About St Andrews

Swilken Bridge

Founded in the early 15th century, St Andrews is Scotland’s first university and one of the oldest in the world.

Situated on the east coast of Scotland and framed by countryside, beaches and cliffs, the town of St Andrews was once the centre of the nation’s political and religious life.  Today, it’s a vibrant academic town with a distinctively cosmopolitan feel where, normally, students and university staff account for more than half of the local population.

The University of St Andrews is a research intensive institution with a population of nearly 13, 000 students and staff, typically of over 140 nationalities.  It has approximately 8000 undergraduates and 2000 postgraduate students and employs just under 3000 staff.  Students can take degrees from over 40 different subjects, split between four faculties.

The University was ranked top in Scotland in the most recent REF for the quality of research publications across all faculties, with 80% of its research assessed as world leading or internationally excellent.  Alongside its excellent track record for research, teaching at St Andrews is also internationally renowned, recognised by a TEF Gold Award and regular top rankings in the National Student Survey and University league tables.  

The most recent University strategy sets out St Andrews’ ambitions to grow its international profile, champion diversity and inclusivity, expand its portfolio of world-leading research, develop stronger links with industry and embed a new culture of entrepreneurship among students and staff.  It also places social responsibility at its heart, with a pledge to manage growth in student numbers, foster a growing culture of sustainability and pursue a research and teaching agenda for the wider public good.  Being located in small town, St Andrews places great importance on fostering strong relationships with the local community.

The University’s commitment to diversity and inclusion has been recognised by a number of awards .  St Andrews also recently became the first university in the UK to sign the Business in the Community Race at Work Charter.

This commitment is also reflected in the research community, where the Centre for Research in Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (CREDI) brings together St Andrews researchers whose interests focus around EDI.  Research activities related to higher education are supported by the Centre for Higher Education Research (CHER) and St Andrews Teaching and Learning Initiative (SALTI).   The newly created Centre for Educational Enhancement and Development (CEED) further provides joined-up learning and teaching support to all staff and students.

To learn more about St Andrews, please see our About pages on the main University website.

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