Is Aberdeen A Good University?
Sir Duncan Rice Library
Sir Duncan Rice Library in old Aberdeen, near University. It was officially opened on 24th September 2012 by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth. Aberdeen, august 17th 2017 (Photo by Claudia Beretta/Archivio Claudia Beretta/Mondadori Portfolio)

Is Aberdeen A Good University?

Zoe Kramer November 26, 2022

The University of Aberdeen has quite a significant history, dating back to 1495. This makes it the 5th oldest university in the English-speaking world. It offers over 650 undergraduate programmes between its two main campuses, Old Aberdeen and Foresterhill, and has an enrollment of over 15,000 students. Let’s take a look at the reputation Aberdeen has developed over its centuries of education, and whether it is a good university.

Is the University of Aberdeen Good?

The University of Aberdeen performs well in the rankings. THE ranks it at 192nd in the world. US News ranks it at 277th in the world, 114th in Europe and 26th in the UK. The Guardian ranks it at 13th in the UK. While each of these publications use different metrics, these are all positive indicators regarding the university.

Of course, rankings aren’t the only thing to consider when looking at a university. Much of what makes a university experience enjoyable comes down to individual factors. As a result, it’s also worth taking a look at student opinions.

‘Aberdeen University is excellent. They provide traditional, high class education that rivals what is on offer from neighbouring institutions across the UK. All the buildings are close by. Only a short bus journey or 30 minute walk into the centre where all the shops, pubs, and cafes are. Much more international than expected – but still some locals/rUK. Class sizes are small, that made me feel valued and that staff had time for me, even in 1st year.’ one student wrote on Studentcrowd.

The King’s College Chapel, left, Old Aberdeen, Scotland, United Kingdom.

See also: Is Queens Belfast a Good University?

‘While considered one of the ancient universities, there is little celebration of history or traditions present. The campus is worn and classrooms need to be cleaned/repaired/painted; too much is paid to executive salaries and not enough spent on upkeep or student enrichment. Leadership is mediocre and does not run the university as a modern institution, too much micromanagement.’ another student contributed on Studentcrowd.

‘The campus is absolutely gorgeous and it’s the perfect size to have enough time to get to and from classes. AUSA works really hard to help make the university a better place and provide resources to all students. I have really loved studying here so far and can’t wait to continue!’, a student weighed in on Student Hut.

Overall, student opinion appears to be mostly favourable, with a score of 4.1/5 on WhatUni and 4.3/5 on Studentcrowd.

Why study at Aberdeen?

The highest internationally ranked subject of study at Aberdeen is Divinity and Religious Studies. It also has highly respected programmes in Accounting & Finance, Civil Engineering, Computing Science, Dentistry, Education, Electrical & Electronic Engineering, Law, Linguistics, Medicine, Music, Sociology and Sports Science. So if you are interested in pursuing any of these career pathways, Aberdeen might be a good fit for you.

The university has a diverse community, with over 130 nationalities represented. If you are a history buff, the ancient status of this 527 year old university and its various historical buildings may be a strong draw for you. The Old Aberdeen campus has been listed among the most beautiful campuses in the UK. You might also want to count yourself among the university’s outstanding alumni, including author Ali Smith, BBC broadcaster Nicky Campbell, actors Laura Main and Iain Glen, as well as several MPs.

Aberdeen also has a budget of £235.9 million, meaning it has a wide array of resources at its disposal. Some of these resources are allocated into research, such as in the Rowett Institute, which is a leader in the fields of nutrition and human health. The university also has a campus in Qatar, which provides opportunities for those adventurous students who would like to travel as part of their studies, without the hassle of switching institutions.

Is University of Aberdeen a Russell Group university?

The University of Aberdeen is not a Russell Group university. The Scottish universities that are represented in the Russell Group are Edinburgh and Glasgow. The full list is as follows:

  • University of Birmingham
  • University of Bristol
  • University of Cambridge
  • Cardiff University
  • Durham University
  • University of Edinburgh
  • University of Exeter
  • University of Glasgow
  • Imperial College London
  • King’s College London
  • University of Leeds
  • University of Liverpool
  • London School of Economics and Political Science
  • University of Manchester
  • Newcastle University
  • University of Nottingham
  • University of Oxford
  • Queen Mary University of London
  • Queen’s University Belfast
  • University of Sheffield
  • University of Southampton
  • University College London
  • University of Warwick
  • University of York

However, Aberdeen’s absence from this list does not speak to its quality. It’s true that Russell Group universities are known for excellence in research and academic prowess, but these traits are certainly not exclusive to the universities on this list. So if aspects of the University of Aberdeen appeal to you, don’t let its non-Russell Group status dissuade you from looking into it further.

See also: Which University is Better Oxford or Cambridge?

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Zoe Kramer has been writing for GRV Media’s student-centric website Freshered since October 2022 and is now also contributing to HITC. She graduated from Cardiff University in 2022 with a BA in Journalism, Media and English Literature. During her time in university, she worked for her student newspaper as well as completing an internship with a book publisher. She has also written and continues to write book and theatre reviews. She is excited to now be pursuing a career as a journalist and learning something new every day. In particular, she loves writing about student life, books, the Internet, and travel. Originally from the United States, she is enjoying living abroad in the UK.