Introduction

English and French at Aberdeen gives you all the advantages of the UK’s second most highly-rated research hub for English literature, language and creative writing. You will benefit from studying the subject from a European historical and contemporary context through top-rated study of the French language and literature, history and culture. This subject combination is ideal preparation for a career across the creative arts and media.

This programme is studied on campus.

Aberdeen is a leading centre for the study of literature, language and creative writing, rated second in the UK for its research output.

You will study poetry and prose through the dynamic relationship between author, reader and literary text, covering every period from Chaucer to contemporary English, Scottish, Irish, European and American writing and the cultural and critical impact of powerful and controversial modern works.

You will be inspired by enthusiastic teachers and researchers, themselves acclaimed authors and poets, and be encouraged to develop your own creative writing skills.

French at Aberdeen has an outstanding reputation, gaining the highest possible rating of ‘Excellent’ in the last national Teaching Quality Assessment.

You will add to your growing language skills with study of French literature from the Middle Ages to the present day, plus courses in film, contemporary civilization and culture, taught by experts in Renaissance studies to the politics of culture and difference in contemporary France.

As an integral part of your 4-year programme, you will spend half of year three developing your language skills as a teaching assistant or visiting student in a French-speaking country.

You will be ideally prepared for careers across the arts, publishing, or media, with the international dimension opening opportunities in European and international business, tourism and many other options.

Degree marketing image

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
RQ13

What You'll Study

Year 1

Year 1

Compulsory Courses

Academic Writing for Language & Literature (AW1008)

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.

View detailed information about this course

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

Acts of Reading (EL1009) - 15 Credit Points

This course introduces students to the study of English by exploring the dynamic relationship between author, reader and text in a series of classic works of fiction and poetry. It covers a broad historical range (from Folk Tales and ballads to 21st century postmodernity) and offers a basic grounding in key elements of literary theory, literary history and the varieties of literary form.

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Controversial Classics (EL1513) - 15 Credit Points

Literature can provoke, offend and disturb as well as entertain. This course considers some of the most powerful and controversial works of modern literature. It examines the circumstances of publication, the nature of the controversy, and the cultural and critical impact of each work. The course shows how poems, plays and novels can raise searching questions about national, racial and personal identity, and looks at the methods used by writers to challenge their readers, as well the responses of readers to such challenges.

View detailed information about this course

Optional Courses

Beginner

  • FR1023: Level 1 French Language 1A: Beginners/Near Beginners
  • FR1523: Level 1 French Language 1B: Beginners/Near Beginners
  • FR1021: Introduction to Literature and Culture of Modern France 1 AND/OR FR1527: Level 1 French Language 1B: Beginners/Near Beginners
  • Select further credit points from courses of choice to gain a total of 120 credits

Intermediate/Advanced

  • EITHER FR1024: Level 1 French Language 2A: Intermediate OR FR1025: Level 1 French Language 3A: Proficient
  • FR1524: Level 1 French Language 2B/3B: Intermediate/Proficient
  • FR1022: Literature and Culture of Modern France 1 AND/OR FR1526: Literature and Culture of Modern France in Context
  • Select further credit points from courses of choice to gain a total of 120 credits
Level 1 French Language 1a: Beginners / Near Beginners (Standard Grade / Gcse or Below) (FR1023) - 15 Credit Points

This intensive language course is designed for students who have little or no previous knowledge of French.

View detailed information about this course

Level 1 French Language 1b: Beginners / Near Beginners (FR1523) - 15 Credit Points

This course builds on the work done in FR1023, providing students with an adequate command of French language to allow them the possibility of continuing their studies into level 2 and Honours.

View detailed information about this course

Introduction to Literature and Culture of Modern France 1 (FR1021) - 15 Credit Points

This course offers students who are registered for the beginners' course in French language an introduction to twentieth century French culture and society through the study of films, short prose texts and poetry. The course is organised around the broad themes of childhood and adolescence, gender, sexuality and love and marginalisation in contemporary France. The texts will be studied in translation or with subtitles.

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Level 1 French Language 2a: Intermediate (FR1024) - 15 Credit Points

This course is intended for students who have studied French to Higher or equivalent level, but whose knowledge may be rusty. It will enable them to consolidate and extend their knowledge of French, written and spoken.

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Level 1 French Language 3a: Proficient (FR1025) - 15 Credit Points

This course is intended for students who have studied French to at least Higher or equivalent level, or beyond to A level or Advanced Higher. It will enable them to consolidate and extend their knowledge of French, written and spoken.

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Level 1 French Language 2b / 3b: Intermediate / Proficient (FR1524) - 15 Credit Points

This course is intended for students who have studied French to the equivalent of Scottish Higher or beyond. Building on the work done in the first semester in FR1024 or FR1025, it seeks to enable students to consolidate and extend their knowledge of French, written and spoken.

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Literature and Culture of Modern France 1 (FR1022) - 15 Credit Points

This course offers students with intermediate or good knowledge French language an introduction to twentieth century French culture and society through the study of films, short prose texts and poetry. The course is organised around the broad themes of childhood and adolescence, gender, sexuality and love and marginalisation in contemporary France.

View detailed information about this course

Introduction to Literature and Culture of Modern France In Context (FR1527) - 15 Credit Points

This course offers students who are registered for the beginners' course in French language an advanced introduction to twentieth-century French and Francophone culture and society, focusing on the occupation of France during World War II and the experience of colonialism and post-colonialism. Written texts will be studied in translation or with vocabulary help and films will be studied with subtitles.

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Literature and Culture of Modern France in Context (FR1526) - 15 Credit Points

This course offers students with intermediate or good knowledge French language an advanced introduction to twentieth-century French and Francophone culture and society, focusing on the occupation of France during World War II and the experience of colonialism and post-colonialism.

View detailed information about this course

Year 2

Year 2

Compulsory Courses

Encounters with Shakespeare (EL2011) - 30 Credit Points

So you think you know Shakespeare? This course invites you to think again. Studying a range of plays we get behind the mythology of Shakespeare, and rediscover the dynamic inventiveness of the Elizabethan theatre. Shakespeare and his contemporaries were the principal players in a period of literary experimentation that reinvented the possibilities of literature. Encounters with Shakespeare is your chance to find out more.

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The Tragedy of Knowledge (EL2512) - 30 Credit Points

This course traces the use of key Western myths from antiquity to the present to examine the way knowledge is often presented as both dangerous and compelling. As well as introducing students to a range of historical, social, and formal variations on the theme of knowledge, the course also highlights the role of storytelling and adaptation in the formation of knowledge and understanding.

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Optional Courses

Beginner

  • Advanced Introductory French Language 1 (FR2012)
  • Introduction to French Identities: Individual and Society (FR2014)
  • Advanced Introductory French Language 2 (FR2512)
  • Introduction to French Identities: Centre and Periphery (FR2514)

Intermediate/Advanced

  • Advanced French Language 1 (FR2002)
  • Advanced French Language 2 (FR2502)

Plus, select one of the following:

  • French Identities: Individual and Society (FR2013) AND French Identities: Centre and Periphery (FR2513)
  • French Identities: Individual and Society (FR2013) AND Introduction to French Linguistics (FR2510)
  • French Identities: Centre and Periphery (FR2513) AND Introduction to French Linguistics (FR2510)
Advanced Introductory French Language 1 (FR2012) - 15 Credit Points

This second year French language course which runs in the first half-session is only open to students who have passed FR1523. It will improve their written, oral and aural skills, and is one of the two second year French language courses (along with FR2512) that has to have passed to be allowed into the French honours Programme.

View detailed information about this course

Introduction to French Identities: Individual and Society (FR2014) - 15 Credit Points

This course will introduce students to a variety of texts which focus on the theme of relationships between the individual and society in France from the 18th century onwards. The course will involve lectures and tutorials and will include the study of novels, a play and a film.

View detailed information about this course

Advanced Introductory French Language 2 (FR2512) - 15 Credit Points

This second year French language course which runs in the second half-session is only open to students who have followed FR2012. It will improve their written, oral and aural skills, and is one of the two second year French language pre-requisite courses (along with FR2012) that one must have passed to be allowed into the French honours Programme.

View detailed information about this course

Introduction to French Identities Centre and Periphery (FR2514) - 15 Credit Points

This course will introduce students to a variety of texts which focus on the theme of relationships between the centre and periphery in France and the Francophone world from the 17th century onwards. The course will involve lectures and tutorials and will include the study of a play, poetry, postcolonial theory and a film.

View detailed information about this course

Advanced French Language 1 (FR2002) - 15 Credit Points

This second year French language course which runs in the first half-session is only open to students who have passed FR1524. It will improve their written, oral and aural skills, and is one of the two second year French language courses (with FR2502) that one has to have passed to be allowed into the French honours Programme.

View detailed information about this course

Advanced French Language 2 (FR2502) - 15 Credit Points

This second year French language course which runs in the second half-session is only open to students who have followed FR2002. It will improve their written, oral and aural skills, and is one of the two second year French language pre-requisite courses (along with FR2002) that one must have passed to be allowed into the French honours Programme.

View detailed information about this course

French Identities: Individual and Society (FR2013) - 15 Credit Points

This course will introduce students to a variety of texts which focus on the theme of relationships between the individual and society in France from the 18th century onwards. The course will involve lectures and tutorials and will include the study of novels, a play and a film.

View detailed information about this course

Introduction to French Linguistics (FR2510) - 15 Credit Points

This course will look at

- the French sound system (with the spin-off of helping you to improve your pronunciation).

- word meaning and also speaker meaning (what a speaker means by, e.g., "were you born in a barn?")

- how new words are formed

- how sentences can be analysed

- how French has developed from the Middle Ages up to the present

- how French spread throughout the world (including French-based creoles)

- how French varies according to the person using the language, and the purpose for which they are using it

View detailed information about this course

French Identities Centre and Periphery (FR2513) - 15 Credit Points

This course will introduce students to a variety of texts which focus on the theme of relationships between the centre and periphery in France and the Francophone world from the 17th century onwards. The course will involve lectures and tutorials and will include the study of a play, poetry, postcolonial theory and a film.

View detailed information about this course

Year 3

Year 3

Compulsory Courses

  • Second half session to be spent in a French speaking country
Junior Honours French Language (FR3089) - 15 Credit Points

This Junior Honours French language course, whose pre-requisites are FR2502 or FR2512, runs over the full session and is only open to Single and Joint Junior Honours degree in French students.

Building on the skills gained during their first two years of study of French, this course will improve the students' French language skills in all four areas of listening, speaking, reading and writing, whilst increasing their grammatical and lexical knowledge, as well as their sensitivity to linguistic variety.

It carries 15 credits and is assessed by way of four equally weighted assignments.

View detailed information about this course

Level 3 French Language 7 (FR3527)

Optional Courses

Select a total of two courses from the following groups, each from a different group:

Group 1: Medieval/Renaissance

  • EL30DQ: Knights, Virgins and Viragos, Chaucer and Medieval Writing

Group 2: Romantic/Victorian

  • EL30GK: Mind and Monstrosity: Realism and the Gothic in the Long 19th Century
  • EL3009: American Innovation

Group 3: Contemporary/Modern

  • EL30IH: States of Mind: Contemporary Irish and Scottish Writing
  • EL30JS: Anglo-American Children’s Literature
  • EL30FF: Modernism: Make it New

Group 4

  • EL3008: Writing Revolt: Literature and Politics in the 17th Century

Plus, select a further 15 credits from level 3 first half-session French courses

Knights, Virgins and Viragos: Chaucer and Medieval Writing (EL30DQ) - 30 Credit Points

An introduction to late medieval-literature, challenging modern assumptions about the medieval and exploring the diverse range of medieval literary culture, from Chaucer's Canterbury Tales to the autobiographical narrative of Margery Kempe and surprising profanity of medieval lyric.

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Mind and Monstrosity: Realism and the Gothic in the Long 19th Century (EL30GK) - 30 Credit Points

Exploring connections between Gothic monstrosity and psychological realism, this course investigates an exciting range of texts and contexts from the long nineteenth century. Focusing on novels from 1789-1914, with some attention to other genres and adaptations, we ask what it means to be human, and how cultural anxieties and scientific/technological developments have affected literature (and vice versa). From doubling to degeneration, madness to the metropolis, villain to vampire, empire to the threat of extinction, we examine the work of writers such as Mary Shelley, Dickens, Poe, Charlotte and Emily Brontë, Wilkie Collins, George Eliot, Bram Stoker and H.G. Wells.

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American Innovation (EL3009) - 30 Credit Points

This level-three course offers an introduction to American literature and culture between 1850 and 1950, a century in which the United States was transformed from a rural economy to an industrialised super-power. You will learn about the key writers of this period, the issues that sparked their imaginations, and the literary strategies which they adopted, or at times invented, to express their response to the changing world around them. This course is delivered through a combination of lectures and seminars.

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States of Mind: Contemporary Irish and Scottish Writing (EL30IH) - 30 Credit Points

This course explores a range of contemporary Scottish and Irish texts and looks at the key developments in the literatures of the two nations; indeed, new modes of urban writing, working-class writing and women's writing have altered the landscapes of Scottish and Irish literature. The course looks at 'states of mind' in a dual sense: imaginative projections of the 'nation' and psychological explorations of the mind.

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Anglo - American Children’s Literature (EL30JS) - 30 Credit Points

From the picture book to the dark fairy tale, literature for children offers a wide range of literary (and visual) modes of engaging with questions of human becoming and beguiling. This course explores American and British children’s literature from the late nineteenth to the twenty-first century (with a focus on the twentieth century). We will look at a range of genres including poetry, the school story, the adventure story and fantasy, as well as examining the construction of children’s literature as a genre of its own, including issues of authorship and readership. We will engage in close reading, examining literary features of the texts, and consider historical and social context and questions of gender, race and sexuality. Authors studied include: Louise May Alcott, Mark Twain, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Sherman Alexie, Ursula K. Le Guin, E Nesbit, Frances Hodgson Burnett, R. L. Stevenson, C.S. Lewis, Susan Cooper, Neil Gaiman, Melvin Burgess, Jamila Gavin, Jackie Kay and others.

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Modernism: Make IT New (EL30FF) - 30 Credit Points

The early twentieth century was a time of great literary experimentation as literary modernists rose to the challenge to make it new. We will explore modernism’s stylistic experimentation while also considering the social contexts and changes that shaped this literature. The course will examine a range of writers, genres, movements and locations which prompt us to consider what, when and where was modernism.

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Writing Revolt: Literature and Politics in the Seventeenth Century (EL3008) - 30 Credit Points

Literature has the power to reimagine society. The course will explore how poetry, drama and other literary forms across the century sought new literary approaches to meet the challenges of these times. We will examine different literary strategies adopted by authors to engage with their times, from those who drew upon classical precedent to others who brought new voices, and new publics, into the forum of literature. Texts on the course will vary each year, but will feature such authors as Ben Jonson, John Donne, Katharine Philips, John Milton, Lucy Hutchinson and Samuel Daniel.

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Year 4

Year 4

Compulsory Courses

Senior Honours French Language (FR4089) - 30 Credit Points

This Senior Honours French language course, whose pre-requsite is the Junior Honours French Language course, is run over the full session and is only open to Single and Joint Senior Honours degree in French students.

Building on the skills gained in their third year of study of French, this course will help the students' French language gain very high skills in all four areas of listening, speaking, reading and writing, whilst increasing their grammatical and lexical knowledge, as well as their sensitivity to linguistic variety.

View detailed information about this course

Optional Courses

Option 1:

  • English Dissertation (EL4502)
  • Select 30 credit points from level 4 courses in English
  • Select 30 credit points from level 4 courses in French

Option 2:

  • Dissertation in French (FR4052)
  • Select 60 credit points from level 4 courses in English
French Dissertation (FR4052) - 15 Credit Points

Candidates will write a dissertation of 8,000 words on a subject to be decided in consultation with the Course Co-ordinator, to be researched and written (under supervision by a member of staff) in the second half session of Junior Honours, and submitted at the beginning of Senior Honours.

View detailed information about this course

English Dissertation (EL4502) - 30 Credit Points

Students will have the opportunity to write a dissertation on a topic of their choosing within English literature.

View detailed information about this course

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

Learning Methods

  • Individual Projects
  • Lectures
  • Research
  • 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 they learn on the course.
  • Written examinations at the end of each course.

The exact mix of these methods differs between subject areas, years 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: 20%
independent: 80%
placement: 0%
Assessment
written: 66%
coursework: 22%
practical: 12%

Year 2

Learning Method
scheduled: 19%
independent: 81%
placement: 0%
Assessment
written: 56%
coursework: 33%
practical: 11%

Year 3

Learning Method
scheduled: 15%
independent: 85%
placement: 0%
Assessment
written: 33%
coursework: 67%
practical: 0%

Year 4

Learning Method
scheduled: 10%
independent: 90%
placement: 0%
Assessment
written: 0%
coursework: 85%
practical: 15%

Why Study English and French?

Why English

  • Rated second in the UK for the quality of Aberdeen research in English language and literature in the 2014 REF national assessment of research quality at UK universities.
  • Scotland's top centre for creative writing in the Complete University Guide rankings for 2017.
  • An international profile through major literary projects such as the Cambridge Edition of the Works of Jane Austen and the Edinburgh Edition of the Waverley Novels of Sir Walter Scott.
  • The WORD Centre for Creative Writing, promoting creative projects in fiction, non-fiction and collaborative mixed-media in all the languages of northeast Scotland (from Doric to Polish).
  • The spectacular, award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library, home to literary treasures collected over 500 years, charting the power of the written word from ancient papyri and medieval manuscripts to contemporary e-books and other media.
  • Historic collections including rare printed books, the 12th century Aberdeen Bestiary, MacBean Stuart and Jacobite Collection, the novels of Sir Walter Scott, and an exceptional collection of Charles Dickens' first editions.
  • A packed campus programme of student and public events, exhibitions, seminars, invited speakers and the annual May Festival which welcomes internationally acclaimed authors to campus every spring to discuss literature, including European writers.
  • Research centres include the nationally recognised Centre for the Novel, the Centre for Modern Thought, and the Research Institute of Irish and Scottish Studies.

Why French

  • French at Aberdeen gained the highest possible rating of ‘Excellent’ in the last national Scottish Teaching Quality Assessment.
  • A vibrant international community on campus and across Aberdeen and north-east Scotland, with many French and French-speaking students, staff and activities on campus and across the region.
  • A dynamic French Society, organising social and topical events throughout the year, and a brilliant way to get to know other students studying or speaking French.
  • The spectacular, award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library, with stunning study facilities, state-of-the-art learning technology, and a first-class collection of French books and films for your course.
  • A packed campus programme of events, exhibitions, invited speakers and the popular annual May Festival which welcomes international figures, experts, authors and scientists to campus every spring, with an increasingly European flavour.
  • Your year abroad as a language assistant or visiting student at locations including Lyon, Rennes, Grenoble, Réunion, Brussels, Geneva, Lausanne, the IFP (Institute of French Petroleum) School in Paris and the Club des Langues in Anglet.
  • International recognition as a centre for study and research in French, with research covering not only France, but also French-speaking Africa and the Caribbean.

Entry Requirements

You will find all the information you require about entry requirements on our dedicated 'Entry Requirements' page. You can also find out about the different types of degrees, changing your subject, offers and advanced entry.

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)

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

There are many opportunities at the University of Aberdeen to develop your knowledge, gain experience and build a competitive set of skills to enhance your employability. This is essential for your future career success. The Careers Service can help you to plan your career and support your choices throughout your time with us, from first to final year – and beyond.

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.

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