Close
What to Study

Top courses to study in Edinburgh

study in Edinburgh
Students study in Edinburgh because it is globally recognised for research, development and innovation. Source: Danny Lawson/AFP

To study in Edinburgh is to experience one of the world’s top 20 student cities. A compact city with excellent transport links, it is easy to get around here and to travel to other parts of Scotland too. Large enough to offer something for everyone, but small enough to feel like home, Edinburgh is a modern, sophisticated and beautiful European city with a diverse, multicultural community.​ 

Despite its small size (and population of only 500,000 people), Edinburgh has all of the social and cultural assets of a big city. It’s no surprise that Edinburgh is one of the UK’s leading tourist destinations — coming second only to London — and a hub for international students. It is globally recognised for research, development and innovation. 

The top universities in Edinburgh are the University of Edinburgh, University of Glasgow and University of St Andrews — ranked 20th, 77th and 96th in the world, respectively. The University of Edinburgh is one of the world’s top universities, consistently ranked in the world top 50 and placed 16th in the 2022 QS World University Rankings. 

study in Edinburgh

To study in Edinburgh is to experience a city small in size but big in personality. Source: Jean-Loup Gautreau/AFP

Here are the top three courses to study in Edinburgh:

Arts and humanities

The humanities and the arts are central to all human cultures throughout time. The study in this field can facilitate deeper intercultural understanding and lay the groundwork for a civically engaged life. They also prepare you to think critically, act creatively, and succeed in a rapidly changing world.

The humanities — also referred to as social sciences — are part of the liberal arts. In many humanities degree programmes, you can develop your own course of study which best meets your education goals and career aspirations. You may choose general study, which integrates study in humanities from across the world, or you might focus on a particular geographic area such as American studies, European studies or Asian studies.

Molecular biology and genetics

Molecular biology and genetics study organisms on a cellular and molecular level. This is a rapidly developing field of biological sciences that has many important applications not only in biomedical sciences, but also in other domains such as agriculture.

A degree in Molecular Biology and Genetics explores genomes and the genetics of microorganisms, plants, and animals, and the structure and function of cells. Discover how significant advances in molecular and cellular biology can be applied to gene therapy, genetic testing, biopharmaceuticals and crop production. 

study in Edinburgh

Study in Edinburgh and pursue your passion for science. Source: Kirsty Wigglesworth/AFP

Space science 

Ever thought about launching satellites into orbit, conducting science on the moon, or a mission to Mars? Forecast to grow to over US$1.1 trillion by 2040, the space science industry offers excellent career path opportunities. Through a degree in Space Science, you will work with, and learn from international researchers whose ground-breaking and award-winning discoveries are changing the way we understand our universe. 

This programme enables students to survey the state of modern astronomy and of physics; develop professional knowledge and skills in stellar astrophysics, planetary science, solar physics, space science and physics; obtain research project experience; and graduate with widely useful scientific, numerical and critical analysis skills.