One of the perks of living in Scotland is that you may not have to pay for further education since tuition fees are entirely free for any university course, allowing Scottish students to avoid financial pressure while building a better life through education.
However, the caveat is that free university tuition in Scotland is only available to students who have lived there for a minimum of three years.
But don’t let this discourage you if you’re an international student looking to study for free in Scotland. Some scholarships are also available in some of the best free universities in Scotland. But again, these opportunities can be quite competitive, and sometimes require high academic achievement.
Whichever scenario applies to your situation, there’s always something for you if you wish to study at a Scottish university without any tuition fees. The good news? We’ve researched for you.
List of the best free universities in Scotland
- University of Edinburgh
- University of Glasgow
- University of Aberdeen
- Stanford University
- Glasgow Caledonian University
- University of St. Andrews
- Queen Margaret University
University of Edinburgh
- Tuition fees: 1,820 EUR, 9,250 EUR, and 23,200 EUR for Local, Domestic, and International students, respectively.
- University of Edinburgh Admission Requirement Page
- University of Edinburgh Tuition Details page
Ranking among the top 20 universities globally, the University of Edinburgh is one of the best places to gain tuition-free higher education in Scotland.
It is a solid option for students looking to further in fields such as science, engineering, humanities, and social sciences.
Students from Scotland and the EU are eligible for free tuition at the Univeristy of Edinburgh while international students can apply for the school’s scholarship programs.
University of Glasgow
- Tuition fee: 1,820 GBP, 9,000 GBP, and 16,350 GBP for Local, Domestic, and International tuition, respectively.
- University of Glasgow Admission Requirement Page
- University of Glasgow Tuition Details page
With a wide range of scholarships and bursaries, the University of Glasgow is another excellent option if you are looking to study at a Scottish university without worrying about tuition fees. However, the actual free tuition is enjoyed by Scottish and EU students.
This university is top-ranked and has a solid reputation and proficiency, particularly in medicine, law, engineering, arts, and social sciences.
University of Aberdeen
- Tuition fee: £9,250 per annum
- University of Aberdeen Admission Requirement Page
- University of Aberdeen Tuition Details page
We strongly recommend the University of Aberdeen to students who want to study for free at a Scottish university, particularly one that has strong research programs. It is a fantastic free university choice to study a few in-demand professions such as medicine, law, engineering, and business.
International students can cover other expenses while studying at the University of Aberdeen due to the availability of specific scholarships and bursaries while Scottish or EU students enjoy free tuition.
University of St. Andrews
- Tuition fee: £28,190 to £35,920 depending on faculty
- University of St. Andrews Admission Requirement Page
- The University of St. Andrews Tuition Details page
The University of St. Andrews is another wonderful university worth your consideration if you are looking for the right tuition-free Scottish university to attend. It is prestigious and known for its prominence in science, art, and humanities.
Scottish and EU students enjoy free tuition here while applicants from outside this coverage can take advantage of the scholarships and bursaries.
We would place the University of St. Androws slightly above the popular Heriot-Watt University. The latter is also a good pick, particularly for international students but it is best for applicants interested in business-related programs.
Queen Margaret University
- Tuition fee: £14,884.
- Queen Margaret University Admission Requirement Page
- Queen Margaret University Tuition Details page
With narrowed courses in subjects such as business psychology, nursing, and drama, Queen Margaret University is another interesting choice for students looking to study at a free Scottish university today. There’s a range of scholarship options that allow even international students that do not fall under the eligibility to access free tuition higher education here.
However, the admission requirement into this university is not as easy as pie. We recommend you go through their requirement as it depends on whether you’re a Scottish, EU, or international student.
Glasgow Caledonian University
- Tuition fee: £18,000 for EU and International students, £8,500 for Home (Scottish) and RUK students
- Glasgow Caledonian University Admission Requirement Page
- Glasgow Caledonian University Tuition Details page
Located in Glasgow city centre, Glasgow Caledonian University also offers free tuition to Scottish and EU students. International students stand a chance to study for free also since they offer a range of scholarships and bursaries to compensate for the living expenses while studying.
It is a solid pick if you want to study courses in subjects like nursing, business, law, and engineering.
University of Dundee
- Tuition fee: £5,000 as minimum deposit
- University of Dundee Admission Requirement Page
- University of Dundee Tuition Details page
The tuition fees at the University of Dundee per year on average for students from the EU/EEA is quite affordable, however, the university still provides free tuition to Scottish and EU students. Outside students are also given a range of scholarship opportunities to help cushion the academic financial pressure of studying in a destination like Scotland.
The university offers courses in subjects like science, arts, business, law, and social sciences and the school is one of the best today
As we conclude, remember that the Scottish government picks up the tab for tuition fees only for Scottish students and students from the EU (who started in or before the 2020/21 academic year), allowing them to study for free at these universities.
The tuition fee of students studying in any of the above Scottish free universities is financed by the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) while students from the rest of the United Kingdom will be charged up to £9,250 for tuition fees,
Meanwhile, most first-time students can get funding to pay for university tuition fees without necessarily paying upfront.
Lastly, you will notice that most of the degrees offered in these free universities take four years to complete. It is the same as most Scottish degrees (free or paid) compared to the rest of the United Kingdom.