UK vs Canada: Where to Study in 2024?

9 minute read
UK vs Canada

For international students, the UK and Canada have always been favourites as study overseas destinations. Each has a long tradition of providing top-notch education, and has individually achieved top ranks across the board! To ensure that you do not miss out on any vital piece of information, we have compiled some important information. In this blog on the UK vs Canada, we will break down and compare the two countries, based on some of the main concerns students will consider while choosing a destination. We will award +2 points to the country which is better in a particular aspect. We will then add all the points that each country received and declare the nation with the highest score winner. In having all the information in one place, you will be equipped to make decisions that work best for you! 

Study in UK vs Canada

How can we not talk about the top universities when doing a comparative analysis of the UK vs Canada? Both countries are a hotspot of universities that rank among the world’s top. Following are the QS World University Rankings

The United Kingdom

The UK is home to some of the oldest and most prestigious universities in the world, with its university system influencing several the world over. Some of its top universities in UK for international students include: 

Top Universities in the UKQS World University Rankings 2024THE World University Rankings 2024
University of Oxford#3#1
University of Cambridge#2#2
University College London#22#4
Imperial College London#6#8
The University of Edinburgh#22#30
The University of Manchester=32#51
King’s College London #40#38
London School of Economics and Political Science#45#46
University of Bristol#55#81
University of Warwick#67#106


Take a look at the following table in which we have compiled the rankings of top universities in Canada:

Name of the UniversityQS World University Rankings 2024THE World University Rankings 2024
University of Toronto2121
McGill University3049
The University of British Columbia3441
University of Montreal141111
University of Alberta111109
McMaster University189103
University of Ottawa203177
University of Calgary182201–250
University of Waterloo112158
Western University114201–250

Which Country is Better?

The above comparison shows that universities in the UK are ranked higher in comparison to the universities in Canada. Hence, the UK will receive +2 points in this round of UK vs Canada.

UK vs Canada: Eligibility Criteria

Now let’s move ahead with our blog on the UK vs Canada and talk about the eligibility criteria to study in either of these countries. In both countries, the eligibility is based on competitive exams where students are required to meet the minimum requirements of the respective university. 

The United Kingdom 

  • Students who want to pursue higher education in the UK right after finishing high school must complete their 10+2 education from a recognized Indian board and need to possess the minimum marks and eligibility requirements to study in their chosen programme and university.  
  • To gain admission in some of the programmes, students might be asked to submit scores of standardized tests like GRE/GMAT or conduct their own university-specific entrance exams/interview rounds. 
  • Three years of bachelor’s degrees are accepted by most UK universities. It must be the equivalent of either a UK first class, i.e. with an overall percentage of 75%, or of UK 2:1, i.e. with an overall percentage of 65%, with the required score depending on the program. 
  • The universities in the UK also require English Proficiency Language test scores like IELTS/TOEFL/PTE. For IELTS, one must have a minimum score of 6.5 overall along with a score of 6 in each band.

Note: All the UG applications to UK universities are submitted through the Universities and College Admission Service (UCAS) website. A single UCAS application form to study in the UK will give you a chance to apply to 5 universities at once for 5 different courses. For PG courses, candidates directly apply to the universities through online or offline mediums. 


If you are planning to study in Canada from India, here are the key requirements you need to keep in mind:

  • Transcripts or Marksheet of your previous degree or diploma
  • GMAT or GRE Scores for MBA and Masters programs in Canada
  • Statement of Purpose (SOP) & Letters of Recommendation (LOR)
  • Acceptable English Proficiency Tests:
    • IELTS
    • C1 Advanced
    • TOEFL
      If you are applying for a French-taught program, you need to submit French Proficiency Tests Like TCF, TEF, DELF, and DALF.
  • Proof that you have sufficient funds to study in Canada.
  • An updated CV (if required)
  • If you are applying for a Masters in Canada or PhD program, you might need to provide two letters of academic reference with previous letters of employment. If you haven’t studied in Canada before, you will also need an ECA (Educational Credential Assessment).

Which Country is Better?

As per the above comparison, both the UK and Canada have an equally hard admission process. Hence, we won’t grant any points to any of these nations in this round of UK vs Canada.

Tuition Fees and Living Expenses in the UK vs Canada

Moving ahead with our blog on the UK vs Canada, we have found another major difference that needs to be noted by international students wanting to study in these countries. Find out below the cost of studying and cost of living of both countries: 

The United Kingdom

UK tuition fees are generally considered to be among the world’s highest for overseas education. The tuition for a master’s program falls within a broad range from 18,000 – 35,000 GBP depending on the university and the course offered by the university. This amounts to 17,00,000 – 33,00,000 INR (at current rates). In terms of cost of living, this would cost around 11,000 – 12,500 GBP for one academic year (i.e. 9 months). This amounts to approximately 10 lakhs – 12 lakhs INR (at current rates). 


Canada is known for having a generally lower rate of tuition fee than other top-ranked overseas education destinations. The tuition for a master’s program falls within a broad range from 16,000 – 30,000 CAD depending on the university and the course offered by the university. This amounts to 11,00,000 – 12,00,000 INR (at current rates), going up to around 16,00,000 INR. In terms of cost of living, living in Toronto or Ontario would cost around 14,000 – 16,000 CAD per annum. This amounts to approximately 7 lakhs – 9 lakhs INR. 

Which Country is Better?

The above comparison demonstrates that the educational and living costs are lower in Canada when compared to the UK. Hence, Canada will receive +2 points in this round of UK vs Canada.

UK vs Canada: Work while Studying 

Both countries allow international students to work during the duration of their academic programs, subject to certain regulations and criteria. 

The United Kingdom

International students on a Tier 4 Student Visa are automatically permitted to work up to 20 hours a week during the term, and full-time during the holidays. The types of work include work on the university campus/for a university-affiliated employer, such as teaching/research assistantship. Other types of work, such as for a corporate sector employee depend upon the program study. 


The Canadian Student Permit must carry the stipulation that permits you to work on campus i.e. in one of the buildings/for an employer associated with the university. In order to work, you must satisfy certain criteria and you are permitted to work only during the tenure of your studies, not before or after. 

Which Country is Better?

It is apparently easier to work while studying in the UK when compared to Canada. Hence, we will award +2 points to the UK in this round of UK vs Canada.

UK vs Canada: Post-Study Work Opportunities

From 2012 onwards, the UK imposed strict regulations for international students seeking to stay back in the country to look for, with a limited allowance of 4 months duration, as well as a cap on the number of visas regarded. However, the UK government announced recently a new graduate route, allowing international students who graduate with an undergraduate degree or higher to remain in the UK for 2 years, with opportunities to stay longer after finding suitable employment. Canada on the other hand has long offered graduates a stay-back option. Graduates of eligible institutions/programs can apply for the Post-Graduation work permit (PGWP) which permits Internationals to remain in the country for work, following graduation.  

Which Country is Better?

It is clear from above that Canada is more generous with post-study work opportunities in comparison to the UK. So, we will grant +2 points to Canada in this round of UK vs Canada.

What is Canadian Culture Like

Canadian culture is a mixture of British, French and American influences. Canada is often characterized as progressive, diverse and multicultural. The government focuses on publicly funded health care, higher and more progressive taxation, strict gun control, and an emphasis on cultural diversity. 

What is UK Culture Like

British culture is influenced by multiple countries, its historically Christian religious life, and the traditions of England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. The UK has been described as a cultural superpower and London has been described as a world cultural capital. 

Time Difference UK and Canada

The time zone (BST) of the UK is based in London, England, UK. The time zone (EDT) of Canada is based in Ontario, Canada. The time difference between the United Kingdom and Canada is 5 hours with the UK being 5 hours ahead of Canada. 

UK vs Canada: Intakes 

The next difference on our list for the UK vs Canada is based on the intake sessions. The UK universities have two major terms i.e. Term 1 which commences in September and Term 2 which commences in January. Certain universities may have an additional summer term of shorter duration which commences in April. In Canada, the intakes are similar to that of UK universities, where the fall semester commences in September and the Winter semester in January, with certain universities having an additional summer semester, which commences in April – May.

Top Destinations for International Students (BONUS)

The UK is home to several of the best universities, is a major global hub for business and finance and is one of the world’s top centres for art and culture. It welcomes one of the highest international student populations in the world, which crossed the 1 lakh mark in 2019. 

Canada’s Montreal ranks at the top consistently in the world, with benefits such as having one of the lowest costs of living compared to major cities around the world. It is also culturally and linguistically diverse. The Francophone city is also home to Canada’s best university, McGill. 


When we calculate the total score of the UK and Canada, we find out that the UK has received 4 points, while Canada has obtained 6 points. Hence, Canada is the winner of this UK vs Canada round. However, please note that both countries are ideal to pursue higher education. You should choose your study-abroad destination in line with your goals, needs and budget. With that being said, both the UK and Canada are excellent study-abroad destinations.

Related Articles: 

France vs Netherlands: Which is the Better Study-Abroad Destination?France vs Ireland: Which is the Better Study-Abroad Destination?
Germany vs Canada: Which is a Better Study-Abroad Destination?Germany vs New Zealand: Which is the Better Study Abroad Destination?
Netherlands vs Germany: Which is the Better Study Abroad Destination?Canada vs Ireland: Which is the Better Study Abroad Destination?

As you have noted, both countries have their benefits in terms of education and lifestyle. Many Indian students dream of pursuing education in foreign nations due to the exposure and career growth they offer. Consider joining a free counselling session with Leverage Edu if you plan to study abroad.

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