right arrow
Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04
We've updated the Topics page of our website to better organize and share our expert content. Read more about it here.

St Andrews Academics

Lam8507Lam8507 11 replies3 threadsRegistered User New Member
Hi all,
So I am considering applying to St. Andrews because it seems like the kind of environment I would like (close-knit, strong community but still not too far from Dundee or even Edinburgh). I am also very interested in going to school in another country, but not just for an exchange year (i have already done that actually). However...I am REALLY worried about the academics. I have heard mixed reviews...now I come from a small school with few choices but very intense classes so I am not too bothered by the module system, though I would hope for a bit of flexibility. But I am truly going to school for the academics, and wanted to know what anyone who goes there thinks of academics at St. Andrews.

Main questions:
Is it rigorous? Do you have easy access to tutors, lecturers, or study groups? How often are the tutorials? Is there any active discussion or answering questions during class?

Also: I am also applying to occidental college, reed college, and Vassar. Would these be better choices if I am accepted? I am hoping to study English, cognitive science, and some sort of art

Finally, PLEASE don't feel like I am attacking St Andrews; I have heard wonderful things about it. That is why it is one of my top choices. I am just worried it won't be a good fit for me

Thanks a bunch!!
13 replies
· Reply · Share

Replies to: St Andrews Academics

  • VickiSoCalVickiSoCal 3367 replies33 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    My daughter is in chemistry and math. She likes her tutors but I believe the courses are structured quite different in the humanities. She has problem sets and labs due every week amd seems to have about the workload i would expect from a similar course load at a US university. Most of her friends in her hall are arts and humanities majors. She said they partied a lot the first few weeks but now major writing and final exam prep is settling in and everyone is head down in their books.
    Firat semester you would likely take AH1001 EN1003 and PS1001
    Second year you narrow down to 2 subjects.
    I would dog in to the module descriptions for each.
    · Reply · Share
  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 6590 replies54 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @VickiSoCal gives good advice: you need to dig into the modules, and do some more homework on UK unis in general & St Andrews in particular as well.

    For a start, "art" at StAs is Art History. There is no Cognitive Science, but there is Neuroscience; if you go the neuro path you have one elective module first year; the rest are psych & bio. If you go the English path you have a little more flexibility, but no matter what the *most* credits you can take outside your course at StAs is 80 total, out of the 480 that you typically take (or 20 out of 120 each year). There is no path to 'study English, cognitive science, and some sort of art'.

    To your actual question, are the academics at StAs good, the answer is yes.

    But to your wish for "a bit of flexibility" in requirements, that is more a US thing than a UK thing. Scotland in general, and StAs in particular is pretty flexible by UK standards, but imo it is unlikely that you will find the kind of flexibility you are looking for there.
    · Reply · Share
  • VickiSoCalVickiSoCal 3367 replies33 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    If you go here:

    https://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/media/publications/coursecatalogue/undergraduate/2017-2018/2017-18 semester 1 timetable.pdf

    You will basically take three 1000 level courses your first semester. Usually one from your declared subject and any two others. You can find out quite a bit about each of those modules via google or the department web pages.

    There's not nearly as many choices as at US schools, the intro/1000 level modules are generally a very straightforward introduction to the subject.
    · Reply · Share
  • Lam8507Lam8507 11 replies3 threadsRegistered User New Member
    edited November 2017
    Hi @VickiSoCal thank you so much for your response! Alright, yes I can see that I will not have the same flexibility. I guess I will have to decide how important that is to me...now I was wondering, how is your daughter enjoying St Andrews? Has it been a difficult adjustment or has it gone quite smoothly? Finally, what societies is your daughter involved in?
    edited November 2017
    · Reply · Share
  • Lam8507Lam8507 11 replies3 threadsRegistered User New Member
    thank you!! I actually had no idea that St. Andrews did not have studio art...I hear they have an art society, would you happen to know anything about that? I would just like to be involved in visual art in some small way truthfully
    · Reply · Share
  • VickiSoCalVickiSoCal 3367 replies33 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited November 2017
    She is on the recreational swim team and Save the Children and has developed a very close bond with the other girls in her wing (she's on an all female floor, which she was at first unhappy with as she did not request that, but now she loves.) She claims their kitchen and common areas stay cleaner than the guys' floor. She's already searching for a house to share with three other girls from her floor for next year. She had a great fall break, took a bus trip to some other parts of Scotland and stayed in hostels, also with her little floor group. She enjoyed the Raisin activities but didn't seem to bond with her academic family as much as some students do, but that's ok, she doesn't seem to be lacking in the social department at all. Biggest adjustments have been the weather and the food. She seems to have no regrets so far.
    She is the wrong person to ask about art though!
    edited November 2017
    · Reply · Share
  • Lam8507Lam8507 11 replies3 threadsRegistered User New Member
    @collegemom3717 oops that was to you!
    · Reply · Share
  • usuallyconfusedusuallyconfused 28 replies1 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    My D is a fresher at St A's and loves it. Although it's a relatively small environment, there are countless things to get involved with..she is never ever without options. Academically, she is very busy with reading and papers (faculty of arts). Have you visited the schools that you mention? Occidental was also on my D's list but came off after a visit. Nice school, great education..she just didn't "feel it" when she was there. After all of her acceptances were in, she narrowed it down to two...Pitzer and St. A's. Two vastly different schools. She feels that either one would would have been amazing, but ultimately wanted to be overseas for 4 years. Good luck. Enjoy the process. It's an exciting time.
    · Reply · Share
  • Lam8507Lam8507 11 replies3 threadsRegistered User New Member
    @usuallyconfused wow that's great to hear! I'm glad she is enjoying it. Now that I have looked through the course choices I am definitely putting St. Andrews as at least my second choice (they have an electronic music course?? With ableton live? Its probably not their strongest subject im guessing but that is definitely something I am interested in!). Oh that is good to hear, and I am not worried about the school being too small (my school right now has 559 student's and is packed into a tiny old office building...my school before was even smaller than that lol). Oh that's so cool that we were looking at the same schools! Actually, is there a way I may be able to contact your daughter, for example does she have a Facebook? I would love to hear more about the uni from her as well if she wouldn't mind.
    · Reply · Share
  • usuallyconfusedusuallyconfused 28 replies1 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @Lam8507 I don’t think she would mind at all but I would want to check w her before giving her contact. Since it’s 2 am there now, I’ll check in the morning.
    · Reply · Share
  • Lam8507Lam8507 11 replies3 threadsRegistered User New Member
    @usuallyconfused thank you so much!!
    · Reply · Share
  • usuallyconfusedusuallyconfused 28 replies1 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @Lam8507 I pm'd you.
    · Reply · Share
  • maroon79maroon79 145 replies3 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    my daughter graduated last year from St. A. and loved her experience. She has a whole host of of very close friends (both Americans and UK based) and was crying the day she had to leave St. A. Its a magical place. From what she relayed, the academics are very rigorous with a lot of writing (she was Mod History/art History double major). Just looked up her final History paper she submitted - 46 pages, so not a small undertaking. St. A students also get two weeks of Spring Break which she took advantage of to see Greece, Spain, Portugal, France, and Poland. Not to mention many trips within Scotland and the UK. Day trips to Edinburgh seemed to happen a few times a year. Never to Dundee (there is nothing there).
    · Reply · Share
This discussion has been closed.

Recent Activity