Edinburgh Local

University staff and students

As a member of the University of Edinburgh, there are a number of ways you can work with local communities to make a positive contribution to the lives of people in and around Edinburgh.


If you’re a University of Edinburgh staff member or student, the University and the Edinburgh University Students’ Association can provide you with support in volunteering in the local area.

Build partnerships for research that benefits communities

A baby interacts with a digital game on an ipad
Public Engagement with Research describes the many ways we can share research with the public and listen in response.

Engage with local communities as part of your degree

The 2018 'Our Health' cohort of  students, hard at work reflecting on their learning journeys. Photo by Proteus
Working with our local communities across Edinburgh and the wider region can provide you with experiential learning as part of your degree.

Incorporate community engagement into your teaching

students on field trip in the desert
Incorporating community engagement into your teaching can be very rewarding, but may also present new challenges. There are colleagues at the University with whom you can share experience and best practice.

Join the Edinburgh Community Engagement Forum

Community engagement with young people
The Edinburgh Community Engagement Forum is an informal, cross-University network that brings together University staff and students who are interested in engaging with local communities.

Provide communities with resources

Computers delivered to People Know How office
Expertise, knowledge and talent are not the only assets the University has to share with local communities. Sometimes, it may be possible to provide very tangible items: use of rooms, equipment, collections of items needed by charities, or even raffle prizes. Providing these items may seem straightforward, but there are a few things that need to be considered.

Best practice

As well as creating positive impact with local communities, community engagement should also do no harm. Below are some key considerations for you to look at before embarking on any community engagement activity. Depending on what your community engagement activity is, you may find that some considerations overlap.