Robert Gordon University, commonly referred to as RGU, is a public university in the city of Aberdeen, Scotland. It became a university in 1992, and originated from an educational institution founded in the 18th century by Robert Gordon, a prosperous Aberdeen merchant, and various institutions which provided adult education and technical education in the 19th and early 20th centuries. It is one of two universities in the city (the other is the much older University of Aberdeen).
According to the 2013 Times Good University Guide it is the best modern university in the UK, while according to The Guardian University Guide 2013 it is the best modern university in Scotland and 2nd-best in the UK. It was shortlisted for Sunday Times University of the Year 2012 and was named Best Modern University in the UK for 2012 by The Sunday Times University Guide. Analysis published by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) has indicated that of those who graduated from full-time undergraduate degrees in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014, 2015 were in employment or further study within six months – one of the highest of any university in the UK.
The university awards degrees in a wide range of disciplines from BA/BSc to PhD, primarily in (but not limited to) professional, technical and artistic disciplines and those most applicable to business and industry. A number of traditional academic degree programmes are also offered, such as in the social sciences. Disciplines available include the social sciences, life sciences, engineering, computing science, pharmacy, nursing, allied health professions, social work, law, accountancy, business administration, management, journalism, fine art, applied arts and design, and architecture. In addition, the university’s academic and research staff produce world-class research in a number of areas.
Following the reforms of the Further and Higher Education Act 1992, the Institute was awarded university status as The Robert Gordon University on 12 June 1992. The new university inherited numerous small campuses, and during the late 1990s and 2000s embarked on large building projects (primarily at Garthdee) to consolidate teaching at its City Centre and Garthdee campuses, assisted by a large purchase of land at Garthdee from Aberdeen City Council in the mid-1990s.
A merger with the University of Aberdeen was discussed in 2002, but was rejected in favour of remaining separate but working in closer collaboration. By 2000, the University had consolidated to two campuses, at Garthdee (the main campus today) and a City-Centre campus at Schoolhill and St. Andrew Street in central Aberdeen. However, it had been planned since the early 1990s to eventually move all facilities to a single campus at Garthdee, and during this time additional land was purchased to enable new state-of-the-art academic buildings to be constructed to house academic departments which had been at the City Centre campus. The first phase was completed in summer 2013 with the opening of the Sir Ian Wood building (then known as Riverside East, and formally opened and renamed in July 2015), after which the City-Centre campus closed apart from the Administration Building on Schoolhill. RGU is now a single-campus university.
Academic activities at the university are divided into 11 schools. Each school is led by a head of school and is sub-divided into departments. There are also numerous administrative departments which support the university’s activities. All academic Schools and Departments are based at the main Garthdee campus:
- Aberdeen Business School
- School of Applied Social Studies
- School of Computing Science and Digital Media
- School of Creative and Cultural Business
- School of Engineering
- Gray’s School of Art
- School of Health Sciences
- The Law School
- School of Nursing and Midwifery
- School of Pharmacy and Life Sciences
- The Scott Sutherland School of Architecture & Built Environment.
Each course description in the prospectus gives a guide to the entry requirements that the university accepts. Find out more on their website.
Due to their vocational courses they are consistently named as one of the best UK Universities for graduate employment.
In the latest independent National Student Survey, the overall student satisfaction score at RGU has remained at 86%
All undergraduate courses offer an effective combination of academic study and practical experience, with most including periods of work placement.
All of their courses are designed and developed in close consultation with the relevant professional bodies, and, where relevant, courses will carry accreditation by the relevant professional bodies.
All courses are subject to initial approval and validation. Each course is then subject to a subsequent six yearly institution-led Subject Review.
Course performance is monitored annually.
Each Faculty has Learning Enhancement Co-ordinators (LECs), who are academics with a responsibility to develop learning and teaching practice.
The Careers and Employability Centre offers daily 15 minute drop in sessions, 30 minute bookable appointments and extended guidance and mock interview preparation when required. For students out-with Aberdeen the Centre also offers telephone and Skype appointments.
In addition to the face to face support available, the Careers and Employability Centre have a new online resource: the My Career Toolkit which contains interactive topics covering areas such as Writing a CV, Preparing for Interview, Persuasive Personal Statements and much more.
The Careers and Employability Centre has also recently re-designed their 23 course specific career pages to ensure that the students get career information related to their subject area. Regardless of whether you’re looking for summer work experience or are beginning to apply for a graduate job there are resources available specifically for them.
For International students and UK students interested in pursuing a career abroad there is a specific International Careers page containing links to international job directories.