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St Salvators Quad, University of St Andrews
University of St Andrews

St Andrews 5 year VS England 4 year degrees

I have to choose between St Andrews, Bath and Durham. I've applied for Biochemistry at St Andrews and Natural Sciences for both Bath and Durham. AFAIK, St Andrews as well as all Scottish Bachelors are 4 years long, with my integrated masters, this makes my course of study 5 years instead of 4. I was wondering whether there's any added benefit to the extra year. Given that St Andrews home tuition is £1820, as opposed to £9250, and that my cost of living is £15,000/year (accurate or not), I will leave with £15,000 less debt DESPITE the extra year.

TL/DR: Is there any benefit to the extra year in Scottish Bsc degrees or are they a waste of time and money since I leave with the same qualification?
Hi! Sorry I can’t fully answer your question about how much the extra year is worth it, but I’m also an offer holder for St Andrews biochemistry integrated masters and for me the pull of the extra is that there’s a bit flexibility in the first two years, so I could study a bit of a language (French) as well, which I’ve always thought I’d want to keep up.
The other thing about the MBiochem at St Andrews is that, even though it’s 5 years, it includes a work placement in the fourth year, rather than having the work placement add an extra year to the degree which it does in England, so it’s actually no longer than an English integrated masters with work placement (I think Bath also offers one with a placement, and that’s 5 years).

Sorry if this isn’t very useful but good luck with your decision - you’ve got great options so it’s not like there are any ‘bad’ choices!
St Salvators Quad, University of St Andrews
University of St Andrews
Reply 2
Original post by squiddy135
Hi! Sorry I can’t fully answer your question about how much the extra year is worth it, but I’m also an offer holder for St Andrews biochemistry integrated masters and for me the pull of the extra is that there’s a bit flexibility in the first two years, so I could study a bit of a language (French) as well, which I’ve always thought I’d want to keep up.
The other thing about the MBiochem at St Andrews is that, even though it’s 5 years, it includes a work placement in the fourth year, rather than having the work placement add an extra year to the degree which it does in England, so it’s actually no longer than an English integrated masters with work placement (I think Bath also offers one with a placement, and that’s 5 years).

Sorry if this isn’t very useful but good luck with your decision - you’ve got great options so it’s not like there are any ‘bad’ choices!


No, it is useful thank you. I've been led to believe by the website that if they allow entry to 2nd year, the course structure looks more like this:

Year 1 (2nd year)
Year 2 (3rd year, end of Bsc)
Year 3 (placement)
Year 4 (masters)

If that is the case, it makes StA easily my first choice. However, I don't have an offer yet, I'm planning my decision early in case I do get one. If I don't, I'll likely only choose Durham. I found out too that I could've applied for 2nd year entry through UCAS, but I didn't know it at the time (it was a spontaneous decision to choose StA) so I'm hoping they'll let me amend that now.
Reply 3
Original post by Naser1234
I have to choose between St Andrews, Bath and Durham. I've applied for Biochemistry at St Andrews and Natural Sciences for both Bath and Durham. AFAIK, St Andrews as well as all Scottish Bachelors are 4 years long, with my integrated masters, this makes my course of study 5 years instead of 4. I was wondering whether there's any added benefit to the extra year. Given that St Andrews home tuition is £1820, as opposed to £9250, and that my cost of living is £15,000/year (accurate or not), I will leave with £15,000 less debt DESPITE the extra year.

TL/DR: Is there any benefit to the extra year in Scottish Bsc degrees or are they a waste of time and money since I leave with the same qualification?

Just checking - are you a Scottish student? Students from the rest of the UK pay full tuition fees at Scottish universities ie £9k.
Reply 4
Original post by S1098
Original post by Naser1234
I have to choose between St Andrews, Bath and Durham. I've applied for Biochemistry at St Andrews and Natural Sciences for both Bath and Durham. AFAIK, St Andrews as well as all Scottish Bachelors are 4 years long, with my integrated masters, this makes my course of study 5 years instead of 4. I was wondering whether there's any added benefit to the extra year. Given that St Andrews home tuition is £1820, as opposed to £9250, and that my cost of living is £15,000/year (accurate or not), I will leave with £15,000 less debt DESPITE the extra year.

TL/DR: Is there any benefit to the extra year in Scottish Bsc degrees or are they a waste of time and money since I leave with the same qualification?

Just checking - are you a Scottish student? Students from the rest of the UK pay full tuition fees at Scottish universities ie £9k.


No, I'm settled. They've already assessed me at £1820
Reply 5
Original post by Naser1234
Just checking - are you a Scottish student? Students from the rest of the UK pay full tuition fees at Scottish universities ie £9k.


No, I'm settled. They've already assessed me at £1820
So you are eligible for the tuition fees to be paid by SAAS - ie no tuition fees to pay in Scotland?
Reply 6
Original post by S1098


No, I'm settled. They've already assessed me at £1820

So you are eligible for the tuition fees to be paid by SAAS - ie no tuition fees to pay in Scotland?

Wdym i.e. No tuition fees. I was under the impression I'd take out a student loan same as everybody else.
Reply 7
Original post by Naser1234
So you are eligible for the tuition fees to be paid by SAAS - ie no tuition fees to pay in Scotland?


Wdym i.e. No tuition fees. I was under the impression I'd take out a student loan same as everybody else.
Scottish students don't pay tuition fees in Scotland. There is a rate set but that is what the Scottish government pays to the universities. SAAS pays it direct to the uni.
Reply 8
Original post by S1098


Wdym i.e. No tuition fees. I was under the impression I'd take out a student loan same as everybody else.

Scottish students don't pay tuition fees in Scotland. There is a rate set but that is what the Scottish government pays to the universities. SAAS pays it direct to the uni.

Oh I see. I'll look into it but maybe not. Since I live in England, I don't think I'd get funding from SAAS. Thanks for telling me something I didn't know :smile:

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