Future Students – Coming to the UK

Coming to the UK

Organising to study overseas can be quite stressful. The pre-arrival handbook is designed to answer all your questions on issues such as immigration, travelling to the UK, accommodation and finance. You will also find a list of useful contacts to help you with any additional queries.

More information can be found in our International Student Handbook - January 2024.

* Please note: that the UK government have announced that there will be removal of the right for international students to bring dependants unless they are on postgraduate courses currently designated as research programmes.  These changes will come into effect from 1st January 2024 onwards.  Further information can be found here: UKCISA - international student advice and guidance

We will update our web pages to reflect these changes once further information and guidance have been announced and published by the Home Office.

Student Visa Procedures

Visit the UK Visas and Immigration website (UKVI) for further information on immigration. Alternatively, your local British Council can provide you with information on obtaining a visa.

Please see our Visas and Immigration page for more guidance on how to apply for a visa to study with us.

Immigration Health Surcharge

An immigration health surcharge will be required to be paid by nationals who apply to come to the UK to study for more than 6 months. This means that health surcharge payers will be able to access the National Health Service in the same way as a permanent resident, i.e. they will receive NHS care generally free of charge but may be charged for services a permanent resident would also pay for, such as dental treatment.

The health surcharge is payable in full at the time of the immigration application. The amount charged will be calculated based on the amount of time a migrant would be permitted to stay in the UK.

Further information about the immigration health surcharge.

Arriving in the UK

International students from Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, and the United States of America, who are studying for longer than six months, and have a Student visa Route, or Student Route biometric residence permit (BRP), can now use the eGates to enter the UK.

In addition, nationals from these seven countries will also no longer be required to complete or present a landing card.

If you are coming to Queen Margaret University for an exchange semester you should not use the eGates. You MUST see an officer at the border so that they can enter a Short Term Study stamp in your passport. This stamp provides evidence that you are permitted to study in the UK.

For more information and guidance on arriving in the UK please see the UK Government website

Procedures may vary at different ports of entry.

If you are unsure about arrival procedures please contact our international team.

Uniform Policy for Health Related Programmes

If you have been admitted onto one of our Health related programmes which includes placement experience with the National Health Service, we wish to bring standard NHS advice to your attention with respect to dress code. For purposes of minimising the spread of infection and of cross contamination, this code includes the requirement that a short sleeved uniform is worn in many hospital and clinic contexts. Students are provided with the standard uniforms prior to going on placements.

Full details are available on the Scottish Government website: NHS Uniform Policy Guidance.

Programmes covered by this policy include:


BSc (Hons) Diagnostic Radiography
BSc (Hons) Dietetics
BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy
BSc (Hons) Nursing
BSc (Hons) Therapeutic Radiography
BSc (Hons) Podiatry
BSc (Hons) Physical Activity, Health and Wellbeing
BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy
BSc (Hons) Speech and Language Therapy

MSc Art Psychotherapy (International)
MSc Audiology (Pre Registration)
MSc Diagnostic Radiography (Pre Registration)
PgDip/MSc Dietetics
MSc Music Therapy
PgDip/MSc Occupational Therapy (Pre Registration)
MSc Physiotherapy (Pre Registration)
PgDip/MSc Radiotherapy and Oncology
PgDip/MSc Speech and Language Therapy

Opening a UK Bank Account

You can find useful detailed information on how to open a UK bank account on the UKCISA website.

UK Bank Account from Abbey Santander: A Santander banking advisor will be at QMU during Freshers’ Week and will also be at Freshers’ Fayre, to help you open accounts and answer any questions you may have.

Payment of your Tuition Fees

After you have matriculated online, the Finance Team will issue you with an invoice for your tuition fees for that year.

  • Your fees are due to be paid in full 21 days after the invoice date.
  • You must complete a Direct Debit Mandate, which you will find on the QMU Portal as soon as you have your UK bank account details.
  • You can choose to pay your fees in instalments by Direct Debit, but you must hold a UK Bank Account to operate this system.

For more information please see our Finance Office webpage

Students requiring a Student Route visa may be required to pay a tuition fee deposit. For further details please see our Visas and Immigration section

Pre Departure Meetings Overseas

Some British Council offices overseas are organising pre-departure briefings for students coming to the UK to study. Please contact your local British Council office for details. Check out The British Council website to find your nearest office.


  • Letter of Offer from QMU
  • Accept the letter of offer from QMU
  • Return lease confirming you want a room in university accommodation
  • Valid Passport
  • Visa (if required)
  • Pay Immigration Health Surcharge
  • Your original school / academic certificates / transcripts / English Language Certificates
  • Proof of financial status (for UK immigration and QMU)
  • Air ticket (check dates and reconfirm flights)
  • Travel Insurance (yourself and luggage)
  • Medical insurance for Exchange and Study Abroad students
  • Bank draft in pounds sterling, travellers cheques in pounds sterling, pounds sterling in cash
  • Leave your contact details with someone at home

See the Universities UK video, below - with guidance on visas: