College of Medicine & Veterinary Medicine

The foundation of the Faculty of Medicine

The University of Edinburgh was founded in 1583 by the Town Council of Edinburgh as the first civic university in Britain.

Medical school plans

Although the Medical School can trace its origins back to the barber surgeons of Edinburgh in the early part of the 16th century, the Faculty of Medicine did not gain formal recognition within the University until 1726.

Edinburgh’s Faculty of Medicine was founded on the models established at the University of Padua in the 16th century and at Leiden in the 17th.

It was in part a deliberate policy to boost the economy of the city by attracting foreign students to study in Scotland rather than send young Scots at great expense to the Continent.