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Robert Gordon University
Situated on the banks of the river Dee, Robert Gordon University (RGU) provides industry-led undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. The University is known for its track record in graduate employment, being the best in Scotland, maintained via well-established relationships with professional bodies, industrial organisations, government departments and research institutes to ensure that all taught content is relevant and meets industry standards.
Other recent accolades have included the ‘Top University for Graduate Jobs in the UK (HESA July 2015); ‘Best Modern University in the UK' (The Times Good University Guide 2012); and Top for Graduate Prospects (Guardian University Guide 2017).
QS World Ranking (2022)
Times Higher Education (2021)
Green Credentials (2019)
Young vs Mature
Male vs Female
RGU is based around the Garthdee campus, a peaceful riverside setting in the south-west of Aberdeen which started life as home to Gray's School of Art and the Scott Sutherland School of Architecture & Built Environment and in 1998 acquired the Aberdeen Business School designed by renowned architect Norman Foster. On the banks of the river Dee, the campus has been acquired from the gardens, estate, farmland and meadows of the Victorian manor of Gathdee House. The campus continued to grow with the addition of the Faculty of Health & Social Care in 2002 and the £11million sports centre, RGU SPORT, in 2005.
The University is continuing to grow its campus through its £120m ‘Masterplan’ which will provide students with state-of-the-art teaching and learning facilities. This includes a brand new library, and formal and informal learning and social spaces for students, with the first phase having opened in September 2013.
The University is named after Robert Gordon, an merchant and benefactor from Aberdeen, born in 1668. In 1729 he founded the Robert Gordon's Hospital (later College), to educate the young sons and grandsons of Burgesses of the Guild who were too poor to maintain them at school.
In 1824 Aberdeen Mechanics' Institution opens - the beginnings of an adult education programme and in 1884 this merged with Robert Gordon’s College. Soon the College was finding itself teaching Engineering, Chemistry, Maths and Physics, Pharmacy, Art, Architecture, Domestic Science and Navigation and was renamed the Robert Gordon’s Institute of Technology in 1963 to suggest its increasing role in higher education rather than further education.
In 1992 the Institute was awarded University status, and because it had inherited numerous small campuses it embarked on consolidating its teaching and learning in the late 1990s and early 2000s at Garthdee.
Faculties & Schools
Aberdeen Business School
- Accounting & Finance
- Communication, Media & Marketing
- Energy and Oil & Gas
- Information Management
Faculty of Design & Technology
- Gray's School of Art
- School of Engineering
- The Scott Sutherland School of Architecture & Built Environment
- School of Computing Science & Digital Media
Faculty of Health & Social Care
- School of Nursing & Midwifery
- School of Health Sciences
- School of Pharmacy & Life Sciences
- School of Applied Social Studies
RGU focuses on applied research, and it is an integral part of their purpose to build a research base of staff and students who undertake highly relevant leading-edge research that advances knowledge and provides tangible benefits to the wider economy and society.
RGU has world class researchers in allied health professions, computer science, engineering, architecture, accounting and finance, business and management, library and information management, and art and design.
International & Industrial Opportunities
Robert Gordon University participates in the Erasmus Programme and students have the opportunity to spend either a study period or work placement abroad for one semester or a whole year, depending on their course. If undertaken under the Erasmus Programme, a small grant may also be available to assist with the costs of living abroad. In 2013 the University had links with over 80 universities in 24 different countries, including Finland, Denmark, Italy, France, Germany, Canada, the USA, Singapore and Malaysia, many of which teach in English.
RGU are the top university for graduate jobs in the UK (July 2014). Government figures from the Higher Education Statistics Agency show that 97.7% of students graduating from RGU with their first degree in 2012/13 were in employment or undertaking further study. One of the many reasons for this is that students gain professional and marketable experience during the placement element of their degree. During your placement, you get to see the workplace from an informed perspective, putting into practice the theories, strategies and skills you’ve studied. Many placement students have had the opportunity to go on business trips, work with senior managers and directors, and take responsibility for their own projects. Many are also offered a job at the companies where they went on placement once they have graduated.
UK Students (2021/2022)
Note: Scottish and European Students should check with the Student Awards Agency For Scotland (SAAS).
There are many scholarship opportunities available to Aberdeen Business School students from some of Aberdeen’s most successful companies, worth up to £4,000 per year.
RGU SPORT offer Sport Scholarships for promising sports men and women to support developing their talents to succeed in their chosen sporting field whilst undertaking academic study. Scholarships include: free access to RGU SPORT, academic flexibility support, Strength and Conditioning programming and coaching, nutrition advice, and access to other support services.
ACCESS RGU scholarships are open to students who meet the University’s wider access eligibility criteria and receive between £1,500 to £2,000 per year and support from a dedicated study skills advisor.
RGU has recently invested more than £100m in the development of its campus, and in new facilities and resources. There are approximately 2,500 workstations on campus, and the Library tower, the striking green landmark, opened at the end of May 2013. In the library, you'll have access to individual quiet study areas as well as group work in the Learning Café.
Other learning facilities include practice learning environments. For example, Physiotherapists have access to a state-of-the-art human performance laboratory and two clinical practice rooms, while Radiographers have their own practice suite. In the Life Sciences, there are a number of modern labs with state-of-the-art equipment such as forensic labs, a microscopy suite, a chemistry instrumentation lab, a forensic imaging suite, and a food handling and preparation lab. For those studying Pharmacy there is a range of labs and a mock chemist shop.
The Moot Court, located in Aberdeen Business School, was opened in 2002 and is used by Law students. Law students also have access to a purpose-built TV studio fitted with court-room furniture and recording equipment so that students can practise their mooting skills by arguing fictional cases.
The Study Support Team provides free and confidential support in a range of study skills to help you fulfil your academic potential and become confident, independent learners. Their academic support includes: Academic Writing and Critical Thinking; Exam Preparation and Revision; Maths, Statistics and Numeracy Skills; English Language (for International Students); Study Skills (time management, presentation skills etc.); and Basic IT Skills.
Sports activities and classes run throughout the week ranging from traditional team and individual sports, such as badminton, basketball and five-a-side football to a selection of group exercise classes including Les Mills BTS classes, indoor cycling and pilates.
The University has three first-class gyms which boast top-of-the-range cardiovascular and strength training equipment.
The RGU SPORT scholarship scheme enables talented athletes to continue their academic education while further developing their skills and potential to become elite athletes within their sport.
There are lots of ways to get involved with the community, with a variety of registered charities offering activity-based placements for students including conservation work, befriending and office support, as well as marketing and media opportunities . If you would rather not commit reguarly, but would like to try volunteering out, there are a number of one off projects run throughout the year. These range from fun runs to high profile events such as the annual Torcher Parade, Europe’s largest torch-lit procession. There are also regular one off events for students who would like to take time out, possibly only once a month, to help others with activities such as bag packing, street collecting or beach cleaning.
RGU:RAG is the fundraising arm of the Union. They organise a number of charitable events throughout the year, with all the proceeds going to local, national and international charities. RAG is an entirely student-led group and has raised almost £90,000 for more than 20 different charities in the last two years alone, through various different methods including bake sales, nippy dips, street collections, fashion shows, challenge events and more.
Radar is the Union’s student magazine, which was re-born by a new editorial team formed in 2013. New editions are released roughly every two months, with topics including student activities, sport, societies, fashion, arts, music, food, and all areas of student life. If you’re passionate about writing and would like to see your work in print the team are always looking for new members.
RGU:Radio is the official student-run radio station at the university. RGU Radio re-launched in early 2013 and since then has gained a wide variety of new student volunteers, listeners and supporters.
RGU:TV is a new initiative aimed at launching RGU’s very own student-led TV channel. RGU:TV currently produces on-demand video content to help promote events on campus, and raise awareness of societies, sports clubs and more.
Religion & Spirituality
RGU’s chaplaincy is available for people of all faiths and none. They provide a listening ear for students and staff; offer confidential support; visit students in hospital; assist people with life events, such as conducting baptisms, weddings or funerals; provide links with local churches of various denominations; offer information to people of different faiths about local contacts in Aberdeen; and work with the local community.
Health & Wellbeing
The Student Counselling & Wellbeing Centre has counsellors and a Student Wellbeing Advisor who can talk over issues that might be concerning you at university. This might include adjusting to university life; living with others; fitting in; anxiety and depression; relationship difficulties; coping with change and homesickness; exam panic; stress; self-confidence and low self-esteem; substance misuse; procrastination; bereavement; academic concerns; and self-harm issues.
The Disability & Dyslexia Centre have many years’ experience of supporting students with dyslexia, sensory and mobility impairments, mental health difficulties, medical conditions, autism spectrum disorders and temporary impairments, such as broken limbs. They can provide exam arrangements such as extra time; dyslexia screening and evaluation; in-house assessment of needs; applications for the Disabled Students’ Allowance; liaising with external agencies, for example the Autism Initiatives or the RNIB; and support in organising in-class support.
The Careers & Employability Centre provides practical career planning advice and job search support to all students and recent graduates of the University. They can assist with your transition from education into employment, advanced level study and any other options you are considering.
There is also support in getting part-time work, summer work experience and internships, volunteering opportunities and your graduate job. An online service means you can access listings of current opportunities to apply to, as well as the Employer Directory which connects you to the full range of employers whom regularly recruit RGU students.
A wide range of Employer 'on-campus' visit events, Careers Fairs, specialist workshops and master classes allow you to connect directly with employers, from a wide range of industrial and commercial sectors who are keen to recruit RGU students.
You’ll also gain help in boosting your employability by advice about developing your CV, writing job applications and preparing for interviews.
Throughout your career journey at RGU you will become aware of your own employability and how to become effective career planners throughout your working life
My Career Toolkit is a highly innovative online suite of learning topics, designed in partnership with employers and will take you from the very first stages of thinking about your future right through to making a positive impression in the graduate workplace and every career planning, job search and applications step in-between.
Self-catered (per week) (2021/2022)
RGU has accommodation at ten sites across the city offering a range of prices, rooms, flats and locations, including standard and ensuite rooms, smaller and larger flats, and locations close to the city centre or close to campus. All of the accommodation is self-catered and with easy access to public transport links between the campus and the city centre. Each flat has communal kitchen and lounge facilities with an oven, hob, microwave, toaster and kettle, and you’ll have your own private furnished bedroom. RGU’s accommodation also provides contents insurance, internet access, inclusive bills, and fortnightly cleaning of communal areas.
At RGU’s halls of residence you’ll have access to support and advice 24 hours a day, and Reslife social activities and events throughout the whole year.
English Language Requirements
Undergraduate courses normally require an IELTS score of 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in all 4 components. Some of their courses require a different level of English, so please check with their course pages for specific details.
RGU’s International Office is the first point of contact for overseas students prior to your arrival, and they can answer any questions you may have, whether it is about our application procedures or the University in general. They have dedicated web pages for overseas students to provide you with useful information about the University and life in Aberdeen, and also do a series of webchats throughout the year for students interested in coming to RGU from around the world. These chats offer the chance to speak to academic staff, current students and each other to help get a real understanding of why RGU is the right choice for you.
The University organises different events and social activities for international students. They have a dedicated International Student Advice, Visa and Immigration Centre, which offers international students a comprehensive range of visa and immigration support.