Queen Margaret University
Coat of arms
Former names
Queen Margaret University College
Queen Margaret College
ChancellorDame Prue Leith CBE, DBE
PrincipalSir Paul Grice KBE, FAcSS, FRSE
Students5,130 (2019/20)[1]
Undergraduates3,510 (2019/20)[1]
Postgraduates1,615 (2019/20)[1]
55°55′53″N 3°04′23″W / 55.93139°N 3.07306°W / 55.93139; -3.07306

Queen Margaret University (Scottish Gaelic: Oilthigh Bànrigh Mairead) is a university founded in 1875 and located in Musselburgh, East Lothian. [5]. It is named after the Scottish Queen Saint Margaret.


The university was founded in 1875, as The Edinburgh School of Cookery and Domestic Economy, by Christian Guthrie Wright and Louisa Stevenson,[6] 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.[6] 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 the same year, HRH Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll became Patron of the institution until her death in 1939. 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.[7] De la Cour retired in 1930, and in the same year the School became the Edinburgh College of Domestic Science.[8]

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 HRH Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester who had become Patron of the institution in 1940 and remained Patron until her death.[6] In 1972, the name Queen Margaret was adopted to dissociate the college from the narrow field of domestic science.[6] Thereafter, the college broadened its range of courses, especially in the dramatic arts and paramedical healthcare fields. The following institutions have since been absorbed by Queen Margaret:[6]

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.[8] As a result, in January 1999 the institution took the name Queen Margaret University College. After the University College attained the final criteria of acquiring a minimum of 5000 students (something that could not be gained earlier as the former campuses could not accommodate that number of students), the institution was awarded full university status, becoming Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh in January 2007.[9]

In 2012, QMU became the first university in Scotland to have a Business Gateway on campus.[10]

Scotland's First Minister, Alex Salmond announced in May 2010 that QMU was to be the official host of the archives for Homecoming Scotland 2009. The Homecoming Scotland Archive will collect, catalogue and preserve materials associated with Scottish Homecoming 2009.[11]


Former campuses

Before moving to a new campus just outside Musselburgh, Queen Margaret University had been based in campuses in Corstorphine (to the West of Edinburgh), in Leith, and at the Gateway Theatre – home of the University’s School of Drama & Scotland's International Drama Centre. The theatre was a former television studio previously owned by Scottish Television on Elm Row, Leith Walk.[citation needed]

New 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 near Musselburgh, East Lothian. Costing £100 million, the new campus covers 35 acres (14 hectares) 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".[12] The campus was designed by Dyer Architects to exceed current environmental standards and sets a new benchmark in sustainable design. The entire development transformed a 35-acre (14-hectare) site from low-grade farmland into landscaped parkland.[citation needed] The new campus was officially opened by Her Majesty the Queen on 4 July 2008.

In June 2015, Queen Margaret University announced it would hold public consultations for plans to build a new innovation park and shopping hub on open land around the Musselburgh campus. Site proposals are being developed by CAM-SCI, a Cambridge-based economic consultancy, which has developed science parks across the UK.[13]

Learning Resource Centre

The Learning Resource Centre (LRC) comprises approximately 4,500 square metres (0.45 hectares) 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.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]


School of Arts, Social Sciences and Management

Following restructuring in early 2010, the Schools of Social Sciences, Media and Communication, Business, Enterprise and Management, and Drama and Creative Industries were merged. The present Dean is Professor David Stevenson. The School offers courses in 'Business, Enterprise and Management', which contains the International Centre for the Study of Planned Events;[14] 'Governance, Justice and Public Management'; 'Hospitality and Gastronomy'; Creativity and Culture'; and 'Public Relations' .[15]

QMU was part of the Scottish Drama Training Network[16] which was set up by the Scottish Funding Council in 2010 to foster cohesion across stage and screen professional practice, education and training. Through the Network, QMU in partnership with Edinburgh Napier University delivered the BA (Hons) Acting for Stage and Screen.[17] Since the Training Network ceased QMU is now, once again, offering its own acting and performance training programmes delivering the BA (Hons) Acting and Performance and BA (Hons) Performance along with its four year BA (Hons) Drama programme. It is also the only institution in Scotland offering a BA (Hons) in Theatre and Film as well as a Masters in Stage Management & Technical Theatre Production. It is also only one of three places in Scotland to offer a degree in Costume Design and Construction. In 2021/22 QMU celebrated 50 years of professional Drama training. The Guardian University rankings for 2024 declared the Drama programmes at QMU as one of the top ten institutions in the UK as well as Scotland’s top place to study and train in Drama.

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 Bachelor of Science (BSc) courses in psychology; MSc in Health Psychology are accredited by the British Psychological Society.[19]

BA (Hons) Film and Media graduate, Agata Jagodzinska, was awarded for Best Writer at the BAFTA in Scotland New Talent Awards.[20]

In 2019 Queen Margaret University became a key player in the delivery of Initial Teacher Education in Scotland offering the BA (Hons) in Primary Education and a BA (Hons) in Education Studies along with an expanding postgraduate PGDE programme in Home Economics, Business Education and Religious, Moral and Philosophical Studies.

School of Health Sciences

The School of Health Sciences offers the widest range of professional healthcare courses of any university in Scotland. The present Dean is Dr Sara Smith. The School offers courses in dietetics, nutrition and biological sciences; nursing; paramedic science; speech and language therapy, audiology, occupational therapy and art therapy; physiotherapy; podiatry and radiography. Postgraduate courses are offered in (international) art psychotherapy, music therapy and dramatherapy: QMU is the only institution in Scotland offering these fully HCPC accredited therapy courses as a Master of Science (MSc).[21]

The subject area of Speech and Hearing Sciences won the Queen's Anniversary Prize for research into the clinical applications of speech technology carried out in the Speech Science Research Centre.[22] The Guardian University ranking poll for 2024 declared that QMU’s BSc (Hons)/MNurse Nursing degree programme was ranked 6th in the UK and that the BSc Paramedic Science course was rated as the top course in the United Kingdom for the training of paramedics.


In October 2016, Dame Prue Leith CBE became Chancellor, succeeding Sir Tom Farmer.[23]

Sir Paul Grice KBE assumed the role of Principal and Vice Chancellor in October 2019. He was knighted in the New Year Honours List 2016 for services to the Scottish Parliament and services to higher education and the community in Scotland. Grice was Chief Executive and Clerk of the Scottish Parliament prior to his appointment to Queen Margaret University succeeding Professor Petra Wend.

Professor Petra Wend CBE joined Queen Margaret University in September 2009.[24] She originally read Italian and French Language and Literature, and Education at the University of Münster in Germany. Following a series of positions at UK universities, she joined Oxford Brookes University as Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and Deputy Chief Executive in 2005. She retired from her position in 2019.

Academic profile

Rankings and reputation

National rankings
Complete (2025)[25]87
Guardian (2024)[26]63
Times / Sunday Times (2024)[27]63
Global rankings
QS (2025)[28]951–1000

In June 2012 the management team at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, was presented with the Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Team Award.[29]

QMU won the e-Government National Award 2010[30] in the category for sustainable, 'green IT' or 'carbon-efficient' services. In autumn 2010 it picked up gold at the Scottish Green Awards,[31] and in 2009 it won an award[32] for a waste management project, as well as a Green Apple Award.[33]


The university has three flagships: health and rehabilitation; creativity and culture; and sustainable business.[34]

Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, has seven[35] research centres:

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.[citation needed]

Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, researchers in food and drink in partnerships with Advanced Microwave Technologies Ltd (AMT), won two major awards for innovation and partnership in 2012 for their collaboration to explore the application of microwave technologies to the food and drink sector.[36]

Notable alumni

See also: Category:Alumni of Queen Margaret University

See also: Category:People associated with Queen Margaret University


Health Sciences




Politics and Public Administration

See also


  1. ^ a b c "Where do HE students study?". Higher Education Statistics Agency. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  2. ^ QMU - Location. "QMU - East Lothian Location from Scottish Government webisite" (PDF). scot.gov. Scottish Government. Retrieved 14 September 2023.
  3. ^ QMU - Uni address. "Uni address from Official QMU website - Queen Margaret University Drive, Musselburgh, EH21 6UU". www.qmu.ac.uk. QMU official website. Retrieved 14 September 2023.
  4. ^ QMU Postal Address. "QMU Postal Address from Royal Mail - Queen Margaret University, Queen Margaret University Drive, Musselburgh, EH21 6UU". Royal Mail. Retrieved 13 July 2024.
  5. ^ QMU - Location East Lothian. "QMU - East Lothian Location from Scottish Government website" (PDF). scot.gov. Scottish Government. Retrieved 14 September 2023.
  6. ^ a b c d e "History: From Edinburgh School of Cookery to Queen Margaret University". Queen Margaret University. Archived from the original on 26 January 2007. Retrieved 11 April 2007.
  7. ^ Tom Begg, 'Cour, Ethel Maud De la (1869–1957)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, OUP, 2004 accessed 11 April 2007
  8. ^ a b "Consultation on Award of University Title to Queen Margaret University College". Scottish Executive. Retrieved 11 April 2007.
  9. ^ QM relocates Archived 31 August 2005 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ "Business Gateway to be based at Queen Margaret University". Archived from the original on 26 January 2007. Retrieved 14 February 2011.
  11. ^ "Homecoming Scotland Archive to be hosted by Queen Margaret University". Archived from the original on 26 January 2007. Retrieved 11 April 2007.
  12. ^ "Press release: Royal opening for UK's 'greenest' university". Queen Margaret University. Archived from the original on 26 January 2007. Retrieved 4 March 2009.
  13. ^ "QMU pushes plan for Musselburgh business park". East Lothian News. Retrieved 19 August 2015.
  14. ^ "Scottish university launches world's first International Centre for Events". Queen Margaret University. 21 August 2008. Archived from the original on 5 January 2010. Retrieved 5 August 2009.
  15. ^ "School of Arts, Social Sciences and Management". Queen Margaret University. Archived from the original on 26 January 2007. Retrieved 23 November 2015.
  16. ^ "Scottish Drama Training Network". Archived from the original on 29 March 2010. Retrieved 11 April 2007.
  17. ^ "BA (Hons) Acting for Stage and Screen". Archived from the original on 26 January 2007. Retrieved 11 April 2007.
  18. ^ "The CIPR Diploma in Public Relations". Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 11 April 2007.
  19. ^ "Undergraduate Psychology Courses: Queen Margaret University". British Psychological Society. Retrieved 11 April 2007.
  20. ^ "QMU graduate wins BAFTA". Archived from the original on 26 January 2007. Retrieved 14 February 2011.
  21. ^ "Health Sciences". Queen Margaret University. Archived from the original on 26 January 2007. Retrieved 11 April 2007.
  22. ^ "Speech Science Research Centre: Queen Margaret University". QMU. Archived from the original on 26 January 2007. Retrieved 11 May 2008.
  23. ^ "Celebrity chef becomes Queen Margaret University chancellor". BBC News. 6 October 2016.
  24. ^ "Professor Petra Wend". Archived from the original on 26 January 2007. Retrieved 11 April 2007.
  25. ^ "Complete University Guide 2025". The Complete University Guide. 14 May 2024.
  26. ^ "Guardian University Guide 2024". The Guardian. 9 September 2023.
  27. ^ "Good University Guide 2024". The Times. 15 September 2023.
  28. ^ "QS World University Rankings 2025". Quacquarelli Symonds Ltd. 4 June 2024.
  29. ^ "Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Team Award". Archived from the original on 26 January 2007. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
  30. ^ "QMU wins eGovernment National Award". Archived from the original on 26 January 2007. Retrieved 14 February 2011.
  31. ^ "QMU picks up gold at green awards". Archived from the original on 26 January 2007. Retrieved 14 February 2011.
  32. ^ "Award proves recycling is not a lot of rubbish". Archived from the original on 26 January 2007. Retrieved 14 February 2011.
  33. ^ "Queen Margaret University awarded 'Green Apple'". Archived from the original on 26 January 2007. Retrieved 14 February 2011.
  34. ^ "Queen Margaret University Postgraduate Prospectus 2013 = 2012-14-11". QMU. Archived from the original on 26 January 2007.
  35. ^ "Research Centres, Institutes and Knowledge Exchange Centres". Queen Margare University. Retrieved 6 December 2019.
  36. ^ "Microwave experts revolutionise global food processing". Archived from the original on 26 January 2007. Retrieved 14 February 2011.
  37. ^ https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/whats-on/theatre-news/michael-harrison-wallsend-west-end-16572996.amp_
  38. ^ "Glasgow's Tron Theatre appoints "exciting" new artistic director". 20 December 2023.