A Guide to Student Life in Edinburgh

Scotland’s capital city of Edinburgh can offer students all of the excitement and vibrancy of London, without the sometimes overwhelming feeling that some students have described.

With a diverse culture, stunning scenery and architecture, and eclectic range of shops, bars, clubs, and restaurants you’ll get everything you expect from cosmopolitan student life.

Top things to do whilst you’re studying in Edinburgh include trekking up “Arthur’s Seat” for an amazing 360 view of the city, relaxing on the beach at Portobello, and watching Six Nations rugby at Murrayfields Stadium.

So, what else do you need to know about studying in Edinburgh?

Where to study

There are a number of universities, colleges, and business schools to choose from if you’d like to study in Edinburgh. Of course, the University of Edinburgh is the most obvious choice alongside Heriott Watt University and Napier University.

Other institutions include Edinburgh Business School, Queen Margaret University, and the Edinburgh College of Art.

How much will it cost you?

Living in Scotland’s capital was never going to be cheap, but it is cheaper than studying in London, so it might be a good option if you want to experience city life but your budget can’t stretch to London.

A 2014 study found that students living in Edinburgh spend roughly £205 per week on accommodation, travel, study essentials, food, and entertainment.

Getting around

You’ll be pleased to hear that many students studying in Edinburgh don’t feel they need to use public transport because the campuses and study hot spots are usually within walking distance.

If you do need to use another mode of transport there is a comprehensive bus service and the newly refurbished tram system. There are also coaches, trains, and planes for times when you need to travel outside of the city.

Where to live

The majority of the student accommodation in Edinburgh is flats, rather than houses, and competition can be fierce for the best locations so it’s best to start looking early if you’re going to be studying there.

The University of Edinburgh generally offers first year students accommodation in student halls and after that Morningside, Marchmont, Bruntsfield are popular student housing areas.

With a student population of roughly 40,000 during term time you’ll be in good company and have plenty of potential new friends and flat mates.

Party time

There are plenty of attractions, entertainment, and places to eat in Edinburgh – and of course, there are all the festivals that Edinburgh hosts throughout the year.

Princes Street is the main shopping area of the city with all of the usual high street stores and a good variety of smaller independent shops.

If you’re looking for nightclubs then head to George Street for a great night out. The Hive, Lulu, GHQ, and Sneaky Pete’s are all student favourite for cheap drinks and a good time.

You’ll get all of the usual chain restaurants in Edinburgh such as Bella Italia, Prezzo, and Jimmy Chung’s. More original eateries include Malone’s Irish Bar, Elephants and Bagels, and The Mosque Kitchen.