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Germany Vs the UK- Things to consider

Updated on 08 November, 2023

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad abroad Editorial Team

The UK and Germany are among the top countries for students to pursue higher education abroad. Both these nations have some of the most reputed and research-intensive universities that hone a student’s academic understanding by leaps and bounds.

That is precisely why Germany Vs. UK dynamic is a common question in the minds of Indian students planning to study abroad. While the UK has some of the oldest universities in the world clubbed with a more straightforward visa procedure, Germany offers quality education for free for deserving students with an easy immigration process. 

Academic cycles

There are two main intakes for both Germany and the UK for undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. These intakes are classified mainly into two types – Summer intake or the April Intake and the winter intake or the September/October intake. 

On the other hand, the UK offers students two intakes beginning in different months – September/October intake and the January/February intake. You might even find some universities offering a May intake in the UK. 

You can decide which is better, Germany vs. the UK, for you as per the intake you are most comfortable in.

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Admission process- UG, PG across both the countries

The admission process for both undergraduate and postgraduate courses in the UK and Germany are somewhat similar yet different. 

In the UK, you should have completed 13 years of education at a minimum for an undergraduate degree, whereas a postgraduate degree requires that you have an undergraduate degree. 

A Statement of Purpose, essays, and letters of recommendation are a must to gain admission to whichever level of education in the UK. Along with that, you must have either scored 58% or higher in the English subject in intermediate or must have given the IELTS or TOEFL, or PTE exam to qualify for a seat in a UK university. Some courses might require you to provide the GRE or the GMAT

On the contrary, each German university has its own eligibility criteria. You will generally be asked to give an entrance exam by the name of Feststellungspruefung, but if you have cleared the JEE advanced by 50%, the cut-off marks in the exam will be a minor 50%.

The required documents to apply for an undergraduate degree are

  • Entrance Qualification
  • Transcript of Grades
  • Proof of German language proficiency
  • ID or Valid Passport Copies 
  • Letter of Motivation

Top 3 universities across varied streams for both the countries 

Since the UK and Germany offer top-notch programs in various streams, it is best to know the top universities for the major streams. Below are the streams, the three best universities, the fee range, and the subject ranking in the two nations.

Arts and Humanities

University Name (UK)Fee RangeSubject Ranking
University of Cambridge GBP 26,000 to GBP 35,0001
University of OxfordGBP 27,8002
UCLGBP 23,0003
University Name (Germany)Fee RangeSubject Ranking
University of Munich1
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin2
Eberhard Karls University, Tübingen650 euros per semester3
Engineering & Technology
University Name (UK)Fee RangeSubject Ranking
University of CambridgeGBP 26,000 to GBP 35,0001
University of OxfordGBP 27,8002
Imperial College LondonVaries per course3
University Name (Germany)Fee RangeSubject Ranking
Technical University of Munich144.40 euros per semester1
RWTH Aachen University0 fees2
Technical University of Berlin13,182 euros3
Life Sciences & Medicine
University Name (UK)Fee RangeSubject Ranking
University of CambridgeGBP 26,000 to GBP 35,0001
University of OxfordGBP 27,8002
UCLGBP 23,0003
University Name (Germany)Fee RangeSubject Ranking
Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg3,300 euros1
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München7,500 euros2
Technical University of Munich144.40 euros3

Cost of attendance

When we look at the cost of attendance, Germany wins hands down! Most of the courses in the country have no tuition fees—but you might have to pay an amount of 250 euros according to the university and the benefits provided to you. On the contrary, the UK has an average fee of GBP 12,000 to GBP 15,000 in one year.

Pre-Arrival Cost

The pre-arrival costs for the UK and Germany include the student visa fee, application fee, exam fees that are required to study in the country, and related expenses in your home country. 

On a general note, the pre-arrival costs would be on similar lines for both countries. Rather it depends on the course you choose to study that alters the pre-arrival costs.

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Cost of living

The room and living cost of the UK is much more than that of Germany – even if we compare the capitals of both countries. You can expect the cost of living in the UK to be double that of Germany. 

Part-time job opportunities

You can avail of several part-time job opportunities in both the UK and Germany. Here is the minimum pay across the top 5 part-time profiles in both countries for your reference. 

  • Germany: 9.19 Euros
  • UK: GBP 7.70

PSWP options

In the UK, international students are awarded a two-year work permit allowance after a one-year degree. At the same time, the work permit duration in Germany is slightly lesser than that of the UK, with the length being 18 months. 

Scholarships (UG, PG) 

As international students, you can also be awarded several scholarships to lower your financial burdens and focus on your studies. Here are some of the leading scholarships available in the 

UK vs Germany

Name EligibilityAmountDurationDeadlines
UWE Chancellor’s Scholarship 2022Overseas students for postgraduate studies in the UKGBP 10,000One academic year31st May 2022
Daad Scholarship programsIncoming students and at least two years of work experience850 euros per monthStudy course durationJan 2022

Student Visa Application Process

The student visa application process is specific and different for both the UK vs. Germany. In the UK, you must check if you qualify for a study permit or not based on the CAS or Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies letter. 

Thereafter, you would need certain documents such as a valid passport, filled application form, recent photograph, proof of fee payment, proof of funds, and many more. Once you create an account on the official UK website, you must book an appointment after completing the form and fully paying the visa application fee. 

On the contrary, you should contact the German consulate near your place for a German student visa. Here, you should ideally provide a lot of documents like two completed visa application forms, photos, passport, resume, university admission letter, health insurance, and biometrics. There are some other documents that you must include, which you can find online. 

Finally, create an account, book an appointment, and set up a visa appointment where you make the final payment.

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That’s a wrap to our debate on higher education life in Germany vs. the UK!

Overall, if you are looking at a cheaper option and more viable way to land a PR, you should go for Germany, especially if you are okay with the language barrier. On the other hand, England is a much more evolved and international country with better work opportunities and many Indian diasporas. 

Eventually, it depends on the choice you make and what fits your bill as per the pros and cons of living in Germany vs. the UK

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Which is better, Germany vs. the UK for Indian students?

Germany and the UK are best for Indian students. In the UK, you would find the world’s best universities, and In Germany, you have the privilege of getting the best education at free cost or nominal charges.

What is the cost of living in Germany vs. the UK?

The cost of living in the UK is about 24.6% more than that of Germany.

Which is better, Germany vs. the UK for international students?

Overall, it depends on the student’s profile and future goals to decide which country is better for international students.

Which is better for immigration Germany Vs. the UK economy?

In terms of immigration policies and chances of PR, Germany is better than the UK. It is even backed by the world population review 2022 report, where Germany secured second place with 18.81% of immigrants and the UK secured the sixth position with 13.79% of the immigrant population.

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad abroad Editorial Team

We are a dedicated team of study-abroad experts, ensuring intensive research and comprehensive information in each of our blogs. With every piece written, we aim at simplifying the overseas education process for all. Our diverse experience as journalists, content writers, editors, content strategists, and marketers helps create the most relevant and authentic blogs for our readers.

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