Introduction

This degree is a perfect combination for students who have a strong interest in music; perhaps more specifically music production. Understanding key computing courses such as programming will offer students the chance to move in to careers like music production and sound engineering, where strong computing skills will be of benefit.

This programme is studied on campus.

This programme offers up a range of computing and music courses whilst still delivering some key core courses. In computing, core courses remain in areas of Computer Programming Principles and Computer Architecture, Data Management and Software Engineering, to name a few. Music related choices come in the form of courses such as; Fundamentals of Music Theory, Fundamentals of Music Harmony and Performance.

Our Music staff are active as musicologists, composers and performers and their work is recognised and valued throughout the world, both in research communities as well as in the concert hall and via broadcast media.

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Key Programme Information

At a Glance

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
MA
Duration
48 months
Study Mode
Full Time
Start Month
September
UCAS Code
IW13

What You'll Study

Year 1

Year 1

Compulsory Courses

Computer Programming and Principles (CS1022) - 15 Credit Points

Students will be exposed to the basic principles of computer programming, e.g. fundamental programming concepts, algorithms, and maths (e.g. logic, set theory, graphs). The course consists of lectures where the principles are systematically developed; as the course does not presuppose knowledge of these principles, we start from basic intuitions. In addition to the lectures, there will be weekly practicals to work with the concepts. Understanding the principles behind computer programming gives one the framework to learn new programming concepts, adapt to changing circumstances, and engage in theoretical research in Computing Science.

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Computer Architecture (CS1520) - 15 Credit Points

Beginning with digital logic gates and progressing to the design of combinational and sequential circuits, this course use these fundamental building blocks as the basis for what follows: the design of an actual MIPS microprocessor. In addition, students will get hands on experience on programming Intel 8086 assembly language which is the inner language spoken by the processor. By the end of the course, students will have a top-to-down understanding of how a micropressor works. The course is taught without prerequisites; students are taught with plenty of exercises from lectures, tutorials, practical and tests every week.

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Academic Writing for Education (AW1005)

This compulsory evaluation is designed to find out if your academic writing is of a sufficient standard to enable you to succeed at university and, if you need it, to provide support to improve. It is completed on-line via MyAberdeen with clear instructions to guide you through it. If you pass the evaluation at the first assessment it will not take much of your time. If you do not, you will be provided with resources to help you improve. This evaluation does not carry credits but if you do not complete it this will be recorded on your degree transcript.

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Professional Skills Part 1 (PD1001)

This course, which is prescribed for level 1 students and optional for level 2 students, is studied entirely online and covers topics relating to careers and employability, equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing. During the course you will learn about the Aberdeen Graduate Attributes, how they are relevant to you and the opportunities available to develop your skills and attributes alongside your University studies. You will also gain an understanding of equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing issues. Successful completion of this course will be recorded on your Enhanced Transcript as ‘Achieved’ (non-completion will be recorded as ‘Not Achieved’). The course takes approximately 3 hours to complete and can be taken in one sitting, or spread across a number of weeks and it will be available to you throughout the academic year.This course, which is prescribed for level 1 students and optional for level 2 students and above, is studied entirely online and covers topics relating to careers and employability, equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing. During the course you will learn about the Aberdeen Graduate Attributes, how they are relevant to you and the opportunities available to develop your skills and attributes alongside your University studies. You will also gain an understanding of equality and diversity and health, safety and wellbeing issues. Successful completion of this course will be recorded on your Enhanced Transcript as ‘Achieved’ (non-completion will be recorded as ‘Not Achieved’). The course takes approximately 3 hours to complete and can be taken in one sitting, or spread across a number of weeks and it will be available to you throughout the academic year

View detailed information about this course

Optional Courses

Select at least two of the following

  • Grand Challenges of Artificial Intelligence (CS1024)
  • Web Application Development (CS1025)
  • Web Technology (CS1522)
  • Object-Oriented Programming (CS1527)

Plus, select at least two of the following

  • Performance 1 (MU1051)
  • Key Moments 1 (MU1035)
  • Performance 2 (MU1551)
  • Key Moments 2 (MU1535)

Plus, select Introduction to Music Theory and Harmony (MU1037) or Music, Theory and Harmony (MU1038)

Plus, select further credit points from courses of choice to make 120 in total

Grand Challenges of Computing and Artificial Intelligence (CS1024) - 15 Credit Points

This course is aimed at people who want to learn the basics about the major problems that need to be solved to enable computers to be more useful companions in our daily lives, e.g. to get them to be able to understand our normal speech when we talk to them, or to be able to see and recognise the important objects in the world, or to be able to act as a helper in the home, like a robotic maid that could cook and clean.

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Web Application Development (CS1025) - 15 Credit Points

This course will introduce you to programming and software development for the Web using the object-oriented scripting language Ruby. It will teach you how to develop software that underpins database-driven interactive Web and cloud applications, and give you a broad knowledge of the basics needed for professional software development such as testing and version control. The course uses examples based on real world applications. You will also learn a limited range of core theoretical concepts such as structured programming, variable declaration, conditional statements, iterative constructs, object-oriented programming and meta-programming.

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Web Technology (CS1522) - 15 Credit Points

This course will be of interest to anyone who wishes to develop a Web presence. It will touch on several of the fundamental technologies associated with the Web and will give you the opportunity to build an interactive Website with the knowledge gleaned. In addition to developing a broad knowledge of the principles associated with good Web design and Website management and accessibility, you will enhance your understanding of a limited range of core technologies including XHTML, CSS, JavaScript, DOM and PHP.

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Performance 1 (MU1051) - 15 Credit Points

MU1051 is structured to develop, in tandem, students' individual instrumental/vocal and ensemble skills.

Entry to the course for non BMus students is by audition.

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Performance 2 (MU1551) - 15 Credit Points

MU1551 is structured to develop in tandem students individual instrumental/vocal and ensemble skills. Entry to the course by audition for non BMus students.

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Key Moments 1 (MU1035) - 15 Credit Points

This course covers five key moments from Western music history, giving students both a clear and broad grasp of the shape of musical, cultural and intellectual history along with much more detailed studies of individual musical works.

The coverage will not be encyclopaedic and will instead seek to help students develop a sense of a musical period through more engaged explorations of a small number of key musical works.

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Key Moments 2 (MU1535) - 15 Credit Points

This course covers five key moments from Western music history, giving students both a clear and broad grasp of the shape of musical, cultural and intellectual history along with much more detailed studies of individual musical works.The coverage will not be encyclopaedic and will instead seek to help students develop a sense of a musical period through more engaged explorations of a small number of key musical works.

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Introduction to Music Theory and Harmony (MU1037) - 15 Credit Points

This course will begin with the fundamentals and quickly move to a higher standard. Early weeks will cover key concepts such as note names, clefs, octaves and note values. This will lead on to governing concepts of Western tonal music - primary triads, cadences, chord progressions and basic voice leading. The course will progress on to the beginnings of more complex harmony, counterpoint and stylistic study. At all times these fundamentals will be accompanied by contextual information - both historical and cultural - aiming to create an initial appraisal of musicology and its place in musical study.

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Music, Theory and Harmony (MU1038) - 15 Credit Points

This course will assume a good, base understanding of the fundamentals of music theory and will quickly move to a higher standard. Early weeks will cover key concepts in Classical harmony such as modulation, secondary dominants and good four­part writing and voice leading. This will lead on to a strong understanding of Classical style with emphasis on piano textures and string quartet writing. The course will progress on to complex Romantic harmony and concepts such as Neapolitan Sixths, Continental Sixths and Diminished Sevenths as well as stylistic awareness of Romantic genres such as lieder.

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Object Oriented Programming (CS1527) - 15 Credit Points

This course builds on the basic programming knowledge already acquired in the first half-session and gears students up for going on to a career involving programming. It serves as a bridge between the basic introductory programming, and the full fledged software engineering that students will undertake in their level 3 software engineering project.

The emphasis here is on “quality programming in the small”, through various mini projects.

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Year 2

Year 2

Compulsory Courses

Data Management (CS2015) - 15 Credit Points

This course will be of interest to anyone who wishes to learn to design and query databases using MSAccess, MySQL and MongoDB. The course aims to teach the material using case studies from real-world applications both in lectures and lab classes. You will develop a broad knowledge about database connectivity using JDBC, PHP and Ruby. You will also learn core theoretical concepts such as relational algebra, file organisation and indexing. At the end of this course you will be able to design and build Web and cloud-based databases and have a broad awareness and understanding of how database-driven applications operate.

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Introduction to Musicology (MU2023) - 15 Credit Points

Students will explore a range of elementary issues in musicology relating to some of the following: music history, theory and analysis, sociology of music, psychology of music, aesthetics, ethnomusicology, world music, early music, opera, concert music, jazz, popular music, music in film and television, musical performance, composition, music technology and the economics of the music business.

The course will consider a range of music taking into account the kinds of methodologies and discourses in which this music is discussed.

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Human Computer Interaction (CS2506) - 15 Credit Points

This course looks at why a computer system that interacts with human beings needs to be usable. It covers a set of techniques that allow usability to be taken into account when a system is designed and implemented, and also a set of techniques to assess whether usability has been achieved. Weekly practical sessions allow students to practice these techniques. The assessed coursework (which is normally carried out by groups of students) gives an opportunity to go through the design process for a concrete computer system, with a particular focus on ensuring usability.

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Modern Programming Languages (CS2510) - 15 Credit Points

This course will introduce the fundamental features of modern programming languages and to equip students with necessary skills for the critical evaluation of existing and future programming languages. Additionally, students study the formal representation of syntax and semantics of programming languages, as well as mechanisms for the lexical and syntactic analysis of programs. Students will be exposed to programming languages from three specific paradigms, namely, object-oriented, functional and logic programming.

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Algorithmic Problem Solving (CS2521) - 15 Credit Points

This course provides the knowledge needed to understand, design and compare algorithms. By the end of the course, a student should be able to create or adapt algorithms to solve problems, determine an algorithm's efficiency, and be able to implement it. The course also introduces the student to a variety of widely used algorithms and algorithm creation techniques, applicable to a range of domains. The course will introduce students to concepts such as pseudo-code and computational complexity, and make use of proof techniques as well as the student’s programming skills.

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Analysing Music (MU2523) - 15 Credit Points

Students will develop a critical awareness of form and structure in music both aurally and by means of studying various approaches to musical analysis which will draw on a range of analytical methods and musical genres. The analysis of musical scores will be related to music as experienced aurally in performance.

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Mathematics for Computing Science (CS2013) - 15 Credit Points

This course provides a basic-level introduction to some areas of Discrete Mathematics that are of particular relevance to Computing. The course starts with a simple introduction to formal languages (starting from Regular Expressions and Finite-State Automata); it continues with an introduction to Predicate Logic (assuming basic familiarity with Propositional Logic); it concludes with an introduction to probability, focussing on Bayesian reasoning.

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Optional Courses

  • Select a further 15 credit points from courses of choice
Year 3

Year 3

Compulsory Courses

Early Musical Modernism: Music from 1890 - 1945 (MU3051)
Principles of Software Engineering (CS3028) - 15 Credit Points

Students will develop large commercial and industrial software systems as a team-based effort that puts technical quality at centre stage. The module will focus on the early stage of software development, encompassing team building, requirements specification, architectural and detailed design, and software construction. Groupwork (where each team of students will develop a system selected using a business planning exercise) will guide the software engineering learning process. Teams will be encouraged to have an active, agile approach to problem solving through the guided study, evaluation and integration of practically relevant software engineering concepts, methods, and tools.

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Software Engineering and Professional Practice (CS3528) - 15 Credit Points

In this module, which is the follow-up of CS3028, student will focus on the team-based development of a previously specified, designed, and concept-proofed software system. Each team will build their product to industrial-strength quality standards following an agile process and applying the software engineering concepts, methods, and tools introduced in CS3028. The individual learning and practical experience acquisition process will be integrated by talks and seminars given by industrial stakeholders on topics of software engineering relevance, by guided student focus on professional issues, and by student presentations on selected technical topics.

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Optional Courses

Select one of the following:

  • Knowledge-Based Systems (CS3025)
  • Operating Systems (CS3026)

Plus, select one of the following:

  • Languages and Computability (CS3518)
  • Distributed Systems and Security (CS3524)
  • Enterprise Computing and Business (CS3525)

Plus, select a further 45 credit points from level 3 courses in Music

Knowledge Based Systems (CS3025) - 15 Credit Points

Knowledge Representation (KR) is concerned with how knowledge can be represented symbolically and manipulated in an automated way by reasoning programs. In fact, KR has long been considered central to AI because it is a significant factor in determining the success of knowledge-based systems.

This course describes the formalisation of knowledge and its use in knowledge-based systems. It follows the whole "life-cycle" of knowledge, from the initial identification of relevant expertise, through its capture, representation (in ontology and /or rule languages), use (based on reasoning), evaluation, and reuse.

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Operating Systems (CS3026) - 15 Credit Points

This course discusses core concepts and architectures of operating systems, in particular the management of processes, memory and storage structures. Students will learn about the scheduling and operation of processes and threads, problems of concurrency and means to avoid race conditions and deadlock situations. The course will discuss virtual memory management, file systems and issues of security and recovery. In weekly practical session, students will gain a deeper understanding of operating system concepts with verious programming exercises.

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Languages and Computability (CS3518) - 15 Credit Points

This course provides a basic-level introduction to computability via the notion of a Turing Machine. Some familiarity with imperative programming (e.g., in JAVA) and with the basics of set theory (e.g., the notion of a bijection) is assumed. The Functional language Haskell (familiar from earlier courses, including CS2013) is used to explore the concepts of infinity, recognisability and decidability, which are crucial to computability.

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Distributed Systems and Security (CS3524) - 15 Credit Points

This course discusses core concepts of distributed systems, such as programming with distributed objects, multiple threads of control, multi-tire client-server systems, transactions and concurrency control, distributed transactions and commit protocols, and fault-tolerant systems. The course also discusses aspects of security, such as cryptography, authentication, digital signatures and certificates, SSL etc. Weekly practical sessions cover a set of techniques for the implementation of distributed system concepts such as programming with remote object invocation, thread management and socket communication.

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Enterprise Computing and Business (CS3525) - 15 Credit Points

This course provides insight into the business reasons for large software systems such as loyalty card systems, backend systems integrating firms and their suppliers and larges systems that integrate payroll, finance and operational parts of a business. You also learn the entrepreneurial aspects of business during the practical sessions where you explore and develop your own business application idea using service design and lean startup approaches centred around customer development, which you will find useful in any future work. This course is open to anyone across the university and requires no programming experience.

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Year 4

Year 4

Compulsory Courses

Joint Honours Computing Project (CS4525) - 30 Credit Points

Consists of a supervised project which provides experience of investigating a real problem in computing science, or a computing application/technology. Presenting the results obtained is an integral part of the investigation.

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Optional Courses

  • Select a further 30 credit points from level 4 Computing courses
  • Select a further 60 credit points from level 4 Music courses

Course Availability

We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

How You'll Study

A degree in Computing and Music is taught via a selection of compulsory and optional courses to enhance your learning and prepare you for a future career or further study. In each year you will take courses adding up to 120 credits. Depending on the number of compulsory and optional courses offered by your degree, you can also choose other eligible courses which fit your timetable.

Learning Methods

  • Group Projects
  • Individual Projects
  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials

Assessment Methods

Students are assessed by any combination of three assessment methods:

  • coursework such as essays and reports completed throughout the course;
  • practical assessments of the skills and competencies learnt on the course; and
  • written examinations at the end of each course.

The exact mix of these methods differs between subject areas, year of study and individual courses.

Honours projects are typically assessed on the basis of a written dissertation.

Further Information

View detailed learning and assessment information for this programme

How the programme is taught

The typical time spent in scheduled learning activities (lectures, tutorials, seminars, practicals), independent self-study or placement is shown for each year of the programme based on the most popular course choices selected by students.

How the programme is assessed

The typical percentage of assessment methods broken down by written examination, coursework or practical exams is shown for each year of the programme based on the most popular course choices selected by students.

Year 1

Learning Method
scheduled: 65%
independent: 35%
placement: 0%
Assessment
written: 42%
coursework: 58%
practical: 0%

Year 2

Learning Method
scheduled: 23%
independent: 77%
placement: 0%
Assessment
written: 44%
coursework: 53%
practical: 3%

Year 3

Learning Method
scheduled: 19%
independent: 81%
placement: 0%
Assessment
written: 29%
coursework: 58%
practical: 13%

Year 4

Learning Method
scheduled: 11%
independent: 89%
placement: 0%
Assessment
written: 10%
coursework: 64%
practical: 26%

Why Study Computing and Music?

Why Computing

  • Flexible degrees available, including; Single/Joint Honours BSc, MA or MSci degrees.
  • Extra-curricular activities - Studying Computing is not just about programming. We run a variety of social and professional events regularly including; ACM programming Contest, Code The City and Global Service Jam.
  • Aberdeen Software Factory - students get paid to work on client projects as a means to develop their software development skills.
  • We run a hugely successful Computing Student Society, where students socialise and enhance their communication skills, and knowledge of hardware and software.
  • Students are given the opportunity to develop their transferable skills and abilities as independent learners.
  • Prizes for academic excellence are awarded in each year of study. These are sponsored by O’Reilly, the British Computer Society, CGI, EDS and Amazon. Projects are often successfully entered for national competition.
  • Industrial Placements – about 50% of our students took part in placements, receiving very good feedback from the employers.
  • We are a very close knit department of students and staff and you will be given the freedom to develop your skills and learning whilst being supported along the way.
  • Our research expertise in Data Science and Data Analysis is at its strongest when we work in close partnership with other disciplines, such as Physics, Maths, Geography, Health and Biology.
  • The Department of Computing Science is a thriving centre of teaching and research, particularly in areas related to Artificial Intelligence and Knowledge-Based Information Management.

Why Music

  • Our academic staff are internationally recognised experts in composition, performance, musicology, music education and music and communities, including royal composer Paul Mealor and other rising stars.
  • The University has a full Symphony Orchestra, Chamber and Chapel choirs with growing international reputations, Choral and Opera Societies, and consorts and ensembles across all instruments.
  • Specialist facilities include state-of-the-art studios for electroacoustic music, as well as a collection of historic instruments including a 1771 Kirkman harpsichord.
  • Excellent performance venues and opportunities, with our early sixteenth-century Chapel often used for services and performances of sacred and concert music, with a magnificent Aubertin organ - the first in the UK.
  • Opportunities to perform at ceremonies, graduations, recitals, and the annual May Festival for talented students in Scottish traditional and classical instruments, and vocalists.
  • The prestigious Ogston Music Prize, and a range of scholarships and special support for students with outstanding talent.
  • Three state-of-the-art Electroacoustic Composition studios as well as a number of Music Technology workstations.
  • Aberdeen city known as a lively centre for music, with links to the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Aberdeen City Music School, North East of Scotland Music School, and the region's growing Sound festival.
  • Masterclasses with leading musicians and the annual May Festival which showcases Aberdeen talent welcomes internationally acclaimed choirs, orchestras and musicians to campus every spring.

Entry Requirements

Qualifications

The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.

SQA Highers - AABB*
A Levels - BBB*
IB - 32 points, including 5,5,5 at HL*
ILC - 5H with 3 at H2 AND 2 at H3 OR AAABB, obtained in a single sitting. (B must be at B2 or above)*
*SQA Higher or GCE A Level or equivalent at grade B or better in Mathematics is required.

Advanced Entry - Advanced entry is considered on an individual basis depending on prior qualifications and experience. Applicants wishing to be considered for advanced entry should contact directly the Director of Studies (Admissions) at our Student Recruitment and Admissions Service office.

Further detailed entry requirements for Arts and Social Sciences degrees.

English Language Requirements

To study for a degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

Fees and Funding

You will be classified as one of the fee categories below.

Fee Waiver

For international students (all non-EU students) entering in 2017/18, the 2017/18 tuition fee rate will apply to all years of study; however, most international students will be eligible for a fee waiver in their final year via the International Undergraduate Scholarship.

Most RUK students (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) on a four year honours degree will be eligible for a full-fees waiver in their final year. Scholarships and other sources of funding are also available.

Fee information
Fee category Cost
Home / EU £1,820
All Students
RUK £9,250
Students Admitted in 2018/19 Academic Year
International Students £14,600
Students Admitted in 2018/19 Academic Year

Additional Fees

  • In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trips. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
  • For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including payment plans and our refund policy, please visit our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.

Our Funding Database

View all funding options in our Funding Database.

Careers

Computing graduates develop an ability to understand new and complex computer systems. Our graduates can choose from a variety of employment opportunities and mainly find employment as programmers, web developers, systems analysts, and in jobs involving user support.

At the University of Aberdeen, we give you every opportunity to broaden your horizons and develop the professional and personal skills and attributes you will need to build a successful career. The high quality of our degrees combined with our strong focus on employability opens up a wide range of career options

Career Opportunities

  • Engineer
  • IT Service Manager
  • Illustrator
  • Programmer
  • Software Engineer
  • Systems Analyst
  • Writer

Our Experts

Information About Staff Changes

You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

Facilities

Image for Aberdeen Software Factory
Aberdeen Software Factory

Aberdeen Software Factory

The Aberdeen Software Factory is a student-run software house. Students can gain experience working on larger software projects and benefit from work experience, while clients will benefit from a flexible, cost effective solution to suit their needs.

Find out more
Image for Sir Duncan Rice Library
Sir Duncan Rice Library

Sir Duncan Rice Library

The University’s award winning Sir Duncan Rice Library is listed in the “Top 20 spellbinding University libraries in the World”. It contains over a million volumes, more than 300,000 e-books and 21,000 journals.

Find out more
Image for Computing Placements
Computing Placements

Computing Placements

Placements are encouraged and available within a range of computing firms - summer months, between second and third year, or between third and fourth year.

Unistats

Unistats draws together comparable information in areas students have identified as important in making decisions about what and where to study. You can compare these and other data for different degree programmes in which you are interested.

Get in Touch

Contact Details

Address
Student Recruitment & Admissions Service
University of Aberdeen
University Office
Regent Walk
Aberdeen
AB24 3FX