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Study a graduate program in Aberdeen

Population: 220,500

City overview

Aberdeen is Scotland’s third largest city and one of its most northerly. It is the educational centre of Scotland’s north-east and home to the ancient University of Aberdeen and the prestigious Robert Gordon, as well as a major contributor to Scotland’s economy through its oil industry and manufacturing.

Thanks to high paid jobs, low crime rates and a longer life expectancy, Aberdeen is one of the most desirable places to live in the UK. In fact, the Aberdeen postcode has the second highest number of millionaires of any postcode in the UK – not a bad place to make your fortune after you’ve studied your postgraduate course.

Education profile

Aberdeen is home to two universities offering postgraduate courses: The University of Aberdeen is one of the world’s oldest universities, having been founded in 1495. Its student body of around 16,000 students are drawn from more than 120 countries around the world.

Robert Gordon University was awarded university status in 1992 and was named the UK’s best modern university in 2012 by the Sunday Times.

Aberdeen is also home to two artistic schools in Gray’s School of Art and the Scott Sutherland School of Architecture and the Built Environment.

Research and taught courses are both offered as graduate programs in Aberdeen, with hundreds of postgraduate courses on offer at both universities. Both types of Masters normally take 1-2 years to complete, with PhD programs taking 3-4 years full time or six years part-time.

Immigration and visas

EU citizens are permitted to take a graduate program in Aberdeen providing they fulfil the following:
  • Are studying in the UK for more than three months
  • Are enrolled at an accredited university or institution
  • Have proof of sufficient funds to cover your graduate program in the UK for its duration
Non-EU students will need to apply for a student visa under the tier 4 visa category. They will need to demonstrate the following:
  • Proof of funding to cover a postgraduate course and living costs
  • A confirmation of acceptance to study (CAS) reference from a university with sponsor status
  • Adequate English language skills
You can find out more about visas at the UK Border Agency.

Life in Aberdeen

Taking a graduate program in Aberdeen will mean moving to one of the UK’s most northerly universities, and living life in one of Scotland’s more remote cities. However, Aberdeen is not some backward outpost, but actually one of the UK’s most desirable cities to live and work in. The city and its surrounding areas rank as some of the most desirable places to live in the UK.

You can expect a great quality of life in Aberdeen, from beautiful scenery, beaches and mountains to top quality nightlife and restaurants. Aberdeen’s famous Granite Mile is home to more than 800 shops, restaurants and bars and is at the heart of the city.

Aberdeen is also a surprisingly cosmopolitan city, due to its nature as a big oil producer, so international students will not feel out of place.

Working in Aberdeen

Non-EU international students wanting to stay on to work in Aberdeen after their studies will need to apply for a work visa. You can find out more about the various visa options through the UK Border Agency.

Aberdeen has always been a prosperous city in Scotland and has no shortage of jobs. The city was traditionally home to fishing, textiles and ship building, but its modern wealth is built on the oil industry and electronics design and development.

Accommodation

Postgraduate students can choose from halls of residence accommodation or private housing. Unusually for a large university town, Aberdeen has lots of student accommodation within walking distance of the universities – particularly the University of Aberdeen.

As Aberdeen is quite small, students tend to live all over the city and take public transport or walk into lessons. A popular student area is Old Aberdeen, which surrounds the University of Aberdeen.

Expect to pay around £300 a month for a room in a shared house in Aberdeen.

Weather and climate

Aberdeen has a surprisingly mild climate considering how northerly it is. Expect summer temperatures to reach around 18C on average between June and August, while temperatures hover around 2C through the winter months of December, January and February.

What you may notice is how short the days are over winter, with only six hours and 40 minutes of daylight on the winter solstice. You’ll make up for it over the summer though, with 18 hours of sunlight on the longest day.  

What to do next

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