Established in 1919, the Business School is an integral part of one of the world's oldest universities. Granted its royal charter in 1582, it has remained at the forefront of learning throughout its long history.

Business School exterior from George Square
The Business School is located in the University’s central campus.

In 1916, the University was encouraged by the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce to consider instituting a degree suitable for study by its members. And so, in October 1919, we had the first students start on our Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) degree. In the same year, the Chair of Accounting and Business Method was also founded, the first in Scotland. Originally part of the Faculty of Arts, these initiatives led to the creation of the Department of Business Studies and the Department of Accounting and Business Method.

One of our first students was 23-year-old Margaret Stevenson Miller who walked through our classroom doors for a lecture in Accounting. A year later on the 8th July 1920, as our very first graduate she left Edinburgh and secured a lecturer position at the University of Liverpool. Margaret's work on business finance and women in finance was highly respected, featuring across academic journals and the Financial Times.

The BCom degree survived until the start of the 21st century before giving way to the Master of Arts (MA) in Business Studies.

Our Full-time Edinburgh MBA was first offered in 1980, followed by the Part-time MBA in 1984. Since then, over 3,500 students from a wide variety of backgrounds, nationalities and business specialisms have completed these programmes. The precursor to the MBA, the Postgraduate DipBA, dates from 1961. We launched our first MSc in 1996. Since then, our portfolio of MSc programmes has grown significantly and now lies at the forefront of business development in areas such as Finance, International Business, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and Management.