Documents for University

What kind of documents do you need to apply to UK university from India? How many documents do you need to apply to UK university from India? Do you need to translate your documents to apply to UK university from India? Find all the information about the documents you need here.

Proof of Language Certificate – IELTS

This is a major document you need to apply to UK university from India. What is the IELTS in the first place? It stands for International English Language Testing System. It is a universally accepted test of English proficiency. If you happen to be a resident of an Asian country, and your first language is not English then you are supposed to take this test. It is accepted widely in all English-speaking countries such as the United States, the UK, the Oceanic countries and so on. a

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How much should I score in the IELTS?

It basically depends on the university and the course that you are applying to. There are essentially two types of IELTS: General and Academic. The former is for people who wish to apply for work or secondary education in English-speaking countries. The latter is for people who wish to pursue higher education in an English-speaking country.

If you are applying for higher education, then you are most likely going to have to take the IETLS: Academic test. Now, your university website will tell you how much you need to score. Most likely, you are going to have score 7 or above in all the bands: Reading, Writing, Speaking, Listening. If you wish to know more about the IELTS and some tips about scoring well, click here.

When should I take the test?

If the deadline for applications is in September, then you should have your score ready by Mid-August. IELTS usually offers you the option where you can ask your test centre to send the test results to any of the institutions that you wish to apply for. The reason why I say staying a month ahead is useful is because if you feel that you need to improve your score, you will have that window as well.

Otherwise, you might have to send your university application without the test results. Which is also fine, but make sure that you have taken another test before the university offers you a place, otherwise you will not get an unconditional offer from the university.

What other documents do I need to prepare?

If you are confused about the documents that you need, click here. This is more of a general list of documents. You are advised to check your university’s website to get more information about the documents that you would need.

Your Educational Certificates

This means that you would need to present your class 10th and class 12th marksheet and all the certificates that you would have received from your board. It is essential to keep in mind, however, that if these certificates are not in English then you will have to get them translated.

How do I get them translated?

An official translation means that the translated document can be independently verified by the Home Office of the UK. This is what they have to say about such a translation:

If you are outside the UK, where a document is not in English or Welsh, the document must be accompanied by a full translation that can be independently verified by the Home Office. The translation must contain confirmation from the translator/translation company that it is an accurate translation of the document, the date of the translation, the translator/an authorised official of the translation company’s full name and signature, and the translator/translation company’s contact details.

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I have italicised the more important details so that you do not miss them. Remember this translation has to be done by an attorney and you just cannot go wrong in this.

You will need to get them officially scanned and then send them. Make sure that the scans are coloured and proper so that no details on the certificates are blurred out.

Employment History

If you are applying through UCAS, you might not have the choice to attach your service certificates. Regardless, it is always useful to have them scanned and ready to be submitted if any university writes to you and asks for it individually. If you are a prospective postgraduate or a PhD student, then you are most likely going to have to submit them. Although you will be submitting your Resume which will have all the details, but it is always a good idea to have the service certificates scanned and ready to submit.

Personal Statement – Statement of Purpose (SoP)

What is an SoP? An SoP is you talking to the academics sitting thousands of miles away in the UK who are looking at hundreds of applications from all over the world. It is the only document that has the potential to set you apart from countless other applications who you are competing against. If you wish to get into the university that you wish to apply for, then it has to be best thing that you have written in your entire life.

To put it simply, it is your written profile, a sum of who you are, why do you wish to pursue the course, why do you want to do it from the UK, what are your career plans and so on.

How long does it have to be?

It does not have to be too long. Usually it is anywhere between 1,500 to 4,000 words depending on what course you are applying for. If you are applying through UCAS, the maximum allowed words are 4,000. For prospective PGs and PhDs, it would vary depending on what course you wish to pursue and what university you are applying to. It is best to check your university website to find out how much do they want you to write and what exactly are they looking for in the SoP.

When do I start writing an SoP?

My advice is to start writing two and a half months before. It does not matter how good you are at writing, you need to review and edit it really well. If going to the UK to study is the next big step in your life, then you probably know that you just cannot take any chances. Therefore, you need to give yourself ample amount of time to write, and then edit it to its best state. Get it checked by your friends, family anyone who is proficient at writing, or say anyone who has written SoP’s before.

How do I write an SoP?

That’s a really good question. I am working on video and written tutorials about writing SoPs, which I would release here soon. You can refer to them to understand how to write, how to structure, and how to edit and refine your statement.

Academic References

The references are as crucial as your SoP if you want to apply to UK university from India. Therefore you need to have them written by someone who you can trust, and more importantly someone who is actually willing to support your application. You can have any professor write your reference, but if they do not support your application, that will reflect in their reference.

How do I choose my referee?

Talk to the professors you have worked closely with. Or those that know more about you, or those with whom you have shared moments outside a strictly academic sphere. If they know you apart from the fact that you are their student, they are more likely to pay heed to your need.

When should I ask them to write a reference?

Although I would say a month and a half before submitting your application would be preferred, the ideal time would be two months before. You also need to keep into consideration the time you start writing your SoP.

Is the SoP connected to the reference?

Yes, it is. Not directly, though. What I mean by that is that an academic reference is a more concrete proof of what you have written in your SoP. If, say, you write in your SoP that you are extremely dedicated towards whatever it is that you do, and none of your references have that, the examiner sitting in the UK is going to find it hard to believe just what you have written. Therefore, it is imperative that you work on your SoP first, create a structure, have an idea of what all you are going to put in there. And then, you can discuss the same with your referee, and request them to add that information in their reference as well.

Remember, it is always a good idea to discuss your SoP with your professor so that your reference and SoP have similar points.

Academic Essays

Now, this completely depends the university you are applying to, or the course that you have selected.

Having said that, I would say it does not hurt to have an academic essay read that you can share with your university if they ask for it. Some universities will clearly detail in their Entry Requirements that they require one or two academic essays. Some universities will just say that they might need it. Therefore, it is essential that you have these essays ready, just in case.

What if I do not have one ready?

Create it, then. It is always a good idea to have some sort of backup ready. This is because if your university asks for an academic essay after you have submitted your application, they might not give you enough time to actually write one then. And if they ask for anything within the word range of 2000 and 4000 words, you are going to find it hard to create an academic essay in such a short span of time. Therefore, it is best to have one ready even before you have submitted your application.

Do I need to get it checked by my professor?

Ideally, yes. If you are writing an academic essay, then the best idea is to have it corrected. Even if they do not look at the essay word-to-word it is always a good idea to have them look at it from an academic standpoint.


If you are an undergraduate and applying through UCAS, you might not need to give your CV per se, as you are entering all your academic and professional details anyway. If you are prospective PG or a PhD, then you will have to submit your CV. Make sure that your CV is updated, and in general looks like a CV that you would send to a company in the UK. That is to say, it looks like a UK CV.

What next?

Let us proceed to understand the next step, which is the How should I apply to UK universities from India? If you still have questions, you can get in touch with me on my personal email. I will try my best to help you in any way I can!