Scottish Agricultural College, Edinburgh

Scottish Agricultural College, Edinburgh


The Scottish Agricultural College is all about supporting the development of rural communities and industries. It offers land-based courses as well as those related to animal and plant sciences, sustainable land use and applied food.

The College is spread across three campuses, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Ayr, each of which has their own unique atmosphere. The college also has research farms and conservation sites across Scotland.

SAC offers undergraduate, HND/C courses and postgraduate courses as well as a range of specialist courses and CPD. Undergraduate courses come under six main topics: agriculture; business and management; environment, countryside and conservation; horticulture, landscape and garden design; science and technology; and sport, tourism and outdoor pursuits.

Scottish Agricultural College has a small tight knit student body of around 1,000 students. Half of the student body are mature students (e.g. over the age of 21) and about a fifth are part-time students. 

Scottish Agricultural College, Edinburgh

Location & Campus…

Scottish Agricultural College has three campuses: Aberdeen Campus, Riverside Campus Ayr and Edinburgh Campus. The main Edinburgh Campus is located on the south-side of Edinburgh at the University of Edinburgh’s King’s Buildings Campus. It also has facilities at the Bush Estate, about seven miles away from the main campus.

Edinburgh is ‘university town’, teeming with over 50,000 students. It’s one of the UK’s most beautiful cities. Scots poet Hugh MacDiarmid described the city as “a mad god's dream” and you can see why as you navigate your way from the jumble of the Old Town, with its twisting lanes, to the grandeur of the Neo-Classical New Town. It’s an exciting, vibrant city: the best in nightlife, entertainment and modern architecture is nestled alongside important cultural sites, galleries and museums.

The Aberdeen Campus is located on the Craibstone Estate. It’s about five miles from the centre of Aberdeen. The Granite City is the third largest city in Scotland. Known for its natural beauty and varied topography, classical architecture coexists alongside modern, urban infrastructure. The surrounding landscape is a mixture of rugged coasts, beaches, lochs and highlands. Culturally-inclined students can explore the many historical attractions in and around Aberdeen, including several museums, art galleries, castles and the Malt Whisky Trail. If you’re not bothered about all that stuff, you can turn your attention to the excellent shopping districts of Aberdeen, such as the Granite Mile on Union Street, six indoor shopping malls and the Farmers Market.

Finally SAC’s Riverside Campus Ayr is located about a 10 minute walk from Ayr’s town centre. This relatively new campus is shared with the University of West Scotland forming a diverse and large student body on campus. Ayr itself is a popular family seaside resort, with handsome Victorian and Georgian buildings and a long sandy beach. There’s plenty to do in the surrounding area and you can even take a short ferry ride to the Isle of Arran.  

Scottish Agricultural College, Edinburgh

University Accommodation…

The SAC guarantees first year students at the Aberdeen Campus accommodation in one of its 72 rooms in Sutton Hall and Hunter Hall on the Craibstone Estate. The College doesn’t have its own student accommodation in Edinburgh, but it does partner with private providers, UNITE and IQ Edinburgh, to provide student accommodation in halls for those wanting it. Otherwise, many students choose to rent privately in Edinburgh.

SAC have an allocated number of rooms at their Ayr campus which is owned and managed by the University of the West of Scotland. 

Scottish Agricultural College, Edinburgh

Tuition Fees…

Most Scottish students will have their tuition fees paid by the SAAS. Students from the rest of the UK will be subject to tuition fees of £6,750. This will equate to £27,000 for a four year honours undergraduate course.

Scottish Agricultural College, Edinburgh

Living Costs…

Living costs will vary campus to campus. Those at Edinburgh might find their living costs are steeper than those at Aberdeen and Ayr. 

Scottish Agricultural College, Edinburgh

Bursaries & Scholarships…

The SAC has a Centenary Bursary Scheme which provides £20,000 worth of aid to students each year. The college has yet to announce its additional bursary and scholarship support for 2012, but up-to-date information can be found here

Scottish Agricultural College, Edinburgh


Nightlife will obviously vary depending on which campus you’re based at. Ayr isn’t exactly crawling in nightlife, but it does have a few clubs and plenty of pubs and bars.

When it comes to nightlife in Aberdeen the phrase ‘student-friendly’ springs to mind. There’s plenty of live music, with both home-grown talent and established acts gracing Aberdeen’s many music venues, such as The Tunnels, Café Drummond and The Lemon Tree. A wealth of comedy and club nights can also be enjoyed across the Granite City. Drinks aren’t too steep either, costing around £2.20 for a pint and £2.30 for a glass of wine.

Edinburgh is well-known for its nightlife: there are clubs, bars, pubs galore. Grassmarket and Cowgates are the liveliest student nightlife areas, whilst George Street has a host of swanky bars frequented by well-heeled students.

Scottish Agricultural College, Edinburgh

Sports & Societies…

The student committees and representative councils at the different campuses run various societies and clubs. Those at the Edinburgh campus can join any of the University of Edinburgh’s 160 societies and sports clubs. The SAC also has its own rugby, football and hockey teams.

The SAC doesn’t have much in the way of sports facilities, but then there are plenty of great sports facilities in its campuses’ local areas. 

Scottish Agricultural College, Edinburgh

Freshers’ Week…

Again Freshers’ Week will vary campus to campus but usually it’ll consist of inductions, welcome talks and various social events organised by the college and by the student councils. 

Scottish Agricultural College, Edinburgh

Careers Service…

The Scottish Agricultural College doesn’t have a centralised careers service, instead it’s up to the academic staff to dole out the careers advice and help students find placement opportunities. Those studying at Aberdeen will have access to the careers resources section at the library and the careers noticeboards. Those at Ayr and on University of Glasgow validated courses can make use of the University of Glasgow’s Careers Service, although they can’t make one-to-one appointments with their careers advisers. SAC Edinburgh students have access to the University Careers Service.

Vital Statistics

  • Tuition Fees:£6,750
  • Average UCAS Points Achieved:192
  • Student Satisfaction:Not Taking Part
  • Average Pint Price:£2.50
  • Total Number of Students:1,030
  • Male-Female Ratio:53:47
  • % International Students:9%
  • % Part-time Students:17%
  • % Graduating with a First:Data not available
  • % Graduating with a 2:1:Data not available
  • % Grad Job after Six Months:35%


  • Address:Edinburgh, West Mains Road Edinburgh Campus , EH9 3JG
  • Tel:0800 269453
  • Email:
  • UCAS Code:S01