Knowledge to Effect Change

Being research intensive, we have an established track record of innovation. Researchers here are placed at the forefront while forging the way based on their own international excellence and passion. Our researchers know that only knowledge can effect change, and seek to do this following their hunger to find solutions to the big questions.

Studying here gives you the chance to explore areas most important to you, catapulted ahead by the pioneers who have come before. With a commitment to support in impact, we offer researchers professional and entrepreneurial development throughout their study, leading to a PhD that equips our graduates for work in research and paves the way for them to lead in their professional field.

Analytical Deep Thinkers

From the deepest ocean trenches in the world, to the smallest particles in the universe; from Alaskan permafrost discoveries to pioneering cancer treatments, the University of Aberdeen houses world-leading academics from across the globe committed to deep thinking. Combined with world class facilities, and our dedication to inter-disciplinary approaches, our impact reaches far beyond our warm research community extending to global platforms – our voice is heard across the planet. Leading on worldwide collaborations in drug discovery, climate change, medical sciences, and archaeology among others, our researchers focus on tackling big issues to effect global change. Inspiring the next generation of innovators to forge the way, our research makes waves.

"our impact reaches far beyond our warm research community extending to global platforms – our voice is heard across the planet"

The REF

The University has an outstanding track record in pioneering discoveries that have changed thinking and practice, including work that has contributed to five Nobel Prizes. The most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF) in 2014 displayed the leaps we have made to strengthen our research strength, with over three quarters of the University’s research classified as ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ (4* and 3*). In Computer Science, Economics, and Mathematics in particular we rank high in international quality.

Ranked as the UK’s top University for research in Theology, Divinity and Religious Studies as well as Health Services, we strive to develop ambitious and global discoveries in these areas. Across the board our total research income has more than trebled over the last ten years, and funding from competitively-won research grants has grown 35 percent over the last four years. We strive to improve upon the pioneers who came before us, leading the way in researcher development and public engagement activities.

"Ranked as the UK’s top University for research in Theology, Divinity and Religious Studies as well as Health Services, we strive to develop ambitious and global discoveries in these areas."

Examples of our research strengths of special relevance to today’s world include:

  • The new National Subsea Research Institute based at the University is a partnership involving the Northern Research Partnership (Aberdeen, Dundee and Robert Gordon universities), in collaboration with Subsea UK to provide a focus for R&D and training as part of the UK’s future energy strategy.
  • The merger of the former Rowett Research Institute with the University in 2008 has created an international centre of excellence in the new Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health.
  • In 1980, Aberdeen physicists and clinicians were first in the world to scan a patient using MRI. Today we are contributing our expertise at the forefront of imaging technology to the SINAPSE partnership of top Scottish research universities through the Scottish Funding Council’s research pooling initiative.