(The page was last updated on 17 September 2019)

This page provides practical advice for EU nationals and other students planning or considering studying at the University.

If you have any queries relating to Brexit, please contact brexit@abdn.ac.uk, and they will direct you to the most appropriate source of help.


Will the number of European students at the University decrease after Brexit?

At this moment in time it is not possible to predict how Brexit will affect the number of EU students in the UK.

The University of Aberdeen welcomes students from all over the world and will continue to be an outward-looking global institution. Regardless of the outcome of Brexit, EU students (as well as non-EU students) will be given a warm welcome and will be valued at Aberdeen.

EU students

Will the University of Aberdeen welcome EU students after Brexit?

Yes. The University of Aberdeen prides itself of being an international university, welcoming students from all over the world. We currently have nearly 3000 EU students; we have built a strong reputation in Europe and will continue to welcome European students after Brexit. We are committed to taking care of our EU students and delivering the world class student experience that they will receive at Aberdeen.

What will the tuition fees be for an EU undergraduate student after Brexit?

The Scottish Government has confirmed EU students studying full time for their first degree and enrolling in the 2019/20 and 2020/2021 academic sessions, will be eligible to have their tuition fees paid by the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) for their full period of study, irrespective of a deal or no-deal exit.

The tuition fee status of EU students will therefore not change until after Academic Year 2020/21 at the earliest. Students will be admitted as Scottish/EU fee status students, will retain that status for the duration of their studies, and are eligible for tuition fee support from the Student Awards Agency Scotland.

Please visit the Students Awards Agency Scotland website for more information.

I am from the EU/EEA and plan to come to Aberdeen for undergraduate study; will my tuition fees increase after Brexit?

Your fee status at point of entry will remain the same for the duration of your studies, whether you are an existing student or joining us in September 2020.

The Scottish Government has confirmed it will pay, through the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS), the tuition fee for eligible EU undergraduate students who commence their studies in 2019 and 2020.

I am from the EU and plan to come to Aberdeen for postgraduate study; will my tuition fees increase during my studies?

The Scottish Government has confirmed that EU students starting in September 2019 and 2020 will be admitted under the current rules and regulations and will be treated the same way as Scottish students for the whole duration of their studies, regardless of what happens with Brexit.

Postgraduate students will pay the same amount of tuition fees as Scottish students and will be entitled to some support from the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS), such as the Postgraduate Tuition Fee Loan. Additional information on available funding can be found in our Funding Database.  

I am planning to come to Aberdeen to study. How will Brexit affect my immigration status?

If the UK leaves the EU with a deal, EU citizens arriving before the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020 will be eligible to apply for pre-settled status, enabling you to stay until you have reached the five-year threshold for Settled Status. You will need to apply to the Settlement Scheme by 30 June 2021.

I am planning to come to Aberdeen to study. How will a No-deal Brexit affect my immigration status?

In the event of Britain exiting the EU without a withdrawal agreement in place, the UK Government has announced that free movement will end. The Settlement Scheme will not be open to EU and EEA nationals arriving in the UK after the no-deal exit date.

If you arrive in the UK before a no-deal exit you will be able to apply for Pre-Settled Status which will allow you to stay until you have reached the five-year threshold for Settled Status. However, if you arrive after the no-deal exit date, you will need to apply for a European Temporary Leave to Remain which will allow you to work, study and live in the UK for up to 36 months. To stay beyond three years, you will have to apply for the relevant visa under a new immigration system due to be introduced in January 2021.

The Home Office has advised EU nationals to ensure that they have six months’ validity on their passports before travelling in future, should there be a no-deal Brexit.

Undergraduate applications

Applications for undergraduate study starting in September 2020 are now open and have to be submitted via UCAS. The deadline for EU applicants is on 15th January 2020. We will not be able to consider late applications

Postgraduate applications

Applications for postgraduate study starting in January and September 2020 are now open and have to be submitted via the University’s online application portal. There is no fixed deadline, but applicants are encouraged to apply in good time.

UK nationals studying in the EU

If you are a UK student studying in the EU, we recommend seeking advice from your education institution in the first instance. For students wishing to complete the remainder of their studies in Scotland, SAAS has published helpful guidance.

More information

The body that represents all universities, Universities UK, is currently working through the ramifications of the leave vote for the higher education sector. You may find useful information on its Frequently Asked Questions page, or in this document

International students

I am an international applicant from outside the EU. How will Brexit affect me? 

Scotland is a very inclusive and welcoming place for people from all over the world, and the University of Aberdeen represents this in its daily life. We are a multicultural institution, with a diverse population.

We value this and believe it contributes to our ability to deliver world class education. Brexit will not affect the status of international students outside the European Union. After Brexit, we will continue to encourage international applications from around the globe.


Erasmus+ Programme

How does Brexit affect the Erasmus+ programme? 

The University of Aberdeen continues to lobby for the UK’s full participation in Erasmus+ after Brexit. We are committed to our international partnerships and to providing international opportunities for our students and staff.

The UK’s participation in the Erasmus+ programme is one of many uncertainties associated with Brexit. There are two main scenarios:

  • If the UK leaves the EU with a withdrawal agreement, the UK will participate in Erasmus+ until 2020/21.
  • If the UK leaves the EU without a withdrawal agreement, ie no deal, the UK will aim to secure continued participation in Erasmus+, but this is not certain.

Can I still apply for the Erasmus+ programme? 

The University of Aberdeen will continue to encourage students to spend time abroad as part of their degree, be that in Europe or further afield. We are working closely with our European partner institutions to ensure that exchanges can go ahead, regardless of the Brexit outcome.

After 2020/21, we do not yet know whether funding will be available to support students going abroad to Europe. We will continue to lobby the UK Government for a national successor scheme, however, it would be advisable for students interested in going abroad from 2021/22 to budget accordingly.

My programme has a compulsory year abroad – if I am unable to go, will I still get a degree? 

Opportunities to spend time abroad will continue to be available post-Brexit, though from 2020/21 access to funding may be limited. Students with a compulsory period abroad would be advised to budget accordingly.

Please note that those spending a semester or year abroad would continue to pay their tuition fees to the University of Aberdeen, so there are no tuition fees due to a host institution, however you should expect to cover other living costs such as accommodation, food, books, etc (as you would if you were in Aberdeen).

Students with concerns about the affordability of spending time abroad would be advised to contact the Go Abroad team to discuss their options.

Information for our Erasmus+ partner institutions in Europe

The University of Aberdeen is committed to and values our international partnerships. We will continue to welcome your students to Aberdeen under Erasmus+. We hope to continue our valued partnership beyond Brexit, whether that is under the auspices of Erasmus+, another framework or of a purely bilateral nature.