Innovative teaching and learning

Providing staff and students enhanced teaching, learning and assessment opportunities.

Please note that our team is working remotely following the UK government’s guidance relating to the COVID-19 outbreak. We’re still very much on hand to assist with your queries relating to donations. The most efficient way to donate just now is online or via bank transfer. Unfortunately, we can’t take donations over the phone at the moment or process donations sent through the post. Thank you for your patience and support.


The experience of our students at the University of Edinburgh relies heavily on the quality of teaching and the flexibility of learning. When you come to Edinburgh, you expect your time here to be a stepping stone to your future career and success. That’s why we set up the Principal’s Teaching Award Scheme (PTAS).

It is only because of alumni donations that PTAS is able to continue supporting staff and students in their learning and teaching ventures. The awards aim to encourage and support activities that will make a significant contribution to the enhancement of learning and teaching at the University, at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. New practice in teaching can be explored through the PTAS and your gift today will help ensure Edinburgh continues to be at the forefront of providing innovative experiences for students.        

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Your gift in action

Taking the classroom into the city: staff and students collaborate to make an accessable way to enjoy Edinburgh's rich scientific history.

Staff and students are innovating together through merging teaching with technology. Dr Niki Vermeulen, Senior Lecturer in the History of Science, and PhD graduate Dr Bill Jenkins created a science-based mobile app called Curious Edinburgh for first year History of Science students.

The app takes science students on a self-guided tour of locations in Edinburgh that are relevant to their course. The students can physically visit where Professor Peter Higgs wrote his Higgs boson papers at no. 5 Roxburgh Street, or the Oyster Club on Niddry Street which great minds such as James Hutton and Joseph Black frequented.  

For Niki and Bill student’s learning was a priority from the start. Curious Edinburgh is now being used in lectures across a number of disciplines at the University of Edinburgh. While University staff, alumni and the city's tourists can also experience the multiple tours on the app, including the History of Medicine, Physics and the Scottish Enlightenment.

This tech-savvy project has literally taken the classroom into the city and has created a new, interactive way of teaching and learning whilst enjoying Edinburgh’s rich scientific history.

It is not just students who have benefitted from donations to Innovative Teaching and Learning, the website and app are for everyone to enjoy. I hope you will look up Curious Edinburgh, with tours in Brewing, Jewish History and Medicine there is something for everyone. Let us know how you get on! 

Image: Nobel Prize winner Peter Higgs (above) wrote his paper on the ‘Higgs boson’ in 1964 at 5 Roxburgh Street. One of the many stops on the Curious Edinburgh app. Credit: David Cheskin.