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Queen Margaret University
Established 2007 - granted University Status
1875 - The Edinburgh School of Cookery
Type Public
Chancellor Sir Tom Farmer
Principal Dr. Petra Wend
Students 5,410[1]
Undergraduates 4,295[1]
Postgraduates 1,100[1]
Other students 20 further education[1]
Location Musselburgh, Scotland, UK

Queen Margaret University (formerly Queen Margaret University College and Queen Margaret College) is a Modern University located in Musselburgh, East Lothian near Edinburgh in Scotland. It is named after Saint Margaret, wife of King Malcolm III of Scotland.



Queen Margaret University was founded in 1875, as The Edinburgh School of Cookery and Domestic Economy, by Christian Guthrie Wright and Louisa Stevenson,[2] both members of the Edinburgh Ladies' Educational Association. The School was founded as a women-only institution, with twin aims of improving women's access to higher education and improving the diets of working class families.[2] Teaching was initially delivered via lectures at the Royal Museum, supplemented by a programme of public lectures and demonstrations delivered nationwide, but in 1877 the School established a base at Shandwick Place, in Haymarket.

The school moved in 1891 to Atholl Crescent, expanding its courses and offering residential places to students. In 1909, the School was designated a Central Institution and brought under the public control of the Scottish Education Department. The first Principal appointed was Ethel De la Cour.[3] De la Cour retired in 1930, and in the same year the School became the Edinburgh College of Domestic Science.[4]

In 1961, the College acquired its Corstorphine campus, purchasing a portion of the Clermiston estate from developers. The campus was first occupied by the College in 1970, opened by Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester who was Patron of the institution until her death in 2004.[2] In 1972, the name Queen Margaret College was adopted to dissociate the College from the narrow field of domestic science.[2] Thereafter, the College broadened its range of courses, especially in the paramedical and healthcare fields. The following institutions have since been absorbed by Queen Margaret College:[2]

  • The Edinburgh College of Speech and Drama (established 1929, joined 1971)
  • The Edinburgh School of Speech Therapy (established 1946, joined 1975)
  • The Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh School of Physiotherapy (established 1940, joined 1978)
  • The Astley Ainslie Hospital Occupational Therapy Training Centre (established 1937, joined 1979)
  • The Edinburgh Foot Clinic and School of Chiropody (established 1924, joined 1984)
  • The Edinburgh School of Radiography (established 1936, joined 1992)
  • The Edinburgh University Settlement School of Art Therapy (established 1992, joined 1997)
Musselburgh campus, Queen Margaret University.

In 1992, the Privy Council granted Queen Margaret College powers to award its own taught degrees, and in 1998, the College was granted full degree powers, which enabled it to award its own research and higher degrees.[4] As a result, in 1999 the College took the name Queen Margaret University College. After further improvements to the college, the institution was awarded full university status, becoming Queen Margaret University in January 2007.[5]



School of Business, Enterprise and Management

At the undergraduate BA (Hons) level, students can study Business Management, Consumer Studies, Events Management, Hospitality and Tourism Management, International Hospitality Management, Marketing Management, Retail Management and Tourism Management.[6] Students are also able to earn a BA (Hons) Joint Degree by combining two of the aforementioned subjects.[7]

At the Postgraduate level, the School of Business, Enterprise and Management offers a selection of Masters level programmes: Executive Masters Degree in Public Services Management, MBA, MBA Cultural Management, MBA Entrepreneurship, MBA eTourism Management, MBA Golf and Country Club Management, MBA Hospitality Management and MBA Public Services Management.[8][9] Additionally, Ph.D. research programmes are available.[10]

School of Drama and Creative Industries

The School of Drama and Creative Industries offers courses in drama and performance, and production and cultural management.[11]

The School of Drama and Creative Industries runs the Bachelor of Arts in Drama & Performance, the BA (Hons) in Costume Design & Construction and the BA (Hons) Stage and Screen courses at the new campus. A new course, BA (Hons) Acting for Stage and Screen will begin in Autumn 2011.

Before this, the courses were based in the centre of Edinburgh at the Gateway Theatre on Leith Walk. This was also the base for the Edinburgh studios of Scottish Television.

The School formerly ran BA (Hons) Acting and BA (Hons) Theatre Production courses, which were both accredited in the UK by the National Council for Drama Training before the move to Musselburgh. Both courses were abandoned, along with NCDT accreditation, and the University withdrew from "conservatoire training ... largely [as] a response to chronic underfunding", according to Anthony Cohen, Principal and Vice Chancellor in 2008, who stated that "the intense, craft-based approach to the learning of a conservatory is at odds pedagogically with any other discipline taught in universities".[12][13] The move was resisted by former staff, who wrote to the Quality Assurance Agency Scotland to express concern at the closure of the accredited courses, and the loss of "practical focus", although Anthony Cohen responded that no investigation took place, and QAA Scotland took no further action on the complaint.[14][15]

School of Health Sciences

The School of Health Sciences offers the broadest range of allied health professions for Scotland and gained the highest ranking for allied health professions in the UK's last research assessment exercise. It offers courses in dietetics, nutrition and biological sciences; nursing; occupational therapy and art therapy; physiotherapy; podiatry; Radiography; and music therapy.[16]

School of Social Sciences, Media and Communication

The School of Social Sciences, Media and Communication offers courses in media, communication and sociology; psychology; and speech and hearing sciences (speech and language therapy and audiology).[17]

The School is the only institution in Scotland that is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations to deliver the postgraduate CIPR Diploma in Public Relations.[18] The School's BSc courses in psychology and health psychology are accredited by the British Psychological Society.[19]

The subject area of Speech and Hearing Sciences won the Queen's Anniversary Prize for research into the clinical applications of speech technology in 2002 carried out in the Speech Science Research Centre.[20]

Research activity

Queen Margaret University research activity is dedicated to improving the quality of life and building the evidence-base for policy and practice development through research, focussed through the four schools and Research Centres

Centre for Integrated Healthcare Research (CIHR) Speech Science Research Centre (SSRC) Royal Bank of Scotland Centre for the Older Person's Agenda (COPA) Institute for International Health and Development (IIHD)

A strong strategic emphasis is given to the development of the institution’s capacity for research, consultancy and commercialisation.

In the last five years, researchers in the institution have secured, as principal investigators, research grants from the UK Research Councils (eg EPSRC, ESRC, MRC). In addition researchers have attracted income from the NHS, Chief Scientist Office, Central and Local Government and major charities and industry, eg Kelloggs, Mars, Postwatch.

The university operates an open access repository of the research output of the university, called eResearch, with the intention of making the work of researchers open and available to the public via the web.


Former campuses

Before moving to a new campus in Musselburgh, Queen Margaret University had been based in campuses in Corstorphine (to the West of Edinburgh), in Leith (in the heart of Edinburgh), and at the Gateway Theatre (a former television studio previously owned by Scottish Television) on Leith Walk.

Musselburgh campus

Student accommodation at the Musselburgh campus.

In 2007-2008, the university brought together students from its three campuses in Edinburgh by moving to a new purpose-built campus in Musselburgh, just east of Edinburgh. Costing £100 million, the new campus covers 35 acres (140,000 m2) and holds educational buildings, a students union, a small gym and halls of residence of more than 800 rooms.

QMU has been "touted as the country's greenest University campus".[21] The campus was designed to exceed current environmental standards and sets a new benchmark in sustainable design. The entire development transformed a 35-acre site from low-grade farmland into landscaped parkland.

The relocation provoked a negative reaction from some students and student union protesters after building firm Carillion failed to complete the campus on time. Drama students were stranded at the already sold Gateway Theatre for several months, and student union and sports facilities were uncompleted as of December 2007: both the Drama School and Student Union facilities opened in March 2008. However, the new campus has now been been described as "inspirational" for students and people consider the campus to be a benchmark in design. The campus has also allowed for the University to grow in student numbers.

Learning Resource Centre

The Learning Resource Centre (LRC) comprises approximately 4500m2 of the main academic building. Located at the heart of the campus, it provides library, IT and AV services to students, staff and visitors of the university. The LRC consists of a facility for both directed and self-directed study, based on an integrated library and information service provision. The LRC has 1,000 study spaces organised as a mixture of silent and group study areas, bookable group study rooms, training rooms, assistive technology, student learning support and a postgraduate study room.

Education Resource Centre

The Education Resource Centre provides audio-visual services to the university. This includes the provision of AV equipment in classrooms and lecture theatres as well as more specialised services such as graphics, photography, video-conferencing and TV studio facilities.

Asia Campus

The Queen Margaret University, Asia Campus opened in April 2008 and provides business degrees to about 1,600 students. The campus is located in a former school building in the Balestier District of Singapore and is a joint venture with a private education provider.

Notable alumni

Famous graduates include:


  1. ^ a b c d "Table 0a - All students by institution, mode of study, level of study, gender and domicile 2005/06". Higher Education Statistics Agency online statistics. Retrieved 2007-04-05.  
  2. ^ a b c d e "History: From Edinburgh School of Cookery to Queen Margaret University". Queen Margaret University. Retrieved 2007-04-11.  
  3. ^ Tom Begg, ‘Cour, Ethel Maud De la (1869–1957)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, OUP, 2004 accessed 11 April 2007
  4. ^ a b "Consultation on Award of University Title to Queen Margaret University College". Scottish Executive. Retrieved 2007-04-11.  
  5. ^ QM relocates
  6. ^ "List All Courses". Queen Margaret University. Retrieved 2009-03-03.  
  7. ^ "Joint Degrees". Queen Margaret University. Retrieved 2009-03-03.  
  8. ^ "List All Courses: Postgraduate Courses (2008 intake)". Queen Margaret University. Retrieved 2009-03-03.  
  9. ^ "Executive Masters Degree in Public Services Management (EMPSM)". Queen Margaret University. Retrieved 2009-03-03.  
  10. ^ "PhD: Opportunities for research students". Queen Margaret University. Retrieved 2009-03-03.  
  11. ^ "Drama and Creative Industries". Queen Margaret University. Retrieved 2007-04-11.  
  12. ^ Queen Margaret Closes Acting and Theatre Production Courses
  13. ^ Letter from Vice Chancellor on closure of accredited theatre courses
  14. ^ Former staff complain to QAA Scotland
  15. ^ Letter from Vice Chancellor on closure of accredited theatre courses
  16. ^ "Health Sciences". Queen Margaret University. Retrieved 2007-04-11.  
  17. ^ "Social Sciences, Media and Communication". Queen Margaret University. Retrieved 2007-04-11.  
  18. ^ "The CIPR Diploma in Public Relations". Retrieved 2007-04-11.  
  19. ^ "Undergraduate Psychology Courses: Queen Margaret University". British Psychological Society. Retrieved 2007-04-11.  
  20. ^ "Speech Science Research Centre: Queen Margaret University". QMU. Retrieved 2008-05-11.  
  21. ^ "Press release: Royal opening for UK's 'greenest' university". Queen Margaret University. Retrieved 2009-03-04.  

External links

Coordinates: 55°55′53″N 3°04′23″W / 55.931342°N 3.073018°W / 55.931342; -3.073018


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