Founded in the fifteenth century, St Andrews is Scotland's first university and the third oldest in the English speaking world
Why St Andrews
St Andrews is a unique place to study and live. Nestled on the east coast of Scotland, students may find themselves crossing golf-courses on their way to class, or jogging along the beach after dinner. Not only does the University have a world-class reputation, but it also offers a diverse range of social activities, including over 140 student societies and 50 sports clubs. Historic buildings are juxtaposed against the modern facilities, and the many student traditions truly make studying at St Andrews an unforgettable experience.
St Andrews education
A degree from the University of St Andrews is sought after by employers across the globe, in part due to the excellent reputation the University maintains. Students have access to some of the world's best professors and lecturers, and our state-of-the-art facilities and support services are always available to help you reach your full academic potential during your studies.
As a 600-year-old institution, it's no surprise that the University of St Andrews is known across the globe as a world leader in education. Our consistently high rankings in both national and global league tables place us within the top 100 world universities.
The University was the highest ranking Scottish University in the 2019 Complete University Guide and was judged to be the fifth best university in the UK. St Andrews was also the top Scottish University in The Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2018 and was named 'UK University of the Year for Student Experience'. The 2018 Guardian University Guide ranked the University of St Andrews as the third best university in the UK. According to the QS University World Rankings 2018, we are placed 92nd, marking 10 years that St Andrews has made the world’s top 100 universities.
The 2018 Times Higher Education World University Rankings ranked the University of St Andrews as the 44th best university in the world for Arts and Humanities.
We also rank highly for our research, with a particularly high percentage of our research in Psychology and English Literature being rated at 4* by the REF 2014, which means it is world-leading in terms of originality, significance, or rigour.
The University of St Andrews also features in league tables for its excellence in specific subjects. Most subjects offered by the University are often ranked within the UK's top 10, with many highly placed in the 2018 Guardian University Guide.
Our fantastic reputation throughout the world makes the University of St Andrews graduates highly valued by employers. The Complete University Guide 2019 ranks us highly for graduate prospects.
As a student at the University, few buildings in St Andrews will be as important to you as the library. The University holds a large number of collections and has experienced staff to help you access and use the library's resources to support your study and research.
At the University of St Andrews, you can study the way you want to: in the library cafe, in an individual study area or a group study room – you choose. You can also print, photocopy and scan in the library and use the huge number of online resources and tools we provide.
The Main Library is located in the centre of St Andrews. It's open for over 100 hours per week during the semester, including weekends. The Library offers a huge number of resources, which include:
- over one million volumes
- more than 400,000 e-books
- thousands of print and electronic journals
- academic databases
- an extensive collection of DVDs
- computers on each level of the library.
The Library also offers expert support from members of the academic liaison librarian team, who can provide help and training on finding information in the Library and online.
Using the Library is quick and simple. You'll be offered an orientation tour when you arrive, and the easy-to-use self-service machines mean it takes just seconds to check your books in and out.
The University's IT Services offer a wide range of services to ensure you stay connected wherever you are in the University and so you have access to support should you need it.
IT Services continue to make significant infrastructure investments to provide the best possible user experience. This includes an extensive provision of wifi, Office 365, a wide range of software apps, a PC clinic, and a support service which is open seven days a week to ensure issues are dealt with efficiently and effectively.
You can gain access to the University network – and the internet – in the following ways:
Wireless access is available across more than 95% of the University buildings, including in all halls of residence.
Computer classrooms are distributed throughout the University, and many of them are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There are over 1,000 fixed computers throughout the University.
Student experience at St Andrews
St Andrews students are the most satisfied in the country when compared to other mainstream universities, with the National Student Survey 2018 naming St Andrews top in the UK for the 10th time in the past 12 years.
Life here is centred around an internationally renowned teaching system, but it is the huge range of additional opportunities only St Andrews can provide which creates a unique experience. Because St Andrews is a small university, students have the opportunity to interact with staff, integrate with each other, and to feel a sense of belonging. They are active in politics, charity fundraising, volunteering locally, and in playing a governance role in how their services are run.
Our students leave St Andrews with an education that goes far beyond their degree.
We have a centuries-old tradition of bringing the brightest minds around the world to share their ideas. Here, as nowhere else, curious students can meet the best scholars and teachers from around the world, and crucially find the thinking space to question what they are taught.
Our teaching is supported by the flexible nature of the Scottish system, which allows you to choose to study multiple subjects during the course of your degree. This all helps to explain why we were granted TEF Gold status in 2017, and why we were crowned UK University of the Year for Teaching Quality in The Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2017.
St Andrews has welcomed pilgrims for centuries, and as a result, the hospitality of local people is instinctive and ingrained. The many film stars, celebrities and politicians who visit say that one of the attractions of St Andrews is that every visitor is afforded an equal welcome.
Many are drawn to St Andrews as the ‘Home of Golf’. Golfing in St Andrews is the ultimate ambition of many golfers. It is a dream that comes true for many students each year because golf at St Andrews remains true to its Scottish roots as a game for all.
However, the ‘Auld Grey Toun’ is not all about golf. St Andrews was awarded the 2012 Creative Place Award – Scotland’s highest arts accolade – in recognition of its remarkable array of festivals, cultural events, and community participation. The town also boasts three beaches, Scotland’s greatest cathedral, and an eclectic mix of independent shops, restaurants and galleries.
The town is usually considered home to around 16,000 people, which is made up of the local community, University students and staff, and visitors. This gives the town an intimate feel, complemented by the close proximity of all University facilities, buildings and halls of residences.
Another unique benefit of St Andrews is the wealth of events which occur each semester. From academic talks and conferences to University events such as the election of the University Rector or the annual carol services, there's always something going on.
Student events are also hugely popular. Music events range from the student-run Starfields music festival through to a range of acapella concerts, orchestras and choirs. Fans of theatre and the arts will enjoy On The Rocks, Scotland's largest student-run arts festival, which occurs each spring, as well as the close proximity of the University's two theatres.
From your first day in St Andrews, you will be supported by a host of professional staff within academic Schools, in halls of residence and through the University's Student Services team.
With all first-year undergraduate students guaranteed a place in a University hall in their first year, it's not surprising that our students often credit their halls as the place that they find their friendship group for the rest of their degree. Each of our halls is also home to a wardennial system of staff and postgraduate students, who are available at evenings and weekends to students who need advice, support or just someone to sit with at dinner. Students who need additional support are directed to the University’s Student Services team.
The Student Services team, which includes trained counsellors, can provide advice and support on a range of issues, including disabilities, mental health, academic matters, finances or wellbeing. The University Chaplain is also readily available to support students on a range of matters.
You can use the University's personal and professional development service, CAPOD, which can help with study skills and academic support through your studies. International students also have the opportunity to work with our English Language Teaching team, who can provide support for non-native speakers of English both before starting your degree or once you're here.