Required evidence for International Foundation applications
As part of your application for an International Foundation programme, you will be required to submit supporting documents as evidence that you have met our entry requirements and offer conditions. This page provides further guidance on the evidence you will need to upload with, or after, your application.
Providing evidence after application
You should upload a scanned copy of the photo page in your passport. The scanned copy can be in colour or in black and white.
A strong personal statement is typically short, well-researched and directly related to the subject you are applying to study at St Andrews.
When applying to an International Foundation programme at St Andrews, you apply directly to the University, allowing you to personalise your statement specifically for your chosen programme. Here is our guidance on how to write a competitive and compelling statement for your application:
Why we ask for a personal statement
We have high progression rates for our programmes because we carefully select our students. Your personal statement helps us to do this effectively. We want to see that you have the potential to succeed on our competitive programmes. Your school grades and high school reference will be evidence of your academic potential, but we also want to know why you think you would be successful at the University of St Andrews, and on the foundation programme you have chosen.
Tell us about yourself
Your personal statement should be about you and be unique to you.
Reflect on your life and learning experiences to explain why you feel you would do well on your chosen programme. You could include your interests, ambitions, and achievements to help illustrate your points. You may also wish to tell us how the foundation programme fits in with your undergraduate degree choice, or with your future career ambitions, and what has led to you choosing that future career path.
Do your research
When working on your statement, be sure to read about the programme you are applying to and take the time to learn more about St Andrews – you could even join one of our webinar sessions to ask any questions you might have. This is important because we want to know that you have thought about what it means to be an international student, and whether you are the right ‘fit’ for our International Foundation programmes and University.
Ask yourself ‘why do I want to study in the UK, rather than my own country?’ And more specifically, ‘why do I want to study this specific programme at the University of St Andrews?’
Be clear, concise and proofread your work
When writing your personal statement, use a clear logical structure with paragraphs to get your points across. When drafting your statement, it can help to speak aloud what you want to say before writing it down.
Use your own words and keep it simple and natural. Avoid including famous quotations and phrases like "As Albert Einstein once said…"
We do not set a specific word count, but strong personal statements are typically around 500 words long.
Explain any relevant personal circumstances
Strong grades are important, but we review your application as a whole, taking into consideration your academic reference, education history and the information in your personal statement.
If you feel personal circumstances, sometimes referred to as ‘extenuating’ or ‘mitigating circumstances’, have affected your education or your exam performance, please let us know about this in your personal statement. If you have faced challenges, what have you learned from them, and how has it changed you?
You should also ask the person writing your reference, usually a school teacher, to confirm any mitigating circumstances you mention in your personal statement when they write your reference.
Submit your most recent transcript when you apply. You can provide evidence of your final grades or completed high school transcript later on.
You can apply before your final results are available as the University can make you a conditional offer based on your past exam performance, predicted grades, or both.
You may be able to apply to an International Foundation programme without completing your final year of high school. Please check the academic entry requirements to see what we accept from the school system where you have been educated:
You must provide one academic reference from your high school. This will typically be provided by one of your teachers. The reference should:
- be on your school's letterhead or be sent from your school's email account
- have your teacher or counsellor's name and contact details
- be relevant to your application. For example, if you are applying to a Science or Medicine programme, please ensure your referee reflects this in their comments on your academic suitability.
You must provide evidence that you meet the English language requirements for your programme.
If you require a student visa to study in the UK, you must provide results from a Secure English Language Test (known as a SELT). These are tests that are approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI). The SELTs approved by UKVI and accepted by the University of St Andrews for English Language evidence are:
- IELTS (Academic) for UKVI
- Pearson PTE (Academic) for UKVI
- Trinity ISE II SELT / Trinity ISE III SELT
- LanguageCert International ESOL SELT B2 / LanguageCert International ESOL SELT C1
- PSI Skills for English UKVI
Providing this type of result will be a condition of your offer.
If you do not require a visa to study in the UK, you may be able to use other evidence to demonstrate your English language ability. See the English language requirement for pre-degree students.
English language test results must be dated within two years of the start date of your International Foundation programme.
English Language for Medicine Applicants
To meet the English language requirement from the School of Medicine, before moving onto the BSc Medicine (A100) and after successful completion of the Medical Sciences (International Pre-Med) or Medical Sciences (Extended International Pre-Med) programmes, you must present one of the following:
- an IELTS test report form with a score of 7.0 in all four components, taken in one sitting. IELTS scores have a recommended two-year validity period and this time limit will be applied.
- a High School qualification gained after four years of secondary or high school education in an English-medium school. This option will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
We therefore recommend that International Pre-Med applicants who require and English Language test take the IELTS (Academic) for UKVI test, if possible.
University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT)
Students on the Medical Sciences (International Pre-Med) programme
The School of Medicine requires students to achieve a competitive score in UCAT in the same year they start the Medical Sciences (International Pre-Med) Programme. Students starting in September 2024 must therefore take the test on or before Thursday 25th July 2024
Students on the Medical Sciences (Extended International Pre-Med) programme
The School of Medicine requires students to achieve a competitive score in UCAT in the year of entry onto Year 2 of the Medical Sciences (Extended International Pre-Med - September entry) programme. If this condition is not met in the year of entry to Year 2, the competitive score on UCAT can also be achieved in the year of graduation from the Medical Sciences (Extended International Pre-Med - September entry) programme, prior to entry onto BSc Medicine (A100).
We interview all offer-holders on our International Pre-Med programmes for Medical Science. We may also invite applicants for other programmes to interview if we believe it would help us to progress your application.
Our interviews are held online, using Microsoft Teams, once or twice a month during the application cycle. They typically take 30 minutes and are conducted by one or two interviewers. Our invitation to interview includes information on how best to prepare for the interview and suggested resources. If you are an applicant to one of our pre-med programmes, your invitation to attend interview will typically be sent to you within two weeks of you receiving your conditional offer of a place at St Andrews.