Student sitting on the grass outside a campus building, looking at their phone while listening to music and drinking from a disposable coffee cup.

Explore Subject Areas

We have 24 subject areas housed under four main faculties. Each develops its courses in partnership with industry to give you the latest knowledge.

Art students working on a project in an art studio classroom.

Art and Design

The School of Art and Design is one of the largest of its kind in the UK with over 700 students. It has a strong reputation for progressing students into both degree-level study and employment in the creative industries.

Our students regularly present their art and design work in exhibitions at industry nights in venues across Edinburgh. Our graduate diploma shows in 2019 were held at The City Art Centre, The Fruitmarket Gallery and Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop.

View Art and Design courses

Does this suit me?

  • Creative collaborator
  • Practical maker
  • Conceptual thinker
  • Curious and playful
  • Change embracing
  • Creative communicator
  • Innovator
  • Visual thinker
  • Imaginative
  • Experimental
  • Creative problem solver

Potential occupations

  • Art Director
  • Art Educator
  • Painter
  • Printmaker
  • Sculptor
  • Animator
  • Illustrator
  • Fashion /Textile Designer
  • Product Designer
  • Interior Designer
  • Games Artist
  • Graphic Designer
  • UX Designer
Automotive student standing in a garage with two cars getting worked on in the background.

Automotive Engineering

Edinburgh College is a leading provider of automotive and mechanical engineering. Automotive programmes on offer range from classic vehicle restoration, vehicle accident repair, transport maintenance and advanced vehicle diagnostics. Our students learn about the design, manufacture, operation and repair of a wide range of vehicles.

The purpose built workshops and lecture rooms at Sighthill and Midlothian campuses provide students with all the necessary resources to engage fully in their chosen programmes of study. As well as our full-time courses we offer modern apprenticeship programmes in light vehicle, heavy vehicle, paint and body repair and parts.

We offer bespoke training to the automotive industry on subjects as varied as hybrid/electric vehicle maintenance, air- conditioning (F-Gas) and electrical diagnostics. So, whether you are a newly qualified technician, an apprentice, or have worked in the industry for many years, our courses will give you the innovative skills to place you ahead of the competition.

View Automotive Engineering courses

Does this suit me?

  • Automotive enthusiast
  • Problem solver
  • Environmentally conscious
  • Critical thinker
  • Ability to analyse data
  • Team player

Potential occupations

  • Light Vehicle Maintenance and Repair Technician
  • Heavy Vehicle Maintenance and Repair Technician
  • Paint & Body Technician
  • Motorsport Engineer
  • Service Advisor
Childhood practice student in their classroom.

Childhood Practice

Childhood Practice is one of the largest departments at Edinburgh College. Our courses can lead to very rewarding and satisfying careers, with a job in early learning and childcare giving you the opportunity to teach children skills for life. The Scottish Government’s 2020 agenda has developed an increase in career opportunities in early learning and childcare.

If you enjoy spending time with children, and want to make a difference, then you could have what it takes to study Childhood Practice at Edinburgh College.

View Childhood Practice courses

Does this suit me?

  • Creative
  • Confident
  • Resilient
  • Caring
  • Motivated

Potential occupations

  • Support Worker
  • Practitioner
  • Childminder
  • Manager or Lead Practitioner
  • Education Support Assistant
Computing student working with network cables.


Whether you have got what it takes to code the next big app, or you are a future innovator of computer science, there is a Computing course here at Edinburgh College to suit you. You can study everything from web design to desktop support, networking and games development.

Our courses are taught by experienced and certified lecturers. You will be able to master the skills required for careers in digital media, 3D printing, programming, networking, robotics and games development.

View Computing courses

Does this suit me?

  • Logical thinker
  • Team worker
  • Problem solver
  • Creative
  • Good at maths

Potential occupations

  • Network Engineer
  • Software Engineer
  • Data Analyst
  • Web and Multimedia Developer
  • Games Developer
Construction student taping a wall ready for it to be decorated.


Our course offering includes all elements of brickwork, plastering, roofing, stonemasonry, carpentry and joinery, and painting and decorating to prepare you for working in the construction industry. While studying at Edinburgh College you will benefit from realistic working environments. All of our courses provide a qualification designed to prepare you for employment, career development or progression to further study. You may also have the opportunity to work on real projects which relate to the tasks you could expect to find in the industry.

We work with training providers including the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) on our apprenticeship courses as well as supporting pre-apprentices into employment.
We also support students through regional and national competitions.

Past students have won several World Skills and UK Skills Awards and our qualified teaching staff have developed regional, national, and international skills champions across several disciplines, including stonemasonry and brickwork.

View Construction courses

Does this suit me?

  • Good with hands
  • Team worker
  • Logical thinker
  • Enjoy practical work
  • Good communicator
  • Creative

Potential occupations

  • Bricklayer
  • Carpenter or Joiner
  • Plasterer
  • Painter & Decorator
  • Roofer
  • Stonemason
  • Highway Maintenance Professional
  • Architectural Technician
  • Construction Manager
  • Civil Engineer Technician
Engineering student working with electrics in a classroom.

Electrical Engineering

If you are looking to become an electrical or electronic engineer, we have a range of courses to support you in your chosen specialism. Courses cover areas such as power systems, electrical installation, motors and generators, electronics and soldering, signal processing and microcontroller programming as well as more general electrical theory.

You can study Electrical Engineering from entry level to Bachelors in Engineering (BEng) Degree level, with fast track options to university. We also have part-time study options to suit the needs of employed students. To prepare you for your future employment you will be taught by staff with extensive industry experience and you will use up-to-date technology and equipment in industry-standard workshops.

View Electrical Engineering courses

Does this suit me?

  • Clear communicator
  • Problem solver
  • Logical thinker
  • Good with hands
  • Mathematical

Potential occupations

  • Engineering Technician
  • Electrical Engineer
  • Electronic Engineer
  • Power Systems Engineer
  • Design Engineer
  • Renewable Energy Sector roles
Engineering student wearing googles and a boiler suit is welding in front of peers, sparks are flying.


Edinburgh College is at the forefront of modern engineering, offering an exciting range of courses which are designed to respond to the needs of the industry.

Whether you choose mechanical engineering, energy and environmental engineering, heating and ventilation, fabrication and welding or measurement and control we offer a range of training levels to meet your individual needs.

We provide clear progression routes to degree level studies through partnerships with some of Scotland’s leading universities. To prepare you for your future career, you will study in real life working environments using the latest industry technologies.

View Engineering courses

Does this suit me?

  • Problem solver
  • Logical thinker
  • Technical thinker
  • Team player
  • Practical skills

Potential occupations

  • Oil, Gas and Renewables
  • Energy Technician
  • Technology Development
  • Engineer
  • Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Engineer
  • Aeronautical, Maritime or Motor Sport Engineer
  • Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Operator
  • Scaffolding Design Engineer
Enterprise and commerce students working together in a classroom, with papers and notes scattered over the desk.

Enterprise and Commerce

Edinburgh College offers a range of SQA accredited courses to prepare you for the fast-paced and ever changing business industry including professional areas of business, marketing, finance, accounting, and administration. 

The demand for strong business minded graduates is high and we aim to give you the skills you need to thrive in your chosen career. 

Our Higher National Certificate (HNC) business, finance, marketing, legal services and human resource management, accounting, administration and IT programmes offer clear progression routes to university, modern or graduate apprenticeships or employment. 

View Enterprise and Commerce courses

Does this suit me?

  • Good communication skills
  • Good written skills
  • Strong business acumen
  • Motivated

Potential occupations

  • Medical Secretary
  • Business Advisor
  • Digital Marketing Manager
  • Legal Assistant 
ESOL students working together at a desk in a classroom.

ESOL College Based

Edinburgh College is one of the largest year-round providers of English Language courses in Scotland. All College Based ESOL classes are accredited by the British Council for the teaching of English in the UK.

We offer English courses for speakers of other languages (ESOL) and Teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) for anyone wanting to start or develop their career in teaching English to speakers of other languages. 

If English is not your first language, you can study ESOL courses full time, part time and in the evening, from beginner to advanced level. You can study at our Sighthill, Granton and Milton Road campuses (Please note that not all courses are available at Milton Road and Granton campuses - check the course details for further information). You will learn the language skills, employability and citizenship skills
for life and work in Scotland. The average class size is 18 - 20 with a maximum class size of 23. You must be aged 16 or older to study ESOL courses in the college.

Support for students aged 16 and 17
All 16 and 17-year-olds are given a 24 hours emergency number.
Information on 'Keeping yourself safe in Edinburgh' is provided at
induction. A tutorial system is in place for students to discuss progress or any problems with their teacher.

  • Students are supervised in class, on class trips/ activities, and during work placements.
  • Parental consent is required for class trips and work placements. Outside
    these hours there is no supervision of 16 and 17-year-olds.
View ESOL College Based courses ESOL Course Fees
ESOL student smiling in their classroom as their peers work on tables behind.

ESOL Community Based

If your first language is not English you can study ESOL courses with us. We teach language skills to live, work and study in the UK.

Classes take place all around the city in community centres, libraries, community high schools and other community venues including Central Mosque. Community-based ESOL courses allow you to study part-time during the day or evenings in a centre near your home or work. This means you can fit studies around work and children’s school times.

We use a number of in-home volunteer tutors to assist those who cannot attend classes in the College or the community. 

We operate in close partnership with a number of community groups, agencies, local authorities and charities to develop and provide the courses.

Please Note: You must be aged 16 or older to study ESOL courses.

For more information and to apply phone 0131 297 9657 or email us.


View ESOL Community Based courses email us for more information
English Language Courses

English as a Foreign Language (EFL)

Our English as a Foreign Language courses are specifically created for international students to help you improve your English language skills, further enhance your professional skills and have a rich cultural experience in Scotland.

English Language Courses
Beauty student giving a client a facial in the salon while a lecturer observes.

Hairdressing and Beauty

Edinburgh College offers a range of courses, working in a live, realistic environment in our professional training salons to get you ready for a career in hairdressing, beauty or complementary therapies. You will gain real work experience, learning on the job and developing your hairdressing and beauty skills at our state-of-the-art salons on campus using top industry brands including Elemis, Dermalogica and Wella.

Whether you choose to work in a salon or start your own business, Edinburgh College’s training salons are designed to give students the best experience to ensure they are fully competent for the industry.

View Hairdressing and Beauty courses

Does this suit me?

  • Good communicator
  • Friendly and welcoming
  • Effective listener
  • Resilient
  • Problem solver
  • Tidy and organised

Potential occupations

  • Barber
  • Hairdresser
  • Freelance Hairdressing & Make-Up Consultant
  • Salon Owner
  • Sales Representative
  • Beauty Therapist
  • Spa Therapist
  • Complementary Therapist
Health professions student wearing blue scrubs in a dental classroom.

Health Professions and Social Services

If you are looking to develop your knowledge in the areas of health, dental nursing or pharmacy then we have a range of courses to support your ambitions. Courses range from entry level to HNC, with progression to employment or university for further study.

If you are passionate about working with others and have a desire to make a difference in people’s lives, then a career within social services or community learning may be the right option for you. All of the courses make links between learning and practice to aid you through your learning journey. From level 6 onwards our social services and community learning courses also offer a practical work placement to give you first-hand experience of working within the sector.

View Health Professions and Social Services courses

Does this suit me?

  • Caring
  • Compassionate
  • Good communicator
  • Approachable
  • Enthusiastic
  • Good interpersonal skills
  • Honesty
  • Determination
  • Sociability
  • Adaptability

Potential occupations

  • Pharmacy Technician
  • Clinical Support Worker
  • Dental Nurse
  • Pharmacy Assistant
  • Dental Health Support Worker
  • Support Worker
  • Social Care Professional
  • Community Health Worker
  • Nursing
  • Care Worker
Music and Sound Production student standing in front of a microphone in a recording studio.

Media, Music and Sound Production

Edinburgh College offers full-time, comprehensive courses in music, music business and sound production, from entry level to degree level. Our lecturers and instrumental/vocal tutors are experts in their fields, providing you with excellent teaching in a broad range of subjects.

We welcome students from all kinds of musical backgrounds, and give you exposure to a rich variety of experiences and possibilities within our courses. Our students perform in some of the city’s top venues, including the Usher Hall, Queen’s Hall, Voodoo Rooms, Festival Theatre, Liquid Rooms, St Andrew’s and St George’s West, Old St Paul’s, and the City of Edinburgh Methodist Church.

If you are interested in outside broadcasting, audio visual technology, film and television, radio, digital media or photography (still and moving image), our exciting range of programmes will provide the specialist training you require.

We offer courses that include multi-camera live capture and vision mixing, scriptwriting, directing, presenting, editing, lighting and sound to prepare you for a career in television or video production.

Our teaching in radio includes presenting, interviewing techniques, sound and audio programming, newsroom operations, scripting and live streaming production. We also offer training in audio visual technology, so you can gain technical expertise in cabling, camera operations, TV, studio and location production set up, lighting, editing, multi-media sound and track recording for broadcast. Outside Broadcast students are offered paid commercial work experience with clients such as Scottish Football, Scottish Motor Sports, Scottish Gymnastics and Scottish Social Services.

Media, Music and Sound Production

Does this suit me?

  • Good communicator
  • Team worker
  • Confident
  • Independent
  • Adaptable worker
  • Creative
  • Innovative thinker
  • Creative problem solver
  • Adaptable to new technology
  • Skilled at working to deadlines

Potential occupations

  • Performing Musician
  • Instrumental/Vocal Teacher
  • Sound Engineer/Music Producer
  • Music Business Professional
  • Music Teacher
  • Sound Designer
  • Camera Assistant
  • Production Assistant
  • Audio-Visual Technician
  • Sound Assistant
  • Media Journalist
Modern languages students wearing headsets in a classroom.

Modern Languages

Learning a modern language will prepare you for exciting opportunities in tourism, international business, government, teaching and further vocational study. Here at Edinburgh College, you can study British Sign Language, French, Spanish, Italian and German. You will learn language skills that are valued by employers. What’s more, you will build transferable skills you can apply to any career.

We offer a range of study options to suit your lifestyle, such as full-time, part-time, evening and open learning. If you are looking to get back into education, we offer two full-time access to university courses endorsed by SWAP (Scottish Wider Access Programme) to prepare you for degree courses in languages, business and humanities.

Alternatively, if you are already fluent in another language and wish to work as an interpreter or translator in public services, our Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIoL) Diploma in Public Service Interpreting may be for you.

View Modern Languages courses

Does this suit me?

  • Good communicator
  • Curious about other cultures
  • Curious about how other languages work
  • Motivated
  • Enthusiastic

Potential occupations

  • Tourism
  • Translating/interpreting
  • International business
  • Teaching
  • International relations
Performing Arts student dancing in a studio.

Performing Arts and Photography

Edinburgh College is home to Performing Arts Studio Scotland (PASS), one of the country’s largest and most respected centres for training in the Performing Arts. Whether you aspire towards a career in acting, dance, technical theatre, make-up artistry, costume production or design, PASS is a great place to kick start your career.

Within PASS you will find a purpose-built theatre and dedicated rehearsal studios. These professional facilities make PASS the perfect place to showcase your talents. We deliver exciting performances throughout the year, giving all specialisms the chance to put their learning into practice.

We have a dedicated team of experienced lecturers who work closely with the industry to ensure our students are given the best opportunity to develop and progress.

Performing Arts Studio Scotland is proud to be an organisational member of Youth Theatre Arts Scotland (YTAS),  the national development organisation and umbrella body for Scotland’s youth theatre sector. YTAS supports inspiring experiences for young people by connecting and training the people who work with them, they are a development body, who celebrate and encourage ambition, innovation and progression.

Our photography programmes cover digital capture, retouching, studio, portraiture, fashion, food, landscape, advertising, corporate, photo journalism and social. You will have opportunities to work on live industry projects as well as exhibiting your work within the department and at end of year shows.

Youth Theatre Arts Scotland Official Member Logo

Performing Arts and Photography

Does this suit me?

  • Resilient
  • Empathetic
  • Adaptable
  • Resourceful
  • Collaborative
  • Highly committed
  • Philanthropic
  • Professional

Potential occupations

  • Performer
  • Theatre Technician
  • Director/Choreographer
  • Theatre/Dance Education
  • Make-Up Artist
  • Production Designer
  • Costume Maker
  • Photographer
  • Image Editor
  • Photography Assistant
  • Retoucher
Hospitality student holding two plates ready to be served to customers.

Professional Cookery and Hospitality

If you are looking for a career within the professional cookery or hospitality industry then Edinburgh College has the course for you. Our Professional Cookery courses will give you the opportunity to train in professional industry-standard kitchens preparing food for staff, students and customers.

Students on our courses gain valuable work experience. Over the years we have gained excellent industry connections, from placements within Michelin-starred restaurants to new businesses.

View Professional Cookery and Hospitality courses

Does this suit me?

  • Practical
  • Team player
  • Good communicator
  • Good memory
  • Co-ordinated


Potential occupations

  • Professional Chef
  • Restaurant Manager
  • Catering Manager
  • Hotel Manager
  • Teacher
Crowd of people waving their hands and dancing at a live music event.

Retail and Events

Retail and events are two of the most exciting and fast paced industries to be employed in. Our retail courses are designed to prepare you for a career as a retail advisor, store supervisor or manager. 

From the world’s largest arts festival, to spectacular Hogmanay celebrations, there’s no better place to learn EC Student Stories Retail and Events Progression Level 5 about visualising, planning and creating events than here in Edinburgh. Our events courses cover sporting, cultural, music and business events.

If university is your goal, our courses are designed to give you qualifications and the knowledge you will need to gain entry into year two or year three of a university degree.

View Retail and Events courses

Does this suit me?

  • Well organised
  • Creative
  • Team worker
  • Can think ‘outside the box’
  • Good communicator

Potential occupations

  • Events Coordinator
  • Retail Advisor
  • Event Planner
  • Sales and Events Executive
  • Retail and Sales Supervisor
Access and Continuing Education lecturer supporting a student in class.

Routes into Education or Employment

Routes into Education or Employment offers part-time and full-time courses designed to help you move on to further learning or employment. You will get the most out of your college experience, whatever your learning needs.

Routes into Education or Employment courses are taught in a supported environment. They aim to help you return to education as an adult, make the jump from school to college, become more independent, gain skills and qualifications and plan your next steps.

Routes into Education or Employment
Science student wearing a white lab coat is concentrating as they look in the lenses of a microscope.


We offer a range of science courses that will equip you with the skills and knowledge to pursue a variety of career paths in the physical and chemical engineering sectors as well as growing life science industries. You will get the opportunity to study at a range of different levels, whether that’s taking your first steps with an introductory course, gaining a broad range of employer relevant skills on our NC programmes or aiming straight for university with our access courses, you will find the ideal programme for you.

Our science department offers you the opportunity to study in purpose-built laboratory facilities, supporting the development of your general and specialist practical skills, whilst enhancing your theoretical understanding of science.

View Science courses

Does this suit me?

  • Analytical
  • Team player
  • Hard working
  • Communicative

Potential occupations

  • Science Technician
  • Nurse
  • Scientific Researcher
  • Mechanical/Electrical/Chemical Engineer
  • Nutritionist
  • Radiographer
  • Pharmacist
Sport student setting up a rugby ball for a shot on the pitch.

Sport and Fitness

Whether you are looking to build a career in fitness, sports coaching or health and exercise, our programmes will equip you with leadership, communication and teamwork skills to succeed in the multi-million pound sport and fitness industry.

We offer courses from entry level to HND, including high performance programmes in sports such as rugby, football and basketball.

You will be taught by experienced coaches, personal trainers, and specialist consultants. The combination of professional teaching support with our gyms, sport halls and outdoor facilities ensure you are prepared for higher education, direct employment or to start your own business.

View Sport and Fitness courses

Does this suit me?

  • Good communicator
  • Good with numbers
  • Good planner/organiser
  • Work well with others
  • Problem solver
  • IT skills
  • Outgoing personality
  • Energetic
  • Good written skills
  • Logical thinker

Potential occupations

  • After Schools Club Coach
  • Personal Trainer/Exercise Professional
  • Sports Massage Therapist/Physiotherapy Assistant
  • Sports Club Team Coach/Assistant Coach
  • Leisure Club Assistant
  • Sports Technician
  • Sports Coordinator
  • Gym Instructor/Group Exercise Instructor
Three students working together in a classroom, with books and notes on the desk.

Social Science

From psychology, sociology and history to politics and criminology, we have a huge selection of Social Science courses at Edinburgh College. You can choose from introductory courses, Higher, NC or HNC.

Whichever course you choose, we will encourage you to ask questions and challenge assumptions about society. This will help you to understand the impact of policies and politics on everyday life.

View Social Science courses

Does this suit me?

  • Enjoy reading
  • Enjoy writing
  • Comfortable with exams
  • Good with numbers
  • Enjoy group work and discussions

Potential occupations

  • Teaching
  • Support Worker
  • Community Worker
  • Police
Travel student wearing a white shirt and black skirt is standing smiling among airplane seats in the mock aircraft.

Travel and Tourism

Edinburgh College offers full-time Travel and Tourism courses from National Certificate (NC) level 4 to Higher National Diploma (HND) level 8. Course units range across tour guiding, resort representation, marketing, air travel, senior air cabin crew, visitor attraction operations, skills for customer care and many more. Some of our units are taught and assessed in our mock plane fuselage classroom based at our Granton Campus.

View Travel and Tourism courses

Does this suit me?

  • Organised
  • An active listener
  • A sense of humour
  • Good problem solving skills
  • Great communication skills
  • A team player

Potential occupations

  • Tour Guide
  • Airline Cabin Crew
  • Visitor Attraction Guest Relations Role
  • Airport Ground Operations
  • Travel Agent
  • Tour Operator
  • Visitor Information Centre Advisor