great way to improve your English skills in the country, as well as immersing yourself in the local culture. For all sponsored students applying to an English language school in the UK, your application must be submitted through an agent.

Studying on an English language course is different to obtaining a degree as there are a lot more variables: your current level of English, how long you want to study for, when you want to apply and how intensively you want to study. The application process may vary depending on any of these factors.

The best way to apply is to Contact Us and we’ll arrange a consultation. We’ll ask about your wants and needs, and come back with a list of schools and courses that will best suit you.

What documents do I need?

If you’re being sponsored to undertake an English language course, you’ll need to supply us with a copy of your passport and a copy of your letter of financial support. This is a letter from your sponsor to prove they’ll pay for your education.

Self-funded students need to give us a copy of your passport, but you’ll have to pay the tuition fees to your English language school upfront before you go.

You’ll also need to submit documents to get a Visa. These include a letter of acceptance from an English language school, and a Visa letter which we’ll obtain for you.

What Visa do I need?

If you are from outside the EU, you will need a Visa to study in the UK. English language schools have different visa requirements to undergraduate or postgraduate courses.

If you’re studying an English language course for less than six months, you will require a Student Vistor Visa.

If you are studying an English language course for more than six months, you will require an Extended Student Visitor Visa.

faqs for organizations

Education and training courses

What courses do you offer?

We can find academic and vocational courses for any level and for any number of your staff who need to study. We specialise in finding educational, training and vocational courses for large numbers of students that fit our clients’ needs, and we can adapt to nearly anything!

If you are sponsoring students studying at degree level, you may wish to place restrictions upon where and what they can study depending on what you need from them.

How do you find appropriate courses?

We have a large database of courses which we will look through to find courses which suit you. Once you have provided us with your specific requirements, we will come back with the appropriate information for you. Courses will be sorted based on type, and then further refined by criteria like start date, duration, location, and number of students to be placed.

Prime Education also has links to many training centres throughout the UK which offer vocational training courses in areas such as carpentry, health and safety, business management, accounting and aviation.

We’ll come back to you with a list of courses and institutions that offer what you want, and take the process forwards from there.

Sponsored student/trainee management

What services do you offer?

Though we tailor all of our services depending on your requirements, we generally offer all of the following as part of the package for our clients who are looking to place students overseas:

Assessment

It’s important to establish exactly where students are before they start educational or training courses abroad, to make sure they are studying at the appropriate level. We therefore assess students’ needs and requirements before recommending courses for them to be placed on. This can take into account existing English language skills, recognition of existing qualifications, and making sure they meet the required level to gain a place on the course.

In the case of English language schools and centres, many of the schools perform an assessment upon the students’ arrival in order to more accurately assess their knowledge and understanding.

Application

We will deal with all applications to any education institutions, taking care of the necessary administrative tasks and paperwork on your behalf. This includes processing the applications, monitoring their progress, and passing information directly to the relevant parties. We also liaise with the institution once a course has been decided on, to ensure all required documents are in order and their applications are being correctly managed. 

For large groups of students, we take all the hassle out of organisation by ensuring they are placed according to their level of ability and location preferences, if they have any.

Visa help

In order to make the Visa application process as simple as possible, we ensure all students are aware of what they need in order to successfully get their visa. Documents required can vary depending on the course or institution applied for, we always require a copy of their valid passport. Other commonly needed documents are academic transcripts (with an English translation if necessary).

We issue students with their visa support documents from the institution they’re studying at, as the institution will sponsor them through the student visa system. On top of this, we provide full guidance and support to all students while they are completing their visa applications.

Travel 

Organising travel overseas for large numbers of people can be very tricky logistically, so Prime Education covers all of that for you. We book and manage all of the travel arrangements, such as flights and airport transfers, and ensure we get the best price. No flights are booked without prior approval.

Additionally, we can arrange travel and transport within the country to ensure students reach their institutions safe and sound.

Airport pickup

We can arrange airport pickups and onward travel within the country of study. This includes transfer flights to domestic airports. We ensure all students know their arrangements before departure so they know what to expect. Students are required to check in with Prime Education when they arrive in the country in order to keep us up to date.

Accommodation 

Finding a place to stay while studying is a primary concern for many students, which is why Prime Education will sort out accommodation for everyone studying abroad. The type of accommodation varies according to the type of education provider, and the location. Accommodation will be one of the following types:

  • Student residence: These are halls of residents for students with their own bedroom, a shared bathroom, and shared kitchen facilities. The number of people sharing bathrooms and kitchens varies according to the institution.
  • Studio apartments: These are single en suite rooms, with allocated kitchen and study areas. Apartments will be located close to the students’ place of study.
  • Shared apartments: Containing between 2 and 6 bedrooms, residents in apartments have shared kitchen and bathroom facilities. These will be situated close to the students’ place of study.
  • Homestay: A truer taste of British family life and culture, homestays are a residency in a British family’s house. The student will have their own bedroom, and breakfast included.

Progress reports

In order to keep you up to date with your students’ progress, we offer a full and comprehensive student reporting system to our clients. This allows you to monitor the students’ attendance reports and check their progress for the duration of their course. The reports will catalogue the students’ improvements, difficulties, full attendance record and any other information you may wish to include. Usually, reports are issued quarterly.

Keeping you aware of the students’ progress means it is easier to identify and work through any potential issues they face, resolving them before they become problematic.

Insurance

We will sort out insurance cover for all students studying abroad. For those studying in the UK, we use Endsleigh Insurance Services Ltd. Their International Student Insurance, specifically endorsed by both English UK and UK Council for International Student Affairs, is broad and comprehensive. The student insurance covers, among other things:

  • Medical cover: Students will be eligible for emergency medical treatment, emergency dental treatment, repatriation to a student’s home country in case of serious illness, and bringing a relative to visit them after a medical emergency.
  • Possessions cover: Baggage and possessions will be covered, both during transit and while studying overseas.
  • Liability cover: In the case of accidental injury or property damage of a third party, the insurance will cover their legal liability to pay damage.
  • Additional cover: Students are covered for travel within Europe for 21 days; students are covered if they seek private counselling following distress.

Supervisors 

Prime Education provides every student under our control with a dedicated, named supervisor who is the first point of contact for students, and provides welfare and support during their time abroad. The supervisors monitor the students’ progress, manage their finances and deal with any problems the students will encounter.

It is the supervisors who will liaise with institutions and universities before the course starts, and they will continue to provide help and guidance throughout the duration of the study abroad course. They will also give students a 24-hour emergency contact hour for urgent situations.

It is imperative that students stay in contact with their supervisor, starting from the moment they land in their country of study.

What support do you give to students?

Before departure, all students will receive a study abroad welcome pack from us before they leave their home country, so they know what to expect in the country they will be studying in.

Students will all also be assigned their own [personal supervisor] (link to supervisor section above). This is a dedicated member of our team who they can contact throughout the process if they have problems, whose role is to support and assist students in any way they can.

While studying overseas, students will have access to the following services, provided by either Prime Education or their host institution:

  • A dedicated supervisor who can be directly contacted
  • A 24 hour emergency contact number for unforeseen situations
  • Academic support and monitoring reports
  • Coaching and progress support each week
  • Management of funds
  • Assistance with dealing with changes to accommodation or course
  • Help with setting up life in a foreign country, e.g. bank account, mobile phone contract
  • Access to libraries, common rooms and study areas
  • Contact with teaching staff outside scheduled academic hours (when appropriate)

Who should students contact if they have a problem?

If students experience a problem, they should contact their supervisor. The supervisor can then advise them how best to proceed, providing help or directing the student to services which exist to help them.

Many national organisations exist in the UK to help overseas students and are specialist organisations for particular issues, such as housing difficulties, finance issues, or health problems.

Large educational institutions also often have their own dedicated finance support centres as well as an accommodation office, student counselling services and comprehensive pastoral and welfare programmes.

What do we do if we are unhappy with a student’s progress?

If you are unhappy with the progress reports we give you, please contact the student’s supervisor so the matter can be discussed further. We will think about the best ways to resolve the issue and can implement disciplinary procedure if the issue is severe, e.g. limiting their funding until attendance improves.

What qualifications will the student(s) gain?

Qualifications gained depend on the type of course that students are studying.

Students studying at a university will generally receive a Bachelor’s degree for undergraduate study, or a Master’s degree for postgraduate study. It is also possible to place students on more advanced postgraduate degrees like MPhil or PhD courses if they have the necessary prerequisite qualifications.

Vocational and training courses will have their own qualifications which are awarded upon completion of the course, which recognise the skills that have been learned.

If the students are studying at an English language school, please see the question What qualifications will the student(s) gain? in the below English language courses section.

English language courses

How long can students study for?

Courses can be arranged for any length of time, from a week through to a year or longer. The length of the course will dictate what kind of visa is needed.

Do you offer specialist English language courses?

Yes. We can provide specialist English language courses in a wide variety of areas. In the past these have included aviation, petrochemical, medical and oil and gas industry-specific English language courses.

Depending on the ability of the students, these courses may be taken on their own or after a general English language course. Please Contact Us for more specific information.

Where can students study?

We have links with language schools all across the UK and Ireland and work to ensure all students are placed in locations which suit them. Popular locations include:

  • London: The capital city of the UK, and one of the most famous places in the world. It’s full of iconic landmarks, and some of the best schools in the country.
  • Brighton: This vibrant city is on the South coast and is known for its youthful feel, as well as its pier and seafront.
  • Cambridge: Home to one of the best universities in the world, Cambridge is a beautiful English city full of character and within easy reach of London.
  • York: Prime Education’s offices are based here, in one of the UK’s oldest and grandest cities. It’s a popular tourist destination, and has a rich history dating back over 2000 years.
  • Edinburgh: Scotland’s capital city, Edinburgh, is renowned for its grand buildings and combines old traditions with modern living.
  • Manchester: The biggest city in the North of England, Manchester is a vibrant hub with over 86,000 full-time students and strong historic links to heavy industry.

What qualifications will the student(s) gain?

The English language qualifications that each student gains will depending on the type of course. All students will leave with a full report and attendance certificates as standard, and will have the opportunity to take an official English language examination from one of the following:

  • IELTS: Recognised worldwide, IELTS are a good indication of a student’s official English language level and are the best choice for students looking to study abroad at University (undergraduate or postgraduate) level.
  • BULATS: Business Language Testing Service exams are focused on workplace language skills and examine language skills in a business setting. However, as of June 2014, they are no longer accepted for UK visa application purposes.
  • ESOL: Run by the University of Cambridge, this is an official English as a Foreign Language qualification that is recognised worldwide and based on the real-life use of English.  

Education recruitment

What positions can I recruit for?

Prime Education’s recruitment arm, Prime Teachers offers an international platform for you to recruit any and all academic staff to your company, whether you are an educational institute, a corporation or a government department. We cover a huge variety of roles, including English Language teachers (TEFL), international primary and secondary school teaching positions, higher education and university-level positions, and educational administrators.

How does it work?

You will be allocated a dedicated recruitment consultant at Prime Teachers, who will act as your Account Manager and get to personally know you, your company and your needs. The Account Manager will be your point of contact and manage the entire recruitment process for you, from searching our existing database and advertising the role to shortlisting candidates and verifying their details, before passing them onto you. We can arrange interviews and also assist in communication and administration with the candidate.

For more information about our educational recruitment services, please visit the Prime Teachers website.

faqs for educational tours

We are a single sex school, how will you ensure this is continued on the excursions?

Since all our trips are tailored for each individual school we would ensure no other groups are taking part in the same elements of the trip at the same time, ensuring single sex would be adhered to. All relevant guides would be same sex also.

Our students follow a Halal/Kosher diet – how will you ensure the tour caters for this?

All our tours cater for the dietary requirements of the client. We ensure with great detail that all our suppliers/venues comply with the strict guidelines of the relevant diet, and that includes ensuring we are aware of any dietary allergies also.

What is the adult/child ratio on your tours?

We take the safety of your children very seriously and as such follow the UK guidelines of adult/child ratios as follows:

Children aged 9-12: 1 adult to every 8 children

Children aged 13-18: 1 adult to every 10 children

As with all areas of the tours, we are able to tailor the adult/child ratios according to the client’s individual requirements, and so can adjust this ratio as appropriate.

What insurance do you offer for your tours?

We are able to offer full specialist insurance to cover the requirements of the tour, and full pricing can be incorporated in to the tour price.

Are teachers who attend with the children required to pay for their own trip and expenses?

This is entirely up to the school. We are able to incorporate pricing to cover the relevant number of teachers in attendance in to the individual student’s price to cover their costs. We can create the tariff dependent on your requirements.

What if our students don’t speak the language of the country they are visiting?

We will make the necessary arrangements to ensure that the language element is not a barrier to the overall tour experience. For example, we can provide bilingual tour guides in the relevant languages or most tours, irrelevant of country, can be conducted in English.

How much does one of the tours cost?

All our tours are tailored to each school’s requirements, in order to ensure all their individual needs are met. An estimated price can be determined by 3 main factors:

  • Proposed time of year for trip
  • Tour of choice
  • Proposed numbers of students & Teachers

Once the approximate time of year and tour of choice has been decided upon by the school, Prime Education offers a service whereby we will create a communication on your behalf that can be sent to parents. This communication can ask for interest levels for the proposed trip, which will enable us to then provide a quote based on prospective numbers.

Services such as this ensures we take away any additional work from the schools, but enhances your offering to your students and their parents.

We have outlined below a sample package showing a specific scenario in order to provide an illustration of typical costs of one of the tours:

[tour_table width=”100%”]Sample Package%Details
Number of Students (aged 13-18)%12
Number of Teachers%1
Duration%1 week
Chosen Tour%London, UK (Business & Finance, Politics & History)
What’s included? (the list of items included in the quoted price in typically the same of what’s included on every tour)%All entry fees for attractions & activities; All accommodation (mid range, sharing bedrooms) & food;All transport whilst in the city;Return airport transfer in the UK
Price* (PER PERSON)%£1,650.00
[/tour_table]*Prices vary depending on time of year, level of accommodation requested and number of students in the group.

How do your tours differ to other companies who offer school excursions?

Prime Education prides ourselves on being Educational experts. We have many years of experience in working with leading education providers. Our tours provide a good balance for an educational and cultural experience, but where we are unique is that we provide experiences for students that will inspire them with ideas for future careers. Showing real life experiences is a great way to learn.