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The University of Aberdeen abbreviated as Aberd. in post-nominals is a public research university in Aberdeen, Scotland. It is an ancient university founded in 1495 when William Elphinstone, Bishop of Aberdeen and Chancellor of Scotland, petitioned Pope Alexander VI on behalf of James IV, King of Scots to establish King's College, making it Scotland's third-oldest university and the fifth-oldest in the English-speaking world. Today, Aberdeen is consistently ranked among the top 200 universities in the world and is ranked within the top 30 universities in the United Kingdom. Aberdeen was also named the 2019 Scottish University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide.

The university as it is currently comprised was formed in 1860 by a merger between King's College and Marischal College, a second university founded in 1593 as a Protestant alternative to the former. The university's iconic buildings act as symbols of wider Aberdeen, particularly Marischal College in the city centre and the crown steeple of King's College in Old Aberdeen. There are two campuses; the predominantly utilised King's College campus dominates the section of the city known as Old Aberdeen, which is approximately two miles north of the city centre. Although the original site of the university's foundation, most academic buildings were constructed in the 20th century during a period of significant expansion. The university's Foresterhill campus is next to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and houses the School of Medicine and Dentistry as well as the School of Medical Sciences. Together these buildings comprise one of Europe's largest health campuses.The annual income of the institution for 2016–17 was £222.5 million of which £61.0 million was from research grants and contracts, with an expenditure of £229.0 million.

Aberdeen has approximately 13,500 students from undergraduate to doctoral level, including many international students. An abundant range of disciplines are taught at the university, with 650 undergraduate degree programmes offered in the 2012-13 academic year. Many important figures in the field of theology were educated at the university, particularly in its earlier history, giving rise to the Aberdeen doctors in the 17th century and prolific enlightenment philosopher Thomas Reid in the 18th. Five Nobel laureates have since been associated with Aberdeen.



Admission to the University of Aberdeen is entirely on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve. They operate an admissions policy which ensures equality of opportunity to all applicants. Applications are welcomed from students with excellent academic potential and the University recognises the importance of admitting applicants to a degree suited to their ability and aspirations. The selection process therefore takes account of all aspects of an application and not just an applicant's academic profile.

In seeking to attract applications from students with excellent academic potential, the University of Aberdeen is committed to widening participation and to promoting wider access to Higher Education. There are no admissions quotas which advantage or disadvantage any group of applicants and the University of Aberdeen is committed to treating all applicants within the admissions cycle fairly.

Every degree has an admissions selector, who considers all the applications for that area of study. Selectors are interested in an applicant's academic achievements but they will also take note of the spread of subjects studied and will check for competence in any specific subjects required for particular subjects. Selectors take an applicant's personal statement and the Referee's Report into account when they make their decision, as well as actual or predicted examination grades. Selectors are looking for evidence of knowledge and understanding of a subject, of commitment, motivation and responsibility, and ability to cope with the challenges of a university education.

Applications for admission to all degrees are considered without regard to any inappropriate distinction eg ethnicity or national origin, nationality, disability, sexual orientation, gender, religious or political beliefs, marital status or socio-economic background. Mature students (those who will be 21 or over at the time they start an undergraduate degree), and students who have suffered educational hardship or disruption (including students with disabilities), may receive special consideration.

The University of Aberdeen believes a diverse student population is important from an educational and social perspective; enhancing the educational experience for all.


The University of Aberdeen offers student living for undergraduates at our Hillhead Student Village and at a number of residences based on our King’s College campus. International Exchange and Study Abroad students are integrated in to the halls with other University of Aberdeen students, so you will have the opportunity to meet local students as well as other international students.

International Exchange and Study Abroad students are guaranteed a place in student accommodation for the duration of their studies (1 semester or 1 academic year), as long as they apply by the stated deadline. Information regarding how to apply for accommodation and the relevant deadlines and contract dates is provide at the point of acceptance.


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