One of the most historically rich cities in the UK, Edinburgh is a fantastic place to study. Its universities have a long tradition and the city is vibrant with cultural life, as well as great events for students throughout the year. Whilst it is not the cheapest place to live as it is such a popular destination, you can find good deals living in the halls of residence of your university or living further outside of the main tourist area of town and commuting in for your courses in the city’s solid transport network.

The Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) funds the universities in the area so local and EU students enjoy the benefit of a full tuition waiver. However, if you are from the rest of the UK and from overseas, you will need to pay tuition fees.

Below are some of the cheapest options for getting a degree in Edinburgh. Read on to know more.

Affordable Universities in Edinburgh for International Students

1. University of Edinburgh

The University of Edinburgh has ranked highly amongst academic institutions in the UK for years. It is renowned for the quality of teaching, research facilities, and degrees awarded. Students here can study an extremely wide range of subjects from biomedicine to business, history and classics, languages, economics, physics, astronomy, etc.

The cost of tuition for students from the rest of the UK is currently £9,250 per year. Overseas students do have to pay quite a lot more in the range of £19,800 to £32,000 if studying medicine programs.

2. Heriot-Watt University

One of the most international institutions in Scotland, Heriot-Watt University has a UK campus in Edinburgh as well as campuses in Dubai and Malaysia. Students can study a very varied range of subjects from accountancy and finance to mathematics, physics, languages, and even topics such as brewing and distilling.

UK students have to pay £9,250 per year. For international students, it could cost up to £19,000 per year. If you are low on budget, you can apply to one of the multitude of scholarships offered at the university. Applying to these funding options will greatly reduce your academic finances.

3. Queen Margaret University

Founded in 1875, Queen Margaret University is named after Saint Margaret, wife of King Malcolm III of Scotland. The university was initially exclusive to women but it eventually became a co-educational institution.

The university has a School of Arts and Social Sciences, one of the only three places in Scotland to offer a degree in Costume Design and Construction. It also has a School of Health Sciences that focuses on nutrition and biological sciences, nursing, and a range of therapy options like operational therapy, art psychotherapy, etc.

4. Edinburgh Napier University

A modern university founded only in 1992, Edinburgh Napier University specializes in business studies. Aside from that, students can pursue their studies in biomedical science and the environment,  arts and creative industries, and computing.

International students will be charged a tuition fee depending on their course and degree level. For example, the BSc in Computing would cost around £17,500 per year for non-UK students.

5. Scotland’s Rural College SRUC

The Scottish Agricultural College and three other institutions have merged to create an education institution aimed at delivering skills in the areas of land-based industry specific to Scotland but also globally. The university has an Edinburgh campus as well as campuses across Scotland.

Students can study agriculture, animal care, biological sciences,  business management, environmental management, and hospitality or sustainability.

The university follows the same fee structure as Scottish and European Union students’ tuition. International student fees start at around £16,000 per year for the undergraduate while postgraduate fees are a lot cheaper that starts from £4,000 per year.


We hope you make use of this article once you plan to apply to one in the UK’s capital. If you are unsure of what study program to take, here’s a list of United Kingdom Programs for International Students!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

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