Best Universities in Scotland

Scotland is known for its high quality of education. According to The Times, Scottish universities are consistently ranked among the top 200 best universities in the world.

Undergraduate degrees in Scotland last four years, rather than three years as in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The relatively low cost of studying and living in the country by European standards is another factor that attracts international students to Scotland.

Features of Scottish higher education

Studying at a Scottish university takes place in the best tradition of British schools, and student programs here are considered more flexible.

Four of the UK’s oldest universities – Edinburgh, Glasgow, St Andrews and Aberdeen – are located here, along with other popular universities.

Unlike the rest of the UK, the bachelor’s degree here is not a three-year program, but a four-year program, and by the third year, students have the opportunity to think about their future professional direction.

Most universities in this country cooperate with public and private companies, which allows them to organize internship programs for students and help graduates find employment. There are also innovative research centers in the structure of Scottish universities: many discoveries that have turned the world of science upside down have been made by Scottish scientists. Already in their senior years, university students can become part of the country’s research community.

About 45% of students at local universities are foreigners from more than 150 different countries, which shows the global demand for education in Scotland.

Despite fierce competition, foreign applicants always have the opportunity to attend one of the best educational institutions in the country and receive scholarship assistance. In addition, the cost of studying and living here is much lower than in the rest of the UK.

Advantages of a Scottish education

  • Scottish diplomas are recognized in all countries of the world.
  • High quality of education.
  • Top-ranked Scottish universities in teaching a wide range of professions in the oil and gas industry, engineering, information technology and various applied sciences.
  • Affordable education and living costs in the country.
  • High quality language instruction in language programs.

If you think about it objectively, there are differences between the Scottish education system compared to the UK education programs. They are already evident from elementary school, which lasts up to 12 years. At the end of elementary school, children take exams and go on to secondary school, which lasts another 3 years. The next step is to enter college and university. Students choose for themselves what to do: 2 more years in high school to obtain a higher education certificate or to enter one of the country’s universities after passing an exam at age 15.

However, if the student decides to graduate from high school, then with the certificate he received he will subsequently be able to enter any university in the country. Students from other  countries or other countries are also required to have the appropriate entrance certificate. In addition, the applicant must be proficient in English. For admission to the IELTS program, the total TOEFL score must be at least 550 or 5.5, while for admission to the medical and law programs, a minimum score of 600-700 or an IELTS score of 6-7, respectively, is required.

Admission to a Scottish university

The process of applying to a Scottish university cannot be said to be difficult: the main task is to complete it on time and follow exactly the instructions of the university admissions committee.

But there are some inevitable difficulties waiting for applicants. However, all of them are decided at the admission stage.

First of all, it should be taken into account that the educational programs of high schools and high schools in various countries do not overlap, and graduates do not have enough one academic year to apply to Scottish universities.

There are several options to solve this problem.

To enter a university and take the required number of courses in order to receive a total of 13 years of education.

Attending a Scottish school (A-Level) at secondary school level in order to apply to the same universities as local residents.

Completing the IB – International Baccalaureate programme.

Enrolling in a vocational college and then continuing their studies at a Scottish university.

Attending a educational course (e.g. International Baccalaureate Scotland).

If studying in Scotland has become a goal for junior high school, then it is best to transfer your child to a British school. This will allow you to adapt to the language environment, save a year of study and increase the chances of entering a university.

The second difficulty faced by applicants from foreign countries  is the level of language education. For a positive decision by the admissions committee of any higher education institution, the IELTS test score must be at least 6.0 and the TOEFL score must be 70. only the IELTS test score in the range of 6.5-7.0.

Another issue for everyone who wants to pursue higher education at a university in Scotland is about payment for educational services. As in the rest of the UK, Scottish universities do not offer “budget” places for international students. But if you are willing and diligent, you can get a scholarship – paid out of the university budget – that can partially or even fully cover the cost of your education. Special offers await foreigners who come to Scotland to study for masters and postgraduate (PhD) degrees. In addition, international students can receive national bursaries, such as the UK Chevening Scholarships. For information, please refer to the University’s official website.

Cost of education in Scotland

Although the cost of university education for international students is higher than for Scottish citizens, it is still attractive. The cost of a year of undergraduate study can range from £12,000 to £20,000, depending on the university and course of study.

Scottish tuition fees for international students depend on whether you are resident in an EU country.

You can study in Scotland for free, but only in one special case: if you are a British citizen already living in Scotland, or a citizen of another EU country, and you are studying for your first bachelor’s degree (or a master’s degree in Scotland), you will not be charged directly for tuition fees. Instead, your fees will be covered by the Scottish Student Awards Agency (SAAS).

However, this exemption does not apply to students from England, Wales or Northern Ireland (“Rest of UK”) who have moved to Scotland solely for the purpose of higher education, or to students from other countries (“Overseas Students”) .

Students who wish to continue their studies in graduate school are usually required to pay tuition fees at any time. The amount depends on the university and the program, as well as the status of tuition fees; tuition fees for EU students are usually lower than for non-EU international students. For postgraduate programmes, Scottish universities do not distinguish between Scottish students and students from the rest of the UK.