Study in Scotland

  • Scotland Facts
  • Population: 5.295 million
  • Number of Universities: 15

Scotland is the study destination of choice for over 30,000 international students each year with students from almost all countries attending. Use this Study in Scotland directory to decide whether it’s the right choice for you and then find your course with the search tools above.

University education has been provided in Scotland since the 15th Century and with this amount of experience Scottish Universities are well placed to offer international students some of the best study opportunities in the world.

As proof of the quality of Universities in Scotland - In the Times Higher Education (THE) World University rankings 2011-12, five of the 20 Scottish Institutions were ranked within the top 200. These were:

  • University of Edinburgh
  • University of Dundee
  • University of Glasgow
  • University of Aberdeen
  • University of St Andrews

Alongside the 15 Universities there are several specialist Higher Education institutions that focus on particular subject areas, these include the Glasgow School of Art and the Scottish Agricultural College both of which welcome international students every year.

As with most study abroad destinations the duration of study at Scottish Universities is:

  • Bachelors Degree (BA, BSc, BEng): 3-4 Years
  • Masters Degree (MA, MSc, MEng): 1-2 Years
  • PhD: 4 Years

Find a course at a Scottish Institution using the course search above.

Why Study in Scotland?

Scotland is host to some of the oldest and most influential universities in the world and an education from any of the Universities in Scotland will impress your future employer.

Scotland has a strong and diverse economy with strengths in many areas. Many Universities have links within these industries, which help provide the education the employers are looking for along with increasing work experience opportunities both during your degree and after graduation. The key industries in Scotland are:

  • Oil and Gas
  • Renewable and Non-Renewable Energies
  • Finance
  • Tourism
  • Life Sciences

As is true across most Universities, each University in Scotland has a small number of strong subject areas or specialisations. It is for this reason that you should look at more than just the overall World University Ranking for the institution when deciding whether a course is right for you.

Universities In Scotland

Scotland has 4 Major University Cities – Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee and Aberdeen. Each of these contain Universities of varying size, age and layout with some out of city campus based Universities and some institutions with buildings and departments spread across the city. Other Universities are located in the smaller towns and cities of St. Andrews, Perth, Inverness and Stirling.

You can find out more about specific courses at the Scottish Universities by using our course search above or have a look at our article on the Universities of Scotland in our Study Abroad blog.

About Scotland

Scotland is one of the four countries that make up the United Kingdom. Scotland’s only land border is with England to the south although Northern Ireland is only a short ferry ride away. Almost everyone in Scotland speaks the English language although they do retain use of regional languages.

For wider information about studying in the UK please see our Study in the UK directory.

The Capital of Scotland is Edinburgh although Glasgow is seen by the Scottish as a more metropolitan place to be with less focus on tourism. We suggest you visit both to get a real feel for the country.

The climate in Scotland is hugely variable across the country with the Highlands experiencing the greatest extremes. In general the Gulf Stream winds keep the temperature relatively mild.

Stereotypically Scotland is famous for Whisky, Haggis and Kilts and whilst these are an important part of Scotland’s heritage they are not a true representation of the Scotland of the 21st century. For example, alongside the export of over 1billion bottles of whisky each year the country is also the European Union’s largest petroleum producer.

Scotland is the place to go if you enjoy being outdoors as much of the country outside the main cities is rural and sparsely populated. It is host to the highest mountain in the UK, Ben Nevis, along with places like the famous Loch Ness.

Almost 800 small islands surround mainland Scotland, many of which are remote and isolated but beautiful and full of opportunities for outdoor pursuits.

Other popular Scottish tourist highlights include:

The Costs of Living and Studying

Saltire Scholarships are the most well-known scholarship source for international students looking to study in Scotland. The funding, which is on a matched basis between the Scottish Government and the Institutions, is a £2000 award towards tuition fees for a 1 year masters at a Scottish University.

It is worth noting that the application for these scholarships is competitive and they are only available to students from the following countries:

  • India
  • China
  • Canada
  • USA

Other similar sources of finance are available through the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (only if you live within the Commonwealth) or British Chevening Scholarships if you are studying at postgraduate level. Individual universities may offer their own Scholarships to students studying particular areas. You can find out more from each University.

You can also supplement your finances by working up to 20 hours a week if you are studying at degree level (including Foundation) or higher. Work opportunities in any study abroad destination are not guaranteed and you will still need a proof of funds before getting your study visa.

At degree level, study fees in Scotland for international students outside of the EU vary from around £9,000 per year to over £20,000 for an MBA. The fees vary depending on the University chosen and the subject area, with laboratory-based subjects costing more than those based in the classroom.

For more information on funding and study costs please use our Study Abroad Advice pages.

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