Benefits of studying in Scotland

Published on 4 January 2024

There are lots of reasons to study in Scotland. Getting a degree in Scotland means you'll get a great education in a diverse and inclusive society.

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The Jacobite steam train crosses the Glenfinnan viaduct, made famous in the Harry Potter films. Photo credit: VisitScotland / Kenny Lam

What you need to know
  • Scottish undergraduate degrees are very flexible and allow you to study a range of subjects
  • Scotland has some of the best and oldest universities in the world
  • Scotland is a welcoming, inclusive, and diverse country - this makes it a great place to be a student
  • You'll live in a country rich in history 
  • Scotland may be small but there's lots to see and experience

Study in Scotland

You may have heard about whisky, tartan, and bagpipes. Perhaps you've seen Outlander or Harry Potter, with their beautiful highland scenes. Yet far more goes into making Scotland the perfect destination for students.  As part of the United Kingdom (UK), we’re a warm, multicultural, modern, and inclusive country, and welcome students from all over the world. The legendary friendliness of the Scottish people makes it a great place to live and study. 

“The best moments so far have been meeting friendly people. I think Dundee has the most friendly people I have met. People are so welcoming, so eager to help and to give direction. Of course, it’s daunting moving from your home country to a country you’ve never been to, but I feel at home here”

Grace Kayola, from Zambia, MPH Public Health

Top universities 

Scotland has some of the best, and oldest, universities in the world. A degree from a Scottish university is so highly respected that it inspired similar models in countries such as the USA and Canada. It will open up many career opportunities to you, both within the UK and internationally.

Flexible study 

One of the best things about a Scottish undergraduate degree is the flexibility, particularly for our four year MA degrees. You'll be able to mix and match across the curriculum, unlike the more rigid English BA where are you likely to take modules only in your named subject(s). Trying out different subjects means you can decide on your specialism later. It’s a great chance to try something new without needing to fully commit to it, and employers value this breadth of study.  

World-leading research 

Plenty of world-leading research has come out of Scotland. You've probably benefited from Scottish discoveries without knowing it. For example, the flat screen on your mobile phone. Our researchers have developed groundbreaking keyhole surgery. They have also advanced the understanding and treatment of diseases like diabetes and cancer. Even the circuitry in many satellites and spacecraft comes from Scotland. We might be a small country but we have an enormous impact! 

A country made for exploring 

Of course, you won’t be spending all your time here buried in your books. Scotland was voted the most beautiful country in the world for 2019 by the travel publication Rough Guides. They highlighted our ‘wild beaches, deep lochs and craggy castles’ as some of the most wonderful and beautiful sights. 

We’re a small country, so wherever you’re based, you’ll only be a short trip away from some amazingly instagrammable opportunities.  Our extensive public transport makes it easy to explore. If you're under 22, the bus network is completely free! 

Whether you’re into high octane activities such as climbing, sailing, mountain biking, hiking, and skiing, or prefer to take life at a gentler pace you’ll find Scotland has plenty to offer you. You can explore diverse landscapes, from the rugged Highlands to serene lochs and picturesque coastlines.  

The three main cities of Scotland are Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Dundee. Each has a distinct personality. Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, is full of history, with the skyline dominated by Edinburgh Castle.  It’s also home to the world-renowned Edinburgh Festival each summer.  The bustling metropolis of Glasgow is Scotland’s largest city, with a vibrant contemporary scene. 

View to the Tay and rail bridge

The city of Dundee. Looking towards the River Tay and the Tay Bridge.

Dundee, on Scotland’s east coast, is a little different. It's compact, easily walkable, and nestled alongside the beautiful River Tay. Dundee is surrounded by some of Scotland’s finest countryside. It's known for its innovative spirit, making it popular with both students and those in the creative industries. 

History and culture 

Scottish culture is a blend of folklore, music, and literature, brought together by a warm community spirit. You’ll be able to celebrate holidays and traditions such as Hogmanay and Burns night, take part in traditional ceilidh dancing, and try Scotland’s national dish of ‘haggis, neeps, and tatties’ (a spiced meat mixture with mashed turnip and potato). 

Make new friends 

You’ll find Scottish universities offer many different student societies which cater to every interest and make it easy to meet new friends. We pride ourselves on being a friendly and supportive nation, and universities are no different. Each Scottish university has student support advisers who work specially with international students and will be able to answer any queries and help you get settled in.   

Learn more about the range of societies on offer at the University of Dundee 

Overall, studying in Scotland is a great opportunity to broaden your horizons, meet people from all over the world, and gain a qualification that is highly regarded by employers.  If you are interested in learning more about what the University of Dundee has to offer, explore our subject and student life webpages

Discover the city of Dundee

If you're thinking about studying in Scotland, Dundee is the perfect student city. It's compact, friendly, and easy to get around, yet bursting with all the entertainment and opportunities of big-city life. 

Our location makes it easy to explore and head further afield if you want to visit the miles of beautiful coastline, beaches, forests, hills and glens that surround the city.

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