The roots of education are bitter, but the fruits is sweet ~ Aristotle

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world ~ Nelson Mandela

Education is not a preparation for life, Education is life itself ~ John Dewey


University of Aberdeen

The University of Aberdeen is Scotland's third oldest and the fifth oldest in the UK. Aberdeen is an international university built on serving one of the most dynamic regions of Europe. With over 13,000 students, and over 3000 staff, we are at the forefront of teaching and research in medicine, the humanities and sciences.

Picturesque and historic Old Aberdeen - home of Elphinstone's original foundation - is now the main university site, only one mile from the city centre. The 15th century remains very much alive in King's College, offering a sense of history in the daily life of a university now focused on the needs of the new millennium.


Founded in 1495 by William Elphinstone, Bishop of Aberdeen and Chancellor of Scotland, The University of Aberdeen is Scotland's third oldest and the UK's fifth oldest University.

William Elphinstone established King's College to train doctors, teachers and clergy for the communities of northern Scotland, and lawyers and administrators to serve the Scottish Crown. Much of the King's College still remains today, as do the proud traditions, which the Bishop began.

The university opened with 36 staff and students and, in 1497, boasted the first chair of medicine in the English-speaking world. But the college also looked outward to the wider world of Europe and beyond, taking the great European universities of Paris and Bologna as its model, Elphinstone's college embraced all the known branches of learning Arts, Theology, and Canon and Civil Law.

In 1593, a second, Post- Reformation University, was founded in the heart of the New Town of Aberdeen by George Keith, fourth Earl Marischal, and until King's College and Marischal College were united to form the modern University of Aberdeen in 1860, Aberdeen had two universities. At first, Arts and Divinity were taught at King's and Law and Medicine at Marischal; a separate Science Faculty - also at Marischal - was only established in 1892. The university opened all Faculties to women in 1892, and in 1894 the first 20 matriculated female students began their studies. Four women graduated in arts in 1898; by the following year, women made up a quarter of the faculty.

Throughout the 20 th century, particularly since the 1950s, Aberdeen consistently increased student recruitment, which is now in excess of 10,000. In the last 10 years, picturesque and historic Old Aberdeen, home of Bishop Elphinstone's original foundation, has again become the main university site.

The University has also invested heavily in medical research, where time and again University staff have demonstrated their skills as world leaders in their field. The custom-built Institute of Medical Sciences, completed in 2002, was designed to provide state-of-the-art facilities for medical researchers and their students.

In 1999, the University launched its ambitious fund-raising campaign, The Sixth Century Campaign, to mark the start of the University's sixth century of existence. With the support of HRH The Prince of Wales as Campaign Patron, our aim is to raise £150 million by 2010.

The fact that the University has become what it is owes much to the determination and vision of a very few individuals, including a distinguished list of scholars who in their own unique ways, helped to shape the University into the world-class institute we have today.

This is only the briefest glimpse into the history of the University of Aberdeen. A far more detailed account can be found in the publication Crown and Gown, written by Jennifer Carter and Colin McLaren and published by Aberdeen University Press. This publication was the main source for this page and permission for use of the material is gratefully acknowledged. Crown and Gown can be purchased at most good book shops - price £6.95.

The University of Aberdeen was founded in 1495 and is the third oldest University in Scotland

Teaching is split into 3 Colleges, The College of Life Sciences & Medicine, The College of Physical Sciences, and The College of Arts and Social Sciences

Over 13,900 students

46% men, 54% women

19% mature undergraduates

120 nationalities

4 Nobel Prizes have been awarded for work carried out or begun at Aberdeen

High quality teaching with over 89% subjects rated Excellent / Highly Satisfactory

Within 6 months 97% of graduates enter directly into work, further study or training

85% of academic staff are research active

Over 590 first degree programmes

Over 110 taught Masters programmes

Over 150 sports clubs and societies

Study abroad options worldwide

Libraries with over 1,050,000 volumes
£240 million investment on infrastructure and facilities over the next ten years


College of Arts and Social Sciences

The College is separated into a number of academic schools:
University of Aberdeen Business School
School of Divinity, History and Philosophy
School of Education Formerly the Aberdeen campus of the Northern College of Education which was amalgamated into the university in the later half of the 1990s.
School of Language & Literature
School of Law
School of Social Science
Graduate School
There are also a number of Research Centres and Institutes

College of Life Sciences and Medicine
The College is separated into four academic schools:
School of Biological Sciences
School of Medical Sciences
School of Medicine
School of Psychology
and is supported by:
Graduate School
Institute of Applied Health Sciences
Institute of Medical Sciences

College of Physical Sciences
The College is divided into two main schools and a number of research centres:
School of Engineering and Physical Sciences:
Department of Chemistry
Department of Computing Science
Department of Engineering
Department of Mathematical Sciences
Department of Physics
School of Geosciences:
Department of Geography & Environment
Department of Geology & Petroleum Geology
Graduate Studies
College Research Centres:
Aberdeen Institute for Coastal Science and Management
Institute of Energy Technologies
Institute for Transport and Rural Research

University of Aberdeen ranked 137th in the 2007 THES-QS World University Ranking

University of Aberdeen ranked 153rd in the 2008 THES-QS World University Ranking

University of Aberdeen ranked 129th in the 2009 THES-QS World University Ranking

University of Aberdeen ranked 117th in the 2010 QS World University Ranking

University of Aberdeen ranked 141th in the 2011 QS World University Ranking

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Background Image of this blog courtesy of Laura Furniss at Flickr. The author owes a million thanks to her.

Disclaimer: Most of The information obtained are from and the corresponding universities' websites.Images may be taken from the internet, and/or the corresponding universities' websites.The author does not have the rights to any of the images and thus request for information - if any- regarding the ownership of the pictures and/or images