United Kingdom, island country located off the northwestern coast of mainland Europe. The United Kingdom comprises the whole of the island of Great Britain—which contains England, Wales, and Scotland—as well as the northern portion of the island of Ireland. The name Britain is sometimes used to refer to the United Kingdom as a whole. The capital is London, which is among the world’s leading commercial, financial, and cultural centres. Other major cities include Birmingham, Liverpool, and Manchester in England, Belfast and Londonderry in Northern Ireland, Edinburgh and Glasgow in Scotland, and Swansea and Cardiff in Wales.
Official name: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Form of government: Constitutional monarchy with two legislative houses (House of Lords Head of state: Sovereign:Queen Elizabeth II
Head of government: Prime Minister: David Cameron
Official languages:English; both English and Scots Gaelic in Scotland; both English and Welsh in Wales
Monetary unit: Pound sterling (£)
Population: (2015 est.) 65,092,000
English language courses and qualifications:
Choose the right course for you
Across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, there are thousands of English language courses on offer. Perhaps you want to do a course just for fun? Maybe you want to gain an internationally-recognised qualification to help you enter university? Or perhaps you want to improve your business English skills?
In the UK, you can choose a course that is suited to your:
- Age group: There are courses specifically for children, teenagers or adults of different ages
- Ability: You can choose a course for beginners, intermediate or advanced learners
- Interests and ambitions: You can choose a general English course or one with a particular focus – for example, you may want to train to be an English teacher or do a business English course. You don’t have to study English on its own either – you could combine it with another subject, such as art, tourism, fashion, football or science.
If English isn’t your first language, most UK schools, colleges and universities will ask you to demonstrate your English language skills before you can enrol on a further or higher education course. For example, they may ask you to:
- Take their English language test, or
- Gain an English language qualification, or
- Do a short course or foundation course to improve your skills.
Each school, college and university sets its own entry requirements. If you are interested in a particular course, email the school, college or university to find out about their English language requirements, or have a look at their website.
Holiday and vacation courses are very popular in the summer (June, July and August), and are a great way to fit your studies around your job or your school life.
The most sociable way to learn English is to join a course where you will learn alongside other students in a class, but for a more personal experience, you could choose one-to-one tuition.