University of the Highlands and Islands


Given its unique collegiate structure with thirteen academic partners, it would be inappropriate for the University of the Highlands and Islands to appear in the main league table. The university does appear in the relevant subject tables.

Student satisfaction 4.04
Research assessment 2.76
Research intensity 0.58
Entry standards 288
Student–staff ratio 344.0
Academic services spend 483
Facilities spend 32
Good honours 55.1%
Graduate prospects 55.9%
Degree completion 67.8



  • Became the University of the Highlands and Islands after gaining full university status in February 2011.
  • Became a Higher Education institution in 2001.
  • Gained taught degree awarding powers in 2008.

Location and Transport

  • The University of the Highlands and Islands is the only university based in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland.
  • The university is a partnership of 13 colleges and research institutions spread across the Highlands and Islands, including Moray and Perthshire.
  • You can study in locations as diverse as Inverness, Perth, Elgin, the Isle of Skye, Fort William, Shetland, Orkney and the Western Isles.

Entry Requirements

  • Typical standard entry requirements are three Highers at grade C, or two A Levels at grade C.
  • Further details of entry requirements at can be found on the University of the Highlands and Islands website.

Student Mix

The 7,850 students enrolled in the academic year 2014/15 comprise:

Level of study

  • Undergraduate 94%
  • Postgraduate 6%

Mode of study

  • Full Time 65%
  • Part Time 35%


  • UK 97%
  • EU 2%
  • Other 1%

Student gender

  • Male 45%
  • Female 55%

Course Flexibility

  • You can go straight into a degree, or you can start with a Higher National Certificate (HNC) then progress on to a degree course, and even all the way to postgraduate study if you want.
  • At the University of the Highlands and Islands you can study part-time or full-time, from a distance, online, at one of our local learning centres, or come into one of our main campuses – the choice is yours.

Teaching Standards

  • The University of the Highlands and Islands courses has consistently received the highest commendation from the Quality Assurance Agency.
  • The University of the Highlands and Islands students benefits from attentive personal care and small class sizes.
  • The University of the Highlands and Islands is committed to working in partnership with SQA to quality assure all its SQA qualifications to maintain national standards and to ensure the public recognition and credibility of these awards.

Research Standards

  • Over 69% of the research we submitted for review to the Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014) has achieved the two top grades: internationally excellent and world leading.
  • We have outperformed the newer universities in Scotland.

Academic Strengths

  • Business and leisure: adventure tourism management, business and management, golf management.
  • Science, energy and technology: marine science, sustainable rural development, sustainable mountain development, sustainable energy solutions, developing low-carbon communities.
  • Arts and humanities: contemporary textiles, Scottish history, archaeology, fine art, Gaelic.
  • Engineering: electrical engineering and mechanical engineering with renewable energy.
  • Visit our website to see the full list of courses at the university.

Undergraduate Courses

Type of Qualification:

Mode of study:

Student Facilities

  • Student facilities vary from location to location. In general, all campuses possess state-of-the-art computing and library resources. Video conferencing is also frequently used to link college class-rooms for courses taught at more than one college.
  • For campuses which do not have dedicated student accommodation, or for students who prefer private rented accommodation, assistance is available to find suitable lodgings if required.
  • The landscape within is a natural outdoor playground, with walking, mountain biking, snow sports, climbing and water sports right on your doorstep.

Disability Services

  • Visit the website for information about disability services at the University of the Highlands and Islands.

Students' Union

  • Highlands and Islands Students’ Association (HISA) is a new students’ association.
  • It is a tertiary students’ association that represents the interests of further and higher education students, no matter how they study or what they study. Its structure is unique and reflects the composition of the university partnership.

Availability of Part-Time Work

  • Part-time and seasonal work is widely available across the Highlands and Islands.
  • You can get advice on jobs from the University of the Highlands and Islands Careers Centre.

Careers Guidance

  • The University of the Highlands and Islands Careers and Employability Centre aims 'to deliver a range of services which embrace the distinctiveness of the institution, and help students and graduates to develop the personal attributes, skills and knowledge needed to achieve positive employment outcomes and navigate their future career'.

Services include access to or support with:

  • Placements
  • Work Experience
  • Volunteering
  • Networking
  • Workshops and events
  • CV writing
  • Preparing for interviews and assessments/tests

Recent/Prospective New Builds

  • In recent years most of the University of the Highlands and Islands colleges have received considerable investment as the university developed towards full university status.
  • In autumn 2015, Inverness College, University of the Highlands and Islands, opened its doors to students in its new location at Inverness Campus, a new state-of-the-art facility providing a range of undergraduate courses and research facilities.
  • Campus developments have also been undertaken at Shetland College, University of the Highlands and Islands, West Highland College, University of the Highlands and Islands, at Portree on the Isle of Skye, as well as the £6.5m Alexander Graham Bell Life Science Centre at Moray College, University of the Highlands and Islands.
  • There is considerable investment being put into residences over the next few years, with campus accommodation planned for availability in Inverness and Fort William for 2016 entry.

Notable Alumni

  • The Alumnus of the Year award is one of the ways we celebrate the achievements of our alumni. The award is made annually to a former student for services to the community, achievements in arts or sciences, in business, public or academic life.
  • As an alumnus of the university, one of our graduates has been a hugely influential ambassador through her work as an outstanding singer, musician and educator, bringing the language and culture to an international audience and, in so doing, exciting and inspiring a new generation of young Gaels.
  • Another student who graduated from the Music Performance BA at Perth College UHI and has since gone on to have success in London with Streets – a New Kind of Musical. The piece transferred to Hackney Empire, has been nominated for two Off West End awards and has been described as "breathtaking", "groundbreaking" and "theatre for the younger generation that is fiercely creative and thrillingly fresh".

Further Details

Address University of the Highlands and Islands
Executive Office
12b Ness Walk
UCAS Code H49