Learn more about SRUC's history, from the late 19th century until today.
Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) was formed on 1 October 2012 from a small group of historical agriculture and land-based institutions:
Scottish Agriculture College
Scottish Agriculture College (SAC) itself was formed in 1990 by a merger of three other institutions – the East of Scotland College of Agriculture (1901), the Aberdeen and North of Scotland College of Agriculture (1904), and the West of Scotland Agricultural College (1899).
It was the largest institution of its type in the UK, and one of the largest in Europe. SAC also provided advisory and consultancy services to the whole of Scotland in addition to its portfolio of traditional teaching and research.
Aberdeen and North of Scotland College of Agriculture
The Aberdeen and North of Scotland College of Agriculture (NoSCA) was founded in 1904 by a group of interested parties including the University of Aberdeen.
Teaching was initially delivered in Marischal College although it moved to 581 King Street in 1969, and to Craibstone Estate in 1999. Craibstone Estate was first leased to NoSCA in 1908 and purchased in 1912, as a site for research and fieldwork.
West of Scotland Agricultural College
The West of Scotland Agricultural College (WSAC) was formed in 1899 by a merger of The Glasgow and the West of Scotland Technical College (now the University of Strathclyde) and The Scottish Dairy Institute. It was originally based in Blythswood Square, Glasgow, but also leased Holmes Farm in Kilmarnock for practical work.
Auchincruive Estate was gifted to the College by the late John Hannan of Girvan Mains in 1927 although the College continued to deliver courses from Blythswood Square until 1974. WSAC was also known as WoSCA.
Edinburgh and East of Scotland College of Agriculture
The Edinburgh and East of Scotland College of Agriculture (EESCA) was formed by the University of Edinburgh, the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society (RHASS) and a number of regional county councils.
It incorporated the University of Edinburgh’s Chair of Agriculture and its School of Rural Domestic Economy. Premises were initially located in George Square, and the King’s Buildings campus opened in 1960. EESCA was also known as ESCA.
Barony Agricultural College
Barony Agricultural College (1972) had opened as the Barony Farm School (1953). The Estate was purchased by Dumfries County Council Education Department for that purpose in 1949.
Day release classes began in 1962 and in 1972 it became Barony Agricultural College. Courses expanded over the 1970s and 1980s and a new teaching block was opened in 1992. The Dairy Technology Centre was opened in 2006. Barony Agricultural Colleges was also known as Barony College.
Elmwood Agricultural College
Elmwood Agricultural College (1972) had its origins in the 1940s when Bell-Baxter continuation school delivered evening classes in agriculture , horticulture, engineering, business and general studies. Day release classes started in 1956 and Hope Park House and 5 acres of land were purchased in 1957. Springfield Farm was purchased in 1971.
The current main building was officially opened by Sir Hector Munro in 1972, and the Elmwood Golf Course opened in 1997. Elmwood Agricultural College was also known as Elmwood College.
Oatridge College (1974) – Oatridge Farm was purchased by a Working Group of Border and Lothian regions to become the first local authority residential College for further education in agriculture. Building began in 1973 and the College was officially opened by HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh on 2nd July 1974 with study bedrooms for 45 students. The College grew over the years to include new residences, new teaching and practical facilities.
Learn more about SRUC as it is today, our organisational structure, departments, goals and values.