College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Introduction to our College

We are one of three academic Colleges at the University of Edinburgh, with more than 4,000 staff and 26,000 students from 160 different countries.

George Square gardens in spring

We have an international reputation as an academic powerhouse in the arts, humanities and social sciences, connected to global networks of scholars and providing first-class teaching and research across a wide range of academic disciplines.

Our students, staff, alumni and friends are our lifeblood and most valuable asset. We are incredibly proud to host such a thriving, international community, joined in its commitment to improve and achieve benefit for individuals, communities, societies and our world.

We host over 3000 academic staff and over 1000 colleagues in professional support roles across our 11 academic Schools, the cross-University Centre for Open Learning, the Edinburgh Futures Institute and the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities.

We have over 16000 undergraduate students, over 7500 postgraduate taught students and over 2000 postgraduate research students.  We also have approximately 2600 students across the various pathways into undergraduate study, short courses and seasonal provision.

Already exceeding the Scottish Government target for Widening Participation for 2021, we maintain our broader commitment to recruit students from less advantaged socio-economic backgrounds, overseas and locally.

Our culture focusses around community, with staff and student experience and wellbeing firmly at the centre of all we do. Ensuring we understand, respect and celebrate each other’s differences and that we operate in an inclusive environment, where opportunities are equally accessible to all is our core priority.

We promote an environment of continuous learning where knowledge and best practise are shared and celebrated. Each year we showcase teams that thrive on the talents of all members, and colleagues who inspire those with whom they work across a variety of reward and recognition schemes.

We are ranked 11th in the world for Arts & Humanities and 3rd in the UK for Arts & Humanities (QS World University rankings 2021).

Our strategy

The University of Edinburgh Strategy 2030 is rooted in our values, and led by a distinctive, honest and realistic set of guiding principles to deliver excellence in 2030.

We strive to:

  • be a place of transformation and of self-improvement, driven to achieve benefit for  individuals, communities, societies and our world;
  • be diverse, inclusive and accessible to all;
  • be ambitious, bold and act with integrity, always being willing to listen;
  • have a strong sense of community, fostering a sustainable environment in which staff, students, alumni and friends are proud to be part of our University;
  • attract the world’s best minds to come to study and work with us while building innovative global partnerships for research, teaching and impact;
  • celebrate and strengthen our deep-rooted and distinctive internationalism;
  • sustain a deep allegiance and commitment to the interests of the city and region in which we are based, alongside our national and international efforts.

Creating new opportunities for partners, friends, neighbours, and supporters to co-create, engage with the world and amplify our impacts is at the forefront of our thinking and activity.

Strategy 2030


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