Queen Margaret University became the fourth university to be established in Edinburgh and the most recent in Scotland when it was granted full university status in January 2007. In autumn 2007 the university moved from a number of sites to a purpose built campus on the edge of Musselburgh, next to the A1 east of Edinburgh. The university places an emphasis on its strengths in vocational education and its high graduate employment rates. Considerable effort is also placed on interaction with the wider community.
The University is divided into four Schools: the School of Business, Enterprise and Management; the School of Drama and Creative Industries; the School of Health Sciences; and the School of Social Sciences, Media and Communication. In April 2008, the University opened its Asian Campus in Singapore, providing business education to about 1,600 students.
The university's Musselburgh campus occupies some 35 acres and cost £100m to build. It is claimed to be the UK's greenest university campus and houses a broad range of educational buildings, a students' union, a gym, and 800 residential rooms in halls of residence. University accommodation is prioritised based on year of study, age of the student and geographical distance of the student's home from the university. At the heart of the campus is the Learning Resource Centre, which provides some 4,500m² of space for Library, IT and AV services to students and staff.
Queen Margaret University is named after Queen Margaret, or Saint Margaret, wife of Malcolm III of Scotland. The origins of the university date back to the establishment in 1875 of the The Edinburgh School of Cookery and Domestic Economy, by Christian Guthrie Wright and Louisa Stevenson, both members of the Edinburgh Ladies' Educational Association. This initially taught at the Royal Museum in Edinburgh, but in 1877 it moved to premises in Shandwick Place in Edinburgh.
In 1909, the School was brought under the control of the Scottish Education Department, and in 1930 it became the Edinburgh College of Domestic Science. In 1970 the college moved to a campus in Corstorphine, and in 1972 it was renamed Queen Margaret College as part of a shift away from its domestic science origins. It subsequently absorbed a number of other Edinburgh-based educational institutions, including the Edinburgh College of Speech and Drama; the Edinburgh School of Speech Therapy; the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh School of Physiotherapy; the Astley Ainslie Hospital Occupational Therapy Training Centre; the Edinburgh Foot Clinic and School of Chiropody; the Edinburgh School of Radiography; and the the Edinburgh University Settlement School of Art Therapy.
In 1992 Queen Margaret College was given the right to award its own taught degrees, and since 1998 it has also awarded its own research and higher degrees. In 1999 the name changed once more, this time to Queen Margaret University College. It was awarded full university status as Queen Margaret University in January 2007, moving later that year from its existing campuses in Corstorphine, Leith and Leith Walk, Edinburgh, to the new campus at Musselburgh.