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TOP-10 prestigious universities in Scotland where international students can get high-quality higer education

Education information

Today, Scotland is the leading country among best destinations for educational tourism according to foreign students. Italy attracts international students with high-quality educational services, a wide range of schools and colleges, exciting cultural programs. SMAPSE offers TOP-10 prestigious universities in Scotland where international students can get high-quality and balanced higher education that will open wide career opportunitites. 

Please, don't hesitate to contact SMAPSE experts as they are always ready to answer all your questions. 

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Universities of Scotland for international students



University of St. Andrews

St Andrews, Fife

University of Glasgow


University of Aberdeen


University of Edinburgh


University of Strathclyde


Heriot Watt University


Dundee University


Stirling University


University of Edinburgh Napier


Robert Gordon University


University of Glasgow Caledonia


Dundee University Aberdeen


Queen Margaret University

Masselburg, East Lothian

University of Western Scotland

Paisley, Hamilton, Dumfries and Ayr

University of the Highlands and Islands


Features of studying in Scotland: higher education for foreign students

Although the local education system is based on classic British traditions, Scottish educational institutions have their own characteristics:

  • At universities in Scotland, students study for 4 years, and not 3, as in England. And the structure itself is more flexible: students can choose to study disciplines from different faculties. Double-qualified programs are very popular - economics and finance, law and management, and other interesting options
  • Universities in Scotland almost every year fall into the TOP-20 best universities in the UK. Many higher schools also occupy leading positions in preparing specialists in a particular specialization.
  • For the most part, studying at universities in Scotland will cost less than at English universities. The only exception is the Scottish capital: Edinburgh has high living standards, which is why the city ranks second after London among the list of the most expensive.

In general, the cost of studying at universities in Scotland for foreign students will vary from 7.000-25.000 pounds. Getting an education here is a rather profitable investment, because the amount of financial costs will be lower than in the case of England, the USA or other European countries. An opportunity to save applies not only to educational programs, but also to renting a house or paying for residence, off-campus meals and other expenses that tourists usually have.

In Scotland, as in many other European countries, university students can combine studying with work. One of the available options is to work on the campus of the university, but the places here are quickly taken apart, so we recommend you to be puzzled with the search for a job in advance. An opportunity to combine some kind of activity with studies largely depends on the student himself, because there will be a lot of academic workload at a Scottish university.

Admission to high school in Scotland - stages and requiremets for foreign students

Admission requirements to universities in Scotland are not much different from British ones. As in England, an application for undergraduate studies is submitted through the UCAS service, for Master's programs - directly through the selected faculty.

Before entering, all international students are advised to complete Foundation program or to complete the Scottish SIFP course. The process of going through preparation programs may take 1-2 years. Also, to study in Scotland, students need have excellent command of English. If there are gaps, you need to study at a language school, where at the same time you can prepare for IELTS test (it is also required when entering the university).

All applicants will also need a Bachelor’s diploma to enter a Master's program at Scottish universities. Master's programs take 1-2 years. An applicant will also need to draw up documents (confirmation of the first higher education, a letter of motivation and recommendations from the previous place of study) and send it in time.

Professional courses in Scotland for foreign students

HNC - Higher National Certificate

In the British educational system, HNC / HND degrees are the first stages of higher education (even before the Bachelor's degree): HNC (Higher National Certificate, 1 year) and HND (Higher National Diploma, 2 years). Most of the working specialties are available to students already after completing the HNC / HND courses - they can start working. Also, these programs are valuable in that they involve a huge number of internships: students test all acquired knowledge in practice, graduating as qualified and already quite experienced specialists.

At Edinburgh College, HNC programs are available in a wide range of specialties and areas:

  • Art and design
  • Automotive and Engineering
  • Media, photography and visual communications
  • Building
  • Finance and business
  • Decoration and interior design
  • Work with children
  • Computer Science, Informatics and Programming
  • Pharmacology, medicine and dentistry
  • Engineering science
  • Electrical engineering
  • Hairdressing and beauty industry
  • Health and social services
  • Retail
  • Hospitality and Tourism
  • Event Management
  • Modern foreign languages
  • Music producing
  • Performing Arts and Theater
  • Cookery
  • Science and research
  • Social and Human Sciences
  • Sports, physical education and fitness
  • Travel and tourism.

The cost of studying at Edinburgh College is (price is for 1 person):

1) Preparatory courses (Introductory & Access courses (SCQF Level 6)):

  • 18 weeks = £ 3300
  • Academic year = 6600 £

2) HNC - Higher National Certificate (SCQF Level 7):

  • 18 weeks = 4800 £
  • Academic year = £ 7000.

Learning programs-summary information

Name Meaning Equivalent Min. age Duration, 
Next stage Cost
GCSE General certificate of secondary education secondary education (non-accomplished) 14 1–2 A-Levels 15,000 USD+
A-Levels Advanced level secondary education (accomplished) 16 2 University 15,000 USD+
BTEC Business and Technology Education Board secondary special education 14 2–3 University/ work 15,000 USD+
Oxbridge Preparation Preparing for Oxford and Cambridge secondary education (accomplished) 17 1 University 15,000 USD+
International Baccalaureate International baccalaureate secondary education (accomplished) 16 2 University 18,000 USD+
Foundation/ Pathway Year Preparatory year admission to the 1st year of university 17 1 University 14,000 USD+
NCUK The Northern consortium 2 year university 17,5 1 2 year University of NCUK 13,000 USD+
Special Preparation (Medics/Math/Business) Specialized training - 14 optional optional 4,000 USD+
Academic English Academic English Language school 8 + 6–12 months School or University 8,000 USD+

Top 50 universities in the USA

1 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
2 Stanford University
3 Harvard University
4 California Institute of Technology (Caltech)
5 University of Chicago
6 Princeton University
7 Cornell University
8 University of Pennsylvania
9 Yale University
10 Columbia University
11 Johns Hopkins University
12 Duke University
13 Northwestern University
14 University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
15 New York University
16 Carnegie Mellon University
17 University of Wisconsin-Madison
18 Brown University
19 University of Washington
20 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
21 Rice University
22 University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
23 Boston University
24 University of California, Davis
25 Washington University in St. Louis
26 Purdue University
27 University of Southern California
28 University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB)
29 University of Maryland, College Park
30 University of Pittsburgh
31 Michigan State University
32 Emory University
33 University of Minnesota
34 University of Florida
35 University of Rochester
36 Case Western Reserve University
37 Texas A&M University
38 University of Virginia
39 Vanderbilt University
40 University of Colorado Boulder
41 Dartmouth College
42 University of Notre Dame
43 Arizona State University
44 University of California, Irvine
45 Georgetown University
46 Tufts University
47    University of Miami
48 North Carolina State University
49 University of Massachusetts Amherst

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


Cost of living in Scotland

Expenses - USD/Month. Min.
Accommodation 598
Food 413
Transportation 61
Communications and utilities 96
Clothing 36
Sports and leisure 52
Total 1,256


Accommodation in Scotland

Shared room outside of centre 604
Shared room in city centre 795
1 bedroom apartment outside of centre 914
1 bedroom apartment in city centre 1242


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