After you apply
Once you have submitted your undergraduate application, the Admissions team will begin to process your application. You should receive email confirmation from the Admissions team that the University has received your application, regardless of which application method you used. After this email to confirm receipt of your application, you should not expect to hear from the University again until an offer is sent out.
All offers will be sent primarily in the form of an email, and successful applicants will also receive a letter and booklet containing more information about your offer. If you applied through UCAS, your offer will also be confirmed through UCAS Track.
How do we decide?
The responsibility for making decisions on applications rests with Admissions in coordination with individual academic Schools. We take into consideration not only the current and expected grades of your qualifications, but also the number of exams you have taken, whether any resits were necessary and your age when you sat each exam.
We also rely heavily on your personal statement and referee's report as the University does not usually interview undergraduate applicants, although students applying for Medicine, Physics and Astronomy (Gateway), Computer Science (Gateway), the General degree and some part-time courses may be invited to an interview.
The decision-making process for students applying to transfer to the University is slightly different and is outlined in the transfer students section below.
You can read more about the admissions decision making process in undergraduate admissions policy.
If you are an applicant who meets the following criteria, you are required to pay a pre-payment fee of £2,000 GBP against your first year’s tuition fee:
- You have applied to an undergraduate programme.
- You have a fees status of ‘Overseas’ in your offer letter.
For applicants who require a Tier 4 Visa, the total amount paid to date including any pre-payment made, will be displayed on your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS), where appropriate.
- If you firmly accept a conditional offer, you are only required to make a pre-payment once you have met your conditions of offer.
- Please do not make a pre-payment on conditional offers.
- All the conditions given in your offer must be satisfied before your admission can be finalised.
- Pre-payment must be made within four weeks of you meeting your stated conditions.
- If you firmly accept an unconditional offer, you are required to make a pre-payment upon acceptance.
- Pre-payment must be made within four weeks of you accepting your offer.
- If you accept a conditional or an unconditional offer as your insurance choice through UCAS, you are not expected to make a pre-payment.
- Pre-payments are required only if your status changes from ‘insurance’ to ‘unconditional firm’.
- If you hold an unconditional offer and have been granted deferred entry, you will be required to make a pre-payment before your deferred entry will be confirmed.
- If you hold a conditional offer and have been granted deferred entry, you will be required to make a pre-payment once you have met your conditions of offer before your deferred entry will be confirmed.
- If you hold a conditional offer and have been granted deferred entry, but cannot meet your conditions of offer in the year of application, you will still be required to make a pre-payment before your deferred entry will be confirmed.
If a pre-payment remains unpaid, this will be taken as an indication that you no longer wish to take up the offer of a place at St Andrews.
You will not receive your entrant email and the CAS process if applicable will not commence until pre-payment has been made.
How to make a pre-payment:
After you have accepted your offer and made the pre-payment
- You have a 14-day statutory cancellation period during which you can change your mind about accepting an offer to study at the University.
- Once you have accepted your place at St Andrews and have made the pre-payment, your offer will become a binding agreement with the University of St Andrews. Terms and conditions of study (PDF) of this agreement will remain in force for the duration of your studies at the University. Should the University require to make changes that materially affect your programme, the University will inform you.
Pre-payments will only be refunded under the following circumstances:
- Medical reasons for withdrawal evidenced by supporting documentation.
- You are not successful in securing a UK student visa.
- It is within the 14-day statutory cancellation period during which you can change your mind about accepting an offer to study at the University.
Pre-payments are not refunded under any other circumstances. To request a refund, you will need to complete the Pre-payment refund form (PDF) and email your request to email@example.com. The request must be submitted along with any evidence within 30 days of the official start date of your programme which is listed on your offer letter.
International study abroad programme students
If you are an incoming international study abroad programme student, you are not required to make a pre-payment to accept your offer.
Different types of offer
There are three responses that you may receive in response to your application. These are:
An unconditional offer
This means that you have already achieved the required grades or qualifications to study your selected course, and your offer has been confirmed.
A conditional offer
This means that you have not yet achieved the required grades or qualifications to study your selected course, and your offer will only be confirmed if you obtain the stated grades or qualifications. If you meet the conditions of our offer, we will confirm your place, but if you do not achieve the stated grades or qualifications, your offer may be withdrawn.
We are unable to offer you a place
Regrettably, we receive many more applications from well-qualified applicants than we have places to offer, and we have been unable to offer you a place on your selected course.
If you have yet to complete your school-leaving exams, you should not expect an unconditional offer. Conditional offers are made to suitable applicants on the condition that they achieve certain grades or qualifications, at which point their offer will be confirmed.
Should any of the details used when deciding to make an offer change, for example the fee status, we will re-evaluate the offer made, and reserve the right to withdraw it.
If you applied through UCAS
The University of St Andrews considers each application on its merits, and we are required to consider equally all applications received from UCAS by 15 January. However, the University receives many more applications from well-qualified applicants than there are places to offer. As a result, we often delay the majority of our decision-making until after this date. We aim to make all of our decisions by 31 March.
Once we have made a decision, you will be notified by UCAS and any conditions will be visible by using UCAS Track.
If you have been offered a place at the University of St Andrews, you should use UCAS to alert us whether you wish to accept our offer. You can hold up to two offers at UCAS: one firm choice and a second insurance choice. The offer you confirm as your firm choice is effectively your first choice of university, whilst your insurance offer is your second choice in case you do not meet the required grades to fulfil the entrance requirements of your firm choice. Due to this, your insurance choice will often be an offer asking for lower grades than your firm choice.
If you wish to accept an offer from the University, you are required to indicate whether it is your firm or your insurance choice through UCAS Track. You must respond to your UCAS offer in good time to ensure that your place is not declined by default.
You may wish to decline our offer, in which case you should also respond through UCAS Track.
We make decisions on international applications on a rolling basis.
If you are an international applicant who applied through a direct application or the Common Application, you will receive a response to your application through the St Andrews applicant portal. This will outline your offer and conditions from the international undergraduate team. You should respond to your offer in the portal, indicating whether or not you will be taking up your place.
If you have any questions relating to your offer, please email the international undergraduate team (firstname.lastname@example.org) who will be happy to help you. We recommend that you reply to your offer by 31 May.
If you have applied to the University as a transfer student, consideration of your application will involve several stages:
- Investigation of whether your grades and qualifications meet our entry criteria.
- Analysis of the subjects you have taken or are currently taking, ensuring the content matches subjects offered at the University in first year or second year.
- Reading of your personal statement and references.
- Ensuring that you have the necessary qualifications to study your second subject.
Once we have made a decision on your application, we will inform you via UCAS Track. If we are able to offer you a place, we will specify the point of entry (first year, second year or third year) in our offer to you.
Direct entry into second year
If you have applied for a course which accepts students directly into second year, you should expect a response in the usual manner for your chosen application process – for example, if you applied through UCAS, your offer would be sent through UCAS Track.
Usually, any offer for a course which accepts direct entry into second year will state the year of entry, but opportunities for entering second year of appropriate courses can also be discussed with your academic adviser when you arrive.
Study abroad students at St Andrews
If you have successfully applied to join the University of St Andrews on a year or semester abroad, view the Collaborations and Study Abroad section.