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The Edinburgh Strategic Alliance

ESA is a joint research endeavour between the Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (ESALA), University of Edinburgh, and the School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society, Heriot-Watt University. 

We engage collaboratively on questions of architecture, planning, and the city at multiple scales and in a range of innovative ways. Our work is recognised internationally and engages with diverse audiences, from academia to industry. 

ESA is built on interdisciplinarity. We explore processes, places, and spaces over their entire life cycle, from planning to design, construction and usage. Together, we investigate the social, economic, and political forces and processes which shape our world and the impact that our built and natural environments have on our health, wellbeing and resilience, our ability to understand our past, and to plan for sustainable futures. 

For REF2014, the two institutions prepared their first joint submission. This was the point of departure for REF2021, where we built upon previous collaboration and success. Both submissions were ranked in the top 4 in the UK for research power. 

ESA dedicated to developing the talent of postgraduate research students and early career researchers. Opportunities range from working on large, multi-institutional, UKRI-funded studies to taking a leading role on our funded Kick Start projects.

Would you like to undertake research-led study at ECA?

We offer a range of research-led postgraduate programmes.

Meet our staff