• University of St Andrews

TSR Wiki > University > Choosing a University > University Guides > University of St Andrews


Located in the small coastal town of St Andrews, the University of St Andrews has a long history - being the third oldest university in the English-speaking world, behind Oxford and Cambridge. It's a small university, with fewer than 10,000 students, but the students still make up a very sizeable portion of the town - around one third of the town population. Despite its humble size, it has pulled together a string of excellent performances in national league tables and is the top rated mainstream university in the National Student Survey.


Teaching started at the university in 1410. In 1411, the Bishop of St Andrews at the time, Henry Wardlaw, issued the institution with a charter of foundation. This was then confirmed in 1413 by Papal bull by Pope Benedict Xlll, giving the institution full recognition as a university. Thus, the university is currently celebrating it's 600th anniversary. In the 15th and 16th Century, the university grew quickly with the establishment of 3 colleges: St Salvator's, St Mary's and St Leonard's. St Salvator's quad and chapel, built in 1450, are the oldest parts of the university still being used.


The University has many distinctive traditions. These include the wearing of undergraduate gowns (scarlet coloured for students of the United College, Black for those of St Mary's), the May Dip, the Pier Walk, Academic Families, The UDS, Raisin Weekend, The Gaudie, The KK Procession, the PH cobles, etc.

The Gown

These scarlet red gowns (black for those in the Faculty of Divinity) were originally worn to enable the students to be recognised by the townspeople. Nowadays they are generally kept for formal events and for ambassadorial duties. They are also worn on the famous pier walk on a Sunday morning after the service. How you wear your gown depends on your year of study and your faculty: first years should wear the gown high on the shoulders , second years should wear it lower on the shoulders. Third year students wear it off the right shoulder if in the Faculty of Science or Medicine and off the left shoulder if in the Faculty of Arts. Fourth year students wear it off both shoulders. There are some by-laws relating to the academic gown. Traditionally, it was illegal to be served in a pub if you were wearing one of the gowns. Also, three red gowns or one black gown is able to stop traffic.

PH Cobbles and the May Dip

Cobblestones marking the burnings of several Protestant martyrs can be found around St Andrews. The initials of Patrick Hamilton are found outside the main gate of St Salvator's College. Patrick Hamilton was a student burnt at the stake on 29th February 1528. According to student tradition, stepping on the PH will curse you, the consequence of which is failing your degree. On one of the blocks on St Salvator's tower, it is said there is the face of Patrick Hamilton immortalised in the stone, looking down on the PH cobbles which curses the student. There are two ways to lift the curse. One is to run backwards, naked, 3 times around St Salvator's Quad at the change of class. The other is to participate in the May Dip. On May the 1st every year, students gather on the beach at East Sands to run into the North Sea at dawn to rid the curse.

Academic Families and Raisin Weekend

Your academic parents are meant to be mentors and guides during your first two years at St Andrews. Traditionally you are responsible for finding your mother, and your father will ask you to be his child, however this tradition of finding your parents has somewhat diminished in recent years. The main event for academic families is Raisin Weekend, which takes place on a Sunday and Monday morning early in November. On the Sunday afternoon, you go to your mum's house where you partake in an academic tea party. Often messy party games are involved, although some mums prefer to just provide copious amounts of alcohol! In the evening, you then go to your dad's for some 'organised fun', again, can also be alcohol fuelled and often is. On the Monday morning, you then go to your mum's house who will dress you up in a ridiculous costume. Afterwards, you go to your father's house and he will give you an item called a raisin receipt. These are usually large, bulky, difficult to carry items which you then carry to St Salvator's Quad where a massive shaving foam fight happens with all the dressed up first years. Traditionally, students gave their academic parents a pound of raisins as a thank you for helping and guiding them in their first few months of university, however, it is now practice to give your parents a bottle of wine or some chocolates instead. The raisin receipt is given as a thank you for the raisins and traditionally includes a verse in Latin.



The main library, which has been completely refurbished over the last two summers, is just off North Street and has 3 main floors. Opening hours during term time are 8am-2am Monday - Sunday. There are currently 6 bookable group study rooms. Despite the recent redevelopment, study space is still a problem and it can get extremely busy, especially during exam period. There are PC clusters on every level. Printing facilities, along with scanning and photocopying are on the Ground Floor (also known as Level 2). There is now a café (1413) in the library, where you can purchase a number of hot and cold snacks and drinks. Cold snacks and all non-alcoholic drinks are allowed on Level 2, and only drinks are allowed on Levels 3+4.

A more conducive environment for study can be found in the aesthetically charming King James VI Library of St Mary's College. This library stocks books on Theology and Medieval History but is accessible for all students and beloved by all. During the exam season it is not unusual to find students reading outside on the stairs. There are numerous smaller departmental libraries at the School of Classics, Art History, Modern and Scottish History and Philosophy. These all have small study areas, computers and photocopiers. For science students there is the J.F Allen Library (Physics), the Purdie Library (Chemistry) and the library of the Bute Medical School. Halls of Residence often have their own library and study areas including St Salvator's, St Regulus, McIntosh and University Hall. Special Collections is on a level below the ground floor and has one of the largest photographic collections in Scotland as well as containing some beautiful illuminated manuscripts. Entry is through obtaining a reader's card upon registration.

The library catalogue (SAULCAT) can be accessed online from any computer and conveniently loans can be renewed and fines paid online. Selected module reading lists are found on the library's website. The library has a reciprocal borrowing agreement with the University of Dundee and St Andrews students can borrow up to 5 books from the Dundee University Library. Inter-library loans are accessible on the ground floor of the main library.

There is also a local library in town which has a small selection of books.


The University has several museums: the Gateway galleries, the Museum of the University of St Andrews (MUSA) and the Bell Pettigrew Museum along with the new Museum of Anatomy. The Gateway galleries and MUSA are home to exhibitions of the treasures of the university which are quite impressive and important in some areas whilst the Bell Pettigrew (housed within the Bute medical buildings) contains a large Victorian natural history collection. More information about these collections and other smaller, school based collections can be found here: [1]. The town itself is also home to the St Andrews Museum, St Andrews Preservation Trust, and the British Golf Museum. Students are granted free entry to the Castle and its visitor centre if they are wearing their undergraduate gown. The Cathedral has a visitor centre and St Rule's Tower in its grounds makes an excellent position from which to view all of the university and town.

IT and Computing

There is a 24 hour computer lab in Butts Wynd and most of the halls of residences have computer areas. There are also computers in the libraries but they tend to get busy around essay time. The Bute Building (Medical School Building plus biology) has a new, clean and bright 24hr computer lab and there is a 24hr lab in the Irvine Building.

Wireless internet is available in all academic buildings as well as all rooms in halls of residence which connects you to ResNet (the residence network) and thus to the university network and the internet. You do not need to pay anything to use this network (it is included in your accommodation fees).

Many departments also have computer facilities with printing available. You can purchase printer credits for £11.00 (gets you 220 credits). It's often easier to print essays in department libraries and labs where there is less of a queue. The printer queue in the university library gets very long so it is advisable to get there in enough time if you are rushing to print off something for a deadline.

You may register one computer at a time on the network, and may not use routers or switches of any kind. IT Services say that if they detect the use of such items, your access to ResNet may be suspended.

The download speed when using the internet is incredibly fast. I don't have any exact figures right now, but I could download a file of ~350MB in 2 minutes (obviously this depends on where you're downloading from). Basically, I think you will always get (close to) the highest download speed possible. Luser gave speedtest figures of 90Mb/s download, 0.35Mb/s upload on one occasion. Obviously speeds will vary.

Torrents will not work on ResNet. There are, as always, rumours of ways of getting around this, but for the average user torrenting is not possible. Any other types of P2P sharing are also forbidden. MMORPGs are also not allowed, but there are definitely ways of playing them (I've witnessed a few people doing it). IT Services state that VoIP and video conference software will not work, but I personally have been able to use Skype for voice calls (never tried the video facility) and webcam over MSN.


The main university sports centre has everything you could ask for besides a swimming pool. There's a gym, large sports hall with courts for badminton, basketball and outdoor tennis courts and pitches. If you are a swimmer, have no fear, there is another sports centre (run by Fife Council) over at East Sands (next to Albany Park) which has a fitness suite, swimming pool, and runs aerobics classes. Membership of the university sports centre will set you back £100 for a year (September-September), £60 for a semester, or £35 if you only use it for Clubs/Sports Societies. Use of the gym and swimming pool in the East Sands leisure centre costs £16.60 a month by Direct Debit.

There are many sports clubs within the AU from fencing to hockey and shinty to golf there is something for everyone. Most run taster sessions during Freshers Week when you can give many a try before you pay a membership! Check out the university website for a full list of sports, and if they don't cater for your sport, you could always try and set up a club!

We also have some golf courses don't ya know.


The largest ensembles in the University (orchestra, wind band, chorus, brass band etc) are run by the Music Society (www.st-andrews.ac.uk/~mussoc) and the music centre (http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/music/perform/instrumental/). The university also has some of the best chapel choirs in Scotland with St Salvator's singing 2 services (evensong and sunday) and St Leonard's singing one (compline) each week. Both chapels are charming buildings, the St Salvator's is 550 years old and is in the collegiate style whereas St Leonard's is older than the university ie at least 600 and is medieval in style. Choral and Organ scholarships are available. There are lots of other choirs to and some of the best are student run, such as the Madrigal group, G&S, and lots of a cappella groups etc.

The University sports a Busseldorfer Imperial piano and at least two Steinway grands that I know of. In addition, St Salvator's, University and McIntosh halls sport grand pianos. Leonard's and Sallies Chapels house fine organs and the music centre has a range of instruments available for members to hire. A nice feature of St Andrews is that the Scottish Chamber Orchestra is the 'Orchestra in Residence' and so perform regularly at the University's Younger Hall, tickets for these concerts are just £5 - unbeatable value!


The Student Support Services are available for anything and everything - money matters to academic worries. Do not hesitate to use them. Nightline is also available from the extension 2266 (01334 462266) if you need a confidential ear to listen. The number is printed on the back of your Student ID. SALTIRE run Study Skills courses which advise on reading, note-taking, essay writing, revision and time management. They hold presentations in Freshers Week to help you get used to the challenges of university study.


There are three main GP practices in St Andrews, all located at the new community hospital which is a 10-15 min walk from town. If you don't like the walk or you're in a hurry there are regular bus services from the Bus Station. The Community Hospital is located next to Morrisons supermarket. You will be registered with one of the 3 practices upon your arrival in St Andrews depending on your surname. There is also an out of hours clinic and a minor injury unit here but no accident and emergency department.

There are several dentists in the town centre, but there is also a free A&E dental clinic in Dundee.

The closest A&E is Ninewells, Dundee.


Truth be told - there aren't many shops. BUT DON'T WORRY!! You can definitely buy what you need in St Andrews.

As a shopaholic, this has not been a problem whatsoever as Dundee and Edinburgh are just a bus/train ride away and online shopping is so much more convenient (not to mention bargainous!) anyway.

Shops in St Andrews town centre include:

Bookshops/Stationery: Bouquiniste (charming second-hand bookshop on Market Street), Clinton Cards (Market Street), Blackwells (Student's Association), Waterstone's (Market Street), WH Smith (South Street. The Post Office is inside WHSmith), J&G Innes (Church Street - They sell books and stationery), Barnardos Books (Bell Street - They sell a good selection of second-hand books and often have reduced price set texts for university modules) and Ryman's (Market Street).

Cafés: Costa (Market Street), Starbucks (Market Street), Con Panna Café (South Street), Taste (North Street), North Point (North Street - very popular among students), Beanscene (Bell Street) and Bibi's Cafe (North Street). I've found that Taste does the best value coffee in town.

Clothing: Baby Farmore (Church Street), Lingerie Shop - Elspeth's (Church Street), Millers (Church Street), White Stuff (Church Street), Caledonian Countrywear (Market Street), Clarks (Market Street), Edinburgh Woolen Mill (Market Street), Fat Face (Market Street), H&M (Market Street), Kiltmakers (Market Street), Monsoon/Accessorize (Market Street), Ness (Market Street), New Look (Market Street), Reith's Menswear (Market Street), Superdry (Market Street), Jack Wills (Bell Street), The Scottish Shop (South Street), Schmooz (South Street), Simply Scotland (South Street), M&Co (South Street), Melagano (South Street - Expensive Boutique), a knitting shop (South Street).

Electronics: Carphone Warehouse (Market Street) and Phones4u (Market Street)

Food/Health Stores: Tesco (Market Street), Body Shop (Bell Street), Boots (Market Street), Superdrug (Market Street), Burns Sweet Shop (Market Street), St Andrews Health Foods (Market Street), Holland & Barrett (Market Street), Thorntons (Market Street), Janettas Ice Cream and Café (South Street), Luvians Ice Cream (Market Street), Luvians Wine (Market Street), Kerachers Fishmongers (South Street), Butler's Deli (Church Street), Bibi's Bakery (South Street - sells delicious cup cakes), Fisher and Donaldson Bakery (Church Street), G.H. MacArthur and Son (Bakers - South Street), Cheesemonger (South Street), Minicks the Butcher (South Street - well recommended -makes special stuff from local produce - better than Tesco :P), John Birrell and Son Greengrocers (South Street), Little Italian Shop (Bell Street)

Gift Shops: Various including: Bonkers (Market Street) and Toy Shop (South Street)

Takeaways: Empire (Market Street), Frittos Fish and Chips (Market Street), Greggs (Market Street), Le Rendesvouz (Market Street), Marmaris (Market Street), Subway (Market Street), Tailend Fish Bar (Market Street), Baguette Express (Bell Street), Pizza Connection (South Street)

Interiors: Renton Oriental Rugs (South Street), Rumage (Antique Store in South Street) and Farmore Interiors (South Street).

Sports/Outdoor: Intersport (Church Street), Trespass (South Street)

Other Useful Stuff: Johnson's Dry Cleaners (South Street), Garden Centre (South Street), Argos (South Street), Barber (South Street), hairdressers (Market Street/South Street), Pots and Pans (Church Street), Cobbler (South Street), Florist (Bell Street), Opticians (Market Street)

Charity shops: Oxfam, 2 Cancer Research UK, British Heart Foundation, Save the Children, Shelter, Sense Scotland, Sue Ryder Care, Barnardo's, Barnardo's Books.

Slightly out of town: KFB (takeaway), Aldi, Morrisons, Spar and other takeaways.

General Information
St Andrews, Fife, Scotland, UK
University of St Andrews, St Andrews, Fife KY16 9AJ, Scotland
+44 (0)1334 476161
SU/Guild website:
UCAS Code:

Total students:
Typical offers:
Applicants per place:


St Andrews has many, many restaurants! Most do early bird menus for dinner and most have special lunch menus (which are a bit of a bargain!). Overall the majority are around the same price range (£6-9 for a main course).

Asian food: L'orient (Thai), Nahm Jims (Japanese - expensive), The Dining Room (Chinese)

Indian: Maisha, Jahangir, The Balaka (Bangladeshi & Indian).

The House restaurants: The Grill House (Mexican themed), The Glass House (Italian themed), The Doll's House (Traditional British food)

Chain restaurants: Zizzi's, Pizza Express, Bella Italia (student nights on Sun and Tues - all courses half price).

Others: Ziggi's - music / rock theme - burgers, American style food. The Links Clubhouse - expensive but good food. The Vine Leaf - again pricey but very good value for money. The Seafood Restaurant - probably the best food in St Andrews - but also some of the most expensive - but you should go at least once for the good views and to feel special. The Jigger Inn - a sneaky little pub attached to the old course hotel - beautiful interior and fantastic food.

Slightly out of town: Rufflett's Hotel - expensive but very good food and really nice house and gardens - plus they do cream teas which I've yet to sample. The Grange Inn - amazing views of St Andrews from just south of town on the Anstruther road - good value food too.

Further out of town - surrounding area has plenty of restaurants if you're lucky and own a car.

Coffee shops and pubs serving food are abundant in St Andrews, it's worth searching around for hidden treasures as I'm sure there will be places we've missed...


Lloyds, Clydesdale, Bank of Scotland, Royal Bank of Scotland, Abbey, Halifax.

There's also a Dunfermline building society.

The nearest Natwest and HSBC are in Dundee, a short bus ride away. If Natwest tell you that you can bank with the Royal bank of Scotland (which they are owned by) they are lying. The bank does not have access to your account details so either get online banking or be willing to travel into Dundee.



There is a handy bus system set up.

In town, the 99 goes in a loop to DRA, John Knox, Tom Morris drive etc. There's also a bus (also the 99) from the bus station every 15 minutes at peak times. This bus also goes to Leuchars train station. Bus timetables are available on the Stagecoach website and in the bus station.

Buses also go to other places in Fife, and further, to Glasgow and Edinburgh.


The nearest train station is called Leuchars station and is a 5-10 minute bus ride from the town centre (cost ~£4.50 return)

Trains to Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow are frequent. The Train services are quicker than the buses to Edinburgh and Glasgow but you must get a bus to the railway station first.

There are direct trains to London from Leuchars.


Nearest airport = Dundee - but flights from here are normally domestic and not that useful. Cheaper flights are usually found from Edinburgh, and are often international and domestic. Companies such as St Andrews Shuttle and St Andrews Direct offer reasonably priced taxi transfers from Edinburgh Airport, which are often popular with international students. Alternatively you can get an airport bus to Edinburgh City Centre and then either a train (to Leuchars) or a bus (all the way to St Andrews) onwards. You can also get a bus to a place called Ferrytoll and change onto a bus to St Andrews.

Aberdeen and Glasgow airports are accessible from St Andrews.

Careers service

The University offers a Careers Centre, which offers both current and graduating students impartial and objective career advice. The Centre is located at 6 St Mary's Place, directly opposite the Student Association building, and can be easily accessed by the disabled.

The Careers Centre offers careers advice, careers information resources and also co-ordinates and delivers a wide ranging programme of fairs, presentations and workshops. The service aims to meet the needs of all students and its resources cover:

  • Getting started
  • Career planning
  • Occupational choices
  • Work experience
  • Further study
  • Graduate opportunities
  • Work and study abroad
  • Gap year opportunities
  • Application and interview coaching

The Careers Centre also runs a Job Shop service which advertises term time employment opportunities in St Andrews. You need to call in at the Careers Centre Reception to join. You will then automatically receive email alerts of new postings.

The Centre is open from 10am to 5pm Monday to Friday. The Christmas closure is advertised on the website. During the summer the service closes between 1 and 2pm.

Part-time jobs

You have to be quick with part time jobs as they go quite quickly. The University pay well and there are always restaurants and shops looking to take on staff.

The university careers centre also runs a "Job Shop" which will give you email updates about local jobs or graduate jobs, which you can then go into the careers centre and get further information about.

There is also a job centre in town (South street) which may be of help.

Job hunting isn't too difficult so long as you are prepared to earn money and go out job hunting. Job turnaround is quite fast as many of the workforce are students and so jobs crop up all the time - it's a matter of spotting them!

Religious facilities

We have a lot of churches and a really active Christian Union. (With emphasis on the 'really' - I've never seen quite so many Christians gravitate to the same place all at once).

The university also has a Chaplaincy, with facilities for people from all religious backgrounds - and the Students association also has many societies to support this - including a Jewish and Pagan society.

Religious societies: http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/students/involve/religioussocieties/ Local churches: http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/students/advice/faithandreligion/localchurches/ Chaplaincy: http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/chaplaincy/

St Andrews Discussions

Latest relevant discussions Last post/replies
The Official 2019 St Andrews Applicants Thread 1 hour ago Replies: 25
St Andrews alumni - what are you doing now? 12 hours ago Replies: 2
Routes for final 3 years 20 hours ago Replies: 3
St Andrews Computer science and Mathematics application 1 day ago Replies: 1
St Andrews - Ask A Current Student Thread 4 days ago Replies: 9934
Computer Science questions 5 days ago Replies: 3
Go to St Andrews University forum Post new thread


The social life in St Andrews is great considering how small the town is. A lot of it is pub or coffeeshop based but if you choose St Andrews I doubt you're the type of preson who loves clubs! However Fat Sams in Dundee is popular and easy to get to. A lot of social activities are based around societies and friendship groups.

Bars, Pubs and clubs

Pubs and bars: The Whey Pat, The Keys, Aikman's, The Blue Stane, the Criterion, The Central, Drouthy Neebors, Westport, 1 Golf Place, Greyfriars, The Jigger Inn, Dunvegan Hotel, The Pilmour hotel, Ma Bells, The Vic, The Lizard, The Pitcher, The Stables, The New Inn, The Rule, think that's all of them...wait, THE UNION!

Coffeeshops - Beanscene, Cafe 13, Taste, Bibi's Cafe, Northpoint, Starbucks, Costa, The Ladyhead, The Coffee and Tea House, Gorgeous, Cherries, Zest, Juicylicious, Luvians, and the Byre.

There's plenty more.

Main Formal Occasions

- Opening Ball - Bongo Ball - Christmas/Winter Ball - Hall of residence balls (February onwards) - May Ball - Graduation Ball

Clubs and societies

There are a huge number of societies - over 100, so there will be something for everyone. Most also have their own website. If you don't fancy any existing ones, you only need about 10 members to set up a new one too, and you can get advice on this from the Director of Student Development and Activities (DoSDA)!

They usually cost between £3-£5 each to join but remember, don't go signing up to everything straight away. Some people sign up and pay for things that they never use, its easy to go crazy and waste a lot of money at the freshers fayre.

There are also subcommittees of the Students Association: Charities Campaign, Debates, Ents Crew, LGBT, SVS (Students Volunteering Service), STAR (St Andrews Radio), Music is Love, Design Team, Rogue (Film-making), and Mermaids.

List of union affiliated societies: http://societies.yourunion.net/


Accommodation policy

Please look at the accommodation thread.

For first year, provided you return the application form in time (end of May for the year of entry), you're guaranteed a place in university accommodation. The form is sent out when you're made an offer, although you don't get any specific information through for a conditional until they've got your exam results. This does not put those with conditional offers at a disadvantage though as they are allocated at the same time as those with unconditionals, they just aren't told of their room until they become a firmed unconditional.

When you fill in the accommodation application form, you can't choose which hall you go into, but you can always try your luck and ask for a specific one when you apply. The staff are very helpful and will do their best to meet your preferences.

They also ask for your preferences on the following:

Catered vs. Self-Catered

The cost of catered accommodation covers all of your meals (except evening dinner on weekends = 2 meals), making it easier to budget for the year. You also don't need to spend time trekking to Morrisons/Tesco to buy food, spend lots of time cooking and preparing and you don't have to fuss about washing up.

This is also a good option if you're from further away and don't want the hassle of storing pots and pans over the summer.

The meal times are fixed, however you can request packed meals in advance should you need to eat away from hall e.g. if you have lectures far away from hall and no time to get back for lunch or you have a sport in the evening during dinner time (although, there aren't many classes on between 1-2).

Catered halls do have kitchens and cooking facilities e.g. oven, hob, microwave, fridge, kettle, toaster etc, so should you not like/miss a meal is it very easy to cook your own. Some people live in catered halls and cook their own food. Peversely, this can actually still be cheaper than living in self catered halls!

Most catered halls have cleaners who clean bedrooms, kitchens and bathrooms whilst if you live in self catered halls you will most likely have to clean these all yourself!

En-suite vs. Standard

If you choose en-suite, be prepared to pay a lot more for your accommodation. Some en-suite rooms have showers, and others come with a bath and a shower. Many en-suite rooms are self catered and are some walk from the town centre e.g. David Russell Apartments.

Single vs. Shared

On the application form, they ask for interests/hobbies, and whether you're more outgoing or reserved, and also what kind of time you'd typically get up and go to bed. These factors are taken into account when pairing up room-mates, or even considering who lives near who. The shared rooms are for two people of the same sex.

Different pairs of room-mates get along differently - some just click and have an amazing time, some coexist in the same space without any great interaction (either positive or otherwise), and some can't abide each other. Bear in mind that even if you do have a single room, your neighbours will probably still be able to hear clattery typing, loud music and any midnight shenanigans, so the absence of a room-mate doesn't grant you total freedom. You can request a transfer if you do not feel comfortable in your room/hall.

Note: If you do not want a room mate and would strongly prefer a single room, you can mention this in your application

Postgraduate residences

If you're looking for postgraduate accommodation, there's a list of stuff for that on the guide to residences page. Some residences are mixed undergrad and postgrad, and some are only one or the other.


The university's guide to residences has lots of useful stuff as does the accommodation thread here on TSR.

There are two basic categories:


  • Andrew Melville Hall
  • David Russell Apartments (DRA)
  • John Burnet Hall (It has two bits: Atholl and Annexe)
  • McIntosh Hall (Chattan)
  • St Regulus Hall (Regs)
  • St Salvator's Hall (Sallies)
  • University Hall (Uni Hall)


  • Albany Park (Gatty)
  • David Russell Apartments (DRA)
  • Fife Park
  • Blackadder (full name: Agnes Forbes Blackadder hall, previously known as New Hall)
  • Fife Park Apartments (FPA/New Fife Park)

Please check the accommodation thread for student guides to each hall, which details all of the halls very well!

Private sector

There are various letting agencies in town. Places in town seem more expensive than those further out, but generally it's a relatively expensive place to stay. Houses take usually in the range of 2-4 people, with houses for 5 or more people being rarer. There is a high demand for 4-person houses, it seems.

Student union


Alcohol, well it depends on how much you drink. Union and DRA prices (heres where I try and use my crappy memory) are £2.00 for a pint of tennents, £2.20 for Stella, A shot of Vodka and mixer is £1.80/£1.90, most shots are £1.50 or £1.60 bottles of magners are £3.20 I think and other bottles are around the £2-£2.50 mark, a pint of pepsi / lemonade is £1.20 (£1.40 in DRA) if you're a non-drinker (there are other things available but that all I can think of now). Most other places charge a bit more but most places are still pretty reasonable (NOT EVERYWHERE though so be warned). A full list (an extensive list) of prices can be found on the union website: http://yourunion.net.

Tuesday-Thursday often have weekday drink deals aimed at students (usually £1.50 for a vodka + mixer).

The Modular System

How it works

St. Andrews uses a modular system which can at first glance appear very confusing. A Bachelors [or MA] degree requires at least 480 credits and takes 4 years, whilst a Masters such as MPhys or MSc require 600 credits and takes 5 years. This means you are expected to take 120 credits each year which breaks down to 60 a Semester; although it is normally acceptable to take 50 in one and 70 in another.

Each module has assigned to it the number of credits it is worth. This usually corresponds to the amount of work involved. For example, a 20 credit module normally requires less work than a 30 credit module. First year modules are normally worth 20 credits, Second year modules are normally worth 20 or 30 and Honours modules [third, fourth and fifth year] can vary anywhere from 5 credits to 30 usually depending on the school.

Choosing Modules

Each degree programme has specific modules that you must take in order to graduate with that degree; meaning that you must take these modules and are free to make up the remaining credits by taking modules of your own choosing. For single honours the required number of modules normally works out at one a semester in first year meaning that you are free to take two other subjects. Then in Second year some of the modules increase in size to 30 credits meaning you are free to continue one of the other two subjects from first year.

Each module has a code attached to it. A typical module code looks like this: MT1002. The first two letters are the department code [ie. Mathematics] the first number is the year [ie. First Year] and then the last three numbers are the unique module code. It is perfectly possible to take modules from a different year provided you meet the pre-requisites.

nb. If you are a medical student, you do not choose any modules as you do all the set modules. So, less hassle!

Things to be wary of

A number of modules [particularly in higher years] have pre-requisite modules meaning you can only take them if you have already taken the previous module. It is also worth making sure that modules don't clash by checking the Web timetable [only available inside St. Andrews].

Example First Year Modules

If I was taking a single honours Physics degree then I would be required to take PH1011 and PH1012, both of which are worth 20 credits. This means that Semester 1 I could take [assuming no timetable clashes]:

  • PH1011 - First year Physics module 1
  • MT1001 - First year Mathematics module 1
  • GE1001 - First year Geography module 1

Then in semester two I could take:

  • PH1012 - First year Phyics module 2
  • MT1002 - First year Mathematics module 2
  • GE1002 - First year Geography module 2

This combination means that I have met all the first year Physics requirements and can then proceed and take second year Physics, but it also means I have met all the requirements for first year Geography so I could also change my degree to Geography if I wasn't enjoying Physics. St Andrews is very flexible in the way that you can change your degree if you meet the pre-reqs.

Sources of Information

You can find more information on the modules required for a specific degree in the course catalogue.


Three beaches, dramatic cliffs, posh hotels, ye olde architecture and some stunning scenery.


Pretty and some grey. The pictures say it all!

Local area

St Andrews is situated in the North East of Fife, commonly known as the East Neuk. It's traditionally a fishing coast, with beautiful little villages dotted along the coastline - Kingsbarns, Crail, Anstruther and many more. Leuchars and Guardbridge are just along the road parallel to the Eden estuary - great for birdwatching. The RAF base at Leuchars is also home to lots of loud loud planes which regularly practise so be warned about the noise. The RAF base also hosts a yearly airshow which is AMAZING, but is held in early September so likelihood is you won't see it unless you come back early!

St Andrews is right in the middle of beautiful Fife countryside, and so there are fantastic opportunities to explore local walks, including the Fife Coastal path. Golfers wont be disappointed either - with several top Golf courses in the local area.

Teaching quality

Varies, but we do receive good reviews from the appropriate reviewers if you know what I mean. I believe it is of a very high standard but do not wish to be biased. There's also a good feedback system which allows you to anonymously rate lecturers, lecture quality, module quality etc. There is also a council of representatives for every school, with class representatives taking your concerns / complaints/ praise to the people who need to know about it. I'd say it's pretty fair. The lecturers grade us, and we grade them!

Applying to St Andrews

Thinking of applying to St Andrews? Why not read some Personal Statements which were used for applying here?

Other St Andrews Articles

Why not read these other St Andrews Articles?


Try Learn together, TSR's study area

revision notes




a study planner

of discussions

Who is most responsible for your success at university

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE