Education is one of Scotland’s greatest talents. The Scottish higher education system has a strong tradition of academic excellence and has been used as the model for higher education systems throughout the world – the United States being one notable example.
Undergraduate Honours degrees in Scotland are usually four years in duration and are structured to ensure a great deal of flexibility during the first two years of study. Most students only confirm their major in the final two years of study, meaning you can usually study any subjects that interest you! This is different from the English system of undergraduate education, which is 3 years in duration, being more specialised from the beginning.
Postgraduate degrees fall into two categories. Taught degrees generally comprise of tutorials and lectures before culminating in a period of individual study such as a dissertation or research project. Often referred to as Masters Degrees, they are known by various titles including Master of Science (MSc), Master of Letters (MLitt), Master of Research (MRes) and Master of Business Administration (MBA).
A Masters is likely to last 12 months (or more) full time and may:
- involve a detailed study of a particular aspect of your academic discipline;
- be vocational and lead to exemptions and/or a professional qualification;
- be a conversion course developing your knowledge and skills in a new subject.
Research degrees involve the in-depth study of a specific field, normally over a period of two or three years. These degrees are supervised and lead to the awards of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) or Master of Philosophy (MPhil).
The educational culture in Scotland is very much focused on independent learning and this is reflected in the number of contact hours students have with teaching staff. You may find that this is slightly lower than that of other countries, and the expectation is that a significant amount of reading and study will be done outside of the classroom. Although the learning style is different, as well as the help provided in tutorials, you will also be able to see your tutor outside of these times by booking an appointment.
Learning and Teaching Scotland provides a wealth of information about Scotland’s history. To learn more visit http://www.ltscotland.org.uk/scotlandshistory/index.asp.
To get a better feel and visual overview you can watch our video about studying in Scotland.
Prepare for Success
Prepare for Success an interactive pre-arrival learning tool for international students who are getting ready to come to the UK to study. The learning resources about different aspects of academic life in the UK help you find out what British academic life is like and what kind of academic skills you will need for effective study. As well as preparing you for what to expect during your studies, the activities provide scope for language improvement*. There is also an interactive FAQs page where you can find simple answers to questions about study in the UK.
If you are an international student planning to come and study in further or higher education in the UK, you can use these learning activities to prepare yourself for academic life and improve your English language skills. Use the learning resources in any order you like by clicking on a title or go to the 'study pathways' page if you would like to search by skill or topic. You can watch the demo to see how to use an activity.
* Prepare for Success is intended primarily for international students whose first language is not English. It is aimed at students with an IELTS level between 5.0 and 7.5 or equivalent.