Alumni Services

University of Edinburgh Short Courses

The University’s short courses offer a fantastic opportunity to develop your knowledge and skill in a wide variety of areas with the added bonus of 10% discount for alumni.

A woman painting during short course class.

Short courses are typically offered as short evening or daytime classes, held over 10 or 11 consecutive weeks.

There are a wide range of subject areas on offer.

  • Archaeology
  • Art
  • Art History
  • Creative Writing
  • Design
  • Film, Media and Contemporary Cultures
  • History
  • Languages
  • Literature
  • Music
  • Personal Development
  • Philosophy and Religion
  • Psychology and Language Sciences
  • Science and Nature
  • Society and politics


Courses are available in four sessions a year.

Session 1 Session 2 Session 3 Session 4
September January April July/August

Further information

The short courses website is updated regularly and contains everything you need to know about courses, availability and how to enrol. Check it regularly for information regarding new courses and to ensure  you secure a place on the class you want.

Visit the short courses website


Many courses take place at Paterson’s Land on the Holyrood campus, and the University partners with the Filmhouse cinema, the National Museum of Scotland and other organisations and venues across the city.


You can enrol and pay course fees online or in person.

In person

To claim your 10% alumni discount please show your alumni card when booking in person at the Centre for Open Learning Reception at Paterson’s Land.


You will prompted to select your discount during the online enrolment process, please follow the instructions once you have added your chosen course(s) to your basket and proceed to the checkout.

Troubleshooting online discount

If you have any issues with applying the alumni discount when booking online, please do not proceed with your online enrolment, as we cannot guarantee that the discount can be applied retrospectively. Instead, please contact the Centre for Open Learning for assistance.

Email the Centre for Open Learning at

Full terms and conditions are available on the short courses website