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Millie’s UK University Spotlight: Scottish Universities!

Millie’s UK University Spotlight: Scottish Universities!

Rolling hills, towering castles and dramatic scenery - just some of the things that come to mind when you think of Scotland. Studying in this magical country promises a rich university experience of culture, history and excitement. And with Millie’s Scottish University Spotlight, you’ll soon know everything there is to know about studying in Scotland!

Living in Scotland

Scotland is a country in the Northern part of the UK, whose history stretches back to Roman times. Its misty weather creates a magical pairing with Scotland’s moors, lochs and castles, making it a treasure trove for myth-lovers. But what’s it actually like to study there? To answer just that, Millie’s broken down what it means to go to a Scottish university.

#1 - Flexibility in course structure

Scottish universities follow a unique degree structure similar to that of American universities, whereby you will have much more flexibility in your degree to explore different paths and find what is right for you compared to universities in England. This is an amazing option for those who don’t know exactly what they want to pursue after high school, and let’s be honest, how many people really know exactly what they want to do in the future?

However, this does mean that the degree length in Scotland is four years (with some degrees like medicine lasting longer) compared to the regular three year courses found in the rest of the UK. While some students prefer three year degrees, the Scottish structure allows students to study subjects outside of their core discipline during the first two years before specialising in the final two years, giving students more flexibility to try new things.

#2 - So… the weather isn’t its BEST feature
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#3 - The friendly atmosphere

“If you’ve heard the myths about the friendliness of Scots, let us tell you: it’s all true.”

If you’ve heard the myths about the friendliness of Scots, let us tell you: it’s all true. Scottish people are some of the friendliest you’ll ever meet (despite what you may see in football matches) and are extremely welcoming to foreigners. They will do their best to make you feel at home. International students make up around 22% of all students in Scottish universities, so no matter where you’re from, you won’t feel alone in an unfamiliar setting. The locals will always be happy to point out the best places to visit in town (with plenty of “aye”s and “wee”s thrown in there) and your university will also help you to settle in quickly through university welcome events, societies that you can join, and of course Freshers Week (a fun-filled week of social events and clubbing). With the sunny disposition of its people, you’ll be able to overlook the infamous Scottish weather and have a blast at university!

#4 - Things to do

Whether you love being in nature, exploring historical castles, or want to immerse yourself in the various festivals, you’ll never be bored in a Scottish university! If you’re near a big city like Edinburgh or Glasgow, there’ll be countless things to do with your mates to blow off some steam by going to the numerous pubs, bars and clubs. You could take a trip to Edinburgh Castle, a gorgeous 11th-Century castle that is one of Scotland’s main attractions. Or take a walk through Glasgow’s Necropolis, famously dubbed “a city of the dead”. If you’ve got a green thumb (or simply like walking around gardens), take a walk around Kibble Palace and Botanic Gardens in Glasgow! There’s so much to get involved in throughout the year; you’ll never be bored!

August in Edinburgh is jam packed with festivals that celebrate Scotland’s culture, art and talent, including the Fringe Festival, the Edinburgh Art Festival and the Edinburgh Tattoo (the military-band kind).

“There’s so much to get involved in throughout the year; you’ll never be bored!”

If you’re into sports, you challenge yourself with a trek up Ben Nevis, the tallest mountain in the UK. Or maybe plan a day out to Loch Ness to see if you can spot the fabled Loch Ness Monster (or as the Scots affectionately call it, Nessie!). And perhaps by the end of it all, you’ll even be brave enough to try haggis!

So that’s a bit on what it’s like to study in Scotland. Now let’s dive into some of its best universities, starting off with the University of Edinburgh.

The University of Edinburgh


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Veterinary Medicine - Ranked #2

  • IB: 38 points with 666 at Higher Level including 6s in Chemistry and Biology and 5s in Standard Level Physics and English
  • A-Levels: AAA including Chemistry and Biology
  • AP: 4, 4, 4 or above including Chemistry, Biology and Maths/Physics

English Language and Literature - Ranked #23

  • IB: 37 points with 666 at Higher Level including English
  • A-Levels: AAA to ABB including English Literature
  • AP: 4, 4, 4, or above including English Literature

Social Policy - Ranked #5

  • IB: 36 points with 665 at Higher Level including a 5 in English
  • A-Levels: AAB to ABB
  • AP: 4, 4, 4, or above

Did you know…

  • The University of Edinburgh’s “The Student” is the oldest student newspaper in the UK, dating back to 1887?
  • The city of Edinburgh was voted as the best place for young people to travel in the UK in the British Youth Travel Awards in 2017 (British Youth Travel Awards)?
  • Some of the university’s famous alumni include Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Charles Darwin, Alexander Graham Bell and JK Rowling?

The University of St. Andrews8eGFmKfk0clB5jVNacYXfiL0z4ZZUpeEClzv-IEFd7OdeoPiJzZftgdaxl-ujYRwmQjmjl74S-gAtEUlzuI-aYYWCa6Ldv_XZLbO3cJPTb7aBQfKqq8IAFo7coVmm_MInMzFQBPDRa-Gzahqsp3Glv4E_3TaAziabebDPymkDu8aiu3XPE43kc8Qb5eJUr32snPGYaIzMscWkNgISA5M3B6gCZBqZrCMgEIORDGsnBEYxAwjhYLWjmKCQgwXEv_Y928JejGp_NEwV6CN

Founded in 1413, the University of St. Andrews is the third oldest university in the English-speaking world. It is located in Fife, Southern Scotland, and has magnificent architecture that rivals Oxford and Cambridge! St. Andrews has over 10,000 students from over 130 different countries. It ranks 4th in the UK (Complete University Guide) and 91st in the world (Top Universities). Here are some of its top majors:

Philosophy - Ranked #2

  • IB: 38 points (666 at Higher Level) to 36 points (665 at Higher Level)
  • A-Levels: A*A*A to ABB
  • AP: 4, 4, 4, or above

Ancient History - Ranked #3

  • IB: 38 points (666 at Higher Level) to 36 points (665 at Higher Level)
  • A-Levels: A*A*A to ABB
  • AP: 4, 4, 4, or above

Theological Studies - Ranked #5

  • IB: 38 points (666 at Higher Level) to 36 points (665 at Higher Level)
  • A-Levels: A*A*A to ABB
  • AP: 4, 4, 4, or above

Did you know…

  • St. Andrews is the oldest university in Scotland?
  • The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, more commonly known as William and Kate, met and studied together at St. Andrews?
  • St. Andrews students enjoy partaking in quirky age-old traditions such as the May Dip (where students run into the freezing North Sea at dawn to cleanse any academic sins) and the Raisin Weekend (a social weekend involving a shaving-foam fight)?

The University of Glasgow
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Accounting and Finance - Ranked #4

  • IB: 38 points (666 at Higher Level) to 32 points (655 at Higher Level) including Higher Level Maths and a 5 in Standard Level English
  • A-Levels: AAA to ABB including Maths
  • AP: 4, 4, 4 in relevant subjects

Dentistry - Ranked #1

  • IB: 36 points with 666 at Higher Level including Chemistry, Biology and Maths/Physics
  • A-Levels: AAA including Chemistry and Biology
  • AP: 4, 4, 4 in relevant subjects

Theatre Studies - Ranked #4

  • IB: 38 points (666 at Higher Level) to 32 points (655 at Higher Level) including Higher Level English and a Humanities subject
  • A-Levels: AAB to BBB including a Humanities Subject
  • AP: 4, 4, 4 in relevant subjects

Did you know…

  • The Father of Economics, Adam Smith, studied at the University of Glasgow at just 14 years old?
  • The first international football game of England vs Scotland was held at Glasgow in 1872?
  • Glasgow graduates Frank and Harold Barnwell contributed to the Allied victory in both World Wars by building fighter planes to rival those used by German pilots?

The University of Dundee

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Civil Engineering - Ranked #12

  • IB: 30 points with 555 at Higher Levels including Maths and a Science (preferably Physics)
  • A-Levels: BBB including Maths and a Science (preferably Physics)
  • AP: APs with minimum Grade 3 or above

Computing Science - Ranked #33

  • IB: 30 points with 555 at Higher Levels including Maths and a Science (preferably Computer Science)
  • A-Levels: BBB including Maths and a Science (preferably Computer Science)
  • AP: APs with minimum Grade 3 or above

Medicine - Ranked #3

  • IB: 37 points with 666 at Higher Level including Chemistry and Maths/Biology/Physics
  • A-Levels: AAA including Chemistry and Maths/Biology/Physics
  • AP: 5, 5, 5 including Chemistry and Biology

Did you know…

  • Dundee is known as Scotland’s most student-friendly city?
  • The city owes its fortune to three industries powered by the creativity of its inhabitants: jute, jam and journalism?
  • Author Mary Shelley started forming the ideas for her revolutionary book “Frankenstein” in Dundee?

The University of Aberdeen

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The University of Aberdeen was founded in 1495 and is situated in North East Scotland. The university ranks 40th in the UK (Complete University Guide) and 205th in the world (Top Universities), accommodating over 14,000 students representing more than 120 countries. Aberdeen has a wide range of just under 400 courses, with everything from Accountancy to Zoology. Here are some of its top ranked majors:

Environment Science - Ranked #6

  • IB: 32 points with 555 at Higher Level including Maths and a Science
  • A-Levels: BBB including Maths and a Science
  • AP: 3 APs with minimum Grade 3 or above and a minimum High School GPA of 3.0

Microbiology - Ranked #25

  • IB: 32 points with 555 at Higher Level including Maths and a Science
  • A-Levels: BBB
  • AP: 3 APs with minimum Grade 3 or above and a minimum High School GPA of 3.0

Business Management - Ranking #12

  • IB: 32 points with 555 at Higher Level
  • A-Levels: BBB
  • AP: 3 APs with minimum Grade 3 or above and a minimum High School GPA of 3.0

Did you know…

  • Aberdeen is Scotland’s 3rd oldest university?
  • The university has outstanding sports facilities including the Olympic-standard Aberdeen Sports Village and Aquatic Centre?
  • There have been over 40 lottery millionaires in Aberdeen, making it one of the UK’s luckiest cities? If you’re thinking of trying for the lottery, you know where to go!

Now you know a bit more about what it means to live in Scotland and study at some of its best universities. Despite the weather, the thousands of students who study in Scotland have a great time and love every moment of their university degree! Remember, sign yourself up for a free consultation to plan your next steps at university!