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Studying In Scotland Vs England: What Should You Choose In 2023?

studying in scotland vs england

After choosing the course, selecting the college and place of study is one of the most important aspects of a student’s higher education. Since college life is a cumulation of studies, extracurriculars, community interaction, social life and, most importantly, exploring new arenas, the student’s choice of city or location influences their career to a great extent. And in the past few years, the United Kingdom has been an active preference of millions of students for its world-class education and incredible standard of living. Even within the UK, students have the option of selecting between different countries. To help accelerate your decision, the guide below states the major pros of studying in Scotland Vs England.

Studying In Scotland Vs England: Education System

In Scotland, undergraduate degree courses are usually 4 years long. The higher education system is adaptive and all-encompassing for students. For instance, they are given the leniency to explore different courses in their first and second years and are only required to pick their major or specialisation in the third year. Although Scottish universities generally don’t have a range of courses as compared to their contemporaries, they are often considered exceptional for programmes like engineering and marine modules.

Comparatively, in England, the courses are 3 years long and more rigid. Students need to finalise their specialisation before the beginning of the course and are expected to stick to their majors since switching isn’t as feasible. In several cases, the universities demand that the students redo their entire course from the start in case they wish to change their specialisation. Also, England, being more populated and developed, has a greater number of universities.

Based on this comparison, it can be deduced that while the education system in Scotland allows students to delve into more areas and fields of learning, England focuses more on a deeper sense of knowledge. To further supplement the comparative analysis of the course structure and education system in each of these countries, below is a list of their top universities.

studying in scotland vs england

Sr. No. Top 10 Universities In ScotlandTop 10 Universities In England
1.The University of EdinburghUniversity of Oxford
2.University of GlasgowUniversity of Cambridge
3.University of St. AndrewsImperial College London
4.University of AberdeenUniversity College London (UCL)
5.University of DundeeUniversity of Manchester
6.Heriot-Watt UniversityKing’s College London (KCL)
7.University of StrathclydeUniversity of Bristol
8.University of StirlingUniversity of Warwick
9.Edinburgh Napier UniversityUniversity of Leeds
10.Glasgow Caledonian UniversityThe University of Southampton

Comparing The Cost Of Living

Another major aspect to factor in while analysing the differences between studying in Scotland vs England is the cost of living. Oftentimes, students manage their tuition fees and expenses by relying on scholarships, grants, student maintenance loans and other financial aid. It is essential to consider the monthly cost of living in each of these countries before making your decision, following the amount of money received.

The following table contains a comparison of the monthly average cost of living in Scotland and England, so the readers can get an estimate and make a sound decision.

ItemCost Of Living In Scotland (per month)Cost Of Living In England (per month)
Off-Campus Accommodation£416£408
On-Campus Accommodation£640£472
Total Cost Of Living With Off-Campus Accommodation£1,194£1,154
Total Cost Of Living With On-Campus Accommodation£1,418£1,218
Annual Cost Of Living£14,328£13,848

It is to be noted that these are average estimates, and the actual cost of living may have a difference depending on the popularity of the particular city, its quality of education, your course and standard of living. 

Studying In Scotland Vs England: Job Opportunities

studying in scotland vs england

One of the biggest employers in Scotland is the NHS – National Health Services. Every year, they hire thousands of people in over 70 different professions. Hence, Scotland is a country with a plethora of opportunities for all those interested in a career in the health industry abroad. Scotland was also the first country to provide universal education to both girls and boys back in the 17th century. So, it is evident that jobs in the education industry have unlimited potential to be explored. The growing tech industry, too, has enabled several global companies to situate their head office here. On average, over ten thousand students are hired by these companies every year to be placed in different cities around the world.

England has excelled more in the research and development industry, comparatively. Jobs are more fulfilling and promising for scientists and theoretical researchers here. Also, a lot of students prefer to work in the corporate sector after graduating from universities in England with job profiles in the finance, accounting, marketing or HR departments. Although there are certain differences in the job opportunities offered to freshers, the overall employment rate in the United Kingdom is around 75.7 per cent, which is amongst the top 10 globally. Similarly, the employment rates in Scotland and England are 76.1 per cent and 75.6 per cent, respectively.

Differences In The Social Life

studying in scotland vs england

College is an experience of a lifetime that is only enhanced by meeting new people, making friends, visiting different places and exploring the city. Social life is a major part of being in university, which is why it makes a key attribute when comparing studying in Scotland vs England. Generally, social life in the United Kingdom is exciting and packed with new experiences. Especially university-based cities and towns are brimming with cafes, restaurants and pubs specifically to cater to the student crowd. Several sporting events, concerts and cultural endeavours are routinely held. Most importantly, the social life is cheap and affordable here, often with many discounts and concessions available for students.

In Scotland, the average expenditure for recreation is around £40. In England, this cost is also similar, around £40. Hence, England and Scotland offer their students an exhilarating socialising experience to last a lifetime.

Studying In Scotland Vs England: A Comparative Summary

The table below highlights the major differences between studying in Scotland and studying in England at a glance.

Sr. No.AttributesScotlandEngland
1.Estimated Population (2023)5.53 million55.9 million
2.Popular LandmarksEdinburgh Castle, Stirling Castle, Palace of HolyroodhouseBuckingham Palace, Tower Bridge, Stonehenge
3.Top UniversitiesThe University of Edinburgh, University of Glasgow, University of St. AndrewsThe University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, Imperial College London
4.EducationWider scope for exploringDeeper learning
5.Annual Cost Of Living£14,328£13,848
6.Employment Rate76.174.6
7.Average Salary£30,000£39,000
8.Cost Of Recreation£40£40

Although this comparison highlights the major advantages of studying in each of these countries, both Scotland and England have an equal potential of offering their students a world-class education and a brilliant scope for settling and shaping one’s career. 


Q1.  Is it better to study in Scotland or England?

Ans: England and Scotland are both among the popular international places in the UK to move and study for international students. According to several surveys, England has been ranked high for being the most student-friendly country, while Scotland is known for being a major centre of world-renowned research.

Q2.  Is Scotland expensive for international students?

Ans: The average annual cost of living in Scotland is £14,328, which means studying in Scotland can be expensive if no financial aid or scholarships are considered.

Q3.  Is it cheaper to study in Scotland or England?

Ans: The extra year of study at the undergraduate level in Scotland can make a significant difference in the overall tuition fees. However, in terms of living costs, Scotland is generally considered cheaper than England.

Q4. How is Scotland demographically different from England?

Ans: The total land area of Scotland is 78,352 km2 compared to England, which is 1,30,279 km2. Scotland is also less populated, with a population of around 5.5 million, compared to England’s population of around 55.9 million.

Q5. Is Scotland much colder than England?

Ans: Scotland is the coldest part of the United Kingdom throughout the year, and it has average minimum temperatures of just -0.2oC during the winter.

Thank you for reading our comparative guide to studying in Scotland vs England! Let us know your queries or experiences in the comments section below. 

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Studying In Scotland Vs England: What Should You Choose In 2023?

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