Careers Service

International Students

Making Applications

International students face the same criteria as UK students when applying for jobs or courses.

As an international student, it is important to be aware of what sets you apart from other applicants when making applications.

Make sure that you promote any extra selling points you have, for example:

  • being multi-lingual
  • commercial insight into your home country or regional markets
  • global perspective
  • previous work experience in your home country

To help you with your applications, we run a CV feedback service. Visit us at the Careers Service, and we'll check the layout and content of your CV. We cannot check for spelling or grammar mistakes, so make sure you check these details or ask someone else to.

Equivalence of Qualifications

Comparing international qualifications to UK qualifications.

When making applications in the UK, you may be asked about qualifications such as:

  • UCAS points
  • GCSEs
  • A-levels
  • Bachelors degree
  • Masters degree

These qualifications form part of the UK National Qualification Framework (NQF).

To find out what level the qualifications from your home country compare to on the NQF, contact the National Academic Recognition Information Centre (NARIC). NARIC are the only official provider of international qualification comparability in the UK.

You can contact NARIC via an advice line for general queries: +44 (0)871 330 7033. They can provide a written evaluation of your qualifications for a fee.

NARIC can’t tell you how your grades compare to the grade system of equivalent UK qualifications. For example, they could tell you whether your qualifications can be compared to A-levels but not how many UCAS points they are worth.

Presenting international qualifications on UK applications

When making applications we recommend that you present your qualifications as they are.

Employers and academic institutions have their own criteria regarding the grades they will accept from international applicants, so you don't need to work out the UK equivalent qualification yourself.

Some large graduate recruiters have guides to help international students work out whether they can apply. For example Deloitte have an International Academic Requirements web page.

The Department for Education provide a degree equivalency table for UK teacher training applicants. This compares overseas qualifications to British Bachelor (honours) degree standard. It can be used as a rough guide for anyone trying to compare undergraduate international qualifications.

If you're unsure whether your qualifications meet the job or course requirements, contact the employer or academic institution for advice. They should be able to tell you whether they would accept your qualifications and how to present them on their application form.

English Communication Skills

Employers in the UK expect international applicants to demonstrate a good level of written and spoken English.

There are many ways you can improve your English communication skills while studying.

You can access one-to-one tutorials and group sessions through the In-Sessional English Language programme. You can ask for advice on the language and structure of your CV and cover letter.

The Language Resource Centre offers a range of self-study language resources, including English Language Materials Online.

Make sure you take time to practise with friends. It can be tempting to speak to classmates from your home country in your own language, but try speaking to them in English. The more you practise, the more confident you will feel.

INTOgration in the Students' Union is a chance to meet other students and practise your conversation skills informally.

You could also consider finding a part-time job, try volunteering, join a club or society.

The Globe Café run weekly sessions in Jesmond for international students to make friends with UK volunteers. They also run free English language classes.

The British Council offers a range of support to help improve your language skills.