Academy of Sport - Acadamaidh Spòrs Oilthigh Dhùn Èideann

Our history

Building upon a remarkable heritage of involvement with sport dating back to at least 1591, the Academy of Sport, established in 2014, was born from a desire to serve communities locally and globally.

image courtesy of sportscotland ©2016



University founded


First University of Edinburgh playing fields allotted by the City Council “ College Pitch” on the Burgh Muir


Edinburgh Law student John Hope founds the first organized football club in the world


Foundation of the Scottish Rugby Union


The Hygienists, one of the first places in the world to provide specialist education for women in physical activity and education


Eric Liddell wins a gold medal at the Paris Olympic Games. The link continues through the awarding of the Liddell Scholarship in 2012 and the display of the Olympic Medals in the University


The current Institute of sport, physical education and health sciences designated as the Scottish Centre


Edinburgh social anthropology student Luke Dowdney founds Fight for Peace dedicated to realizing the potential of young people in communities that suffer from crime and violence


Katherine Grainger and Sir Chris Hoy sustain the continuity of Olympic Gold Medal performances from Edinburgh Alumni


Hosted World Sports Values Summit for Peace and Development in Cape Town, South Africa


Enabled Sport, Mental Health and Dementia Symposium at Hampden Park


Global Impact of Sport - Summer School launched


Partnerships with Homeless World Cup and Barcelona Football Club Foundation


Commonwealth consultancy to advance sport and the sustainable development goals

British Council consultancy to develop sport in Wales as a soft power asset

Global Impact of Sport Winter School launched

The future of women’s football symposium

4th in UK Universities league table for sport

Moray House School of Education retitled to include Sport

Australian Government acknowledges Edinburgh (Academy of Sport)  in launch of Sports Diplomacy Strategy

ESRC Post-Doctoral Fellowship


Review of the Scottish Sporting Landscape for the Scottish Government

Production of 40th Sports Podcast

Open up Widening Access to the University of Edinburgh through Football

Baroness Scotland launches sport and sustainable development education

British Council Soft Power Scotland report acknowledges Edinburgh (Academy of Sport)

University Award in recognition of Community Engagement


The University of Edinburgh

  • 1st in Scotland and 20th in the World QS World University Rankings (2021)
  • Creates on average 2 companies every week
  • 1st in Scotland and 11th in the UK for research (Research Evaluation Framework 2014)
  • More than 12 000 international students from 140 nations
  • 19 Nobel Prize winners and 15 Olympic medals

Sport at the University of Edinburgh

  • 37th in the world and 1st in Scotland for sport related subjects in (World QS subject rankings 2017)
  • 2nd in Scotland and 3rd in the UK for sports science (Complete University Guide 2019)
  • 1st in the UK for HE and FE, London 2012 Olympic Gold Medals won (London Higher and Further Education League Table 2012)
  • 1st in Scotland and 4th in the UK for student sport (British Universities and Colleges Sport 2019)
  • 1st in Scotland for sports research (Research Evaluation Framework 2014)
  • 1st Massive Open Online Course in Football – widening access (2014)