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Scottish Agricultural College, Edinburgh


The Scottish Agricultural College (SAC) specialises in subjects concerning existing and emerging land-based industries and pursuits, applied biological and animal sciences, sustainable land-use, and environmental protection & management. These issues affect us all and have never before provoked so much interest. SAC offers courses at HNC, HND and degree level and offers a range of postgraduate and flexible/distance learning programmes.

This unique institution also has an innovative and leading research and development programme and runs an international advisory and consultancy service. This all means that students are taught by a team of staff including lecturers, researchers, advisers, and consultants, who can provide up to the minute information and commercial insight.

Quick facts

Website address


Areas of speciality
SAC is proud of its place in Scotland's rural heritage and ensures that students graduate with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to meet the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century land-based and rural sector. To maximise students’ employability, courses are designed in consultation with the relevant industries.

SAC offers courses at HNC, HND, degree, honours degree, and postgraduate level. They include: Adventure Tourism, Sustainable Environmental Management, Business Management, Agriculture, Horticulture, Sport and Leisure, Biological and Food Science, Landscape and Garden Design, Animal Science, Environmental Protection, Rural

Tourism, Applied Bioscience, Countryside and Conservation, Rural Resource Management, Poultry Studies, Environmental Studies, and Green Technology (new and unique in Scotland).

New courses include:

  • Scotland's only Green Technology degree
  • Flexible learning Environmental Studies and Countryside Management courses
  • Applied Animal Science programme

Environmental degrees are awarded by the University of Edinburgh, and some of our Horticulture courses are offered jointly with the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. Many of our other degree courses are awarded by the University of Glasgow, and we offer an MBA course in association with the Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen.

SAC has three campuses:

  • Edinburgh at King's Buildings (sharing the University of Edinburgh's science campus)
  • Aberdeen at the Craibstone Estate
  • Ayr at the Auchincruive Estate.

The Edinburgh campus offers students the best of both worlds: as part of a small institution they receive a personal level of support and interaction, while as associate members of Edinburgh University they can access all their facilities and resources.

Undergraduate students: 900, one third study at Edinburgh
Postgraduate students: 50, some part-time and distance learning
International students: Under 10%, mostly postgraduates

Some famous alumni:

Ed Byrne (stand-up comedian), Alex Fergusson (MSP), John Home-Robertson (MSP), Jim McColl (TV and radio gardener), Robert Reid (World Champion Rally Co-driver), Sheila Swan (member of the 2002 World Champion Curling Team), Doddie Weir (Rugby Union internationalist).

SAC crest


A rare blend of academic and commercial environments, providing exceptional and innovative vocational education

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