University of Edinburgh

The University of Edinburgh

University of Edinburgh Details

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It is made up of three colleges: Humanities and Social Science, Science and Engineering, and Medicine and Veterinary Medicine. Within these three colleges, there are 20 academic schools.

In total, the university attracts around 35,000 students, the majority of which study within the College of Humanities and Social Science, the largest of its colleges.

Its College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine is reputed to be a world-leader in its field.

UoE is an internationally-focussed university and welcomes students from all corners of the globe, with the majority coming from China and the United States.

Its students can also take advance of the Go Abroad Fund, which provides grants for 250 or students to have a short-term international experience each year. Additionally, students are also encouraged to either study or work abroad as part of their course.

The university receives over £200 million in research income. It spends over £26 million on prizes, scholarships, studentships and bursaries. At around £317 million, it has the third largest endowment of any UK university after Oxford and Cambridge.

A total of 20 Nobel laureates are affiliated with the University of Edinburgh. These include winners of Prizes in Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Peace, Literature and the Memorial Prize in Economic Science.

Alumni include Charles Darwin, David Hume, Alexander Graham Bell and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, among many others.

Situated in the heart of the historic capital of Scotland, the city of Edinburgh is home to the Scottish Parliament, an ancient volcanic rock and an iconic castle.

Schools / Colleges / Departments / Courses / Faculties


  • Humanities & Social Science
  • Medicine & Veterinary Medicine
  • Science & Engineering


  • Biological Sciences
  • Business School
  • Chemistry
  • Divinity
  • Economics
  • Edinburgh College of Art
  • Edinburgh Medical School
  • Education, The Moray House
  • Engineering
  • GeoSciences
  • Health in Social Science
  • History, Classics and Archaeology
  • Informatics
  • Law
  • Literatures, Languages and Cultures
  • Mathematics
  • Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences
  • Physics and Astronomy
  • Social and Political Science
  • Veterinary Studies, Royal (Dick)


With our rich history, noted alumni and distinguished scholars, we have much to be proud of in our many centuries as a world-renowned university.

From Nobel laureates and Olympic champions to space explorers and prime ministers, the University of Edinburgh has been influencing history since it opened the gates to its first students in 1583.

Ground-breaking thinkers

Following the Scottish Enlightenment of the 18th century, the University was positioned at the forefront of academia and critical thinking.

Due to the determination and perseverance of a group of Edinburgh intellectuals, established facts about the world were being boldly and consistently challenged.

Amid this group was David Hume, philosopher, economist and essayist known for his philosophical skepticism and empiricism; Joseph Black, the chemist behind the discovery of latent heat and carbon dioxide; and James Hutton, the ‘Father of Modern Geology’.

Shaping the past, the present and the future

We are the home of Britain’s oldest literary awards, the James Tait Black Prizes and Dolly the sheep, the first animal to be cloned from an adult somatic cell.

It was also here at the University of Edinburgh that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was inspired to create his notorious character, Sherlock Holmes and James Young Simpson pioneered anaethetics through his discovery of the properties of chloroform.

More recently, theoretical physicist and Professor Emeritus Peter Higgs was jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for his 1964 prediction of the Higgs Boson.

Through the many achievements of its staff and students, the University has continued to present cutting-edge research, inspirational teaching and innovative thinking as its central ethos, attracting some of the greatest minds from around the globe.

1583 The University of Edinburgh officially opens1620The roles of Principal and Professor of Divinity are separated

1707 The Faculty of Law is founded

1708 The Faculty of Arts is founded

1726 The Faculty of Medicine is founded

1745 Classes are suspended as Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Jacobite army marches on the city

1789 The foundation stone is laid at the site of Old College

1847 James Young Simpson, Professor of Midwifery, discovers anaesthetic use of chloroform in childbirth

1858 The Universities (Scotland) Act grants the University full control of its own affairs

1859 W E Gladstone becomes the first Rector to be elected by the student body

1893 The University’s first female students graduate

1897 The University’s graduating hall, McEwan Hall opens

1914-1918 Nearly 8,000 students and graduates enlist in the armed forces during WWI

1920 The foundation stone is laid at the site of the King’s Buildings campus

1924 Student Eric Liddell wins 400 metres at the Paris Olympics

1958 The University appoints its first female Professor, Elizabeth Wiskemann

1973 Edinburgh University Students’ Association is founded

1996 Dolly the Sheep is cloned at the Roslin Institute

2002  A new Medical School is opened at Little France

2011 The University merges with Edinburgh College of Art

2013 Emeritus Professor Peter Higgs is awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics


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