August 09, 2023 | Knowledge Bank

Academic Year at UK Universities

Wondering how your academic year will look like in UK universities? Here’s a simple breakdown of all you need to know. 

Academic year

In UK universities, you have different starting intake periods, the periods during which you will start your course. The two main intake periods are September/October and January/February. In some rare cases, a few universities also have an April/May intake period for specific courses.

Different intake periods also mean different admission periods. The two main intake periods will respectively have admission periods lasting from June to September and February to May. The April/May one will vary more depending on universities and can be from January to February or October to November.

Next, it is also important to know how an academic year is divided. In UK universities, it is broken up into three sections called terms. The terms are usually called based on season; Autumn (from September/October to December), Spring (from January to March) and Summer (from April to June/July). However, the name may vary depending on the universities.


Your schedule will look different depending on whether you are an undergraduate or a postgraduate. 

For undergraduates, your course will last three academic years which in total equals to nine terms (3 per year). At the end, you will often be expected to do a thesis or a sort of project. Whilst for postgraduates, the course will be shorter, only lasting one academic year (so, only 3 terms). Similarly at the end, you will often have to do a dissertation or project.

Breaks won’t depend as much on your degree level. The main long breaks of the year will be Easter, summer and Christmas. This is important to keep in mind if you want to apply for internship programme, go back home and/or visit your family.

If you have any more enquiries regarding your academic year in a UK university, contact us! We will be happy to help.