Media Credit: Dan / Library, University of Abertay, Dundee / CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.
Abertay is a small, friendly and supportive university in the heart of Dundee. It excels in vocational teaching, and is an important player in the creative industries having been the first University to offer a “computer games” degree in 1997 and has since been regarded as a world-leading institution in video games design.
Dundee, beautifully located on the banks of the River Tay, combines all the shopping, cultural and entertainment benefits of city living but with easy access to wide open spaces in the surrounding countryside, coupled with excellent road, rail and air links to Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, London and other major centres across the UK. The city is ranked as cheapest Scottish university city by Accommodation For Students (AFS).
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Abertay is a small university, on a compact city campus within the heart of Dundee offering an “Abertay family” feel. Most classes are small, and teachers are accessible. The award-winning Bernard King Library and the Student Centre, with its social and cultural facilities, are right next to the teaching buildings.
Abertay is a small university that receives the majority of its funding for teaching rather than research, and in this way it has a particular focus on preparing students for the world of work. This is done through their unique approach to studio-based learning, in which students tackle real world challenges alongside experienced practitioners and researchers.
Abertay began as the Dundee Technical Institute in 1888 by Sir David Baxter, 1st Baronet of Kilmaron for young mechanics and craftsmen to better themselves. Classes were held on a small site purchased from the University of Dundee and subjects were primarily scientific and technical although applied art was also taught, and jute spinning and textile design were soon added to the portfolio.
In 1906 the Institute moved to a new site to accommodate a growing student population with the vocational nature of the Institute meaning that its classes were highly relevant during the First World War.
By 1951 the Institute was teaching courses that led to examinations for the external degrees of the University of London in pharmacy, mechanical, civil, and electrical engineering.
In 1994 Abertay was granted the title of the University of Abertay Dundee (since 2014 it has been promoting itself as Abertay University) and the ability to award its own degrees. Abertay was the first university in the world to offer a "computer games" degree in 1997 and was the UK's first University to be recognised as a Centre for Excellence in Computer Games Education, and is associated with a business support programme for computer game startups.
In line with the Scottish system, undergraduate degrees are four years with the first year being of a similar standard to the second year of A-levels. It is possible on some courses to enter straight into the second year if you’ve the required entry grades (higher A-level results and Scottish highers) and you can apply in this way via UCAS.