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Why study foundation at St Andrews

Our in-house international year one, foundation and pathway programmes provide a guaranteed route onto the degree programmes at St Andrews. Our pre-degree certificates are also accepted by other UK and US universities.

When you study your foundation level at St Andrews you will:

  • have an offer of a place on an undergraduate degree at St Andrews
  • get personal 1-to-1 tutoring during the programme to help you succeed
  • learn from experienced, accredited and award-winning teachers
  • choose your preferred type of accommodation but know your place is guaranteed
  • be part of the University of St Andrews from day one.

The journey to your degree

You already know you need foundation, but what makes foundation at St Andrews a good choice for you?

Our current foundation students tell us that it’s a combination of ranking, location, and traditions that brought them to St Andrews. They wanted to:

  • join the community at St Andrews
  • be able to meet students from all over the world
  • learn from professors with a world-class reputation for research
  • mix with local people and to live a Scottish life
  • enjoy the safety, beauty and accessibility of St Andrews
  • feel part of something special.

“St Andrews has been an established institution for hundreds of years and is amongst the most prestigious universities in the country making it amongst my top options academically speaking. My interest in experiencing new culture is what compelled me to ultimately choose studying in St Andrews, Scotland over England or elsewhere as it provided me with a unique balance of both strong academics and a unique setting.”

Ahmed Tolba, Egypt, International Foundation Programme for Medicine.

High success rate

The International Foundation programmes have a high success rate. Over the past four years, an average of 90% of students successfully completed their pre-degree programme, making them eligible to progress onto a degree at St Andrews.

Small class sizes, 1-to-1 tutoring and different types of instruction (lectures, seminars, and tutorials) are designed to keep you focused and better prepare you for your degree.

Our foundation qualification is also accepted for entry to other UK universities. For those of you looking to study a degree we don’t offer at St Andrews you can still experience St Andrews but study your degree elsewhere. In the past, students have gone on to institutions including Warwick, Southampton, Leeds, UCL, and Manchester to study subjects including engineering, journalism, veterinary medicine and accountancy.

Excellence in teaching

The University of St Andrews is committed to the highest standards of teaching. Our teachers are engaged in pedagogical research and aim to deliver engaging, world-leading teaching across our nine pre-degree programmes. Our quality of teaching is consistently recognised in student feedback and through teaching excellence awards.

"The support from lecturers and staff is, in my opinion, the best thing about St Andrews. We have a lot of one on one learning especially with our tutors. We have easy access to lecturers during their office hours and online as well. The staff and lecturers do not only offer academic support but they are very helpful and supportive with personal issues as well."

Divine Mwawasi, Kenya, International Foundation Programme for Medicine.

Accommodation: your choice, our guarantee

There are several types of accommodation available and you can choose which suits you and your budget best. We recommend an en suite single room with either a self-catered or catered package as this ensures you have a place close to your classes and with other foundation students. Wherever you choose, your place in University accommodation is guaranteed, both during your foundation studies and into your first year on a degree at St Andrews. 

A St Andrews student from the start

When you enrol as a pre-degree student at St Andrews, you have the same student status and access as any other registered student of the University. This means you can join our clubs and societies, participate in the full range of extra-curricular activities we offer and take part in any of the traditions that make us unique and take place throughout the year in St Andrews.

You may wish to be part of an academic family or do a pier walk, you may want to join a society or raise awareness for a cause, you may want to compete in an elite sport or just try a new leisure activity for fun. You can! You can do it all whilst you are a foundation student at St Andrews.

"Being a foundation student in St Andrews, I was given the same right to access facilities and resources as being an undergraduate student in the University. I found this very useful as my friends and I would go to the library whenever we had to prepare for exams or get resources for the course works. But living in St Andrews has more to it than just studying, of course! There are so many sports clubs and societies that students can join. As for me and many of my friends, going to the Gym in the University Sports Centre has always been one of the most important daily accomplishments. There are so many social events for the students to participate as well and I got to meet a lot of amazing people with different cultural backgrounds and life stories there!"

Bohyn Bang, Korea, International Foundation Programme for Social Sciences and Humanities.

Find out more about foundation at St Andrews

Start your journey to an undergraduate degree by: