Good University Guide 2023

Edinburgh Napier University

National rank

Firsts / 2:1s
Completion rate

Key stats

Teaching quality
Student experience
Research quality
Graduate prospects
Edinburgh Napier University

Contact details


Sighthill Court , Edinburgh , EH11 4BN,

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The demand for places to study at Edinburgh Napier University reached new heights in 2021. Applications increased to their highest level since 2018, although enrolments fell slightly. 

The prospects for graduates from Edinburgh Napier’s career-driven courses have improved year-on-year. It is up 17 places to 43= in our analysis of the latest Graduate Outcomes survey, tracking the proportion of students in highly skilled work or further study 15 months after finishing their degree.

Buoyant rates of student satisfaction have contributed to the university’s ascent of our academic league table in recent years. Although it has fallen out of the top 20 for satisfaction with teaching quality (32nd) and the wider undergraduate experience (33rd), it remains around the top third in our latest analysis.

The university took student feedback into consideration to develop a hybrid system of teaching and learning according to course content. Aspects of blended learning are being used in the 2022-23 academic year, in combination with time on campus. There are no online-only degrees offered apart from global programmes.

There are three campuses across the city, each with a distinct focus. Beside the 16th-century tower marking the birthplace of John Napier, the mathematician from whom the university takes its name, the Merchiston campus hosts creative arts subjects. Screen Academy Scotland, run in partnership with Edinburgh College of Art (now part of the University of Edinburgh), also operates from the campus in trendy Bruntsfield, where facilities include soundproofed music studios and a broadcast journalism newsroom.

Computing students, also based at Merchiston, have access to the latest hardware, software and expertise through alliance schemes at the School of Computing. The 500-seat computer centre, open 24/7, has a Cyber Academy, cyberattack simulation suite and computer games laboratory. Students have the opportunity for a year-long, credit-bearing work placement in their third year. The undergraduate degree in cybersecurity and forensics was the first in the UK to be fully certified by the National Cyber Security Centre. Its parent organisation is GCHQ, the Government Communications Headquarters.

Overlooking Edinburgh, the Craiglockhart campus hosts the Business School, featuring a curved lecture theatre known as the Egg. Sighthill, 20 minutes away by tram, has splendid views of the city and is the base for the schools of nursing, midwifery and social care. It has a large simulation and clinical skills centre with mock hospital wards and a high-dependency unit. Resources for students of life, sport and social sciences include an environmental chamber and biomechanics laboratory.

Many other courses at Edinburgh Napier include work placements of varying duration. Creative arts students can gain experience on projects and internships through extensive industry links, including BBC Scotland, while a microplacements scheme offered by the School of Applied Sciences places students within bioscience and social science organisations. Overseas, the School of Health and Social Care provides professional training and research in neonatal services in Vietnam and delivers professional training for nurses in Singapore. 

The university more than doubled the number of academics whose work was submitted to the Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021), compared with the previous assessment in 2014. The proportion of work achieving the top two ratings (world-leading or internationally excellent) rose too, from 53 per cent in 2014 to 68 per cent. Edinburgh Napier has risen 21 places in our research quality rankings too — one of the biggest increases. Building, land and property management, and town and country planning produced some of the best results.   

A top-up degree in animation for games began in September 2022, as did degrees in user experience (UX) design, information for business, and electrical and electronic engineering. New for 2023 will be computer science (artificial intelligence), informatics (with three options: business, eHealth and fintech) and a top-up course in law/legal studies. The university offers 11 graduate apprenticeships (known as degree apprenticeships in the rest of the UK) with 432 students enrolled on programmes in the fields of architecture, building and planning, business management, engineering, computing, and informational technology.

Edinburgh Napier sits in fifth place in our Scottish social inclusion index, down from third in 2021. In its 2022-23 intake, 92.8 per cent of students attended non-selective state schools and 40 per cent were aged 21 or over at the start of their studies. The university’s drive to increase the numbers from underrepresented groups continues. Staff run workshops and offer extra support for eligible students before and during their course. 

While undergraduates from Scotland qualify for the national scheme for financial help, students from the rest of the UK and Ireland qualify for the university’s eye-catching financial packages — paying tuition fees for only three years of their four-year degree course and cash awards of up to £3,000. The level of support depends on students’ financial circumstances and achievement. There are also £1,000 merit scholarships for those who achieve at least BBB at A-level or equivalent qualifications and about 80 per cent of students from England, Wales and the island of Ireland qualify for some form of financial aid.

A performance gym and sports hall at the Sighthill campus offers a range of classes as well as indoor sports. There are also two fitness studios and all facilities are wheelchair accessible. Edinburgh Napier is the official training partner of four teams in Scottish Rugby’s Super6 league, as well as Cricket Scotland. It is the only university in Scotland to offer a football coaching programme performance and development degree in collaboration with the Scottish Football Association. 

Student accommodation is spread across three halls of residence: Bainfield, where most students aged under 20 live, Slateford Road, for nursing students and postgraduates, and Orwell Terrace, predominantly for students aged over 20. With 1,240 study bedrooms, the university can guarantee a space to all first-years from outside Edinburgh who apply by the deadline. All new students take the online course Consent Matters upon joining the university. Those in positions of responsibility — society and sports club leaders, student representatives and resident assistants — are invited to participate in active bystander training.

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Category Score Rank
Ranking - 59 (57)
Teaching quality 77.3 32nd
Student experience 74.4 33rd
Research quality 32.9 74th=
Ucas entry points 150 28th=
Graduate prospects 77.7 43rd=
Firsts and 2:1s 81.3 41st
Completion rate 82.7 89th
Student-staff ratio 22.1 122nd
World ranking - 801= (801=)

Vital statistics











Applications/places 20,145/3,585
Applications/places ratio 5.6:1
Overall offer rate 58.4%


Places in accommodation 1,240
Accommodation costs £110 - £186
Accommodation contact


Scots/EU fees £0 - £1,820
Fees (placement year) Normal fee
Fees (overseas year) N/A
Fees (international) £14,170 - £16,425
Finance website
Graduate salaries £24,000


Sport points/rank 222.5, 81st
Sport website

Social inclusion and student mix

Social Inclusion Ranking 5
State schools (non-grammar) admissions 92.8%
Grammar school admissions 1%
Independent school admissions 6.2%
Ethnic minority students (all) 10.2%
Black achievement gap -14.9%
First generation students 39.6%
Deprived areas 12.5%
Mature students 40%
EU students 9.1%
Other overseas students 3.3%

Student satisfaction with teaching quality

Subjects allied to medicine 90.8%
English 87.9%
Biological sciences 85.9%
Law 85.7%
Nursing 84.2%
Psychology 84%
Communication and media studies 82.5%
Criminology 81.1%
Sociology 81%
Music 78%
Mechanical engineering 77.8%
Hospitality, leisure, recreation and tourism 76.5%
Information systems and management 76%
Art and design 75.7%
Drama, dance and cinematics 75.7%
Accounting and finance 74.8%
Civil engineering 74.1%
Computer science 74.1%
Building 74%
Business, management and marketing 72%
General engineering 70.5%
Sports science 69.9%
Architecture 63.1%
Animal science 51%