University of St Andrews

The British University of St Andrews is one of the UK’s most remarkable educational facilities. Scotland’s first university, the University of St Andrews boasts a rich history that spans over 600 years. The university also has a prominent place in British history as the third oldest university in the UK behind world-renowned universities Oxford and Cambridge. Attracting students from across the globe, the University of St Andrews has upheld the tradition of academic excellence for six centuries and boasts an exceptional list of notable alumni including British royalty and Nobel laureates. Amongst the notable alumni is heir to the throne, William, Prince of Wales, and his wife, Catherine, Princess of Wales.

Notable alumni of the University of St Andrews

A prestigious university like St Andrews has an incredible list of notable alumni. Over the years, the University of St Andrews has welcomed impressive students from across the world. Many British politicians, philosophers and theorists received education from the University of St Andrews whilst many others have received honorary degrees from the institution. Alumni include Nobel laureates such as James Black who received the Nobel Peace Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1988. Black developed beta blockers and H3 antagonists.

When it comes to celebrities, multiple famous faces attended the University of St Andrews. Star of stage and screen Ian McDiarmid studied at St Andrews, the actor best known as Emperor Palpatine in the Star Wars franchise. American actor Jonathan Taylor Reid also attended the university, most famous for starring in Home Improvements and voicing Young Simba in the 1994 version of Disney’s The Lion King. Meanwhile, John Cleese is a former Rector of St Andrews, elected in 1970.

However, the two most famous alumni of the University of St Andrews are undoubtedly the Prince and Princess of Wales. The Royals met in 2001 at university and graduated in 2005. Prince William received a Master of Arts in Geography whilst Princess Catherine was a student of Art History.

Attending the University of St Andrews

As the leading university in Scotland and across the UK, the University of St Andrews is one of the most popular in the country and excels at education. The university boasts an impressive 96% first-year retention rate highlighting both the superior teaching and experience at this educational facility. The university is an international melting pot welcoming students from across the globe and offering exceptional opportunities for exchanges or study abroad programmes around the world.

Not only does the University of St Andrews excel at education, it also excels at extra-curricular activity. The university has over 150 student societies and more than 50 sports clubs providing students plenty of opportunity for socialisation and to discover a new hobby. St Andrews has multiple unique traditions and many exciting events throughout the year that students love to get involved with. The university also offers a vibrant Student’s Union hosting entertainment, parties and club nights throughout each academic term.

With an average of 9 applicants per place, the University of St Andrews receives one of the highest applicant rates in the UK. The university is the third most popular university in the UK in terms of applications. With an acceptance rate of just 8.35%, entry to the University of St Andrews is highly competitive but the school considers multiple factors, recognises a diverse range of qualifications and welcomes students of all backgrounds.

Visiting the University of St Andrews

Whether you are a prospective student, architecture buff or simply interested in the university, the University of St Andrews is an exceptional place to visit. The university welcomes members of the public to visit the grounds and prospective students on internal tours.

Prospective undergraduate students can book a talk and tour offering a great introduction to university life and a chance to explore the campus. Prospective postgraduate students are also welcome to book onto the tour, however, the tour is designed for undergraduates and some information may be deemed irrelevant.

If you are not a prospective student, whilst the inside of university buildings are only accessible to those on a student tour, you are free to explore the grounds of the University of St Andrews. The university does not have a designated campus and is spread across the town of St Andrews making it easy to explore local landmarks and university buildings on a self-guided tour. A walking tour not only gives you a great insight into the university but also offers a phenomenal introduction to St Andrews.


Is St Andrews University hard to get into?
Admittance to the University of St Andrews is highly competitive, however, the admissions team recognises a diverse range of qualifications and considers all aspects of your application. Grades alone do not guarantee entry into the University of St Andrews as personal statements, references and other life experience. The university also offers alternative entry routes for areas submitting limited applications and unconventional qualifications. You can find a comprehensive list of entry requirements on the university website.

Is St Andrews University better than Oxford?
Alongside Oxford, the University of St Andrews is amongst the leading universities in the UK. As of September 2022, the University of St Andrews boasts the top position on the Guardian University Guide 2023. This position is a new ranking for the university and the first time in the 30-year history of the UK university league tables that a university has overtaken Oxbridge.

Is St Andrews a prestigious university?
With a position as the top UK university and a reputation as a world leader of education, the University of St Andrews is a renowned and highly regarded educational facility. The 600-year-old institution receives high rankings on both national and global league tables.

What is St Andrews Uni famous for?
The University of St Andrews is the leading university in both Scotland and across the UK with rich history, exceptional teaching and cutting-edge research. The university has been an institution for over 600 years and has many notable alumni including royalty and Nobel laureates.

The Home of Golf

You owe it to yourself to experience, at least once in your lifetime, the commonly accepted birthplace of golf – St. Andrews. St Andrews Golf Links has six beautiful courses.

Where To Stay

St Andrews has a range of quality accommodation, from hotels to guest houses. Here we recommend accommodation for you to book in order to fully enjoy your stay in Fife.

What makes St Andrews & Fife great?

About St Andrews has visitor information for accommodation in St Andrews, things to do when visiting and enjoying the spectacular selection of world famous golf courses in Fife, Scotland.


Education At St Andrews University

St Andrews is Scotland’s 1st University and the 3rd oldest in the UK, upholding academic excellence.

Mountain Bike

Exciting Outdoor Activities

A wide range of activities in St Andrews keep adults & children occupied and content.


Fantastic Accommodation

St Andrews has a range of quality accommodation, from hotels, guest houses and self catering.

Scroll to Top