• A group of international students waving flags showing their nationalities.
    Make friends from all over the world
    AND get a first rate education
  • Beautiful Scottish landscape photograph
    Scottish highland wilderness
    mountains, lochs, islands, sea
  • Image showing three pipers outside our campus preparing to pipe graduating students into the graduation marquee
    Scottish culture:
    ceilidhs, bag pipes, kilts , Burns' Night, Hogmanay
    Explore Scotland's history, heritage and living culture
  • Aerial image showing SAMS campus on the beach at sunset
    Study in a world-leading research institute
    hands-on, fieldwork, research opportunities
    Find out more about SAMS
  • Image showing two international postgraduate students on the SAMS campus
    International diversity
    ...more perspectives deepen understanding
    Studying abroad broadens the mind
  • Image of SAMS research vessel with rainbow behind
    Land of the rainbow
    ...yes it rains, making the land green and lush

Information for international students

What our international students say about SAMS

As a international student, the entire world is open to you. So, what can Scotland offer?

First of all we are part of the UK, which remains the most recommended English-speaking destination by overseas students, and UK higher education qualifications are highly regarded by employers. But there is so much more that recommends Scotland!

Scotland is a small country with 790 islands, the UK's largest mountains and a lot of water, from sea and freshwater lochs, to streams, waterfalls - and an abundance of rainbows. With a low population density outside the urban central belt, there is much of this beautiful natural space in the Highlands and Islands.

Scottish culture is very much alive: our parties are ceilidhs, for special occasions our men wear kilts, and we live on whisky, salmon, haggis and a lot worse... 

The Scottish people are open and hospitable - you are not likely to feel lonely here and will feel at home quickly. Life here still happens at a very human scale and pace.

The landscape offers the most stunning views and an extravaganza of possible outdoor activities. Here is where adventurers flourish!

For a small nation with a population of just over 5.2 million, there are many famous Scots who have been contributing to progress in the world: there are explorers like David Livingstone, political leaders like William Wallace ('Braveheart') and Robert the Bruce, poets like Rabbie Burns, thinkers like David Hume, scientists like James Clerk Maxwell (electro-magnetism), Alexander Fleming (penicillin) and Joseph Lister (antiseptic), inventors like John Logie Baird (TV) and Alexander Graham Bell (phone), economists like Adam Smith, sportspeople like Andy Murray and Sir Alex Ferguson, actors like Sean Connery, Ewan McGregor, James McAvoy and Gerard Butler and writers like JK Rowling (Harry Potter) and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Sherlock Holmes). And they all have left footprints that you will be able to explore as a foreign student in Scotland!

SAMS is among the oldest oceanographic organisations in the world. Our founding father, Sir John Murray, even coined the word 'oceanography'. We are an independent research institute interested in all aspects of marine science from physics, chemistry, geology and biology to resource management, policy and business. We work to understand how the marine system really works and how we can benefit from marine resources without compromising the health of the ocean realm.

There are around 150 staff at SAMS - themselves from 20 different nationalities - and another 160 or so students, studying both undergraduate and postgraduate courses. The scale of SAMS is small enough to know everyone if you want to and for it to be an extended 'family' yet large enough for constantly new initiatives, adventures and connections.

Studying in a research laboratory gives students unprecedented access to expert staff, opportunities to gain research experience and to build up professional networks as well as access to outstanding research facilities. Around the world there are very few places offering such an outstanding learning experience.

Our location on the beach of one of the cleanest and most diverse marine environments in Europe allows all our clever and curious sea lovers to experience and appreciate the ocean realm we study in a holistic way.

All our courses are taught in English and to succeed students thus must comprehend, read and write English to a high standard. We therefore only accept students with sufficient command of the English language. No advanced language learning programmes are available at SAMS. Locally, personalised English lessons as well as editing services are available from Margaret Powell-Joss (07747 300 062).

Language requirements for undergraduate and postgraduate students vary slightly, and we accept a variety of language qualifications. Check out the university website for details...

SAMS and the University of the Highlands and Islands warmly welcome students from all over the world. Unfortunately, however, you might have to get through the immigration procedure of the United Kingdom before we can do so. We will offer you any help we can while you manouvre through this process.

Do I need a visa?

You do not need need a visa to study in the UK if you are a national of

  • >a European Economic Area Country
  • >Switzerland
  • >British overseas territories (except sovereign base areas in Cyprus)
  • >Commonwealth citizen with at least one grandparent born in UK (gives you permission to stay in UK)

If the above conditions do not apply to you, you are likely to require a visa to enter the UK and study here.

Visa and immigration information for students

UK Visas and Immigration 

UK Council for International Student Affairs

Please check out the university website for the detailed process.

Erasmus+ is an EU programme for education, training, youth and sport. It offers students opportunities to study or do work placements in another European country, learn new skills and expand their horizons during their time at uni.

SAMS currently have Erasmus exchange agreements with the University Centre in Svalbard; the University of Konstanz (Germany); Van Hall Larenstein, University of Applied Sciences (The Netherlands); University of Alicante (Spain); University of Valencia (Spain) and the University of Zadar (Croatia).

 

For SAMS UHI Erasmus+ exchange students (outgoing)

Current students interested to explore Erasmus+ exchanges should in the first instance contact Shona Magill (E: Shona.Magill@sams.ac.uk).

Read the student blog from 2017/18 third year BSc students to the Netherlands and to UNIS on Svalbard.

 

For incoming Erasmus+ exchange students

Erasmus Plus: Studying at SAMS 2017-18



Amanda's story

Listen to Spanish Erasmus student Amanda talk on local radio ObanFM about her exchange semester at SAMS

UK universities are international communities and are determined to remain so. EU and international staff and students are an integral part of life at SAMS. We will continue to welcome students from the EU.

The UK has voted in a referendum to leave the UK. Although the majority of Scottish voters voted to remain, Scotland may be bound by the UK negotiations. The Scottish government is exploring all possible avenues to find a way for Scotland to remain. Currently Scotland is part of the UK though and may have to follow the decisions of central government.

At this time there is no certainty about the changes for EU staff and students as a result of the Brexit vote. But until the exit negotiations have been completed, the UK remains a member of the EU with all the same rights and obligations as all other member states.

While the UK remains in the EU, EU students pay the same fees as home students and will be eligible for tuition fee loans and grants. Students starting their courses in 2018 and 2019 will study in the UK like in any other European country. This applies to the full duration of their course, even if the UK may exit the EU during this period (read more...).

Course fees payable by those starting their studies once the UK has left the EU will depend on the deal that the UK government agrees with the EU.

Check out the UK Council for International Student Affairs website for latest developments.