University profile

University of Edinburgh

2016/17 edition

About University of Edinburgh

Welcome to the University of Edinburgh

Influencing the world since 1583

The University of Edinburgh is one of the world's top universities, consistently ranked in the world top 50, and placed 19th in the QS World University Rankings 2016/17. Our entrepreneurial and cross-disciplinary culture attracts not only students but also staff from some 137 countries, which creates a unique Edinburgh experience. We provide a stimulating working, learning and teaching environment with access to excellent facilities and attract the world's best, from Nobel Prize winning laureates to future explorers, pioneers and inventors.

As host to more than 35,000 students, the University of Edinburgh continues to attract the world’s greatest minds. We offer a range of ways to study, from on-campus taught programmes to online part-time study. We are the largest provider of online distance learning in the Russell Group of UK research-intensive universities, and offer more than 60 online programmes. Our flexible and supportive online distance learning programmes are an increasingly popular choice for students looking to balance further study with professional or family commitments.

The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in Scotland, with registration number SC005336.

Teaching and research excellence

The latest report from the Quality Assurance Agency awarded us the highest rating possible for the quality of the student learning experience. We offer more than 300 taught masters courses and 135 research areas from across our three colleges:

Our position as one of Britain’s leading research universities was reaffirmed by the results of the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF). The REF rates 83% of our research activity as world-leading or internationally excellent, ranking us fourth in the UK based on the quality and breadth of our research and by far the most successful university in Scotland.

Our dynamic research culture has led to the discovery of chloroform anaesthesia and the Higgs boson particle, and has produced innovations such as Dolly the sheep – the first mammal to be genetically cloned from an adult somatic cell – the first genetically engineered hepatitis B vaccine, as well as technology used in smartphones.

Supporting you and your studies

We provide a diverse range of support services to help not only with your academic and personal needs.

You will also have access to one of the largest and most important academic libraries in the world, housing over three million printed volumes, 300,000 electronic books and 50,000 electronic journals. Alongside this, we offer the largest campus network in Britain, with more than 3,000 computers and free Wi-Fi in the majority of our buildings.

We care about the health and wellbeing of our students and offer a number of services to ensure you are fully supported, including:

If you are an international student, Edinburgh Global provides support and assistance to all non-UK applicants and students. Our English Language Education offers courses to improve your academic English before your studies and free academic English tuition during your studies.

Careers and employability

The University of Edinburgh is ranked sixth in the UK and 32nd in the world for employability according to the 2016 Global Employability Rankings 2016. Edinburgh graduates are also among the UK’s top earners. Our alumni earn an average salary of £48,500 within five years of leaving university*.

Our sector leading Careers Service can help with your career choices and offers practical advice about how to progress your career goals. From online job boards and support tools to face-to-face contact with employers and our trained staff, you can build networks, gain skills and enhance your employability.

We also offer a free service to students who are looking to set up their own business through LAUNCH.ed.


Funding opportunities

We offer academically outstanding candidates a number of postgraduate scholarships and studentships. Some are offered by the University and others by our Colleges or schools, so make sure you have a thorough look through our scholarships web pages.


Accommodation for postgraduate students is self-catered and can be found across a range of halls and flats. Flats vary in size, from four to six single study-bedrooms, and are located within easy reach of the University's buildings and the city centre.

The University guarantees an offer of accommodation to all new, single postgraduate taught students from outside the EU. For taught postgraduates from within the EU, including the UK, we make every effort to offer University accommodation, but such offers cannot be guaranteed.

If you are a new, single postgraduate research (PhD) student from the UK, EU or outside of the EU, the University guarantees you an offer of accommodation.

Please note that there are certain deadlines to meet in order to guarantee your accommodation offer. See our accommodation website for more information.

Student life

Study with us and you’ll find a lively, close-knit community with plenty of opportunities to meet other students, build your networks and gain new skills and experiences. Edinburgh University Students’ Association has more than 260 societies covering a diverse range of interests, so you’re sure to find something of interest. There are also opportunities for volunteering in the community – rewarding experiences that will develop your skills and enhance your employability.

If you enjoy being active, or just want to try out a new sport, our Sports Union offers over 60 sports clubs to get involved with. We were ranked third in the UK for sport 2015/16**, so it's no wonder that our Sport and Exercise is regularly voted one of Edinburgh's best fitness facilities.

Or just sit back and relax and take advantage of the array of bar, shops, cafes and entertainment venues of offer by the University of Edinburgh Students' Association.

** British Universities and Colleges Sport

Edinburgh the city

Edinburgh is regularly voted as one of the best places to live in the world. Cobbled lanes, dramatic skylines and striking architecture combine to produce a stimulating setting. It’s a compact city with excellent transport links, which makes it easy to get around and to travel to other parts of Scotland.

With an array of museums, galleries, parks, gardens, pubs, clubs, restaurants, shops, theatres, cinemas, sports facilities and much more, you’ll find something for every taste in the city. And not forgetting the biggest arts festival in the world, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, which takes place in the city every August.

Visit our city web pages to find out more.

This is Edinburgh showcases the best things to do, see and enjoy in the city.

Contact details