Scotland’s fantastic history extends to its universities, with Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, and St Andrews among the oldest in the UK, offering some of the most incredible surroundings to study in. But it’s not all about the past. Glasgow was named the UK’s top cultural and creative city (The Cultural and Creative Cities Monitor 2019 report), while millions descend on the Fringe Festival each summer. Harry Potter obsessives wandering through Edinburgh’s medieval Old Town, or traversing the breathtaking Highlands, will get why they inspired JK Rowling’s magical tales. Scottish students may not want to stray far from home: the government covers tuition fees for those studying their first undergraduate degree here.

Providers in Scotland

City guides

Aberdeenshire

Aberdeenshire is home to the University of Aberdeen and Robert Gordon University.

 

The area offers so much, without feeling swamped by tourists.

It has a few surprises, including bottlenose dolphins off the coast, as well as Cairngorms National Park, which is twice the size of the Lake District. Royal Deeside – home to the Highland Games and Balmoral Castle – sits here too.

Argyll and Bute

Argyll and Bute is home to Argyll College UHI (University of the Highlands and Islands).

 

 

Made up of small towns, villages, lochs, and over 20 inhabited islands, the scenic region has one of the sparsest populations in Scotland – so there’s little fear of feeling swamped. It also has the honour of having featured in both a James Bond film, and a Paul McCartney song.

Ayrshire and Arran

Ayrshire is full of history. Scotland’s national poet Robert Burns and former king Robert the Bruce were born here.

 

The area has history with another ‘king’: Prestwick Airport is the only part of Britain that Elvis Presley ever visited (if only to quickly refuel before heading on his way).

Meanwhile, Kilmarnock was the original home of Johnnie Walker whisky.

Dumfries

Dumfries and Galloway is home to the Dumfries campus of the University of the West of Scotland.

 

 

Its hilly geography makes it a popular spot for hiking and mountain biking.The views are spectacular, even at night: over 7,000 stars and planets are visible from Galloway’s Dark Sky Park. The region is full of firsts, including the western world’s first Tibetan Buddhist Centre, which has its own tartan.

City of Dundee

Dundee is home to the University of Dundee and the University of Abertay Dundee.

 

Located on Scotland’s east coast, the city of Dundee is a UNESCO City of Design, and home to the only V&A Museum outside of London.

Sat beside it on the banks of the River Tay, is the RSS Discovery, from which Dundee gets its nickname, ‘the City of Discovery’.

East Lothian

East Lothian is home to Queen Margaret University.

 

 

Known as ‘Scotland’s golf coast’, East Lothian boasts 40 miles of gorgeous coastline, dotted with picturesque seaside towns like Dunbar and Yellowcraig. It’s also the sunniest region in Scotland. Edinburgh’s sights and sounds are just a 30-minute drive away, although North Berwick actually hosts its own mini version of the Fringe festival, ‘Fringe by the Sea’, during August.

City of Edinburgh

Edinburgh is home to the University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh Napier University, and Heriot-Watt University, plus SRUC Scotland’s Rural College.

 

 

Scotland’s capital and the first UNESCO City of Literature, Edinburgh’s top attractions include its castle – which stands atop an extinct volcano, at the end of Old Town’s Royal Mile – and the world-famous Fringe festival, which attracts hundreds of thousands of performers and spectators each August.

Fife

Fife is home to the University of St Andrews.

 

Still referred to as the ‘Kingdom of Fife’, the ancient county is brimming with history: from Scotland’s oldest university of St Andrews, to the world’s oldest tennis court and golf course.

Sat on Scotland’s east coast facing the wild North Sea, Fife offers dramatic scenery – ideally enjoyed with its award winning fish and chips.

City of Glasgow

Glasgow is home to the University of Glasgow, Glasgow Caledonian University, and the University of Strathclyde, plus City of Glasgow College and Glasgow School of Art.

 

Scotland’s largest city is a cultural juggernaut, with a world-class assortment of music venues – from underground basements and dancehalls, to arenas, galleries, and museums. Even its streets are a feast for the eyes, smashing together medieval, neo-Gothic and Art Nouveau styles.

Lanarkshire

South Lanarkshire is home to the Hamilton campus of the University of the West of Scotland.

 

 

Populated, urban areas, like East Kilbride and Hamilton, sit close to its border with the south east corner of Glasgow, while things get more green as you move south. South Lanarkshire has plenty of history and culture, with two UNESCO World Heritage sites, and a 13th century castle.