Study in Scotland: The Ultimate Guide for International Students

Scotland, commonly known as part of the United Kingdom, is a beautiful country steeped in history, and a popular place for people to visit for work, tourism or education. To the south you have two of the world’s most popular cities in Glasgow and Edinburgh, while as you travel north you’ll experience beautiful near-untouched remote landscapes and the wonderful city of Aberdeen. There are many reasons students choose to live and study in Scotland and today we’re going to discuss the benefits of studying in this beautiful country and the process of applying, as well as the top 5 universities for you to consider.

Living in Scotland

study in scotland

If you’re looking to study in Scotland, there are three main cities you can choose to live in. Firstly you have the capital of Scotland, Edinburgh. Known for its historical buildings, cobbled streets and jaw-dropping scenery, Edinburgh has a lot to offer. With 112 parks, it’s known as the greenest city in the UK and is the world’s number one festival destination.

Then we have Glasgow, which is often mistaken for the capital of Scotland due to its size and reputation. Despite not being the capital it is still considered the beating heart of Scotland and is well known for its colourful character, deep historical roots and of course a world-class art and music scene. What’s more, Glasgow has more than enough tourist spots, high-class restaurants & bars, historical sites and museums to rival even London.

Lesser known than the above, Aberdeen is almost the hidden gem of Scotland. Due to its location further up north Aberdeen gets a little less love, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a lot to offer. In fact, Aberdeen has been named the safest city to live in in the UK. If that’s not enough, it’s home to a record number of whiskey distilleries, 10% of Britain’s ancient stone circles and is home of the UK’s oldest printed newsletter.

So, you’ve got three excellent cities to choose from if you want to study in Scotland, but you still need to pick a university.

The Top 5 Universities in Scotland

study in scotland

Scotland is known for many things. Whiskey, nature, history and more. But it’s also very well known for hosting some of the best universities the world has to offer. Here are our top 5 recommendations:

University of Glasgow

The University of Glasgow is ranked one of the highest universities in the world, sitting within the top 100 in the QS World University Rankings. With an international community of over 28,000 students from over 140 countries, it’s the ideal place for international students who want to study in Scotland. Not only can you expect a warm welcome and to fit in comfortably, The University of Glasgow offers the widest range of courses in the UK. What’s more, graduates of this prestigious university are sought after around the world with over 95.9% of students finding employment or taking further study 6 months after graduation.

University of St Andrews

study in scotland

Located just outside of Edinburgh, the University of St Andrews is similarly ranked as one of the top 100 universities in the world. Founded far back in 1413, the University of St Andrews is very nearly one of the oldest universities in the world, but is certainly the second oldest university in Scotland itself. Known for its flexible degree structure and renowned student experience, this university is a go-to choice for international students. Unlike other UK based universities, St Andrews allows you to study multiple subjects in your first two years before specialising.

University of Edinburgh

Befitting of a capital city, the University of Edinburgh is ranked the highest university in scotland and in the top 20 worldwide. The 6th oldest university in the UK and home to over 45,000 students including over 13,000 international learners, Edinburgh university is a great choice for anyone looking to study in Scotland. Interestingly, 90% of the research conducted in the university is considered ‘world leading’ and ‘internationally excellent’. So you can be certain that if you’re accepted to study here, you’re in safe hands.

University of Strathclyde

study in scotland

Also in Glasgow, the University of Strathclyde has been delivering academy excellence to its students for over 200 years. With nearly 23,000 students studying from as many as 100 countries, it makes a great choice for international students who want to study in Scotland.

University of Aberdeen

Similarly, the University of Aberdeen is an excellent choice for your university. Established more than 525 years ago, this university has a rich heritage and an exciting range of courses to choose from. What’s more it has contributed to associations with as many as five Nobel Prize winners.

How to Apply to Study in Scotland

Now you have an idea of which university you may want to choose and where you might like to live, you need to know the process for applying to study in Scotland.

Firstly you must consider whether you’ll be paying for your education or if you can apply for a scholarship. Costs vary between institutions but you can expect to pay around £10,000 – £26,00 per year as an undergraduate and £15,000 to £30,000 as a postgraduate.

However if you’re looking at a scholarship or funding to study in Scotland, you can consider the following routes:

  • Commonwealth Scholarships – For citizens of commonwealth countries
  • Chevening Scholarships – Global scholarship programme
  • Fulbright Awards – For US citizens
  • Royal Society Grants – For international students studying science
  • Saltire Scholarships – For students from Canada, China, India and the US for one year

With that information in mind, it’s easier to find, apply for and be accepted into a university of your choice if you have help. We’d like to help make your journey to study in Scotland. Our free service with award winning support will help you to apply for your dream university abroad with one simple online application. With top-tier support and connections with universities around the world, we can help you on your journey as an international student. Learn more here.

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