Undergraduate study - 2018 entry

Subject area: Agricultural Science

Why choose Agricultural Science at the University of Edinburgh?

  • The University is investing £35 million in a new Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Security to enhance our provision of targeted education, training, research, innovation and consulting.

  • We have strong links with industry and farming, locally, nationally and internationally, allowing you to boost your employability with an optional work placement of up to 12 months.

  • In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) our joint submission with Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) was ranked as the most powerful in the UK for agricultural and veterinary research.

  • Our flexible programme structure allows you to transfer between any of our agriculture programmes until the end of Year 2.


These programmes aim to equip you with the attributes that will prepare you to become a future leader in agricultural science and its application to agri-food-related global challenges – whether in research, policy, non-governmental organisations or the agri-food industry.

The programmes will introduce the key components of agricultural science in Years 1 and 2, including the relevant underlying natural, physical and social sciences, and the associated personal skills development, needed to establish a solid foundation for progressive specialisation in subsequent years.

In Years 3 and 4 there will be opportunities for you to specialise in either animal science or global agriculture and food security.

In Agricultural Science, what you will study varies between programmes.

Find specific year by year study information on your chosen programme page.

Are there additional costs?

You will require compulsory protective clothing (estimated at £50), locker deposits (£15) and transportation to Easter Bush. Using public transport from the city centre will cost around £525 a year, which we will proportionally subsidise in line with your year of study.

In addition, some Year 3 mini work placements and final year projects may incur additional accommodation and travel costs.

For international students, your immigration application may include a healthcare surcharge of around £150 a year.

Our facilities

These programmes will be delivered mainly at our Easter Bush Campus, where our world-class educational facilities are currently being expanded.

The campus is already home to the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies (R(D)SVS), which has an international reputation for its research, teaching and clinical services and occupies a £45 million veterinary teaching building, next to the existing small and large animal hospitals, designed to support top class veterinary education in the 21st century.

The internationally-renowned Roslin Institute is incorporated and co-located at Easter Bush in a £60 million state of the art building. Many animal scientists from Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) are based in the Roslin Institute and many of SRUC’s extensive research and education farms are close to the campus.

The Easter Bush Research Consortium (EBRC) brings together the science of the Roslin Institute, the R(D)SVS, SRUC and the Moredun Research Institute, forming one of the largest groups in the world focused on the biology of companion and production animals.


Our agricultural science programmes include a short work placement during Year 3. Suitably qualified students may also undertake a work placement of up to a year, at the end of Year 3 at their own, or their employer’s expense. This may be non-credit bearing, may include additional credits for Student-Led Individually Created Courses (SLICC), or may include preparatory work for the final year project.

How will I learn?

You will be taught through a combination of lectures, tutorials, practical work, problem-based learning and computer-assisted learning.

In Years 3 and 4, there is more emphasis on self-directed study and discussion sessions with internationally renowned research scientists.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed through in-course assessments and examinations. A research project or dissertation will form an important part of your final-year assessment.

These programmes aim to equip you for careers in:

  • agri-food research, such as PhD and ultimately postdoctoral positions;
  • national or international policy roles, such as researchers, research project commissioners/managers, or science advisers in government or inter-governmental departments or agencies;
  • non-governmental organisations, as science advisers or research managers for agri-food/planetary health/international development/aid-related charities;
  • the agri-food industry, for example as farming or agri-food industry consultants, technical experts, researchers, research project commissioners/managers for multinational agri-food companies, or as food product supply chain managers for retailers.