International Students Admission to the University of St Andrews

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on international student admission to the prestigious University of St Andrews. As one of the oldest and most respected universities in the world, St Andrews offers a unique and enriching academic experience that attracts students from all corners of the globe.

In this article, we will explore why St Andrews is a top choice for international students, delve into the admission requirements and application process, discuss fees and funding options, and highlight the support services available to help international students thrive at St Andrews.

Whether you’re considering undergraduate or postgraduate study, St Andrews provides a world-class education in a vibrant and supportive environment. Join us as we uncover the opportunities awaiting you at the University of St Andrews.

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Overview of the University of St Andrews

The University of St Andrews, abbreviated as St And, is a public university located in St Andrews, Scotland. Following the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, it is the oldest of the four ancient universities of Scotland and the third-oldest university in the English-speaking world, . It was established in 1413.

History and Background

St Andrews University was founded when the Avignon Antipope Benedict XIII issued a papal bull to a small founding group of Augustinian clergy. Alongside the universities of Glasgow, Aberdeen, and Edinburgh, St Andrews played a significant role in the Scottish Enlightenment during the 18th century.

Academic Structure

St Andrews comprises of three colleges: United College (a union of St Salvator’s and St Leonard’s Colleges), St Mary’s College, and St Leonard’s College. These colleges are further divided into 18 academic schools organized into four faculties. The university’s historic and modern buildings are scattered throughout the town of St Andrews.

Student Life and Tradition

During term time, over one-third of St Andrews’ town population consists of university staff and students. The student body is popular for maintaining ancient traditions such as Raisin Weekend, May Dip, and the wearing of distinctive academic dress. The university’s diverse student body represents over 145 nationalities, with about 45% of students coming from countries outside the UK.

Academic Excellence

St Andrews’ undergraduate admissions are highly selective, with the university having the third-lowest offer rate for 2022 entry and the highest entry standards of new students, as measured by UCAS entry tariff. The university boasts a notable alumni and affiliated faculty, including prominent mathematicians, scientists, theologians, philosophers, and politicians.

The University of St Andrews stands out as a prestigious institution with a rich history and a commitment to academic excellence. Its diverse student body, ancient traditions, and renowned alumni make it a top choice for students seeking a world-class education.

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Entry Requirements for International Students at the University of St Andrews

The University of St Andrews commits to providing a welcoming environment for students from around the world. Their flexible entry options ensure that regardless of your background or personal circumstances, our doors are open to you.

While admission to St Andrews is competitive, they have a holistic approach to assessing applications. They consider not only your grades but also your personal statement, references, and the context of your application. It’s important to note that meeting the minimum grades required for each program does not guarantee admission, as actual offers may be higher or lower.

For detailed information on entry requirements, we recommend consulting the “Academic Entry Explained” guide. UK-based applicants can use the indicator tool to determine the specific entry requirements for their chosen program. Non-UK applicants should refer to the standard academic entry requirements.

We understand that some applicants may face challenges in meeting the standard entry requirements. To accommodate such situations, they offer alternative entry routes for applicants from areas where we receive limited applications, as well as for those returning to education after a period of time.

Entry Requirements by Country

To view the specific entry requirements and additional information for your country, please select it from the A–Z list on the website. The country-specific guides provide comprehensive details on academic and English language entry requirements, as well as guidance on tuition fees.

If your qualifications are not listed on the website, we encourage you to contact Admissions at for further assistance.

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Applying for Undergraduate Study at the University of St Andrews

It is a straightforward process designed to help us find students who are ready to challenge ideas, innovate, and lead. Whether you’re applying through UCAS, the Common Application, or directly, we welcome your application and look forward to reviewing it. Here’s a guide to the different application processes:

1. UCAS Application

  • Most first-year applicants will apply through UCAS, which allows you to apply to multiple universities through a single online application.
  • Include your personal details, academic qualifications, a personal statement, and a reference.
  • Choose up to five universities, including St Andrews, and submit your application by the deadline.

2. Common Application

  • Overseas students who are not applying through UCAS can use the Common Application to apply to St Andrews.
  • Submit your application, including personal information, academic history, essays, and recommendations, through the Common App website.

3. Direct Application

  • If you’re an overseas student applying only to St Andrews and not through UCAS or the Common Application, you can apply directly.
  • Visit our website to find the direct application form and follow the instructions to submit your application.

4. Transfer Students

  • We welcome a small number of transfer students each year from other universities.
  • Contact our admissions team for specific instructions on how to apply as a transfer student.

5. Direct Entry into Second Year

  • Some students who wish to enter the Faculty of Science can apply to start directly in the second year of their course.
  • Check our website for eligibility criteria and application details.

6. Part-Time Study

  • If you’re looking for part-time study options, we offer both daytime and evening courses.
  • Explore our part-time study options on our website and follow the application instructions.

Regardless of the application process you choose, we encourage you to submit your application early and ensure you include all required documents. Our admissions team is here to help if you have any questions about the application process. We look forward to receiving your application and welcoming you to the University of St Andrews.

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After Applying

After submitting your application to the University of St Andrews, the Admissions team will initiate the processing phase. You will promptly receive an email confirmation acknowledging the receipt of your application, regardless of the submission method you chose. Following this notification, it’s important to note that further communication from the university will not occur until a decision has been made regarding your application.

All offers of admission are primarily conveyed via email. Additionally, successful applicants will also receive a letter and booklet providing additional information about the offer. For applicants who applied through UCAS, the offer will also be confirmed through the UCAS Hub.

The decision-making process at St Andrews considers not only your current and anticipated grades but also the context in which you achieved or are expected to achieve them. While the university does not typically conduct interviews for most undergraduate programs, it places significant emphasis on your personal statement and the report provided by your referee. However, applicants for certain programs, such as Medicine, Supported Pathways, BA International Honours, and some part-time courses, may be invited for an interview.

Decision Process

The process for deciding on applications from students looking to transfer to St Andrews differs slightly and is outlined separately for transfer students.

St Andrews evaluates each application based on its individual merits, ensuring equal consideration for all applications submitted by the relevant UCAS deadlines. However, due to the large number of well-qualified applicants, the university receives more applications than there are places available.

Once they reach a decision, you will get a notification from UCAS. Any offer conditions will be visible through the UCAS Hub. All applicants who submit their applications by the applicable UCAS deadline will receive a decision no later than the UCAS deadline in May.

If you receive an offer for a place at St Andrews, you must use UCAS to indicate whether you wish to accept the offer. UCAS allows you to hold up to two offers: one firm choice and a second insurance choice. Your firm choice is considered your first choice of university. Meanwhile, your insurance offer is your backup in case you do not meet the requirements for your firm choice.

International Students

For international applicants who applied through a direct application or the Common Application, the response to your application will be communicated through the St Andrews applicant portal. This response will outline the offer and any associated conditions. You should respond to your offer in the portal, indicating whether you intend to accept the offer.

If you have any questions regarding your offer, you can email You must reply to your offer by specific deadlines:

  • If you receive an offer by 14 March 2024, you must respond by 11 April 2024.
  • If you receive an offer between 15 March 2024 and 1 June 2024, you will have 28 calendar days to respond.
  • If you receive an offer after 2 June 2024, you will have 14 calendar days to respond.

International students may require a visa to live and study in the UK. The need for a visa and the type of visa required depend on your nationality and the duration of your planned course of study.

To apply for a Student visa, you will need a Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS) number. The University of St Andrews issues this. Until you have received your CAS number you cannot apply for your Student visa. The CAS number will not be issued before March.

You are not permitted to apply for your visa more than six months before the start of your term.

For further information regarding the CAS process and who to contact if you have any questions, please email

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How to Apply for Postgraduate courses at the University of St Andrews

Applying to the University of St Andrews as an international student is a straightforward process. The university offers different application routes for postgraduate students depending on the course you are interested in pursuing.

Taught Programmes

If you are applying for MSc, MLitt, MRes, Conversion Diploma, or Postgraduate Certificate programmes, you should apply online using the applications and guidance for taught programmes. Here’s a step-by-step guide to the application process:

  1. Choose Your Programme: Select the taught programme you wish to apply for from the university’s list of offerings.
  2. Check the Requirements: Review the specific entry requirements for your chosen programme, including academic qualifications and English language proficiency.
  3. Prepare Your Documents: Gather all the necessary documents for your application, including transcripts, personal statement, and letters of recommendation.
  4. Complete the Online Application: Fill out the online application form on the university’s website.
  5. Pay the Application Fee: Pay the application fee as specified in the application guidelines.
  6. Submit Your Application: Once you have completed all the sections of the online application and uploaded your supporting documents, submit your application.
  7. Track Your Application: Use the application tracking system on the university’s website to monitor the progress of your application.
  8. Await a Decision: Wait for the university to review your application. You will be notified of the decision via email.

Research Programmes

For applicants interested in MPhil, PhD, MSc(Res), MSt(Res), EngD, MFA, and MRes Medicine programmes, the application process is slightly different. Here’s how you can apply for research programmes:

  1. Select Your Programme: Choose the research programme you wish to apply for from the university’s list of available programmes.
  2. Review the Requirements: Familiarize yourself with the specific entry requirements for your chosen research programme, including academic qualifications and research proposal guidelines.
  3. Prepare Your Documents: Collect all the necessary documents for your application, including academic transcripts, research proposal, and letters of recommendation.
  4. Complete the Online Application: Fill out the online application form for research programmes on the university’s website. Provide detailed information about your research interests and academic background.
  5. Pay the Application Fee: Pay the application fee as specified in the application guidelines.
  6. Submit Your Application: Once you have completed all sections of the online application and uploaded your supporting documents, submit your application.
  7. Track Your Application: Use the application tracking system on the university’s website to monitor the progress of your application.
  8. Await a Decision: Wait for the university to review your application. You will receive an email when they reach a decision.

Applying to the University of St Andrews is the first step towards a rewarding academic experience. Follow the application guidelines carefully to increase your chances of acceptance.

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Student Support

Student support is a key priority at St Andrews University. From the moment you arrive, you’ll find a supportive environment with a range of professional staff ready to help you navigate university life.

Academic Support

  • Support begins within your academic School, where faculty members are dedicated to helping you succeed.
  • The University guarantees first-year undergraduate students a place in University halls, fostering a sense of community from the start.
  • Many students form lasting friendships within their halls, and each hall has a team of wardens and postgraduate students available for advice and support.
  • The wardennial system provides students with a supportive environment where they can seek advice or simply have someone to talk to.

Student Services

  • The University’s Student Services team offers a wide range of support, including counselling services and advice on disabilities, mental health, academic issues, finances, and general well-being.
  • The team is dedicated to ensuring that all students have the support they need to thrive academically and personally.
  • The University Chaplaincy is also available to provide support to students on a variety of matters, offering a listening ear and guidance when needed.

Personal and Professional Development

  • The Centre for Educational Enhancement and Development (CEED) offers support with study skills and academic development throughout your studies.
  • International students can benefit from the International Education Institute (IE), which provides support for non-native English speakers before and during their studies at St Andrews.

Overall, St Andrews University is committed to providing a supportive and inclusive environment for all students, ensuring that you have the resources and support you need to succeed.

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Student Experience

St Andrews has a rich history of welcoming pilgrims, which has ingrained a deep sense of hospitality in the local people. The town attracts a variety of visitors, including film stars, celebrities, and politicians, each of whom receives an equal and warm welcome.

One of the major draws of St Andrews is its reputation as the ‘Home of Golf.’ For many golfers, playing at St Andrews is the ultimate dream come true, making it a significant attraction for students as well.

However, St Andrews is not solely about golf. The town is also known for its vibrant array of festivals, cultural events, and community engagement. With three beautiful beaches, Scotland’s greatest cathedral, and a diverse mix of independent shops, restaurants, and galleries, there’s always something to explore.

Despite its historical significance and global reputation, St Andrews maintains an intimate atmosphere, home to around 16,000 people, including the local community, university students and staff, and visitors. This close-knit environment provides easy access to all university facilities, buildings, and halls of residence.

Events are a big part of life in St Andrews, with a variety of academic talks, conferences, and university events happening throughout the year. Student-led events are particularly popular. They range from music festivals like Starfields to a diverse range of a cappella concerts, orchestras, and choirs.

For fans of theatre and the arts, the town’s Byre Theatre offers a vibrant programme of university performances, events, and activities. It also hosts professional touring productions of theatre, dance, musicals, opera, and family performances, along with popular local amateur productions.

In summary, St Andrews offers not just a world-class education but also a rich cultural experience, making it an ideal destination for students seeking a well-rounded university experience.

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In conclusion, St Andrews University offers a world-class academic experience for international students. With its prestigious reputation, unique features, and strong student support services, it is a top choice for those seeking quality education in the UK. The application process is straightforward, and the university provides ample support to help international students transition smoothly into student life. Consider St Andrews University for your higher education journey and explore their programs to start your application today!

Visit St Andrews University’s official website for more information.

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