Semester in Edinburgh

The city of Edinburgh is truly amazing, combining medieval Old Town, neoclassical New Town, and award-winning modern architecture. Study at one of the top two new universities in the UK.

Edinburgh Napier University, one of the largest universities in Scotland, was recently rated one of the top 2 "new" universities in the UK. The 4 main sites of this multicampus university are linked by bus, with quick access to the city center. Buildings from the 16th to the 21st centuries highlight the University’s profile as a modern institution grounded in tradition. The student body is equally wide-ranging: over 30 percent of the University’s more than 15,000 students are international, so you’ll meet people from all over.

Semester in Edinburgh begins with an extensive orientation. You’ll be well on your way to feeling a part of life on campus and in Edinburgh before classes even start. The orientation varies some, but usually you get to go on a popular bus tour of some of the city’s highlights and attend various social events. As part of orientation week, you’ll also meet with your new academic advisor, who will help you get into the classes you want.

As a CIS student, you’re automatically a member of the Students' Association (NSA). One perk of NSA membership is participation in "Freshers Week" (New Student Orientation),  whose daily social activities are a great way to meet your new classmates.

For the fitness-minded, the University has facilities for squash, volleyball, badminton, hockey, judo, fencing, table tennis, rock climbing, and much more!


Semester in Edinburgh offers a range of University-owned housing in the center of the city and within easy reach of the campus. From your ”flat,” you can easily reach shops, restaurants, cafés, bars, cinemas, and sports facilities. You’ll share your flat and its kitchen, living room, and bathroom with 4 to 6 other students, but you will have your own bedroom.

All University-owned flats have standard kitchen appliances (including microwaves). Upon arrival you will be issued a "bedding pack"—linens and a pillow. Dishes, pots and pans, and cutlery can be purchased at low cost at nearby stores. All flats have broadband internet access, at an additional cost.

1. What is the cost of the program? What is included in the program fees?

The program cost for Semester in Edinburgh can be found here.

2. When are the program fees due?

Program fees for Semester in Edinburgh are due on December 1st for Spring term and July 15th for Fall term. CISabroad will email invoices to students approximately one month before the program payment deadline. For example, if your payment deadline is July 15, you should expect your invoice in mid-June. If you are using financial aid, please ensure all financial aid paperwork is returned to our office by the payment deadline. If your financial aid does not cover your entire balance, CISabroad accepts these payment methods.

3. What is due with my application and when is my application due?

There are four easy steps in the Application process.

1. Fill out the online application, which includes your contact information, what program you are applying for, etc.

2. Pay the $200 application deposit in order to secure your space in the program. This amount will be applied toward the final cost.

3. Complete the Academic Reference Form, Course Selection Worksheet, Personal Statement, Applicant Profile, and Scholarship Application (Optional).

4. Mail in your Official Transcript to our office.

For detailed instructions, see application instructions. The application deadline for Semester in Edinburgh is October 1st for Spring term and May 1st for Fall term.

4. Do I need a passport or visa? When should I apply for my passport/visa?

Yes, you WILL need a passport to travel to Scotland. Your passport must be valid for 6 months BEYOND the date you return to the United States. For detailed passport instructions, U.S. citizens should check the State Department's Travel Site. For Semester in Edinburgh, you WILL need a visa. If you are a U.S citizen and are studying in Scotland for less than 6 months, you will need to get a Student Visitor Visa when you arrive at the airport. You will receive specific visa instructions once you have been accepted to the program.

5. Is there a GPA requirement?

Yes. For Semester in Edinburgh, the GPA requirement is 2.5.

6. What are my housing options?

Semester in Edinburgh offers apartments on campus with other Edinburgh Napier University students.

7. Will other students participate in the program with me? How many?

CISabroad programs are not only a great way to meet local and international students, but also students from around the United States. Program size varies each year - if enrollment size is important to you, contact a CISabroad advisor at 1-877-617-9090.

8. How many credits are offered in the program?

For Semester in Edinburgh, you will take 3 classes for 15-16 U.S. credits. To see the courses available, go here.

9. Can I combine this program with another CISabroad program like intern, summer, or semester abroad?

Yes! A great way to extend your CISabroad experience is participating in another program. Combine semester programs to create a full academic year or if an academic year is just a little too long and a semester is too short, combine a semester and summer session or a semester and January term program. You can also participate in a semester abroad and combine that with a summer intern abroad. To find out more information on the application process for more than one CISabroad program, contact a CISabroad advisor at 1-877-617-9090.

CISabroad's Site Director in Scotland:

Jeanna was born overlooking Loch Ness and grew up in the Highlands of Scotland on the West Coast. She studied in Edinburgh, and after majoring science degree, went on to work as a local and central government officer often giving lectures to undergraduates in local Universities.

“My family has a strong Scottish heritage on one side one Clan MacDougall ( who once owned and controlled vast lands in the West of Scotland, the Clan now ‘impoverished’ nobility ) and on the other a lineage of Cuthberts going back to St. Cuthbert ( whose legacy still influences society today). My Celtic roots give my family our language, music, fun, compassion and culture which continue to this day. Learning and education has been a strong influence in the family over generations.

Like many Scots I enjoy the fantastic landscape here, from great sailing in the West, to off-road motorcycle and skiing in the Highland. The rivers and lochs are second to none for a range of leisure and sports.

I have been fortunate to travel, and love many parts of our world and Europe; however, I choose to reside in Edinburgh for many reasons, including the wonderful architecture, history, the people the arts , theatre, restaurants, pubs, writing, thinking and learning that flourishes here.

I delight in meeting visitors to our city and country, and share with them the real Scottish experience.”

Did you know that 70% of all CISabroad students receive scholarships or grants to study or intern abroad? You can get a grant for something as simple as applying early, or a scholarship for blogging. 

For details on all scholarship and grant offerings and to apply, please click here.

Edinburgh is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe! You’ll be walking along cobblestone streets and then suddenly happen upon cutting-edge modern architecture. Edinburgh is also a surprisingly green city. Even in its heart, you are never far from open spaces where you can take in amazing views, have a picnic, or just relax and enjoy the great outdoors. And when the sun goes down, countless pubs and clubs come to life.

There’s always something going on in Edinburgh. The International Science Festival, the Film Festival, the Jazz and Blues Festival, the Festival Fringe, the International Book festival . . . You’ll be spoiled for choice. Add to this a diverse range of attractions from Our Dynamic Earth to Edinburgh Castle to the Camera Obscura to The Royal Yacht Britannia. Stay in the city, take in a festival, and visit the Royal Museum, or hop on a bus to Glasgow or the Scottish Highlands. Needless to say, you’ll never want for things to do.

We’re the low-cost way to study in Edinburgh. Semester in Edinburgh is one of the most affordable study abroad programs in this vibrant, young international city!

We’ve got a program to fit your major. Business, engineering, science . . . We’ll find a fit for you.

Our advisors can’t wait to work with you. At CIS, all our advisors have studied or lived abroad. And who doesn’t love a kilt? We’ve been there, and we’ll help you make the most of it. 

With its around-the-clock buzz of activity, Edinburgh is an ideal study abroad location for any student. On Semester in Edinburgh, you’ll have easy access to all Edinburgh has to offer while studying at Edinburgh Napier University, located in the heart of the old city. The city of Edinburgh is truly amazing, combining medieval Old Town, neoclassical New Town, and award-winning modern architecture. Here, you’ll experience:

Friends from across the globe – You’ll be living, studying, and socializing with international students from Scotland and 100-plus other countries!

History and modernity all in one – Imagine taking classes in 500-year-old buildings in the morning and state-of-the-art facilities in the afternoon.

A top-ranked new UK University – “Only” 40 years old (young by European standards), Edinburgh Napier University was ranked one of the top 2 new universities in the UK!

Vast course selections – With courses ranging across hard sciences, health sciences, engineering, business, and more, you’ll reap the benefits of studying in one of Scotland’s largest universities.

There are many reasons to study abroad in Scotland on our Semester in Edinburgh program, but here are a few of the key highlights that make this program unique.

  • Centrally located in one of the most beautiful cities in Europe.
  • Stunning campuses with buildings dating from the 16th to the 21st centuries.
  • Mid-size student body, with international students from over 100 countries
  • Diversity of courses offered in Health, Life and Social Sciences, Engineering, Computing and Creative Industries, and the Business School.
  • Single room in a shared flat.
  • Kitchen facilities in all housing, so you can cook for yourself—which means more money for travel.
  • Vibrant campus life with numerous sports, club, and volunteer opportunities.
  • Travel, travel, travel! Edinburgh is centrally located in the UK, with air, train, and bus travel close at hand.

During orientation you will go on a guided tour of beautiful Edinburgh.  Also, during the semester you can take a Scottish culture and society course that will introduce you to this amazing culture through lectures and organized excursions. Please note that some of these excursions require an additional fee. Organized excursions are available, at discounted prices, through the Napier Student Union.

Our Site Director will also send updates to CISabroad students through email and messages on Facebook to keep you up-to-date on events around the country that you can attend in your free time. 

Semester in Edinburgh at Edinburgh Napier University offers courses in 3 faculties: Health, Life, and Social Sciences; Engineering, Computing, and Creative Industries; and the Business School. These courses are open to all students, including study abroad students. The academic year is divided into 2 semesters, autumn and spring, and you will receive about 15–16 US credits per semester.

GPA Required: 2.5. If you find your GPA is lower than the requirement, do not despair! Use the "Contact An Advisor" button on this page or call us to let us know your situation. We'll do all we can to find the right program for you.

How to choose your courses: Now the fun part! As part of the application process you will be required to complete the CISabroad Course Selection Worksheet found in the CISabroad Application Page. The following instructions will guide you through the steps of choosing your courses. Keep in mind that what we call classes, the Scottish call “modules.”

Course load: 3 modules, aka classes (15–16 US credits)

Course approval: It is best to get 7–8 courses approved before you go abroad. This gives you some flexibility in setting up your class schedule. Think about courses required for your major, but also courses that fulfill your elective requirements.

Course descriptions and catalog: Please click here to view available courses. From here, you can search A–Z or check out the sidebar on the right and search by Faculty, School, or Subject.

Timetables: Information is available on the module listing.

How to read the Edinburgh Napier University course catalog

Edinburgh Napier University calls its course catalog a “module guide.” There are 4 levels of study at Edinburgh Napier. Module levels are equivalent to the year of study. When choosing your courses keep the following in mind:

SCQF 7 = First Year (Freshman)
SCQF 8 = Second Year (Sophomore)
SCQF 9 = Third Year (Junior)
SCQF 10 = Fourth Year (Senior)

SCQF 11 = Graduate Level (Not available to Study Abroad bachelors students)

Important note if you are interested in the Music or Film and Creative Arts programs:
The University offers only a few spaces in the Music and Film and Creative Ars programs to study abroad students. You must be a major in these programs at your home university and take all of your coursework in the programs (i.e., you can’t take any gen eds). You’ll also need to submit a portfolio of your work with your application. For select Music courses, you may be required to submit a CD of performances. Musical instrument courses may have additional instruction costs.  Please contact us if you have any questions about requirements for entry into these programs.

IMPORTANT: Edinburgh Napier University has three different Faculties and each Faculty has a different way of approving course selection. It’s important that you read the following information before you start to choose your courses:

Every visiting student that studies at Edinburgh Napier is assigned an academic member of staff from one of the University’s three Faculties. The three Faculties are "Business," "Health and Social Sciences," and "Engineering, Computer Science, and Creative Industries." Although courses (called "modules") are available to students from any and all three of these Faculties, they work differently with students and their course requests.

The Business Faculty (located in the Craiglockhart Campus) and Health & Social Science Faculty (located in the Sighthill Campus) does not pre-approve your module choices or register you for your modules ahead of time. This means that you will be registering for your modules in these Faculties during your orientation at Edinburgh Napier University, and will need to be flexible enough with your module needs to register for modules upon arrival. However, these Faculties typically have a lot of modules available for study abroad students, and you will be registering very early in the semester, so getting the modules you would like to take should not be a problem.

The Faculty of Engineering, Computer Science, and Creative Industries is located in the Merchiston Campus, and they do pre-approve and register students for modules ahead of time. This means that if you choose to study modules offered by this Faculty, you will be contacted by Faculty members and your modules will be confirmed before you arrive.

Students can choose modules from across the three Faculties (you're not kept to only the one of your major, say), but you will be assigned a Personal Development Tutor (PDT) and attend the Academic Induction offered by one Faculty at the start of the year. If you are taking modules from within all different Faculties, you will be assigned to the Faculty that corresponds to your home school major.

For all visiting students, course selection cannot be confirmed prior to the first week of each semester when the module timetable is confirmed.