Aberdeen is best known as the “Oil Capital of Europe”. But with two distinguished universities and a student population of almost 15%, the Scottish city is also a great place to study.
The city of Aberdeen is also known for its traditional gray architecture. The locally sourced granite never goes out of fashion and earnt the town the nickname “Granite City”. Since the discovery of oil in the North Sea in the 1970’s, Aberdeen also developed into Europe’s major oil harbour. Out of a total population of 230,000 almost 30,000 are students, giving a great sense of community to young academics in Scotland’s third-largest city.
If you want to study in Aberdeen, you have the choice between two large universities. The University of Aberdeen, founded in 1495 and the fifth-oldest university in the English-speaking world, is a classic “red brick” university with long standing traditions. The Robert Gordon University (RGU) seems its direct opposite; originally founded in the 18th century with roots in medical and technical education, it was awarded the university status as recently as 1992. Both have around 15,000 students each and offer a wide range of Bachelor and Master degrees. There is a passionate but good-hearted rivalry between students of both institutions.
The oil & gas industry is Aberdeen’s main economic driver. Many companies have their headquarters or branches there. At the same time, many students who study in Aberdeen are enrolled in specialised Bachelor and Master programmes focusing on the oil, gas and energy sectors and decide to stay on Scotland’s East coast after they graduate.
Aberdeen offers a good quality of life, but being an oil city, it is rather pricey compared to other cities in the UK. With its strong student population, the city’s pubs, bars and clubs are filled almost every day of the week, and student promotions or discounts are common. Aberdeen is located a bit off the beaten track and only has a small airport with about 30 direct destinations, but is well-connected indirectly via London-Heathrow.