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The University of Edinburgh

2016 League Table Ranking 20
2016 Overall Score 818
View the 2016 league tables
Entry Standards 482 Help
Entry Standards
The average UCAS tariff score of new students entering the University.

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Student-Staff Ratio 12.2 Help
Student-Staff Ratio
The average staffing levels at the University.

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Research Quality 3.18 Help
Research Quality
A measure of the quality of the research undertaken in the University.

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Academic Services Spend 1,546 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 3.86 Help
Student Satisfaction
A guide to how satisfied students are with the quality of teaching they receive.

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Facilities Spend 532 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 77.9 Help
Graduate Prospects
A guide to the employability of graduates on completion of their courses at the University.

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Degree Completion 91.3 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 83.0 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 51.6 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:

A-Level and GCSE Requirements

  • For information on UK qualifications please visit:

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

  • 86% of our students are satisfied with our teaching (NSS 2014).
  • 83% 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, £4 million has been invested to maintain and enhance the student experience.

Research Standards

  • Rated 4th in the UK for the quality and breadth of our research by the results of the 2014 Research Excellence Framework.
  • Each of our 3 Colleges has at least one research area ranked top in the UK.
  • 83% of our research activity is rated 4* or 3* meaning 'world leading' or 'internationally excellent'.
  • 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 rank 17th in the QS World University Rankings (2014–15).
  • We are consistently ranked as one of the best 50 universities in the world (Times Higher Education World University Ranking 2014; QS World University Rankings 2014-15; SJTU Academic Ranking of World Universities 2014).
  • 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

  • Over 3000 disabled students at the University of Edinburgh disclosed a disability in 2013–14.
  • The Student Disability Service supports students to fulfil their academic potential.
  • We also support students to apply for financial assistance, such as Disabled Students Allowance.

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

  • The redevelopment of McEwan Hall will restore the building to its former glory whilst taking the opportunity to open the ceremonial hall for the wider public to enjoy.
  • The refurbishment of Old College will provide world-class facilities for a world-class law school.
  • The construction of residential accommodation and an Outreach Centre at Holyrood will provide an additional 1183 bed spaces for post graduate students and flexible teaching space.
  • The construction of major new teaching and research facilities is part of a long-term plan to create a world-class centre for animal health care education and research at Easter Bush.
  • The refurbishment of the Lauriston Place Campus will provide improved facilities for the Edinburgh College of Art staff and students.
  • The refurbishment and extension of St Cecilia's Hall will provide a fit-for-purpose Museum of Instruments.
  • Various major redevelopments and refurbishments at the King's Buildings campus will provide improvements to teaching, learning and research facilities for the College of Science and Engineering.
Recently completed projects include:
  • £10-million provision of new library and learning and teaching facilities for students.
  • £10-million refurbishment of Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation (ECCI) is an innovation centre that provides a forum for solving "low carbon" problems.
  • £7-million refurbishment of the David Hume Tower Lower Ground Floor provides contemporary teaching hub in the central area.
  • £20-million refurbishment of 50 George Square provides a new home and state-of-the-art facilities for the School of Literature and Cultures.
  • £9-million extension of the district heating network that help towards carbon reduction.
  • £15-million construction of new animal health research facilities at Easter Bush.
  • £14-million construction of Systems Medicine building that brings together facilities for the Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine at the Western General Hospital.

Availability of Part-Time Work

  • Our Careers Service advertises more than 2000 part-time jobs annually.
  • Advertises vacation jobs and produces specific information and contacts for working during the Edinburgh festival.
  • Students have opportunity to get recognition (the Edinburgh Award) for skills developed through work experience.

Careers Guidance

  • Award winning Careers Service.
  • Careers Consultant linked to every School.
  • Extensive career planning resources on line.
  • Organises a range of careers events on a wide variety of careers.
  • Offer continued support beyond graduation.

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

  • +44 (0) 131 650 4360
  • University of Edinburgh
    33 Buccleuch Place
    EH8 9J
UCAS Code E56

Content was accurate at the time of compilation.

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