10 Reasons Why Scotland is The Best Place to Study in the UK

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 just receive top-quality education, but 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.

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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 from fields like:

  • History
  • Architecture
  • International Law
  • Asian Studies
  • Data Science
  • Business

Additionally, since one learning style doesn’t suit everybody, Scotland’s universities all take different approaches to their courses, so no study programme is the same as another. 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 fourth 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 of the population than anywhere in the world!

5. Scottish people are super friendly

Scotland is known for its friendly welcome, 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.

glasgow university.jpg

6. If you’re a student from the EU or EEA, education is still free!

The student awards agency for Scotland (SAAS) covers the tuition fees for undergraduate students in Scotland, as long as they are from EU or EEA countries. That makes a huge difference to studying, since you won’t need to cover that tuition cost as well as your living costs.

At least up until the academic year of 2018/2019, EU and EEA students will continue to enjoy this favourable tuition status.

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 stand for even one person being 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 Scottish. Students need to pay, on average, around 9,000 GBP each year at universities from Edinburgh and St. Andrews, for instance. This is significantly less compared to other major student cities in the United Kingdom.

Apart from lower tuition, students in Scotland also enjoy affordable living costs that range from just around 700 – 1,100 GBP/month.

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 anytime. 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:

  • Visit Edinburgh Castle
  • The Urquhart Castle – linked with the Loch Ness legend
  • 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

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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!

How to apply right now to a university in Scotland

If these reasons convinced you to go for a Master's in Scotland, you can now apply directly through Studyportals to one of our university partners in the country.

Check the available Masters and see which of the degrees match your background and interests. Start the application process by filling in your student profile. You will soon get contacted by one of our application counsellors who will assist you further. We’ll then apply on your behalf. Fingers crossed!

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