Why pursue a Master’s Degree in the UK?

We look at why the UK is a great destination for former NCAA and NAIA college athletes.

Why is the UK a popular destination for former US college athletes?

Rankings, reputation, and specialist degrees are just some of the many reasons that make the UK a popular study destination for international students.

Though in recent years, the UK has also become a popular destination for former NCAA and NAIA college athletes. With the cheaper tuition, postgraduate athletic scholarships, and the opportunity to graduate quicker, there are many reasons why student-athletes choose to pursue their sport and education in the UK.

We highlight some of the key reasons why the UK continues to be a great option for student-athletes after they have completed their athletic careers at NCAA and NAIA institutions:

Athletic Opportunities

UK university sports are regulated by different eligibility rules compared to the US. These eligibility rules allow student-athletes to compete alongside their master’s degrees. This means that former NCAA and NAIA college athletes are eligible to compete alongside their master’s degree, regardless of any gaps in education or the number of years they have previously played college sports in the US.

With more than 50 competitive sports available in the UK university sport system, there are plenty of opportunities for former US college athletes to continue competing at a high level.

Graduate Quicker

In the UK, most master’s degrees take just one year to complete, compared to two years in the US. This faster pace of study is due to the intensive and focused nature of UK programs, which emphasize independent learning and critical thinking.

In addition to faster graduation times, studying in the UK can also provide international students with the opportunity to gain valuable work experience while they complete their studies. Many UK universities offer work placements, internships, and other opportunities for students to gain hands-on experience in their chosen fields.

Save Money

For international students, studying in the UK can offer significant cost savings compared to studying in the US. Tuition fees for master’s programs in the UK are generally lower than those in the US, and the shorter duration of UK programs can also help students to save money in the long run.

Former NCAA and NAIA athletes may also be able to secure a range of scholarships to reduce the costs further. Many UK universities will offer a range of academic and postgraduate-specific scholarships.


The United Kingdom’s location makes it an ideal gateway to the rest of Europe. With excellent transportation links and a variety of travel options, it is easy to explore some of Europe’s most popular and beautiful cities.

For example, Paris, France can be reached by train in just over two hours, while Amsterdam, Netherlands can be reached by plane in under an hour. These cities, and many others, offer a wealth of cultural, historical, and recreational opportunities that can be enjoyed with teammates and friends during breaks from studying.

High-Quality Education

Renowned for its high-quality education system, UK universities offer international students an exceptional learning experience. UK universities have a long-standing reputation for delivering world-class research, teaching, and support services, and they offer a range of programs and degrees in a variety of disciplines.

The UK offers a combination of high-quality education and athletic opportunities for international students, making it an attractive destination for any former US college athletes looking to continue their academic and athletic pursuits.

How Play Overseas Can Help You!

We offer a FREE service to student-athletes, helping them to extend their sporting careers alongside their education at universities across the UK.

To date, we have successfully assisted graduates of all US collegiate athletic associations and divisions!

Our free one-to-one college counseling service will allow you to explore what overseas opportunities could be available to you. We will support you the whole way through the process; helping you to evaluate your options and scholarship offers as well as being there to assist with the admission and student visa application should you decide to take your career overseas.

If you would like to take your sporting career overseas while pursuing your master’s degree, apply online today for free and explore the opportunities that may be available to you!