Top 10 Universities in Scotland for International Students

Prospective students looking to study in a foreign country can find a wealth of information on the universities in Scotland for international students in this blog. The details you find here will be detrimental to your study abroad goal.

Scotland is the second-largest country in the United Kingdom and is known for its rich varieties of whisky. It is a beautiful country with hundreds of islands, historical sites that attract tourists, and friendly people. It is also very safe which is one of the reasons why international students prefer to go there for study purposes.

Scotland is not a popular education hub among international students, therefore, there is less competition to enter their universities like Canada and the US since not many people are applying there. If you are looking to study abroad at a university with less student population and low competition, Scotland is the ideal place for you.

Even though Scottish universities are not highly competitive, there are admission requirements and criteria sent in place for prospective students to meet. Failure to meet these requirements and you will be denied admission. However, these entry requirements are not as high as the universities in England, US, or Canada.

Scotland not being a popular education hub among international students doesn’t make their education quality poor. Some of the oldest universities in the world are there and are still functioning to date. Some of these universities laid the foundation for many disciplines to be born today and also laid the groundwork for advancement in certain fields of technology and medicine.

Scottish universities are soaked in centuries of experience and they never stopped advancing nor stopped keeping up with the trend in the education sector. The country is home to a diverse and internationally renowned higher education sector of 19 universities offering high-quality academic offerings with global recognition.

Of these 19 Scottish universities, do you know the ones that accept international students? Keep reading to find out.

Are There Free Universities in Scotland for International Students

Want to know if you can study for free in Scotland as an international student? The answer is Yes!

You can study in Scotland without paying tuition as an international student but you have to fulfill one of two criteria. The first is that you have to be a citizen of the UK and also a resident in Scotland, then you can study any degree program of your choice tuition-free.

The second is that you must be a citizen of an EU country and you are studying for your bachelor’s degree or the Scottish undergraduate master’s degree.

Meet any of the criteria and you can get a free education in Scotland as an international student. However, you have to cover the cost of study materials and living expenses on your own. There are some schools in Europe where international students can study at a lower cost, doesn’t matter if you are from the EU or not.

International students can equally find tuition-free universities in Canada and even in European countries like Germany and Ireland international students from any country can find tuition-free universities.

Average Tuition Fees in Scotland for International Students

If you are seriously considering studying in Scotland, then you need to get knowledge on the average cost of tuition fees there for students like you since Scottish citizens don’t pay tuition.

If you are coming to Scotland to pursue an undergraduate degree program, you should have in mind that you will be spending between 10,000 GBP and 26,000 GBP while the postgraduate fee is between 15,000 GPB and 30,000 GBP.

If this is too costly then consider looking for cheaper options, Italy has some cheap universities for international students and in Australia, there are completely tuition-free universities for international students.

Requirements for Studying in Scotland as an International Student

If you are going to study in Scotland, here are the requirements you must possess to apply for admission:

  1. If you are from outside the EU, you will need to get a visa to study in Scotland
  2. Recommendation letters, statement of purpose, and essay
  3. Passport photographs
  4. High school transcript or from previously attended institutions
  5. Meet the GPA and academic entry requirements for your preferred degree program.

Top Universities in Scotland for International Students

Listed and discussed below in no particular order are the universities in Scotland that accept international students. These universities are higher citadels of learning that have existed for hundreds of years.

They are well-grounded in research, teaching, and overall academic excellence and are committed to equipping you with adequate skills and experiential knowledge that will help you set up a successful career after graduation.

These Scottish universities also offer a wide range of academic degree programs in almost every discipline, you will also find innovative programs and mix up majors and minors to suit your demand.

Without further ado, the universities in Scotland for international students are:

1.     The University of Edinburgh

On my first list of universities in Scotland for international students is the University of Edinburgh. It is one of the leading public research universities in Scotland established in 1583 – it’s an old one. This university is really popular receiving more than 60,000 applications per year. By enrollment, it is the eighth-largest university in the UK.

The University of Edinburg is organized into three colleges which are further subdivided into 21 schools offering a wide range of academic degree programs at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate study levels. There are also sub-units, centers, and institutes for hands-on practical, research, and experiential learning to further develop your potential.

The university has a webpage dedicated to international students to guide them through the whole admission process and requirements.

Visit school website

2.     The University of Aberdeen

The University of Aberdeen is one of the universities in Scotland for international students to consider applying to for so many reasons with its prestigious academic offering being the main reason for students to consider enrolling here. This is a top-ranking public research university coming in 160th place in the world’s top universities and UK’s top 20.

Aberdeen is organized into three colleges which altogether hold 12 schools that encompass a broad range of disciplines. The school also houses cutting-edge research centers and institutes to bring students and experts together. The school is a big advocate of international studies and is ever-ready to lead and guide prospective international students with open hands.

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3.     The University of the West of Scotland

Maybe you don’t like these ancient universities, well, here is a slightly younger one and it is the University of the West of Scotland. This institution dates back to 1897 and is recognized among the top 150 youngest universities in the world by the World University Ranking.

What academic degree program do you want to pursue? Is it a bachelor’s or masters in economics, business, law, medicine, civil engineering, art, or social science? The University of the West of Scotland has got you covered, all of these programs and more are offered. Follow the link below to find the cost of your program of choice and how you can apply.

Visit school website

4.     The University of Strathclyde

The University of Strathclyde is one of the Scottish universities for international students. The university is an advocate of international studies admitting over 23,000 students from more than 100 countries.

It is one of the most diverse learning environments in Scotland. It was established in 1796 and has since been delivering quality academic programs in teaching and research to students from home and abroad.

It is a leading technological university, so if you are interested in pursuing a degree in engineering and natural sciences this is your ideal place. All international applicants have the opportunity to scholarships and other financial aid opportunities to make their education at the University of Strathclyde affordable.

Once you click on the link below, you will find details regarding the admission requirements and process for your country.

Visit school website

5.     The University of Glasgow

The University of Glasgow is a prestigious higher citadel of learning in Scotland offering academic degree programs in the areas of research and teaching with global recognition. Proof of this is its ranking as the 19th best school in the world and number 1 in Scotland.

It was founded in 1451 as a public research institution and has made many advancements and contributions to various fields.

You can pursue any program of your choice here from bachelor’s and master’s to doctorate and professional degrees. Once you’ve made an interest in studying at U of G, you will be carried along through every step of the process from how to apply for a visa to how to apply for admission as well as the necessary documents you will need for the application.

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6.     Heriot-Watt University

Interested in studying at Heriot-Watt University? Then keep reading to learn more.

Heriot-Watt University was established in 1821 as a public research university located in Edinburgh, it is also the world’s first mechanic’s institute. With a focus on science and engineering, this is the ideal school for prospective students seeking to pursue a degree in computer science, engineering, or medicine at a prestigious higher institution.

There are six schools here and an institute that encompasses a wide range of academic degree programs including business and economics. Heriot-Watt also has campuses in Dubai and Malaysia and you can always use the virtual tours to explore these campuses.

Distance learning programs are also available allowing you to learn from Heriot-Watt University in the comfort of your home.

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7.     The University of Stirling

Just like the others, the University of Stirling is also a public research university founded in 1967 and is, by far, one of the youngest universities on this list. The university houses 5 faculties and several institutes and centers covering a wide range of academic programs in the areas of humanities, sports, social sciences, arts, and health sciences.

Approximately 12,000 students are enrolled in undergraduate and postgraduate degree programs with 20% of the total population constituting international students. Prospective international students are guided every step of the way. Scholarships are also set up to make your education here affordable.

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8.     The University of Dundee

With international recognition for its quality academic offering in a wide range of disciplines, the University of Dundee is one of the top learning universities in the UK and also one of the universities in Scotland for international students. It is a public research university established in 1881 in the east-central lowlands of Scotland.

Academic entry requirements for the University of Dundee vary by country and degree choice, so, before applying go through the requirements and meet them to be considered for admission. Scholarships and other funding options are also provided to international students.

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9.     Queen Margaret University

Queen Margaret University is located in Edinburgh and was established in 1875. It is one of the universities in Scotland for international students with a vibrant, diverse community with 5,000 students from around 80 countries. Students here are enrolled in economics, computer science, electrical engineering, health sciences, etc. in undergraduate and postgraduate study levels.

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10.  Glasgow Caledonian University

GCU is a public research university in Glasgow and is one of the universities in Scotland for international students. It was established in 1993 and is the youngest one on this list. There are approximately 18,000 students enrolled in undergraduate and postgraduate degree programs in various areas of study.

The school houses 8 departments through which these innovative programs are offered. See details on the admission process through the link below. You can also get a scholarship if you meet the criteria for funding.

Visit school website

This wraps up the list of universities in Scotland for international students and I hope they have been helpful. Pick from any of the 10 schools and begin an early application to increase your chances of getting admitted.

Universities in Scotland for International Students – FAQs

Can international students work in Scotland?

Working in Scotland as an international student varies on a couple of factors. If you are a British or EU citizen you can work in Scotland and you can also work if you have a Tier 4 visa but it has to be only 20 hours per week. Any student out of these cannot work in Scotland.

What is the cost of living in Scotland?

Living in Scotland is less expensive than in many other areas in the UK.

How much does it cost to study in Scotland for international students?

It cost between 10,000 GBP and 30,000 GBP depending on the degree program.