Royal (Dick) Veterinary College

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The Royal (Dick) Veterinary College merged with Edinburgh University in 1951, becoming the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies.

It was originally set up as the Highland Society's Veterinary School by William Dick (1793-1866) in 1823. In 1833, it moved into purpose-built premises in Clyde Street, and in 1839 became a College, with Dick appointed Professor. The Veterinary school rapidly developed an international reputation attracting students from all over the world. It was bequeathed in Dick's will to the Town Council of Edinburgh in 1866. Seven years later it was officially renamed Dick's Veterinary College to distinguish it from a rival Veterinary College established by William Williams (1832-1900). In 1906, it was incorporated by Act of Parliament as the the Royal (Dick) Veterinary College.

By 1916, the college had expanded sufficiently to move into a new custom-built building at Summerhall. Following the Second World War, steps were taken to integrate the College into Edinburgh University. These culminated in 1951 when it became a consistent part of the University within the Faculty of Medicine and was renamed the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies. The degree of BSc in Veterinary Science was replaced by the new degrees of BVMS and DVMS.

In 1964 the Royal (Dick) Veterinary School expanded into a newly created Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. Since university restructuring in 2002, it has been part of the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine. In 2011, it relocated to new premises on the Easter Bush campus.


  • Ronald M. Birse, Science at the University of Edinburgh, 1583-1993: An Illustrated History to Mark the Centenary of the Faculty of Science and Engineering 1893-1993 (Edinburgh: Faculty of Science and Engineering, University of Edinburgh, 1994)
  • O. Charnock Bradley, History of the Edinburgh Veterinary College (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Library, 1988)