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10 best schools in Scotland to prepare for universities in Scotland and abroad

Education information

Nowadays, Scotland is one of the most popular countries among international students wishing to get high-quality education abroad. SMAPSE offers 10 best Scottish schools and colleges where foreign students can get preparation courses that will help to enter prestigious universities in Scotland and abroad. Due to the list of TOP-10 prestigious schools and colleges in Scotland, you will definitely find the most appropriate option. Please, don't hesitate to contact SMAPSE experts at any time as they are always ready to answer all your questions. 

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Best courses and programs for international students in Scotland

Foreign students can get higher education in Scotland in two ways: after graduating from a high school with a certificate and IELTS 6.0 or after the Foundation program.

Scottish International Foundation Program - a program that will help students from other countries to enter universities in Scotland: Aberdeen, Robert Gordon, Dundee. Here is a list of the oldest and most prestigious universities in the country.



Year of foundation

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



For entering Scottish International Foundation Program, a candidate must have a certificate with a high average mark and pass the IELTS or TOEFL. Depending on student's level of knowledge and the result that he wants to get, the program can last from 3 to 12 months:

  • 3-month program. This is mainly a summer course (from July to September), the main goal is to prepare an applicant for exams in specific subjects. Estimated cost - £ 1,750
  • 9-month program. The course begins in January and lasts until September. Such a program is suitable for those who have high final exam results after school. Here, students and teenagers will be able to prepare for the Foundation exams in September, and then go through the university entrance step in October. Estimated cost - £ 4,850
  • 12-month program. It starts in September. Foreign students study intensive English course that allows to get excellent English proficiency to enter universities in Scotland + an SCE educational certificate of the Scottish standard, which is quoted at many universities.

Both exams indicated in the last program, in case of successful passing, can be counted upon admission to a Scottish university. However, if the SCE exam is successfully passed, Foundation certification doesn't need to be passed. In other cases, when enrolling, a combination of the results of two exams is considered.

To achieve the best result in preparation, SMAPSE experts recommend foreign students to study Foundation program for 1-2 years in Scottish high school.

Advantages of prep courses in Scotland for foreign students

  • High level of education. Scotland deserves this status, there are 4 universities from the list of TOP-200 universities in the world (according to The Times)
  • Compliance with high international standards. Diplomas issued by Scottish universities are highly appreciated throughout the world. Over 80% of Scottish graduates find a prestigious job within six months of graduation
  • Low cost of studying in comparison with other European countries. The average cost of living and studying during the month is from 500 to 1000 pounds
  • Friendly student atmosphere. This country is so compact that makes it one large student city. Every year, students from more than 150 countries come here to study - this is more than 45 thousand people!

The cost of studying in Scotland, as already mentioned, is lower than in other countries. The annual preparation for a university in Scotland depending on the institution (school, college, university course) will cost in the range from 6,000 to 13,000 pounds per year. Payment for one trimester is in the range of 3 to 5 thousand pounds.

Top 5 best schools in Scotland 2021

1 Fettes College
2   Glenalmond College Perth
3 Strathallan School
4 St. Leonards School
5 Dollar Academy

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 21 best boarding colleges in England 2021

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33 Saint Clair College
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35 LaSalle College

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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