School of Informatics


A brief overview of the school and the key areas we are involved in including research, teaching and commercialisation.

Our Vision

Our vision at the School of Informatics is to retain and strengthen our position among the top five world-leading centres of research and teaching in computation, information and cognition.

The School

Informatics is one of seven schools in the College of Science and Engineering, at the University of Edinburgh. We are the only School in the College of Science and Engineering that is not located on the King's Buildings campus, but rather in the Central area, thus allowing us to foster networks beyond the usual tech links.

You can find historical information about the School under the link below.

Brief history of the School of Informatics

If you'd like to virtually visit the School, try one of the links below.

Explore the School of Informatics

Virtual Visit (UG prospective students)

Virtual Visit (PG prospective students

Our reputation

The School provides a fertile environment for a wide range of studies focusing on understanding computation in both artificial and natural systems.

With over 280 academic and research staff and over 2000 taught and research students, the School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh is the largest in the UK and one of the largest in Europe.

The School is consistently ranked among the best in the world. 

Current rankings

Studying Informatics at Edinburgh

We offer a flexible choice of undergraduate and postgraduate courses and degrees in:

  • Informatics
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Cognitive Science
  • Computer Science
  • Software Engineering

Prospective undergraduates pages

Prospective postgraduates pages

Excellence in research

The School of Informatics has surpassed expectations in producing its best ever assessment result in the Research Excellence Framework (REF).

The REF assesses both research outputs (such as scientific papers) and the research environment as previously considered by the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), last conducted in 2008. The REF also evaluates the impact of research, which was not considered by the RAE. In addition to improving its assessment scores across the board compared to RAE 2008, the School also produced excellent impact from its research.

REF 2014 Overall results

The School of Informatics submitted more FTE staff than any other school or department of Computer Science. With a submission of 94.85 FTE staff, we were more than 20 FTE larger than the nearest competitor (Oxford, with 73.40 FTE staff).

  • 33% of our research outputs received the top grade (4*).
  • 48% of our impact case studies received the top grade.
  • 60% of our research environment received the top grade.
  • 40% of our REF submission overall received the top grade.

More information on Research excellence.

Business development

The commercialisation of academic research adds significant value to the UK economy.

Here at the School of Informatics we approach this through our business development team who help to translate our world-leading research into industrial collaborations, new products and new companies.

Our experienced and dedicated business development team is there to liaise with industry, connect them to the right academics and foster relationships through a number of activities:

  • Consultancy
  • Licensing
  • Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs)
  • Studentships
  • Centre of Innovation
  • Partnerships and Collaborations
  • Networking activities and events

Informatics Industry Engagement page

Business creation: Start-ups and spin-outs

In addition to attracting investment into the School through business development activity, the School has also been highly successful at encouraging startups and spins outs from within its research community, with 61 startups and spinouts created in the past six years alone.