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Higher education in Scotland for international studens. List of 16 top institutions, 2023 fees, rankings

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10 18 36 72
University of St. Andrews
#3 in the UK
University of St. Andrews
St. Andrews
Currently watching: 8
from 5410.00 £ / term
Apply with documents
from 5410.00 £ / term
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University of Glasgow
University of the Year 2020
University of Glasgow
Currently watching: 8
Very good
3 reviews
from 17650.00 £ / year
Apply with documents
from 17650.00 £ / year
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The University of Edinburgh
#3 in Linguistics in the world
The University of Edinburgh
Currently watching: 4
Very good
4 reviews
from 5085.00 £ / term
Apply with documents
from 5085.00 £ / term
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University of Aberdeen
158th in the world and 22nd in the UK
University of Aberdeen
Currently watching: 4
Very good
2 reviews
from 18000.00 £ / year
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from 18000.00 £ / year
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University of Dundee
20th in the World
University of Dundee
Currently watching: 3
Very good
3 reviews
from 4340.00 £ / term
Apply with documents
from 4340.00 £ / term
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Heriot-Watt University
Heriot-Watt University
Currently watching: 6
Very good
from 11000.00 £ / year
Apply with documents
from 11000.00 £ / year
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Edinburgh Napier University
Edinburgh Napier University
Currently watching: 3
Very good
from 12620.00 £ / year
Apply with documents
from 12620.00 £ / year
Apply with documents
Robert Gordon University
Scottish University of the Year
Robert Gordon University
Currently watching: 1
from 14130.00 £ / year
Apply with documents
from 14130.00 £ / year
Apply with documents
INTO University of Stirling
Excellent Teaching, Employability, Internationalisation, Facilities and Inclusivness
INTO University of Stirling
Currently watching: 2
from 15650.00 £ / year
Apply with documents
from 15650.00 £ / year
Apply with documents
University of Strathclyde
#18 in the UK
University of Strathclyde
Currently watching: 1
from 15000.00 £ / year
Apply with documents
from 15000.00 £ / year
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Show by:
10 18 36 72

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. 

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 15 best universities in Switzerland 2022

1 Glion Institute of Higher Education Switzerland
2 Les Roches International School Montana
3 César Ritz Colleges Switzerland
4 IHTTI School of Hotel Management
5 Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne
6 Geneva Business School
7 EU Business School Montreux
8 HIM Hotel Institute Montreux
9 Swiss Hotel Management School
10 Webster University Geneva
11 Business and Hotel Management School
12 Luzern IMI
13 Swiss Hotel Management School (SHMS) Caux
14 International University in Geneva
15 Culinary Arts Academy Switzerland

Top 35 best universities and colleges in Canada 2022

1 University of Toronto
2 McGill University
3 University of British Columbia
4 University of Alberta
5 Simon Fraser University
6 Montreal University
7 University of Windsor
8 York University
9 University of Guelph
10 McMaster University
11 University of Manitoba
12 University of Waterloo
13 Royal Roads University
14 Vancouver Film School
15 Kwantlen Polytechnic University
16 University of Calgary
17 Dalhousie University
18 Fanshawe College
19 University of Ottawa
20 Laval University
21 Sheridan College
22 University of Regina
23 Brock University
24 Thompson Rivers University
25 Humber College
26 Vancouver Island University
27 Mohawk College
28 Centennial College Toronto
29 Niagara College
30 Capilano University
31 Seneca College
32 Algoma University
33 Saint Clair College
34 Douglas College
35 LaSalle College

Times Higher Education’s top 50 best universities in USA 2022

World University Rank US Rank University City State
2 1 Stanford University Stanford California
3 2 Harvard University Cambridge Massachusetts
4 3 California Institute of Technology Pasadena California
5 4 Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge Massachusetts
7 5 University of California, Berkeley Berkeley California
8 6 Yale University New Haven Connecticut
9 7 Princeton University Princeton New Jersey
10 8 University of Chicago Chicago Illinois
12 9 Johns Hopkins University Baltimore Maryland
13 10 University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia Pennsylvania
15 11 University of California, Los Angeles Los Angeles California
17 12 Columbia University New York City New York
19 13 Cornell University Ithaca New York
=20 14 Duke University Durham North Carolina
22 15 University of Michigan-Ann Arbor Ann Arbor Michigan
24 16 Northwestern University Evanston Illinois
26 17 New York University New York City New York
28 18 Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh Pennsylvania
29 19 University of Washington Seattle Washington
33 20 University of California, San Diego San Diego California
38 21 Georgia Institute of Technology Atlanta Georgia
44 22 University of Texas at Austin Austin Texas
48 23 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Champaign Illinois
49 24 University of Wisconsin-Madison Madison Wisconsin
50 25 Washington University in St Louis St. Louis Missouri
53 26 University of Southern California Los Angeles California
=54 27 Boston University Boston Massachusetts
=56 28 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill North Carolina
61 29 Brown University Providence Rhode Island
=64 30 University of California, Davis Davis California
68 31 University of California, Santa Barbara Santa Barbara California
=80 32 Ohio State University (Main campus) Columbus Ohio
=85 =33 Emory University Atlanta Georgia
=85 =33 University of Minnesota Minneapolis Minnesota
90 35 University of Maryland, College Park College Park Maryland
=94 36 Purdue University West Lafayette West Lafayette Indiana
=98 37 University of California, Irvine Irvine California
=101 38 Dartmouth College Hanover New Hampshire
105 39 Michigan State University East Lansing Michigan
=111 40 Vanderbilt University Nashville Tennessee
=114 41 Penn State (Main campus) State College Pennsylvania
117 42 University of Virginia (Main campus) Charlottesville Virginia
120 43 Georgetown University Washington D.C
=121 44 Case Western Reserve University Cleveland Ohio
=124 45 University of Arizona Tucson Arizona
=124 =45 Rice University Houston Texas
=131 47 University of Colorado Boulder Boulder Colorado
=133 48 University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh campus Pittsburgh Pennsylvania
=140 49 Indiana University Bloomington Indiana
=147 50 University of Rochester Rochester (NY) New York

Top 50 best universities in the UK 2022

1 Cambridge
2 Oxford
3 St Andrews
4 London School of Economics
5 Imperial College London
6 Loughborough
7 Durham
8 Lancaster
9 University of Bath
10 East Anglia (UEA)
11 University College London
12 Warwick
13 Exeter
14 Birmingham
15 Bristol
16 Edinburgh
17 Leeds
18 Manchester
19 Southampton
20 Glasgow
21 King's College London
22 Nottingham
23 York
24 Newcastle
25 Royal Holloway, University of London
26 East Anglia (UEA)
27 Aberdeen
28 Queen's University Belfast
29 Sheffield
30 Heriot-Watt
31 Cardiff
32 Dundee
33 Swansea
34 Liverpool
35 Surrey
36 Queen Mary, University of London
37 SOAS University of London
38 Leicester
39 Reading
40 Sussex
41 Essex
42 Harper Adams University
43 Aston
44 University for the Creative Arts
45 University of Stirling
46 Nottingham Trent
47 Kent
48 Arts University Bournemouth
49 Oxford Brookes
50 Lincoln

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 per month

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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Egor Eremeev
Current material has been prepared by Egor Eremeev
Education: Westminster University (Business & Management), London.
Egor studied and lived in the UK for 8 years and graduated from the university of Westminster. He is currently the co-founder and the director of business development at Smapse Education and personally visits foreign schools and universities, interviews students studying in those institutions.
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