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The University of Edinburgh

2015 League Table Ranking 21
2015 Overall Score 804
View the 2015 league tables
Entry Standards 487 Help
Entry Standards
The average UCAS tariff score of new students entering the University.

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Student-Staff Ratio 13.8 Help
Student-Staff Ratio
The average staffing levels at the University.

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Research Assessment 2.75 Help
Research Assessment
The average quality of the research undertaken in the University.

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Academic Services Spend 1,511 Help
Academic Services Spend
A guide to how much the University spends on supporting services such as libraries and IT.

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Student Satisfaction 3.83 Help
Student Satisfaction
A guide to how satisfied students are with the quality of teaching they receive.

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Facilities Spend 509 Help
Facilities Spend
A guide to how much the University spends on supporting facilities such as the careers service, health and counselling services and sport facilities.

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Graduate Prospects 74.9 Help
Graduate Prospects
A guide to the employability of graduates on completion of their courses at the University.

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Degree Completion 90.4 Help
Degree Completion
The proportion of students expected to successfully complete their studies and gain a degree from the University.

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Good Honours 83.7 Help
Good Honours
The percentage of graduates achieving a first or upper second class honours degree – the class of degree achieved can impact a graduate’s employment prospects.

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Green Score 41.0 Help
Green Score
This environmental & ethical ranking of the University is provided courtesy of the People & Planet Green League - the only comprehensive and independent green ranking of every UK university. Choosing a greener university can reduce your carbon footprint and improve your job prospects in a global low-carbon economy.

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  • The University was established by a Royal Charter granted by James VI in 1582.
  • For more than 400 years the University has played host to scientists, philosophers and politicians who have shaped the modern world. Fellow graduates signed the United States’ Declaration of Independence, founded Ivy League universities, brought modern medicine to China, post-colonial government to Africa, and wrote some of the world’s most widely read books.

Location and Transport

  • Edinburgh, the inspiring capital of Scotland, is a historic, cosmopolitan and cultured city that offers a unique living and learning experience. It has been voted favourite UK City for 13 consecutive years.
  • Edinburgh regularly receives high satisfaction ratings for safety and security in the International Student Barometer survey.
  • Excellent road, rail and air transport links make Edinburgh accessible from all major cities in the UK and beyond.

Entry Standards

  • Our minimum entry grades have been set at a level to encourage applications from a wide range of backgrounds, whilst meeting our academic requirements.
  • Please use our on-line degree finder to check entry requirements for particular degree programmes: http://www.ed.ac.uk/undergraduate/degrees.

Student Mix

The 27,625 students enrolled in the academic year 2013/14 comprise:

Level of study
Mode of study
Full Time
Part Time
Student gender

Course Flexibility

  • Typically the undergraduate degree programmes take four years, the first two years offering more general, flexible study.
  • This gives an opportunity to study courses outside of the main subject area for most of our degrees. In many cases this gives the flexibility to delay the final choice of Honours subjects.
  • Most programmes in science and engineering subjects offer advanced entry into 2nd years for students who are particularly focussed on a specialised degree. Advanced entry can provide less flexibility and often carries a higher set of grade requirements or a more specific subject requirement.

Teaching Standards

  • 85% of our students are satisfied with our teaching (NSS 2013).
  • 80% of our undergraduate students graduate with a 1st or 2:1.
  • In the last 5 years, the University has invested £80m in maintaining and enhancing our teaching and learning spaces.
  • Since 2012, £4m has been invested to maintain and enhance the student experience.

Research Standards

  • 96% of our departments produce world-leading research (RAE 2008).
  • The University of Edinburgh is one of the UK's top five universities for research and our academics' research achievements have global implications.
  • Our scientists created Dolly the Sheep, the first mammal to be genetically cloned from an adult cell.
  • Peter Higgs developed his theory of the Higgs Boson here.
  • We developed the first genetically engineered hepatitis B vaccine.
  • We pioneered the first automated industrial assembly robot.
  • We devised technology used in today's smartphones.

Academic Strengths

  • We are currently 17th in the QS World University Ranking (2013–14).
  • We are consistently ranked as one of the best 50 universities in the world (Times Higher Education World University Ranking 2013, QS World University Ranking 2013–14).
  • The Edinburgh medical degree has long been one of the most highly regarded qualifications in the world.

Student Facilities

  • Over 30 libraries, including 20 departmental libraries offering tailored and in-depth specialist resources.
  • 600,000 electronic books and 20,000 electronic journals, which can be accessed remotely at any time.

Disability Services

  • Our Student Disability Service provides help and guidance for disabled students: http://www.ed.ac.uk/student-disability-service.

Students' Union

  • Edinburgh University Students' Association (EUSA) is run by students for students. It offers student support through trained advisers, free and confidential advice, volunteering opportunities and student representation.
  • EUSA supports over 260 student societies and 63 sports clubs.
  • EUSA runs 10 bars and three nightclubs, including the city's biggest student nightclub, which has a state-of-the-art lighting and sound system and a capacity of 1,000.
  • EUSA is home to the world’s oldest purpose-built student union, Teviot Row House.


  • We are consistently ranked one of the top 10 sporting universities in the UK (BUCS 2002–12) and ranked 1stin Scotland, 6thin the UK, in the last academic year (BUCS 2012–13).
  • Scotland, South Africa and New Zealand rugby teams use our sports facilities when playing in Scotland: "We're always on the road and this is the best facility we've ever had." (Nick Gill, All Blacks Strength and Conditioning Coach.)
  • We hosted the pre-Olympic swimming camps ahead of London 2012.
  • We have a leading outdoors sports facility – host to national and international events and were official pre-Olympic training camp for hockey teams competing in London 2012.
  • Edinburgh University Sports Union (EUSU) enters more teams than any other university into the British Universities & Colleges Sports Association (BUCS) leagues.

Recent/Prospective New Builds

  • Easter Bush campus redevelopment will create a world-class centre for animal health care education and research.
  • The Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation (ECCI) is an innovation centre that will provide a forum for solving "low carbon" problems.
  • The refurbishment of the David Hume Tower Basement will provide a contemporary teaching hub for the central area.
  • The refurbishment of 50 George Square will provide a new home and state-of-the-art facilities for the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures.
  • The brand new FloWave tank at our Kings Buildings campus provides a world-class facility for marine energy research.
  • Phased refurbishment and remodelling of our main library has provided students with excellent study and learning resources, by an investment of approximately £60m.

Other recent investments include:

  • £4.4-million extension to the Centre for Sport and Exercise.
  • £19-million Clinical Research Imaging Centre.
  • £17-million refurbishment of the Business School.
  • £37-million unique purpose-built research facility for the School of Informatics.

Availability of Part-Time Work

  • Our Careers Service maintains a vacancy and employer database, offering regular or one-off part-time work, as well as other vacancies.
  • Our Careers Service received a Matrix Award for Excellence, which recognised its excellent provision of skills training, guidance and careers information.
  • Vacation work should be easy to find as Edinburgh is a busy capital city that is popular with tourists.

Notable Alumni

  • Famous former students include Chris Hoy, Katherine Grainger, Gordon Brown, J.K. Rowling, Ian Rankin, Kirsty Wark, David Hume, Joseph Black, Charles Darwin, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

For further information

  • www.ed.ac.uk
  • sra.enquiries@ed.ac.uk
  • +44 (0) 131 650 4360
  • The University of Edinburgh
    57 George Square
    EH8 9JU
UCAS Code E56

Content was accurate at the time of compilation.

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