Scotland's Rural College, often simply known as SRUC, offers a range of both undergraduate and postgraduate courses intended to serve the land based industries and the rural economy. The range of subject areas covered by courses on offer include the environment, business, leisure, agriculture, tourism, horticulture and science.
SRUC also operates 23 advisory offices, eight veterinary centres, and five research farms, the latter covering many different farming types and approaches, including organic, livestock, arable and dairy. Much of SRUC's income comes from the consultancy services it provides to more than 12,000 customers in Scotland, the United Kingdom and worldwide.
As well as its farms, the SRUC has a range of more traditional teaching facilities for classroom and lab-based learning, including a library at each its three campuses across Scotland, in Ayr, Edinburgh and Aberdeen. Its courses are vocational in nature and are often designed in consultation with industry, to ensure good employment prospects for its students. Its degrees are validated and awarded by the University of Glasgow or the University of Edinburgh.
In Edinburgh, some student accommodation is in University of Edinburgh halls of residence, while in Ayr and Aberdeen SRUC has its own halls of residence, capable of accommodating most first year students wanting places.
SRUC, previously known as the Scottish Agricultural College, was established in 1990 through the merger of the North of Scotland College of Agriculture based in Aberdeen; the East of Scotland College of Agriculture based in Edinburgh; and the West of Scotland Agricultural College based at Auchincruive near Ayr. The result was the largest specialist agricultural college in the United Kingdom and amongst the largest in Europe.