Imagining Oxbridge at St Andrews

Our Oxbridge at St Andrews program brings students into one of the world’s greatest universities, set in a beautiful historic town overlooking the North Sea on the east coast of Scotland. It is a place of imagination and passion, a land of stories inherited from history and mythology, but also generated by Enlightenment ideas and modern science.

For our students, the setting is endlessly stimulating. This is the realm of Loch Ness monsters, of Viking invasions and settlements, of Braveheart and highland clans and bloody battles in glens and moors. Nearby Cawdor and Dunsinane are actual sites connected with the historic King Macbeth, who inspired Shakespeare’s masterpiece. Modern stories place British nuclear submarines deep in Scottish firths, to escape detection and perhaps preemptive attack.

Scotland is also the land of Robert Burns, the farmboy poet who gave us “Auld Lang Syne” and “My Love Is Like a Red, Red Rose” but died young, poor, and haunted by alcoholism. And of Robert Louis Stevenson, who dreamed up Treasure Island, Kidnapped, and Dr. Jekyll and Mr.Hyde. And more recently, the setting for the harrowing final scenes of the last James Bond film, SkyFall.

But our students will also experience it as the land of the Scottish Enlightenment, the turn to modernity that gave us David Hume and modern philosophy, Adam Smith and modern economics, James Boswell and modern biography. In the midst of the Enlightenment, Scotland became the first country in the world to abolish racial slavery, in an epic court case that was decided in 1778 – and our students will hear the story and visit the court in Edinburgh where it all happened.

Whether it is reenacting the first scene in Chariots of Fire by jogging the white sands along the sea; or walking the original “links” of the historic St Andrews golf course; or strolling the college grounds where Prince William met and courted his wife Catherine in the early 2000s – our students will immerse themselves in one of the most inspiring environments in the world. They will study Medicine and Anatomy in a state-of-the-art medical school, or International Relations in one of the most diverse and international universities in all of Europe, or Economics or Philosophy in a place where so much of it all began. St Andrews scholars are at the forefront of every academic discipline, but it is a place where teaching and mentoring are valued above all. For the right student, OxBridge St Andrews will be a transformative experience.