Scotland's Rural College (SRUC)


History: Scotland's three agricultural institutions - West of Scotland
Agricultural College, the East of Scotland Agricultural College and the North
of Scotland Agricultural College - were united in 1990 to form the Scottish
Agricultural College (SAC). SAC then merged with
Barony, Elmwood and Oatridge Colleges in 2012 to form SRUC.

Address: SRUC has six campuses across Scotland:Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Ayr, Barony, Elmwood and Oatridge Other sites include eight veterinary centres and five research farms.

Ambience: The Ayr, Edinburgh and Elmwood campuses are urban-based while Aberdeen, Barony and Oatridge are 'green' campuses. The Ayr campus is situated   by a river in the small Scottish town of Ayr. Craibstone Estate, where the Aberdeen campus is based, is six miles out of the city and was purpose-built in the early 90s. The Edinburgh campus is sited on the King’s Buildings campus of the University of Edinburgh on the south side of the city. Elmwood is in the centre of Cupar, a small town in the Kingdom of Fife while Oatridge can be found on the outskirts of Broxburn, a small town in West Lothian. Finally Barony is set within a working 260 hectare estate, which is situated in the rolling landscape of Dumfries and Galloway.

Who's the boss? Professor Bob Webb is principal and CEO. He began his career as a scientist investigating fertility in cows and then spent many years working in the field of animal science at the University of Nottingham. There he reached the position of Pro Vice Chancellor for Research before moving to SRUC.

Prospectus: 0800 269 453 or visit the website here.

UCAS code: S01

What you need to know

Easy to get into? BCC at Higher or CC at A-level required for degree courses, CC at higher or an A-level pass required for HND courses. Some courses require specific Higher/A-level subjects, but the college is committed to widening access and all admissions are at the principal's discretion.

Vital statistics: Almost 8,500 students, with a mix of undergrads, further education students and those on short courses or studying as part of modern apprenticeships. . At undergraduate level, offering HNC/Ds and bacherlors' degrees, as well as a number of postgraduate programmes . Degrees are awarded by the universities of Edinburgh or Glasgow.

Added value: Consultancy network for the rural community with offices across Scotland and the north of England. Work is in partnership with government departments and local authorities, and other academic and research organisations. Fully organic farm at Aberdeen. Programme structure enables students from further education colleges to enter the third year of degrees with related HNDs.

Research: Top research establishment for soil chemistry, plant nutrition, crop development, animal welfare and behaviour, and avian studies.

Any accommodation? Yes - each campus has an accommodation office which can allocate rooms in halls or farm cottages on Aberdeen and Ayr campuses. The costs range from £95 to £134 per week depending on location and room type.

Cheap to live there? Local rents depend on campus and location, but the lowest are £85 per week excluding bills.

Transport links: The Edinburgh and Oatridge campuses are served by an international airport and are four hours by train from London. Ayr and Aberdeen are also located near airports used by budget airlines. Elmwood is approximately an hour north of Edinburgh, while Barony is about an hour an a half to the south.

Fees: Full-time Scottish and EU undergrads can apply to the SAAS to have their £1,820 per year fees paid for them, while UK students pay £6,750 yearly.

Bursaries: Up to £2,000 per year for students, already receipt of public or government funding, through the college's Centenary Bursary scheme.

The fun stuff

Nightlife: Lively on campus; bars and active student representative councils organise theme nights. Plenty going on in the local towns and cities. Students and college staff are active in charity events such as Red Nose Day, Children in Need and Send a Cow.

Sporting facilities: On-site facilities on all campuses bar Edinburgh. Those at Edinburgh can make use of the University of Edinburgh's facilities, however.

Glittering alumni: Ed Byrne, comedian; Sheila Swan, gold medallist in curling at 2002 World Championships; MSP Alex Fergusson; Doddie Weir, former Scottish international rugby team player; Robert Reid, world champion rally co-driver in 2001.

A boy holds a chick during the Russian National Agricultural Exhibition Golden Autumn 2014 in Moscow on October 9, 2014.
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