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Best Universities in Scotland 2023

So, if you think Scotland is the location for you, how do you decide which university to apply to? 

Well, we’ve done the hard work for you. We can now reveal the top 10 universities in Scotland based purely on student opinion! Yes, we’ve crunched the data on over 1,200 student reviews* of Scottish universities submitted between January 2022 and January 2023 to showcase the best according to students.

Why is this university league table important?

Authentic university reviews written by verified students are one of the best sources of opinion to help you make your university decision. By hearing unfiltered thoughts straight from students, you can be sure that each university in our league table is ranked purely on honest student opinions. 

Why should you study at the top unis in Scotland?

Not only has it got some of the oldest universities in the world, many of them taking up top spots in world university rankings, it has a range of urban and rural locations. There are big cities with lots of nightlife, like the University of Glasgow (#2), and small towns with plenty of tradition, like the University of St. Andrews (#1). 

Whilst Scottish universities continue to provide a fantastic student experience, Scotland is also a great place to explore. From the remote Highlands to historic towns and villages, there is so much on your doorstep. On top of that, many Scottish universities have airports nearby, making it a great place to tour the UK and Europe when you aren't studying.

One of the main differences of studying in Scotland compared to other universities in the UK is the four year degree structure. Students can enjoy a much broader range of module options in first and second year of university, before specialising in the third and fourth honours years. Students from Scottish universities leave education with an expansive academic knowledge and skills for employment.

Many of the Scottish universities also rank very well on our UK University League Table.

Which is the best university in Scotland?

This year's Best University in Scotland is the University of St Andrews! Students at St Andrews mentioned in reviews that they love the small community feel, beautiful campus and expert staff.

Use our league table below to find out which universities also ranked highly based on student reviews.

Published: March 2023

Top 10 Best Universities in Scotland 2023


University of St Andrews

"A wonderful university providing a niche experience for students to live beside the east coast of Scotland in a tight-knit community with extraordinary events and countless opportunities"

Overall rating

As Scotland's oldest university, founded in 1414, the University of St Andrews is steeped in tradition. From gowns to Raisin Monday, from the May Dip to academic parents, the University of St Andrews is the Hogwarts of the university world. Not only does it boast having the future King of England as one of its alumni, it has also educated five Nobel Laureates, cementing its strong academic reputation. As for graduate prospects, St Andrews' alumni earn an average of £27,000.

St Andrews is a small town situated on the east coast of Scotland. Its location delivers iconic beaches and world famous golf courses. With just over 10,000 students enrolled in courses, St Andrews maintains a family feel. But do not fear, even though St Andrews is a small town, there is still plenty for students to get involved in. With over 55 sports clubs and 140 student societies, there are a wealth of options to suit everyone's tastes.




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University of Glasgow

"A fantastic and warm environment welcomes any student that is willing to partake in events and social gatherings. For students who are a bit more secluded, the university offers many clubs and societies that anyone will fit into and make friends for life. I know that I have made 4 fantastic friends that I will hopefully keep all my life."

Overall rating

The University of Glasgow has a history stretching back to 1451 and it is spread across 3 university campuses. Students praise the beautiful location and excellent facilities, which are about to get even better. Glasgow is currently investing in a major re-development of its campus facilities to the tune of £1 billion: the James McCune Smith Learning Hub, which provides state-of-the-art learning and is a teaching facility with capacity for more than 2,500 students, is the first building to open as part of this investment. It is also one of two Russell Group universities in Scotland, showing its excellence in academic research.

Glasgow has a strong academic track record with a long list of notable alumni including Adam Smith, James Watt and Lord Kelvin, not to mention 8 Nobel Laureates. But it's not all nose to the grindstone. With over 300 clubs and societies to choose from, there is plenty to get stuck into socially, be it MedTech, zoology, Star Wars, biscuits, wine and cheese or gaming! There are also numerous fun-filled events hosted by societies throughout the year, like debate training, quizzes and open mic nights. Not only that, the city is steeped in culture with enough museums and galleries to keep history and arts buffs entertained for hours.




University of Strathclyde

"Great courses on offer with excellent teaching staff, perfect location with brilliant facilities and great career opportunities which students are made aware of from the beginning."

Overall rating

With over 23,000 students, the University of Strathclyde is a vibrant bustling university in the heart of Glasgow city. The university's facilities are organised around their core strengths in engineering, humanities and social science, science and Strathclyde Business School, with a wide range of notable achievements from each area. 

Strathclyde’s campus has everything a student needs at their fingertips, from essentials like laundry, the library and a strong IT infrastructure to health and wellbeing support, entertainment through the Students' Union and a plethora of student societies. 

Strathclyde has a strong reputation for both engineering and business management, with the only Business School in Scotland to be triple accredited and placed in the top 100 Business Schools by QS. With ambitious investment plans over the next 10 years, Strathclyde is sure to be a firm favourite with students for many years to come.




University of Aberdeen

“It's been only a week here and Iam already loving it. The staffs are so friendly and helpful. The property is so cool and is close to the University, city centre, beach, union square which is very efficient. Happy to be spending a whole year here.”

Overall rating

The University of Aberdeen combines ancient traditions with modern teaching and facilities. Teaching is organised across 12 schools which encompass a broad range of disciplines. Boasting multi-million pound investment, students are provided with some of the best facilities in the UK. 

The university is found on the North East coast of Scotland, close to the Cairngorms National Park. It is split into two campuses: Old Aberdeen, which hosts the arts, social science and physical science courses, and Foresterhill, which hosts medicine and life sciences. Both campuses are less than 3 miles to Aberdeen beach and the city centre.

Altogether there are over 400 different courses for undergraduate and postgraduate students, many being joint honours degrees, enabling students to combine subjects they love. 




University of Dundee

“Great social life and amazing careers advisors. Having everything on campus is so handy and I didn’t realise how nice the atmosphere of a campus uni would be. Lecturers also very helpful and understanding.”

Overall rating

The University of Dundee was originally founded in 1881 and gained its independent status in 1967. On the edge of the city you’ll find the campus, with Campus Green at the heart of it, surrounded by support services, academic departments, the Students' Union, libraries and accommodation. Students love that everywhere on the campus is within easy walking distance, plus the delights of Dundee are also easily accessible. With over 40 sports teams and 250 societies covering a broad range of interests, students aren’t short of activities to get involved in. As an added bonus, students also get free access to the Botanical Gardens! 

Dundee has a great track record for graduate outcomes. At 87.4%, it ranks 14th in the UK and top in Scotland for the proportion of graduates entering high skilled employment.

Notable alumni include the founder of Forbes Magazine, B.C.Forbes and Sir Robert Alexander Watson-Watt, the pioneer of radar technology. 

It's no wonder Dundee University is a popular choice with its students!




University of Edinburgh

“really nice with knowledgeable staff and convenient devices which really help me understand lecture more easily. The school free shuttle bus solve the transportation problem between different college, which is really frequent that make my school easier”

Overall rating

As one of the four ancient universities in Scotland, the University of Edinburgh lives up to its reputation of leading in research and teaching as well as delivering an excellent student experience in one of the most picturesque and vibrant cities in the UK. With 5 campuses spread across the city, students get all the benefits of city life combined with a close-knit campus experience. Edinburgh city has a unique combination of history and culture and it plays host to some of the most popular events to be ticked off any student’s bucket list, for example the Edinburgh Fringe or its world-renowned Hogmanay celebrations (New Years Eve!).

The University of Edinburgh is a truly diverse institution with students from over 140 countries learning side-by-side. Not only that, Edinburgh offers an extensive study abroad programme to enable students to immerse themselves in another culture.

As you would expect, Edinburgh has a strong track record in graduate employment with 96% of graduates finding employment or postgraduate study within 6 months of graduation.




University of Stirling

“Amazing place with all the facilities. The library and the atrium is awesome to study with such cozy places. The campus is so beautiful with beautiful scenery”

Overall rating

University of Stirling was founded in 1967 and boasts a unique location next to the castle and loch and enjoys views of the foothills of the Scottish Highlands. The university has been split into five faculties, each of which comprises multiple departments, institutes and centres. 97% of graduates are either in full time employment or further study six months after graduating.




Robert Gordon University

“Great university with excellent new facilities and student support accessible at all times. Every teacher/lecturer I've encountered has been quite kind and helpful. Computer Science facilities are of top quality, making for a pleasurable learning experience.”

Overall rating

Robert Gordon University, commonly known as RGU, prides itself on its reputation for producing graduates that are highly sought after by employers. The university has 11 academic schools based at the Garthdee Campus just outside Aberdeen city centre.




Glasgow Caledonian University

“GCU has very big students society that shares a lot of communities and traditions. The learning experience is much appreciated and the staff are very supportive. I think I had done the right choice by selecting to study at GCU.”

Overall rating

Glasgow Caledonian University is known to have excellent links with industry and many courses have accreditation from professional bodies with opportunities for work placements and to study or work abroad. The university is recognised as one of the largest providers of NHS healthcare graduates in Scotland, particularly in nursing.




Heriot-Watt University

“Incredible night life with the sports clubs, very much sports orientated along with tech and engineering with their new national robotics centre, situated on campus.”

Overall rating

Heriot-Watt University was founded in 1821 as the world’s first mechanics institute in the heart of Edinburgh. Nowadays the university has its UK campuses based in Edinburgh, on the Scottish borders and Orkney as well as a few dotted globally. It is particularly well known for research in business and industry.



* We only included universities with 10 or more reviews.

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