University of St Andrews: Reviews, Rankings And More

Established in 1413, the University of St Andrews is over 600 years old and is considered one of Scotland’s ancient universities. St Andrews has won many accolades in recent years for its performance in key areas of research, student satisfaction, and league table rankings. The Scottish university achieved the rare distinction of being named “University of the Year” on two occasions by The Times and Sunday Times’ Good University Guide. Recently, it achieved the number one rank among all UK universities, beating out Oxford and Cambridge in the Guardian University Guide 2024 and The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024.

Summary of University

university of st andrews review

Table of Contents

University of St Andrews Overview

The university is located in a college town, occupying a number of historic and modern buildings across the town of St Andrews. The University of St Andrews comprises four faculties, namely the Faculty of Arts, the Faculty of Divinity, the Faculty of Medicine, and the Faculty of Science. St Andrews is highly regarded for its research and is most known for its programmes in Medicine, English, and Politics.

St Andrews’ worldwide alumni network is diverse, with over 45 thousand alumni. As of 2024, there are five alumni or staff of St Andrews’ that are Nobel laureates. Some notable alumni from the university include William, Prince of Wales; Catherine, Princess of Wales; Alex Salmond, former first minister of Scotland; Sir Michael Fallon, former secretary of state for defence; and Chris Hoy, Olympic gold medalist, among many others.

University of St Andrews Courses and Programmes

St Andrews has 26 subjects ranked among the top ten in the UK, including Medicine, History, Psychology, Politics, and language subjects such as English, Italian, German, and French. Some of St Andrews’ top programmes are:


St Andrews is among the top 10 universities in the UK for medicine. According to the latest medicine league tables, the university ranked 9th in the UK out of 35 universities. Being a highly competitive course, entry requirements are AAA at the A-Levels and 38 Points at IB. Additionally, students will need to score at least 2400 points at UCAT (more information about UCAT here) and have relevant work experience in the medical field. UCAT is especially important for entry into St Andrews as there is a 500-student cap for interviews and they are selected based on UCAT scores.

The university offers three medical programmes – a six-year MB ChB programme, a four-year graduate entry MB ChB programme, and a six-year programme for Canadian students. 


St Andrews’ English programmes, along with many other languages offered at the university, are ranked among the top ten programmes for the subject in the UK. The university’s stellar School of Modern Languages is one of the largest and most diverse of its kind in the UK. The School of Modern Languages is well-regarded in its field for its research output and has been ranked number one in Scotland by REF 2014. 

There is a degree programme to suit every interest at St Andrews. St Andrews offers over 80 programmes with English in combination with other language subjects, literature, history, cultural studies, and more. 


The study of the intertwined topics of power, conflict, and ideology is the study of politics. Students of the subject learn ways to analyse the way in which individuals or groups define political issues and how these actors may influence the governance of these political issues. Quite a number of subjects fall under the scope of politics, which could range from public affairs and elections to wars and terrorism.

St Andrews offers 80 programmes with politics and international relations. One of its many offered programmes is a four-year BA in International Relations. Students will learn concepts and theories that are fundamental in the study of politics such as justice, liberty, rights, and democracy. There will also be modules about specific subareas in the field of international relations, including international security, terrorism, regional and ethnic conflicts, globalisation, and finance.

University of St Andrews Entry Requirements

According to 2023 application statistics published by UCAS, the average acceptance rate at the University of St Andrews is 25%, making the university among some of the most selective in the country. The UCAS tariff score required for entry into most programmes at St Andrews varies between 104-160 points, which is about the equivalent of BCC-A*A*A. The minimum entry requirements for St Andrews’ medical programme starts much higher at 144 points (approximately AAA), going up to 159 points (approximately A*A*A).

University of St Andrews Entry Deadline

In the UK, all university applications (including those submitted by international students like you) go through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service, more commonly known as UCAS.

Most undergraduate courses will share the same deadline of 31 January of every year. Some courses such as Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Sciences and universities such as Oxford and Cambridge have an earlier deadline of 16 October in the year before admission.

For more information about key dates and other UCAS deadlines, take a look at our article UCAS Deadlines 2025.

University of St Andrews Ranking

The University of St Andrews has broken records as it beat the Oxford and Cambridge duopoly over league tables in 2024. In The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide for 2024, St Andrews gained the number one position, displacing Cambridge and Oxford from its usual number one and two positions for the first time in the guide’s history. The university also placed first in the Guardian University Guide 2024 where it scored a perfect score of 100%. Globally, the university ranks 96th according to QS 2024.

Out of over a thousand programmes offered at St Andrews, 26 are ranked among the top ten for the subject in the country! The university ranks among the top ten in the country for subjects including Medicine, History, Psychology, Politics, and language subjects such as English, Italian, German, and French.

University of St Andrews Accommodation

The University of St Andrews offers more than 4,000 beds catering to a wide variety of needs and budgets. Undergraduate and graduate students alike may rent one of the rooms offered by the university. Students have the option to choose from catered rooms where meals are provided or self-catered rooms which provide cooking spaces, and to choose between living in a room by themselves or to share a space with a roommate. Foundation students are guaranteed university accommodation, provided that their application is submitted before the deadline.

The rooms range in cost depending on the options chosen. As of 2023/24, a self-catered standard room starts from £4,975 while a catered en suite room costs up to £10,137 for an academic year.

University of St Andrews Fees

Undergraduate tuition fees

The tuition fees at St Andrews are subject to change annually, based on the mandatory national levy up to a 5% increase per year.

For international students enrolled in the academic year of 2023/24, the annual tuition fees are £26,350 for Arts, Divinity, and Science courses, and £33,570 for Medicine. These fees do not include accommodation, transport to campus, or any other miscellaneous fee.

University of St Andrews Reviews

Names may be changed to protect anonymity

Jacob, 2022

I really like the University of St Andrews. The staff are really helpful and experts in their field, and this was recently reflected in being named the top university in the UK.

Verified Student, 2021

An outstanding university with dedicated staff and passionate students; a vibrant, enthusiastic, and compassionate campus, surrounded by an abundance of natural beauty and charisma.

Verified Student, 2021

A fantastic university, with wonderful lecturers who go above and beyond to teach you very interesting content. Located right by the beach, the university is one of (if not the) most beautiful universities in the UK.

University of St Andrews Facilities

St Andrews has all the sports facilities students will need in order to participate in sports at all levels. There are over 50 sports clubs, 100 competitive sports teams, and hall sports programmes for students to choose from. The university also offers personal training, exercise classes taught by professional instructors, and physiotherapy for treating and preventing injuries.

Aside from a spacious gym and courts for ball games, the university also has a climbing wall, dedicated performance suites for athletes, an outdoor gym, and all-weather pitches for outdoor games. 

St Andrews’ Main University Library is well-equipped with over a million volumes, 400,000 e-books, journals, networked computers, and more. It also has a Special Collections section with over 200,000 rare printed books, including university archives which date back to the early 15th century. Apart from the main library, there are also three other smaller libraries in town. Students may also borrow from libraries of nearby universities.

The university has a thriving theatre scene. The Byre Theatre, founded in 1933, regularly hosts vibrant programmes and performances for all audiences. The theatre runs over 800 events a year, out of which 40% of them are university-related events. Other events that take place at the Byre Theatre include conferences, social activities, local productions, professional touring performances, and more!

University of St Andrews Student Activities and Clubs

Being an institution that is over 600 years old, the University of St Andrews is rife with its many traditions that students are encouraged to take part in! Among them are the idea of academic families, which is where more senior students adopt first-years as ‘children’ and guide them in a mentorship. There is also the Raisin Weekend where academic family ‘parents’ play silly pranks and games on their children, who are dressed in flamboyant costumes, and all participate in an enormous shaving foam fight on the Lower College lawn. There is also the May Dip, where brave students plunge themselves into the freezing cold sea at dawn on the first day of May for good luck in their exams. For students in their final year, there are the Soakings which is where friends greet those leaving their final undergraduate exam to soak them in cold water. What an invigorating way to end your studies at St Andrews! 

There’s never a dull day at the University of St Andrews as there are over 150 societies run by the Students’ Association for students to participate in. There is just about something for everyone, as these societies cover a wide range of subjects such as culture (food, media, fan clubs, music, etc.), politics, academic interests, and more. Not only that, but the Students’ Association will aid students in starting a society of their own if they so desire! On top of these societies, the Students’ Association also has 11 subcommittees which include a society for postgraduates, a debating society, student welfare groups, a charitable arm, music, performance arts, and more.

University of St Andrews Contact

Official website:

Phone: +44 (0)1334 47 6161

Address: University of St Andrews, College Gate, St Andrews, KY16 9AJ

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