Difference Between January and May Intake in UK

The United Kingdom offers a variety of university intake periods throughout the academic year. Two of these intakes are the January and May intakes. Although they are similar in many ways, they do have some differences in terms of course availability, fees, and application deadlines. Understanding these differences can help students make an informed decision when it comes to selecting the best university intake period for their needs.

The UK offers three different intakes that are in January, May, and September. Although the January and September intake are famous amongst students, few students are aware of exclusive May Intake in the UK. In this blog, we will discuss the typical difference between January and May intake! 

Also Read: Difference between January and September Intake in UK

Why Study in UK?

Before we jump into the details of the differences between January and May intakes in UK, let’s know why you should study in UK:

  • World’s Best Education Systems: Universities in UK provides for more than 8% of the global research and is home to the world’s best universities like Cambridge, Oxford and LSE.
  • Student-friendly Cities: QS World Rankings has ranked London the best city to study in 2021 and 2022. 
  • Short-Duration Courses: UK is known for offering short-duration post-graduation programs in a range of subjects like MBA, Marketing, Psychology etc. The duration of a master’s course ranges from 1 to 2 years. 
  • Expert Faculty: Experts from respective fields teach at the prestigious universities of Oxford, Cambridge among others. 

Also Read: High Paying Jobs in UK

January Intake

If you wish to be in universities by January or February, you have to start working on your application months before the actual deadline. That means your application process for January intake should start between the period of May to October of the previous year. 

Here’s a Letter of Recommendation Sample for a Student to Study Abroad!

May Intake

The key difference between January and May intake in UK is concerning the month in which you start preparing. For the May intake, you have to start searching universities and courses that have the option of May intake by the start of August or September. 

Must Read: Know the difference between a CV and a Resume

When Should You Take the TOEFL/IELTS test?

As a citizen of a non-English speaking country, you have to take an English proficiency test to qualify for education in universities in UK. The most popular tests are Test Of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS). 

January Intake

For the IELTS/TOEFL tests, make sure you start preparing one month before your test date. January intake should take the test in July or August of the previous year. Preparing and taking the tests to become a key difference between January and May intake in UK. 

May Intake

If you are applying for college in May, you have to start preparing for the test in November and take the test in December or January. 

Keep a gap month in between if you have to retake the test to get your minimum score. Or just enroll for Leverage Live and get access to IELTS/TOEFL courses and dedicate that gap month to work on your SOP. 

When Should You Take the GMAT/GRE tests?

If you are looking to study master’s or MBA in UK, universities require you to have a minimum score in the GMAT/GRE tests. These are general aptitude tests that check your readiness for a particular course. The month you should take the test is the only difference between January and May intake. 

January Intake 

Ideally, preparations for GMAT/GRE should start 3 months before you start applying for colleges. For January intake, you can give the exam in July. You should have a list of colleges in mind before you appear so that you know the minimum score you require to qualify. 

May Intake

For May Intake, the perfect time to give your aptitude test is from October to January. If you want to know how to crack that perfect GMAT score to be accepted in the top universities in UK, book your free 30 minute GMAT counseling now! 

Also Read: IELTS and GMAT Score to Study in UK

Let’s look at some popular universities that will help you know whether your preferred college has your favorable intake or not!

Top universities in the UK for January Intake are as follows:

  • Queen Mary University of London
  • Coventry University
  • University of Liverpool
  • University of Exeter
  • Aston University
  • Brunel University
  • Bangor University
  • Birmingham City University
  • Brunel University
  • Edge Hill University
  • Kingston University
  • Northumbria University
  • University of Chester
  • University of Greenwich
  • University of Sunderland
  • Anglia Ruskin University
  • Birkbeck University of London
  • City University of London
  • Coventry University
  • De Montfort University
  • Keele University
  • Oxford Brookes University
  • University of Brighton
  • University of Lincoln
  • University of South Wales

Also Read: January Intake Universities in UK

Top universities in UK for May Intake are as follows:

  • Coventry University
  • Northumbria University
  • Queen Mary University of London
  • Keele University
  • Ulster University
  • University of Chester
  • Sheffield Hallam University
  • West of Scotland University
  • Salford University
  • London Brunel International College
  • Richmond University London
  • University of Kent

Also Read: Cheapest Universities in UK

Popular courses offered under January Intake

  • BA Film and Television Studies
  • BA Film Studies and English Literature
  • BEng Computer Systems Engineering
  • BSc Actuarial Science
  • BSc Business Management
  • BSc Accounting and Management
  • BSc Psychology
  • LLB
  • BSc Marketing Management
  • BA International Relations
  • MA Creative Writing Prose Fiction
  • MSc Accounting And Finance
  • MSc Cyber Security
  • MA Development Practice
  • MA Social Work
  • MA Development Practice
  • LLM Information Technology and Intellectual Property Law
  • LLM International Commercial and Business Law

Also Read: LLM in Cambridge University

Popular courses offered under May Intake

  • Bachelor’s (Hons) of Business Administration
  • BA Accounting and Finance for International Business
  • BA Global Business Management
  • MSc Global Finance
  • MSc Strength and Conditioning
  • MSc Highways and Transportation Engineering
  • MSc Structural Engineering 
  • MSc Sustainable and Environment
  • MSc Biomedical Science
  • MSc Global Healthcare Management
  • MSc Engineering Project Management
  • MA Design Management
  • MA English Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics
  • MA Illustration and Animation
  • MA International Relations 
  • LLM International Law
  • LLM Law
  • MSc Finance
  • MA Communication, Culture and Media
  • MSc Computer Science
  • MSc Data Science and Computational Intelligence
  • MSc Disaster Management and Resilience
  • MSc Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Must Read: Green Universities in UK

Visa Application 

The process of applying for a UK Student Visa is the same for all intakes. The only key difference between January and May intake in the UK for visa application is the month.

January Intake

By October or November, you must have received an acceptance letter from one of the applied universities. You can then start applying for a UK Student visa. 

May Intake

For May intake, you can apply for the UK student visa in February or March after receiving your letter of acceptance.

Must Read: Reasons for UK Student Visa Rejection

Tuition Fee Differences

Both the intakes discussed in this blog are considered minor in front of the September intake. Their class size and competition for acceptance vary. Therefore, there is a certain tuition fee difference between January and May Intake in UK. 

January Intake

For January Intake, Indian students pay an average of GBP 10,000 to  GBP 17,700 ( INR 9.18 lakhs to INR 16.25 lakhs) per year as tuition fee.

May Intake

The annual average tuition fee that an Indian student pays for May Intake is GBP 15,000 to GBP 25,000 (INR 13.77 lakhs to INR 22.96 lakhs). 

Must Read: Scholarships for Indian students to study in UK


Must Read: Study in UK after 12th Commerce 

Can’t decide whether you should apply for January or May intake? If you want to get into your dream course in a high-ranked global university, you’ll need more than just good grades; you’ll also need flawless application because the competition is fierce. You may enlist the assistance of Leverage Edu specialists to assist you with the application process so that you can realize your goals. Call us immediately at 1800 57 2000 for a free 30-minute counselling session.