Studying in St Andrews

What is it like to study at St Andrews University as a STEPS scholar? Naheel, who completed her Master’s in 2019, answers some questions you might have as an aspiring scholar. Please note, for information on how to apply, and for much more on the University of St Andrews, visit the university’s website.

Student accommodation at Fife Park

Why the University of St Andrews?

The University of St Andrews is presently ranked number one in Scotland, and number two in the UK according to The Guardian rankings for 2019. It also has UK’s highest student satisfaction rates. The university has world-class schools of social anthropology, management, international relations and many others. St Andrews is a beautiful, small and friendly seaside town with a fascinating and ancient history. The University itself is the UK’s third oldest, after Oxford and Cambridge, having been founded in 1413.  

How can I choose what programme to apply for?

You can access the different schools’ programmes on the University’s website and look at the modules, assessments and structure of programmes. Alternatively, you can always reach out to the school office and they are very helpful.

Where will I live?

STEPS provides scholars with University-owned accommodation designed especially for postgraduates. This consists of a shared flat including bedrooms with en suite bathrooms, a kitchen and, usually, a shared living room.

How can I get about in St Andrews?

St Andrews is a small town, so traveling around in it shouldn’t be a problem. You can either walk, cycle or take the bus. Buying a bicycle can be challenging; but try to go to the freshers’ fair in the first week to get a good deal! If you depend on buses, try to buy the weekly bus pass for nine pounds.  

What can I expect in Freshers’ Week?

In Freshers’ Week you will check into your hall of residence, visa registration, police registration, GP registration, school orientation, programme orientation and many social events organized by different societies. You will be meeting many people from different places and backgrounds.

How do I choose optional modules?

You will be provided with the information you need in freshers’ week, when you can expect to learn about syllabuses, reading lists, assessment types and timetabling information. You can also find this information early on in the programme’s handbook and decide on your optional modules accordingly. There are no classes in freshers’ week.

How can I learn about what services the University provides?

As well as its website where you can look up the different services the university offers ( you can follow the University’s account on Facebook or Twitter to learn about the career service, mental health support services, financial services, language services, computer services and library services. Learning about these resources can be very helpful. You will be amazed by the amount of support offered to students by the University of St Andrews.

What are the good reading spots around St Andrews?

The university has several different libraries and reading rooms. If you’d like a less formal environment, try the Rector’s Café, The British Golf Museum’s Café or – on a nice sunny day, the beach!