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Queen Margaret University

Queen Margaret University
File:Queen Margaret University logo.jpg
Former names
Queen Margaret University College, Queen Margaret College
Established 2007 - granted University Status
1875 - The Edinburgh School of Cookery
Type Public
Chancellor Sir Tom Farmer
Principal Petra Wend
Students 6,390
Undergraduates 64.3%
Postgraduates 35.7%
Other students
20 further education[1]

Musselburgh, Scotland, UK
55°55′53″N 3°04′23″W / 55.93139°N 3.07306°W / 55.93139; -3.07306Coordinates: 55°55′53″N 3°04′23″W / 55.93139°N 3.07306°W / 55.93139; -3.07306{{#coordinates:55|55|53|N|3|04|23|W|region:GB-ELN_type:edu |primary |name=

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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)
File:Queen Margaret University main building.jpg
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]


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, and at the Gateway Theatre – Scotland's International Drama Centre – (a former television studio previously owned by Scottish Television) on Elm Row, Leith Walk.

Musselburgh campus

File:Queen Margaret University student accommodation.jpg
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 Script error: No such module "convert". 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".[6] 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 Script error: No such module "convert". 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. The new campus has provoked mixed reactions from students and members of the public, with some considering the campus to be a benchmark in design.

Learning Resource Centre

The Learning Resource Centre (LRC) comprises approximately 4500 m2 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.

Sustainability commitment

In 2012, QMU won a silver award in the UK Green Apple Awards (education category) for its work in ensuring that environmental awareness and sustainability are key components of QMU’s daily work. Th University also won the Scottish Green Apple trophy in autumn 2012.

QMU won the e-Government National Award 2010 [7] in the category for sustainable, ‘green IT’ or ‘carbon-efficient’ services. In autumn 2010 it picked up gold at the Scottish Green Awards,[8] and in 2009 it won an award [9] for a waste management project, as well as a Green Apple Award.[10]


(2016, national)
The Guardian[12]
(2016, national)
Times/Sunday Times[13]
(2015, national)


School of Arts and Social Sciences

Following restructing in early 2010, the Schools of Social Sciences, Media and Communication and Drama and Creative Industries were merged. The Acting Dean is Dr Richard Butt. The School offers courses in media, film, public relations, psychology, drama and performance, costume design and production, cultural management, arts management, festival management, acting for stage and screen, social justice, and psychology and sociology .[14]

QMU is part of the Scottish Drama Training Network [15] 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 delivers the BA (Hons) Acting for Stage and Screen.[16]

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.[17] The School's Bachelor of Science (BSc) courses in psychology; MSc in Health Psychology are accredited by the British Psychological Society.[18]

BA (Hons) in Media graduate, Agata Jagodzinska, was awarded for Best Writer at the BAFTA in Scotland New Talent Awards 2012.[19]

School of Health Sciences

The School of Health Sciences offers courses in dietetics, nutrition and biological sciences; nursing; speech and language therapy, audiology, occupational therapy and art therapy; physiotherapy; podiatry; radiography; art psychotherapy, dance movement psychotherapy and music therapy.[20]

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.[21]


The university has the highest proportion of research active staff of all the 'modern' Scottish universities and develops pioneering expertise that cuts across its specialist fields. The university has three flagships: health and rehabilitation; creativity and culture; and sustainable business.[22]

Queen Margaret University has four[clarification needed] research centres:

In the last five years, researchers in the institution have secured, as principal investigators, research grants from the UK Research Councils (e.g. EPSRC, ESRC, MRC). In addition, researchers have attracted income from the NHS, Chief Scientist Office, central and local government and major charities and industry, e.g. 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.

Recent achievements

Queen Margaret University has just launched a new Master’s degree in gastronomy. This is a unique qualification and the first of its kind in the UK, which will allow students to engage with the broad range of issues connected with food, provenance, diet, health, and nutrition. The degree is not just about food, but also encompasses the cultural, historical, and anthropological aspects of Scotland as well as the science of food, the marketplace, and all the political and economic issues that relate to food.

Queen Margaret University is the first higher education institution in the east of Scotland to host the Children’s University. The Queen Margaret Children’s University aims to help school children, aged between 7 and 14 years of age, become confident learners and broaden their horizons. It will be the second Children’s University established in Scotland but the first initiative for young people in the east of the country.

The South East Scotland Academies’ Partnership (SESAP) is a ground breaking collaboration which is helping young people maximise their educational opportunities and develop transferable skills; smooth the transition between school, college, university and employment; and support the development of Scotland’s most important industries. The Academy model was borne out of a highly successful collaboration between Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh College and East Lothian Council which, in 2012, launched the East Lothian Hospitality and Tourism Academy.

In 2012, QMU became the first university in Scotland to have a Business Gateway [23] on campus.

Queen Margaret University 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.[24] They were awarded ‘Sustained Partnership of the Year.’ Queen Margaret University was the only new university to win an award at the event.

In June 2012 the management team at Queen Margaret University was presented with the Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Team Award [25] This award represents outstanding leadership, management, financial and business skills in the UK higher education institution sector.

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 [26] will provide the University with a unique opportunity to collect, catalogue and preserve materials associated with Scottish Homecoming 2009 for the benefit of people in both Scotland and across the world. Conceived by QMU’s International Centre for the Study of Planned Events, the idea to host the archive allows the University to harness its expertise in event management, tourism and IT solutions with the aim of safeguarding the legacy of Homecoming Scotland 2009.

Principal and Vice Chancellor

Petra Wend joined Queen Margaret University as Principal and Vice-Chancellor in September 2009.[27] She originally read Italian and French Language and Literature, and Education at the University of Münster in Germany and gained a PhD in Italian Language and Literature at University of Leeds. Following a series of positions at UK universities, she joined Oxford Brookes University as Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and Deputy Chief Executive in 2005.

Notable alumni

Notable graduates include:

Honorary graduates


  1. ^ "Table 0a - All students by institution, mode of study, level of study, gender and domicile 2005/06". Higher Education Statistics Agency online statistics. Archived from the original on 2007-05-15. Retrieved 2007-04-05. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "History: From Edinburgh School of Cookery to Queen Margaret University". Queen Margaret University. Archived from the original on 2007-02-16. 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. ^ "Press release: Royal opening for UK's 'greenest' university". Queen Margaret University. Retrieved 2009-03-04. 
  7. ^ "QMU wons eGovernment National Award". Archived from the original on 2011-02-04. Retrieved 2011-02-14. 
  8. ^ "QMU picks up gold at green awards". Archived from the original on 2011-02-04. Retrieved 2011-02-14. 
  9. ^ "Award proves recycling is not a lot of rubbish". Archived from the original on 2011-02-04. Retrieved 2011-02-14. 
  10. ^ "Queen Margaret University awarded ‘Green Apple’". Archived from the original on 2011-02-04. Retrieved 2011-02-14. 
  11. ^ "University League Table 2016". The Complete University Guide. Retrieved 27 April 2015. 
  12. ^ "University league table 2016". The Guardian. 25 May 2015. Retrieved 25 May 2015. 
  13. ^ "The Times and Sunday Times University League Tables 2015". Times Newspapers. Retrieved 22 September 2014. 
  14. ^ "Drama and Creative Industries". Queen Margaret University. Retrieved 2007-04-11. [dead link]
  15. ^ "Scottish Drama Training Network". Archived from the original on 2011-02-04. Retrieved 2007-04-11. 
  16. ^ "BA (Hons) Acting for Stage and Screen". Archived from the original on 2011-02-04. Retrieved 2007-04-11. 
  17. ^ "The CIPR Diploma in Public Relations". Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-04-11. 
  18. ^ "Undergraduate Psychology Courses: Queen Margaret University". British Psychological Society. Retrieved 2007-04-11. 
  19. ^ "QMU graduate wins BAFTA". Archived from the original on 2011-02-04. Retrieved 2011-02-14. 
  20. ^ "Health Sciences". Queen Margaret University. Retrieved 2007-04-11. 
  21. ^ "Speech Science Research Centre: Queen Margaret University". QMU. Retrieved 2008-05-11. 
  22. ^ "Queen Margaret University Postgraduate Prospectus 2013 = 2012-14-11". QMU. 
  23. ^ "Business Gateway to be based at Queen Margaret University". Archived from the original on 2011-02-04. Retrieved 2011-02-14. 
  24. ^ "Microwave experts revolutionise global food processing". Archived from the original on 2011-02-04. Retrieved 2011-02-14. 
  25. ^ "Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Team Award". Archived from the original on 2012-06-22. Retrieved 2012-09-21. 
  26. ^ "Homecoming Scotland Archive to be hosted by Queen Margaret University". Archived from the original on 2011-02-04. Retrieved 2007-04-11. 
  27. ^ "Professor Petra Wend". Archived from the original on 2011-02-04. Retrieved 2007-04-11. 
  28. ^ "McCulloch Unique Hotels". Retrieved 12 November 2012. 
  29. ^ "1 Devonshire Gardens". Retrieved 12 November 2012. 
  30. ^ "Malmaison". Retrieved 12 November 2012. 
  31. ^ "Dakota Hotels". Retrieved 12 November 2012. 

External links