From January 2022, Queen Margaret University (QMU), Edinburgh is set to offer a range of credit-bearing short courses, with free places funded by the Scottish Government and the Scottish Funding Council’s Upskilling Fund. Click here for more information regarding the courses on offer.

Intended to support Scotland’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, applicants for these courses do not need to have prior qualifications in the related subject area, and there are free places available to anyone living in Scotland over the age of 25 who is either:

• Unemployed, at risk of redundancy, or in a job that is under threat because of COVID-19 or the economic impact of EU Exit.
• Self-employed and working within the creative and cultural industries or hospitality, tourism, and events sector.
• Employed by a Scottish arts, cultural, education, hospitality, tourism, or events organisation.
• Employed by a Scottish charity or social enterprise whose work contributes to Scotland’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

QMU is committed to social justice, and we see our purpose as helping to create a better society through education. As such, our short courses focus on skills development for the public and not-for-profit sectors. Arranged around four key themes – education, sustainability, social justice, and social entrepreneurship – our courses aim to enhance the specialist knowledge, practical skills, and employability of those working and volunteering in these areas. The courses will be taught via a blend of online lectures, self-directed learning and in-person class-based practical workshops delivered at QMU’s Musselburgh campus.

Professor David Stevenson, Dean of Arts, Social Sciences and Management at QMU, said: “We are delighted to be able to offer this range of new short courses. The free places provided by the Scottish Funding Council’s Upskilling fund mean that we can support those working in some of the sectors where employment was most significantly impacted by the pandemic to develop new skills and enhance their employability.”
Short courses starting in early 2022

Introduction to Film Education
Stars February 2022. Apply by Thursday 20 January.
Want to use film in the classroom but unsure where to begin? Looking to put your filmmaking skills to use in educational settings but don’t know where to start?

Our Introduction to Film Education course will help you to answer those questions. Film, and the moving image more broadly, are central to the lives of young people, and this course develops the knowledge and practical skills of participants to be able to embed film in their practice and reflect on the ways film can be embedded within Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence. This development and delivery of this course have also been supported by Screen Scotland.

Evaluating Arts and Cultural Projects
Starts January 2022. Apply by Thursday 6 January.

Exploring the processes and practices by which arts and cultural projects are evaluated, this course begins by considering the social and political factors that mean it is increasingly expected that art and cultural projects should be evaluated. The focus will then shift to the practicalities of designing a project evaluation, from logic modelling the theory of change through to selecting methods, establishing a baseline, generating and evaluating data, and producing a project evaluation report.

Fundraising, Development and Finance
Starts January 2022. Apply by Thursday 6 January.

This course will equip you with a practical understanding of the principles and techniques of fundraising, development, and financial management for cultural organisations. It focuses specifically on understanding and applying distinct approaches required for crafting grant applications for public or charitable funds and levering bespoke, authentic corporate sponsorship partnerships. The module underpins these important skills by providing you with a solid foundation in the financial literacy necessary for good governance.

Entrepreneurial Finance
Starts March 2022. Apply by Wednesday 16 February.
This course will equip you with a practical understanding of the principles and techniques of entrepreneurial finance. The course focuses specifically on understanding and managing working capital, including cash flow, budgeting and raising and managing sources of finance with a better understanding of the associated risks. The course underpins these essential skills by providing you with a solid foundation in the financial management skills necessary to make quality business decisions that will ensure the long-term financial sustainability of your business.

Sustainable and Safe Event Management
Starts March 2022. Apply by Monday 14 February.

The course aims to develop the knowledge and practical implementation of sustainable development policies and health and safety principles for those working in the event industries while also seeking to improve individual practices that can impact the event industry as a whole. There is a considerable emphasis on transparency and collaboration throughout the course, and students will be given the opportunity to share their experiences through group discussions and interactive online discussion boards. Sustainable event management is at the forefront of everyone working in the events industry. At COP26, a net-zero event pledge was launched, and the event sector was recognised as having a key part to play in the ‘race to zero’.

Free places are subject to availability and the fulfilment of the criteria listed above. Further short courses, with a Spring 2022 start date, will be announced in due course.

The TV presenter, cook, restaurateur and writer, Dame Prue Leith, will discuss her business highs and lows as well as the challenges facing women in business during a fireside style chat with Queen Margaret University’s first Entrepreneur in Residence.


The TV personality and business woman, who became Chancellor of Queen Margaret University (QMU) in 2017, is well known for sharing her business expertise with the University’s students and graduates to encourage them on their entrepreneurial journeys. During the event on the 28th October, Prue will discuss her varied career with Carolyn Currie, QMU’s Entrepreneur in Residence and CEO of Women’s Enterprise Scotland.


During this open conversation with an audience of business leaders and invited guests, this dynamic duo will discuss how women can overcome the challenges involved in starting up and maintaining business development. They will tackle the important issue of closing the gender gap which exists across Scotland’s entrepreneurial landscape.


As part of its ambitious plans to lead Scotland’s university sector in advancing female entrepreneurship, QMU appointed Carolyn Currie as its first Entrepreneur in Residence (EiR) in August this year. As a highly respected business leader and champion of female entrepreneurship, Carolyn’s appointment aims to encourage and support more staff, students and graduates to develop their entrepreneurial skills and to assist the University in its ambitions to establish a Women’s Business Centre within its planned Innovation Hub – part of the Edinburgh Innovation Park.


Discussing the issues facing women in business, Carolyn Currie, explained: “Every new business will face challenges; hurdles that if not overcome may cause a promising start-up to falter, and research continues to evidence that those hurdles can be bigger if the founder is a woman.  Women-owned businesses in Scotland currently contribute £8.8bn to the Scottish economy every year and generate more than 230,000 jobs across Scotland in the process, according to a 2018 Federation of Small Business report. The Rose Report on Female Entrepreneurship states that up to £250 billion of new value could be added to the UK economy if women started and scaled new businesses at the same rate as men. That’s a significant economic boost in itself – and we know gender diversity powers radical, step-change innovation, with further potential to grow our national competitiveness and productivity.”


Carolyn continued: “I am excited to talk to Dame Prue Leith about her entrepreneurial and hugely varied career, as well as hearing her thoughts about tackling the gender gap in enterprise participation, ensuring more women have the opportunity to achieve their full business potential and play a leading role in economic recovery.”


Sir Paul Grice, Principal of Queen Margaret University, said: “We are delighted to have two very strong, successful women in Dame Prue and Carolyn who are so willing to share their experiences with our students, graduates, staff and wider community, and encourage change at the highest levels of society. If we are to support Scotland’s recovery from the pandemic we need to work together to remove barriers, create a level playing field, and do more to encourage and support more women to develop as entrepreneurs. With the support of Carolyn Currie, our first Entrepreneur in Residence, QMU is playing a critical role in boosting female entrepreneurship in Scotland and we are excited to kick start this process with this fireside chat with Prue and Carolyn, which will be followed by Carolyn’s dynamic series of entrepreneurial workshops for QMU students and graduates.”


The fireside chat with Dame Prue Leith and Carolyn Currie will take place on 28th October from 4.30pm – 6pm at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh. The event will be live streamed to allow students, graduates, QMU staff, members of the business community and the general public to join virtually. Please register here.

An extended three-year agreement with Santander Universities will result in £226,500 worth of further support for Queen Margaret University (QMU), Edinburgh, until the end of the 2023/24 academic year.


Since partnering with Santander back in 2008, QMU has received almost £1.2m from the global bank to fund scholarships, internships, enterprise and awards for overseas research or project work, as well as supporting the local community and student mobility.


The next three years will see Santander Universities continue to support student businesses, scholarships and mobility support. This will focus on supporting students from a widening participation background, supporting QMU’s widening access agenda.


The re-signing of the University’s partnership with Santander took place in an intimate online event held on Tuesday, 12 October 2021. The event brought together some QMU students and recent alumni who have benefitted from Santander funding, sharing their experiences and the impact the funding has made.


Matt Hutnell, Director at Santander Universities UK, said: “Santander is committed to supporting higher education, as well as local communities across the UK. We’re proud to continue our partnership with Queen Margaret University for a further three years to ensure we can work together in providing even more opportunities which will benefit both students and the local community.”


Sir Paul Grice, QMU Principal and Vice-Chancellor, said: “Partnership is central to everything we do at QMU. Santander has been a key partner for a number of years, and I would like to thank them again for this incredible support.”


Thomas Kelly, Head of Development and Alumni at QMU, added: “Our Partnership with Santander Universities has flo

Dispute resolution2Queen Margaret University is developing a short online taster course for people interested in developing careers in dispute resolution and conflict management.

Conflict arises in many contexts – at work, at home, and in personal relationships. QMU will run a free online taster course which will provide an insight into how conflict can be resolved. It will cover topics such as ‘understanding conflict, ‘conflict escalation’ and ‘resolving conflict’.

QMU’s Consumer Dispute Resolution Centre has an established reputation as a centre of excellence for research and education in dispute resolution and consumer policy. The centre runs the MSc Dispute Resolution and the short online session is designed to give people a taste of the subjects covered in the Master’s programme, for example, looking at the reasons why conflicts can spiral out of control.

Carol Brennan, Director of QMU’s Consumer Dispute Resolution Centre, explained: “This taster session is ideally suited to individuals interested in the issue of conflict and how conflict situations can be resolved. Students who have studied the full MSc Dispute Resolution have gone on to pursue interesting careers in dispute resolution associated roles, with some graduates working as complaint handlers, arbitrators and mediators, and others holding positions within Ombudsman schemes.

“The master’s level course is also suitable for recent graduates who wish to develop their career in this increasingly important area of specialism, as well as those whose job already involves resolving areas of conflict, for example within human resource management.”

Carol confirmed: “We believe that the course will provide a helpful snapshot of the full MSc Dispute Resolution programme, allowing people to dip their toe into the water to see if the Master’s course may be a good fit for them. It also provides the opportunity for people to experience online learning and to become part of QMU’s growing online community of learners.”

Nial Vivian, Lecturer in Dispute Resolution at QMU, spent several years working for Ombudsman schemes and in other dispute resolution roles. He has studied the MSc Dispute Resolution, which led him to career opportunities in academia. He explained: “We know embarking on a full Master’s degree is a significant commitment and it’s helpful for people to be sure that they are investing their time and energy in something they really wish to pursue. The online taster course will help ensure people are better equipped to make an informed decision about studying at Master’s level, and to whet their appetite for study in the fascinating area of conflict resolution.”

Our short taster will run online for four weeks between Monday 19 February and Friday 16 March, and will involve participants in group discussions with students and lecturers, reading, viewing video presentations, and interviews with conflict resolution experts.

Find out more about the online taster course, and sign up, at

For further information on the MSc Dispute Resolution visit:

_DSC2960Queen Margaret University has become the first higher education partner to join industry trade body Food and Drink Federation Scotland (FDFS).

Host to the Scottish Centre for Food Development and Innovation (SCFDI), QMU is a national leader in knowledge exchange linking food and health and the sustainability of the food chain, and in providing combined R&D and innovation space for the fast growing food sector.

The move represents a major step in realising the University’s ambitions as a centre of innovation and excellence in food development and will boost its work in improving crucial sector skills to ensure graduates are trained for the industry of the future. It also underlines QMU’s role in supporting the ambitions of the Food and Drink Industry Strategy Ambition 2030, which aims to grow the turnover of the industry to £30bn and identifies 3 pillars of growth – People and Skills, Supply Chain and Innovation.

In addition it will enhance the University’s ambition to support the UK and Scottish Governments’ policy priorities to address the challenges of tackling obesity and improving public health by working with industry to reformulate products and meet targets set for sugar and salt reduction.

Professor Tom Mercer, Director of the Scottish Centre for Food Development and Innovation at QMU said: “Our membership of Food and Drink Federation Scotland sends a clear signal to our industry partners that higher education has a pivotal role to play in driving innovation and growth in food manufacturing and new product development.

“Our research and education programmes along with our existing lab facilities and plans for an innovation park adjacent to the campus will form a national hub for sector developments in manufacturing, new product development and sustainability. We have a prime location that provides businesses access to national and international networks and expertise provided through QMU and the wider university network.”
FDFS Chief Executive David Thomson said: “On behalf of Food and Drink Federation Scotland I am delighted that Queen Margaret University has joined us as our first higher education professional affiliate. As the voice of food and drink manufacturing, we know the huge importance of higher education in our industry, delivering innovation and skills for a sector which has a real ambition to grow. This partnership will enhance the reputation of the industry as a career destination of choice as well as further raising awareness of the excellent facilities at Queen Margaret University.”

QMU’s proposals for an Innovation Park is the major project included within the Edinburgh City Region Deal to benefit East Lothian. Proposals centre around creation of two distinct areas on the land adjacent to QMU’s campus. As well as the park, a commercial hub will provide retail and leisure facilities for students, staff and the surrounding local communities.


Aisle with group of passengers in an irplaneA new study from universities in Edinburgh has shown that travellers choose to sit on the right hand side of an aeroplane rather than the left.

The study was led by Dr Stephen Darling, Psychology Lecturer at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh and carried out at the University of Edinburgh. He explained: “It’s been known for a while that people have lateral tendencies in laboratory experiments – people preferring one side to the other – but we were keen to establish if individuals had right or left preferences which they applied to domestic tasks carried out in the real world.”

This research project was the first fully controlled study looking at where people would choose to sit on aeroplanes. Participants were asked to choose a seat by clicking on a seating plan diagram. They did this for 32 separate flights between fictional locations.

Sergio Della Sala, Professor of Human Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Edinburgh, was part of the research team. He said: “We were keen to rule out the possibility that participants may have just had a tendency to click one side of the computer screen. Participants were therefore presented with seating diagrams with the plane facing either upwards or downwards. The result clearly showed that the orientation of the plane made no difference to the preference, with most participants still making an active choice to choose seating on the right of the plane.”

Dr Darling concluded: “The research shows that people’s preference as to which side they sit on in an aeroplane is dictated by our mind’s rightward bias in representing the real world.”

The research paper ‘Fly on the right: lateral preferences when choosing aircraft seats’ was published on 22 December 2017 in the journal ‘Laterality: Asymmetries of Body, Brain and Cognition.’

Edinburgh’s Kitchin Group has teamed up with Queen Margaret University (QMU) for the first time to launch a new annual scholarship and help boost career prospects for students.

Kitchin Group’s Annual Award for Excellence will offer QMU’s international hospitality, tourism, events management or gastronomy students the chance to apply for the scholarship each year over the next three years to financially support their studies.

The partnership will also offer QMU’s budding restauranteurs and hospitality professionals the opportunity to gain valuable work experience and potential employment within Kitchin Group which includes Michelin star restaurant, The Kitchin – led by internationally acclaimed Scottish chef Tom Kitchin, award-winning Castle Terrace Restaurant – one of Edinburgh’s most elegant dining destinations and gastropub, The Scran & Scallie which was recently awarded a prestigious Bib Gourmand. All three businesses are considered by the university as ‘Best Practices Businesses’ in terms of service, food and drink both the city of Edinburgh and throughout the UK.

QMU has delivered elements of hospitality and tourism education for 140 years. Building upon more than a century of experience within the University and its predecessor institutions, the current hospitality and gastronomy lecturers at QMU consider themselves the custodians of the expertise passed down from the founders of the former Edinburgh School of Cookery. The University’s courses today are underpinned by some of the simple philosophies that were at the heart of the institution’s teaching over a century ago.

The University’s MSc Gastronomy is the latest innovation within Scottish postgraduate education. The MSc Gastronomy course has fired the imagination of the country’s top chefs, restaurateurs, legislators and those from a variety of food and drink related businesses.

QMU is also home to the Scottish Centre for Food Development and Innovation. Food scientists in this dedicated commercial facility are continuing to enhance Scotland’s position in the food innovation arena and support food and drink companies to develop and market healthier products.

Commenting on the new partnership between QMU and Kitchin Group, Professor Monika Foster, Head of Division of Business, Enterprise and Management at the University, said: “We’re extremely grateful to Kitchin Group for its investment in student learning that will help us identify, nurture and develop talented, willing and enthusiastic students to insure a professional supply of exceptional personnel for businesses such as Kitchin Group to inspire each guest with true and professional Scottish hospitality.

“The combination of talented students who have both solid work experience with a leading hospitality organisation, and excellent academic knowledge, will help to create future managers who can raise industry standards.”

Ron Kitchin, chairman of Kitchin Group, added: “As a business, we are passionate about fostering talent and supporting young people who are interested in a career in the industry. The Excellence Award will not only offer students financial and practical support with their studies but will give them an unparalleled insight into the world of a busy, successful and diverse hospitality business and the opportunity of hands on work-experience within Kitchin Group.”

The first QMU student to be awarded the Kitchin Group Annual Award for Excellence will be announced at the end of 2017.

QMU Craighall CampusThe world’s first ever Food & Drink Business Improvement Development (BID) group from East Lothian, Scotland’s Food & Drink County (SFDC), is delighted to announce Queen Margaret University (QMU) is to host the BID’s administrative functions within the Business Innovation Zone at its Musselburgh campus.

In a move that further extends Queen Margaret University’s (QMU) support of The East Lothian Food & Drink Business Improvement District (BID), the SFDC team look forward to working more closely with Queen Margaret University’s researchers and students, strengthening their existing relationship.

Backed by East Lothian Council, the BID, which is the first of its kind in the world, was established in 2016 to drive sector growth by sharing resources and providing economies of scale in marketing, sales and distribution to food and drink producers across the county. East Lothian is home to one of Scotland’s finest malt whisky distilleries, Glenkinchie, and also produces renowned gin, beer and cider companies. With over 40 miles of coastline, the county boasts a plentiful supply of freshly landed fish and seafood and has seen success in less traditional produce including spices, oils, ice-cream and chocolate.

QMU is home to the Scottish Centre for Food Development & Innovation and has been an associate member and an active supporter of the BID since its inception. Other member companies are already engaged with students on marketing projects and have taken advantage of University expertise in food and drink innovation, research, product development and market testing.

Commenting on the latest move, Miriam Smith of QMU’s Research & Knowledge Exchange Development Unit said: “QMU hosts the office of East Lothian Council’s Business Gateway which, together with the Business Innovation Zone at the University encourages entrepreneurship and provides a catalyst for regional innovation-led economic growth. We are delighted to welcome the BID team on site where they will rub shoulders with students, researchers and academics in their field, who in turn will benefit from deepening connections with local businesses. It’s a win win and we look forward to developing our partnership with them.”

QMU is a national leader in knowledge exchange that addresses the fundamental relationships between food and health and the sustainability of the food chain in order to further the production of healthy, functional foods.

Chair of the BID Louise Elder, founder of Black & Gold Rapeseed Oil, said: “We are delighted to be basing the BID’s administrative functions within the Business Innovation Zone at Queen Margaret’s Musselburgh campus. These are exciting times for East Lothian and Scotland’s Food & Drink County suppliers as we work more closely with Queen Margaret University’s researchers and students, strengthening our existing relationship. It is an invaluable opportunity which will allow us to maximise the group’s exposure to QMU’s food and health expertise.”

For further information about Scotland’s Food & Drink County, please contact

A new study has shown that an eight-week humanitarian intervention can improve the mental health and wellbeing of Syrian refugee and Jordanian youth in communities affected by the crisis in Syria.

About 5.2 million people have been forced to flee the six-year-old conflict in Syria, and over 650,000 Syrians are now rebuilding their lives in neighbouring Jordan.

The study brought together researchers from Yale University, the Institute for Global Health and Development at QMU in Edinburgh, Columbia University and the Hashemite University in Jordan. Published this month in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, showed that a community-based programme for war-affected youth operating in Northern Jordan reduced the insecurity, distress, and mental-health difficulties of vulnerable boys and girls aged 12-18 years.

In a randomized controlled trial, the researchers learned that the programme most benefitted adolescents who had been exposed to four or more traumatic experiences.

“Community-based mental health interventions can help young people process the extreme stress of war and forced displacement,” said Catherine Panter-Brick, Professor of Anthropology, Health, and Global Affairs at Yale University and the study’s lead author. “Our findings will help humanitarian organisations develop robust, evidence-based programming to strengthen the mental health and protect the development of war-affected youth.”

The researchers worked in partnership with Mercy Corps, a global humanitarian organisation, which implemented the eight-week psychosocial program for refugee and host community youth evaluated in the study. The programme consisted of group-based activities and skills building intended to develop social cohesion and reduce the effects of profound stress.

The researchers also found that, over time, symptoms reduced in both treatment and control groups, but that with respect to feelings of insecurity, those engaged in the psycho-social intervention had sustained benefits relative to youth who did not, enhancing their recovery.

“It clearly makes sense to ensure that youth displaced from Syria are kept engaged in meaningful activities. But this study provides strong evidence that a short, structured programme can really make a difference to their sense of security and well-being as they face an uncertain future,” said Professor Alastair Ager, co-Investigator on the study and Director of the Institute for Global Health and Development at Queen Margaret University (QMU).

A student from Queen Margaret University (QMU), Edinburgh has launched his own theatre company after being awarded funding from the University.

Harry Jackson, 21, is now Artistic Director for Amplify Time Productions in Edinburgh, where he is in the final year of a BA (Hons) Acting for Stage and Screen degree at QMU.

A QMU Student Development Award has helped Harry get his project off the ground, as well as supporting 30 fellow students in a classical production at a major theatre venue in Edinburgh.

Amplify is the first independent theatre company to have been set up in the history of the BA (Hons) Acting for Stage and Screen course at QMU.

Amplify’s ethos is to provide students who are studying within creative industries with opportunities for personal development in a professional setting. This allows students to widen their personal skill sets, get company experience and have an opportunity to show what they can do and market themselves for future work outside of the University and into professional industry.

Commenting on his award and launching Amplify, Harry said: “I cannot put into words my gratitude and thanks to the alumni, friends and supporters of QMU whose donations have made this award possible. Support from QMU has given Amplify Time Productions the opportunity to shine and show off our creative skills and talent.

“QMU has a great reputation for giving quality, intensive actor training that allows you to develop your creative skills and academic knowledge. You also get the opportunity to take part in the Edinburgh International Film Festival and Fringe Festival with a show developed during your course.”

Harry’s company is now based within the Business Innovation Zone at QMU, where he benefits from access to small business start-up support and guidance from the campus-based Business Gateway, as well as QMU’s rehearsal facilities. Harry is now planning to take Amplify to perform in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2018.

Robin Wilson, Lecturer in Acting & Performance at QMU, said: “As a final year student on our Acting for Stage and Screen Programme, Harry is impressive. His boundless curiosity is only matched by his boundless energy. He is an organiser, an enthusiast and a leader. His natural charm enables him to galvanise his classmates and to focus them on ‘getting things done’. He is a pleasure to teach and a fully engaged creative asset to the course.

“For the first time on the Acting for Stage & Screen programme, a student has taken on the task of mounting a fully-fledged theatrical performance out-with the course. The fact that Harry has managed to gain the commitment, trust and enthusiasm of a large number of his fellow students is a tribute to his positive attitude and skills of leadership and communication.

“I’m very sure that everyone participating in the Amplify project will learn a tremendous amount of transferable skills. It is to be commended that Harry and his colleagues have had the initiative and stamina to undertake and sustain this project. I’m certain it will prove an asset to QMU and further enhance the reputation of the University for the high quality of its work.”

For more information on Amplify Time Productions, visit the company’s Facebook page or Twitter: @AmplifyTheatre or Instagram: @amplifytheatre

For more information on BA (Hons) Acting for Stage and Screen at QMU, visit: