More than half of the worlds top 200 universities are located in either the US or the UK. Both countries share a rich tradition of quality higher education. However, while both certainly provide an excellent environment for learning, there are many differences between the two countries regarding the structure of the university as well as student life.
Length of Time Perhaps the most important difference between the education system in the US, and the UK, is the amount of time it takes to finish your degree (except in Scotland, where a bachelors degree also lasts four years). In general, degree programs in the US take about one year longer than programs in the UK, although this varies depending upon whether you receive a Masters degree prior to a PhD. Courses of study are shorter in the UK because the course programs are generally much more focused than in the US.
Academic Term Most universities in the US begin their terms in mid to late August. Most take a rather lengthy break beginning in mid-December and begin the second semester in early to mid- January. The academic term in the UK is a bit more varied. While most also use the semester system, the trimester and quarter systems are used in some universities. Many schools start in September or October and end in May or June, making for a slightly longer academic year. However, the academic term is less standardized in the United Kingdom; if you choose to study there, your university might use a much different calendar.
University Organization Many universities in the UK are made up of colleges which are dedicated to a specific subject matter. While the colleges are still governed by the university, each college has quite a lot of autonomy from each other as well as the university itself. You live with others in your college, eat with others from your college, and generally stay within your college for the duration of your studies.
University Organization American universities have different schools, or departments, such as the School of Arts and Sciences. However, even after you declare a major at an American university, you are still expected to take classes outside of that field, known as electives". In the UK, the emphasis is more on depth; getting a very thorough understanding of your chosen subject.
Cost The cost of education in both countries is far from cheap, but the cost of an education in the United States is generally higher. Also, fees for international students can be significantly higher. In the UK the government sets the limits for tuition fees, and each individual school sets its own fee up to that limit. By contrast, the government has very little control over what universities charge in the United States.
Accommodation Both countries provide students with residence halls in which to live. In the UK it is more normal to have a bedroom by yourself, whereas in the US, you may very well share a bedroom with at least one other person.
While both countries provide a great education, each system approaches education slightly differently, and there are advantages and disadvantages to each. If you are considering getting your education in either the US or the UK, you should take into consideration the various differences mentioned in this presentation, especially the amount of time it takes to finish the degree and the tuition fees. Conclusion
AmericaBritain Length of TimeBA: 4 years MA: 2 years PhD: 5-7 years or longer BA: 3 years MA: 1 year PhD: 3 years Academic TermMost schools start in mid to late August and end in May. The start and the end of an academic year varies by university. University OrganizationUniversities are often divided into schools by subject, but these schools do not typically have a lot of autonomy from the university. University acts an umbrella organization for the different colleges. Colleges are independent of one another. CostHighModerate HomeworkConstant reading and writing assignments General assignments or no assignments throughout the semester GradesBased on overall performance on all assignments Based mostly on the final exam