The University of Edinburgh is a member of the prestigious Russell Group of universities, and consistently ranked in the UK Top 30. Founded in the 16th century, it is the sixth oldest university in the English-speaking world and one of Britain and Ireland’s seven ancient universities. It is made up of three colleges: Humanities and Social Science, Science and Engineering, and Medicine and Veterinary Medicine – which is regarded as a world leader within its field.

Key Facts


  • #25 in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020
  • #16 in the Complete University Guide 2020
  • #25 in the Guardian Good University Guide 2020

Latest undergraduate enrolment

  • 21,500

Latest postgraduate enrolment

  • 10,000

Year founded

  • 1583

  • The university has an outstanding history of discovery and innovation, which includes the theory of the Higgs boson, for which Professor Peter Higgs was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2013, and the cloning of Dolly the Sheep at the university’s Roslin Institute.  
  • A total of 20 Nobel laureates are affiliated with the University. 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.
  • At around £317 million, it has the third largest endowment of any UK university after Oxford and Cambridge. 
Areas of recognition

The Times Higher Education World subject rankings 2020 place Edinburgh in the Top 100 universities globally for Arts and Humanities, Clinical, Pre-Clinical and Health, Engineering and Technology, Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, Social Sciences and Business and Economics.

Within the UK, Edinburgh is currently ranked 1st for both Veterinary Medicine Nursing and has further Top 20 rankings for the following subjects: Social Work (#2), Town and Country Planning and Landscape (#3), Sport Science (#5), Education (#6), Social Policy (#11), Electrical & Electronic Engineering (#11), Architecture (#12), Law (#12), Linguistics (#13), Mathematics (#14), Biological Sciences (#15), Computer Science (#15) and Art & Design (#19).

Kings alumni at University of Edinburgh

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