The University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom. What are the Perks of Studying Here?
The University of Edinburgh is a storied institution founded in 1582 which sits in one of the liveliest and most charming cities in Britain.
With over 30,000 students there's a sizeable student population, and the university is highly regarded for its academics as well as the culture which surrounds it.
Courses on offer at the University of Edinburgh
The University of Edinburgh has a dedicated School of Economics, offering undergraduate, masters, and PhD programs. The undergraduate courses at the school are notable for including a large number of combined subjects, such as Economics and Mathematics, Economics and Sociology, or Economics and Environmental Studies.
The economics masters programs on offer are MSc in Economics, or MSc in Economics with a focus on Econometrics or Finance, in addition to an MSc in Mathematical Economics and Econometrics.
Academic environment at University of Edinburgh
The academic teaching at the university includes some forward-looking programs to encourage positive relationships between students and staff. The Edinburgh University Student’s Association, or EUSA, has created a program that allows students to acknowledge faculty members who have contributed positively to students’ lives. This program has been so fruitful, it’s now mirrored in many other U.K. universities.
Students are also allowed to experiment with different methods of learning. In addition to their physical classes, they are able to access a huge amount of online content, as well utilize peer assistance. Online programs permit them to anonymously give feedback about lecture comprehension.
Research specialities at the University of Edinburgh
As you can imagine from the courses on offer, the School of Economics has a particular speciality in econometrics research, with strong links to mathematics and finance topics.
Research areas of interest at the school include work and careers, with research into topics like the gig economy, how workers find jobs and change careers, and how economic conditions affect wages. Other topics include the intersection of economics with sociological and political topics such as law enforcement, behavioural economics, schooling, social security, and inequality.
Tuition fees in the UK are cheaper than those in the US, but are more expensive than other countries in Europe. However, universities in Scotland do tend to be cheaper than those in England and Wales, especially for students who are local to the area.
The fees for undergraduate courses at Edinburgh begin at £1,820 for local students, and go all the way up to £23,200 for international students. For masters students, the costs are higher, with fees of £11,300 for UK and EU citizens, and £22,850 for non-EU students.
The good news is that there are funding opportunities available. The School of Economics, for example, offers a fee discount of 25% to applicants to its masters programs whom it considers to be outstanding. There is a further 10% scholarship available on postgaduate tuition fees for those who also studied for their undergraduate degree at Edinburgh.
There are different types of funding available for UK and EU students verses international students, as well as other scholarships available for online-only postgraduate programs.
Activities at the University of Edinburgh
The University of Edinburgh offers an impressive figure of over 280 clubs to join, including everything from the African Drumming Society, the Anarchist Society, and the Arabic Bellydancing Society, just to run through those beginning with an A.
The university also allows opportunities for students to volunteer in whatever cause they may be passionate about. The university has a progressive attitude toward student well-being, with events like its mental health weeks, in which events are put on to discuss topics including mental health awareness, men and women’s mental health, mental health in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), mindfulness and yoga days, discussions about depression, fear, and failure, and many other meet-ups having to do with these crucial issues.
The university also offers Global Students’ projects, allowing students to learn new languages, befriend international students or play a part in Global Students Day — a day of celebrating diversity with different events involving mindfulness, dance, or gardening, for instance, with students from all nooks and crannies of the globe.
Living costs in Edinburgh
Edinburgh is a beloved city with much to enjoy. It isn't the cheapest place to live in Britain, but it is isn't the most expensive as rent is notably cheaper than many capital cities. In terms of accommodation, for a one bedroom apartment in the city center, you'll be looking at around £800 per month. You can find cheaper one bedroom options a little further out for around £650 per month. Or you can share with housemates and expect to pay around £500 per month in the city center or as little as £350 further out.
Going out is a bit more expensive though, as you'll be looking at around £4 for a beer in most bars, or £15 to £25 per person for a meal out.
Culture in Edinburgh
As the capital city of Scotland, Edinburgh is a bustling cultural city famed for its beauty as well as its comedy festival. The hilly cits has many historic buildings and sites, including nearby attractions like Tantallon Castle in North Berwick on the coast, or Blackness Castle.
There are also beaches to the sea for those who can brave Scotland's chilly temperatures, such as the beautiful Portobello Beach or the Pentland Hills Regional Park, which is a picturesque location of rolling green hills.
The biggest downsides of the city are the weather, which is frequently rainy and cold even by British standards, and the hilly nature of the center. Getting up and down hills to locations can be a challenge if you're using to strolling through flatter cities, but Edinburgh does have plenty of affordable public transport options to save your feet.
The food culture is also a matter of personal taste. The joke goes that everything in Scotland is deep fried, and while that's not the case everywhere – as a cosmopolitan city, you'll find foods from all over the world in Edinburgh – it's true that the city is not generally health-conscious about food in the way that a place like Los Angeles is.
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Quotes from students
To learn about the experience at the University of Edinburgh, here is what a current student there had to say about their own:
“When the university is advertising to prospective students, it typically focuses on the academic rigour and the 300+ societies and sports teams. While everyone who visits experiences the city’s charm; the winding streets and the castle’s commanding view but often Edinburgh’s vast green space is forgotten as one of its best attributes. Edinburgh is 49.2% green space, we have a volcanic plug known as Arthur's Seat right in the middle of the city and the meadows are a huge open green space right behind the university where students congregate in the summer for BBQs and to have their lunch during exams," said Aimee Keown, a current student at the University of Edinburgh.
Regarding the area where she lives, Aimee said, “Blackford Hill sits at the back of the Marchmont where most students live and the Pentland Hills are a 20 minute bus ride from the city centre and I can’t forget Calton Hill at the end of Princes Street which gives a view of the main shopping area and across the firth of forth. The city is beautiful but the green spaces are varied and accessible. With the ever increasing pressures of student life there is nothing better than to be able to go for a walk outside and feeling as if you have completely left the city. I have been studying here for 5 years and every time I enter Holyrood park, home of Arthur's Seat, it takes my breath away.”