Admission to the BA (International Honours) is highly competitive. These grades are the overall standards required to consider you for entry.


British System


SQA Highers

  • Standard entry grades: AAAAB, with an A in English
  • Minimum entry grades: AABB, with an A in English

GCE A-Level

  • Standard entry grades: AAA, with an A in English or English Literature
  • Minimum entry grades: ABB, with an A in English or English Literature

IB Diploma 

  • Standard entry grades: 38 (HL 6,6,6), with an HL6 in English
  • Minimum entry grades: 36 (HL 6,5,5), with an HL6 in English

US System

We look for grades of A or B in honours level courses on your high school record, or three AP subjects with scores of 4+, or SAT Subject tests with minimum scores of 650+.

Competitive applicants will have taken:

  • a rigorous curriculum at high school, which should include a college preparatory curriculum
  • grades of A or B in honours level courses on your high school record (or equivalent), or Advanced Placement (AP) classes (or equivalent), or SAT Subject tests with minimum scores of 650+.

Many of our courses require you to have a particular background in the subject(s). This is known as ‘prerequisite’ knowledge. Pre-requisite qualifications, if required, will be listed on our subject pages.

Examples of prerequisite knowledge requirements are:

  • Evidence of top grades across honours classes taken in the required subject, including the most challenging options in the school curriculum. For example, “Honors English IV – Literature” (or equivalent) for entry to study English
  • AP scores of 5 on subject tests. For example, “AP Calculus BC” (or equivalent) for entry to study Mathematics, Physics or Computer Science programmes
  • SAT Subject Test scores of 700+. For example, “SAT Subject Test French” (or equivalent) for entry to study French.

English Language Requirement

Applicants must submit one of the following English Proficiency Test Scores:

  • Cambridge 200 with minimum score of 200 in each component
  • IELTS Academic 8.0 with minimum score of 8.0 in each component
  • ESOL C1 High Pass with minimum score of High Pass in each component
  • PTE Academic 79 with minimum score of 79 in each component
  • TOEFL iBT/ Home Edition 110 with minimum score of 28 in Listening, 29 in Reading, 30 in Writing, and 26 in Speaking
  • Trinity Integrated Skills in English (ISE) III Distinction

Personal Statement

Your personal statement should explain your personal reasons for studying your chosen subject at the University of St Andrews. Admissions officers are looking for someone who is interested in their subject and who has the motivation and potential to do well in a university environment. 

Referee’s Support

If you are at school, your principal or head of year will generally write your referee's report. If you are not at school, you will need to supply a reference from a responsible person who knows you well enough to write about you and state if you are suitable for higher education. References from family members or close friends are not normally acceptable.


As part of the application process, you will be asked to attend an interview. Interviews will be conducted virtually.

The interview offers you the opportunity to explain why you have applied specifically for the programme as well as to ask any questions you may have. 

Admission Criteria

When looking at applications for these courses, we focus on the following areas:

  • the grades and qualifications that you have already achieved or are predicted to achieve
  • the context in which your qualifications have been, or will be achieved; this could include your age, whether any resit exams were taken, and other extenuating factors
  • your personal statement (see more details in the section below)
  • your academic references
  • performance at interview, where appropriate
  • relevant work or other experience, where appropriate
  • English language ability, where appropriate.