University of Edinburgh

University Information, Campus and History
(Edinburgh, Scotland)

The University of Edinburgh is located in Edinburgh, Scotland and is world-renowned for its research and teaching methods. It is one of the largest universities in the UK. It was founded due to the funds provided by Bishop Robert Reid on his deathbed in 1558. After many years, the University of Edinburgh was granted its Royal Charter by James VI in 1582. Soon after, the university became the European Enlightenment centre in the 18th century.

The university has made various affiliations with other universities and institutions around the world. It is a member of the Russel Group, and is proud to be affiliated with the LERU and Coimbra Group, which are two prestigious European university associations. Because of its research-driven academic activities, the university has also been invited to be a member of the international research-driven university association called Universitas 21.

The University of Edinburgh is arranged into three academic colleges. These are the colleges of Humanities and Social Science; Science and Engineering; and Medicine and Veterinary Medicine. Each college is composed of different schools that are taught by field and industry experts.

The academic excellence of the university is shown through its various world university rankings. In 2005, The Times Higher Education Supplement ranked the university 16th in Biomedicine, 27th in Arts and Humanities, and 38th in Science. These rankings make the university the 30th best university in the world.

Today, the university is home to some 24,468 undergraduates and postgraduates, and 7,691 faculty and non-teaching personnel. This public university has expanded its campus into seven main buildings:
  • The Chancellor's Building
  • The Royal Dick School of Veterinary Studies
  • Central Area
  • New College
  • The King's Buildings
  • Pollock Halls
  • Moray House School of Education


The university provides its students with all academic, residential, social, and recreational needs. The vast campus has been divided into seven sites, with each site concentrated on a particular academic school.

Students looking for catered accommodation will find this available in Pollock Halls, while those prepared to self-cater may be interested to reside at the King's Buildings. Outside of the campus, many shared-properties are available for students to rent, although it is always a sensible idea to check what the landlord insurance actually covers and budget this into overall costs, particularly if student insurance is subsequently required.

Opened in 2002, the Chancellor's Building is the site of the university's New Royal Infirmary and medical school in Little France. This building is home to a medical library and several lecture theatres.

The Central Area is the oldest campus region and contains the Old College and George Square buildings. This area is occupied by the schools of law, medicine, social science, and art. This is also the place where the university's main library is located. First year science and engineering undergraduates also have their classes here.

The Veterinary Medicine school is found in the Royal Dick School of Veterinary Studies in Summerhall. The King's buildings south of the campus house several science and engineering schools, as well as a biology school, the British Geological Survey (BGS), and the Scottish Agricultural College (SAC).

The School of Divinity can be found in New College built on top of the Mound. The university's Physical Education, Leisure Management, and Sports Science facilities are found in the Moray House School of Education. East of the campus is Pollock Halls. These are mainly accommodation for some first year students.

The university also provides students with 24-hour computer and internet laboratories. These can be accessed by using a student's university email address and online user information. Wireless internet connection throughout the university also allows students to access course information and lecture notes anywhere on campus. For students in need of laptops, the main library allows laptop loans for a limited time.

The university also houses one of the largest academic libraries in the world. The university library system is actually composed of 17 separate libraries with over 20,000 journals, 600,000 electronic books, and several special collections focused on a specific field of expertise.

To address a student's health needs, the university offers a health centre which provides antenatal, contraceptive, psychiatric, and physiotherapeutic services. For students who cannot cope well with university life and academics, there are several counselling centres around campus with licensed professionals. These counsellors provide students with confidential and personal advice regarding their personal, relationship, or academic problems.

Famous Students

The university has produced graduates who have been successful in the fields of science and literature. Some of the university's notable graduates include Alexander Graham Bell (inventor of the telephone), Arthur Conan Doyle (creator of the fictional character Sherlock Holmes), Charles Darwin (scientist who proposed the theories of Evolution and Natural Selection), Robert Louis Stevenson (author of Treasure Island), David Hume (Scottish philosopher), and James Clerk Maxwell (Scottish physicist).

Interested international students may contact the university's International Office on +44 (0)131 650 4301. You may also fax your enquiries to +44 (0) 131 668 4565 or email to The university will be pleased to answer questions about admission requirements, course offerings, student finance, university facilities, and student accommodation.

Contact University of Edinburgh:
Address: The University of Edinburgh, Old College, South Bridge, Edinburgh, EH8 9YL, Scotland, UK
Tel: +44 (0)131 650 1000
Fax: +44 (0)131 650 2147
Edinburgh University

Edinburgh University

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