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Aberdeen University

UCAS Code: A20

Location: Aberdeen, north east Scotland Show on Map

Site: Main teaching centre plus medicine, both within city

A top UK research-intensive university.

Student Population

Total Students:15,515
FE Students:0%


Total undergraduates:11,955
Full Time:89%
Mature on Entry:13%
UK Students:79%
State school entry:82%

Teaching Staff

1400 full-time

Broad study areas

Arts, sciences, education, engineering, medicine, dentistry, law, divinity, social sciences, music.


Admission Information:AS-levels accepted on some courses; most require A-levels or Highers & Advanced Highers.
Points on Entry (Mean):359
Drop Out Rate:7%
Accommodation:All new students housed who apply by the deadline.


Founded:1495 (King's College).
Site:2 sites: King’s College in Old Aberdeen; medical sciences at Foresterhill.
How to get there:Fast coach services from Edinburgh, Glasgow and all major cities; rail services north and south. For university, bus from Union St (nos 1, 2, 14, going east); by road, follow signs for A90 and Old Aberdeen.
Special features:Institute of Scottish & Irish Studies, medical sciences, plus initiatives in ethnology and cultural studies

Student services & facilities

Student advice & services:Medical practice; chaplaincy; counsellors; nursery; international student adviser; welfare, disability and financial advisers; information and advice centre.
Amenities:Student centre; late buses, vacation employment office, university music groups; Students’ Association, student newspaper, SA babysitting agency.
Sporting facilities:Swimming pool; two extensive sports fields including running tracks; cardiovascular performance gym; squash and tennis courts; rowing on River Dee; Cairngorms and Grampians (mountain hut) within easy reach for climbing, walking and skiing; 150 sports clubs and societies.
Accommodation:All new students who wish it are guaranteed university accommodation, if they apply by the deadline (24 August); 38% of students overall. 3000 places available: 800 catered places (some ensuite) at £137–£157 per week, term-time only; 2200 self-catering (some ensuite) at £107–£133 pw, rentals 39–50 weeks; utility charge in addition to rent. University can offer accommodation to most students though many prefer to live in privately-owned accommodation for 1+ years: approx £90–£110 pw for self-catering. 25% of first-degree students live at home.

Study opportunities & careers

Library & information services:4 library buildings, over 1.05 million volumes, inter-library loan service, short loan collections for course books in heaviest demand. Annual expenditure £225 per student (FTE), plus departmental purchases. IT and library services converged. 1000+ networked PCs have access to internet and so to library catalogue (ratio workstations to students 1:8), open 24 hours/day. IT support from 4 help desks in main library and in computing centre. Information skills week for new students, plus departmental inductions; informal classes on use of library.
Other learning resources:Interactive video; satellite TV for language teaching. Specialist collections: Jacobite material, transport and photographic collections, pre-1800 British and European works, first editions of early science and medical volumes. Almost 250,000 maps, many historical.
Study abroad:6% of students spend part of their course abroad, including those on courses in law with European law (or French, German, Spanish law) who study abroad for local diploma. Erasmus links with 155 European institutions, plus 5 formal scholarship exchanges (Lausanne, Rennes, Zurich, Geneva and Kiel) and exchanges with 20 American and 4 Canadian universities.
Careers:Information and advice service; regular vacancy bulletins.


Living expenses budget:Minimum budget of £536-£828 per month (excluding tuition fees) recommended by university.
Term-time work:University allows term-time work for full-time students (30% believed to work); recommended limit of 15 hours pw. Some work on campus in catering, bars, library and (in vacs) as porters, gardeners, groundsmen; also SU based Joblink agency helps in finding work off campus.
Financial help:Scholarships of £3000 pa for 3 years for UK students from outside Scotland whose family income is up to £20k, of £2000 pa where family income is £20k-£30k pa. Merit scholarships of £3000 pa for 4 years for UK students from outside Scotland with grades AAB at A-level (or equivalent). A range of other entrance scholarships and access awards, of up to £1000 pa: access awards for those who need financial support to enter higher education; scholarships for academic merit or eg music, sport, agriculture.
University tuition fees:Scottish and EU students pay no fees during their course; other UK students pay £9000 pa for first degree courses (up to a maximum of £27,000 for 3 or 4 year courses). International students £11,000 (classroom), £14,000 (lab), £24,500 (clinical).


Academic features:

Access courses and summer school. Courses in animal care, health & welfare, anthropology, Celtic civilisation, off-shore engineering, petroleum geology, cultural history, safety engineering, sports & exercise science, social research and all biosciences including tropical environmental science.

Awarding body:

University of Aberdeen.

Main undergraduate awards:

MA, BEd, BMus, BD, BTh, LLB, BSc, BSc Med Sci, BScEng, BEng, BDS, MB ChB, MEng, MPhys, MChem, MSci.

Length of courses:

3 years (ordinary/designated), 4 years (Honours and divinity), 5 years (MB ChB, MChem, MEng, MPhys, MSci).

Main subjects offered:

  • Accountancy
  • Agricultural Botany
  • Agricultural Economics
  • Agriculture
  • Anatomy
  • Animal Science
  • Anthropology
  • Archaeology
  • Art History
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Behavioural Science
  • Biblical Studies
  • Biochemistry
  • Biological Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Biomedical Science
  • Biophysics
  • Biotechnology
  • Building Surveying
  • Business Economics
  • Business Studies
  • Catalan
  • Cell Biology
  • Celtic Studies
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Chemistry
  • Church History
  • Civil Engineering
  • Classical Studies
  • Computer Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Computer Technology
  • Computing
  • Conservation
  • Control Engineering
  • Countryside Management
  • Crop Science/Technology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Data Processing
  • Dentistry
  • Developmental Biology
  • E-business
  • Earth Sciences
  • Ecology
  • Econometrics
  • Economic History
  • Economics
  • Education
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Electronic Engineering
  • Electronics
  • Energy Studies
  • Engineering (General)
  • Engineering Mathematics
  • English
  • Environmental Biology
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Management
  • Environmental Science
  • Environmental Studies
  • Estate Management
  • EU Studies
  • European Business Studies
  • European Studies
  • Film Studies
  • Finance
  • Financial Economics
  • Fishery Science
  • Food Science
  • Food Technology
  • Forestry
  • French
  • Genetics
  • Geography
  • Geology
  • Geophysics
  • Geoscience
  • German
  • Health
  • Hebrew
  • Hispanic Studies
  • History
  • History/Philosophy of Science
  • Human Biology
  • Human Sciences
  • Humanities
  • Immunology
  • Industrial Engineering
  • Informatics
  • Information Studies
  • Information Systems
  • Information Technology
  • International Business
  • International Relations
  • Internet Technology
  • Italian
  • Land Economy
  • Latin
  • Latin American Studies
  • Law
  • Linguistics
  • Management
  • Manufacturing Engineering
  • Marine Biology
  • Materials Science
  • Materials Technology
  • Mathematics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Medical Microbiology
  • Medicinal Chemistry
  • Medicine
  • Microbiology
  • Microelectronics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Music
  • Neuroscience
  • Nutrition
  • Oceanography
  • Offshore Engineering
  • Parasitology
  • Pathology
  • Petroleum Engineering
  • Pharmacology
  • Philosophy
  • Physics
  • Physiology
  • Plant Science
  • Politics
  • Pollution
  • Polymers
  • Psychology
  • Recreation Studies
  • Religious Studies
  • Rural Environment Studies
  • Scottish Studies
  • Semitic Languages
  • Social Anthropology
  • Social History
  • Social Science
  • Sociology
  • Software Engineering
  • Soil Science
  • Spanish
  • Sports Sciences
  • Sports Studies
  • Statistics
  • Structural Engineering
  • Surveying
  • Systems Analysis
  • Teacher Training
  • Theology
  • Town/Country Planning
  • Toxicology
  • Urban Estate Management
  • Urban Studies
  • Wildlife Management
  • Zoology

Student view

Angela Fraser, Student President (4th year, MA Economics)


What’s it like as a place to live?   Aberdeen is the perfect size for a city. Big enough that it has everything. Pubs, clubs, music scene, theatre and football club but small enough to easily get around and not get lost. 

How’s the student accommodation? University accommodation is amongst the cheapest in Scotland. It is spacious and very close to the campus with some accommodation in the heart of the campus.

What’s the student population like? A large number of students come from Aberdeen and Scotland but the University also has students from 120 different countries and a hugely active International Students Society.

How do students and locals get on? Aberdeen, which is the oil capital of Europe, is very diverse and students and locals get along fantastically well with no areas a no go for students. The student charities campaign donates £80,000 (approx) every year to local charities.


What’s it like as a place to study? Probably the most flexible degree programme in the UK. You can arrive with the intention of studying chemistry then get a degree four years later in Economics, I did!

What are the teaching staff like? The University has a real commitment to students and all students will meet international and 5-star lecturers during their time at the University of Aberdeen.


What are student societies like? With more than 95 different societies there are societies for everyone. Harry Potter to Dance, French to Economics. Most students are a member of a society or sports club or both.What’s a typical night out? Going to one of the great nights at the Union, then a club. And how much does it cost? £20ish, depends if you’re thrifty.How can you get home safely? Loads of taxis, night bus at the weekend, not far to walk.


Is it an expensive place to live? Rental prices are similar to that of Edinburgh and Glasgow but cost of living is cheap.

Average price of a pint? £2.10 in city centre. £1.90 on campus.

And the price of a takeaway? Cheap curry and rice with nan and snack, £5!

What’s the part-time work situation? Lots of well-paid work in city readily available, students association has joblink service.


What’s the best feature about the place?The history, established in 1495, Aberdeen University is in its 6th Century! When the whole of England had two universities so did Aberdeen!

And the worst? In the winter its get dark very early in Aberdeen, as early as 3.30 pm in deep winter.

And to sum it all up? The University of Aberdeen is the most beautiful, ancient meets modern, university in the UK.

Past Students

Sandy Gall (ITN newscaster); Iain Cuthbertson (actor); Douglas Henderson, David McLean, Alistair Darling (MPs); James Naughtie (BBC broadcaster);  Sir Denys Henderson (ICI); Lord Addington, Earl of Strathmore (politicians); Ian Crichton Smith (writer); Catherine Gavin (author); Nikki Campbell (radio broadcaster); Kenneth McKellar (opera singer); Evelyn Glennie (percussionist).

More info?

Ring SA on 01224 272965, ask for Freshers’ Mag, or look at www.ausa.org.uk.



University of Aberdeen
King's College
AB24 3FX


01224 272000





Student enquiries:

Student Recruitment & Admissions Service (tel 01224 272090/1).



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