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Programs : Brochure

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  • Locations: Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • Program Terms: Academic Year, Fall, Spring
  • Restrictions: AU applicants only
  • Budget Sheets: Fall, Spring, Summer
  • Dates / Deadlines
Fact Sheet:
Housing: Dormitory, Shared Apt. Language Pre-requisite: none
Language of Instruction: English Language Courses Offered: Yes
Non-AU Students Accepted by AU:
No Internship: Yes
Advisor: Brita Doyle Minimum GPA: 3
Class Level Required for Admission: Junior standing
Program Type:
Direct Enrollment
Program Description:

Edinburgh logo

Is this Program Right for You?

Edinburgh CampusStudy and live amidst the charm of Scotland! Although still part of the United Kingdom, Scotland has always retained its own identity. Rich Scottish traditions are still observed and enjoyed by locals and visitors alike. Scotland is remarkably diverse, offering everything from dramatic Highlands to ancient castles to churches and battlefields to dynamic city life.  Edinburgh is known as the cultural, historical, and political center of the country, and is a beautiful setting to spend a semester or year of study abroad!

This program is ideal for students who wish to directly enroll alongside local Scottish and other international students in classes at a top notch UK university. 

Academic Information

Edinburgh City SceneThe University of Edinburgh is one of the UK's most prestigious universities. It was founded in 1583 and has been attracting international students for over four centuries. In terms of the quality of its teaching and research, it is considered one of the leaders not only in the UK but in Europe and beyond. The University has a very Scottish character yet it is also one of the UK's larger, more diverse universities, with over 4,000 international students drawn from more than 130 different countries. The total undergraduate enrollment of the university is approximately 18,000.  AU students have the opportunity to immerse themselves in this dynamic, medieval-like city and exciting campus community.

Edinburgh night view


Students must have a 3.0 GPA to attend the regular direct enrollment study abroad program at the University of Edinburgh.  

Only those students applying for the special Parliamentary Program (see below) must meet additional pre-requisites:
  • Have completed 4 semesters at AU prior to the program start date
  • Have completed at least four courses in relevant subject areas (i.e. Politics, International Relations, Government, Social/Public Policy, Criminal Justice) having achieved grades B or above, at the point of application.
  • Submit an academic reference from an academic or professor who has taught you at university
  • Submit an external reference from a former or current supervisor at a relevant work, internship or volunteer experience
  • Submit a resume/CV with a summary of your education and job background


Students in the regular study abroad program directly enroll in the University of Edinburgh for either a semester or for a full year and earn full AU credit. The University of Edinburgh offers a tremendous variety of subjects for study. Any combination of courses can be chosen offering visiting students great flexibility. Subjects range from science and engineering to language and philosophy as well the arts, economics, history, international studies, and political science. Course listings and descriptions can be found at the University of Edinburgh website.

Credit Structure

Generally, a full course load in Scotland is 3-4 courses a semester for the Fall or Spring term. Students must enroll in a full course load while abroad. Summer programs are all worth differing amounts of credit and the total credits depend on the courses students take.

The standard full time load for Fall or Spring is 60 "Edinburgh credits."  Most courses are worth 20 Edinburgh credits and each of those 20 Edinburgh credit courses equals 5 AU credits.  Refer to the chart below for the complete credit conversion information that AU will use to transfer credits from Edinburgh to AU:

Edinburgh Credits AU Credits
40 (internship for Fall/Spring Parliamentary Internship) 8
30 (internship for Summer Parliamentary Internship) 6
20 5
15 4
10 3

Parliamentary Internship Program

The University of Edinburgh also offers a special Parliamentary Internship program that is ideal for AU students from the School of Public Affairs.  The program allows students to do an internship with a Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) and conduct intensive research and coursework about political affairs in Scotland. Instead of directly enrolling in courses with the regular student body at the university, Parliamentary interns will take a special set of three classes with the other interns and also complete an internship.  In the first five weeks of the programme, students enroll in coursework offered by faculty in the College of Humanities and Social Science, taking three subjects:

Government and Politics in the United Kingdom
2) Scottish Politics
3) Scottish Society and Culture 

These courses will provide students with a background in British Politics and the specific nature of Scottish politics, society, and culture. Then, after two ‘transition weeks’, students will spend another eight weeks in close co-operation with an MSP and his/her staff in the Scottish Parliament, working on an agreed research project and gaining some valuable insights into the Scottish political process.  More information can be found at the Parliamentary Program website.

Summer Programs

During the summer terms there are several program options at the University of Edinburgh.  Students should note that starting Summer 2018, summer study abroad is handled differently than Fall and Spring programs and that credit and billing is very different than a Fall or Spring program. 

1) Students can do a shortened version of the Parliamentary program listed above.  The program is 9 weeks long and and includes 4 weeks of coursework and a 5 week internship with a Member of Scottish Parliament.

2) In the summer The University of Edinburgh also offers a program called Business in the Arts.  Business in the Arts is an eight-week programme that combines academic study with an opportunity to work in an Edinburgh Festival production company or venue. It provides a unique opportunity to gain skills, knowledge and experience in the arts and culture sector during the world's largest festival, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

3) Lastly, the University of Edinburgh offers a variety of summer courses in their Summer School. Take one, two, or more courses in Edinburgh and earn AU credit during the summer. 

Course Equivalency

Click here to find out which courses on this program have already been equated to AU courses. Please note that you are NOT limited to just these courses. Students will need to request equivalency for courses which have not been previously reviewed. Read more about the course equivalency process and how AU counts study abroad credits on our Courses and Credits page.  

Student Life

Life in Edinburgh

Edinburgh castleEdinburgh, the capital of Scotland, is famed not only for its beauty and history but also as host of the world's largest Arts festival. Its captivating cityscape and dramatic views makes it one of Europe's greatest capitals. Edinburgh is a city of contrasts. The medieval 'old town' sits beside an elegant 'new town' creating a unique blend of ancient and modern architecture. The vibrancy of the city is complemented by abundant parkland and public gardens. Studying at the University of Edinburgh places you in the heart of the city as the University's buildings are an integral part of the city's character and history. The city also has a great nightlife and music scene, which is very much geared towards the large student population.

Housing and Meals

Edinburgh studentsStudents are responsible for making housing and meal arrangements directly with Edinburgh. Once accepted, students will receive an accommodation prospectus along with an accommodation application form from the University of Edinburgh. Student must submit the accommodation application by the deadline. The University's accommodation policy guarantees to provide an offer of accommodation to all full-year visiting students provided that their application is received by the deadline; every effort is made to provide semester-only students with housing, however space cannot be guaranteed.

The accommodation options consist mainly of University-owned self-catered housing in flats; University Residences which have shared kitchen facilities; and catered Halls of Residence. At catered Halls, students eat in a communal dining room with breakfast and evening meals provided seven days a week and lunch only on the weekends. For more information, see the University of Edinburgh Accommodations website.


Edinburgh streetsThe University of Edinburgh Program is available for Fall semester, Spring semester and Full Year and they also offer a few summer courses. Please see the Edinburgh website for specific program dates.

    * US Fall Semester (Edinburgh "Semester 1"): 3rd week in September – 3rd week in December
    * US Spring Semester (Edinburgh "Semester 2"): 1st week in January – 3rd week in May
    * Academic Year: September - May


Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring 2017 09/28/2016
Varies by program 01/11/2017 05/26/2017
NOTE: Program dates are estimates. Refer to materials received from the partner university for exact dates before making final travel arrangements.
Academic Year 2017-2018 03/10/2017
Varies by program 09/11/2017 05/25/2018
NOTE: Program dates are tentative. Final dates will be confirmed upon acceptance into the program.
Fall 2017 03/10/2017
Varies by program 09/11/2017 12/21/2017
NOTE: Program dates are tentative. Final dates will be confirmed upon acceptance into the program.
Spring 2018 09/28/2017 ** Varies by program 01/10/2018 05/25/2018
NOTE: Refer to materials received from the partner university for exact dates before making final travel arrangements.

** The time it takes to receive an admissions decision varies greatly by program; it can take as little as two weeks or as long as several months. Contact AU Abroad for further details on your program's admissions timeline.

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