Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh has about 6,500 full-time students, of which almost 50 percent are from Scotland and 25 percent are international from around 50 different countries. That means you get a small university in a small place, while you have Edinburgh itself right on the doorstep, just three minutes away by train, or a half-hour bus ride from campus.
The university is divided into two faculties: The School of Arts, Social Sciences and Management and The School of Health Sciences. Courses such as Physiotherapy, Nursing and Nutrition attract students from all over the UK.
Queen Margaret University maintains a green campus, and has won several awards for just that. The buildings on campus are run in an eco-friendly way, which in 2012 won a UK Green Apple Award, where they received a silver medal.
In Scotland, they have a slightly different higher education system than the rest of the UK. An undergraduate degree is four years instead of three.
The most historical courses at Queen Margaret are the nutrition studies, which can be linked back to the beginning in 1875. The university's history and good collaboration with the NHS and Edinburgh city, means that you as a student will learn from the very best in the industry, and have great opportunities to do an internship during your studies. 91 percent of QMU's students go on to work or further education within 6 months after graduating from university, so you are well on your way to an exciting career.
In 1971, Edinburgh College of Speech and Drama was added to the school, bringing a host of new and different studies to Queen Margaret. Several world-renowned actors and artists have studied at QMU, such as Kevin McKidd (Grey's Anatomy), Ashley Jensen (Ugly Betty) and guitarist Simon Neil (Biffy Clyro). The courses at Queen Margaret provide a solid education and a very good starting point for a further career in performing arts and music.
Queen Margaret has a unique Physiotherapy course that opens up good practice opportunities during the degree. The programme provides a practical and solid education, something all employers look for when hiring newly qualified physiotherapists.
There are also student housing on campus, and as an international student you are guaranteed housing on campus the first year. The student housing is right next to the teaching buildings, and the campus is close enough to Musselburgh that you have everything you need right outside your door. Each of the 800 rooms on campus includes your own shower and toilet, as well as wireless internet which makes everyday studying easier. There are also a limited number of "Premium rooms" where you will get a double bed as well as extra storage space.
Queen Margaret's history dates back to 1875 when it was called the Edinburgh School of Cookery. There were then two main reasons why the school was established. Firstly, as part of the Victorian women's movement, which was a campaign for better education and career opportunities for women, but also for higher education in Edinburgh. Until then, women had been excluded from higher education, and because of this, poverty was widespread among women. Secondly, the establishment of a Food and Nutrition Institute was an attempt to improve the diet of the working class in Edinburgh.
The first school gave lectures in front of large groups of people in The Royal Museum on Chambers Street in Edinburgh, but several of the lecturers used to bring oil and paraffin stoves around to teach across the UK. The first lecturers were all women, and almost everywhere they went, they attracted huge crowds. The first permanent school was based in Shandwick Place until 1891, and at this time Edinburgh School also had a branch in Manchester.
During both world wars, the school was given responsibility for training personnel serving food at military bases and in Air Force camps. The school's homes were used by schoolchildren from across the UK during World War II, as Edinburgh was considered a safe haven during the war. Due to the bombing of London in 1944, final year students were sent to London to run a hotel where workers who worked to rebuild the city after the bombing lived. The hotel had been in very poor condition until the school's students went down and turned the whole business around and gave a home to those who rebuilt London.
In the early 1970s, the school changed its name from the Edinburgh School of Cookery to Queen Margaret, as more and more courses were adopted by the school. Various institutions from all over Edinburgh were added to the school, forming what is Queen Margaret University today.
In 1992, the university received permission to award its own university degrees, and in 1999, Queen Margaret was renamed Queen Margaret University College. Furthermore, in 2007, the former college received university status and was renamed once again, this time to Queen Margaret University. That same year, they moved to the brand new campus at Musselburgh, about 3 minutes by train from Edinburgh city center. The name Queen Margaret comes from King Malcom the third of Scotland's wife, Margaret.
The city of Edinburgh
Edinburgh has become a European city, and in 2012 was named the best city to visit in Europe. The capital of Scotland is a small city of almost 500,000 people. Edinburgh has one of the most exciting cultural scenes in the whole of the UK, with over 4,000 festivals throughout the year.
Edinburgh is 4.5 hours from London by train, 55 minutes from Glasgow, and 2.5 hours from Aberdeen. In Edinburgh you will find everything you will ever need, and the city is packed with exciting cultural objects and history. At the top of the town you will find Edinburgh Castle and the High Street, one of the city's best tourist attractions.
Edinburgh has four universities, and is an exciting student city with opportunities for nightlife, shopping and cafe life, as well as opportunities for extra work and great student festivals.
One of the world's most famous rugby stadiums can be found in Edinburgh, namely Murrayfield. Here you can watch matches where both Edinburgh's local team, Edinburgh Rugby, and the Scottish national rugby team will play.
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