A Guide to Student Life in St Andrews

The university might now be best known as the meeting place of the future King of England and his bride Kate Middleton, but the University of St Andrews is in fact the oldest university in Scotland – not to mention one of the most prestigious educational institutions in the UK.

Situated in the small village of St Andrews your experience studying here will be worlds apart from big city student life, but that doesn’t make it any less exciting. 

So, what do you need to know about studying and living in St Andrews?

Where to study

Unlike a city you only have one university option – the University of St Andrews – but don’t let that put you off. As the third oldest university in the UK St Andrews has a long standing reputation for academic excellence.

There is no main campus as the university is integrated with the village combining ancient buildings with state of the art science facilities and stunning coastal scenery.

On the north and east of the town you have the dramatic waters of the North Sea and the Fife countryside is on the other side, making this a perfect university if you like the great outdoors.

The lack of nightclubs and big city style entertainment certainly doesn’t seem to bother students at St Andrews, with 98% completing their degree.

How much will it cost you?

St Andrews isn’t the cheapest place to be a student, particularly went it comes to privately renting accommodation, but without the lure of big nightclubs and high street shops it shouldn’t be hard to keep your budget in check.

Getting around

As St Andrews is a small town the majority of places can be reached on foot. There are also good transport links to get outside of the town and Edinburgh airport is just an hour’s drive away when you need to travel further afield.

Where to live

All undergraduate students that request accommodation are guaranteed a place in student halls according to the University of St Andrews. There are 11 student halls in total, with a mix of catered and self-catering options.

You can expect to pay between £79 - £209 per week depending on the type of accommodation you opt for. Obviously catered halls are going to be more expensive than choosing a self-catered option.

If you choose to move out of halls there is private accommodation available in the village, but be warned, St Andrews students report that this is limited and can prove costly.

Party time

As we’re sure you’ve gathered – this is not the university for you if you want wild evenings at nightclubs.

Being the home of golf it’s no surprise that there is a strong sporting focus for extracurricular activities. The university has over 100 sports teams and 50 sports clubs so if you like to be active this could be a good choice for you.

The Student Union is scheduled to have a £12m refurbishment and there are over 100 societies affiliated with the union ranging from dance and theatre to politics and charitable causes.