Study in Scotland on Professional or Degree Course

Study in Scotland on Professional or Degree CourseChoosing to study in Scotland for an undergraduate degree or professional qualification could provide the opportunity for a positive life changing experiences.

Language schools, post 16 further education colleges and universities combined offer just about any course of study.

Scotland is an open and welcoming country for all visitors, and indeed is visited by many people as a destination for a short break or longer stay. Another reason is the country has a rich heritage of culture education, art and research.

Study for an undergraduate or postgraduate degree in one of the colleges or choose from 19 Scotland universities from Aberdeen in the north to SRUC in the south.


Find below information on study, university course search, grants, bursaries in Scotland.


Quality and choice at universities

Universities and colleges are not only responsible to their respective government regulatory bodies, but also to student’s who have the opportunity to provide feedback.  

All places of learning in Scotland conduct and gather student feedback on facilities, teaching and learning.

Many thousands of students each year choice Scotland to study at university or college from England & Wales Europe, Middle East, Africa, Americas and Asia each year.

Students from around the world choose Scotland as they are aware of the quality of learning, facilities, qualifications and skills employers are looking for.

Maybe you are wondering what choice of courses are on offer?

Well, more than 150 subjects and thousands of courses to choose from undergraduate and postgraduate degree and top quality research degrees.

Of course some courses maybe discontinued whey they become out of date and other qualifications and research is introduced for study.

University accountability

Universities are not only accountable to students for the quality of learning, but all require attaining a certain standard required by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA).

The agency is a “Key reference point for quality in higher education courses as well as the level of standards that should be meet by each university course”.

As an independent agency the organisation monitors, checks, visits each Scottish university to assess the quality of learning, facilities, courses and student feedback.  See QAA

Feedback on a universities quality of learning is not only from lectures and professors, but student’s views, experiences and comments from a central point of the checking procedure.

Scottish higher education system

Student’s can apply to a Scottish university, and start a degree course from the age of 17 year’s old.

Undergraduate degrees follow a four-year learning format, where each undergraduate degree must be completed over 4 years for full-time study.

Teaching & learning is conducted in lectures and small group work, giving all students an increased knowledge depth and understanding of their chosen subject area.

Formative and summative assessment forms a critical component on each degree course, and students must gain good grades to be award a degree from the university.

Strict entry requirements are set by individual universities, although in general students require good grades from prior learning to be offered a university course place in Scotland.

Study course in Scotland timescale

Time spent studying for a degree qualification can range from 1 to 6 academic years.

Choose from part-time or full-time at a campus or courses provided by open & distance learning.

Popular qualifications and duration of study:

Higher national diploma         (2 years) that can be used for transfer credit

BA (Hon’s) degree                     (4 years full-time or up to 6 years part-time)

Taught master degree             (1 year full-time or 2 years part-time)

Doctorate degree                     (3 years full-time or 6 years part-time)

Scotland education providers

  • State Schools: Where the vast majority of Scottish children attend primary and secondary school
  • International Schools: Offering pupils from home and overseas a varied education up to 18 year’s old
  • Independent School: Fee-paying school from 5 to 18 years old
  • Language Schools: Learn English or another language
  • Colleges:  In towns and cities around Scotland providing course’s from access to learning to master’s degree’s from 15-year-old
  • Universities Scotland: Offer courses from foundation degree, undergraduate & postgraduate master’s degree to research


Education courses

With a selection of courses to choose from at different level’s students can study for a Scotland qualification courses on offer that suits their needs and ability at college or university level.

Courses are taught in English, except for other languages, a possible chance to enhance your English language ability. Attending bricklaying, hairdressing, electrician or hospitality course at college level provides learners with a trade qualification recognised throughout the UK.

Colleges offer courses that can be studied at a further education college from certificate level to Higher National Diplomas (HND).

You can also study for an undergraduate degree and a number of postgraduate degrees at a college providing higher education, or at one of the Scotland universities.

In addition, there are art and medical courses that other learning providers offer for students.

Students can continue their learning journey by studying at a higher level, such as receive credit for prior learning for a Higher National Diploma (HND) course towards an undergraduate degree at a university.

Robert Gordon University, for instance, has “Degree Link” this allows students to transfer and gain credit for their previous study, such as an HND on certain courses after studying at a college.

All Scotland’s universities offer this type of transfer credit for prior learning, although not all courses are eligible.

Exchange of ideas between universities

Universities and colleges in Scotland have extensive links with the business community, sport, leisure and arts and employers. Best practice is shared between universities to look at better ways to improve the learning experience.

Research project collaboration between universities is conducted, and also doctorate students have the opportunity to further enhance their subject experience & skills levels with further investigation through research on varies projects.

Search for foreign exchange programs Scotland and you will see that students are able to attend another university for a year as part of a foreign exchange program between universities internationally.

Typically the courses that offer exchange programs are at undergraduate and postgraduate level.

Links to employment and work

Careers councillors and advice centres are available in every Scottish university and college.

Extensive links with local, national and international business and employers have been forged enabling students to gain help in finding and securing employment.

Work placements for up to one year are part of some undergraduate degrees, and all universities have links with employers in industries including:

Computer science      Nursing & Medicine      Oil and gas      Transport     Construction    Government     Energy     Finance     Tourism     Education

Employers advertise graduate positions for instance in university careers centre hoping to attract good quality graduates that would be beneficial and useful to their business.

University tuition fees Scotland

People who are habitually resident in Scotland and students certain other students do not pay college or university fees for their first undergraduate degree course.

England, Wales and Northern Ireland students are required to pay full cost fees for their chosen course, up to £9,000 per year for undergraduate courses.

Learners from outside the European Union pay international students fees.

Apply for a UK student visa for Scotland

A visa is available to a student who attends a university or college course at undergraduate or postgraduate degree level for the duration of their course, although the course must qualify.

Graduates are eligible to apply to extend their stay in Scotland & UK should they wish to study at a higher level or on another qualifying course.

UK student visa applications are available for almost all nationalises from around the world. 

Applying for a student visa for the UK is lengthy and you will require assistance in apply for your from your country.

top universities in Scotland
THE BRIG O’DEE across the River Dee, Aberdeen. Source Visit Scotland


Accessibility and transport in Scotland

Scotland is serviced by 4 airports; Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Prestwick with direct flights from Europe and international destinations.

The train network accesses a lot of Scotland, and the well-maintained roads system provides ease of access from towns, cities to the countryside.

Buses are used daily for commuters to travel to work and study each day and discount cards are available on buses and trains for full-time students.

Scotland lower cost of living and work opportunity

You can take a part-time job should you wish to gain experience in your chosen field or to gain additional money to finance living costs in Scotland.

Accommodation, in general, costs less than other parts of the UK, such as renting or buying a property. 

Part-time and full-time work opportunities are widely available for students with the right work in Scotland.

Graduates with the right skills, knowledge and soft skills tend to find they are in demand from Scottish employers in various industry sectors.

Scottish culture art, leisure and heritage

A balance of study and enjoying the countries leisure facilities should provide an enjoyable experience. 

Visit Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland accessible from other university towns and cities as Aberdeen and Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Scotland’s attractions include sporting events, heritage is not just in Edinburgh, Scotland has a vast countryside for sporting activities from hill walking & climbing, horse riding and of course, you can visit other towns that offer a range of leisure and culture events.


UK university course search and how to apply

To find a Scotland, England, Wales UK university course and how to apply by the deadline date: See below by clicking on links to the appropriate website.

Below are UK universities and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland databases of available courses to study in the UK by subject, level and university provider.  or Scotland search by specific university website.

Undergraduate UK university course search and application

Search for a course. The majority of applications for undergraduate courses in Scotland, Wales, England UK are through UCAS.  Teaching, postgraduate courses.

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland courses and applications

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.  Conservatories applications are completed through CUKAS, although different from other courses.

PG Cert courses apply direct to the place of study.

Postgraduate study course search

Education UK database of courses at postgraduate level by subject and university.

Postgraduate courses database by subject and university in the UK. UK Pass applications online for Scotland, England and Wales postgraduate courses for some university courses.

Good idea to allow plenty of time to apply by the deadline set ensuring you have all available information asked for in your application.  Standard information for the application will ask for:

Education references, personal statement, education & employment background, choice of courses and university.

Scotland and UK undergraduate course study

Undergraduate courses are applied for through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Centre (UCAS) and for Conservatoire via CUKAS above.

Choose to apply for up to 5 courses at more than one university via UCAS, ensuring a very good chance of being offered a place on one of your chosen courses.

A fee is payable for making an application depending on the university and courses applied.

Application deadlines are not the same for every course.

Check the website for the application deadline for your chosen courses.

Postgraduate course applications

Many of UK universities require students to apply directly through their admission application process.  Each university has their own criteria for applying for a course at masters or indeed PhD level study.

Teaching courses. for instance, applications are through undergraduate UCAS admissions service.

Check the university course application ” How to apply” page information to make sure you are applying in the right place and not wasting valuable time.

A few university course applications are administered through UK Postgraduate Application and Statistical Service (UKPASS).  The university has outsourced the application process to this organisation for certain courses to help speed up and manage student applications.

Degree course entry requirements

Following an undergraduate degree or to complete a masters level qualification all students must have an appropriate degree or other suitable qualification to meet entry requirements.

Royal Conservatoire in Scotland applications

CUKAS manages all applications for students applying for courses at a Conservatoire in Scotland.

You can choose up to 6 different courses to apply to study on.  As you may know, an interview and audition are most certainly required as part of your application to be accepted on a course.

An application fee is also payable for applying through CUKAS.

Obviously, when you are ready to make an application to a university of your choice you will already have read all the appropriate information that is required for a person to apply.

International students must have an acceptable standard of the English language as a minimum for all Scottish Welsh and English university courses and to meet the UK Border Agency Tier 4 student visa application requirements.

Think about obtaining the correct English language qualification which is accepted that is mandatory for speakers of other languages other than English:

International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE)

Check the university entry requirements and UK Border Agency for up to date English proficiency qualifications that are accepted for UK students to study at university level. There are a number of acceptable English language qualifications to prove proficiency.

Thus far, plan your application process, write down key information required, documents and deadline dates.

What if I miss the deadline date for the course then think clearing. What is that?

University clearing system in UK

An annual event during the summer when university clearing and colleges offering higher education courses advertise to fill the student places that remains vacant.

Basically, clearing is a way to gain a place on a higher education course if you did not receive an offer through your UCAS chosen universities, applied too late, or you wish to change courses or institution.

What is the purpose of university clearing

Universities to fill remaining places and students to gain a place on an undergraduate degree course. Not everyone attains the grades that were predicted and clearing is another chance. Plan B!

Where do I go for a clearing place

Universities, colleges offering higher education courses and UCAS have a clearing application process. Look in the national press also, and contact universities clearing of your choice.

Is there many university clearing places

There may be a few places or a good number.

Today’s market is competitive and most places will fill quickly in over a number of days.

When is clearing

Starts when school results are published, and in Scotland this is around early August and the rest of the UK is around middle August.

See UCAS and other media places for exact dates. Places fill up quick, although clearing lasts for several weeks.

Who is eligible

– You do not have an offer on an undergraduate course
– Applied too late for UCAS

Certain other conditions may apply.

What happens during clearing

Basically, you search universities or colleges and apply for a course through clearing that a university or college has advertised.

You will be asked for your grades and a few questions and if you meet the course requirements it is possible to gain a university place.

Some people are offered a place immediately, placed on a reserve list or not accepted.

Be prepared with all information required as you could be talking on the telephone with someone.

Educational grants, bursaries & student scholarship funding

Searching the internet, local library and other sources of information for educational grants, bursaries & student scholarship funding are available for undergraduate and especially postgraduate taught degrees & research.

Many grants are awarded by universities, research institutes and governments to attract students and to conduct research.

Education grants are awarded if you qualify and meet the criteria of the awarding organisation.

Of course, all places that award grants have a limited amount of money they provide within a certain time. Study grants can be from nursery assisted learning or college and university level.


What are grants and bursaries for education

A grant and bursary are money or even products or services provided by people that are award towards something for a fixed period of time. Full grants and bursaries are all the money or part grant covers some of the money.

Educational grants & bursaries funding can be awarded to people of mostly any age, for instance, 18-year-old attending university with a family on a low income.

Example organisations that award education grants and bursaries include:

  • Local councils
  • Charities
  • Trusts
  • Education councils
  • Commercial businesses
  • Colleges
  • Schools
  • Universities
  • Government departments
  • National government

Many organisations award education bursaries throughout the year and some only award grants for education at certain times of the year.


Do you require to pay money back? No


How many grants available

Thousands of grants and bursaries can be applied for from your own country and international study grants from a university or research centre each year.


Grants Criteria

Certain criteria require to be met in being awarded education bursaries or grants, and each body has their own requirements; including Age, local resident, international student, low-income family, asylum seeker, employed, unemployed, apprentices or a confirmed offer of a certain course of study.


  • Apply early within the deadline date
  • Only apply for grants you qualify
  • Provide all information asked
  • Ready to complete an application form or get someone to complete it
  • Apply for more than one grant available
  • Ready for refusal, as not everyone applies is successful

Listed are a few sources of educational grants and bursaries for study by country available.  You can conduct your own search as well. Just search for education grants, educational bursaries for study, university grants, 

Look on university and research centre websites, a good place to start for a certain university,

UK grants available:  List of grants awarded by local councils, business, charities, university, colleges, schools and national government.


UK education grants and international students

Scottish Government

Education grants available from nursery teaching, low-income grants, special educational needs, ILA, student loans and other school and college funding.

Equitable Charitable Trust

Equitable Charitable Trust

Available grants for disabled and disadvantaged people staring £2,500-£30,000 up to 3 years support.

Royal Society Grants

Royal Society

Scientific research fellowships. Grant funding for eligible students conducting research can apply.

Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)

Grants and scholarships available in relation to postgraduate arts and humanities study.

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)

Science based funding for reach and taught postgraduate study.

Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)

Taught and research education grant for UK postgraduate course study

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)  

Range of grants available for further study at postgraduate level

Medical Research Council (MRC)  

Medical research and taught postgraduate study grants available for the UK

Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)  

Grants for postgraduate study

Science & Technology Facilities Council (STFC)

Technology and science related grants funding for further study

Wooden Spoon

Grant provider and helps with disadvantaged people physically, emotionally and financially. Schools can benefit from resources and building grants.

Individual Learning Accounts

ILA Scotland

For any learner in Scotland or Wales than earns less than £22,000 per annum for learning or training up to a value of £200.

Student Award Agency Scotland


Education grants available for care leavers, lone parents, advance payment and dependent grants in addition to any awards available for higher education study.

Foyle Foundation

Provides grants to charities and schools for learning.  Individuals can not apply for themselves. Learning requirements and knowledge gained through average funding grants of around £10,000.

Educational Grants Advisory Service

Family Action

In excess of 1220 funding grants available for people that are disadvantaged and help for people to search and apply for the right education grant. You must be studying at college or university.

Erasmus Scheme

This scheme was around when I was at university!  Grants available for undergraduate students to study in another country in Europe.

Financial Support and Disabled Student Allowance

See here: Open University Are you eligible?

Studying part time through Open University or Birkbeck University of London education grants are available for courses at university level.  You must not already have an undergraduate degree and the amount of grant funding depends on your circumstances.

England & Wales’s residence receive a fees grant and or a course grant for costs of studying. Scotland calls the grant financial support.

People on low income and or on benefits and disabled people that wish to study could mean a full grant available for all costs of fees and living costs for the duration of the course.

Grants for Individuals

Grants for Individuals

Web site listing grants available for a wide range of funding.



Funding and training provider supported by the UK government.  Centres in England and Wales deliver basic skills in Mathematics, computing, English and other basic training.


Provide support for lone parents and children and possible education grants in England & Wale’s.

There are other education grants available out there.

British Council

British Council

For study in the UK.

Fullbright Awards


USA students to study in the UK on a postgraduate course at university.  You can study on a taught course, research or deliver lectures as an academic on these awards.


Organisation that supports international students studying in the UK. Provides information on funding, fees, immigration and other.



Funding for study or research is available through student scholarship funding from various sources such as charities, public bodies, research institutes, universities and commercial organisations in most countries.

Universities in Scotland award student scholarships funding from university department subject areas for postgraduate study and research, open to students from most countries.

What is a student scholarship

Basically, money is awarded to a person for a certain time as a scholarship to an eligible student or organisation that is not required to be paid back. Scholarships funding awarded for school, college, university study and research.

You must meet the criteria of the organisation providing a scholarship that could include excellent grades, gender, ethnicity, qualification, experience and residence.


How to apply for a student scholarship funding

A deadline is given and an application is the normal application process. All scholarship awards are limited, and not all applications are successful.

Scholarships funding sources

Commercial organisations. local & state governments, public and academic organisation provide scholarships out each year for a range of reasons such as funding postgraduate study or PhD research into a disease. Many organisations such as:

Air Force
Government agencies
Research bodies
Commercial companies

Below is a list of scholarships on by geographic location.

See this website for financial assistance. Good amount  of student funded scholarships in the database.

Also, try this website   Yet another listing website of many financial awarding organisations.

Fast Aid: Graduate and undergraduate study scholarships.

Scholarships Canada: Study financial scholarships listing in a database.

College Scholarships

Another USA scholarships website and also providing study information for college and university.

World Bank

World Bank

Possible funding for graduate study and share knowledge and experience.

British Chevening Scholarships


Awards from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and partners for student study at postgraduate level for one year in the UK.

Scotland’s Saltire Scholarship

Only available to international students with at least a conditional offer from a university in Scotland.  People from Canada. India, USA and China can be awarded £2.000 towards study for a degree. Scholarships awarded are limited to 200 per year.

This page on study in Scotland, bursaries, course search and universities in Scotland is general. You will require research additional information for your specific requirements.