Robert Gordon University


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The Independent Online


Overall ranking: 63rd out of 126 in the Complete University Guide for 2016.

History: Began life in 1750 as Robert Gordon's Hospital. Became Robert Gordon's College, then Robert Gordon Institute of Technology, and finally a university in 1992.

Address: Teaching at two sites in Aberdeen: Garthdee and the City Centre campus.

Ambience: Aberdeen itself is close to the Grampian Mountains and Cairngorms National Park, with sandy beaches and two rivers. The main campus adjoins Aberdeen art gallery.

Who's the boss? Professor John Harper, a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, is vice-chancellor.

Prospectus: 01224 262 728 or have a read online here.

UCAS code: R36

What you need to know

Easy to get into? Takes experience and academic qualifications into account. Depends on course, but entry requirements are given in grades as opposed to UCAS points. See here for more information.

Vital statistics: Over 16,000 students. Around 10,000 undergraduates and over 6,000 postgraduates. Almost a third of the total student body are local.

Added value: Has a strong professional emphasis and an exemplary reputation for graduate employment, with the best track record in Scotland – 98 per cent find work or go on to further study within six months of graduating. The university’s virtual learning environment is used by students on and off campus. £100m investment recently in the Garthdee campus, which houses the Aberdeen Business School building, designed by Sir Norman Foster, the faculty of health and social care, Gray's School of Art, the Scott Sutherland School of Architecture and an £11m sports centre. An exciting £120m campus masterplan received its first students in September 2013. As a result of the investment, the Schools of Pharmacy and Life Sciences, Engineering and Computer Science and Digital Media facilities now boast state-of-the-art teaching and learning facilities. Other investment includes a brand new nine story learning tower and library as well as various study spaces for students. The university is also currently building a new home for our Scott Sutherland School of Architecture and the Built Environment which will welcome its first students in September 2015.

Teaching: 71st out of 126 in the Complete University Guide.

Graduate prospects: Very impressive- 12th out of 126 with 80.2 per cent finding graduate level employment.

Any accommodation? Ranges from £96 to £138 per week.  Rooms are all single occupancy and self-catering.  There is a mixture of standard and en-suite accommodation.

Cheap to live there? Fairly cheap. Private rents are around £70 per week in shared accommodation. For those keen on a bit more luxury, private local rents in Aberdeen start from about £150 per week for a one bedroom flat.

Transport links: A shuttle bus service travels between the campuses every ten minutes. Easy to get about by foot or by bike. Aberdeen itself is easily accessed with cheap air, train and bus connections.

Fees: Scottish and EU students do not have to pay any fees if they apply to the SAAS for funding. Tuition fees for English, Welsh and Northern Irish students are £5,000 for courses in business, management and social science; £6,750 for art and design, architecture and the built environment, computing, engineering, health sciences and social work; and £8,500 per year for pharmacy. International students pay considerably more.

Bursaries: Strong links with industry mean that a range of company-funded merit scholarships are available, depending on the course and year of study. Visit the website for more details.

The fun stuff

Nightlife: There's the Students' Union in the city centre but a large student population means that Aberdeen is hopping with bars, clubs and has a vibrant music scene.

Price of a pint: About £3 for a pint of lager in Aberdeen.

Sporting reputation: Not great, at 78th in the BUCS 2014/15 league table of 145 universities and colleges.

Notable societies: Hungry? Sign up for Toast Society. There's a Live Music Society for gig-goers and a Pirates one for the Jack Sparrow wannabes among you.

Glittering alumni: Artist Callum Innes, shortlisted for the Turner Prize in 1995; Robert Cook, chief executive of Malmaison and Hotel Du Vin; Ena Baxter, of the Baxter soup empire; Derek Reid, former Scottish Tourist Board chief executive; and Ola Gorie, jewellery designer.

Alternative prospectus: Discuss Robert Gordon with current and recent students on The Student Room, and discover whether it could be the university for you.