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Highlands & Islands University

UCAS Code: H49

Location: North of Scotland Show on Map

Site: Teaching centres across Scottish Highlands & Islands

A unique partnership of colleges and research centres

Student Population

Total Students:7,280
FE Students:1%


Total undergraduates:6,780
Full Time:56%
Mature on Entry:61%
UK Students:96%
State school entry:97%

Teaching Staff

485 full-time, 449 part-time.

Broad study areas

Arts, theology, culture & heritage, business & tourism, environmental & marine sciences, sustainability & renewable energy, health & social studies, computing & IT, engineering, Gaelic-medium studies.


Admission Information:Standard entry requirements are 3 Highers (or 2 A-levels) at grade C; prospective students without these are encouraged to apply.
Points on Entry (Mean):280
Drop Out Rate:13%
Accommodation:Some first-year students housed


Founded:2001 as UHI Millennium Institute; university status in 2011.
Site:Main campuses in Argyll, Dingwall (Highland Theological College UHI), Elgin (Moray College UHI), Inverness, Isle of Lewis, Isle of Skye, Oban (Scottish Association for Marine Science UHI), Orkney, Perth, Shetland (including NAFC Marine Centre UHI), Thurso, and at West Highland College UHI (Fort William, Skye and Wester Ross). Associated learning centres in many other locations across the Highlands and Islands.
Special features:The aim is to reach high university standards (diploma and degree courses and research opportunities) and also to play a broader role in the educational, economic, social and cultural development of the region. A partnership of colleges and research centres, with courses delivered at local institutions and by distance learning (a mix of UHI-linked materials, tutorials, video-conferencing and seminars).

Student services & facilities

Student advice & services:All colleges have a café or refreshments; many have a student shop, recreation area and sports facilities; several have crèches. Most have student guidance and counselling and many have a careers office.
Amenities:Student Association (UHISA) helps bring together people with common interests through ICT network and events eg band competitions and sport (eg inter-site five-a-side football championship; diving, shinty, surfing, skiing and snowboarding clubs are planned).
Sporting facilities:Many campuses have sports facilities, both indoor and outdoor; the Highlands and Islands landscape is an outdoor enthusiast’s heaven.
Accommodation:On-site halls of residence at three colleges. Others provide lists of local lodgings or private rented accommodation; some international students prefer to stay with host families.

Study opportunities & careers

Library & information services:Each college offering taught courses has a library, computer suite with internet access, study rooms and video-conferencing facilities. Every student has access to email and internet facilities. Technical help and support in all colleges and local learning centres. Resources available at other UHI partners can be requested through the inter-site loan system.
Other learning resources:Virtual learning environment, which students can access anywhere online.
Study abroad:Opportunities to study abroad exist through partnership agreements with insitutions in eg the USA, Canada, Ireland.
Careers:Career centre offers advice, guidance, coaching and vacancy information; online careers service.


Term-time work:Information and advice on term-time employment from university careers centre and those on local campuses.
Financial help:Some hardship funds, student development fund and scholarship schemes.
University tuition fees:Scottish and EU students pay no fees during their course; other UK students pay £7500 pa for full-time first degrees, to a maximum of £22,500 for the whole course. International students paid £7200 (classroom-based), £8580 pa (lab-based).


Academic features:

Courses delivered at individual colleges and research centres and by distance learning, partly via UHI-linked materials, tutorials, video-conferencing and seminars. Teaching is in English (except Gaelic-related courses, which are taught in Gaelic). Courses related to the needs of business and the community eg Gaelic and traditional music, adventure tourism management, rural health studies, sustainable forest management.

Awarding body:

University of the Highlands & Islands

Main undergraduate awards:

BA, BSc, BEng

Length of courses:

3 years (ordinary degrees), 4 years (honours).

Main subjects offered:

  • Accountancy
  • Acoustic Engineering
  • Acting
  • Aeronautical Engineering
  • Agriculture
  • Air Transport Engineering
  • Aquaculture
  • Archaeology
  • Architectural Technology
  • Art
  • Audio
  • Avionics
  • Biblical Studies
  • Building Surveying
  • Building Technology
  • Business Administration
  • Business Studies
  • Celtic Studies
  • Childhood Studies
  • Civil Engineering
  • Comparative Literature
  • Complementary Therapies
  • Computer Engineering
  • Computing
  • Construction
  • Contemporary Decorative Arts/Crafts
  • Countryside Management
  • Cultural Studies
  • Dance
  • Earth Sciences
  • Education
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Electronic Engineering
  • Energy Engineering
  • Engineering (General)
  • Environmental Archaeology
  • Environmental Management
  • Environmental Science
  • Environmental Studies
  • Forestry
  • Health
  • Heritage Studies
  • History
  • Hospitality Management
  • Humanities
  • Industrial Engineering
  • Information Technology
  • Interactive Multimedia
  • Internet Technology
  • Leisure Management
  • Management
  • Marine Biology
  • Marine Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Media Studies
  • Microelectronics
  • Music
  • Music Technology
  • Oceanography
  • Performance Arts
  • Politics
  • Popular Music
  • Psychology
  • Quantity Surveying
  • Religious Studies
  • Rural Environment Studies
  • Scottish Studies
  • Social History
  • Social Science
  • Social Studies
  • Social Work
  • Sociology
  • Sports Studies
  • Sustainable Development
  • Textiles
  • Theology
  • Tourism
  • TV Studies
  • Virtual Design
  • Wildlife Management
  • Youth & Community Work

Student view

Katrina Paton (BA Child & Youth Studies), Vice President of UHISA


What's it like as a place to live? The Highlands of Scotland is a beautiful place to live. There is a huge range of outdoor and local community activities that you can take part in and experiences to embrace which are not found within urban universities.

How's the student accommodation? At the moment, there is student accommodation at Perth College UHI and Sabhal Mor Ostaig UHI on the Isle of Skye. Both facilities are modern and reasonably priced. Most campuses have local contacts that can provide student accommodation on a private basis.

What's the student population like? There is a diverse mixture of local, rural, urban and international students. UHI attracts students from a variety of backgrounds, from those who wish to remain in the Highlands to those who wish to try a new culture.

How do students and locals get on? The student population is immersed within the culture, thus conflict between the locals and students has not been a major issue. The economy of the Highlands is reliant on tourism and as a consequence, the local population is accepting of people from diverse backgrounds.


What's it like as a place to study? UHI offers a huge range of courses and research degrees that are complimented by actual hands-on experience. For example, the BA Scottish cultural studies degree offers the opportunity to conduct research within the local community as does the archaeology degree. There are research campuses that are dedicated to conducting research within the environment of study such as the Scottish Association for Marine Science UHI, based in Oban, and the NAFC Marine Centre in Shetland. There are also courses which utilise video conferencing and the online classroom. The flexibility of these courses means that potentially you can live in the most remote part of the Highlands but still complete university education without relocating to a city.

What are the teaching staff like? The teaching staff are extremely committed to providing an education that is comparable with any other university in Britain or the world. They strive to provide flexibility within the academic journey that makes education accessible to all.


What are student societies like? UHI's student association and the local academic partnership associations are committed to providing a range of clubs and societies. These include: mountaineering, paddlesports, environmental science, global percussion, Christian union, sustainable rural development and golf. UHISA welcomes all students to become involved in the clubs or to form their own clubs/societies; UHISA will provide advice, support and funding for these student endeavours.

What's a typical night out and the cost? It is completely dependent on where you study and what is available within the local area.


Is it an expensive place to live? Financially everyone is having a difficult time right now but in general, the Highlands of Scotland are coping well financially.

Average price of a pint? £2.60.

And the price of a takeaway? Takeaway for one person can be anything from £4 to £10 depending on which takeaway you choose.

What's the part-time work situation? A large number of UHI students balance part-time work with study. The flexibility of the university's structure and timetabling makes any type of work possible. However, students that work full-time find the combination of both a bit of a strain.


What's the best feature about the place? The best feature is being able to study in beautiful, unspoilt countryside which can enrich your educational experience. You can choose your location of study from 13 different academic partner colleges and it's possible to move around the Highlands during your time of studying at the UHI.

And the worst? There is no central space for the whole university so you might never physically meet some of your university peers. The onus is on you to reach out and engage via online mediums if you are in a really remote place.

And to sum it all up? The UHI is a revolutionary university, in structure and content. I believe that it is the future for Scotland and will prevent the Highlands from losing its most talented students because they need to leave in order to gain a university education.



University of the Highlands and Islands
Executive Office
Ness Walk
Inverness, Inverness-shire


01463 279000



Student enquiries:

Information telephone line 0845 272 3600



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