Student Finance in Scotland: Everything You Need to Know

The way finance works in Scotland is a little different to how the rest of the UK works. In many ways, Scotland has a similar finance sector to the rest of the UK, but they will differ on many different things.

We have compiled a guide for you to look into the ways fees and finances are structured in Scotland, today. While you can find a lot of help for your overall student finance on our student finance guide, this is your best bet for all things Scottish finance!

How Long are Scottish Degrees?

Most Scottish degrees are around four years, view the student subject degree guide to understand what each course consists of. This is different from the rest of the UK and is something that can be disputed depending on the course you’re doing, but the average time is four years. A few universities will offer accelerated courses, which will accelerate your graduation by a year, so you end up graduating after 3 years.

Are Degrees Free in Scotland?

Degrees at Scottish univerisites are free to Scottish nationals and also to students for inside the European Union. The government will foot the bill for the degree and won’t affect students, however, students for outside the EU or for the rest of the UK will have to pay the fees.

Is the Debt Clearance Figure the Same as the Rest of the UK the Same in Scotland?

Nope. The figure is increased. The years in the rest of the UK is between 25 and 30 years for students to have their unpaid debt cleared, however, in Scotland, the time is stretched to a period between 30 and 35 years.

How Much are Tuition Fees in Scotland?

As said above, Scottish and EU nationals doing their first degree in Scotland will have to pay not money whatsoever. Those that are not entitled to a fee waiver, will have to pay somewhere between £1,500 and £2,000-a-year. For those outside of the EU or those that are in the rest of the UK, you will have to pay around £10,000-a-year and it can rise by £3,000 further for international students and has been known to reach the stratospheric heights of £50,000, which no one wants to pay!

What Are the Biggest Costs for Studying in Scotland?

Generally, your cost of living will incur the biggest cost hike. Your money will be going on your student bills, your food and your transport, which no one wants to pay! The cost of living will be the most expensive cost for you and it most certainly does not come cheap! Be sure to take all of your various funds and student bank accounts into account before you start making any big financial decisions.

Who are the SAAS?

The SAAS is the Scottish Awards Agency Scotland. These are the people that are in charge of the money that you will be spending when you’re at university and the like. The SAAS will be tuition fees for eligible students, regardless of their current financial situation, of course, ineligible students will face a slightly harder time of it.

Who Do I Speak to About Student Finance in Scotland?

If you’re from Scotland, you’ll need to speak to the SAAS; whereas, if you’re for England you will have to speak to Student Finance England. The same can be said of Northern Ireland and Wales.

How Can EU Students Apply for a Tuition Loan in Scotland?

It’s a fairly simple thing for you to look into. EU students can get any sort of tuition loans, with limited support for others from the EEA or who have refugee status, but you will need to speak to the university in question, first, which is a little bit easier, as they will have a full understanding of cost breakdowns.

Can Independent Students Apply for a Maintenance Loan?

This is a tricky one. Independent students can apply for a maintenance loan, but the figures will be drastically different, especially since the income will often be affected by the money that you have coming into the house. This isn’t necessarily true for all types of loan, but it will certainly be something you’ll need to keep in mind.

Can Part-Time Students Apply for a Maintenance Loan?

Get ready for the disappointment that only England football fans can get used to. No you can’t. The funding isn’t there for part-time students but there will be alternatives, but these will depend on the university you attend and the geographical location and will also depend on the household income, we recommend that you speak to your university or your Student Finance house.

Is there a Lone Parents’ Fund for Students in Scotland?

Yes, however, this is operated on a first-come-first-serve basis, so get your applications in ASAP!

Is there a Disabled Student’s Allowance for Students in Scotland?

There is indeed. DSA applications are available  and are there for the use of any additional helpers that you need and to cover any travel expenses that you may have, and specialist help if you can’t use public transport.

Is there an Adult Dependants’ Grant for Students in Scotland?

Yes, but only if you’re responsible for another adult that you live with.

Is there Funding for Nursing and Midwifery Courses for Students in Scotland?

Yes, there is for a Nursing degree and a Midwifery degree. Funding is available in the form of a non-repayable bursary. This is obviously a really good thing to get a hold of if you can, the replayability can differ depending on eligibility. There is a £60 fee for initial expenses and there is also maintenance support for any extenuating circumstances.

Scottish financial regulations for students is very different from the rest of the UK. As a result, you’ll need to keep abreast of the various legislation changes in the country and you’ll also want to speak to your university as well, they will be able to keep you in the loop of things that are happening and will let you know if they operate outside any of the nationwide legislation, although that is a little rare. Good luck!