Edinburgh Colleges

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Edinburgh City Region has three excellent colleges which attract many young people to the area and plays an important role in students’ lives – preparing them for direct employment or the opportunity to progress to higher education at university. They also help prepare overseas students for university, when English is not their first language, with courses in how to speak and write English to a university standard.

In this section, you can read a brief overview of the three different Edinburgh colleges, and link to their own websites for full and up to date information, and learn more about other colleges close to Edinburgh:

Edinburgh College

With 35,000 students across four campuses in Edinburgh and the Lothians, Edinburgh College is one of the largest Colleges in Scotland.

Edinburgh College offers new and greater opportunities for students to help make sure they have the skills and knowledge they need for jobs in areas such as energy and sustainability, health and wellbeing, tourism and hospitality, building, trade and craft and creative industries.   With strong and vibrant vocational and educational provision and excellent links with employers and the local universities, the College’s main priority is to equip their students with the right skills needed to succeed in an ever-changing job market.    

The college boasts four main campuses covering Edinburgh and the Lothians in the north, east and west of the city and in Midlothian at Dalkeith.


Offering a wide range of courses, Edinburgh College provides flexible learning opportunities for everyone with courses ranging from Access and short courses to HNC, HND and degree level on a full and part-time basis.

With hundreds of courses focused on vital and forward-looking industries in Scotland, Edinburgh College prides itself in offering academic and vocational courses to suit the needs of industry.


  • 90% of full time students have a positive destination, in either further study or employment.
  • Brand new facilities at Granton, Midlothian and Milton Road campuses with state of the art equipment in areas including hospitality, creative industries and health and fitness.
  • Their successful commercial restaurants, gym and spa and hair and beauty salons give students the opportunity to hone their skills in real industry-standard environments.
  • Students have gained national recognition, winning awards in fields including engineering, hairdressing, photography, film and media, IT, beauty therapy and carpentry and joinery.
  • They deliver curriculum in partnership with over 65 community partners through a network of 20 different venues across the region.
  • They welcome students from 96 different countries.

Scotland's Rural College, Oatridge Campus

SRUC Oatridge Campus is recognised throughout Scotland as a premier provider of specialised education and training for the land-based industries and the rural economy. The approach to learning is highly effective, with 97% of students progressing directly to employment or further education. Students have been named by Lantra, the sector skills council, as Scottish Landbased Learner of the Year in three successive years, from 2005-2007. The SRUC Oatridge Campus is set on a 283-hectare estate, which includes a commercial farm and a pay-and-play golf course. Situated in the village of Ecclesmachan amid the rolling West Lothian countryside, the college is ideally placed with motorway links for the M8 and M9 and Edinburgh International Airport. The college is within a 40-minute drive of most major Scottish towns and cities. There are approximately 400 full-time students, 3,000 part-time students and 100 international students.


The college offers a comprehensive range of courses including those in agriculture, animal care, countryside management, equine studies, farriery, greenkeeping, horticulture, land-based engineering and landscaping.


£8.5m of recent investment for the construction of the new Scottish National Equestrian Centre; Learning Centre; and Farriery and Engineering Workshops. 

West Lothian College

West Lothian College has developed an award-winning customer focus by aiming to meet business needs, providing tailored management and training programmes. They also offer many HND courses and teach English to those who speak other languages. It’s a welcoming small college with a high staff/student ratio; 20 students max in each class fosters a supportive atmosphere that enhances the learning process. The college boasts excellent relationships with local employers such as the council and businesses such as Johnston & Johnston and BskyB which provide career opportunities for students.

Situated within a 30 minute drive from Edinburgh city centre, West Lothian is also served with excellent train and bus links to and from the capital.


The college offers 62 full-time courses including HND programmes in Computing and Technical Support, Sports Coaching and Fitness, Health and Exercise. It has a strong management and training area to which businesses send their employees to improve their skills and qualifications.


West Lothian College has previously won two awards in recognition of its outstanding customer service and focus; 'Highly Commended for External Customer Service to Businesses' and the 'Highly Commended for Internal Customer Service for Support Services to Students' award.

They run a very successful commercial salon where students in Beauty Therapy, Hairdressing and Complementary Therapy can train. Customers enjoy substantially discounted prices on all treatments. They also run a training restaurant, open for lunch and dinner with a discounted à la carte menu.

Colleges Near Edinburgh

Edinburgh’s academic reputation extends into the wider Edinburgh city region where there are a further four colleges. Further information is available from their websites. 

Language schools/business

English is the international language of science, business and politics and there are an enormous number of opportunities for you to learn English in Edinburgh city region. You can achieve this naturally by living and studying for a world-class qualification here. You could also take a specific language course at one of the many language schools listed below, all of which are accredited by the British Council

The Language Institute Edinburgh

Friendly and independent Language School offering a range of English courses including IELTS FCE preparation etc. Inspected by Education Scotland, the school is approved by the Scottish Government.

Basil Paterson College

Basil Paterson College offers a range of English language courses including General and Business English, IELTS and Cambridge main suite preparation and individual tuition.


Programmes for adults, teenagers and young people from Britain, Europe and around the world.

ECS Scotland

ECS Scotland is a small independent school specialising in one-to-one and small group courses for professional people who need to communicate well in English for work or study

Edinburgh School of English

One of Britain’s leading independent English language schools and a member of ENGLISH UK. A reputation for excellent programmes and teaching offering courses in general, academic, examination and specialist English. 

Hamilton School of English

A small, international, friendly school for 12-17 year olds, offering a full programme of English tuition, language project work, excursions, sports and crafts, in a safe, happy environment. 

ELTC (The University of Edinburgh)

English Language Teaching Centre is part of the University of Edinburgh and one of the largest university centres for English language teaching in the United Kingdom. They have over 30 years' experience in teaching English as a foreign language school and offer General, Academic and Specialist English courses for international students and teachers. 

Kaplan Aspect College

Provides adult courses in general English at all levels from elementary to advanced, as well as Business English, preparation for IELTS, FCE and CAE and their Edinburgh Festival Course.

Randolph School of English

A small and select Scottish summer college with no more than 58 students and an average of 40. The school runs General English courses throughout the year, integrating sessions on Scotland to give an insight into Scottish cultural, heritage and history. 

Regent Edinburgh

One of the largest English language training organisations in the UK, offering an unrivalled range of excellent language courses for both adults and juniors. Courses ranging from one to 32 weeks at all levels, with a maximum of 12 students per class.