Buddy Scheme

Buddy Scheme

The Buddy Scheme offers support to new students by assigning them to a Buddy group to help them settle into university life.

Image of two girls laughing in Union Brew cafe


Beginning university is a very exciting time however it can also be challenging. The Buddy Scheme is a fun and fulfilling programme for all involved, providing new students with support whilst providing Buddies with valuable experience and enhancing their employability skills.



Who are the Buddies?

Buddies are undergraduate students in their 2nd to 5th year of study. All Buddies receive training to prepare them for their role. 

Buddies support new students (undergraduate and postgraduate taught).

If you are unsure if you are eligible to apply to be a Buddy, please email wellbeing@abdn.ac.uk

Who do the Buddies support?

Buddy support is available to new undergraduate or postgraduate taught students. This includes students articulating from college into second or third year and undergraduate Go Abroad students.

If you are unsure if you are eligible to receive Buddy support, please email wellbeing@abdn.ac.uk


If you want to know more about the Buddy Scheme have a look through the information below. If you still have any questions, please email wellbeing@abdn.ac.uk

How does the Buddy Scheme work?

New undergraduate and postgraduate students beginning their studies at the University can sign up to take part in the Buddy scheme.

At the start of term, they will be allocated to a Buddy group consisting of up to 3 Buddies and up to 15 new students. The Buddies will have a diverse range of knowledge and experiences. New students can expect a minimum of one Buddy within their group to be from the same academic school as them.

The Buddies will plan social activities and meet-ups for their group in the first few weeks on campus and be a good point of contact for any questions from new students settling in.

What are the benefits of the Buddy Scheme?

Benefits of the Buddy Scheme for new students:

  • You will be provided with excellent settling in support from experienced students
  • It is a fun way to be included in social activities and meet new friends at the start of term
  • Your Buddy team will be a friendly point of contact for any worries and questions you have while new at the university, fully trained for their role and can signpost to appropriate services as needed

Benefits for the Buddies:

  • Being involved in an extremely fulfilling programme and be part of our Buddy community
  • Opportunity to develop rewarding and valuable skills e.g. social confidence, team working and responsibility for a group of new students along with your fellow buddies
  • Enhancing your employability skills and your CV
  • Making a positive difference to a new student's experience
How does the application process work?

Applying to be a Buddy

Following a review of all applications, we aim to get back to successful applicants as soon as possible.

If you are successful in your application, you will be expected to complete compulsory online training and attend an in-person workshop to meet your Buddy team and plan activities for your Buddy group. 

The Buddy role will commence in Autumn 2024.

You can apply to be a Buddy for the academic year 24/25 HERE

Please email any queries to wellbeing@abdn.ac.uk

New student in September 2024?

This page will be updated when sign-ups to the scheme open. 

Please email any queries to wellbeing@abdn.ac.uk


How are Buddies and new students matched?

New students are allocated to a Buddy group consisting of up to 3 buddies and up to 15 new students. A minimum of one Buddy will be based in the same school as the new student, but the whole group can be a mix of several schools. 

What qualities should a Buddy have?
  • Friendly and approachable, with a genuine enthusiasm to support new students 
  • A demonstrable understanding of the types of difficulties new students can have 
  • Good communicator, particularly adept at listening to students, facilitating discussion between them and encouraging them to ask questions 
  • Responsive to the needs of others, and sensitive to a range of personalities and cultures  
  • Good knowledge of their academic school and university policies, procedures and services  
  • Positive, reliable and patient
What are the expectations of a Buddy?
  • As a Buddy team, provide Buddy support to an allocated group of new students

  • Help your allocated new students settle into university life through social activities on campus, giving advice on university processes and procedures and signposting them to the most appropriate support services if required

  • Encourage your allocated buddy group to make the most of opportunities at start of term, build friendships and become involved in campus life

  • Be aware of the support and advice available from the university, recognise when a student may need further support and act accordingly (training provided)

  • Complete mandatory training prior to the commencement of the academic year, including attending an in-person workshop

  • Maintain confidentiality where appropriate


Please note: Buddies are not expected to provide academic support to new students. If required, Buddies will sign-post to the appropriate University of Aberdeen services such as Student Learning Service or Pastoral support.

Buddies will always be supported by the Buddy Scheme administrators, consisting of university staff within the Experience, Engagement and Wellbeing team. 

Terms and Conditions

The aim of the Buddy Scheme is to help new students settle into university life and to enhance the student experience of all participating students.    

By applying to be a Buddy or signing up to join a Buddy group you agree to the terms and conditions outlined on this page. 

Joining a Buddy group

The allocations will be undertaken by the Buddy Scheme administrative team. 

The team will allocate new students to a Buddy group with minimum one buddy from the same school.

If either a Buddy or new student feels that their allocated group is unsuitable to them they have the right to request, via the Buddy Scheme Admin team, an alternative group. The team can be contacted by emailing wellbeing@abdn.ac.uk

Confidentiality and Data Protection   

The University of Aberdeen is committed to protecting your personal information and being clear about the information we collect and how we use it. We take our responsibilities seriously as the controller of your personal information under data protection law.  

Data collected to register your participation in the Buddy Scheme will be used for the purpose of coordinating the programme of 2024/25 ONLY and will be deleted within 30 days of the academic year ending. Please note any information disclosed will NOT be shared with other parts of the University. 

The relationship between the Buddy and new student is at all times, a confidential one. Only in special circumstances such as welfare concern, misconduct or breach of the terms of conditions will buddies seek extra support from the Buddy Scheme Admin team, and should this be necessary, they will do so with the full knowledge of the student.