Welcome to our University of Edinburgh guide. If you want to learn more about this top UK university, from nights out to official uni information, then this is the place to look.

Whether you are an A-level student or an adult who wants to further your education, you might have considered Edinburgh as a good choice. However, before you take that final step into applying, you want to be sure you understand the university and its home city well.

Overview of the University of Edinburgh

As one of the most notable British universities within the UK, and the sixth-oldest university in the historic English-speaking world, the University of Edinburgh is a popular choice for both domestic and international students. Boasting excellent research power and educational materials for students and faculty members alike, it can offer academic guidance for a range of course types and student goals.

If you are interested in the University of Edinburgh, then it is important to know more about why it has become a world leader in multiple kinds of education. Whether you care more about the student learning experience or the nightlife, doing your research ahead of time is important.

History of Edinburgh University

The establishment we know today as the University of Edinburgh has existed since 1582 as Tounis College and King James’ College (interchangeably), officially opening in 1583. The deep history of the university itself aside, it originally began as a law college before expanding into a multi-role college under King James VI, gradually sprawling out into a full-sized campus that contains three colleges overall.

Unlike a lot of UK-located universities, the University of Edinburgh continues in the way it started, with no major change – providing both domestic and international students with great higher education through on-campus-taught programmes, with modern additions only enhancing the various courses that the university can now offer to its students.

What is the address of the University of Edinburgh?

The official address of the University of Edinburgh is:

Old Town
South Bridge

Map of the University of Edinburgh

Here is a map of Edinburgh University:


How to get to the University of Edinburgh

The university is positioned in a way that makes it easy for students to access. However, you will have to take different routes depending on how you want to travel. Naturally, this is even more important for international students.

  • By train – Edinburgh maintains rail links throughout the entire UK.
  • By road – You can easily reach the university with only a few hours of driving from starting points like Inverness, Aberdeen, Newcastle, Manchester and York.
  • By air – Edinburgh International Airport gets daily flights from over 60 airports and is located only 12km from the city centre and university.
  • By bus – the Edinburgh bus service connects to the Scottish motorway network, allowing easy access from all major UK cities.
  • On foot – the University is accessible on foot from the city centre or even by bike.

Hotels near The University of Edinburgh

If you are visiting the university for an open day or to meet with a student family member/friend, then off-campus accommodation is important. The University of Edinburgh is located near plenty of private hotels, all in desirable places that can make your stay in the city easier and more comfortable.


What are the top courses at Edinburgh University?

The university offers a wide range of undergraduate courses, many of which can be tackled as full-time courses as well as online part-time study courses. Students have access to a wide range of different course options, all of which maintain the same excellent student learning experience.

The school keeps a good variety of courses, spread between three colleges for easy distinction: the College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences, the College of Medicine & Veterinary Medicine, and the College of Science & Engineering.

  • Computer Science.
  • Economics.
  • Veterinary medicine.
  • Psychology.
  • Law.
  • Medicine.
  • Business.

Where is the Edinburgh Students Union & Edinburgh University Students Association?

The Teviot Row student union (known as the Edinburgh University Students Association) is the oldest purpose-built union building of all UK universities and is located at 5/2 Bristo PI, Edinburgh, EH8 9AL. The independent newspaper The Student has a commercial connection to the union and is the oldest student newspaper in the UK.

What are the best Edinburgh student nights?

The city has plenty of student nightlife opportunities and places to relax between study sessions, with many prospective alumni spending their free time in the city’s many different clubs, pubs and entertainment venues. While the university offers a range of activities too, it is the nightlife that gets the most attention.

The great placement of the university makes it easy to explore the surrounding city, giving each student countless different ways to enjoy their free time throughout each academic year. Some notable nightclubs include:

  • Cabaret Voltaire
  • Why Not
  • Liquid Room
  • The Hive Nightclub
  • Sneaky Pete’s
  • The Bongo Club
  • Wee Red Bar
  • Lulu
  • Club Tropicana
  • 4042

What at the best student pubs in Edinburgh?

For students who want something a little calmer and more conversation-friendly, the city has plenty of pubs to enjoy in your downtime. These can be a great place to meet with other students or grab a drink in your off hours, with the city centre alone including such bars and pubs as:

  • Belushi’s
  • BrewDog
  • McSorleys
  • Bar Soba
  • Pilgrim
  • Revolution
  • Frankenstein
  • Tigerlily
  • 56 North
  • Hoot the Redeemer

Where are the best places to eat for students in Edinburgh?

The city of Edinburgh has plenty of places to eat outside of the school grounds themselves, from full-sized restaurants to street food and takeaway outlets. However, if you want to stick to a student’s budget, then it is not hard to track down some great places to eat, including:

  • El Cartel Mexicana
  • Paradise Palms
  • Söderberg Bakery
  • Red Box Noodle Bar
  • MUMS Great Comfort Food
  • Ting Thai Caravan
  • Maki & Ramen
  • @Pizza

What are the Halls of Residence for the University of Edinburgh?

There are varied options for halls of residence within the university, meaning that students have some choice over where they stay. Many of these are in easy-to-reach locations, allowing international students to keep their travel times low even if they are moving on foot.

What famous people went to Edinburgh University?

The University of Edinburgh is famous for many notable Edinburgh alumni, including some who have won a Nobel Prize for their work, including (but definitely not limited to):

  • J.K. Rowling, famous author.
  • Charles Darwin, creator of the theory of evolution.
  • Sir Chris Hoy, once the most decorated male cyclist in Olympic history.
  • Gordon Brown, former Prime Minister.
  • Alexander Graham Bell, purported inventor of the telephone and various other scientific and engineering breakthroughs.
  • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, famous author.
  • David Hume, famous Scottish philosopher.

The University of Edinburgh is also known for Professor Peter Higgs – winner of a Nobel Prize for his discovery of the Higgs Boson – and the successful cloning of Dolly the Sheep.

Top Edinburgh Students Discounts

Students at Edinburgh University can get access to a range of different local discounts, including discounts for:

  • Taco Bell
  • YO! Sushi
  • Armchair Books
  • TGI Fridays
  • Camera Obscura
  • Cineworld
  • Nandos’
  • John Lewis
  • Primark
  • LIDL

For more general student discounts online and in Edinburgh there are the options below:

Popular Questions about the University of Edinburgh

Is Edinburgh a hard University to get into?

The acceptance rate for the university is around 10%. This is roughly the same as many top universities, but it also produces a wide range of successful students who move into various postgraduate programmes to further their education. This means that approximately 10% of first-year students applications get accepted each year: more than some other universities but less than lower-overall-ranking universities.

Is Edinburgh a respected uni?

The University of Edinburgh boasts the third-largest academic library in the world university-wide and is the sixth oldest university in the UK. It sits at 25th in the world in QS World University Rankings, has the highest rating possible for student learning experience quality, and has helped launch more than 500 companies in the last hundred years. Many of the world’s greatest minds (such as Alexander Graham Bell and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) were either students or teachers there.

In short, whether you care about the QS World University Rankings and the quality of the academic staff or not, this is a high-ranking school and one of the best universities in the UK (and the world).

Is the University of Edinburgh an elite University?

As mentioned above, not only is Edinburgh a world leading university and one of the oldest in the English-speaking world, but it is also one of the top universities overall that aims for the highest rating in QS World University Rankings. Even with online part-time study, Edinburgh is known for advancing career goals thanks to its overall ranking, quality, and both undergraduate and postgraduate degree options.

The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education Scotland awarded the university the highest rating possible for the student learning experience, something that most research-intensive universities struggle to capture. This makes it one of the world leading universities when it comes to any research activity, with the overall ranking patterns only reinforcing that it is one of the top universities in the entire UK, if not the world university rankings.

Why is it so hard to get into Edinburgh University for international students and postgraduate students?

The University of Edinburgh maintains high standards. Even within the Global Employability university ranking, it is considered an internationally excellent university that produces well-educated students, teaching them to a higher overall ranking and standard than most colleges.

Alumni from the university are put in very desirable places for future career growth, whether they study science and research roles or something specific like veterinary studies. The inclusion of equipment like Pre-Clinical Imaging machines for veterinary medicine students only boosts the university’s research power and higher education potential even further.

Is Edinburgh University exclusive?

Like many exclusive colleges and universities, Edinburgh focuses on teaching arts, science, research and countless other topics to students on campus, aiming for the best possible teaching it can offer. The overall ranking of higher education quality and research power is high for a reason, but this also makes it harder to get into the university in the first place.

What subjects is Edinburgh University best at?

Edinburgh is often found ranking 1st in Sport Science, such as in the Complete University Guide – considering that the Sports Union offers world-leading sports clubs, this is not a surprise. 

The World University Ranking also said that it was 1st in Sport Science, with the same year’s The World University Ranking also saying that it was 5th for education in the world. The university is internationally excellent, achieving a consistently high ranking among both UK and worldwide universities.

What is the University of Edinburgh famous for?

Edinburgh university is best known for its excellence in research. The uni has often been praised for its commitment to research work, the breadth and quality of its research, and it contributes a huge amount to general research within Scotland. In fact, it is the number one research institution in Scotland.

This Scotland university is also known quite well for famous alumni such as David Hume and JK Rowling, along with the quality of its teaching as a school. Whether it is science, arts, social science, natural history or any other kind of higher education and research, the university prides itself on delivering excellent results for students.

Does the uni allow you to explore the city?

Edinburgh uni is placed well within the titular city, allowing students to attend all kinds of social events or explore the city at their own pace. Studying in spaces like the Easter Bush Campus allows easy access to the city as needed, so students never need to feel isolated during on-campus-taught programmes.

Is Edinburgh uni high-quality compared to other British universities?

Both previous students and the Quality Assurance Agency see the university as a great place to study, whether that is for an undergraduate or postgraduate degree. The research quality alone is enough to put the university on most top-ten lists.

Does Edinburgh uni offer a personal tutor?

Students are assigned a personal tutor as needed, allowing them to focus on their education in a way that suits them with the help of a professional

Summary of the University of Edinburgh

Edinburgh university can be an excellent place to receive higher education, with countless students walking away from the school having receives major improvements to their own knowledge and experience. The quality of the research and education carried out there, as well as the many facilities open to students makes it easy to study and research each course at your own pace using the university’s many different features and campus offerings.

There is a good reason why this university is such a popular choice for many kinds of students. If you want to know more about what you can find there, be sure to do your own research and look into the courses you might be considering.

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