The University of Edinburgh

About the University:

The University of Edinburgh  is a public research university based in EdinburghScotland. Founded by the town council under the authority of a royal charter of King James VI in 1582 and officially opened in 1583, it is one of Scotland’s four ancient universities and the sixth-oldest university in continuous operation in the English-speaking world. The university played an important role in Edinburgh becoming a chief intellectual centre during the Scottish Enlightenment and contributed to the city being nicknamed the “Athens of the North.” Edinburgh is ranked among the top universities in the United Kingdom and the world.

Edinburgh is a member of several associations of research-intensive universities, including the Coimbra GroupLeague of European Research UniversitiesRussell GroupUna Europa, and Universitas 21. In the fiscal year ending 31 July 2022, it had a total income of £1.262 billion, of which £331.6 million was from research grants and contracts. It has the third-largest endowment in the UK, behind only Cambridge and Oxford. The university has five main campuses in the city of Edinburgh, which include many buildings of historical and architectural significance such as those in the Old Town.

Edinburgh receives over 75,000 undergraduate applications per year, making it the second-most popular university in the UK by volume of applications. It is the eighth-largest university in the UK by enrolment, with 35,375 students in 2019/20. Edinburgh had the eighth-highest average UCAS points amongst British universities for new entrants in 2020. The university continues to have links to the British royal family, having had Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh as its chancellor from 1953 to 2010 and Anne, Princess Royal since March 2011.

The alumni of the university includes some of the major figures of modern history. Inventor Alexander Graham Bellnaturalist Charles Darwin, philosopher David Hume, and physicist James Clerk Maxwell studied at Edinburgh, as did writers such as Sir J. M. Barrie, Sir Arthur Conan DoyleJ. K. Rowling, Sir Walter Scott, and Robert Louis Stevenson. The university counts several heads of state and government amongst its graduates, including three British Prime Ministers. Three Supreme Court Justices of the UK were educated at Edinburgh. As of January 2023, 19 Nobel Prize laureates, four Pulitzer Prize winners, three Turing Award winners, and an Abel Prize laureate and Fields Medalist have been affiliated with Edinburgh as alumni or academic staff. Edinburgh alumni have won a total of ten Olympic gold medals.


Academic Profile:

The university is a member of the Russell Group of research-led British universities, and the Sutton 13 group of top-ranked universities in the UK.[164] It is the only British university to be a member of both the Coimbra Group and the League of European Research Universities, and it is a founding member of Una Europa and Universitas 21, both international associations of research-intensive universities. The university maintains historically strong ties with the neighbouring Heriot-Watt University for teaching and research. Edinburgh also offers a wide range of free online MOOC courses on three global platforms CourseraEdx and FutureLearn


In 2020, Edinburgh had the seventh-highest average entry standards amongst universities in the UK, with new undergraduates averaging 190 UCAS points, equivalent to just above AAAaa in A-level grades. It gave offers of admission to 52.3% of its 18 year old applicants in 2019, the fifth-lowest amongst the Russell Group.

In 2022, excluding courses within Edinburgh College of Art, the most competitive courses for Scottish applicants were Oral Health Science (9%), Business (11%), Philosophy & Psychology (14%), Social Work (15%), and International Business (15%). For students from the rest of the UK, the most competitive courses were Nursing (5%), Medicine (6%), Veterinary Medicine (6%), Psychology (8%), and Politics, Philosophy and Economics (10%). For international students, the most competitive courses were Medicine (5%), Nursing (7%), Business (11%), Politics, Philosophy and Economics (12%), and Sociology (13%).

For the academic year 2019/20, 36.8% of Edinburgh’s new undergraduates were privately educated, the second-highest proportion among mainstream British universities, behind only Oxford. As of August 2021, it has a higher proportion of female than male students with a male to female ratio of 38:62 in the undergraduate population, and the undergraduate student body is composed of 30% Scottish students, 32% from the rest of the UK, 10% from the EU, and 28% from outside the EU.

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