Glasgow is, undeniably, an incredibly beautiful place to study in.

But being a gorgeous-looking place doesn’t always equal being a place of equal academic stature. Luckily, Glasgow has that in spades, too, with some big-name graduates to boot. Here are seven celebrities you’d be surprised to learn went to uni in Scotland’s cultural heart.

Simon Neil


What did they study? Electronics with music
When did they graduate? Dropped out in 1998

Biffy Clyro’s iconic frontman spent time at UoG studying electronics with music while beginning to work on the music we’d eventually hear from his band. He dropped out after only one year before leaving to follow his dream of being a full-time musician. And the rest is history.

Gerard Butler


Credit: Gerard Butler / Facebook
What did they study? Law
When did they graduate? 1992

The 300 and Law Abiding Citizen star certainly learnt how to abide the law from studying it at UoG in the 90s. The future Spartan general was even president of the law society at uni, which he claims he ‘blagged [his] way into’. He completed his degree after taking a year out to study in Venice Beach. Not the worst life, eh?

Nicola Sturgeon


What did they study? Law
When did they graduate? 1992

Amazingly, the Scottish National Party leader was studying law at Glasgow at the same time as Gerard Butler, which makes for quite amusing mental images of the unlikely duo crossing paths in lecture halls. She put her law degree to more vocational usage in her political career, eventually becoming the first woman to lead the SNP in history.

Emeli Sandé


What did they study? Medicine/neuroscience
When did they graduate? 2009

The 31-year-old singer-songwriter studied medicine, graduating with a degree in neuroscience, at UoG, despite already having her foot in the door in the music industry. She later said her education was important to her in case her music career didn’t take off which, luckily for all of us, it most certainly did.

Peter Capaldi


What did they study? Graphic design
When did they graduate?

The future Doctor Who cut his teeth studying graphic design at the Glasgow School of Art some time in the 1970s. He certainly learned how to make art of some form, making multiple roles his own in shows and films as diverse as The Thick Of It and the aforementioned beloved BBC series.

Robbie Coltrane


What did they study? Drawing and painting
When did they graduate?

Anthony Robert McMillan, better known by his (much cooler) name of Robbie Coltrane, went to Glasgow School of Art in the 70s, reportedly getting mocked for his posh accent before moving over to the University of Edinburgh. He wasn’t mocked later in life though, moving into film acting in his early 20s, kicking off a hugely successful career in which he’s probably been best known for his portrayal of Hagrid in the Harry Potter films. Who’s laughing now?

Muriel Gray


What did they study? Graphic Design
When did they graduate? 1979

The Scottish author and broadcaster was also at Glasgow School of Art around the same time as our previous two grads, which helped her into a job as a professional illustrator before she launched into a career as an interviewer and presenter, along with a columnist and novelist. Just goes to show, graphic design isn’t a pointless degree, eh!