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University of Edinburgh, UK

EducationWorld March 2021 | Institution Profile

With an academic tradition stretching back in time to over 400 years, Scotland’s pride hosts 13,000 international scholars from 160 countries among its 44,510 students – Summiya Yasmeen

University of Edinburgh

Once upon a time, best quality higher education in Britain, and indeed the Commonwealth, was synonymous with Oxford, Cambridge and London universities. But in the millennium, Scotland’s University of Edinburgh (UoE, estb.1583) has emerged as a formidable academic competitor to Sassenach higher education institutions of the south. According to the QS World University Rankings 2020, UoE, which is ranked #20 worldwide, is one of Europe’s most preferred universities. With an academic tradition stretching back in time over 400 years, Scotland’s pride hosts a massive contingent of 13,000 international scholars from 160 countries — among its 44,510 students.

Over the past four centuries, the faculty and alumni of this venerated varsity have played a major role in shaping world history. Among its most illustrious alumni are philosopher David Hume; Charles Darwin, author of the Origin of Species; physicists Sir Edward Appleton and James Clerk Maxwell; Lord Joseph Lister who introduced antiseptics into surgery; Sir James Young Simpson, inventor of chloroform; surgeon Elsie Inglis; James Hutton, father of modern geology; and novelists Sir Walter Scott, J.M. Barrie, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Like most higher education institutions worldwide, UoE has been under lockdown for the past seven months to check the spread of the raging Covid-19 pandemic. Teaching and assessment is currently being delivered in the digital online mode.

Edinburgh. The capital of Scotland, historic Edinburgh (pop.500,000) is one of the greenest and most architecturally splendid cities of the world, attracting over 2 million visitors annually. However, it is renowned not only for its scenic cityscapes but also for its rich social, cultural, learning and sports traditions. Its landmarks include several art galleries and concert halls; the Royal Museum of Scotland; the Royal Botanic Garden; Parliament House; and the spectacularly illuminated Edinburgh Castle. Sports facilities include a variety of golf courses, the Royal Commonwealth Pool and Meadowbank Stadium. And for students who want to get away for the weekend, Edinburgh offers easy access to the coastline, hills and rugged terrain of the scenic Scottish Highlands.

Edinburgh CastleMoreover, Edinburgh annually hosts a number of international literary and cultural events and has been rightly christened a ‘Festival City’. The only downside perhaps is its testing windswept climate. Temperatures range from sub-zero in winter to 25°C in summer.

Campus facilities. As one of Britain’s oldest universities, UoE is renowned for its classical buildings which are the city’s best-known landmarks and architectural features. The majority of the university’s faculties are grouped in and around the central George Square near the historic Royal Mile in the city centre.

Students can also expect to enjoy a vibrant social and cultural life. The students union offers food services and an extensive calendar of events including live bands and clubs. Known as the Edinburgh University Union, this association occupies seven buildings and administers on-campus catering and bars, games rooms, union shops, libraries, theatres, photocopying facilities, showers, laundry facilities, snooker and meeting rooms. Moreover, 350 students’ societies offer co-curricular education in arts as diverse as juggling, economics and whisky appreciation. Sports facilities are provided by the Pleasance Sports Centre which houses squash courts, fitness centres, and sports halls that cater to all levels of activity from aerobics to volleyball.

Admission. All students applying to UoE (or to any other university in the UK) have to apply online through the Universities and College Admission Service ( The main qualification mandated for admission into undergraduate degree programmes is successful completion of Plus Two (Indian School Certificate, All India Senior School Certificate, IGCSE or IB diploma) with an average score of 75-85 percent. Students not deemed proficient in English have to write the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). However, Indian students who have studied English as their first language and medium of instruction in secondary school are exempt from these tests. The admission deadline for the academic year beginning September is June 30, 2021.

For further information, contact: Edinburgh Global on +44 (0)131 650 4296; email: [email protected]; website:

Accommodation. The university’s Accommodation Service guarantees all first year students either on-campus, university-owned, or recommended accommodation. Housing options comprise halls of residence, self-catering residences and university flats.

Degree programmes. As one of UK’s premier teaching universities, UoE offers a plethora of academic programmes which promote interdisciplinary learning and provide firm grounding for postgrad programmes. Students can select from a wide range of academic subjects spread over three colleges — Humanities and Social Science; Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, and Science and Engineering. The duration of a regular undergrad degree is three years and four years for a joint honours degree.

Scholastic Options at Edinburgh

The University of Edinburgh offers a wide range of undergraduate, postgrad and doctoral programmes across three colleges and 21 schools.

College of Humanities and Social Science. Business School; School of Divinity; School of Economics; Edinburgh College of Art; Moray House School of Education and Sport; School of Health in Social Science; School of History, Classics and Archaeology; School of Law; School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures; School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences; School of Social and Political Science; Centre for Open Learning

College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine. Medical Sciences; Medicine; Oral Health Sciences, and Veterinary Medicine.

College of Science and Engineering. Schools of biological sciences, chemistry, engineering, geosciences, informatics, mathematics, physics and astronomy

Tuition fees: £22,000-28,950

Living expenses: £8,500-11,000

NB: £1 = Rs.101

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