Studying in the United Arab Emirates
Most United Arab Emirates (UAE) universities are based on a similar structure to the North American system; however more international universities, including those from Australia, Canada and the UK, are establishing sites in the UAE which follow the system of their country of origin.
The number of universities in the UAE is increasing and the government has placed a big emphasis on university education. The universities in the UAE are often located in exceptional buildings with excellent facilities and up-to-date technology.
Visit the UAE Ministry of Higher Education & Scientific Research for more information on the education system in the UAE and what each university has to offer.
What courses can you study?
A full list of accredited postgraduate courses can be found at the UAE Commission for Academic Accreditation. See the institution’s website for more details about international students.
Some UK-based universities offer postgraduate courses in the UAE, such as Heriot-Watt University, University of Strathclyde and University of Bolton.
Search for available courses on the Top Universities website.
Visit the education pages on the UAE Interact website for information about individual universities and to see what postgraduate courses are on offer.
How do you apply for postgraduate study?
Applications for postgraduate study are made directly to the individual institutions and the application process can vary. Check the websites of any institutions you are interested in to gain full information about entry requirements and application deadlines. It is often possible to apply online.
For most applications, your academic certificates will need to be certified in the UK before the institution makes a decision.
Fees and scholarships
Fees and costs vary depending on the university. It is advisable to contact the admissions department to ask about the price of any course.
Several universities in UAE offer postgraduate-study scholarships to international students; however, it is best to check with individual universities for more details. You are more likely to gain a scholarship from a UK-based university with courses offered in the UAE.
The Ministry of Higher Education & Scientific Research has some information about scholarships and their eligibility criteria.
Are there any exchange programmes?
Many UAE institutions have links with overseas universities and although there is no formal exchange programme such as Erasmus, you may be able to organise this with an institution yourself. Some UK universities with campuses in the UAE may offer a joint study programme, with time being spent both in the UK and the UAE.
Will your qualifications be recognised in the UK?
Check with the university or higher education institution where you are hoping to study to see if their qualification is recognised or has an equivalent in the UK.
Do you need a visa to study in the United Arab Emirates?
If you are planning to study in the UAE, the university must sponsor your student visa, and that institution must be licensed and approved by the UAE Ministry for Higher Education and Scientific Research.
Written by AGCAS editors, September 2013