Introduction

Adding a European language to your Geography degree will open up a much broader range of career opportunities. It also lets you examine Geography in a French context as you will spend a period of time studying at a University in the country.

Study Information

At a Glance

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
MA
Duration
60 months
Study Mode
Full Time
Start Month
September
UCAS Code
LR71
Degree marketing image

We offer undergraduate language courses at all levels from beginners to final year. One of the strengths of the undergraduate degree programme is its flexibility and the possibility it offers of combining French and Francophone studies with almost any other discipline, so you can tailor your degree to suit your own particular needs and interests.

As an integral part of an honours degree in French, you will spend a half-year or a full year in a French-speaking country, either working as a language assistant, or as a visiting student at one of the institutions with whom we have Erasmus exchange agreements (these include Lyon, Rennes, Grenoble, Réunion, Brussels, Geneva, Lausanne), or possibly on a work placement. Students have undertaken successful placements with the IFP (Institute of French Petroleum) School in Paris and the Club des Langues in Anglet.

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.

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Getting Started at the University of Aberdeen (PD1002)

This course, which is prescribed for level 1 undergraduate students (and articulating students who are in their first year at the University), is studied entirely online, takes approximately 5-6 hours to complete and can be taken in one sitting, or spread across a number of weeks.

Topics include orientation overview, equality and diversity, health, safety and cyber security and how to make the most of your time at university in relation to careers and employability.

Successful completion of this course will be recorded on your Enhanced Transcript as ‘Achieved’.

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Creating the Anthropocene (GG1010)

15 Credit Points

This course reflects upon the role humans have played in creating the Anthropocene (the epoch we are now living in), a time period during which Human actions have become more significant than natural processes in shaping the world we currently live in. Drawing primarily upon perspectives from Physical and Human Geography, the nature of the changes, “how did we get here”, are considered, laying the foundations for GG1512 in which “what comes after”, how contemporary society is attempting to tackle Anthropocene challenges, is debated.

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The Un Sustainable Development Goals: Transforming Our World (GG1512)

15 Credit Points

This course interrogates the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. These encompass contemporary global challenges such as responsible consumption and production, no poverty, clean water and climate action (challenges whose emergence is introduced in GG1010 Creating the Anthropocene). Drawing upon Human and Physical Geography perspectives, a ‘strong’ interpretation of sustainability, one where social and economic dimensions fundamentally rely on ecological foundations, underpins the course.

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Optional Courses

Select one of the following options:

Beginner

  • Beginners French Language 1 (FR1028)
  • Beginners French Language 2 (FR1528)
  • Introduction to Literature and Culture of Modern France 1 (FR1021) AND/OR Introduction to Literature and Culture of Modern France in Context (FR1527)

Qualified

  • Qualified French Language 1 (FR1029)
  • Qualified French Language 2 (FR1529)
  • Literature and Culture of Modern France 1 (FR1022) AND/OR Literature and Culture of Modern France in Context (FR1526)

Select further credit points from courses of choice to gain a total of 120 credits.

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 and twenty-first 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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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 and twenty-first 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 and twenty-first 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.

View detailed information about this course
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 and twenty-first 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.

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Beginners French Language 1 (FR1028)

15 Credit Points

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

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Beginners French Language 2 (FR1528)

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.

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Qualified French Language 1 (FR1029)

15 Credit Points

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

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Qualified French Language 2 (FR1529)

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, it seeks to enable students to consolidate and extend their knowledge of French, written and spoken.

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Year 2

Year 2

Compulsory Courses
Space, Economy and Society (GG2014)

15 Credit Points

GG2014 examines political, economic, social and cultural change from geographical perspectives. It makes use of a range of concepts and, being team-taught, uses case studies drawn from our own fields of research. Topics covered typically include: globalisation; economic geography; mobility and transport; political geography; rural change in Western Europe; and relationships between place and identity. The course is designed to be accessible to students from disciplines such as anthropology, economics, geography, history, international relations and sociology. It is intended to provide a foundation for higher level social science study, particularly in human geography.

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Skills and Techniques in Geosciences (GG2508)

15 Credit Points

This course introduces students to a range of scientific and social scientific skills and techniques used in Geography. The course content builds towards a residential field trip that takes place in the Easter vacation. Past venues have included the Isles of Skye and Arran, the cities of Inverness and Stirling, and Aviemore in the Cairngorms National Park. The trips enable students to put into practice the skills and techniques they have been taught through lectures and in workgroup sessions, and to conduct original research into geographical issues covered elsewhere on the programme.

Only available to students registered for programme year 2 of a Geography study aim or to students also taking at least 3 of GG2013, GG2014, GG2509 & GG2510

View detailed information about this course
Optional Courses

Select one of the following options:

Ex-beginner

  • Advanced Introductory French Language 1 (FR2012)
  • Advanced Introductory French Language 2 (FR2512)

Plus, select one of the following:

  • Introduction to French Identities: Individual and Society (FR2014) AND/OR Introduction to French Identities: Centre and Periphery (FR2514)
  • Introduction to French Identities: Individual and Society (FR2014) AND Introduction to French Linguistics (FR2510)
  • ** Introduction to French Identities: Centre and Periphery (FR2514) AND **Introduction to French Linguistics (FR2510)

Qualified

  • 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: Individual and Society (FR2013) AND **Introduction to French Linguistics (FR2510)

Both options will then select two of the following:

  • Physical Environments (GG2013)
  • Environment & Society (GG2509)
  • Mapping & Monitoring the Environment (GG2510)

NOTE: ** Level 2 students opting to take the combination FR 2513/FR 2514 and FR 2510 should be aware the credit weighting will be 45 credits in the first half session and 75 credits in the second half session as opposed to the standard 60/60. This will result in a heavier workload in the second half session.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 required to be allowed into the French honours Programme.

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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 to be allowed into the French honours Programme (a minimum CAS mark of 12/20 at the first attempt will be required for FR2502).

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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

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Physical Environments (GG2013)

15 Credit Points

This course provides an understanding of environmental processes and landscape change through time and space. The course places Physical Geography as an integral component of Earth System Science. The first half of the course explores physical environmental processes, whilst the second focuses on evidence of environmental change across a range of temporal and spatial scales. Three themes of glaciology, hydrology and palaeoecology will be explored to illustrate the linkages and interactions between process and form over a range of temporal and spatial scales. The course is team-taught by staff with an emphasis on using examples from recent research projects.

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Environment and Society (GG2509)

15 Credit Points

Interactions between human society and our environment have never been more complex or more critical in order to place us on a pathway to more sustainable future. This course explores the diverse approaches and perspectives that help us think about, explain and address all of the environmental challenges that we face in the 21st century. Students will be introduced to these approaches and perspectives and will have the opportunity to apply them across a range of regional and global environmental issues such as climate change, sustainable tourism, the energy crisis and the ozone hole.

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Mapping and Monitoring the Environment (GG2510)

15 Credit Points

In a digital era of GPS navigators and many online map tools (e.g. Google Maps), there is an increase demand for professionals able to understand and manipulate geographical data and use these to monitor processes at various scales. The course provides a solid background in the acquisition of geographical data, both onshore and offshore with classic field-based and remote sensing techniques. It covers the creation and interpretation of maps and looks at the history of remote sensing and its science as well as providing the essential basis to understanding what a Geographical Information System is.

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Year 3

Year 3

Compulsory Courses

Academic session spent in French-speaking country.

Year 4

Year 4

Compulsory Courses
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.

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Approaches to Geography (GG3071)

15 Credit Points

This core course is designed to introduce Honours students to key debates on the nature and scope of academic geography. Geographers past and present have studied a huge variety of phenomena using a variety of tools to investigate their subject. This course will help you understand this diversity. Topics include: the changing meaning of the 'environment'; the use and abuse of statistical analysis; the influence of left-wing and post-modern perspectives, and the role of technology. Students may specialise in particular aspects, or mix-and-match across the breadth of the discipline, as you wish.

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Research Design (GG3574)

15 Credit Points

This core course builds on GG2508 to provide an introduction to the conduct of research in the Geosciences at an advanced level. It is intended to familiarise students with the skills necessary to design, implement and write up effective research. These skills will support work on undergraduate dissertations and other project work. The course also introduces careers research skills, and explores how you can best make use of your degree in the 'real world' after graduation: workshops run in partnership with the University's Career Service provide practical advice and training on how best to develop your career.

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Optional Courses

Select credit points from level 3 French courses and level 3 or 4 Geography courses to gain 60 credits in each discipline.

Year 5

Year 5

Compulsory Courses
Senior Honours French Language (FR4089)

30 Credit Points

This Senior Honours French language course, whose pre-requisite 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.

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Optional Courses

Select one of the following dissertation options:

  • French Dissertation (FR4097) AND Geographical Issues (GG4537)
  • Geography Dissertation (GG4023)

Plus further credit points from level 4 course(s) in French and level 3 or 4 course(s) in Geography to gain a total of 60 credits in each discipline.

NOTE: If you choose to take GG4023 Geography Dissertation, you are not required to take GG4537 Geographical Issues but may take both courses if you wish.

Dissertation in French (FR4097)

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.

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Geographical Issues (GG4537)

30 Credit Points

This core, 'capstone' course is designed to develop further students' critical understanding of the contemporary intellectual and real-world contexts in which the academic discipline of geography - and its graduates! - operates. The course involves the preparation of seminar presentations and short papers on a series of issues pertinent to contemporary geography. This work should showcase new philosophies and methodologies; and/or the relationships between geography and other academic disciplines; and/or applications of academic geography to real-world problems. Students also consider how they can best make use of their degree after graduation, with preparation of a reflective, career-planning report.

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Geography Dissertation (GG4023)

30 Credit Points

The Honours dissertation provides students with the opportunity to produce a piece of independent and original research on an approved topic. Advanced level knowledge of a sub-area of the discipline is developed through independent study supervised by a member of academic staff. This course is compulsory for any students completing a single Honours degree in Geography and for any joint Honours student who has not registered to complete a dissertation in their other Honours subject.

View detailed information about this course

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; and
  • 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.

Why Study French and Geography?

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.

Why Geography

  • Geography has a strong tradition at Aberdeen having been successfully taught here since the foundation of Marischal College in 1593 and established as a formal unit within the University in 1919.
  • The degree programme reflects modern day Geography, with course options reflecting the Department's research strengths in both human and physical Geography.
  • Our curriculum is also focussed on employability, with core courses on the degrees aimed at producing graduates who can think critically and in an interdisciplinary way, communicate well and are well educated in geographic skills and techniques.
  • The department, and its students, are at a distinct advantage being based in the north east of Scotland. The University is in close proximity to some of the most environmentally important and geographically varied landscapes in the whole of the UK.
  • We offer a range of Geography based degree programmes across Arts and Science, designed to suit the individual interests of our learners.
  • Students have the opportunity to engage with industry in a number of ways, and we have developed close working relationships through research and teaching with key organisations, including Aberdeen Harbour Board, SEPA, Scottish Natural Heritage etc.
  • Local, national and international field trips are an integral part of all our degree programmes in the Department.
  • We have an engaging and very active Geography Society, where you can build your networks and enhance your employability.
  • We draw from social, environmental and geosciences to address local and global sustainability challenges and the impact of rapid environmental change on contemporary surface processes.
  • In the 2014 REF results, we were
    1st in Scotland - Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences (Geology and Geosciences)
    1st in Scotland for Impact - Geosciences
    5th in the UK for Architecture, Built Environment and Planning (Property and Transport)

Entry Requirements

Qualifications

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


General Entry Requirements

2021 Entry
2022 Entry

SQA Highers

Standard: AABB

Applicants who have achieved AABB (or better), are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/ Advanced Highers may be required.

Minimum: BBB

Applicants who have achieved BBB (or are on course to achieve this by the end of S5) are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/Advanced Highers will normally be required.

Adjusted: BB

Applicants who have achieved BB, and who meet one of the widening participation criteria are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/Advanced Highers will be required.

More information on our definition of Standard, Minimum and Adjusted entry qualifications.

A LEVELS

Standard: BBB

Minimum: BBC

Adjusted: CCC

More information on our definition of Standard, Minimum and Adjusted entry qualifications.

International Baccalaureate

32 points, including 5, 5, 5 at HL.

Irish Leaving Certificate

5H with 3 at H2 AND 2 at H3.

Entry from College

Advanced entry to this degree may be possible from some HNC/HND qualifications, please see www.abdn.ac.uk/study/articulation for more details.

SQA Highers

Standard: AABB

Applicants who have achieved AABB (or better), are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/ Advanced Highers may be required.

Minimum: BBB

Applicants who have achieved BBB (or are on course to achieve this by the end of S5) are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/Advanced Highers will normally be required.

Adjusted: BB

Applicants who have achieved BB, and who meet one of the widening participation criteria are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/Advanced Highers will be required.

More information on our definition of Standard, Minimum and Adjusted entry qualifications.

A LEVELS

Standard: BBB

Minimum: BBC

Adjusted: CCC

More information on our definition of Standard, Minimum and Adjusted entry qualifications.

International Baccalaureate

32 points, including 5, 5, 5 at HL.

Irish Leaving Certificate

5H with 3 at H2 AND 2 at H3.

Entry from College

Advanced entry to this degree may be possible from some HNC/HND qualifications, please see www.abdn.ac.uk/study/articulation for more details.

The information displayed in this section shows a shortened summary of our entry requirements. For more information, or for full entry requirements for Arts and Social Sciences degrees, see our detailed entry requirements section.


English Language Requirements

To study for an Undergraduate degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:

IELTS Academic:

OVERALL - 6.0 with: Listening - 5.5; Reading - 5.5; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0

TOEFL iBT:

OVERALL - 78 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 18; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21

PTE Academic:

OVERALL - 59 with: Listening - 59; Reading - 59; Speaking - 59; Writing - 59

Cambridge English B2 First, C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency:

OVERALL - 169 with: Listening - 162; Reading - 162; Speaking - 162; Writing - 169

Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

Fees and Funding

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

Fee information
Fee category Cost
RUK £9,250
Students Admitted in 2021/22
EU / International students £18,000
Tuition Fees for 2021/22 Academic Year
Home Students £1,820
Tuition Fees for 2021/22 Academic Year

Scholarships and Funding

Students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland, who pay tuition fees may be eligible for specific scholarships allowing them to receive additional funding. These are designed to provide assistance to help students support themselves during their time at Aberdeen.

Financial support for your study year abroad

We provide funding to students starting in 2021/22 on degrees with a compulsory period abroad at the same level as the Turing funding. This financial support can be used towards rent in your new city overseas, general living costs, or travelling to see more of your new home country. Students going abroad will continue to pay their normal rate of tuition fees with no increased charges or need to change tuition fee arrangements to the host university. For a full overview of how the tuition fees work, you can check this helpful funding table on our website.

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.

Undergraduate EU Scholarship

The Aberdeen Global Undergraduate Scholarship is open to European Union (EU) students.

This is an £8,000 tuition fee discount available to eligible self-funded Undergraduate students who would have previously been eligible for Home (Scottish/EU) fee status.

View Undergraduate EU Scholarship

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 and Employability 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.

Discover Uni

Discover Uni 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