Student Recruitment & Admissions

Admissions principles

The University of Edinburgh is committed to admitting the very best students, who demonstrate the potential to benefit from, and contribute to, the academic experience we offer.

We aim to:

Encourage applications from students with excellent academic potential

We ask all candidates to demonstrate, via their application, that they have the potential to succeed at the University, including a commitment and motivation relevant to their proposed programme of study.

Further the University as an international institution benefiting from and serving its Scottish context

Applicants are welcomed from Scotland, the rest of the UK and from around the world to benefit from the unique heritage and thriving innovative environment of Scottish education.

Offer equality of opportunity to all applicants

We recognise that not all students will have had an equal opportunity to demonstrate their full academic potential.

All applications are given careful individual consideration and a holistic decision is made with regard to the individual’s academic achievements and potential, taking into account the context and circumstances in which these were achieved.

Increase the diversity of the student population

We believe that diversity is educationally as well as socially desirable in a civilised society, enriching the educational experience for all.

We therefore seek to attract a wide range of applicants from different social, cultural and educational backgrounds, including those who come from schools or colleges where relatively few students progress to university, and those who will be members of the first generation of their families to become university students.

We seek to encourage applications from students from all backgrounds who are currently under-represented in higher education.

Care leavers

We are committed to pre-application outreach to, and ongoing support and guidance for, prospective students who are or have been ‘looked after or accommodated’ by their Local Authority.

Information for care leavers

Equality and diversity

The University values diversity and is committed to equality in education. Students are selected on the basis of their individual merits, abilities and aptitudes.

The University seeks to overcome barriers to participation and to support each individual to develop to their full potential.


Admission is subject to the availability of places. Where there are restrictions on the number of places the University can make available, competition for places is often extremely high.

Selection procedures to support the principles outlined above vary across the University, dependent on the subject you are applying for.

Tell me more about the selection process for undergraduate study

Admissions Policy

Our Admissions Policy is available to download (Requires a PDF viewer such as Adobe Reader)

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