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University of St Andrews

University of St Andrews

Key Information
Rank 1
Location St Andrews, Scotland
Established 1413
International Students 41.4%
Famous Courses International Relations, Computer Science, Physics
Key Information
Location St Andrews, Scotland
Established 1413
Famous Courses International Relations, Computer Science, Physics

University of St Andrews Overview

The University of St Andrews is the third-oldest university in the English speaking world and the oldest in Scotland, founded in 1413. Despite being a small town, St Andrews has long been a centre of Scottish political and religious life, which is reflected in the University’s strong reputation in the humanities, particularly divinity and philosophy. 9,100 students from over 130 different countries make up a significant part of the town’s population, and St Andrews covers the whole area rather than a defined campus.

Scottish degrees last four years, and at St Andrews, this is used to provide greater flexibility. Students apply to one of four Faculties (Arts, Divinity, Medicine or Science) and take modules toward a degree, with a chance to specialise further in the final two years. As an old university, St Andrews has a number of traditions, such as the concept of university ‘parents’ (third-year students) and the May Dip, where students run into the North Sea on May Day dawn.

The Times University Guide named St Andrews its University of the Year for 2020, whilst the Teaching Excellence Framework awarded the University Gold for "exemplary" teaching. St Andrews also has a number of opportunities for undergraduate students to spend a full academic year studying abroad in destinations around the world. University of St Andrews economics courses were ranked third in the UK by the Guardian University Guide 2022.

The University of St Andrews acceptance rate is 41% at undergraduate level (2 in 5) and 54% at postgraduate level (5 in 9). Over 1,000 University of St Andrews masters courses are available to choose from.

University of St Andrews Services for International Students

The University of St Andrews provides pre-sessional and free in-sessional English language support for students. Student Services at St Andrew's has two dedicated International Student Advisors to provide specific support and more general advice and support services. St Andrews is committed to attracting the very best students, regardless of financial circumstances, and they offer a large number of bursaries and scholarships to international students. These are designed to provide assistance and help students support themselves during their time at the University.

All undergraduates are assigned an Adviser of Studies whom they must see at the start of each semester to discuss their choices. Advisers are also available for consultations at other times and will guide the student through the complexities of the modular structure to ensure that any desired degree pathways or options remain accessible.

University of St Andrews Rankings

  • 1st in the Times University Guide 2024
  • 1st in the Guardian University Guide 2024
  • 104th in the QS World University Rankings 2025
  • 193rd in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2024

St Andrews has been ranked as the best university in Scotland for the last ten years by The Times University Guide and was crowned Scottish University of the Year four times in a row from 2011 – 2015. In 2020, it was named the UK University of the Year. University of St Andrews computer science programmes are ranked number one in the UK.

According to REF 2021, more than 88% of the research carried out by the University of St Andrews is world-leading or internationally excellent. The overall quality of research at St Andrews has also increased by 5.7% since the last assessment exercise in 2014. Overall, under GPA, the University of St Andrews ranked 3rd in Scotland and 28th in the UK.

University of St Andrews Accommodation

The University guarantees an offer of accommodation in halls at St Andrews for all undergraduate first year students, providing that they submit their accommodation application by the 30th of June of their year of entry. There are more than 4,000 rooms available around the town, about 40% of which are catered, with a choice of single or shared rooms and rooms with shared bathroom facilities or en suite. Students live around the town rather than on a single campus.

University of St Andrews residences range from beautiful stone-built listed buildings full of original period features, to stylish new apartments, built to high environmental and sustainability standards. Andrew Melville Hall is a particularly popular residence at the University.

University of St Andrews Location

The town of St Andrews sits on a rocky headland overlooking the dramatic waters of the North Sea. Around 22,000 people, including students, live in this small, historic town and many beautiful buildings still stand as monuments to the thousands of years it has been a focal point for bishops, kings, saints and martyrs. The University does not have a campus, but instead covers the whole town and St Andrews is just over 80km north east of Edinburgh.

The University of St Andrews has superb facilities in a variety of buildings, ranging from the ultra-modern new Medical laboratories on our North Haugh site, to the mediaeval grandeur of St Salvators Quadrangle where many lectures are held daily. Both The Students Union and University Sports Centre have had undergone improvements in the last decade, with the Sports Centre being the subject of a major £14 million redevelopment.

University of St Andrews Alumni

  • Prince William, Duke of Cambridge
  • Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge
  • Chris Hoy - Cyclist, the most successful British Olympian in terms of gold medals
  • Dame Barbara Woodword – UK Ambassador to China
  • John Witherspoon - US Declaration of Independence signatory)

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