The College began in 1875 as the Edinburgh School of Cookery, where classes were
open to the public for a fee of 1d or 2d. This proved such a financial success that the
school moved to Atholl Crescent.
In 1908 the school was recognised by the Scottish Education Department as a Central
Institution for the purposes of education. By the mid-1960’s the College had
expanded to a student population of around 600 full-time students, with teaching
being conducted in twelve houses in Atholl Crescent. Two large houses nearby were
owned by the College for use as hostels.
The Prospectus for 1964-5 states that “The College offers courses for the girl over
seventeen years of age who is interested in helping to improve the social and
economic conditions in our homes or institutions.”
Courses of between one term and four years were offered by the College at this time,
with students studying in either the Teacher Training Department or the Technical
In the Teacher Training Department students were admitted to Diploma I, II or III.
Diplomas I and II were three year courses and Diploma III, of four years duration.
Each was recognised by the Scottish Education Department, the English Ministry of
Education and the Departments of Education in Ireland and the British
Commonwealth as qualifying students to teach Home Economics or Domestic
Science in schools. Students on each Diploma course studied Principles and Practice
of Education, Religious Education, and Health Education and Applied Science.
Thereafter, the subjects varied according to the chosen Diploma.
An Advanced Cookery Diploma of one-terms duration was also offered, for holders
of Diplomas I or III, or other recognised Teacher’s Diplomas.
n the Technical Department students had the choice of four courses, lasting between
one and three years duration, and two short courses of one terms duration. The threeyear Diploma in Institutional Management qualified students for Associate
Membership of the Institute of Management Association, and prepared them for administrative posts in establishments such as University halls of residence, training
colleges, residential and day schools, hospitals, residential clubs and hostels, the
school meals service, and in industry.
Two courses of two-year duration were offered, leading to the qualifications of
Certificate in Institutional Housekeeping and Catering of the Institutional
Management Association, or the Demonstrator’s Certificate of the National Council
for Domestic Studies. The former was intended for students seeking work in
hospitals, schools and other residential establishments, but not for the higher
administrative posts; whilst the later was intended for those seeking a career in
demonstrating in industry and commerce.
A four-term course leading to the Diploma in Household-Institutional Management
prepared students for posts of assistant cooks in institutions, school matrons, housekeepers, kitchen superintendents, manageresses of clubs, canteens etc. Courses of
one-term duration, leading to Certificates in Large Scale Catering and High Class
Cookery were also offered.