University of St Andrews

The University of St Andrews, founded in the 15th century, is Scotland's first university and the third oldest in the English-speaking world. It has established a reputation as one of the world's leading research and teaching centres over the last 600 years. Today, the university offers a flexible degree structure based on the student's choice of subject specialism or research, creating an environment which nurtures inquisitive minds and a culture of shared learning.

Town Centre
Town Centre

In or close to the centre of a town


On the coast, near the sea

UCAS Code: S36

Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF)

TEF Gold is awarded to institutions that consistently deliver outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for their students. Find out more about TEF.

Student Statistics

Student population


Level of study

  • Undergraduate 80%
  • Postgraduate 20%

Mode of study

  • Full Time 88%
  • Part Time 12%

Where students come from

  • UK 54%
  • EU 12%
  • Other 34%

Student gender

  • Male 42%
  • Female 58%

Student Services and Facilities

Libraries and Information Services

  • The university has four different libraries including the main library, and Scotland's oldest university library reading room, the King James Library (1643).
  • Friendly staff are happy to help students with any questions, with the help desk service recently awarded Customer Service Excellence.
  • Plenty of seating options include silent floors and also spaces where students can chat, eat and drink while studying.

Student jobs

  • The university's online CareerConnect vacancy service advertises opportunities for students and graduates.
  • CareerConnect includes a Job Shop specifically for part-time jobs in the local area.
  • The St Andrews summer internships scheme offers varied project-based internships within different units of the University of St Andrews during summer months, open to second and third year undergraduates at the university.

Careers advice

  • The university Careers Centre offers impartial and objective advice and guidance.
  • Its careers advisers have sector and school-based specialisms, and are experienced at advising undergraduate and postgraduate students and graduates on any career-related topics.
  • Resources include drop-in and bookable appointments with advisers, a Job Shop vacancy service, access to alumni networks, support for student enterprise, summer internship schemes, advice on postgraduate study, and in-depth support for international students including visa information and support.

Health services

  • The university's new Student Health Hub, located in the local Community Hospital, is staffed by university staff who understand how to help students access health advice quickly.

Counselling and Mental Health Support

  • Student Services offer confidential and professional support to students in all aspects of their life.
  • The Counselling and Well-being Service use a model called 'matched care', helping to match students to the adviser best placed to help. Support is provided by the Counselling team, Life and Well-being team and a Mental Health Co-ordinator.

Disability support

  • The university has a range of reasonable adjustments that it can put in place for students who declare a disability, to help them achieve their academic potential and to make the transition to university as smooth as possible.
  • The Disability team has specialist advisers who support students with physical disabilities, sensory impairment, unseen medical conditions, long-standing health or medical conditions, mental health difficulties, autism and specific learning differences.
  • A number of halls of residence have rooms designed for disabled access. Applicants with physical disabilities are advised to contact the Disability team as early as possible to ensure their teaching and living needs can be met.

Other services and facilities

  • Specialist advice is available on a range of topics including academic matters, money, visas and international issues. There is also quick access to a Student Services representative out of hours in emergency situations.

Students' Union

  • All students of the university are automatically members of the Students' Association.
  • This includes over 160 student societies, and free use of all facilities.
  • The Students' Association provides support in all areas of life outside of academia, including health and well-being, accommodation support, education advocacy, and representation.


  • St Andrews was founded in 1413. The university's early years were not without turbulence: in 1426, King James tried to move the university to Perth, in 1470, several masters and students were expelled for attacking the Dean with bows and arrows, and in 1544 the university banned beards.
  • Today the university has grown into a international and welcoming community of scholars; in which diversity, curiosity, and academic freedom are established values.

Fascinating Fact

  • The undergraduate red gown, which has become an internationally-recognised symbol of the University of St Andrews, was first introduced in 1672 to distinguish students from locals. Red gowns are usually worn at formal occasions and for the traditional pier walk.

Notable Alumni and Famous Faces

  • John Napier – inventor of the logarithm.
  • James Wilson – one of the fathers of the American Constitution.
  • Sir James Black – Nobel Prize-winner.
  • Alex Salmond – former first minister of Scotland.
  • Fay Weldon – author, best known for The Life and Loves of a She-Devil.
  • Siobhan Redmon – actress.
  • Michael Forsythe – actor.
  • Crispin Bonham-Carter – actor.
  • Hazel Irvine – broadcaster.
  • HRH Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and HRH Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.


University of St Andrews, St Katharine's West, 16 The Scores, St Andrews, Fife, KY16 9AX