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Edinburgh University

UCAS Code: E56

Location: Edinburgh, central Scotland Show on Map

Site: Main site in city centre plus sciences 2 miles away 

A top UK research-intensive university; a member of the Russell Group of universities. 

Student Population

Total Students:27,675
FE Students:0%


Total undergraduates:18,970
Full Time:96%
Mature on Entry:13%
UK Students:77%
State school entry:70%

Teaching Staff

2913 full-time, 495 part-time

Broad study areas

Humanities & social sciences, art & design, science & engineering, medicine & veterinary medicine. 


Admission Information:Minimum required for most courses is 4 Highers, or 3 A-levels - all with grade B.
Points on Entry (Mean):443
Drop Out Rate:5%
Accommodation:All first years guaranteed offer of accommodation (unless local and so long as they apply by deadline).


Structural features:Merged with Edinburgh College of Art, 2011.
Site:Main sites: city centre (majority of buildings); King's Buildings, 2 miles south (science and engineering); New College in city centre (divinity); Holyrood in city centre (education); College of Art in city centre; Little France, 4 miles south (medicine). 
How to get there:Easily accessible by train or coach from all over the UK: Waverley railway station and central bus station (St Andrew’s Square) nearby. Airport 8 miles (cheap flights from London and other centres). 

Student services & facilities

Student advice & services:Nursery, student counselling service, drop-in advice centres. Disability office arranges support, including financial help from the disabled student support fund.
Amenities:SA bars, shops, catering, club venues; 170 societies, 50+ sports clubs; chaplaincy centre. Art college has shop, reprographics, student common room with bar, canteen, snack bar, music room and photographic dark room; and its Students’ Union supports a range of student initiatives eg an allotment in College grounds, departmental societies such as Archie (architecture) and Escape (landscape architecture), student newspaper, The Wee Red Herring.
Sporting facilities:Sports centre, playing fields, outdoor pursuits centre on Loch Tay.
Accommodation:All first-years from outside the Edinburgh area are guaranteed university accommodation, if they apply by the deadline (16 August). Over 6000 places available: full-board places at £113−£226 per week, 37-week contracts; self-catering places at £57−£103 pw, 38-week contracts. University or private flats after first year £70−£80 pw (on average). Under 20% of first-degree students live at home.

Study opportunities & careers

Library & information services:Main library (largest university library in Scotland), also various site libraries. Total of 3.5 million volumes, journals and pamphlets; long and short loan services; library online at www.lib.ed.ac.uk. Information provision, £224 pa spent for each student (FTE). 39,900 points university-wide with internet access (wireless networking in most university spaces); ratio workstations to students 1:6; access up to 24 hours/day. Technical IT staff support when facilities are open; online and print instruction on services. IT skills courses for beginners and on software packages. Specialist collections: special collections and archives in all subjects (main library); Reid music library; Erskine medical library; Europa Institute library; New College (divinity); Russell collection of early keyboard instruments; also historic collection of wind instruments.
Other learning resources:Russell collection of early keyboard instruments; also historic collection of wind instruments. Talbot Rice Art Gallery with permanent and visiting exhibitions of contemporary art; Cockburn museum of geology; Natural History museum. Art college has studio spaces, timetabled use of printmaking, woodworking and metal workshops.
Study abroad:Formal exchange links with over 150 European universities/colleges and links with N America, Japan, Singapore, China, New Zealand and Australia, many open to non-language specialists. Member of Coimbra Group and Universitas 21.
Careers:Career education, information and guidance; employer information and vacancies; further study information and skills/career insight courses.


Living expenses budget:Minimum budget of £6700-£7600 pa (excluding tuition fees) recommended by university. 
Term-time work:University allows term-time work for full-time students (35% believed to work); limit of 15 hours pw max. Some work available on campus. Help from student & graduate employment (SAGE). 
Financial help:Bursaries of up to £7000 pa for students from England, Northern Ireland or Wales, depending on family income (bursary of £7000 pa where family income is up to £16k pa, of £5700 pa where it is £16k−£20k, of £4000 pa where it is £20k−£25k, of 2000 pa where it is £25k−£30k, of £1500 pa where it is £30k−£35k or of £500 pa where family income is £35k−£42.6k pa). Over 400 other bursaries for different categories of UK students, worth £1000−£8000 pa. Also scholarships for students in specific subjects (eg business, astronomy, medicine) or from specific countries. Total of £1m+ government hardship funds; £207,666 childcare fund; some help for international students; amounts awarded £500−£3000.
University tuition fees:Scottish and EU students pay no fees during their course; other UK students pay £9000 pa for first degrees. International students pay £12,650 pa (classroom), £16,650 (lab/studio), £23,500 (veterinary science) £20,600 (non-clinical medicine) £34,850 (clinical medicine).


Academic features:

Over 300 degree programmes, including more than 200 joint degrees.  

Awarding body:

University of Edinburgh

Main undergraduate awards:

BA, BD, BEd, BEng, BMus, BN, BSc, BV&MS, LLB, MA, MBChB, MEng, MChem, MChemPhys, MPhys.

Length of courses:

4 years (hons), 3 years (general); 5 years (medicine, veterinary medicine, fine art, MEng, MPhys, MChem, MChemPhys).

Main subjects offered:

  • Accountancy
  • American Studies
  • Ancient History
  • Animation
  • Anthropology
  • Arabic
  • Archaeology
  • Architectural Design
  • Architecture
  • Art
  • Art History
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Asian Studies
  • Astronomy
  • Astrophysics
  • Bacteriology
  • Biblical Studies
  • Biochemistry
  • Biological Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Biomedical Science
  • Biotechnology
  • Business Economics
  • Business Studies
  • Cell Biology
  • Celtic Studies
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Chemical Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Chinese
  • Civil Engineering
  • Classical Studies
  • Classics
  • Cognitive Science
  • Communication Engineering
  • Computer Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Computing
  • Conservation
  • Costume Design
  • Developmental Biology
  • Earth Sciences
  • Ecology
  • Economic History
  • Economics
  • Education
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Electronic Engineering
  • Electronics
  • Embroidery
  • Energy Engineering
  • English
  • Environmental Archaeology
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Science
  • Environmental Studies
  • EU Studies
  • European Business Studies
  • European Studies
  • Fashion
  • Film Studies
  • Forestry
  • French
  • Genetics
  • Geography
  • Geology
  • Geophysics
  • German
  • Glass
  • Graphic Design
  • Greek, Ancient/Classical
  • Greek, Modern
  • Hebrew
  • History
  • History/Philosophy of Science
  • Illustration
  • Immunology
  • Informatics
  • Information Technology
  • Interior Design
  • International Business
  • International Relations
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Jewellery
  • Landscape Architecture
  • Latin
  • Latin American Studies
  • Law
  • Linguistics
  • Management
  • Manufacturing Engineering
  • Mathematics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Medical Microbiology
  • Medicinal Chemistry
  • Medicine
  • Medieval Studies
  • Meteorology
  • Microbiology
  • Microelectronics
  • Middle Eastern Studies
  • Molecular Biology
  • Music
  • Music Technology
  • Neuroscience
  • Nursing
  • Painting
  • Persian
  • Pharmacology
  • Philosophy
  • Photography
  • Physical Education
  • Physics
  • Physiology
  • Plant Science
  • Politics
  • Product Design
  • Psychology
  • Religious Studies
  • Russian Studies
  • Sanskrit
  • Scottish Studies
  • Sculpture
  • Silversmithing
  • Social Anthropology
  • Social History
  • Social Policy
  • Social Science
  • Social Work
  • Sociology
  • Software Engineering
  • South East Asian Studies
  • Sports Sciences
  • Sports Studies
  • Statistics
  • Structural Engineering
  • Teacher Training
  • Textiles
  • Theology
  • Three-Dimensional Design
  • Veterinary Science
  • Video
  • Virology
  • Visual Arts
  • Zoology

Student view

James McAsh (Sociology), Union President


What's it like as a place to live?

Edinburgh is a vibrant and exciting city, being Scotland's capital. It is an eclectic mix of old and new, and is at the heart of Scotland's politics, sport, social life and learning. There are a vast amount of opportunities for students to develop their skills and expand their horizons out-with their degree programmes, and the University boasts a diverse population.

How's the student accommodation?

The University of Edinburgh guarantees accommodation to all new students, and amongst its accommodation is a mix of catered and non catered choices. Edinburgh tends to be a bit more expensive than other places to live in, but for those on a budget there are plenty of options, and for those who wish to splash out, well... they can go wild.

What's the student population like?

Edinburgh University has embraced its diverse population. The Students' Association (EUSA) funds and supports dozens of culture-related societies that any student can be a part of, and there is a large cohort of international students. Student support is also available, with help in learning new languages and writing essays in English provided both by EUSA and the University.

How do students and locals get on?

Being an ancient University, Edinburgh University is woven into the fabric of life in Edinburgh. Much of the city has been built around its campuses, and EUSA's Volunteering Centre hosts thousands of students who walk through its doors looking for volunteering opportunities within the community, which are not only great ways to make new friends and learn new skills, but which make Edinburgh's graduates amongst the most employable in the UK.


What's it like as a place to study?

Degrees are usually 4 years long, and the first 2 years boast a huge amount of flexibility across most subjects. Many students, for example, actually do 2 degrees for the first 2 years before either completing each of them, or dropping one, in the final 2 years. Students enjoy taking courses out-with their immediate subject area, and are often part of more than one school.

What are the teaching staff like?

The University works hard to improve the student experience, and this year substantial investment has been made in modernizing teaching provision, and in providing excellent feedback across all subjects. EUSA also runs an annual Teaching Awards which rewards the most innovative and exciting teachers and student supporters across the University. This scheme has achieved nation-wide recognition, and is fully endorsed by the University. We at Edinburgh focus on spreading good practice rather than simply criticising the bad.


What are student societies like?

EUSA supports almost 300 societies on campus, ranging from the chocolate societies, to Christian union, debates union and various political societies. It also has over 70 sports teams which enjoy Scotland's top Centre for Sports and Exercise – a state of the art gym complex. There are sports teams which are just about having a laugh, and others which compete at the top of their field. There are a variety of social events held throughout the year, including the popular Big Cheese on a Saturday night which is almost always full. And finally, Edinburgh of course comes to life during the Edinburgh Festival, where employment, social and entertainment opportunities are many and varied.

What's a typical night out?

In Edinburgh you can have as classy or as cheap a night out as you want. There are services to suit all tastes.

And how much does it cost?

£10 or £100 – however much you have to spend! The cheapest and best way to have a good time is in EUSA's bars. With a pint at £2.30 in the oldest student union in the world, the beautiful castle of Teviot is enjoyed by students all year round, and is located on campus.

How can you get home safely?

Student halls are one main road away from the Union, and a longer walk down the same road away from town. Transport across the city is provided by award winning Lothian Buses, as well as other providers, and taxis shared from town to halls are around £5 each.


Is it an expensive place to live?

Edinburgh tends to be more expensive than most on accommodation, but because of its size, it caters for everyone. The University is a 20 minute walk from the city centre, and is itself in a student-friendly part of town, with bars, shops and activities based around the students who use them.

Average price of a pint?

£2 a pint, courtesy of EUSA.

And the price of a takeaway?

A chippy will set you back around £5 for a fish supper. (For all you English people, a 'fish supper' means 'fish and chips'. I don't know why- it just does).

What's the part-time work situation?

EUSA employs around 200 student staff in its many bars, shops and catering facilities. During the Edinburgh Festival there are loads of employment opportunities, and all year round both EUSA and the Careers Service can help you find part time work. The University itself is close to loads of bars, which is good for two reasons...


What's the best feature about the place?

Edinburgh is visually stunning, and our University leaves students with not just a degree but a package, which will ensure they are the most employable of their class across the UK.

And the worst?

Outside the city centre there is a lot of inequality. However, Edinburgh University is working hard to improve the relationship it has with poorer students who wish to study here in their own city.

And to sum it all up?

At Edinburgh, you can excel at whatever it is you do, and try the things you never thought you would. Be part of one of our 70 world class sports teams, make friends in one of our 300 societies, and develop your life skills by volunteering and working within the community, all while getting a degree from one of the world's finest institutions of learning. You'll love it!

Past Students

David Hume (philosopher); Charles Darwin (scientist); James Africanus Horton (first African graduate from a British university); Sally Magnusson (TV journalist); Peter Roget (of Thesaurus); Sir Walter Scott, Robert Louis Stevenson, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (authors); Sir David Steel MP, Malcolm Rifkind MP, Gordon Brown MP (politicians); David Livingstone (explorer).  

More info?

Ring EUSA office on 0131 650 2656 or check out the website www.eusa.ed.ac.uk.




The University of Edinburgh
Old College
South Bridge


0131 650 1000





Student enquiries:

Student Recruitment & Admissions (0131 650 4360)



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