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University of Aberdeen
King`s College, AB24 3FX Aberdeen
+44 (0)1224-272000
History & Excellence Why choose Aberdeen? What can I study? (Undergraduate) What can I study? (Postgraduate part 1) What can I study? (Postgraduate part 2) Fast Facts Where will I live? How much will university cost? Are there any scholarships? What learning resources are there? What about support for students? Can I study abroad?

History & Excellence

The University of Aberdeen is the UK’s fifth oldest university with an academic reputation spanning over 500 years. Forward-thinking, Aberdeen is at the cutting-edge of research.

Leading in the 15th Century

Students outside King'sThe University of Aberdeen is Scotland’s third oldest university, founded in 1495 as Columbus was opening up the New World and the Renaissance was spreading throughout Europe. William Elphinstone, Bishop of Aberdeen and Chancellor of Scotland, 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. This fledgling university boasted, from 1497, the first chair of medicine in the English-speaking world.

Picturesque and historic Old Aberdeen - home of Elphinstone’s original foundation - is now the main university site. The 15th Century remains very much alive in King’s College Chapel, which is still in regular use, offering an oasis of peace, beauty and a sense of history in the daily life of a university now focused on the needs of the new millennium.

Leading in the 21st Century

As you would expect from a university dedicated to excellence in teaching and learning, you will be taught by people who are at the forefront of research in their particular fields. The University of Aberdeen has been praised by the UK Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) for the quality of relationships between students and staff at all levels. 89% of subjects assessed are rated excellent/highly satisfactory, and 85% of academic staff are research-active.

College of Arts and Social Sciences

The College comprises six Schools: Business; Divinity, History and Philosophy; Education; Language & Literature; Law; and Social Science. It includes over half of the University’s student population. There is a wide range of undergraduate opportunities, with MA, BEd, BMus, BD, BTh and LLB programmes, and the College is actively expanding its portfolio of masters programmes, many of them interdisciplinary. At postgraduate research level, the College aims to promote excellent research in all its disciplines and to provide a framework in which interdisciplinary research can flourish. It is establishing a new Graduate School in Arts and Social Sciences, and has a number of flourishing research groups, including the AHRC-funded Research Institute of Irish and Scottish Studies, the Centre for European Labour Market Research, the Centre for Early Modern Studies and the Elphinstone Institute for the study of human traditions.

College of Life Sciences and Medicine

Innovative research is being pursued throughout the College of Life Sciences and Medicine.

On the King’s College campus, the School of Biological Sciences is supported by a number of major resources such as sea & freshwater aquaria, analytical & molecular genetics laboratories and excellent field stations. This enables our academics to carry out truly global research in the biological sciences; from the depths of the oceans to the tropics and poles. From our Oceanlab, biologists and engineers investigate the ecology and behaviour of marine animals at depths down to 6,000m. In the School of Psychology, our industrial psychologists specialise in the application of psychology to high reliability workplaces.

On the Foresterhill site, research excellence is centred on two research institutes. The Institute of Applied Health Sciences focuses on national and international population-based research. Its researchers investigate the causes and consequences of health problems as well as the content and organisation of health care in both primary and secondary care settings. The Institute of Medical Sciences (IMS) brings together scientists and clinicians in a state-of-the-art research laboratory facility.

The IMS provides an environment in which modern molecular and cellular technologies can be applied directly to a broad range of disease processes.

College of Physical Sciences

The College offers a wide range of teaching and research experience across a spectrum of degree programmes. The disciplines within the College are Chemistry, Computing Science, Engineering, Geography and Environment, Geology and Petroleum Geology, Mathematical Sciences, Physics and Planning. Research informs all aspects of teaching.

Science at the University is supported by well-founded laboratories with high-tech equipment and computing facilities. Research centres and facilities include the Scottish Offshore Materials Centre and Oceanlab - a joint venture with the College of Life Sciences and Medicine, which looks to provide innovative solutions to design problems generated from work in the deep oceans. Amongst new initiatives is the Institute of Energy Research & Development. Interest in renewable sources of energy is growing with a number of the oil and gas companies diversifying into these areas.

The University has considerable expertise in areas such as rural planning, coastal science, environmental management, petroleum geology, bioenergy, and engineering.

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