The good news is, when you apply as an undergraduate or a postgraduate in Scotland you can actually apply for more than one institution at the same time, which helps to make sure you can cover all your bases.
It’s also important to make sure you know the relevant application deadlines, leave plenty of time to complete your applications and allow time for entry clearance, if you require a visa.
Applying for undergraduate study
When applying for an undergraduate course in Scotland you need to apply online through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Centre – also known as UCAS.
The application requires you to provide information about your education and employment as well as a personal statement and a reference, so it’s a good idea to have this information ready before you apply.
The online application form allows you to enter course details for up to five different choices, but there are some restrictions on the combination of courses you can apply for – so make sure you check the UCAS website for details on choices when applying.
There is a fee for making an application and the amount depends upon how many courses and universities you apply for.
The deadlines for applications through UCAS differ depending on what course you are applying for.
Applying for postgraduate study
Before you apply for a postgraduate degree in Scotland you need to make sure that you meet the entrance requirements of your chosen degree.
To study for a postgraduate degree in Scotland you usually need to hold at least an undergraduate degree, but in some circumstances experience and other qualifications are an acceptable equivalent. It’s important to make sure to check the relevant entry requirements with the institution you are applying for.
Many universities in Scotland manage their own applications for postgraduate study, so it’s advisable that you check on the website of the institution and department that you want to apply for. However, you can also apply for postgraduate study at some universities through the UCAS Postgraduate website.
The UCAS application requires you to provide information about your personal details, course details, education, supplementary information, a personal statement and references.
However universities set their own deadlines for applications so check the closing dates for applications with the institutions you wish to apply to.
Applying for the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
Students who wish to apply to study at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland can do so through UCAS Postgraduate - Performing arts at a conservatoire and through CUKAS – the official website for conservatoire admissions in the United Kingdom.
Through CUKAS, applicants can select up to six courses to apply for. Once an application has been made through CUKAS, you will usually hear from your chosen conservatoire about auditions or the next stage in the application process.
You will be required to pay a small application fee and may also be required to pay an audition fee when applying.
English language requirements
If English is not your first language, most universities will require you to show your English Language ability. This is just to make sure that you can fully participate in lectures, tutorials, seminars, and understand the coursework needed to complete your course and get the most out of your degree.
Many universities offer pre-sessional English language courses help to improve English and academic skills before you begin your course.
The level of your English language ability and the way you are expected to demonstrate your skills varies depending on the course you want to study and the institution you are applying to.
Some of the ways that you might be asked to demonstrate your English skills are:
- If you have successfully completed an academic qualification in a majority English speaking country;
- If you have received an English qualification as part of your High School studies;
- Pass an approved English language test;
- Provide an English language certificate;
Most universities in Scotland accept English qualifications and certificates from the following test providers:
If you’re coming to study in Scotland on a Tier 4 (General) visa you need to meet certain English language criteria before you receive your confirmation of acceptance. To check exact criteria visit the UK Visas and Immigration website.
In the first instance, please check the website of the university you are interested in applying for as they will provide a full list of criteria you need to meet plus information on international qualifications by country. A full list of universities is available here.
For undergraduate entry requirements, this UCAS page offers general information on entry requirements and international qualifications. You can also visit UK ENIC which offers statements of comparability for a fee.
Studying in the UK after Brexit
The UK has left the EU. The UK Government website provides advice on how the EU exit will affect EU students studying or planning to study in the UK, the Erasmus programme as well as other relevant information. There are also helpful FAQ and reference pages provided by Universities UK International, Study UK and UKCISA, all are updated regularly with the latest information.
Tuition fees are a vital consideration for anyone thinking of studying - so we've put together a handy page that can help make sure you are up to speed on the things that matter.
Student Visas and Immigration
If you're from outside the UK and you want to study in Scotland you may need to apply for a student visa. We've got all the information you need to make sure you're covered.
Before you head to Scotland to start your new adventure, it's important to make sure you've got everything you're going to need - don't worry, we've created a handy checklist to make sure nothing essential gets left behind.