James McCune Smith Learning Hub



The £90.6 million James McCune Smith Learning Hub provides a state of the art learning and the teaching facility with capacity for more than 2,500 students. It is the first building to be delivered through our campus development programme.


The new building is named after James McCune Smith: the first African American to be awarded a medical degree, receiving an MD from the University of Glasgow in 1837.

McCune Smith was born into slavery in 1813, however was freed by New York State's Emancipation Act on July 4, 1827.

Recognised as being intellectually gifted, McCune Smith attended the African Free School in Manhattan where his academic achievements led him to apply to several American universities.

After being denied entry to all due to his race, McCune Smith applied for – and was accepted by – the University of Glasgow’s medical school.

McCune Smith went on to gain three qualifications from the University of Glasgow: a bachelor's degree in 1835, a master’s degree in 1836, and his medical doctorate in 1837.

Upon returning to New York McCune Smith set up medical practice in lower Manhattan and grew to be recognised as a prominent figure in the New York black community and a leading intellectual.‌

The James McCune Smith Learning Hub is an inspirational and diverse learning space, allowing undergraduate and postgraduate students access to advanced and useful learning spaces. 

The Hub delivers a high-quality conference venue on campus which will have significant benefits for the economy of the City of Glasgow and also offer a potential events and exhibitions resource for the West End community.

The building can accommodate more than 2,500 students, including a lecture theatre with capacity for 500 students. Interactive teaching spaces range in capacity from 75-340 students, while the hub will also accommodate a number of seminar/group study spaces. There is also a café on the ground floor.