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Quality teaching and research

The University of Edinburgh

The University of Edinburgh, founded in 1583, is an internationally renowned centre for teaching and research. We are widely regarded as one of the most prestigious universities in Europe, consistently placed among the top 50 leading universities in the world*, and ranked 16th in the 2022 QS World University Rankings.

Quality teaching and research

We are one of the world’s top research-intensive universities, ranked 4th in the UK for research power (Times Higher Education, Overall Ranking of Institutions), with 83% of our research activity classified as world leading or internationally excellent in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework.

Research conducted here led to the discovery of chloroform anaesthesia, the Higgs boson particle and in-vitro fertilisation. Our academics, students and alumni discovered carbon dioxide, led the Scottish Enlightenment laying the foundations of contemporary thought, developed a genetically engineered vaccine against Hepatitis B, and Dolly the sheep – the first mammal to be genetically cloned from an adult somatic cell.

We are associated with 19 Nobel Prize winners, who are alumni of the University of have been members of academic staff here and have long enjoyed a spirit of innovation and collaboration and continue to do so today. We are proudly open to everyone, bringing people with new outlooks and perspectives together in an international community that is establishing the data capital of Europe, tackling climate change and paving the way for new fertility treatments. Our scientists are seeking cures for cancer, repurposing drugs to improve treatments for the Covid-19 Coronavirus and contributing to the global search for a vaccine.

Joining the University as a student provides you with a unique opportunity to work with some of the most influential academics in your chosen field. At Edinburgh, you will develop your specialist skills, deepen your understanding and gain new insights and perspectives to equip you for your career ahead.

Quality teaching and research

The Edinburgh experience

The University of Edinburgh is one of the largest and most diverse universities in the UK. We host more than 40,000 students from some 156 countries studying across more than 150 academic disciplines. All our postgraduates benefit from our inspiring research culture.

The academics involved in your teaching and learning are leaders in their field, and the University is dedicated to delivering high quality, innovative teaching. Your study will be enhanced by a wealth of resources and opportunities including:

  • 10 Libraries, including the third largest academic library in Europe, open 24/7
  • World-leading analytical facilities including the FloWave Ocean Energy Research Facility for simulating wave and tidal current interactions
  • Europe’s foremost Clinical Imaging Research Facility
  • The world-leading Scottish Centre for Regenerative Medicine
  • One of the UK’s largest teaching hospitals
  • The University’s Centre for Research Collections, one of the most important resources of its kind in the world

Global Connections

Our ambitious internationalisation strategy aims to provide world-class experiences for students and ensures the teaching and research we deliver offers global benefits.

We collaborate with a host of world-leading institutions in fields as diverse as e-science, engineering, life and medical sciences and arts and culture. We’re also a member of the global research network Universitas 21, and the European networks COIMBRA group, as well as UNICA, LERU, and UNA Europa. Our students are crucial to our continued success and development and, along with our staff, they forge research links through regular travel and overseas exchanges. We take pride in our partnerships with other institutions such as the California Institute of Technology, University of Copenhagen, University College Dublin, the University of Melbourne, Peking University, the University of Delhi and Zhejiang University– to name but a few.


We are ranked in the UK’s top 10 universities and in the world’s top 100 universities for the employability of our graduates.**

Our Careers Service are dedicated to developing our already strong links with employers from all sectors.

We were one of the first UK universities to develop commercial links with industry, government and the professions, and our commercialisation office, Edinburgh Innovations, has helped launch over 500 companies since 1967.

* Times Higher Education World Rankings

** Times Higher Education, Global Employability University Ranking 2019

Quality teaching and research

Academic Units

The College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine at The University of Edinburgh is an international leader in basic-to-clinical translational research. Our approach ranges from molecules to man, from bench to bedside, and from process to population. Our interdisciplinary groups, centres and institutes bring together basic and clinical academic staff in broad, thematic research concentrations encompassing basic sciences, translational and clinical research. Research within the College explicitly links biomedicine and veterinary medicine, in promotion of the concept 'One Medicine'.
Our research centres are clustered within contemporary research Institutes, located next to hospitals on three major translational research campuses. Whether working at one of our two major human medical campuses or at our veterinary campus, research students benefit from our 'lab bench to bedside' approach, whereby patients are seen in the same location as the fundamental research that's taking place. This results in strengthened collaboration between basic scientists and clinician scientists.
In the College’s submissions to the Research Excellence Framework 2014, Veterinary Medicine was ranked 1st in the UK, Medicine was ranked in the top 5, Neuroscience was ranked 3rd, and Social Work and Social Policy was 3rd.
The University of Edinburgh is a leading postgraduate teaching and research centre, ranked 19th in the QS World Rankings 2016/17, 7th in Europe, 5th in the UK and 1st in Scotland.

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The University of Edinburgh is the top rated Chemistry Department for teaching and research in Scotland. In the 2001 Research Assessment Exercise, we achieved a 5A rating in recognition of the international quality of our research.

Chemistry at Edinburgh is looking to the future. We are building on our excellence in teaching and research to generate the best possible environment for staff, undergraduates and research students to realise their full potential. Strategic appointments have strengthened traditional areas such as organic synthesis. Newer fields are also vibrant at Edinburgh, particularly biotechnology, materials chemistry and nanotechnology. In these areas, our work provides the fundamental understanding at an atomic and molecular level to underpin many major interdisciplinary R&D projects. Our ongoing programme of facilities development is not just about ensuring we have the most modern research laboratories possible. Rather it aims to create an environment which will inspire new ideas, support innovation and unconventional approaches to problem solving and help us build a band of adventurers in chemistry who are devoted to discovering the future

The Universities of Edinburgh and St Andrews have established a new joint Research School of Chemistry. EaStCHEM is the premier Research School for Chemistry in Scotland and is funded by the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council, The Office of Science and Technology and the parent Universities.

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This interdisciplinary School contains research in Ecology, Environment, Geography, Geology, Geophysics, Meteorology, Oceanography, and Resource Management. All components were graded 5* or 5 in the last RAE, with over one third of academics in the top 5* grouping.

In the School of GeoSciences, we explore the factors and forces that shape our world and environments in which we live. As a leading interdisciplinary group, and with over 100 academic and research specialists and some of the best scientific infrastructure in the UK, we aim to understand the interaction between the Earth's geology, atmosphere, oceans, biosphere and human responses and roles in this complex interplay. We have over 1100 undergraduate and 250 postgraduate students.

The School spans the interface between natural science and social science and this advantage enables us to contribute to the policy issues that arise between society and its interaction with the environment.

An exceptional number of quality research organisations are associated with the University in the Edinburgh area. This provides the opportunity for genuine interdisciplinary science, combined with the depth required for specialism and individual excellence.

Funded PhD opportunities are avaiable as individual projects on the School website. Other projects are available to candidates with funding (see School website).

Nicki Reid
School of GeoSciences
Grant Institute
West Mains Road
Edinburgh EH9 3JW
email: nicki.reid@ed.ac.uk

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Edinburgh's School of Informatics brings together research in Computer Science, Cognitive Science, Computational Linguistics and Artificial Intelligence and provides a fertile environment for a wide range of interdisciplinary studies. Formed in 1998, the School of Informatics is the largest, longest established and highest quality research group in informatics in the UK, with an excellent record of achievement in both research and teaching. We offer taught and research postgraduate study programmes spanning the field of Informatics.

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Based in the central campus at the University of Edinburgh, the Business School seeks to set the agenda across a wide range of business disciplines, with our research areas staffed by teams whose work has real influence in business, government, and the public sector.

The University of Edinburgh was ranked as 4th in the UK for research power (Times Higher Education, 2019), and the Business School has significant research expertise across six subject areas (https://www.business-school.ed.ac.uk/research/areas):

Accounting and Finance
Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Management Science and Business Economics
Organisation Studies

We aim to provide a highly dynamic and supportive research environment for our large and diverse graduate community, ensuring that Business School PhD students have the resources required to make the most of their individual projects. This is evidenced by our positive student feedback in national surveys such as the PRES 2019.

In addition, the Business School has received full research training accreditation both from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS), and holds the Athena SWAN Bronze Award in recognition of the positive work the School has done to promote diversity and gender equality.

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