Undergraduate Admissions Application Process

Students apply to St Andrews via UCAS. Please ensure that you check over your application very carefully and that all sections have been completed accurately. For general information about University Admissions, please visit the main University of St Andrews Undergraduate Admissions web pages.

School of History Admissions Information

How are decisions made?

We do not interview candidates, other than mature and part-time applicants and a few special cases. The decision on whether to make an offer is based on the application made via UCAS. We are interested in academic performance to date and in subjects studied; we read and assess the reference and the personal statement with very great care. We will note the projected performance in exams still to be taken, but will not make a decision solely on this. Offers are then made according to the number of places we have available.

What does St Andrews look for?

Academic performance to date is very important and we will also note predicted grades. Most of our students will have studied history at a higher level and our minimum entrance requirements are AAA (A-level), AAAB (Higher), 36 (IB).

We also look for evidence of other skills which will be useful for University level historical study, such as good writing abilities, analytical awareness, and proficiency in foreign languages. We are interested to know how schools or other referees rate the applicant’s commitment to studying and to history and how they assess the applicant’s potential.

The personal statement is a significant element of the application. Here applicants can explain their interest in history and in studying, they can indicate what relevant abilities they already have – from pleasure in reading and skills in writing, to willingness to expand their knowledge and ability to manage their time. Applicants may also use the personal statement to expand on other elements of their application.

I will make the asking rate; will I get in?

The number of students which St Andrews can admit is strictly controlled by the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council. The number of places available for those wishing to study History at St Andrews is tightly controlled. In recent years the number of applications for these places and the quality of many of these applications have both been very high. This has meant, much to our own disappointment, that we are not always able to make offers to students who have fulfilled, or are predicted to meet, our asking rate. We do not, however, make offers to applicants who do not meet our asking rate.

When should I hear back from St Andrews?

We recognise that applicants would like a speedy response to their application and wherever possible we will turn the application round quickly. However, in order to be fair to all candidates, the bulk of the decisions are made after the UCAS cut-off date, from the middle of January, through February and into March. This enables us to ensure that all candidates are treated equally within the constraints of the pressure on places. We realise that this is not ideal for those who have submitted their applications much earlier, but it is the only way we can ensure that all applicants are treated fairly.

Can I apply for deferred entry?

Unfortunately, due to the volume of applications we now receive annually, we can no longer consider applications for deferred entry.

Should I apply again?

We are happy to receive repeat applications. The evident commitment to St Andrews, completed exams and the experience of an additional year can strengthen an application. You may wish to contact the History Admissions Officer for further feedback on your initial application before making this decision. Please note, however, that the offer of a place can only be made in response to an application via UCAS.

Should I apply as a mature student? Can I study part-time?

We are committed to widening access and applications from mature and part-time candidates are welcomed. Our entry criteria can be more flexible in these cases and we will look for evidence of skills and interests in academic study, particularly history. We may invite such applicants to attend an interview. Further information can be found on the Admissions website

An increasingly large number of students choose to study part time at the University of St Andrews. Part-time study is available both during the day and in the evenings. Some students may choose to start studying full time and switch to part-time study during their degree, while others may begin as part-time students and apply to become full-time later. More detailed information about studying part-time is available on the Admissions website.

Options for Study Abroad

The School of History offers several exciting study abroad opportunities for students in their third year. Study abroad is a great opportunity to gain a new perspective on your course whilst living in a different country. This fun and challenging experience gives more than a year away from St Andrews - it provides you with an impressive experience to add to your C.V. and enables you to stand out from the crowd in the job market after graduation. Study abroad students say it the best part of their time at University, leaving them with fantastic memories, life-long friends and new language skills. More information can be found on the School's dedicated Study Abroad website.

How does St Andrews feel about my other applications?

We do not know to which other institutions each candidate has applied. We do not, therefore, take this into account in any way when making our decision. We seek only to establish whether the applicant and application are in the top category of those applying to St Andrews.


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