Guide to Postgraduate Study in Scotland


Why Scotland is the right place for you!

Do you want to study in a country where the learning satisfaction for international students is better than that of the rest of the UK and indeed the rest of the world? If the answer is yes then Scotland is the place for you. The Scottish university system is of an exceptionally high quality, focussing on aspects that really matter, including:

  • High employability
  • Strong business and industry links
  • Innovative system of research pooling and investment, plus a high level of research impact
  • Strong recruitment of international students
  • An impressive global ranking position
  • Primacy of the learner
  • Emphasis on life-long learning
  • An integrated, inclusive sector that is internationally active

Remarkable Research

If your interest lies in further research then you simply have to head to Scotland. Recent research has shown that relative to its GDP, Scottish research is cited more than any other country in the world. In fact, in 2008, Scottish researchers published around 12,000 papers! Overall, 15% of Scottish research is world-leading, with 33% of it being internationally excellent – now that’s impressive!

Scottish universities have great commercial links when it comes to research, creating more spin off companies than the rest of the UK. Areas of particular emphasis are the STEM subjects, with the biological and clinical sciences (alongside mathematics) being exceptionally noted. There’s also world-class excellence in geosciences, marine energy, law, philosophy, literature, linguistics, social sciences and engineering.

In part, this research excellence can be linked to the collaborative ethos in Scottish higher education. There is a research-pooling initiative funded by the Scottish Funding Council, and this encourages universities to pool resources, giving them a competitive advantage.

Excellent Employment

If you think about the reasons why you want to undertake postgraduate study, then we’re pretty sure that future employability lists among your top 5 – and Scottish universities have great graduate job prospects. In fact a recent study revealed that graduates from Scottish universities demonstrated a higher employment rate following graduation then the all-UK average (67.4% versus 63.7%), which represents an excellent return on your investment.


Quality Guaranteed

The Scottish university system is carefully planned with implemented systems of quality assurance and credit recognition. This helps enhance life-long learning and student mobility, in particular there are innovative structures, such as flexible learning for students in remote areas – which means the distance learning opportunities here are also fantastic. In fact, Scotland is such a great place to undertake your postgraduate studies that the universities here have successfully increased their postgraduate enrolments more than the rest of the UK. Scotland is also home to some of the world’s most well-respected universities – so gaining a postgraduate qualification from a Scottish institution is something you will be truly proud of.


History, Tradition and Adrenaline

It’s not just the universities in Scotland that are outstanding – the country as a whole is also an amazing place. It’s home to a breathtaking amount of history and culture – from architecture to literary giants, theatre festivals to world-changing scientists, not to mention the outstanding scenery and landscapes great for adventuring and exercise, as well as being used for a backdrop in many a movie!

Outside of your postgraduate studying , we’re sure you’ll be looking for other interesting things to do, and fear not as in Scotland you’ll be able to distract yourself with ease. From the variety of student societies on offer at the universities, to the thriving club and pub scene in the big cities, to external pursuits, there is something to suit every taste.

With such an abundance of natural resources, if you’re an outdoorsy type there’s guaranteed to be plenty to do in your local area. With extreme sports like skiing, snowboarding and mountain biking to get your adrenaline pumping, as well as quieter hobbies such as fishing, walking and golf.

If you prefer the cultural side of the country you’re in, you’re also in luck as Scotland is full of museums, from the mainstream (like the National Museum of Scotland) to the niche (like the Whitelee Windfarm!) as well as castles, historical sites and ruins. That, plus the sheer amount of artistic, literary or theatrical festivals means you’ll never be bored.

Scottish Folk of Interest

Of course, you’ll want to know that you’re heading somewhere that produces great things and inspires great people. Where better to start looking than at those who grew up or studied here? We’ll be highlighting famous alumni from each university along the way, but as a wee taster here are some of the more interesting characters to be born in Scotland:

  • John Gow, pirate and inspiration for Scottish novelist Sir Walter Scott
  • Dr Livingstone (I presume?), explorer and missionary
  • Gordon Ramsay – the curse-fuelled, angry chef with a heart of gold
  • Bill Shankly, one of the top managers of Liverpool football team
  • Andy Murray, British #1 and world #4 tennis player
  • David Hume – sceptic, philosopher and renowned atheist
  • Kirkpatrick Macmillan, inventor of the bicycle
  • William Kennedy Dickson – creator of an early motion picture camera alongside Thomas Edison
  • Billy Connolly, actor and comedian (he also plays the dad in the recent animated movie Brave , for bonus Scottish credentials!)
  • KT Tunstall – singer/songwriter
  • Iain McMillan, the photographer of that Abbey Road album cover
  • Thomas Henderson – the first person to measure the distance to Alpha Centauri
  • Kenneth Grahame, author of The Wind in the Willows

As you can see, there’s quite a spread of talent – everything from piracy to astronomy! With this kind of inspiration you can see that the world is your oyster if you come to live and study in Scotland.

How does Scotland fit with the rest of the UK?

If you’re up to date with UK history, you are probably aware that Scotland and England haven’t always gotten along – in spite of, or maybe because of, being such close neighbours! Scotland has a separate legal system to England, Wales and Northern Island, and there’s much debate over whether it should become independent from the UK. There’s a referendum due in September 2014 to decide this, so it’s worth staying up to date with what’s happening if you want to come and study in Scotland – just in case it affects your status as a student. That said the policies on EU students will likely remain as they are – or at least, be confirmed well in advance if anything changes.

Keeping It Green

With such a wealth of natural beauty, it’s no wonder Scotland is ahead of the game when looking after the environment. A recent study suggested the Scottish environment was worth up to £23.5 billion a year, so you know it’ll be being looked after. Woodland cover has increased from 4.5% to 18% in the past decade – meaning cleaner air, a healthier landscape and more gorgeous forests for you to wander through. Recycling has doubled since 2004, air pollution has been reduced and more tourists flock in to the country every year – providing more money to keep it green and flourishing. All in all, Scotland is a brilliant place to come if you’re concerned about living somewhere with green credentials, and it’s one that’s continuing to improve.


Bi-Lingual Potential

One thing people might not think about when looking at Scotland is its use of a language other than English. That’s right, Scotland is a country with more than one language. In this case, that language is Gaelic. Whilst not counted as an official language of the EU, or the UK, it is in fact spoken by thousands of people in Scotland. Although it was in decline at one stage, its recent revival and reclamation by the younger population makes this the perfect time to pick it up. You’ll find it written on some street signs, in the names of places and in a rich history of texts and traditions. It’s a beautiful language, so why not be a part of keeping it alive?

Really useful Scottish websites

Visit Scotland
Official Gateway to Scotland: Study in Scotland
Study in Scotland
Student Awards Agency for Scotland
Scottish Government Universities Information

Scottish universities are all fantastic – so how do you choose where to go?

Whether it’s planning for the yearly Edinburgh Fringe Festival, hunting down gourmet food or trekking through hill and dale, you can see that your time at university in Scotland will be filled with fabulous memories. And now you’ve had a taste of what the country itself has to offer, let’s take a look at the specific universities as categorised by region.



Aberdeen is the third largest Scottish city with a thriving city life. Set among beautiful coastline, you can easily fill your time with outdoor pursuits – or your nights with local music and nightclubs or pubs to suit your mood. It also has great travel links with the rest of the UK – so don't worry about getting around.

University of Aberdeen

Top 3 Facts

  • It hosts one of the oldest student societies, with its debating union being founded in 1848
  • There are 120 countries represented among its students
  • The University of Aberdeen has its own tartan – created in 1992 for the 500th anniversary (celebrated in 1995)

The Important Things

The courses for UK/EU students are around £3,400, though there may be exceptions. International fees are between £12,000-£15,000. Living costs are estimated to be around £5,700 per annum.

Recently, the University of Aberdeen has made a huge investment into its facilities – including an Olympic-standard sports village, a large wireless campus, a medical teaching facility on Europe’s largest health campus and a brand new library. Plus, there’s a three-storey student space called The Hub, with shops, cafés and computer resources.The university also boasts over 120 student societies – with 58 sports societies! Given that it’s ranked in the top ten universities for student experience in the UK, you know you’ll have a great time here.

Postgrad Info:
2,500 postgraduate students
Over 120 taught postgraduate courses

Robert Gordon University

Top 3 Facts

  • The HESA ranked it the best UK university for employment in 2013
  • Hannah Miley, swimmer and Olympian, is counted amongst its alumni
  • It moved to a brand new campus on the banks of the River Dee in 2013

The Important Things

The cost of courses is hugely variable – but on average, you’re looking at around £4,000 per annum if you’re an EU/Home student (although some are much dearer, so do check it out yourself). International students can expect to pay around £10,000 per annum, although again, it’s very varied. Living costs are estimated to be between £7,000-£9,000 for a year.

The School of Pharmacy is the oldest in the UK and it’s recognised by the World Health Organisation. In addition, Robert Gordon University has invested £10 million into its sports facilities – adding climbing walls, a pool and three exercise studios.

Postgrad Info:
6,058 postgraduate students
Over 90 taught postgraduate courses



Dundee is Scotland's fourth largest city and with two universities, there’s double the student fun to be had! With a great concert venue, an arts centre and even an Ice Arena, there’s plenty to get up to in your spare time. Plus, Dundee is known for having more green spaces and hours of sunlight than any other Scottish city, so you may even be able to sunbathe!

University of Abertay Dundee

Top 3 Facts

  • It was the first university in the world to offer a computer games degree in 1997
  • The international student community is from over 60 different countries
  • David Jones, creator of Grand Theft Auto , is an alumnus

The Important Things

Postgraduate courses for UK/EU students are around £7,000, although there may be exceptions. International students should expect to pay around £10,000 per annum. Living costs are estimated at around £500 a month (£6,000 per year).

The university itself is based is in Dundee, all within a quarter of a mile. It's also just a quick walk into the city centre. It boasts the award-winning Bernard King Library, which provides study spaces to suit everyone’s needs with fantastic facilities including group rooms with plasma TVs as well as quiet nooks and crannies to read in. In addition to these great studying facilities, the student centre actually has its own nightclub so you don’t even need to go offsite to have fun.

Postgrad Info:
449 postgraduate students
Between 10-20 taught postgraduate courses at any given time

University of Dundee

Top 3 Facts

  • Founded with a donation from Mary Ann Baxter, the University of Dundee opened with a policy of no gender discrimination – leading to it having Margaret Fairlie, Scotland's first female professor
  • It graduates more students into the professions than any other Scottish university, plus its graduates command among the highest starting salaries in the UK – second only to those from Oxbridge
  • Gary Lightbody, the lead singer of Snow Patrol, is one of its alumnus

The Important Things

The courses for UK/EU students are variable, so check them out. For international students, you’re looking at around £10,000-£12,000 for a postgraduate course. Living costs are estimated to be around £6,000-£7,000 for a whole year.

The University of Dundee is currently undergoing a £300m waterfront re-development, leading to the opening of the V&A gallery in 2015. Handily, it’s located just five minutes from the city centre. The Institute of Sports and Exercise is well-equipped – with a pool, dance studios, all-weather tennis courts and more. The university also has its own student nightclub on campus, a pool hall and takeaway restaurants.

Postgrad Info:
5,535 postgraduate students
Over 200 taught postgraduate courses



Edinburgh is well known for being a wonderful city to live in – filled with culture, museums, theatres and concert venues. It hosts the yearly Fringe Festival, a month a year where the whole city succumbs to the theatre buzz. With gorgeous old-worldly pubs and modern nightclubs, dozens of coffee shops and bookshops, there’s something to distract you at all hours. You’ll find the city a delight – as evidenced by its residents who registered 92% satisfaction, the highest of any city surveyed in a 2006 MORI poll. Plus, with good transport links it’s easily accessible, so your friends can easily visit you.

University of Edinburgh

Top 3 Facts

  • Founded in 1583, it’s the 6th oldest uni in the English-speaking world
  • Charles Darwin and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle are numbered amongst its graduates
  • Scientists from here created Dolly the sheep – the first mammal to be cloned!

The Important Things

The courses for both UK/EU students and international students are really variable, starting from around £6,000 per annum, so check them out. Living costs are estimated to be around £150-170 per week.

The University of Edinburgh’s library is the largest university library in Scotland, and the medical school is widely ranked top in the UK. There’s a huge Centre for Sport and Exercise with state-of-the-art gyms, a residential centre for outdoor activities and the best sports injuries clinic in Scotland. In addition, they have bursaries on site, making it easier for those with children to attend.

Postgrad Info:
10,816 postgraduate students
Over 160 taught postgraduate courses

Edinburgh Napier University

Top 3 Facts

  • Its motto is Nisi Sapientia Frustra, meaning “Everything is in vain without knowledge”
  • The chancellor – Tim Waterstone – is the founder of large bookshop chain Waterstones
  • Alan Fisher, a senior correspondent for Al Jazeera English, is among its alumni

The Important Things

The courses for UK/EU students are variable, and often priced by module. In general though, you're looking at around the £6,000 mark for UK/EU students, and £10,000 for international, though exceptions apply. Living costs are estimated to be around £890 a month.

Based in Edinburgh, it's easy to get around here. Edinburgh Napier University is currently investing £100 million into the campuses, and almost all of them have their own specialist library. With two sports centres, most activities are covered and there’s a 24/7 computing centre too!

Postgrad Info:
2,693 postgraduate students
Over 100 taught postgraduate courses

Heriot-Watt University

Top 3 Facts

  • Its excellent research activities mean it is ranked among the top 4% universities worldwide!
  • It was founded in 1821 as the world's first mechanics institute, and Jock Clear, a Formula One engineer that graduated from here is keeping up that mechanical tradition today
  • Of course, it's expanded since then, with alumni now including Irvine Welsh, author of Trainspotting

The Important Things

The course fees vary by school, but you’re looking at around £3,500-£5,000 as a UK/EU student (except for postgrad courses at the Institute of Petroleum Engineering where the cost is currently £9,720). International students can expect to pay tuition fees of between £10,000-£20,000. Living costs are estimated to be £7,000-£8,000 per year.

The main campus, in Edinburgh, is home to a research park with more than 40 companies. It also has international branches campus in Dubai and Malaysia. There’s a huge library, the Centre for Sports and Exercise and an on-campus Medical Centre and Dental Practice. In addition, there’s the university museum and archive – which as a postgraduate student of the university you’re allowed to access.

Postgrad Info:
2,700 postgraduate students (on campus)
Over 100 taught postgraduate courses

Queen Margaret University

Top 3 Facts

  • It was founded in 1875 as The Edinburgh School of Cookery and Domestic Economy, a women-only facility
  • Angel Coulby from the BBC series Merlin is one of its alumni
  • It’s known as the county’s greenest campus

The Important Things

The postgraduate courses for UK/EU students are around £3,400; and international students should expect to pay around £10,000. Living costs are estimated to be around £830 a month.

QMU is based at a purpose-built campus on the southeast side of Edinburgh, just a few minutes from the centre. Its learning resource centre encompasses the library, IT and AV services and there's a mixture of silent and public study spaces available. There are good indoor and outdoor sports facilities, and beautiful gardens (we weren’t kidding when we said it was green!).

Postgrad Info:
1,100 postgraduate students
Around 50 taught postgraduate courses


Glasgow is the UK’s third largest city – and Scotland’s largest. It is famed for having the best nightlife of any Scottish city, but that’s not all it has to offer. From beautiful parks to boutique shops, the city is full of things to explore. If you’re sporty, make sure to get in there in 2014 – the Commonwealth games are being hosted!

University of Glasgow

Top 3 Facts

  • It was founded in 1451, making it the fourth oldest university in the English-speaking world
  • We can thank this university for Jocelyn Bell Burnell, the woman who discovered radio pulsars
  • One principal used to have a brew house at the Old College – and maybe this is because (according to the legends) beer was first brewed in Scotland by Glasgow’s Patron Saint, St Mungo in 543AD

The Important Things

The courses for UK/EU students are variable, and range between £2,899 and £15,250. Tuition fees for international students range between £9,000 and £23,000. Living costs are estimated to be around £890 a month.

There are two sports complexes and 7 subject specific (branch) libraries, as well as the main one. There are also two student unions which is rather unusual. There is postgraduate specific accommodation available, though they can’t house everyone. It’s also worth noting that there are two campuses – one in the West End of Glasgow, and one in Dumfries. There are around 200 student societies too, so you’ll be sure to find other people who like the same things as you. Plus, its Queen Margaret Union has hosted and continues to host massive bands including Nirvana and Franz Ferdinand.

Postgrad Info:
6,426 postgraduate students
Around 300 taught postgraduate courses

Glasgow Caledonian University

Top 3 Facts

  • In 2012, Professor Muhammad Yunus became the Chancellor – the first non-British figure to hold the office in Scottish history
  • It was the first university to award Nelson Mandela an honorary doctorate upon his release from prison
  • David Gartry is one of its alumni. Not heard of him? Well, he was the first person to perform laser eye surgery in the UK!

The Important Things

The course fees for UK/EU students are variable, and range between around £2,500 and £8,400. For international students, the range is £10,000 to £16,000. Living costs are estimated at around £8,500- £9,500 per year.

The university can be found in Glasgow’s city centre, and it also has a postgraduate campus in London (but that’s not in Scotland!). In Glasgow, it has the excellent Saltire Centre – the hub of all student things. Handily, this is where the library is too. The refectory is the largest of its type in the UK and the fitness centre not only has sports clubs but a hair salon and a spa too!

Postgrad Info:
3,275 postgraduate students
Over 130 taught postgraduate courses

Glasgow School of Art

Top 3 Facts

  • It’s Scotland’s only independent art school to offer university level programs
  • Three recent Turner Prize winners – Simon Starling in 2005, Richard Wright in 2009 and Martin Boyce in 2011 – graduated from here
  • We can also thank it for the latest Doctor Who – as it counts the 12th Time Lord, Peter Capaldi, amongst its alumni

The Important Things

The courses for UK/EU students are variable, but start at around £5,400. International students are looking at around £12,780 per annum. Living costs are estimated to start from around £7,500.

Glasgow School of Art is home to the Mackintosh Building, designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh – who was also one of its alumni. It’s a super inspirational place which is ideal as you’ll be studying something artistic there! Each subject has state-of-the-art facilities, such as the Digital Design Studio and the School of Fine Art.

Postgrad Info:
170 postgraduate students
Around 20 taught postgraduate courses

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Top 3 Facts

  • Sir Cameron Mackintosh (producer of Les Mis , Phantom of the Opera , and more) is the President
  • Billy Boyd, the actor who played Pippin in the Lord of the Rings , is one of its many famous alumni
  • According to Charles Dickens the Royal Conservatoire is “an educational example and encouragement”

The Important Things

You’re looking at paying between £6,495 and £11,106 for the course itself, with between £7,000 and £9,000 per year for living costs . International students can expect to pay between £14,193 and £17,058.

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland has two Glasgow city centre campuses. As you’d expect from such a university, there’s dance rehearsal space, technical construction workshops, props and wardrobe facilities, as well as a digital media suite, recording studio facilities and professional performance venues.

Postgrad Info:
Around 140 postgraduate students (which is quite a large proportion of its total of only 840 students!)
3 taught postgraduate courses, plus a research option

University of Strathclyde

Top 3 Facts

  • It was awarded Entrepreneurial University of the Year 2013 by Times Higher Education
  • Henry Faulds, the originator of fingerprint identification, is an alumni of this university
  • The University of Strathclyde is working with Microsoft to develop Gaelic versions of Windows, Vista and Office

The Important Things

There’s a huge range when it comes to postgraduate degree costs – from £3,770 to £12,000 per annum for UK/EU students, and more for internationals – so it’s worth doing the research. Living costs are estimated to be around £7,700-£9,600 a year.

The University of Strathclyde has a student village – the John Anderson Campus in the heart of Glasgow, as well as the Students Union, libraries and sports centre. The sports centre features everything from cricket to trampolining, so even the fussiest of you should find something to suit!

Postgrad Info:
5,685 postgraduate students
Over 150 taught postgraduate courses



University of the Highlands and Islands

Top 3 Facts

  • This is the newest of all the universities in Scotland, being formed in 2011
  • You can do an MA in Vikings. How awesome is that?
  • Whilst it’s a new university, Perth – the base for the University of the Highlands and Islands – was identified as a good site for a university way back in 1425

The Important Things

Your postgraduate degree will cost between £4,464 and £5,580 depending on if you’re Scottish or UK/EU. Tuition fees for international students are around £9,270, with some exceptions. Living costs vary wildly, due to the spread of locations.

The University of the Highlands and Islands has thirteen campuses! And if that's not enough, there's more than 50 learning centres throughout the Highlands and the Islands. This gives you a ton of choice – everywhere from Perth to a small island community.

Student Life:
We’re going to avoid going into too much detail here – with such a spread of locations, it’s hard to say! But, if you’re one for the quiet life, there are great places for you – and if you’re not, there are also great places for you! Locations like Perth are central to Scotland, serving as a retail centre to the areas around it. Whilst still on the smaller side (compared to the larger cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow for example), it’s filled with things to do and there’ll be plenty of other students around for a more traditional student-style year. Whereas somewhere like Shetland College is much smaller, on an island and more isolated – meaning beautiful vistas and a calmer atmosphere. With this university there is so much choice of location so make sure you do your research!

Postgrad Info:
A total of around 8,000 students – both undergraduate and postgraduate
Around 40 taught postgraduate courses

Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC)

Top 3 Facts

  • It works with local partners – including the Edinburgh Royal Botanic Gardens – to gain experience for its students
  • It has a wildlife hospital that can house everything from hedgehogs to deer
  • You want a green university? You’ve got it! This college’s whole ethos revolves around caring for the environment

The Important Things

All of the postgraduate degrees are research based in some capacity, so the costs differ somewhat from the norm. £5,750 for MSc by research , and £3,828 per annum for a PhD are what to expect. International students can expect to pay around £13,050 a year. As for living costs – there are six different campuses dotted around, so your living costs will really depend on where you live.

SRUC has six campuses spread across Scotland – in Aberdeen, Ayr, Oatridge, Elmwood, Barony and Edinburgh. This means there are a lot of different facilities, but one thing they all have in common is the hands-on training. With estate-based campuses this means hectares of land available for use and it’s really worth researching each campus individually.

Student Life:
See our sections on Aberdeen and Edinburgh for some more information on these locations. Ayr is on the West Coast, with scenic views and a thriving, busy centre. The Barony campus is in an estate around 10 miles from the main town. This is quieter, though the town itself has great pubs and sports centres, amongst other things. Elmwood is made up of three smaller campuses, and boasts its own golf club! Finally, Oatridge is another separate estate, less than an hour’s drive from most of Scotland’s major towns and cities. Close to leisure facilities, and Edinburgh is only 30 minutes away.

Postgrad Info:
Around 5,000 students in total – both undergraduate and postgraduate
129 taught postgraduate courses

University of St Andrews

Top 3 Facts

  • It's the oldest university in Scotland – being established in 1413
  • It hosts a traditional 'May Dip' which involves students staying up till dawn on May 1st, before running into the sea!
  • Of course, this is where Prince William and Kate Middleton first met (perfect for romance, then)

The Important Things

For a postgraduate course , as a home or EU student you can expect to pay around £3,900. International students are looking at £14,700-£17,250 in tuition fees Living costs are fairly low – around £5,000-£7,000 (maybe that’s why Wills chose to study here!). 

The University of St Andrews has a well stocked main library, where you can expect to find most of your books. There are also four smaller, departmental libraries – the JF Allen Library (Physics & Astronomy, Mathematics & Statistics, Computer Science), the Chemistry Library, St Mary's College Library (Divinity, Mediaeval History, Honours Psychology) and the King James Library. In addition, each department may have its own specialist collection. There is a 24-hour computer lab, and most accommodation has computing facilities too. There are a few museums, and if you’re looking for even more culture, there are some gorgeous chapels which are often used by music societies. Finally, there's the sports centre – and if that’s not to your taste, there is a public sports centre you can access too!

Student Life:
St Andrews is pretty small, with students making up about half the town’s population. Thanks to that, however, it's a true student city – constantly abuzz with things to do. Whilst it’s small, it has good transport links to bigger cities. It does have an amazing collection of restaurants though, and with half the people there being students, nights out are great.

Postgrad Info:
1,606 postgraduate students
Over 140 taught postgraduate courses

University of Stirling

Top 3 Facts

  • It had the first campus radio station in Scotland
  • Over 115 different nationalities are represented by its student population!
  • Scottish author Iain Banks is one of Stirling’s alumni

The Important Things

The cost of a degree is usually between £4,000-£5,000 for UK/EU students, and around £12,000 for international students. Living costs are estimated to be around £7,000 per annum.

The sports facilities are the gem here – there’s the Scottish National Swimming Academy, which is used as an Intensive Training Centre for the British Olympic Association plus the Gannochy National Tennis Centre, with six indoor and four outdoor courts. There is also a golf course, fitness centre, artificial and grass pitches, football academy and more. Of course, there’s more to the facilities than sport. The University of Stirling also boasts childcare facilities , a great library and an arts centre with its own cinema. Plus, did we mention there’s an 18th-century castle on site!

Student Life:
Being so central, it has great transport links with the rest of Scotland so those of you who like exploring are sorted. There’s a great mix of history and modernity to be found here – with ancient ruins and a thriving arts scene. The campus is just two miles out from the city centre, meaning you can have a great night out then return home through the countryside to accommodation – or simply commute from the city itself!

Postgrad Info:
2,030 postgraduate students
Around 100 taught postgraduate courses

University of the West of Scotland

Top 3 Facts

  • It is the largest modern university in Scotland.
  • It has an international student community that originates from over 60 different countries.
  • The campus in Dumfries was originally a psychiatric hospital.

The Important Things

The degree itself will cost around £7,250 for the tuition fees if you are a home/EU student, and living costs will vary depending on the campus you choose – but expect to spend around £8,000 per year. International students are looking at nearer £10,500 for their annual tuition fees.

A £200m investment programme has recently begun, starting with an £80m campus, which opened in Ayr in August 2011. This has brought in performance, broadcasting and editing facilities plus nursing skills and training labs. There are four campuses – Ayr, Paisley, Hamilton and Dumfries. Between these are a variety of sports centres, plus the student unions which host regular events.

Student Life:
Student life depends on which campus you choose – Ayr is a busy, thriving town whereas Paisley, though the larger campus, may be a little quieter. In general, the student unions are a hub for student activity and they’re all close to major cities meaning if you want something a little bigger, you can find it. All of the campuses are based in market towns, meaning a great selection of pubs and niche shops and there’s a tight-knit community to be had with your fellow students.

Postgrad Info:
1,635 postgraduate students
Around 70 taught postgraduate courses

The Open University

Now this is a strange one, as it doesn’t have a campus as such to talk about! It's not based in Scotland, but as it’s a very popular choice for Scottish students we thought we’d give you some brief info:


  • 16,000 OU students based in Scotland alone
  • One of only two universities in Scotland where the MBA is triple accredited
  • Committed to open access – hosts many of its resources for free and open to all


Beyond this, the price is variable by course, and as for facilities and student life – it's all online.

Student Case Studies


STUDENT CASE STUDY 1: University of Strathclyde

Name: Sanat Pattnaik
Course: MSc in Electronic & Electrical Engineering

Sanat Pattnaik, from India, chose to study at the University of Strathclyde because it has one of the largest departments of Electronic and Electrical Engineering in the UK. Other influencing factors include the location – in the heart of Glasgow – which means there are always interesting things to do as well as plenty of good accommodation options and great transport links. Strathclyde also boasts a sports centre with one of the largest gymnasiums in Glasgow as well as a swimming pool, football pitches and basketball courts.

He is really enjoying studying at the University of Strathclyde, and says of his MSc, “My course deals with a wide variety of sectors like Electronics, Communications, and Electrical as well as Management Studies enabling students to pick up their areas of interest. The lecturers are among the best in their respective sectors and they are the most helpful people I have ever met.”

Another great aspect about studying at Strathclyde is its multicultural student body. Sanat, who is from India, explains, “University accommodation houses students from across the globe which makes it a unique experience as I got to know so many other cultures and countries through my friends from US, Greece, Norway, China, Nigeria, Australia, and Iran."

After graduating Sanat has lined up a job as a consultant electronic and electrical engineer in Bangalore, he says, “It is a management position and I am really excited about it.”

Sanat really enjoys studying at the University of Strathclyde and living in Glasgow, and says of the experience, “Staying in Glasgow and studying at the University of Strathclyde is one of the best experiences that any aspiring student can have. The university and its Faculty and infrastructure bring out the best in us. It is advisable not to miss out on this opportunity.”


STUDENT CASE STUDY 2: University of Dundee

Name: Zehnab Afzal
Course: MSc Applied Computing

Zehnab Afzal gained her undergraduate BAcc degree in Accounting with Management and Information Systems at the University of Dundee. When she began the MSc in Applied Computing she had no background in computing but Zehnab’s passion for academics and her drive to continually challenge and develop herself, stood her in great stead.

The MSc has considerably exceeded her expectations and she was appreciative of the friendly atmosphere in the department. Zehnab explains:

“In a good way, it has been very different to how I thought it would be. I’ve enjoyed it even more than my undergraduate degree. Everybody in the department is very approachable and there’s a great collaborative ethos.”

Zehnab’s MSc project involved designing a website for a tennis coach who was particularly keen to have an online booking system. Whilst working on her project Zehnab gained good experience of working closely with a genuine client to fulfil their expectations of a brief. Zehnab has relished immersing herself in the MSc in Applied Computing and when asked what her favourite part of the course has been, she replied with pride:

“The best part was the learning curve, I like to be challenged. I came to this course with no background in computing, no experience of coding and now I’ve developed an entire website. The course has definitely been worthwhile.”

Zehnab plans to pursue a career that combines both her experience in finance and IT.


Conclusion: What to do next...

So, you’ve decided you want to study in Scotland... what should you do now?

Here’s your step-by-step guide!

  1. Decide what postgraduate course you want to study, and what university you want to study it at.
  2. Your next step is to apply for the course – check out our essential application and admissions advice .
  3. Once you have been successful in your application, apply for one of our Postgrad Solutions Study Bursaries .

Move to Scotland and enjoy your postgraduate degree program!


Wishing you the best of luck with your studies,
The Postgrad Team

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