Research areas

Explore the work of our world-class researchers across a range of cross-disciplinary areas.

The University of Edinburgh is one of the world’s leading research-intensive universities. Our researchers continuously challenge the boundaries of knowledge. We provide the highest quality learning opportunities for our students embellished by the new knowledge we discover.

We aim to deliver the highest attainable excellence in research and innovation to transform understanding of humanity, the world we live in and the universe around us.

University resarchers discovered carbon dioxide, latent and specific heat, chloroform anaesthesia, SARS, the Higgs boson particle, and developed the Hepatitis B vaccine, the hypodermic syringe, the kaleidoscope, the vacuum flask, the ATM, the diving chamber and in-vitro fertilisation.

Our researchers enable us to forge links with charities, businesses, policy makers and other universities, so that together we can tackle long-standing challenges at home and overseas.

Arts, Humanities and Social Science

Archaeology student

There are over 1,000 academics and students involved in research across our 11 schools. We have achieved global recognition for our dynamic and innovative work, engaging with public, private and third sector organisations, as well as with wider audiences and interest groups.

Our work makes a difference to policy, professional practice, business performance and the wellbeing of communities and cultures.

Arts, Humanities and Social Science

Medicine and Veterinary Medicine

Student with a petri dish in a bacteriology lab.

The College of Medicine & Veterinary Medicine has five major research institutes, each with over 500 members of staff and postgraduate research students.

Research programmes promote the concept of ‘One Medicine’, explicitly linking biomedicine and veterinary medicine. Research is carried out across a number of interrelated centres, led by internationally renowned scientists, and emphasises multidisciplinary research from process to population and across species.

Our world-renowned medical research benefits from unique links with major hospitals, research institutes and charitable bodies.

Medicine and Veterinary Medicine

Science and Engineering

Professor Emeritus Peter Higgs with the Higgs Boson equation.

Within the College of Science & Engineering, research is undertaken by each of our seven Schools, offering many opportunities for collaboration between disciplines.

A key player in European research collaborations, we engage in specialised and interdisciplinary research in pure and applied science and engineering.

Science and Engineering

Animal research

A small proportion of research at the University involves the use of animals as a vital component in the drive to advance medical, biological and veterinary science.

Our research aims to better understand healthy bodies as well as investigate conditions that affect human and animal health worldwide. These include diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer and heart disease, as well as studies of avian influenza and E. coli in farm animals.

Learn more about our animal research, including the reasons why we use animals in research, alternatives to using animals and how many animals are used.

Animal research

All research centres and institutes

See a full list of the research centres and institutes at the University of Edinburgh.

A-Z of research centres and institutes