St Andrews, University of


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Overall ranking: Came 4th out of 123 in the Complete University Guide for 2015.

History: Founded in 1413, it was the first university in Scotland, and is the third oldest in the English-speaking world.

Address: In and around the historic city of St Andrews on Scotland's picturesque east coast.

Ambience: Steeped in ancient buildings and customs. Sublime views of the sea. Students account for one third of city inhabitants.

Who's the boss? Dr Louise Richardson, former executive dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. She is widely regarded as one of the world's leading authorities on the study of terrorism and political violence.

Prospectus: 01334 462 150 or download one here.

UCAS code: S36

What you need to know

Easy to get into? Nope. The university traditionally makes offers based on specified grades rather than tariff points – broadly AAB-AAA at A-level or AABB-AAAAB for Scottish Highers.

Vital statistics: Small university with around 7,700 students, a third of which are from overseas. Excellent international reputation. Prince William is its most famous graduate of recent years.

Added value: All arts students are awarded an MA rather than a BA. The most cosmopolitan of Scotland’s universities - students come from over 100 countries. Gatty Marine Laboratory pioneers research into whales, dolphins and seals, and a new Scottish Oceans Institute opened in 2009. An £8m Arts building opened in 2006, with a dedicated wing housing the world-renowned Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence. The Museum of the University of St Andrews (MUSA) opened in 2008 and saw the opening of a £45m medical science building and new halls of residence in 2011. Huge upgrades to the university sports facilities are also planned, including building an eight-court sports hall/arena, a new fitness suite and a full refurbishment of the St Leonard's Road Sports Centre. Other developments include upgrading the site of the Fife Park student accommodation and increasing its capacity from 190 to 324 rooms.

Teaching: An amazing 2nd out of 123 in the Complete University Guide for 2015.

Graduate prospects: Very good- 11th with 80.1 per cent in graduate employment.

Any accommodation? Plenty. Revamped £35m eco-friendly student residences, which feature toilets flushed by rainwater, are grouped around a grass-roofed central facilities building. 3,775 places, with self-catering prices from £70.21 ti £190.76, and catered costing £141.28 to £208.65 a week. All single undergraduate entrance students who apply by the deadline are guaranteed accommodation

Cheap to live there? Not really. Competition for space means you could be paying between £95 and £105 per week for a room in a shared house.

Transport links: Small city so you can walk everywhere. 45 miles north of Edinburgh, 15 miles from Dundee.

Fees: Tuition fees for English and students from the rest of the UK are set at £9,000 a year for the full four years of a degree. Scottish and EU students do not pay tuition fees.

Bursaries: A number of scholarships are available based on specific criterias. See the website for further details.

The fun stuff

Nightlife: The Union bar has a late licence while the university is good for theatre and cabaret. Three club nights a week and numerous balls, including several kilt-and-sporran jobs. More than 30 pubs in town.

Price of a pint: Expect to pay around £2.50.

Sporting reputation: Not too shabby- 28th in the BUCS league.

Calendar highlight: This has to be the May Dip- the annual tradition in which students run into the North Sea at dawn on May Day.

Notable societies: The Tunnocks Caramel Wafer Appreciation Society and the Barbeque Society are sure to tickle some taste buds.

Glittering alumni: Alex Salmond, first minister of Scotland; John Suchet, newscaster; Hazel Irvine, sports commentator; Fay Weldon, writer; the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Alternative prospectus: To find out more about St Andrews, check out Your Union.