skip to page content
home | course search | site map
Queen Margaret University Edinburgh logo and also link to the homepage



The Vision
The Masterplan
Key Features

  The local community
  Current and potential students

Programme Of Works
The Newsletter

Scotland Map   Edinburgh Map  
Queen Margaret University has been based in the city of Edinburgh since 1875.   In 2007 the University aims to develop the first all purpose built campus development in Scotland for a generation. The new campus will be located at Craighall in Musselburgh.  

New Site Map

The new site is at Craighall, Musselburgh on the eastern fringe of Edinburgh. The area is bordered by the main east coast rail line to London and the A1. It also neighbours the city by-pass.    


  •   to create a campus that provides a student centred learning experience, encourages lifelong learning and facilitates research and commercialisation in QMUC's specialist subject areas  
  •   to create a sustainable campus that is welcoming and inspiring to staff, students, visitors and the local community  
  •   to create modern attractive buildings in a 'campus in the park' setting  
  •   to create an attractive, distinctive campus that represents the unique characteristics of QMUC  
  •   to create a campus that is fit for purpose and achieves value for money  

    THE MASTERPLAN (designed by Dyer)

    1. Learning Resource Centre (LRC)   A. Queen Margaret Drive  
    2. Research Labs and Clinics   B. Campus Vehicular Entrance  
    3. Lecture Theatre   C. Drop-off  
    4. Offices   D. Car Parking  
    5. Food Court / Exhibition / Internet Cafes   E. University Walk  
    6. Nursery   F. Ponds  
    7. Sports / Student Union   G. University Gardens  
    8. Student Residential Village   H. BioDiversity Garden  
    9. Training Hotel   I. Public Transport Terminus  
    10. Plant   J. Musselburgh Station (6 minutes to Waverley station)  
          K. New Junction from A1  
          L. Service Vehicle Access  


  •   Road access to the campus will be from a new junction on the A1 between the Newcraighall and Old Craighall roundabouts.  
  •   Rail access will be from Musselburgh station (6 minutes to Waverley station), which is on the site and Newcraighall Park & Ride station, which is a ten minute walk away.  
  •   Bus access will be through Musselburgh and Stoneybank alighting at the public transport terminus on site.  



    QMUC is currently planning the development of the first new university campus for 21st century Scotland, on the south-east side of Edinburgh, by Musselburgh. The move to the new campus will be seamless, with relocation intended to take place during the summer vacation of 2007, subject to successful implementation of the planned development.


    The new campus will be a vibrant new academic village with high-tech buildings and attractive landscaped spaces, featuring an innovative learning resource centre at the heart of the development. The new campus is planned to include student residences, a student union building, indoor sports facilities and all weather surfaces, a variety of catering outlets, a shop, a nursery, and landscaped gardens with a range of environmental features. We aim to create a 24/7 learning environment with facilities, including the learning resource centre, open 24 hours a day. The design takes full account of the needs of today's students. Current students have been consulted throughout the relocation project, from involvement in the choice of site and input into the design of buildings, to decisions on the types of catering facilities on campus. There will be appropriate disabled access to residences and academic buildings.


    The student union will include plenty of social spaces, a café, an events area and a games room.


    800 rooms are planned, providing modern, purpose-built accommodation for undergraduate and postgraduate students. These rooms will be en-suite with shared kitchen and lounge facilities. Internet connection points will be provided and it is also intended to provide some family accommodation.


    You will find the new campus conveniently situated for leisure and shopping facilities. Musselburgh, an attractive seaside town on the eastern edge of Edinburgh, is a short walk away, and offers an appealing mix of shops, cafés, bars and leisure facilities, including a theatre and the famous racecourse. The Fort Kinnaird shopping complex is also within walking distance, and includes an extensive range of retail outlets, plus a multi-screen cinema and bowling alley.


    The campus is very easy to reach by train, as it is situated right beside Musselburgh Station. The rail service from Edinburgh Waverley to Musselburgh takes around six minutes. The campus is also a short walk from Newcraighall Station which is eleven minutes from Edinburgh Waverley on the cross-rail line. There are frequent bus services to the area from central Edinburgh, currently taking around 30 minutes. There will be a bus stop on campus situated adjacent to the student union, beside the main buildings. You will be able to await your bus in comfort in a café situated directly beside the bus stop. Night buses also serve the area.


    Have you heard how student ideas have been incorporated into the new campus design?

    The RE:LOCATE team has been working for some years with the student body, from involvement in site selection and master planning, through to the development of detailed ideas for the new campus. This will ensure we make the most of the unique opportunity to create a purpose-built new campus meeting the needs of 21st century students.

    Early consultation with students and staff on the campus design revealed a strong desire for a sustainable campus, with plenty of green space for all to enjoy. In response to this, the design focuses on creating parkland spaces, maximising biodiversity, encouraging green transport, and making the most of natural daylight and ventilation in interior spaces.

    One idea incorporated into the design is situating the bus stop directly beside a welcoming café, putting an end to students waiting for buses in the cold and rain

    Here are some other examples of how students have been involved so far.

    • Students were consulted from the very early stages of the project (as part of the estates options appraisal) through to selection of the Craighall site

    • Two student representatives on the Estates Committee and Governing Body

    • A presentation to the Student Council on the original masterplan in 2003

    • Detailed discussions on the Students' Union and sports facilities during summer 2004

    • Presentation to the Student Parliament on the current masterplan in autumn 2004

    • Presentation to the Student Parliament on the current masterplan in autumn 2004

    RE:LOCATE - Working with the student body

    Have you heard that the Learning Resource Centre at the new campus will be much more than a library?

    The Learning Resource Centre is intended to be a one-stop shop for the learning, teaching and research needs of the staff and students of QMUC.

    There will be 1000 study spaces, plus a range of learning, teaching and research services including:

    • a learning café where staff and students can work while enjoying a coffee

    • a mixture of networked and wireless access for PCs and notebooks

    • extensive printing and photocopy facilities

    • group working areas equipped for undergraduates, academic staff and researchers

    • a silent reading room

    • open access academic reserve collection

    • seminar rooms for inductions and IT/information skills teaching

    • a postgraduate study room

    • comfortable seating areas

    • educational resource centre

    • TV studio

    • video conferencing studio

    • photographic studio

    Parts of the LRC will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and self-service technology will allow you to issue and return books yourself.

    RE:LOCATE - Working to create an innovative academic village

    Have you heard about the facilities on and around the new campus?

    On campus, there will be a multi-purpose sports hall, a fitness suite, an aerobic studio and an outdoor all-weather sports pitch. In addition, a trim track will run around the site. Unlike at Corstorphine, sports provision at the new campus will be completely accessible for the disabled. Local residents will be encouraged to use the facilities, creating opportunities for student/community partnerships.

    The new Students' Union will be situated alongside the sports facilities at the new campus. It has been designed from a brief developed by student representatives and will have a very different feel to the existing SU facilities. It will include a café, a flexible venue, and a games area. There will be work space for campaigns, sports, societies and welfare volunteers, as well as an advice centre. The venue can accommodate social events for up to 400 people. The new SU building will be more efficient and provide students with flexible and usable space.

    The campus is ten minutes' walk from Musselburgh, which has a wide range of shops, cafés, bars and leisure facilities, including the famous racecourse and the Brunton Theatre. Also within easy walking distance is the Fort Kinnaird shopping complex with a cinema and entertainment complex.

    There is a wide range of sports facilities in the local area such as Musselburgh Sports Centre, The Jack Kane Centre and Peffermill Playing Fields.

    Musselburgh is the gateway to East Lothian with its unspoilt coastline, historic castles and famous golf courses.

    RE:LOCATE - Working to create a vibrant academic village

    Have you heard it will take just six minutes to reach the new campus by train from Edinburgh Waverley Station?

    Musselburgh Station is situated just beside the new campus. Trains run from Waverley to Musselburgh with the journey taking only six minutes. In addition, the campus is only a ten minute walk from Newcraighall Station, which provides access to West Lothian and Stirlingshire. We hope to be able to negotiate improvements on the current train services as well as discounted fares for students.

    Bus-users will no longer have to wait for their bus on campus in the wind and the rain. Instead they can watch out for their bus in a welcoming café situated directly beside the bus stop. Frequent bus services already pass close to the site from West and Central Edinburgh, Portobello, Penicuik and Dalkeith.

    The National Cycle Route 1 runs right through the site from Edinburgh and there will be secure bicycle parking facilities on campus plus changing and showering facilities for cyclists.

    The campus is only a fifteen minute walk from central Musselburgh.

    RE:LOCATE - Working to encourage convenient, green travel



    1. Why are we moving?

    QMUC's buildings at Corstorphine are coming to the end of their natural lives. They are inflexible and no longer suitable for modern teaching and learning. Following a full option appraisal, the Governing Body agreed that a new site should be sought and both Corstorphine and Leith campuses should be sold.

    2. Why Musselburgh?

    Four sites were considered in 2001 and were rated against a set of agreed criteria. The criteria included accessibility, profile, cost effectiveness and timeliness. Staff and students were given the opportunity to visit the sites and their opinions were taken into account. The site at Craighall came well ahead of each of the other options.

    3. Why can't we stay at Corstorphine?

    Staying at Corstorphine and rebuilding on the existing site was considered. There would, however, be no capital receipt from the sale of Corstorphine to build a new campus, therefore students and staff would have to live on a building site for at least ten years. In addition, students and staff, as well as builders, would find the site difficult to access.

    4. What is happening to QMUC's existing sites in Edinburgh?

    QMUC will continue to operate from the Gateway Theatre on Leith Walk. We want to have part of our operation in the centre of Edinburgh and have invested significant amounts of money in the Gateway building in recent years.

    Property developers, Persimmon, will develop the Corstorphine site for residential use. The Leith campus will also be sold. Staff and students from these sites will transfer to the new campus, with the exception of drama students based at Corstorphine, who will transfer to the Gateway Theatre.

    5. When will the new campus open?

    The campus is intended to open in autumn 2007.

    6. What sports facilities will be on site?

    a) in 2007

    The facilities include a sports hall, which is the size of four badminton courts, a fitness suite, a dance studio and an all weather sports pitch. These will all be adjacent to the Student Union and very close to the residences.

    b) in later phases

    A trim track through the grounds and, when funding permits, a swimming pool.

    7. In what way have green issues been considered?

    Sustainability is at the heart of the RE:LOCATE project. For example, by designing buildings which utilise natural light and ventilation, we are reducing their requirement for electricity. Imaginative solutions to site drainage will result in the creation of ecologically valuable wetland.

    8. How many residences are being built?

    The masterplan shows 800 bedrooms by September 2007 with the potential for another 700 on the site. Additional rooms will be built as and when business demands and hopefully by 2020.

    9. What sort of retail outlets will there be on campus?

    This has not yet been decided.

    10. What's the purpose of the Training Hotel? When will it be built?

    The Training Hotel is intended to provide work experience for our students in a live environment. It will be operated by an established hotel operator and run as a normal hotel business with rooms available to all visitors. It is hoped that QMUC will collaborate with the operator to run courses and conferences using both the hotel and university facilities.

    Discussions with potential operators are yet to begin and the date of completion is to be confirmed.

    11. How will contractors and suppliers be selected?

    The Project Managers and Project Architects used by QMUC will select contractors and suppliers according to EU procurement legislation.

    12. How will the nursery operate? How much will it cost?

    The nursery is planned to take 70 children and will be open to staff, students and the local community. Discussions are just beginning with potential providers of this service and details will be made available once known.


    13. When does construction begin at the site?

    The construction phase is due to start in the third quarter of 2005, and is intented to be completed in summer 2007.

    14. How will the site be accessed during construction?

    An access road from the A1 will be constructed before building begins to prevent disruption to the local community.

    15. What will the site look like?

    The artist's impressions on the QMUC website show how the campus will look.

    16. Do the artist's drawings illustrated on the QMUC website represent the finished designs?

    The drawings give a general overview of the plans. The designs will evolve further through further consultation between the local community, staff and students.

    17. What facilities will be open 24 hours a day?

    The learning resource centre will be open, with vending machines available at internet cafés. In addition, a security service will be provided 24 hours a day.

    18. What courses will be on offer at the campus?

    QMUC provides vocationally relevant courses in the fields of: business and enterprise; health studies (nursing and the professions allied to health including physiotherapy); social sciences, media and communication (including speech & language therapy). Courses in drama and the creative industries will continue to be taught at the Gateway Theatre, in Edinburgh City Centre.

    19. What facilities at the campus will be available to the local community?

    The public will be able to use the high-tech learning resource centre, including access to books and journals, as well as computer facilities. There will be plenty of green space for all to enjoy, including a biodiversity gardens, ponds, walks and a trim track. The public will also be able to make use of sports facilities, shops, cafés, and unlicensed areas of the Student Union.

    20. What is happening to the existing cycle route through Mucklets Road?

    Mucklets Road will be diverted around the north edge of the site so that cyclists and walkers can continue to use it. During construction, a temporary road will be constructed and once the campus is completed, Mucklets Road will form the perimeter of the site. It is intended that there be minimum disruption to cyclists and walkers.

    21. How many people will there be at the campus?

    When the new campus opens, there will be around 3,800 students on site, including 800 living on campus. There will also be around 500 staff. Actual numbers on campus at any one time will be significantly lower.

    22. How will be new campus affect transport in the area?

    Currently, buses take 30 minutes to reach Musselburgh from Princes Street. Negotiations will take place shortly to improve the routes to enable easier access to Craighall. Discussions are about to start regarding improving rail services to both Musselburgh and Newcraighall. QMUC will put in place a green travel plan encourage the use of public transport and discourage car usage. In addition, staff and students will be greatly discouraged from parking outside the campus. As part of the planning process, a full Transport Impact Assessment was carried out and was approved by the planning authorities.

    23. How will cars access the campus?

    Cars will access the campus via the A1. Only buses and pedestrians will access the campus from Musselburgh.

    24. How will the campus benefit the local economy?

    It is estimated that QMUC will bring a £32 million boost to the local community.

    25. Will there be jobs opportunities for the local community?

    Yes. Employment attributable to QMUC is around 1200 and there will be around 500 jobs on site during the construction phase.

    26. How are the local community being involved in the campus development?

    QMUC is committed to working closely with the community. The site plans have been drawn up following initial consultation with the community, involving East Lothian Council, Community Councils, and individuals. In particular, green issues have been considered. We will expand on this programme of consultancy as the build phase begins, including setting up a community forum.

    27. Will local residents be kept informed of construction progress?

    Yes, the community will be kept informed with newsletters, through liaison with the local press, and through our Community Forum.


    28. How have students been consulted?

    Students have been consulted throughout the project. They were involved in the site decision and their views were fed back to the Governing Body and had a direct influence on the decision to choose Craighall. The Students Union is represented on the Estates Committee and in addition, a presentation was made last year to the Student Council on the masterplan. This generated a number of ideas which are now being used in the latest designs.

    Current students are about to receive a questionnaire on the facilities to be provided for them and how they would like to see them operated.

    29. What facilities are being provided for students?

    As well as having a high-tech learning resource centre at the heart of the campus, there will be 800 rooms in the student residences in 2007, a Students Union, indoor sports facilities and all weather surfaces, a variety of catering outlets, a shop, a nursery and landscaped gardens with a range of environmental features.

    30. Why are there no large sports pitches on the plan?

    The topography of the land means that it is more appropriate for any sports pitches to be provided off site. In keeping with the philosophy of community access and sharing facilities, negotiations are ongoing with operators of existing and potential pitches in the area to provide a solution.

    31. What facilities are there in the local area?

    Musselburgh, which has a wide range of shops, cafés, bars and leisure facilities, is a short walk away. Also within easy walking distance is the Fort Kinnaird shopping complex, which includes Borders Books & Music and numerous other retail outlets, plus a multi-screen cinema and bowling alley.

    32. How will the student residences be run?

    The student residences will be run by a partner organisation which will also build the residences in a public/private partnership. The tender process to select the operator is ongoing and will be concluded next summer.

    33. What will be in the Students Union?

    The Students' Union premises have been discussed over the summer with the Student President and other elected representatives. The Students' Union will have a very different feel with a café, events area and games room, as well as volunteer work space and advice centre. The space will be extendable as the student population rises.

    34. What will the catering facilities be like?

    The main catering outlet will be situated in the lower floor of the main building adjacent to the learning resource centre, in a food court layout, providing food ranging from snacks to full meals. Details of the type of food to be provided are currently being considered and we will be seeking student views in a forthcoming questionnaire. Internet cafés will also be located within the building supported by vending points enabling staff and students to buy drinks and snacks at convenient locations.

    The Students Union will also have a café right at the entrance to the campus.

    35. What security arrangements will there be?

    A team of security staff will be centrally located and, through a combination of CCTV cameras and physical patrols, will ensure the safety of staff and students. In addition, the design of the campus is intended to keep people as visible as possible, and avoids hidden areas.

    36. Will access to certain parts of the building be limited by swipe card?

    Certain parts of the building will be accessed by swipe card only and these areas will be closed at night.

    37. How long does it take to get to the campus by bus?

    Current buses take 30 minutes to reach Musselburgh from Princes Street. Negotiations will take place shortly to improve the routes to enable easier access to Craighall. The rail service from Edinburgh Waverly takes only 6 minutes to Musselburgh station which is on the site and again discussions are about to start regarding increasing services to both Musselburgh and Newcraighall station (the latter is a ten minute walk from the campus) and to negotiate discounted fares for students. Further details on this will follow.

    The bus stop will be situated one minute's walk from the main campus buildings. There will be a café directly beside the bus stop, where passengers can await their bus in comfort.

    38. How will a green travel plan affect students?

    Every development of this size must put in place a Green Travel Plan. This encourages the use of public transport and discourages car usage. The car parking spaces on site will be limited and the policy for allocating these will be developed over the coming months.

    39. Who will have a car parking space?

    All that can be confirmed at the moment is that priority will be given to disabled drivers and residents on campus will not be allowed to bring cars. Further details will follow as the policy is developed.

    40. What provision has been made for disabled access?

    New buildings must comply with the Disability Discrimination Act. The campus will have appropriate access to both residences and academic buildings for disabled staff and students. The Equal Opportunities Committee is monitoring this aspect of the design.

    41. Will the move take place from Leith and Corstorphine at the same time?

    It has always been the plan that we move out of both campuses in the summer of 2007 and relocate to Craighall In August of that year. At this time, drama students currently based at Corstorphine will transfer to the Gateway.

    We hope this FAQ sheet answers your key questions about Queen Margaret University 's new campus. If you think we should add any further FAQs, please send your suggestions to Susan Woodman at or call her on 0131 317 3469.


    Start build: Oct 2005

    Occupy new premises: Sept 2007


    Please click on the appropriate file to download the RE:LOCATE Newsletter

    RELOCATE Newsletter 1.pdf (Corstorphine Redevelopment)
    RELOCATE Newsletter 2.pdf (Craighall Plans)
    RELOCATE Newsletter 3.pdf (Outline Planning Permission)
    RELOCATE Newsletter 4.pdf (Exhibition at Brunton Hall)

    Please click here for the Masterplan press release.


    Susan Woodman
    Project Administrator - RE:LOCATE
    Queen Margaret University ,
    Clerwood Terrace, Edinburgh, EH12 8TS
    Tel: 0131 317 3469 Email:

    last modified 24/10/05 Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh EH21 6UU - Tel: +44 (0)131 474 0000
    find us | contact us Copyright © Queen Margaret University. terms of use | accessibility | FOI & data protection