The Costs of Living and Studying
Scotland uses the Pound Sterling (£) as its currency.
If you are from Scotland or an EU country, you will not have to pay any tuition fee if it is your first degree. Students from Scotland or the EU are eligible to have their degrees paid for by the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS). If you wish to do a postgraduate degree at a Scottish university, you will need to pay a tuition fee at the ‘home’ rate. This is set by each institution, so contact them for fee information.
If you are from England, Wales or Northern Ireland (rest of the UK), you will need to pay an annual tuition fee. This fee is set by the individual institutions, and is subject to change each academic year. If you wish to study for a postgraduate degree, you will be required to pay a tuition fee at the ‘home’ rate. This fee is also set by each institution, so contact them for more fee information. You will be eligible for tuition fee loans and living grants, get in touch with your home funding body (e.g. Student Finance England) to learn more about this.
If you are from any other country, you will need to pay international tuition fees for both undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. At degree level, tuition fees for international students vary from £12,000 per year to over £20,000 for an MBA. The fees vary depending on the institution and subject area, with laboratory-based subjects costing more than those based in the classroom. Tuition fees will be set by each institution, so contact them for information.
Students from all over the world are eligible for scholarships, so make sure to ask your institution for information regarding this. 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, offers up to £8,000 towards tuition fees for a postgraduate degree at a Scottish University.
It is worth noting that the application for these scholarships is competitive and they are only available to students from certain countries. See the Saltire Scholarships webpage for more information.
If you are studying at degree level in Scotland, you may be able to get a part-time job to help pay for your living costs. This tends to be limited to up to 20 hours a week, so should not be relied on as funding. If you require a visa to study in Scotland, you will have to prove you have sufficient funds before you come to Scotland, so part-time work cannot be your only way of funding your studies.
Depending on where you are from, you may need to apply for a visa in order to study in Scotland.
If you are from an EU country, as well as the rest of the UK, you will not need a visa to study in Scotland. This also applies if you are from a country within the EEA, including Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.
If you are from any other country, you will need to apply for a visa before you can come to Scotland. Generally, international students wanting to study at all degree levels will need to apply for a Tier 4 (General) student visa. This will allow you to arrive in Scotland up to 1 month before your course begins, as long as your course is more than 6 months. How long your visa lasts for will depend on the duration of your course. You will be able to apply to extend your stay if needed, however. For information regarding eligibility, price and procedures for this visa, please visit the GOV.UK visa page.
You can apply for a visa as a prospective student if you need to come to Scotland to finalise your study arrangements. For example, if you need to attend an interview at a Scottish university but do not need a long term visa, a prospective student visa will allow you to do this. You will need to apply for a Tier 4 (General) student visa if you then choose to study at a Scottish institution.
Scotland has two official languages; English and Scottish Gaelic. There are also two other recognised languages, these are Scots and British Sign Language.
The vast majority of courses are offered in English, and you will likely have to prove your English language proficiency to be accepted onto a degree. If your language skills do not meet the required standard, it is common for universities to offer English language courses to help you improve.
The capital city of Scotland, the city of Edinburgh is home to just over 500,000 people. Edinburgh welcomes more than 1 million tourists a year, due to its historical and cultural attractions. The city is a cultural mixing pot, and the perfect place for any international student.