About the School of Arts and Creative Industries

We teach the diverse professional skills required in the arts and creative industries worldwide. Close links with leading organisations and employers keep our degrees relevant to sector needs.

Widely recognised for expertise and excellence in creative practice, our work is enhanced by extensive international collaboration across the arts, design and media sectors.

  • We are a top 5 UK modern university for Film Production & Photography (5th out of 42) - Guardian Guide 2020
  • We are a top 10 UK university for Drama, Dance & Cinematics (10th of 101) - The Times & Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020 
  • We are top 10 subject in the UK for English, Creative Writing and Publishing (5th out of 104) - NSS, 2019
  • We are a top 5 UK modern university for Communication and Media Studies (2nd of 55) - Complete University Guide 2020
  • We are a top 5 UK modern university for English (2nd of 49) - The Times & Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020 
  • We are a top 10 UK university for Media & Film Studies (10th of 88) - Guardian League Tables, 2020
  • We are the top UK modern university for Music (1st of 39) - The Times & Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020 
  • Students on all our programmes get the opportunity to work in industry or with organisations in the charitable sector

Awards and recognition

Our students regularly receive acclaim for their work.

  • Our students excelled at the prestigious Creative Conscience Awards 2019
  • Students’ work has featured at international film festivals including Venice, Edinburgh, Cannes, Beijing and Kolkata and won international design awards including D&AD, RSA and Deutsche Post International
  • Graduates have won places on the prestigious BBC Production and ITV News trainee schemes, and Creative Advertising Scholarships from the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising
  • Music students are regularly awarded or shortlisted for national and international prizes

Our courses

If you want to pursue a creative industries career, we offer a range of degrees in an interdisciplinary environment, equipping you with the skills and knowledge to realise your ambition.

Our creative courses cover a range of arts and design related subjects, including:

  • Acting
  • Design, Photography and Advertising
  • English, Creative Writing and Publishing
  • Film, Television and Journalism
  • Music

As well as full-time options, many of our degree courses are offered part-time, by distance learning, blended or through workplace learning - both at undergraduate and postgraduate level.


Browse our courses and you’ll see many have the Creative Skillset Tick logo. The tick is an assurance you’ll gain the professional skills and knowledge to develop a career in the creative industries. We also host Screen Academy Scotland, one of only three Skillset Film Academies in the UK.

Many of our other courses have additional professional accreditation, including:

Industry partners

Employability is core to all our courses and we work closely with industry to meet their needs.

We collaborate with partners on a range of projects including:

  • Internship and project opportunities for our students on the STV Edinburgh channel
  • Developing Robert Louis Stevenson Day with Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust
  • Engaging in reading projects in prisons with Scottish Prisons Service
  • Publishing Scotland
  • Grid Iron Theatre Company
  • StudioLR

Entrepreneurship is an important to the success of the school. Students and graduates have access to Bright Red Triangle, our creative industries incubator at the Merchiston Campus, where they can develop ideas and set up their own business with the support of experienced staff.

Additionally, placements, industrial projects, talks and visits are integrated across programmes offering valuable opportunities to work with industry professionals.

Work-related Learning

Our students partner with industry to create enriching work-based projects.