by Aisling Goodey
Home to some of the most stunning landscapes in the UK and also to several excellent universities, Scotland is a fantastic place to pursue a degree abroad. Students will not only receive top-quality education, but they will also live in one of the most welcoming places on the planet with fascinating and unique culture and traditions.
Everyone knows about the famous kilts, bag-pipe players or ceilidh dances and even the Loch Ness Monster legend, but there is more to Scotland than these iconic elements.
Find out why you should give the idea of studying at a Scottish university a serious thought.
1. Choose a suitable learning style for any study field you can think of!
Scottish universities and higher education institutions offer around 4,500 courses in more than 150 subject areas at undergraduate and postgraduate level. They also provide plenty of research-led programmes available both on campus and online and you can study a degree in fields like:
Additionally, since one learning style doesn’t suit everybody, Scotland’s universities take different approaches to their courses, so no study programme is the same. That could be one of the most important things to think about when choosing the right course for you.
2. They know the education game
After all, they’ve been doing it since the 15th century! Some of the oldest universities in the world are in Scotland, and they’ve been going strong since the early 15th century.
Scotland universities have been recognised for their teaching excellence and impactful research. According to Times Higher Education and Shanghai Ranking, the highest ranked universities in Scotland are:
3. The whole country is your campus
The newer universities particularly don’t stick to the four walls for their learning. Archaeological sites on Orkney, marine centres in Shetland and Argyll have become learning sites, allowing students in Scotland get close to their subject and gain first-hand experience. There is a strong push in Scotland’s institutions for more collaboration, meaning better access to resources for you!
And to facilitate this, a huge increase in the technology used in education, making materials available online, or using video conferences for classes while you are at a special site.
4. Research done in Scottish universities rocks!
Scotland’s universities are internationally known for “world-leading” research and some of the modern developments within Scottish universities have led to such things as the MRI scanner and keyhole surgery. Students are also involved in the development of video games, earthquake risk estimation and forecasting, and new discoveries in quantum mechanics.
As an example, the University of Edinburgh is a Russel Group member, ranked among the best in the UK for research power. The institution is especially known for its research work in medicine and healthcare, and some of their recent projects are related to finding out causes of childhood blindness.
Scottish students produce more academic papers and citations per 10,000 citizen of the population than anywhere in the world!
5. Scottish people are super friendly
Scotland is known for its friendliness, and that’s no myth. While you hear stories of violence at football games, these things are really played up, and Scotland is a friendly and welcoming place to study. Scottish people are glad to help foreigners, give them a warm welcome and advice on the best places to eat and drink in town.
At least 21% of students in Scotland’s universities are not from Scotland, with more than 11% being from the EU or EEA. That means that no matter where you’re from, you won’t be alone in being unfamiliar with your surroundings. And to help you settle in, there are a large number of associations for students from and out of Scotland to socialise and get to know the country.
6. You can apply for scholarships
Tuition fees in Scotland start at around 1,000 GBP and can reach over 17,000 GBP per academic year.
Luckily, you can apply for scholarships to support your studies, as long as you meet the entry requirements. Funding information and scholarships are usually listed on the universities' websites, but you can also have a look on:
7. Students are well represented
NUS, the National Union of Students has a strong Scottish contingent dedicated to representing students across Scotland. They’re easy to contact, and often have representatives in your local area, or contacts with associations in your university to provide a link.
So you can be sure that the students here stick together, and won’t allow anyone to be discriminated! And most universities have their own Students’ Association to help make your time at the university the best it can be, with events, programs and trained representation within the university.
8. Enjoy some of the most affordable living costs in the UK
According to The Independent and other statistics, the cheapest universities to attend in the UK are the Scottish universities, at least in terms of living costs.
Students enjoy affordable costs of living that range between 700 – 1,100 GBP/month. Cities like Glasgow can be more expensive, but the overall costs largely depend on your life style and the accommodation type.
Check out the student life and living costs in these Scottish cities:
9. You can SEE the history first hand
A lot of cities around Europe have a lot of history, and a lot of attractions to see and learn about the history. Scotland’s history is everywhere, with castles all over the country, many of which you can visit in your spare time.
And if you get the timing right, you might get in free during a Historic Scotland event, or catch a re-enactment group showing you what life at the castle was like hundreds of years ago!
Some of the loveliest places you can see in Scotland are:
- The Edinburgh Castle
- The Urquhart Castle – linked with the Loch Ness legend
- The Rosslyn Chapel
- Mull of Galloway – Scotland's most southerly point where you can climb a lighthouse
- Skye, known as "Cloud Island" – the largest of Scotland's inner isles
- Luskentyre Beach
10. Foreign students recommend studying in Scotland!
According to a survey by the Scottish government, 94% of international students in Scotland said it was a good place to be, and 86% of Scottish students would recommend it to others. Scottish universities must be doing something right!
Start looking for a suitable Master’s degree in Scotland and prepare for a wonderful study abroad journey!