Performance Swimming at the University of Edinburgh was established in 2008 and since then has become the leading swim programme in Scotland and one of the leading programmes in the UK.

Image of swimmers

One of the most highly regarded of its kind in the UK, the University of Edinburgh Performance Sport Programme enables athletes to achieve a world-class degree and perform to the best of their ability. 

The University of Edinburgh Swimming Programme prides itself on developing individuals with potential and a positive attitude into performance athletes. The programme is aimed at serious athletes who compete at a national and international level. In return for your dedication and hard work, we will offer you world-class training facilities and support to allow you to be the best you can be.

When looking for a university, I wanted somewhere that I could get world-class academics, coaching and facilities. That’s why I chose Edinburgh.

  • 3 Full time coaches
  • Full-time Strength & Conditioning support
  • Academic support and flexibility
  • Performance lifestyle support
  • Nutritional advice
  • Physiology support from the University and Scottish Institute of Sport
  • Technical analysis
  • Mental skills training and assistance
  • Access to the world-renowned FASIC Sport & Exercise Medicine Clinic
  • Performance and technique analysis for racing and training
Tain Bruce

I am always proud to represent the University of Edinburgh and can't speak highly enough of the university for the support they have afforded me

David Cumberlidge


Edinburgh has always been highly supportive of me throughout my swimming career and have given me opportunities that I wouldn't have been able to get elsewhere. Thanks to the University of Edinburgh I have been able to realise my dreams of achieving high level success at international competitions.

Our well-established performance swimming programme has helped to produce Olympic, Paralympic, World, European and Commonwealth medal winners. We regularly feature in world class competitions in Scotland, Europe and beyond.

  • Regular top 3 in BUCS 
  • 2022 Commonwealth Games: 7 swimmers and silver medal (Stephen Clegg)
  • World Paralympics: Gold medal (Stephen Clegg)
  • Scottish National Short Course Championships 2022 ​​​​​​: Scottish National Record in 50m Breaststroke (Kara Hanlon)
  • Olympic Games: Nick Quinn (2016), Yvette Kong (2016), Geo Butler (2016), Lucy Hope (2020), Audai Hassuanan (Libya)
  • Paralympic Games: Craig Rodgie (2012), James Clegg (2012), Scot Quin (2020), Stephen Clegg (2020)
  • World Championships Long Course: Monique Olivier (2017, 2019), Nick Quinn (2017), Geo Butler (2015), Yvette Kong (2015), Louise Henley (2009)
  • World Championships Short Course: Monique Olivier (2016), Geo Butler (2014)
  • World University Games: Kathryn Greenslade (2017, 2019), David Cumberlidge (2017, 2019), Jack Thorpe (2017), Lucy Hope (2017), Nick Quinn (2015, 2017), Kathryn Johnstone (2015), Lib White (2015), Calum Tait (2015), Caitlin McClatchey (2013)
  • European Championships Long Course: Lucy Hope (2016, 2018, 2021), Kathryn Greenslade (2018), Monique Olivier (2018, 2021), Nick Quinn (2014, 2016)
  • European Championships Short Course: Monique Olivier (2019), Kathryn Greenslade (2017)
  • South East Asian Games: Daniel Lim (2017, 2019)
  • Commonwealth Games: Lucy Hope (2018), Euan Ingles (2018), Dan Wallace (2018), Lizzie Simmonds (2018), Jack Thorpe (2014, 2018), Kieran McGuckin (2014, 2018), Corrie Scott (2014, 2018), Calum Tait (2014, 2018), Caitlin McClatchey (2014), Sian Morgan (2014), Andrea Strachan (2014), Richard Schaffers (2014), Craig Rodgie (2014), Kathy Johnstone (2014, 2010), Kerry Buchan (2010), Louise Pate (2010)
Edinburgh City


Edinburgh mixes architectural beauty and history with a lively, fun environment and has regularly been voted as one of the most desirable places to live in the world. As part of our Performance Programme, you will develop your athletic and academic skills in tandem, competing for one of the United Kingdom’s best sporting higher education institutions and studying at a university that is consistently ranked in the top 50 in the world:

  • Over 650 degree programmes
  • Flexible study
  • Ranked 10th in the UK for graduate employability by the Times Higher Education, Global Employability Ranking 2018

Find out more about studying at Edinburgh

We support elite athletes during the University application process by crediting athletic attainment.

Find out more about our Elite Athlete Policy:

Elite Athlete Policy


Chris Jones, Head of Performance Swimming

Head of Performance Swimming, Chris Jones

Head of Swimming, Chris Jones established the University of Edinburgh Swimming Performance Programme in 2008. During his time, the swimming programme has produced many extremely successful athletes.

Chris is a UKCC Level 5 licensed coach with a wealth of knowledge. Some of his coaching successes are:

  • Coach at the 2010, 2014 and 2018 Commonwealth Games for Team Scotland
  • Coach for two European Championships (2016, Ireland Team and 2018, GB Team)
  • GB Team Coach for European Junior Championships 2016 and European Short Course 2019
  • 2016 Olympic Games Coach (Ireland)
  • Coach for the two World University Games in 2013 and 2015
  • Coached countless individuals to Olympic, Paralympic, World, European, Commonwealth and World University Games competition.


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Assistant Head Coach, Mat Trodden

Mat joined Edinburgh University in 2014 after a successful 7-year stint at East Lothian where the team became one of the top-performing clubs in the country producing Paralympic medallists and Commonwealth Games athletes. During his time at East Lothian, he also completed an MSc in Strength and Conditioning at the University of Edinburgh. Mat brings a creative style to his coaching, centring around the athlete and how to get the best out of them. Matt is a UKCC Level 3 licensed coach with a BSc Degree in Sports Science and Psychology and an MSc in Strength and Conditioning.

  • Team Scotland Coach at the 2014 and 2022  Commonwealth Games.
  • GB coach at the 2017 and 2019 World University Games.
  • Coached 30+ Senior National Records (Scottish, Luxembourg, Greek, Irish, British)
  • Athletes Competing in Olympic (GB), Paralympic, Para World Championships, Commonwealth and European Finals. Amassing multiple medals.


Image of swimming coach Ross Douglas

Performance Swim Coach, Ross Paul Douglas

Ross joined the programme in 2018. Ross was Assistant Coach at Hamilton Aquatics, Dubai thereafter moving to North Ayrshire ASC to become Head Coach.

Ross offers expertise and creative solutions tailored to the individual needs of each athlete. His goal is to create a fun and rewarding experience drawing on his knowledge and expertise. He strives to ensure an enriching, positive and rewarding experience for each athlete that he interacts with.

Ross is a UKCC Level 3 certified coach. Some of his coaching successes are:

  • Coach at the 2022 FINA World Championships, Budapest for Team Zimbabwe
  • Coach at the Fina World Cup Series, Berlin 2022 for Team GB
  • Athlete representation at the 2022 Commonwealth Games, Birmingham & Fina World Championships 2022, Budapest
  • Senior and Junior National records
  • British Championship Medallists & Finalists
  • Scottish Swimming club of the year nominee – 2017
  • Successful development of age group swimmers into senior university programmes
  • British and Scottish National medallists
  • Coached at Geneva International Meet with Scottish Youth Squad
  • Involvement with Scottish Swimming across all national plan levels
  • Worked with athletes from over 20 different countries
Image of swimming coach Danny Kirkham

Performance Swim Coach, Danny Kirkham

Danny joined The University of Edinburgh in 2023 after 5 years at East Lothian Swim Team and Musselburgh Amateur Swimming Club. He is a Level 2 UKCC swimming coach and part of Scottish Swimming’s coaching futures apprenticeship. Some of Danny's previous experience includes:

  • Performance squad coach at East Lothian Swim Team 2018-2023
  • Head Coach Musselburgh ASC 2018-2023
  • GB coach at European Juniors 2023
  • Coached athletes to junior National Records
  • Coached athletes at Para-world championships, European Youth Olympics and European Juniors
  • Assistant coach Scottish Junior Team 2022/2023
  • Lead Scottish Junior Academy 2023


  • BSc (Hons) Sport & Exercise Science
  • MSc Clinical Exercise Science

Ready to take the plunge?

We are always looking for ambitious, academic athletes to realise their potential with us. We look forward to welcoming the next generation of performance swimmers to our Performance Programme. Email our Performance Swimming account to start the conversation about your application:

University of Edinburgh Performance Swim Team

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