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University of Aberdeen - University profile

University of Aberdeen : University profile

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Founded in 1495, the University of Aberdeen is the fifth oldest University in UK. Through the years, the University has never deviated from its core ideals on teaching, learning and discovery. Ambitious and research-driven, the University offers an encouraging, stimulating and supportive environment to students.

Being an internationally distinguished institution, the University of Aberdeen attracts a large international community of students and staff from over 120 countries. The University takes great pride in having a flexible learning environment where students are encouraged to build on their specific skills and discover new interests.

The University is located in Aberdeen, a city known for its dynamism and prosperity. The city offers students an excellent social scene and an opportunity to be part of a friendly community. Aberdeen is Scotland's third largest city, with a population of approximately 220,000 and is considered to be the cultural centre of the north-east. The safe environment and lively cultural scene at Aberdeen make it an ideal centre for industry, research, learning and life.

The University offers undergraduate and postgraduate courses in its three distinguished Colleges: College of Arts and Social Science, College of Life Sciences and Medicine and the College of Physical Sciences.



For students with a passion for outdoor life, Aberdeen is the perfect city! The beautiful valley of River Dee and Royal Deeside rests to its west while the North Sea and a coastline of sandy beaches lie on its east side. The city boasts of lovely green parks and open spaces while offering numerous opportunities for water sports and skiing, nearby.

One of the most vibrant and wealthy regions in the United Kingdom, Aberdeen appeals to international students with varied tastes in arts, culture, leisure and entertainment. It offers a rich mix of healthy culture and unrivalled social life. Its theatres, multiplexes, art galleries and museums offer a rich source of entertainment while its trendy clubs, bars and old-world pubs promise a vibrant nightlife.

Aberdeen satisfies the taste buds of all international students, with the multicultural cuisine on offer including Italian, French, Chinese, Indian, Thai, Greek and Turkish fare. The city also has a variety of shopping malls, ranging from designer boutiques to independent outlets and thrift shops, along with a Chinese supermarket and halal food shops.

A Day in the Life of our Students

Duration: 01m50s

Why Aberdeen

Students in front of building

The University of Aberdeen has always been strongly committed towards academic and research excellence. The quality of the research activities carried out at Aberdeen has been validated by the five 'Nobel prizes' awarded, for work carried out, or begun at the University.

The University provides an opportunity for students to pursue the degree of their choice and facilitates academic growth and overall personal development. Its competitive focus towards research, diverse courses, excellent teaching, superb facilities and the care and attention provided to students make it an ideal University for students to entrust their future.

Area of Achievements

  • The 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) certified that 89 per cent of Aberdeen's research activity was of international quality and 55 per cent as either 'world-leading' or 'internationally excellent'.
  • 93 per cent of students enter directly into good jobs, research posts or further study within six months of graduating.
  • Offers unique programme options with professional accreditation, industrial placements, plus the opportunity to study abroad in Europe, North America, Hong Kong or Japan.
  • Ranked in the top 1% of Universities Worldwide
  • Ensures high quality teaching with over 89 per cent of the subjects rated excellent or highly satisfactory
  • The University's members of staff were first in the world to use an MRI to scan a patient's body.
  • Boasts of over 150 sports clubs and societies and an Olympic-standard Sports Village
  • Hosts prestigious culture events, which include the Director's Cut, the International Aberdeen Music Prize and the British Science Festival in 2012.

What can I study?

The three Colleges at Aberdeen offer a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses. Students benefit from the skills of internationally renowned academics who actively promote research besides enhancing their own knowledge at the University of Aberdeen.

College of Arts and Social Science

The College of Arts and Social Science comprises six schools: business, divinity, history and philosophy, education, language & literature, law, and social science and proudly hosts two research institutes: The Elphinstone Institute and the Research Institute for Irish and Scottish Studies. It is home to around 5,000 undergraduate and 1,000 postgraduate students. Its MA in Arts and Social Sciences offers an extensive range of subjects, empowering students with skills and knowledge to prepare them for a successful career. It also offers insightful undergraduate degrees in Law, Education and Music. Its Graduate School is an innovative and fast-growing unit, targeted at the postgraduate student population, offering a wider range of multidisciplinary postgraduate programmes, many of which are highly relevant to industry needs.

College of Life Sciences and Medicine

Promoting dynamic research activity in its Schools: the School of Biological Sciences; the School of Medicine and Dentistry; the School of Medical Sciences; the School of Psychology and the Graduate School, the College of Life Sciences and Medicine encourages more than 3,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students to make the best use of its facilities. The Graduate School exclusively caters to postgraduate students, offering an excellent teaching and research environment. The College's PhD and postgraduate programmes facilitate in-depth knowledge and also improve the prospect for a rewarding career.

College of Physical Sciences

The College of Physical Sciences offers degree courses across its three Schools: Engineering, Geosciences and Natural and Computing Sciences. It offers academically challenging courses to 2,500 undergraduate and postgraduate students and enables them to gain mastery over cutting-edge research activities. The teaching and research focus on real life issues, which include core sciences, technological and industry-focussed programmes and also courses with a social and environmental focus. The College's Graduate School caters for the postgraduate student population and the master's programmes on offer are highly relevant and designed to meet the needs of the industry.

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Student life


The University offers outstanding learning resources to students, which include: A New £57m, Library, the largest wireless campus in Europe, Museums and Special Collections, High-Tech Language Learning, a Student Learning Service and the Aberdeen Sports Village.

Orientation Programme

International students are offered a refreshing orientation programme on arrival. This programme is meant to support international students and help them settle into life in Aberdeen.

English Language Programmes

Some international students may not possess the required English language skills to enter directly into a degree programme at the University of Aberdeen; however, the University Language Centre helps these students to gain proficiency in English. There are a range of options available to students, including a 12 or 6 week summer school or foundation programme.

More information on the programmes available.

Study Abroad and Exchanges

The University of Aberdeen has numerous study opportunities for visiting exchange students, and annually welcomes students from the United States of America, Canada, and the European Union. Visiting students can study for a single semester or a full academic year and there are wide ranges of courses on offer, with the exception of Clinical Medicine.

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Student Support Services

Student Support Services offers various support facilities, which include Chaplaincy Centre, Counselling Service, Student Advice & Support Office, General Advice, Financial Assistance and also offers an opportunity to contact the support staff.

Students' Organisation and Services

AUSA (Students Association) is the students' key representative body, acting as the student voice. It offers great opportunities for students to get involved including the Aberdeen Students' Charities Campaign, Sports' Union and Societies' Union.


Students are offered a choice of a single study bedroom in the University managed halls and privately-owned and managed halls, situated in close proximity to the campus. The University managed accommodation is capable of housing at least 2,100 students and single students who abide by the deadline are guaranteed a place in accommodation.

Sports Village

The University offers first-class sporting facilities to sports lovers as well as professionals. The University's extensive investment in the Aberdeen Sports' Village proves its commitment to sports.

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How to apply

Undergraduate Students

All applications for undergraduate degrees are made via the UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). The exceptions are students undertaking part-time courses, non-graduating and visiting students who may apply directly to the University.

Postgraduate Students

Postgraduate students may apply directly to the University of Aberdeen. These students may either apply online or download the Postgraduate Application Form.

The complete postgraduate application form should comprise the following:

  • A completed Postgraduate Application Form
  • Academic transcripts and/or degree certificate(s) to date
  • Proof of proficiency in English
  • Academic References: For Research Programmes, two confidential references in sealed envelopes, signed by the referee across the seal, are required. For Taught Programmes, international applicants with a first degree are required to submit one reference only.


The University of Aberdeen offers a limited variety of scholarships and bursaries to motivate students and help them manage their expenses. Students are advised to carry out a detailed research as some scholarships require them to apply a year before the commencement of the course. Other international scholarship schemes on offer include Chevening Scholarships and the Scotland's Saltire Scholarships.

The University of Aberdeen Alumni Discount Scheme

Students who have graduated with a degree from the University are eligible to a discount of 20 per cent in postgraduate tuition fees. The Alumni Discount Scheme applies to the self-funding element of the postgraduate tuition fee. It covers only the tuition fee element and does not apply to additional programme costs or research costs.


Life after Aberdeen

Aberdeen has an enviable track record in fulfilling these student aspirations. It has been proved that 93 per cent of its graduates either enter work or undertake further study or training within six months of their graduation.

Aberdeen's relationship with employers of significance, its exemplary courses and the calibre of its alumni mean our graduates have a wealth of opportunities upon graduation.

Career Service

Career Service can assist students consider both their long-term and short-term career aspirations. It helps students across all academic levels, from freshers to final year students. Career Service is open from Monday to Friday and helps discuss the students' career options and goals to specific career ideas.

Joblink Service

Many students rely on part-time and vacation work to support them during their stint at the University. Joblink Service exists to help students find part-time work and also offers employment advice.

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