School of Physics & Astronomy

International Links

The School maintains many international links. These include:

  • Our academic staff and research workers are from the UK and overseas, and publish on an international stage
  • A number of research projects are in international collaborations
  • Visiting academic staff from overseas
  • Taught course students coming to St Andrews from overseas for their whole degree programme, or for part of another institution's degree programme
  • St Andrews first degree students taking a semester or year abroad
  • St Andrews first degree students taking a vacation placement abroad

International Research


One coffee time we gathered just some of our international colleagues
and research students along with some of those of UK origin for the photo above.

Our School is proud to be host to scholars from many different parts of the globe.  This picture includes research students and post-doctoral research staff from Qatar, Germany, Greece, Mexico, India, South Africa, Belarus, Russia, the Netherlands, the USA, France, the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, England, and Scotland. Other research workers in the School, though not pictured, include people from Argentina, Australia, Japan, Lithuania, and Spain. There are some 40 post-doctoral research fellows employed in the School, and around 40 PhD students. One person in the photograph is a French student who was part of one of our research teams for a summer placement project from her own University.

Lecturing staff in the picture come from Germany, Hong Kong, New Zealand, the USA, England, and Scotland. Our Head of School at the time of this photo was born a short drive away in Dunfermline, Fife, but spent time working in Edinburgh, Malvern, Texas, and Florida before coming to work at St Andrews. Others in the School or about to join us, but not pictured, have roots in Argentina, Canada, China, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, Russia, Northern Ireland, England, and Scotland.

The School has collaborations with scientists in many countries, including Australia, Belarus, Brazil, Bulgaria, Denmark, Chile, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, the USA, and the UK. We are pleased to host extended visits by scientists from overseas, and to have some of our staff spending time in other countries.

Our research teams work on an international stage, and most PhD students will give at least one presentation at an international conference.

International Students

Scots form the largest group within our undergraduate student population, and many of the others are from the rest of the UK. However, we are again delighted that we have undergraduate students from many parts of the world with us, either for an entire degree programme, or for a single semester or year.

The wider University also attracts significant numbers of first degree and graduate students from across the world [University page on international students], giving a strong cosmopolitan and international feel to the student community.

These students can take advantage of the science, language development, social, and tourist opportunities that are here. Our School's international students include North American students on a "Junior Year or Semester Abroad", and students from various parts of Europe and beyond.

We also welcome students from abroad onto our Photonics and Optoelectronic Devices MSc course and the Erasmus Mundus Masters in Photonics programme.

International students may take advantage of a language course before the session starts, where appropriate. The Student Union has several societies for its members. Information on international applications is available from the University's international admissions office.

Our Students Abroad

Our University has wide exchange links, and students of physics and astronomy are welcome to apply to these one-year-abroad programmes. There are a number of exchanges with universities in Canada and the USA.

Our School works with Georgia Institute of Technology and the Robert Jones Trustees to fund an exchange placement at Georgia Tech at Masters level. First degree students in their final year at both sites are invited to apply for this competitive award that covers fees and a stipend allowing students to undertake an MSc programme at the other's School of Physics or Engineering.

The School's Student-Staff Council organises and funds summer placements for selected students at international facilities such as Fermilab in Chicago and the High Magnetic Field Facility in Grenoble.