Short Courses

Let Edinburgh Inspire Your Learning This Summer

A range of Short Courses designed around the beauty and history of Edinburgh

An image of the city of Edinburgh from Arthur's Seat

For centuries, the city of Edinburgh has inspired countless artists, scientists, philosophers and writers.

The narrow closes, wide Georgian streets and sprawling open space of Holyrood Park can claim to have been home to Adam Smith, James Hutton, Irvine Welsh and Jack Vettriano (to name just a few!). 

So why not use Edinburgh as YOUR inspiration this summer?

Throughout July and August, you can immerse yourself in short courses that have been designed around the beauty and history of the city. What’s more, the subject will come alive as you step outside the classroom and into the streets and parks for an exceptional environmental learning experience.

Find out more below…

Deep Time Walk

Take a deep time walk – one metre for every million years of Earth history.

This course will take you 4.6km through Holyrood Park, stopping at key points to explore the Earth’s evolution from early bacteria to today’s biodiversity and the human impact on the world’s natural systems. You’ll discuss different aspects of the changing planet including meteorite impacts, changing temperature and atmosphere concentration, evolution and extinction.

No previous experience necessary, all you need is a good pair of walking shoes!

Street Photography

Turn the ordinary into something extraordinary.

This course will take you on a visual journey of Edinburgh’s hidden gems to discover the potential of street photography. In addition to some class-based lectures, students will engage with on-location exercises and have the opportunity to develop their skills in camera techniques, lighting and capturing ‘decisive moments’ on the street. Your resulting work will be digitally processed back in the computer lab equipped with Adobe Photoshop.


Introduction to Coastal Drawing and Painting

Take a trip to Edinburgh’s coastline and learn the skills of plein-air drawing and painting of an ever-changing landscape.

Using the Firth of Forth at Cramond as your subject you’ll be guided to develop a series of drawings and paintings whilst you explore aspects of movement and light and how to deal with changing weather and lighting conditions. After all, it may be summertime, but it is Scotland!  


Walking in the City: Contemporary Flânerie

‘Flânerie’, a French word for the specific act of strolling idly.

This course will lead you through different forms of structured walks as you discover new ways of seeing and sensing Edinburgh in a contemporary art context. You’ll explore the effect of how we choose to walk through the city and our experience of it. Using drawing, photography, audio or writing you’ll record your own experience.


Festival Insights: Drawing Street Theatre

Create a visual diary of the largest arts festival in the world.

Using the backdrop of Edinburgh’s festival venues and landmarks you’ll learn to quickly record, make notes and draw to document your memories of this exciting and ever so slightly crazy time of year.

You’ll spend mornings gathering ideas at iconic locations such as George Square, the Meadows, Summerhall and Arthur’s Seat and afternoons in the studio developing them.



This is just a taster of what’s on offer this summer… click the link below and explore the full range of Short Courses.

Explore Short Courses Summer Edit