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What's it like studying in Scotland?

Find out what it's like going to uni in Scotland

Fancy studying in a country of world-class academia? A place where four years of learning comes as standard and you can even get some of your tuition fees paid for? If you’re nodding your head enthusiastically, then Scotland might be right up your street.

From studying in the shadow of ‘Hogwarts’ to following in the footsteps of Prince William, Scotland can offer a unique degree experience involving top-quality learning in a fascinating country full of culture and traditions.

With 2017 seeing a record number of students from England enrolling at Scottish universities, here’s a few reasons why you should consider joining this growing trend...

A history of top-notch education

The most obvious reason for studying in Scotland is that the universities offer top-quality education.

Institutions like St Andrews (founded 1413), Glasgow (1451) and Aberdeen (1495) are among the oldest in the world, meaning there’s a rich tradition of academia stretching back more than 500 years.

During that time, animal cloning, television and early aircraft design were all dreamt up in Scottish study halls, and this reputation for A-grade academic excellence continues today, with students in Scotland producing more academic papers and citations on average than anywhere in the world.

Medical undergraduate Patrick Hart from Belfast is among the new generation of students choosing to study in Scotland, who are coming up with ideas that could improve the lives of many across the globe.

As part of the University of Glasgow’s Future World Changers initiative, Patrick explains how life beyond the lecture hall in Scotland is equally as exciting:

“Scotland is an easily accessible country that is welcoming to students from other parts of the UK and further afield. It’s got fantastic transport links, and with so many things to do outside of the cities, you won’t get bored! When speaking to friends who have also studied in Scotland, they also spoke very positively about their experience.”

Can’t pick one subject? Don’t worry...

One of the hardest decisions prospective undergraduates face is what subject to study.

While in England students pick just a single topic to focus on for the next three or four years, extra options come as standard in Scotland.

Honours degrees in arts, social sciences and science offer you the flexibility to study several subjects before narrowing down to one or two specialisms after a couple of years. This flexibility could be a gamechanger, especially for those not 100 per cent certain of their chosen subject.

Head of UK/EU Recruitment and Widening Participation at the University of Glasgow, Jonathan Jones, says: “Overall I think this gives you the opportunity to figure out what you enjoy most, what you’re good at and, importantly, what you want to do afterwards.”

This also means you get an extra 12 months of student life, as most Scottish degrees favour four years rather than three.

But don’t worry about the cost impact of this – the good news is some institutions, like the University of Glasgow, waive the tuition fee costs for this extra year to those applying from England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Good job prospects

Going to university is about more than studying; it’s about making sure you’re equipped with all the skills to land a great job too. Scottish institutions know this, which is why universities like Glasgow ensure their careers experts provide students a top-notch service.

This focus on equipping graduates with skills and industry experience really pays off in the long run. Studies have shown those at Scottish universities are more likely to get a job within six months of graduation than their English counterparts. They’ll also have higher starting salaries too, as Scotland is the best region in the UK for graduate pay with an average of £24,927 - £2,000 more than the national average.

Safe, vibrant and inexpensive student cities

From the stunning architecture and creative bustle of Glasgow, to the breathtaking beauty of Inverness in the Highlands and the vibrant business hub of Aberdeen, Scotland has a city to suit all tastes.

The good news for those of you counting the pennies is that five of the top 20 most affordable cities in Britain are in Scotland, including Glasgow, Inverness and Perth.

For those of you concerned about the safety of your uni city, it’s also good to know that nearly a third of the top ten safest places to live in Britain are north of the border. In fact, Glasgow – the largest city in Scotland – can also boast to be the friendliest city in the world.

Jonathan Jones, of the University of Glasgow, moved to the city in his 20s from England and never left.

He said: “It’s simply a great place to be. The uni is top ranked for both academic quality and the student experience - not always a common combination - and the city is a lot of fun.

“The campus is in a great area of the city, surrounded by parks, a river, cool bars, cafes, and shops; but is also part of the community, so is relaxed and friendly.

“Glasgow is big enough to have everything you want and expect but is easy to get around. It’s affordable, diverse, dynamic… plus has lots of character and is nice to look at!”

Sound good to you? You can find out more about studying at the University of Glasgow here.

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