Scotland's Rural College

(Scottish Agricultural College, Scottish Rural College)

Scottish Agricultural College on the King's Buildings Campus of the University of Edinburgh
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Scottish Agricultural College on the King's Buildings Campus of the University of Edinburgh

Scotland's Rural College (SRUC) undertakes education, research and consultancy relating to the rural sector of the economy and other land-based industries. The college was formed in 2012 by the merger of the Scottish Agricultural College (SAC), Elmwood College (Cupar), Barony College (Dumfries) and Oatridge College (Ecclesmachan), principally administered from the former SAC base in Edinburgh. The SAC had itself formed in 1990 though the amalgamation of the North of Scotland College of Agriculture (Aberdeen), the East of Scotland College of Agriculture (Edinburgh) and the West of Scotland College (Ayr). Thus, the College now has eight campuses, with Edinburgh split between the Bush Estate (Midlothian) and King's Buildings (both shared with the University of Edinburgh) and Ayr split between Auchincruive and Riverside, the latter shared with the University of the West of Scotland. Auchincruive includes a poultry farm and laboratory-based research facilities. The Aberdeen campus is at Craibstone Estate, at Bankhead 5 miles (8 km) northwest of Aberdeen. This campus provides access to mixed farming and the opportunity to study the food production industry.

The College has seven research and development farms, sharing three near Penicuik in Midlothian, which extend to 1295 ha (3200 acres), with the University of Edinburgh. It also includes eight veterinary disease surveillance centres and twenty-seven local farm and rural business consultancy offices located throughout Scotland. Core funding comes from the Scottish Government but the College generates significant additional income through commercial activities in Scotland, other parts of the UK and world-wide.

Across the campuses, approximately 8,000 students take a range of short training courses, diploma and degree courses in subjects such as agriculture, aquaculture, conservation and rural resources, food manufacture, horticulture, leisure and tourism, management, poultry and science & technology. Degree courses are taught in collaboration with the Universities of Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Strathclyde.

The Scottish National Equestrian Centre is located on the SRUC Oatridge Campus, while there is a Dairy Technology Centre on the SRUC Barony Campus. Edinburgh Genetics is the College's commercial breeding technology company, which provides artificial breeding services internationally from the Bush Estate and Malvern (Worcestershire, England).

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