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Official Name:The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandPopulation:57, 7 million people
Capital:LondonState language:English
Form of Government:Constitutional Monarchy headed by QueenAdministrative division:The UK consists of four countries: England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland
International phone code:44Time difference with Moscow:-3 hours
Monetary unit:Pound (GBP)Rate:1 GBP = 114.23 RUR




Basic Information about the United Kingdom.

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is located off the north-western coast of Europe between the Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea. It is separated from the continent by the Strait of Dover and the English Channel, and from Ireland, or the Republic of Ireland, by the Irish Sea and St. Georges Channel. The United Kingdom consists of: England, Wales and Scotland, which form Great Britain, as well as Northern Ireland and several island groups. The United Kingdom has a population of approximately 60 million people. The official language is English, although Welsh and Gaelic are spoken by minorities in Wales and the Scottish High lands, respectively. The capital of the country is London. The United Kingdom is a constitutional monarchy. The head of state is Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. There is no written constitution in the British system, but the Constitution refers to the Crown, succession to the Crown, the UK Parliament, and the Union of Scotland, Wales, England and Northern Ireland.

The UK higher education system.

Higher education in the United Kingdom is mainly provided by universities, colleges and higher educational institutions, and art and music colleges. The binary line separating universities and polytechnics was abolished and polytechnics have been given university status and have acquired university titles. Most universities are divided into faculties, which may be sub-divided into departments. Students have to pay tuition fees, which can differ depending on whether the student is a resident of the European Union or from a non-European country.

UK University level first stage: Undergraduate stage

This stage lasts for three or four years and leads to a Bachelors degree in the arts, science or other fields (technology, law, engineering, etc.). In some universities and colleges of higher education, a two-year course leads to a Diploma in Higher Education (DipHE). This is a recognized qualification in its own right. In some universities, students must follow a foundation course before embarking on a course leading to a Bachelors degree. Students of foreign languages are usually required to study or work for an additional year in the country of the target language. Sandwich courses generally involve an additional year's work experience. Some institutions have introduced accelerated two-year degrees requiring students to study during the normal vacation period.

UK University level second stage: Masters degree

A Masters degree is conferred after one or two years' study following a Bachelors degree. Study is in a specialised field. In some cases, the degree is awarded after taking a written examination only, but candidates must usually submit a thesis. Some Masters degree courses (e.g. at Imperial College, London) first award Bachelors degrees after four or five years of study. In such cases, the Bachelor's programme is included in the course.

UK University level third stage: Master of Philosophy, Doctor of Philosophy or PhD

The third stage is one of pure research. At a university, after two years of additional study and the successful presentation of a thesis, this leads to a Master of Philosophy (MPhil) degree. Usually after three years' further study beyond a Masters degree, the candidate may present a thesis for a Doctorate of Philosophy (DPhil or PhD).

UK University level fourth stage: Post-doctorate research

The next stage leads to higher doctorates which may be awarded in law, humanities, science, medical sciences, music and theology after a candidate, usually a senior university teacher, has submitted a number of learned, usually published, works.