University of St Andrews: Admission, Tuition, Courses, Scholarships and Ranking

University of St Andrews: Admission, Tuition, Courses, Scholarships and Ranking

The University of St Andrews was founded in the 15th century, is a British public university in St Andrews, Fife, Scotland. This is the oldest of the four ancient universities of Scotland and the third (3rd) oldest university in the English-speaking world (following Oxford and Cambridge Universities).

Teaching began in the community of St Andrews in the year 1410, and the University was formally constituted by the issue of a papal bull in the year 1413.

St Andrews College is made up of a variety of institutions, including three colleges – United College (a union of St Salvator’s and St Leonard’s Colleges), St Mary’s College, and St Leonard’s College, the last-named being a non-statutory renewal of St Leonard’s as a post-graduate society.

About eighteen (18) academic schools are organized into four faculties. The university inhabits historic and modern buildings throughout the town.

It alienated the academic year into two terms, Martinmas and Candlemas. During the term session, over one-third of the town’s population is a staff member or student of the university.

The student body is conspicuously diverse: they embody over 145 nationalities with 45% of its intake from countries outside the UK; about one-eighth (1/8) of the students are from the rest of the EU and the remaining third (3rd) are from overseas and 15 percent (%) from North America alone.

The university’s sports teams take part in BUCS competitions, and they knew the student body for preserving ancient traditions such as Raisin Weekend, May Dip, and putting on a distinctive academic outfit.

University of St Andrews’ Ranking

The university is ranked as the third (3rd) best University in the United Kingdom in two (2) out of three national league tables, behind Oxbridge.

The Guardian ranks first in the United Kingdom the Schools of Physics and Astronomy, International Relations, Geography, Computer Science, English, and Mathematics, whilst The Times and Sunday Times ranks the Schools of English, Philosophy, Management, Anatomy & Physiology, and Middle Eastern and African Studies first and The Complete University Guide ranks Management, Divinity and Middle Eastern and African Studies first.

The Times Higher Education World Universities Ranking names St Andrews along with the world’s Top 50 Universities for Social Sciences, Arts, and Humanities.

St Andrews constantly clings to the highest student satisfaction scores amongst all multi-faculty universities in the United Kingdom.

St Andrews University has a lot of notable alumni and affiliated faculty, including eminent mathematicians, philosophers, theologians, scientists, and politicians.

Current alumni include the former First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond; the former Secretary of State for Defence Michael Fallon; HM British Ambassador to China Barbara Woodward; United States Ambassador to Hungary Colleen Bell; Olympic cycling gold medalist Chris Hoy and royals Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.

Six (6) Nobel Laureates are among St Andrews’ alumni and former staff: two (2) in Chemistry and Physiology or Medicine, and one each in Peace and Literature.

University of St Andrews’ chronological links with the United States predates the country’s independence. James Wilson, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, attended (but did not graduate from) the University of St Andrews.

Wilson was one of six original justices appointed by George Washington to the Supreme Court of the United States and was the founder of the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

Other famous American figures associated with St Andrews include Scottish American industrialist Andrew Carnegie, who was elected as Rector in the year 1901 and his name is given to the prestigious Carnegie Scholarship, and Edward Harkness, an American philanthropist who in the year 1930 provided for the construction of St Salvator’s Hall.

American Bobby Jones, the co-founder of the Augusta National Golf Club and the Master’s Tournament, was labeled a Freeman of the City of St Andrews in the year 1958, becoming barely the second (2nd) American to be so honored, the other being Benjamin Franklin in the year 1759.

Nowadays, extremely competitive scholarship exchange, The Robert T. Jones Scholarship, subsist between St Andrews and Emory University in Atlanta.

Associations with the United States have been maintained into the present day and continue to grow.

As of the year 2009, Louise Richardson, an Irish-American political scientist specializing in the study of terrorism, was drawn from Harvard to serve as the first female Principal and Vice-Chancellor of St Andrews.

Later on, she went on to her next appointment as the Vice-Chancellor to the University of Oxford.

In the year 2013, Hillary Clinton, former United States Secretary of State, took part in the academic commemoration marking the 600th anniversary of the founding of the University of St Andrews.

Hillary Clinton received an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws and provided the graduation address, in which she said; “I do take comfort from knowing there is a long tradition of Americans being warmly welcomed here at the University of St Andrews.

Every year I find out you educate more than one thousand (1000), American students, updating them with new ideas and perspectives as well as, according to them with a first-class education. I’m proud and fortunate to hire a few St Andrews alumni over the years and I thank you for training them so well”.

University of St. Andrews Rankings and reputation

According to the ranking conducted by The Guardian, St Andrews is placed 5th in the United Kingdom for national reputation behind Oxford, Imperial, Cambridge, & LSE.

When the size is taken into account, St Andrews ranked second (2nd) in the world out of all small to medium-sized totally comprehensive Universities (after Brown University) using metrics from the QS Intelligence Unit in the year 2015.

The year 2014 Research Excellence Framework ranked the University of St Andrews 14th in the UK, and first in Scotland, among the multi-faculty institutions for the research quality (GPA) of its output profile.

The University was ranked 9th overall in The Sunday Times 10 year (1998 – 2007) average ranking of British Universities based on regular league table performance and is also a member of the Sutton 13 of top-ranked Universities in the United Kingdom.

Virtually 86 percent (%) of its graduates obtain a First Class or an Upper Second Class Honours degree.

The ancient Scottish Universities award Master of Arts degrees (excluding science students who are awarded a Bachelor of Science degree) which are being classified upon graduation, in contrast to Oxbridge where one becomes a Master of Arts after a definite number of years, and the rest of the United Kingdom, where graduates are awarded BAs.

These can be awarded honors; the greater number of students graduate with honors.

In the year 2017, the University of St Andrews was named as the University with the joint second highest graduate employment rate of any UK university (along with Warwick), with 97.7 percent (%) of its graduates in work or further study three and half years after graduation.

The University is placed 7th in the United Kingdom (1st in Scotland) for the employability of its graduates as chosen by recruiters from the United Kingdom’s famous companies with graduates expected to have the best graduate prospects and highest starting salaries in Scotland as ranked by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide for the year 2016 and 2017.

An independent report conducted by a Swedish investment firm, Skandia found that the University is, even with its diminutive undergraduate body, the joint 5th best university in the United Kingdom for producing millionaires.

A study by High Fliers confirmed this by reporting that the University of St Andrews also features in the top 5 of the United Kingdom’s universities for producing self-made millionaires.

Following a study by the Institute of Employment Research, the University has produced more directors of FTSE 100 companies in proportion to its size than any other educational institution in Britain.

In the year 2019 Complete University Guide, 24 out of the 25 subjects offered by the University rank within the top 10 nationally making it one of only three multi-faculty universities (alongside Oxford and Cambridge) in the UK to have over 95% of their subjects in the top 10.

The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide for the year 2017 discovered that 24 of the 26 subjects offered by St Andrews ranked within the top 6 nationally with 10 subjects placing within the top 3 including English, Philosophy, Management, International Relations, Italian, Physics, Ancient History, Astronomy, and Classics.

The Guardian University Guide for the year 2019 ranked Biosciences, International Relations, Computer Science, Physics, and Psychology first in the United Kingdom. Earth and Marine Sciences, English, Mathematics, Management, Economics, Philosophy, and Theology placed within the top three (3) nationally.

In the year 2015 – 2016 Times Higher Education World University Rankings, the University of St Andrews ranked 46th in the world for Social Sciences, 50th in the world for Arts & Humanities, and 74th in the world for Life Sciences.

In the year 2014 CWTS Leiden rankings, which “aims to provide highly precise measurements of the scientific impact of Universities”, placed the University of St Andrews 39th in the world, ranking it 5th domestically.

The philosophy department was ranked 14th worldwide (4th in Europe) in the year 2015 QS World University Rankings whilst the graduate program was ranked 17th globally worldwide (2nd in the United Kingdom) by the year 2009 Philosophical Gourmet’s biennial report on Philosophy programs in the English speaking world.

University of St. Andrews Admissions

The University of St Andrews welcomes applications mostly through UCAS and the Common Application with the latest figures showing that there are generally 12 applications per undergraduate place available.

In general, the University of St Andrews is one of the most competitive universities in the United Kingdom, with 2016 – 2017 having an acceptance rate of 8.35 percent and offer a rate of 22.5 percent for Scottish/EU (European Union) applicants where places are capped by the Scottish Government.

In the year 2017, the most competitive courses for Scottish/EU applicants were those within the Schools of Management, Finance, Economics, and International Relations, with offer rates of 8.0 percent 10.9 percent, and 11.5 percent respectively.

The normal offer of a place tends to require five best Highers equivalent to AAAAB, three best A-levels equivalent to AAA, or a score of at least 38 points on the International Baccalaureate.

Successful entrants have on average, 525 UCAS points (the equivalent of just above A*A*AA at A-Level) ranking the 5th highest among higher education institutions in the United Kingdom for the year 2015 admissions cycle with The Telegraph naming it as the toughest University to gain admission into in Scotland.

The University of St Andrews has one of the smallest percentages of students (13%) from lower-income backgrounds, out of all higher education institutions in the United Kindom.

Around 40% of the student body is from independent schools and the university hosts the highest amount of financially independent students (58%) in the United Kingdom.

The University participates in broadening access schemes such as the Sutton Trust Summer School, REACH & SWAP Scotland, First Chances Programme, and Access for Rural Communities (ARC) in order to support a more extensive uptake of those traditionally under-represented at university.

In the seven-year period between the year 2008 and 2015, the number of students engaged with annual outreach programs at the university has improved by about tenfold whilst the number of students arriving at the University of St Andrews from the poorest backgrounds has increased by almost 50 percent in the past year of 2015.

The university has a faintly higher proportion of female than male students with a male to female ratio of 44:56 in the undergraduate population.

To Apply For Admission Click Here

Courses offered by University of St. Andrews

St Andrews University courses  include but are not limited to:

  • Biology
  • Business and Management
  • Classics
  • Computer Science
  • Psychology
  • Divinity
  • Engineering
  • Anthropology
  • English, Literature, and Poetry
  • Languages and Linguistics
  • Medicine and Physiology
  • Geology
  • History and Art History
  • International Relations and Politics
  • Mathematics and Astronomy
  • Chemistry
  • Economics
  • Media and Film Studies
  • Philosophy and Logic
  • Physics and Astronomy
  • Zoology

St Andrews University Tuition

University of St Andrews Undergraduate Tuition Fees

As a student at the University of St Andrews, you are expected to pay fees every year that you are in attendance. Fees might increase annually during the course of your study. The amount of fees you will have to pay depends on the degree you are studying for and your fee status.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees year 2022

If you are studying in the Faculty of Arts, Divinity, or Science, tuition fees for 2022 will be £23,910. Tuition fees will be fixed at this level for the duration of your program.

If you are studying in the Faculty of Medicine, tuition fees for 2022 will be £31,950. 

The Scottish Government has introduced a mandatory new national levy for overseas medical students for each year of study to cover the costs of NHS clinical teaching, which is reflected in the tuition fee.

Fees may increase annually during the course of your study by up to 5% or up to the amount of the levy.


Tuition fees for undergraduatesApproved
Home (Scotland/EU) – Arts, Divinity, Science, Medicine £1,820£1,820£1,820 
RUK (England, Wales, N.Ireland) – Arts, Divinity, Science, Medicine£9,250£9,250£9,250 
Islands – Arts, Divinity, Science, Medicine£9,250£9,250£9,250 
Overseas – Arts, Divinity, Science2022 entrants£23,9102022 entrants – fixed tuition fees for the duration of the study

Click Here To Download The Full Tuition Fee

 University of St Andrews Notable Alumni

That you are no longer a student at the University of St Andrews does not mean your relationship with the institution has to stop as well.

As a member of the University’s worldwide alumni community, you will always be part of the University and the University will always be here for you.

The lists below are the notable Alumni of the University of St Andrews which include; graduates, non-graduate former students, and current students of the University of St Andrews, Fife, Scotland.


Andrew Bell1774Anglican priest, educationalist, founder of Madras College
Normand MacLaurin1854 M.A.Physician; Chancellor of the University of Sydney; Member of the New South Wales Legislative Council
G. Gabrielle Starr 10th President of Pomona College; attended graduate school at St Andrew’s like a Robert T. Jones Scholar
Walter Perry1943 MB ChB, 1948 MD, 1958 DScPharmacologist, physician, first Vice-Chancellor of the Open University, and life peer
Eric AndersonM.A.Educationalist and Provost of Eton College
P.C. Anderson1892 M.A.Educator, headmaster of Scotch College, and golfer; winning the 1893 Amateur Championship
John AdamsonM.A.Minister, academic, Principal of the University of Edinburgh
Edward Farrer Oxford University academic and administrator, master of University College

Click here to view the download Full Alumni page

St Andrews University Scholarships And Funding

The University of St Andrews is dedicated to attracting the very best students, regardless of financial circumstances. Scholarships reward academic excellence and are deliberate to provide assistance to support students during their time at the university.

The St Andrews University scholarships and funding catalog present a searchable directory of funding options offered by the University towards fees, living expenses, travel, and initiatives.

Accessing the catalogue

If you are a new applicant to the University of St Andrews, you need to apply for your chosen course(s) before accessing the scholarships (scholarships are being offered to registered students) and funding catalog. After you have applied, you will receive an email with instructions on how to access the catalog.

  • Applicants to undergraduate and postgraduate taught courses will be provided with login details for the ‘My Application portal with access to ‘My Scholarships and Funding’.
  • Applicants to foundation and postgraduate research courses will receive a link directly to scholarships and funding.

If you are an existing student at the University of St Andrews, you can access scholarships and funding through MySaint, located under ‘My Applications’.

For more information on the St Andrews Scholarships, click on the links below:


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University of St Andrews: Admission, Tuition, Courses, Scholarships and Ranking

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