Aberdeen City in Scotland is a UK student city that has the University of Aberdeen and Robert Gordon University.


Aberdeen, Scotland

Population: 220,420

University students: 28,215 (12.8%)


Aberdeen, Robert Gordon

Granite architecture of Aberdeen

The northern student city

Aberdeen - which is Scotland's third largest city - is in north east and provides a base for North Sea oil and gas operations. It has strong student representation, with around 28,000 university students and a student to population ratio of 12.8%.

Aberdeen is an open-metropolitan style of university city. Students are spread across city districts and, when not studying, live fairly independently of the universities.

The city is large enough to offer a big-city experience for students while also giving easy access to a variety of outdoor activities and landscapes. Aberdeen's two universities both score well on student surveys of course satisfaction.

1. Geography and climate

Aberdeen is technically the UK's coldest city. For more information about geography and climate, refer to the Aberdeen university city map.

2. Accommodation

Aberdeen has much of its student accommodation located within walking distance or a short bus ride from the university campuses. The University of Aberdeen is close to the city centre, making accommodation quite expensive. College residence fees are around £5,000 for a standard self-catered package. Robert Gordon University is based slightly out of the city at Garthdee and has average fees of around £4,000 per year.

3. Transport

While city bus services are plentiful, they are not always required because of the short distances involved. Walking or cycling can be good alternatives.

Aberdeen is connected to the UK's major cities though coach, rail and air services. Aberdeen railway station is on the main UK rail network and has frequent direct journeys to cities such as Edinburgh, Glasgow and London.

Aberdeen also has its own airport that has direct services to Europe. The heliport, which serves the oil industry and rescue services, is one of the busiest in the world.

4. Attractions

Student night (and day) life is busy around Union Street in the heart of Aberdeen.Union Street, Aberdeen CityAberdeen has long been famous for its parks and gardens, and award-winning citywide floral displays. It also has distinctive granite buildings, with much of the town was built using silvery-grey granite hewn from a now abandoned quarry. Aberdeen's famous Granite Mile, Union Street, is the gateway to over 800 shops, restaurants and bars.


Aberdeen's large student population contributes to a busy nightlife in the city most nights of the week. It has a variety of bars and clubs to suit different tastes.

Most of the pubs, clubs and bars are close to Union Street, although the bars of Belmont Street are particularly known for featuring live music. Best offers and prices for students are on Mondays and Wednesdays.

Festivals, galleries and museums

University graduates and students have the opportunity to perform at the annual Aberdeen Student Show.Performers at the annual Aberdeen Student ShowAmong its attractions, Aberdeen has a Maritime Museum and Art Gallery, both of which are generally free to enter.

The Aberdeen Student Show, performed annually since 1921, is the longest-running of its kind in the UK. It combines comedy and music. Productions are written, produced and performed by students and graduates of Aberdeen's universities and higher education institutions.

5. Recreation and sport

Aberdeen offers plenty of space for outdoor activities when the weather permits. It has long paths for walking and cycling and large parks. The hinterland also offers opportunities for hill climbing, skiing, sailing, windsurfing and canoeing.

There is a wide range of leisure centres, gyms and swimming pools. Aberdeen has the largest bowling alley in Scotland, eleven golf courses and a Premier League football team.

6. Universities

Robert Gordon University has around 13,000 Scottish and international students and is based at Garthdee, just outside Aberdeen City.Robert Gordon University, AberdeenAberdeen is the educational centre of the north east due to its two universities, the University of Aberdeen (founded in 1495) and The Robert Gordon University (awarded university status in 1992).

The University of Aberdeen has a campus at King's College, about a mile north of the city, and at the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, which is a 10-minute bus journey. It has 15,500 students and a course satisfaction rating of 3.2 / 5.0 (which is benchmarked against all UK universities). Tuition fees for international students are around £12,000 for the study year.

The Robert Gordon University is based at Garthdee, about 2 miles south of the city. It was named Best Modern University in the UK for 2012 by The Sunday Times. It was previously The Sunday Times Scottish University of the Year for 2011 due to its record on graduate employment. It has 12,700 students, a course satisfaction rating of 3.1 / 5.0 and charges international students around £10,000 for annual tuition.