Careers Service

International Students

International Students: Making Applications

International Student, Applications, Masthead

International students face the same criteria as UK students when applying for work experience, jobs or courses. It's important to think about what sets you apart from other applicants. For example:

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

This section offers information about presenting your international qualifications and enhancing your English communication skills.

For more information and advice specifically for international students, join our International Student Pathway.

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
  • Master's degree

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

If you need to find out what level the qualifications from your home country compare to on the NQF, contact UK ENIC. They are the only official provider of international qualification comparability in the UK.

UK ENIC 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 online guides to help international students work out whether they can apply. For example Deloitte have an International Academic Requirements web page.

Universities also offer qualification guides which can help. For example, you can use Newcastle University's Find Your Country tool, and select the Entry Requirements tab.

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 virtual 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 online and distance learning resources including:

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.

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

Beyond is a student-led project through the Students' Union which helps students to integrate into the local community. The project encourages students to go beyond university life and get involved with the local community through a mix of activities including volunteering and fun outings. For more information contact Yovelyn at

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.