• Queen margaret university edinburgh

TSR Wiki > University > Choosing a University > University Guides > Queen margaret university edinburgh

Since 2007, QMU has been based on a modern purpose-built, sustainable campus located just a six minute train ride from the city centre of Edinburgh. The campus comprises of: a main academic building; performance rooms, student union, and sports building; and a student accommodation village.


Smart Cards

Since smart cards form a major part of life at QM they need their own section. Smart cards must be kept in their holder either clipped to a yo yo on your trousers, or hung round your neck. You must show these to the security at the front desk if requested. You receive your smart card (also know as matriculation card) at matriculation or registration. They cost £20 to replace, so look after it.

Your smart card serves many purposes. As QMU strives to be a cashless campus, your card can be used to purchase food in the food court (1875) or items from the University shop. Machines throughout the campus allow you to load 'cash' onto your card using cash or a debt/credit card. It is your library card, it is also your print account card, and it is needed to operate many of the printers within the university. It gives you access to certain rooms, accommodation for students in residence and will allow you into the sports centre (if you have membership).

It is also your student card, and will give you discounts in many shops.


QMU has a learning resource centre. This includes extensive library facilities with plentiful provision of IT facilities as well. This is located on the right hand side as you enter university, and is the entire length of the building, until you reach the food court right at the bottom. (It's big!)

The library is made up of several sections. There are posh 'rolling stacks' a.k.a. compact shelving. They are shelves which can move, so more shelves can be fitted into the space provided. At present only the print journals and statistics collection are located here.

The main book collection is split into two. Reference books and half the non-priority collection are housed at the far end of the library, and the rest of the books in the main section of the library. Health care books appear to be split in the middle, so occasionally you need to trek from one end of the library to the other to pick up the books. This is why it is always a good idea to look up where the book you want is located in the library catalogue and this saves you wandering around the library for hours trying to locate it.

General Information
Edinburgh, UK
Queen Margaret University Drive, Musselburgh, EH21 6UU
0131 474 0000
SU/Guild website:
UCAS Code:

Total students:
Typical offers:
Applicants per place:
Varies per course

The library catalogue can be accessed from any computer terminal through the library webpages. Alternatively there are about four computers which can only be used to access the catalogue, located behind the self service machines near the main entrance of the LRC. The library catalogue is also the place where you can check which books you have on your account, renew books, and place hold on books which are currently out of the library.

There is also a separate room which houses short loan and study skills books, as well as the audio visual collection such as DVDs. These need to be issued to your account before leaving this room. (There are anti-theft detectors in place at the entrance to this room). There is a self service machine located in this room to allow you to do this. Anyone can borrow DVDs, not just Media students.

The LRC also contains a room which is for postgraduate students only. In it there are computer terminals and desks, and comfy chairs. Due to the super technology in place at this campus, your student ID card a.k.a. smart card will open the door to this room if you're entitled to use it.

Throughout the library there are comfy chairs, with coffee tables. However to do real work you probably need to go into one of the study rooms. There are four quiet study rooms within the main section of the library. These contain a few computers, with lots of desk space for book reading, taking notes and non-computer work but mobile phones are not allowed. There are individual study rooms, one with disabled access, at the far end of the library. There is a silent study room at the far end of the library where no technology is allowed to be used - this room does not contain computers. There around five IT room where timetabled workshops may be taking place, but if they are free they can be used by students. There are also six group study rooms, ideal when practising group presentations. In addition, for students who need a little bit of assistance, there is the assistive technology room where large screen computers and other technology is available to those that need it.

Throughout the library there are plenty of computer terminals. By the service desk is a plasma screen which rotates and will show you where in the university the best spot for computer availability is. There are also DVD/video players with headphones. The printing system at the university is through multi-functional devices including the professionally run 'print room' (as explained in the next paragraph). In addition all of the campus is wireless enabled. The LRC is fully wireless enabled, apart from the silent study rooms.

The library contains six self-issue machines for returning, checking your account and borrowing items. Four of these are found opposite the service desk, and two in the short loan room. These machines require you to touch your smart card on the reader. You need to register in the library (at the service desk) before you can borrow any items. As undergraduate students you're entitled to ten three week loan books, but in your final year you're entitled to fifteen.

If you have any problems, members of staff are always on hand to help at the service desk. This is also the place where you pick up items on hold.

IT and Computing

The 800 residential rooms on the new campus are wireless enabled. Internet is also available through a standard network point, and a university username and password is required to access the internet.

Computer access within the main academic building is excellent. The entire ground floor from the main entrance to the food court consists of computers, and printers. More computers are available in the LRC, and there are social spaces on all the other floors with computers and printers.

IT helpdesk is only accessible to staff. If students need specific IT help they should email the IT helpdesk. Alternatively ask at the service desk in the LRC. This is also the place to top up print credit, and buy IT accessories such as memory sticks. This is also where you can get help when you're locked out of the system such as when you forget to change your password when it tells you to.

As undergraduate students you're given £10 credit free. Postgraduate research students are entitled to £20. This is on your smart card. (have you noticed your smart card is key to life at QM?) When you print, it doesn't send to any specific printer, and you can collect your work at any printer in the university. You either need to sign in using the touch button screen to print your files, or swipe your smart card. You still have the option of deleting print jobs if you decide not to print them, without being charged. Each double-sided b&w page is 5p, and automatic settings are to print on both sides to save paper (due to the sustainable campus). This can be changed in printer options before you print. These printers are also the place where you photocopy and you can also scan (for free) and email documents to yourself, or anyone within QMU. There are 8-10 printers within the LRC, and others dotted around the university wherever there is computer access.


There are currently many sports clubs operated by the Student Union which appeal to many tastes. These include netball, fencing, basketball, rugby, dance, football etc., plus an on-campus sports centre with gym that offers fitness classes including circuits.

Gym membership for students is is £8.00 per month plus £20.00 joining fee, or you can choose to pay £96.00 for the entire year. The advantage to paying for the full 12 months at once means you will not be charged the £20.00 joining fee. The campus includes a large air conditioned gym, with fitness studios. There is a sports hall and outdoor astroturf. For wetside facilities there are two private health clubs nearby - Bannatyne's in Newcraighall, and Quayside on New Street. These contain gyms, swimming pools, saunas, steam rooms, jacuzzis and fitness classes. Student gold membership at Quayside is £26 a month, whereas student off peak membership is £22.50 per month with no 12 month contract. These two clubs are about a 15 minute walk from QM. There is also Musselburgh sports centre which offers fitness memberships at £28 a month for students. This is run by the council and is approximately a 20 minute walk.


Personal tutors are usually the first port of call and are easy to contact via email or telephone. There is a main reception desk for all of the school offices, which is open throughout the university day. This is located next to main reception and is where you would go to hand in or collect assignments.

There are various mentor schemes, plus representation through the uni for equal opportunities and such like. The uni's Help Zone is based within the student union and is run by trained students. We have a Student Union President and various reps who help students with many aspects of student life. They also help run the clubs and societies. Details of this can be found at the union's website: http://www.qmusu.org.uk

Nightline is a student run, annoymous and confidential listening service and is open every night of term. Nightline has both a telephone and an online service. The telephone service is open from 8pm until 8am and the online "msn style" elistening also opperates from 8pm until 8am. The service is a listening one, meaning the Nightliner will listen to anything the caller wishes to talk about, for however long the caller wishes or needs to stay on the phone/the internet. Nightline is also an information service, meaning students can phone for details about anything within Edinburgh or the university, from lecture times and room changes to taxi numbers and cinema listings. Students can also attend training and volunteer as a Nightliner. Nightline website - E listening link

There are also counsellors and various other student services to help you through difficult patches such as finance and jobs. For any help or advice, drop in to the Student Services area on Level 1.


Students can be registered with the Riverside Practice in Musselburgh, the Student Services office can provide registration forms. Security are trained in first aid for times when the nurse isn't there. They can be contacted by dialling 2222 from any phone within the university buildings (including accommodation).


The University shop sells Grab and Go food, snacks, hot and cold drinks. Also some stationary supplies are available in addition to QMU sweat shirts and caps. Probably a bit more expensive than a supermarket, but it does mean that you don't have to leave campus. The shop doesn't open at weekends.

There is an Aldi, Lidl and Iceland approximately 10 minutes' walk from campus (towards the harbour), and a local newsagent and off licence five minutes' walk away towards Musselburgh high street.

For everything else - there's a Tesco in Musselburgh, M&S at the Fort (about 10-15 minute walk), or 24 hour Asda just past the Fort - walk down by Harveys, past the management suite, turn right, and onto the footpath. It's a two minute walk over the railway bridge. Musselburgh is a mini town, a 15 minute walk away - plenty of charity shops, butcher, fishmonger, banks, clothes shops, Woolworths, DIY shop, pound shops etc. A 30 minute bus ride from the bus stop by the union will take you into the city.

The Fort can be reached by a 15 minute bus ride or 15 minute walk down the cycle route path, and contains places to eat such as Subway, Costa, Starbucks, MacDonalds, and almost all the major high chain shops e.g. Borders, Boots, M&S, Next, H&M, New Look, Clarks and lots more.


On campus, food is available from the food court which is named 1875 after the year that QMU was founded. They serve a variety of healthy and fast food, at reasonable prices.

It's easy to get a takeaway delivered to the uni and there are plenty of menus available within the Accommodation Service office, or you'll find offers/promos posted through the door. Most firms even deliver to the block you live in. There are also plenty restaurants in Musselburgh or at the Fort.

Musselburgh also plays host to coffee shops, a Subway, baguette shop and a Greggs for lighter snacks. There are numerous pubs, although beware many of these are over 21 bars only.


There is a cash machine situated on campus and in Musselburgh there's a branch of almost every bank. Have a look at (www.discovermusselburgh.blogspot.com) for information on bank -opening hours, addresses, tel no's, etc.


Buses: Number 30 will be accessible from the Union bar every 10 minutes at peak times, and every 15 minutes in the evenings. This bus goes either to Musselburgh or into the city via the Fort (for city travel ensure the bus says Clovenstone on the front). The 45 also serves the campus and will travel from QMU, across the city and over the Heriot-Watt University, connecting all 4 universities across the city. In Musselburgh other buses are available e.g. the iconic 26 bus of the old QMUC! Bus fares are £1.50 single or £3.50 for a day ticket (on Lothian buses)

A Ridacard can be purchased. This is a weekly/monthly ticket which allows unlimited travel, and discounts on night buses. If you're living in the city this will give you much cheaper commutes.

For getting home in the early hours, the N30 runs all night, usually every hour. This costs £2.50 for a single, or £1.50 if you own a Ridacard (Lothian buses travelpass).

If travelling back in the early hours by taxi, the driver may drop you off outside the student village. If you are travelling in a group, this can often be a cheaper way to get home. Costs from the city centre are around £20.

Nearest train station is Musselburgh situated right next to the campus. However trains run every hour, or every half an hour at peak times or on a Saturday. Currently around 50 people get each train during the university day to or from the university, so hopefully extra services may be on the cards in the near future. A cheap day return is £2.30. (£1.60 during off peak hours with a YP railcard) Train journey time to the city centre is only 7 minutes compared with 30 minutes on a bus!

Parking on campus can be very limited, and is now controlled via permits based on several factors including green-ness of your car, and car sharing. A park and ride is a ten minute walk away at Newcraighall. There is also another train station here. You can buy a day-pass for parking at £3 a day. Public transport is highly encouraged, or there are hundreds of bike racks for all students to use on campus. You can even pick up a second-hand bike in several shops in the city.

For bus, train and taxi information go to (www.discovermusselburgh.blogspot.com) - telephone numbers for local taxi companys, bus timetables, train links. Lothian Buses or Scotrail can give you timetables for the bus and train service.

Careers service

The careers service can offer graduate job hunting advice, and regularly keeps students informed about upcoming careers fairs. There are many publications relating to careers available free of charge from the jobshop. They can also offer advice with CV writing, interview skills or how assessment centres work. They can help you throughout your time as a student (not just the 2 weeks before you graduate!) and you can access the service after you graduate too.

Part-time jobs

The JobShop has an office in the new campus, and also send out regular bulletins with jobs if you need more beer money. They offer part-time work, placements, internships and summer work including international work. Edinburgh has a huge student population so there are lots of student-type jobs out there, particularly seasonal work over the Christmas period or during the summer festivals. The university often employs students in catering and in the bar.

Religious facilities

Plenty of churches nearby of many denominations. A very active and successful Christian Union which includes weekly meets. They also run various social activities, and usually have a busy freshers' week program of activities as well as links with other CUs in Scotland.

There is also a contemplation room on campus, as well as a Islamic society.

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Bars, Pubs and clubs

Nearest bar is in the Union unsurprisingly, which opened in March 2008. Cheap drink, cheap food, friendly staff, pub quiz's, bands, etc. It is open from 8.30am weekdays for breakfasts and good coffee and serves food throughout the day. It's open until 10/11pm weekdays and is open from 1-6pm Saturdays. They run events during fresher's week and these can last until the small hours!

In town, Rose Street is famous for pubs, so there should be somewhere for you there, along with other areas such as Grassmarket and Lothian Road which is popular with students.

The union usually has a deal with one of the clubs in town - Shaghai this year for cheap entry. Student night in Edinburgh is almost every night - Monday (Why Not?), Tuesday (Stereo), Wednesday (Shaghai, Mood, Lava Ignite, City, Liquid Rooms) and Thursday (Stereo again!)

Musselburgh (where the university is situated) also has loads of pubs. Have a look at this blog for pub lists and reviews...



Union run social events include:

Sports and Societies Ball Snow Ball Rock Night Halloween Party Foam Party Various band nights

In addition to union events there is also a staff/student social committee which occasionally organises events e.g. in the past there have been curling competitions and barbeques. Many of the different clubs and societies also organise their own events throughout the year and they're great for socialising.

Clubs and societies

Reasonable number of sports and societies including football, rugby, netball, tennis, camogie, hockey, snow sports, drama, dance, cheerleading, comedy, choir, good food etc. They are student-run and can change slightly each year. You can even set up your own society, if you and a group of friends have a shared passion, set one up! The union can help get you started and will give you money to run it.

The Union introduced an activity card (£10, though some societies e.g. the Psychology Society get a discounted price of £5 as they don't do anything too dangerous) to cover insurance and such. You'll need to take this out as part of membership to the club.

There is also the University paper - the Echo - which comes out monthly if you fancy trying out your journalism skills. They are always looking for new recruits if you want to get involved.


Queen Margaret Accommodation


The university has 800 bedroom on-campus, in a mix of Standard (single) or Premium (double) size. Applications open around March each year and is open to all students in all years. Priority will be given to 1st year students generally, with factors such as geographical distance from the university to home taken into account. Generally, anyone who applys for a place can be accommodated however.

The residences are a short 2 minute walk from the main academic building, taking less than 5 minutes from your block to class! Great for a first year finding their feet. You can apply to stay on campus in you later years too if you wish. Your rent includes your heating, hot water and internet. All accommodation is self-catered, and you can access the local supermarkets in Musselburgh or Fort Kinnaird within a 20 minute walk. Alternatively, many students choose to do online shopping and have it delivered. Order as a flat to save money on delivery too.


Each block has secure access via your smart card, so only residents or approved guests can access this. On campus you have the university shop, bar, regular bus service, gym and sports centre. Large areas of grounds for sunbathing/relaxing in, and a path around the campus to the pond (with ducks and swans). Ther is a laundry on site (£1.80 for a wash cycle, £1 to dry), access next to the Accommodation Service desk in Block A. There are secure mail boxes for each flat there too, any parcels can be collected from the Service desk. The desk is staffed Mon-Fri 9am-5pm, and Student Wardens staff between 6pm-8pm weekdays and 2pm-3pm weekends.

Student Wardens

The Accommodation Services team is on hand to give you advice and support you throughout your time staying on campus, making sure you are happy and settled in your new home. Resident Student Wardens offer further support for students. They are 2nd/3rd/4th year students who live within the residences and are there to help, providing advice on a number of issues. The Wardens also encourage good health and safety practice amongst student and ensure good order for students living on campus. If you have any issues with flatmates for example, they can help mitigate situations and resolve them.

Private sector

Private sector properties are advertised on http://www.studentpad.co.uk. These properties are not inspected by university staff, but applications for advertisements are approved by staff at one of the Edinburgh unis. You can also find advert through sites like Gumtree. Be aware of private landlords and ensure they are registered on the City Council Landlord Register. Helpful hints and tips can be found on the QMUSU webpage http://qmusu.org.uk/accommodation/ including a guide to 'Finding the Perfect Pad' and 'Knowing your Rights'.

Student union

Also known as the Onion.

Union website: http://www.qmusu.co.uk/


Vodka mixer - £1.80 Pints - from £2 Pint Strongbow - £2.10 Chips - £1.60 Curlies - £1.80 Paninis/Sandwiches/Toasties - from £1.70 Curry Club - £5 Burgers - from £3


The new QMU campus will be the most sustainable in Europe!


Sustainable campus so expect lots of green areas and a pond! Also lots of glass, so the rooms inside can get hot, although windows are fitted with blinds. Ceilings and pillars have the natural plastered stone appearance. Most rooms have a white painted wall with a brightly coloured wall opposite.

Local area

Musselburgh is a small town, not ready for the huge influx of students.

Teaching quality

Scores very highly in inspections, especially the healthcare courses. In the last year it has jumped 13 places in the university rankings.

Applying to Queen Margaret

Thinking of applying to Queen Margaret University? Why not read some Personal Statements which were used for applying here? QMU like very focussed personal statements, more about the subject, and why you want to study it than you.

Other Queen Margaret Articles

Why not read these other Queen Margaret University Articles?


What's available in Musselburgh: http://www.discovermusselburgh.blogspot.com/

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