Perched upon the top of rocky headlands, overlooking the North Sea from Scotland’s east coast, St. Andrews is one of the most breathtakingly situated university in the UK. It was founded in 1413 and lays the claim of being the third oldest university in the English speaking world. Once upon a time St. Andrews was the epicentre of political and religious life in Scotland. Today it offers a marvellous blend of the old and the new; spectacular mediaeval architecture set against cutting edge science facilities.
This all adds up to make St. Andrews a wonderful place to live and study. Here’s a glimpse of what life is like for its 10,000 strong student population.
It is no secret that St. Andrews is consistently ranked amongst the best universities in the world, let alone the United Kingdom, and this is down in part to the exceptionally high quality of teaching across the entire range of subjects. The National Student Survey regularly rates St. Andrews in top five in the UK for the quality of teaching and the university is often commended for its high level of student satisfaction.
St. Andrews is a relatively small university and it follows that class sizes are also consequently smaller than the national average. This means more contact time with lecturers and staff and greater attention from tutors.
The juxtaposition of St. Andrews historical setting and its cutting edge science and arts facilities make it a unique place to study and live. St. Andrews is a city university, meaning there is no central campus and facilities are dotted around the quaint little town.
The brand new, ultra-modern medical laboratories located on the North Haugh Site are one example of the high-tech facilities available to students at the university. The Music Centre, based in the Younger Hall, houses a 1,000 seater concert hall along with 11 practise rooms and a cutting edge music technology studio. There is a state of the art research library at Martyrs Kirk and the Student’s Association is currently undergoing a £12 million refurbishment.
Accommodation in the city is as varied as the architecture, meaning there is something to match everyone’s tastes and budgets. The university itself owns space for some 4,000 students, although there are modern privately owned flats and halls designed especially for students. Both catered and self-catered options are available.
There are modern and stylish apartments or rustic rooms in listed buildings in the centre of town. A search for student accommodation St. Andrews will return a list of exactly what’s on offer.
Sport is a large part of student life at St. Andrews University, reflected by the recent launch of a £14 million redevelopment of the sports facilities. There are over 50 clubs based at the university, with over 100 teams all of which are supported by professional coaches and staff. As you might imagine, St. Andrews is home to a leading golf development programme.
There is support and opportunities for sportsmen of all levels and abilities, and the sport department place an emphasis on inclusivity. As a result, over 65% of students at the university are involved in sport or physical activity and make use of some of the fantastic sporting infrastructure on offer.
Indoors the facilities include a fitness suite, sports arena, sports hall, several studios and a strength and performance suite. Outdoors there are all-weather football and tennis facilities, grass football pitches, an athletics track, cricket and rugby fields and space to play lacrosse, shinty and basketball.
The university is also within close proximity to the coast, meaning there is opportunity to take part in water sports like kayaking, windsurfing and sailing.
Last, but certainly not least, student life in St. Andrews is unique thanks to the generous blend of yesterday and today. The town is small, safe and extremely pretty. There are unspoiled beaches, tremendously old buildings and breath taking views across the bay.
The East Neuk, the area of Fife in which St. Andrews is located, enjoys a microclimate unseen across the rest of Scotland’s east coast. Summer days are mild and sunny whilst winter is blustery and crisp. It is far drier than much of the country thanks to winds blowing in from the North Sea.