Academic entry explained

The University of St Andrews offers a variety of flexible entry options in order to ensure our doors remain open to all students, regardless of background or personal circumstances.

Although entry to the University of St Andrews is competitive, we recognise a range of different qualifications and consider all aspects of your application, including context, your personal statement and reference. Grades alone will not guarantee you admission.

The University of St Andrews also offers alternative entry routes for applicants who come from areas where we receive limited applications and who are unable to obtain the required grades, or for those who are returning to education after an extended period of time.

Q: What do I need to apply for the degree programme I want to study?

A: You will need qualifications, a personal statement and a reference. For some specific degree programmes you may also need to:

  • come to an interview, for Medicine, Gateway and Pathway programmes, BA (International Honours), part-time study and International Foundation Programmes.
  • sit an admissions test, the UKCAT, for Medicine.

You also need to apply on time:

  • 15 October – deadline for applications for Medicine
  • 15 January – deadline for all other UK and EU applicants
  • 30 June – deadline for all other international applicants.

Q: What qualifications and grades do I need?

A: The qualifications and grades you need vary by degree programme and may also depend on whether you are a widening access student.


Q: Am I a widening access student?

A: We consider you to be a widening access student if you:

  • live in an area underrepresented at the University of St Andrews indicated by postcode, or
  • attend a school or college with low levels of progression to the University of St Andrews, or
  • attend one of the following widening access programmes:
    • Sutton Trust Summer School
    • LEAPS
    • Focus West
    • Lift Off
    • Aspire North
    • Reach
    • Fife First Chances Programme
    • Scottish Wider Access Programme (SWAP)
  • are care experienced, or
  • have caring responsibilities

You can find out if we will consider you to be a widening access student on our indicator.

Q: If I am a widening access student will I receive a guaranteed offer?

A: Through our guaranteed offer scheme we will make an offer to all applicants who declare a care experienced background and/or reside in the 20% most deprived areas of Scotland as indicated by the postcode (SIMD20) and also attend a school which has 30% or lower progression to higher education; provided that the desire to study the subject is demonstrable, the minimum asking rates within all specified required subjects are met and if relevant there is success in external testing or interview. No other applicant will receive such a guaranteed offer.

You can find out if you will be eligible for the guaranteed offer scheme on our indicator.

Q: How do I know what grades I will need for the course to which I am applying?

A: Our entry requirements are listed on our course pages.

There are three levels of entry requirements:

  • Standard entry grades: 
    Unless you are a widening access student, you will need these grades to be considered.
  • Minimum entry grades: 
    If you are a widening access student, you will need these grades to be considered.
  • Gateway entry grades: 
    If you are a widening access student, you may also be eligible for a gateway programme. You will need these grades to be considered.

For example, the BSc Chemistry entry requirements will be displayed like this:

SQA Highers

  • Standard entry grades: AAAAB, including A in Chemistry and an A in one other subject from the following:
    • Biology (or Human Biology)
    • Computing Science
    • Economics
    • Geography
    • Mathematics
    • Physics.
  • Minimum entry grades: AABB, including A in Chemistry and an A in one other subject from the following:
    • Biology (or Human Biology)
    • Computing Science
    • Economics
    • Geography
    • Mathematics
    • Physics.

GCE A-Levels

  • Standard entry grades: AAA, including A in Chemistry.
  • Minimum entry grades: ABB, including A in Chemistry.

IB points

  • Standard entry grades: 38 (HL 6,6,6), including HL6 in Chemistry and HL6 in one of the following subjects:
    • Biology
    • Computer Science
    • Economics
    • Geography
    • Mathematics
    • Physics.
  • Minimum entry grades: 36 (HL 6,5,5), including HL6 in Chemistry and HL5 in one of the following subjects:
    • Biology
    • Computer Science
    • Economics
    • Geography
    • Mathematics
    • Physics.


Q: Can I apply without the stated entry qualifications?

A: In order to widen access to our degree programmes we accept various other qualifications in place of the ones stated on the subject pages of this prospectus. Some of the qualifications we accept include:

  • Access programmes, such as the Scottish Wider Access Programme (SWAP)
  • Access Diploma to HE
  • Open University credits
  • HNCs and HNDs
  • Foundation Apprenticeship

We accept lots of different qualifications, you can find out more about all the qualifications we accept on the entry requirements section of our website.


This page and the entry qualifications indicator only relate to undergraduate degree programmes that do not require a previous undergraduate degree.

If you have questions about our academic entry requirements or are unsure which requirements you will need to meet, please contact Admissions by emailing admissions@st-andrews.ac.uk