List of Universities in Scotland for International Students – Top & Affordable

Full review of all cheap universities in Scotland for international students with tuition fees, reasons to study in Scotland, cost of living and where to apply. We have a review of the best cheap universities in Scotland for international students and even national students.

About Scotland

Scotland is an undoubtedly a unique and great country in the United Kingdom that encompasses part of Britain and has a total population of up to 5,373,000 great and lovely people. There have some of the world’s oldest and, for the most part, cheapest universities you can look for as an international students. If you think of studying abroad think of cheapest Universities in Scotland.

It can be costly to study in another country, such as the United Kingdom. Aside from their tuition, you’ll have to pay for things like accommodation, books, visas, and other miscellaneous expenses which you might not calculate when going there. Despite this, you can still pursue your educational ambitions in any cheapest universities in Scotland. For starters, the cost of living in this northern country is 20% lower than in London. It also has a number of low-cost, high-ranking universities. We will be looking at cheapest universities in Scotland for International Students in this great article now. You won’t regret if you read through to the end.

List of Cheap Universities in Scotland for International Students

  • University of the West of Scotland UWS
  • University of the Highlands and Islands
  • University of Strathclyde
  • University of Stirling
  • University of St Andrews
  • University of Glasgow
  • University of Edinburgh
  • University of Dundee
  • University of Aberdeen King’s College
  • Robert Gordon University
  • Queen Margaret University
  • Heriot-Watt University
  • Glasgow Caledonian University Saltire Centre,
  • Edinburgh Napier University
  • Abertay University

Cheapest Universities in Scotland for International Students – FAQ

Why should I study in Scotland?

In comparison to several of the world’s current countries, Scotland has the best research facility compare to other countries which you may come across as an international students. International and local students have access to this great world-class facilities provided in the university. Scotland is a wonderful and better destination to study abroad, especially if you want to go to any of  the cheapest universities in Scotland.

Why is the country so unique?

This great country Scotland is known for its spectacular terrain, rugged wilderness, and difficult golf courses. While studying in any cheapest universities in Scotland, you will get valuable experience unlike other countries. As international students, you will not be disappointed if you choose to study in one of cheapest universities in Scotland as recommended in this great article.

What are the general requirements for studying in Scotland?

To study in any cheapest universities in Scotland, applicants must submit an application to the Universities and Colleges Admissions Centre, where they can include up to five study options. You must offer details about your school history take note, work experience (if any), and references. Depending on your desired program, you may also be required to submit a personal statement and pay costs.

Those who do not speak English as their native tongue must also pass a language competency test which is very important too.

If you want to get into Scottish institutions, you must take care of a number of factors so that your stay will be a memorable experience not easily forgotten.

Are there scholarships for international students?

A scholarship is a great way to finance your studies in Scotland, especially if you are an international student and have to cover higher tuition costs.

One popular scholarship program are the Saltire Scholarships sponsored by the Scottish Government. They are generally open to students from the USA, Canada, India, Pakistan, Japan or China who want to pursue a Masters degree in one of a set of focus subjects.

How will Brexit affect tuition fees in Scotland?

The United kingdom – of which Scotland is a part – left the European Union (EU) on 31 January 2020, and this process is called “Brexit”. The tuition fees at British universities usually differ between “home” students and “international” students; and students from the EU have so far been treated the same as “home” students, meaning lower tuition fees.

As part of Brexit, it is possible that students from the EU would in the future be treated like other international students and therefore have to pay higher fees than their British peers.

However, there are good news: In April 2019, the Scottish government confirmed that students from the EU who start their studies up until the academic year 2020/21 would still pay the same as Scottish students for the whole duration of their course. There has not yet been an announcement for 2021/22 or thereafter.

Who has to pay tuition fees to study in Scotland?

Generally, all students have to pay fees to study at a university in Scotland (with one exception – more on that below). The amount depends on the fee status, and it makes a difference where you are from:

The lowest fees are paid by Scottish students and students from EU countries (called “Home” students). For undergraduate degrees, the fees are commonly covered by the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS).
Students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland are called “Rest of UK” / “RUK” students. For undergraduate degrees, they have to pay higher fees than Home students, but they usually pay the same for postgraduate degrees.
Students from outside the UK and outside the EU fall into the category of “International” students. International students usually have to pay higher tuition fees.

Can you study in Scotland for free?

Yes, you can study in Scotland tuition-free, but only in one special case: If you are a UK citizen already resident in Scotland, or a citizen of another EU country, and you are studying for your first undergraduate degree (meaning a Bachelor’s degree or a Scottish undergraduate Master’s degree) then there are no direct tuition fees. Instead, your fees will be covered by the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS).

However, this exemption does not apply to students from England, Wales or Northern Ireland (“rest of UK” or “RUK”) who would only move to Scotland for university, and it also does not apply to students from outside the European Union (“international students”).

Students who want to pursue a postgraduate program usually always have to pay tuition fees. The amount depends on the university and program as well as the fee status; EU students usually pay less than non-EU international students. For postgraduate programs, Scottish universities do not differentiate between Scottish and RUK students.

How much does it cost to study in Scotland?

The cost of your university education mostly depends on your fee status (meaning whether you’re a “home”, “RUK” or “international” student) and at what level you plan to study. The amounts vary, but the following table gives you a rough overview of the typical tuition fees in Scotland;

Home Students Fees

  • 1,820 GBP
  • 5,000 – 15,000 GBP

Rest of UK Nationals Fees

  • 9,250 GBP
  • 5,000 – 15,000 GBP

International  Students Tuition Fees

  • 10,000 GBP – 26,000 GBP
  • 15,000 – 30,000 GBP

These are just general ranges – there may be courses that are cheaper or more expensive. As a rule of thumb, the more prestigious the university is, and the more difficult to get into, the higher the tuition cost; so for example, expect the University of Edinburgh or the University of Glasgow to be more expensive than other Scottish universities.

The cost of a postgraduate program in Scotland

The average cost of a taught Masters degree in the UK is £8,740, but postgraduate fees can vary greatly between different subject areas, universities and countries. You’ll also need to cover living costs and other study expenses. This page is here to help you understand the cost of Masters study. We’ve brought together detailed information on typical fees for different types of Masters degrees across the UK, indicating the cheapest type of Masters.

When do you have to pay the tuition fee as a student in Scotland?

The payment details and timing differ from institution to institution, but generally, once you have an offer, you need to register (i.e. enroll) with the university; and at registration, you are then asked to already pay a percentage of the tuition fees, sometimes up to 50%. In many cases, you can then pay the remainder of the fees spread out over multiple installments during your studies.

However, if you are an international (non-EU) student, when you make the payment to the university is less relevant for you than when you submit the application for the UK study visa. When applying for the UK student visa (the Tier 4 visa), you need to meet the financial requirements: You need to prove that you have the funds to pay for the first year of your study program (or if it is shorter than a year, for the whole program), and to cover your cost of living and accommodation for up to 9 months (or the length of your program if it is shorter), at an amount of 1,015 GBP per month.

Are there application fees at Scottish universities?

Some Scottish universities charge application fees when you apply to a program. They can be as high as 50 pounds and are usually non-refundable, meaning you will not get the money back if you get rejected or decline an offer. Therefore, if a university charges an application fee, consider carefully if you think your chances of acceptance are good enough. (Note: The university application fee is not to be confused with the visa application fee for non-European students, which is separate.)

What are the monthly cost of living in Scotland?

Although studying in Scotland certainly isn’t cheap per say, it is cheaper than many other parts of the UK and certainly cheaper than London. In fact, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen are often found to be among the cheapest student cities in the UK. And you can make the most of special student deals at many shops, restaurants and even pubs. Depending on how luxurious you want to live, it is possible to get by on as little as 700 or 800 pounds per month, including accommodation.

Regardless of the actual cost of living, if you are an international student you will need to prove that you have 1,015 GBP per month for up to 9 months when you apply for the UK Tier 4 student visa.

What are the application deadlines to universities in Scotland?

The application deadlines to study at university in Scotland depend on the level at which you plan to study:

Deadlines to apply for a postgraduate program in Scotland

The deadlines for Masters programs at Scottish universities vary and sometimes there is no fixed deadline, but rather a maximum number of places in a course. Therefore it is recommended to apply as early as possible, usually no later than spring if you want to start your studies in autumn.

Please note that the above dates may vary, so always check the course information on the official universities’ websites.

Deadlines to apply for an undergraduate program in Scotland

If you plan to pursue an undergraduate degree, then the UCAS deadlines are relevant for you. To start your studies in autumn, you need to apply by:

  • 15 October (the preceding year) for courses in Dentistry, Medicine, or Veterinary Medicine
  • 15 January if you are a student from the UK or EU
  • 30 June if you are a student from outside the EU

Can I work while studying at university in Scotland?

In an ideal world, you could study full-time and concentrate on learning as much as possible during your time at uni. But student life in Scotland can be expensive, and a student job can also be valuable to gain some work experience before you graduate.

  • If and how much you are allowed to work depends on whether you study in the UK on a visa
  • If you are a British or EU citizen, there are usually no particular restrictions on work.
  • If you study in Scotland as an international student on a Tier 4 visa, you can normally work for up to 20 hours a week, as long as you are properly employed via a written agreement.

Is English Language allowed at Scottish Universities?

To study in any cheapest universities in Scotland as an international students you can study any courses in English language. You must also meet IELTS requirements of 6.0.

Other test you will be meeting will be PTE, Cambridge exams and TOEFL-IBT etc.

Review of Top and Cheap Universities in Scotland for International Students

Queen Margaret University

The first on our list of Cheap universities in Scotland is Queen Margaret University’s with annual minimum tuition fees of USD $17,671 (£14,500). This is one of the cheapest universities in Scotland that we will discuss in this great article.

Musselburg University was founded in 1875 and is located in Musselburg. Queen Margaret University was named after Saint Margaret, the wife of King Malcolm III.

Edinburg School of Cookery and Domestic Economy was the previous name of the university. Their goal was to make the university a place for women to learn. However, it is now one of the cheapest universities in Scotland for international students.

The school of health sciences, the school of arts and social sciences, and the school of governance are the three schools where the university offers the most post-graduate and undergraduate degrees. This excellent, low-cost university in Scotland offers seven research centers, as well as a Scottish Center for Food Development and Innovation and a Health and Development Institute. For overseas students, this is a well-known cheapest university in Scotland.

Edinburgh Napier University (ENU)

  • Edinburgh Napier University (ENU) has a Minimum annual tuition fee of USD: $18,189 (£14,925)

The Edinburg Napier Technical College is the next cheapest university in Scotland on our list. John Napier, a prominent Scottish mathematician, was the inspiration for the establishment’s name. In the year 1964, the university was founded. There are three significant campuses in the area.

The Craiglockhart campus is home to the Business School. The Merchiston campus, on the other hand, is home to the schools of art and creative studies, computing and engineering, and the built environment.

On the Sighthill site is the School of Health and Social Care, as well as the School of Applied Sciences.

Glasgow Caledonian University

  • Tuition fees for undergraduate programs start at GBP 12,250 ($17,126) per year at this cheapest university in Scotland. The annual tuition for a graduate degree is GBP 14,500 ($20,271).

GCU or CALEY is the name of the cheapest university. This public university is located in Glasgow, Scotland, and it is one of the most affordable universities we will discuss. This cheapest university was founded in 1993, thus it isn’t very old. It charges roughly $17,100 per year in tuition. This university was the first to provide Engineering, Information Technology, and Computer Science programs. There is also a school of business and society, which oversees the law and social sciences schools.

University of Abertay Dundee

Abertay Dundee University is a Scottish university located in Abertay, Scotland. $17,062 (£14,000) is the minimum annual tuition charge in the United States. The Dundee Institute of Technology was formed in 1888 and is now a part of the University of Dundee. The university is a public institution and is one of the cheapest universities in Scotland.

It offers 32 undergraduate degrees and seven postgraduate programs in total. This university is one of Scotland’s best modern universities. This is a low-cost institution for gamers who want to learn. In 1997, this university was the first to offer a degree in computer games. It offers an Ethical Hacking course.

University of Dundee

The University of Dundee’s estimated minimum yearly tuition fee is USD $18,220 (£14,950). It was founded in the year 1881 as a public research institution. The main campus of the institution is located in West Dundee. The Dundee School of Law, Dundee Dental Hospital, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, and the Dundee Dental Hospital are among its notable faculties. It is ranked as Scotland’s fifth finest university. It provides international students with a high-quality education.

Heriot-Watt University (HWU)

  • Heriot-Watt University (HWU) Minimum annual tuition fee in USD: $18,378 (£15,080).

This is the sixth cheapest university in Scotland on our list of the cheapest universities in Scotland for international students. In the year 1821, it was founded. This is the world’s first institution of mechanics. It provides degree programs in planning and construction. The university has five campuses, three of which are in Scotland and the other two in Asia. Business, Textiles and Design, Mathematical and Computer Science, Social Science, Engineering and Physical Science, and Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure, and Society are among the fields with degrees. HWU boasts more than 10,000 students in Edinburgh – and 31,000 more across campuses in Scotland, Dubai, and Malaysia – thanks to its world-renowned curriculum and affordable tuition.

Robert Gordon University (RGU)

Next on our list of cheapest universities in Scotland for international students is Robert Gordon University. RGU was founded in the 18th century as a public university in Aberdeen. It was named after Scottish trader and philanthropist Robert Gordon.

RGU is 57 acres in size and is located on the Garthdee campus. Among the 11 academic faculties housed in various buildings are the Aberdeen Business School, Gray’s School of Art, and the Scott Sutherland School of Architecture and Built Environment. The institution is considered as the best in Scotland in the fields of architecture, pharmacy, journalism, and health professions.

University of Stirling

With 8,565 undergraduate and 3,935 graduate students, the University of Stirling is a public university. It was founded in 1967 as a result of a royal charter. The institution boasts a beautiful 330-acre campus in the Scottish Central Belt. The minimum yearly tuition rate for the university is $15,965 (£13,100).

The five schools that make up this cheapest university in Scotland are the Faculty of Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport, and the Stirling Management School.

It also offers degree programs in partnership with Hebei Normal University in China and the Singapore Institute of Management.

The University of the West of Scotland (UWS)

  • Minimum Tuition Fee: USD $14,625 (£12,000)

This public university, formerly known as the University of Paisley, has four campuses spread across western Scotland. Although it was only awarded its current name in 2007, the University of the West of Scotland can trace its origins back to 1897, when the Paisley College of Technology was founded.

The school of business and creative industries, the school of computing, engineering and physical sciences, the school of education and social sciences, and the school of health and life sciences are the four schools that make up the university. UWS provides over 100 undergraduate and postgraduate degrees through these departments.

Despite having the most affordable tuition in Scotland, UWS maintains a good standard of education. It is the 9th top university in the region, according to the 2020 World University Rankings.

Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU)

  • Minimum Tuition Fee: USD $14,929 (£12,250)

GCU is a public university in Glasgow that is also known as Caledonian or Caley by its students. It was founded in 1993 when The Queen’s College and Glasgow Polytechnic merged.

GCU began in 1875 as Queen’s College, which was established to provide domestic science education. GCU presently offers degrees in Computing, Engineering and Built Environment, Business, Health, and Life Sciences, which has changed significantly since its inception.

Despite its youth, GCU has earned a reputation as one of the world’s best young colleges. GCU is a reasonably inexpensive school that delivers good education to both locals and tourists, including famed singer Annie Lennox as the first female chancellor.

I hope you find this article on the list of cheap universities in Scotland for international students was helpful?

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