Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) is a public land based research institution focused on agriculture and life sciences. Its history stretches back to 1899 with the establishment of the West of Scotland Agricultural College and its current organisation came into being through a merger of smaller institutions.

After the West of Scotland Agricultural College was established in 1899, the Edinburgh and East of Scotland College of Agriculture and the Aberdeen and North of Scotland College of Agriculture were both established in the early 20th century. These three colleges were merged into a single institution, the Scottish Agricultural College, in 1990. In October 2012, the Scottish Agricultural College was merged with Barony College, Elmwood College and Oatridge College to re-organise the institution as Scotland’s Rural College, initialised as SRUC in preparation for it gaining the status of a university college with degree awarding powers.

SRUC has six campuses across Scotland – Aberdeen, Ayr, Barony, Elmwood, King’s Buildings and Oatridge. Students study land based courses from further education to postgraduate level and degrees are currently awarded by the University of Edinburgh or the University of Glasgow depending on the course of study. Undergraduates study over a period of three terms each year during their first two years and two semesters during their third and fourth years. In addition to higher education, SRUC has a consulting division, SAC Consulting, which works with clients in rural businesses and associated industries and it also has a research division which carries out research in the agriculture and rural sector.

SRUC has attracted notable botanists, chemists and agriculturists as lecturers and researchers and the institution has counted Henry Dyer, Victor Hope, 2nd Marquess of Linlithgow and Maitland Mackie amongst its academic staff. In addition to careers in agriculture and life sciences, the institution’s alumni have gone on to have careers in politics, sport, the military and broadcasting – including Douglas Ross, current Leader of the Scottish Conservative Party, and Alex Fergusson, former Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament.