University of Aberdeen


Founded in 1495 by William Elphinstone, Bishop of Aberdeen and Chancellor of Scotland, the University of Aberdeen is Scotland’s third oldest and the UK’s fifth oldest university.

William Elphinstone established King’s College to train doctors, teachers and clergy for the communities of northern Scotland, and lawyers and administrators to serve the Scottish Crown.

King’s College opened with 36 staff and students, and embraced all the known branches of learning: arts, theology, canon and civil law. In 1497 it was first in the English-speaking world to create a chair of medicine

In 1593, a second, Post-Reformation University, was founded in the heart of the New Town of Aberdeen by George Keith, fourth Earl Marischal. King’s College and Marischal College were united to form the modern University of Aberdeen in 1860. At first, arts and divinity were taught at King’s and law and medicine at Marischal. A separate science faculty – also at Marischal – was established in 1892. All faculties were opened to women in 1892, and in 1894 the first 20 matriculated female students began their studies. Four women graduated in arts in 1898, and by the following year, women made up a quarter of the faculty.

Throughout the 20th century Aberdeen has consistently increased student recruitment, which now stands at 14,000. The University has also invested heavily in medical research, where time and again University staff have demonstrated their skills as world leaders in their field. The Institute of Medical Sciences, completed in 2002, was designed to provide state-of-the-art facilities for medical researchers and their students. This was followed in 2007 by the Health Sciences Building. The Foresterhill campus is now one of Europe’s major biomedical research centres.  The Suttie Centre for Teaching and Learning in Healthcare, a £20m healthcare training facility, opened in 2009.

The fact that the University has become what it is owes much to the determination and vision of a handful of visionaries and pioneers, including a distinguished list of scholars who in their own unique ways, helped to shape the University into the world-class institution we have today.



Teaching at the University of Aberdeen is organised across three colleges which encompass a broad range of disciplines in academic schools.

  • Business School

The University of Aberdeen Business School is a leading international provider of excellence in undergraduate and postgraduate education, at the heart of the University. It boasts an international faculty of over 40 research-active members with world leading academic credentials and strong professional links with the business community.

College of Arts and Social Sciences

The flexible undergraduate MA in Arts and Social Sciences offers a wide choice of subjects and a great deal of freedom to devise individual programmes of study. In addition to the MA, the College delivers undergraduate degrees in Divinity, Education, Law and Music.

The College also offers a wide range of multidisciplinary postgraduate programmes, highly relevant to industry needs. It aims to achieve international recognition as a research-led centre of teaching excellence for the Arts and Social Sciences.

The College of Arts and Social Sciences comprises five schools:

College of Life Sciences and Medicine

The College of Life Sciences and Medicine is a dynamic research-led centre with first class teaching and home to more than 3,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students from all over the world.

BSc, MSc and PhD programmes attracting high quality students cover the range of life science subjects including popular, long-standing courses in Zoology and Biomedical Sciences and newer ones such as Drug Development.

Building bridges between science and everyday life: the College’s work goes from laboratory to bedside in applying science to improving healthcare, and in realising the commercial potential of science ideas.

The College is organised into three schools:

College of Physical Sciences

The College offers degree programmes across a broad spectrum of interrelated and relevant topics – from core sciences to technological and industry-focused programmes, and those with a social and environmental focus.

Teaching and research are characterised by a strong interdisciplinary approach, applying theoretical understanding to real world issues.

Located in the heart of the UK’s oil and gas industry, the College offers an extensive portfolio of Engineering and energy-related degree programmes, which are strongly supported by industry and reflect the sector’s current and future needs.

The College comprises 3 schools, covering teaching and research areas across a number of subject areas:


They welcome students from all over the world. To have information in reference to different countries click on the link :



The university is ranked consistently among the top 1% of the world’s universities.

55th out of 750 world universities (top university in Scotland) for research appearing in the top 10% of international journals), CWTS Leiden Ranking 2015

76% of research assessed through the UK’s Research Excellence Framework (REF14) is ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’.

Rated top in the UK in REF14 for environmental and soil science research.

Within the three colleges of Arts and Social Sciences, Physical Sciences, and Life Sciences and Medicine, and the Business School, many degree programmes have been rated either the best in Scotland or in the top ten in the UK by numerous league tables.

Particular strengths lie in medical and life sciences, health services research, psychology and environmental sciences; business and management studies, languages and literature, divinity and history; geosciences, mathematical sciences and engineering.

Region boasts the highest concentration of health and life scientists anywhere in Europe.

6th in the UK for success in commercialising research through spinout companies (latest Praxis Unico survey).



89% of subjects rated excellent/highly satisfactory.

Scotland’s top medical school.

The university has been praised by the UK Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education for the quality of relationships between students and staff, and in its most recent Enhancement Led Institutional Review of the university awarded us the highest level of confirmation that the university has effective arrangements for managing academic standards and the student learning.

The university has a leading track record in pioneering discoveries which have changed the way people think, work and learn throughout the world in the fields of medicine, science and humanities.

76% of our research has been judged as being of international quality and over half of this has been classed as world-leading or internationally excellent.


The University of Aberdeen Careers Service is committed to the provision of quality services to all of our users – students, academics, alumni and employers. Our aim is to enable students and graduates to make informed choices about their future and to reach their full potential.

To complement our careers education, information and guidance provision the service also delivers a range of co-curricular initiatives, which include: career mentoring, work placements, work-based projects, the STAR (Students Taking Active Roles) Award and enterprise and entrepreneurship opportunities.

There is an increasing focus from students, parents and employers on the employability of graduates leaving university, and also a recognition that employability is achieved through a combination of provision within the curriculum, co-curriculum and with the professional support from the University’s Careers Service.

Since the Curriculum Reform Project the Careers Service has been at the forefront in developing a modern, relevant and evidence-based service. We provide trusted and impartial advice giving students real employment experiences that work alongside academic programmes and are tailored to our institutional culture.

Careers Service staff are professionally qualified, engaged with business and up-to date. Communication across the differing cultures of academia and business is essential in providing a leading service.

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