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Aberdeen

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QS Best Student Cities ranking: 64th  

Scotland’s third-largest city after Glasgow and Edinburgh, Aberdeen is nicknamed ‘The Granite City’ for its frequent use of local gray granite across its buildings. A historical port city, Aberdeen drops nine places this year to rank 64th in the world.

While Aberdeen’s position in the north-east makes it quite remote, it’s also very well-connected to other cities in the UK, with extensive air and rail links. Big enough to get the ‘big city’ study experience and have plenty to do, but compact and not so large that it’s overwhelming, Aberdeen offers the ideal spot for mixing vibrant city life with exploring miles of nearby countryside and coastlines.

Aberdeen is the educational center of northeastern Scotland, and there’s a large population of students (about 22,500) from a variety of nationalities – 132 are represented at Robert Gordon University, which helps to give the city its strong score for student mix in our best cities ranking.

While the city can’t be called cheap to live in compared to other cities around the world, it does have the best score for affordability in the UK, thanks to lower living costs than other British destinations. For example, the average cost of accommodation (a one-bedroom apartment) in Aberdeen is £595 per month, compared to Manchester, where the average cost is £781.

Aberdeen’s frequently been ranked as one of the happiest and most livable cities in the UK, and, while it’s colder than much of the rest of the UK, it’s also one of Scotland’s sunniest cities.

The city’s also been praised for its flourishing economy, with Paymentsense recently naming Aberdeen as the best place in the UK to launch a business start-up, thanks to its strong roots in industries such as fishing, textiles, and shipbuilding. 

Aberdeen’s been well-received by its current students, who commented in our survey that “Everything is very student friendly” and it has a “Friendly atmosphere, very low crime rate, and pleasant weather”. One student noted “you feel safe wherever you are.

Are you currently studying in Aberdeen? Share your experience.

Internationally ranked universities in Aberdeen

More about Aberdeen

Number of universities ranked by QS

2

Highest-ranked institution

University of Aberdeen (ranked 194th)

Population

250,000

Average international fees (at ranked unis)

 US$19,000

Desirability rank

57th

Employer Activity rank

108th  

Affordability rank

74th

Student View rank

71st

 To find out how each of the above categories is calculated, view the methodology.

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Sabrina Collier's profile image
Written by Sabrina Collier
The Assistant Editor of TopUniversities.com, Sabrina edits and publishes articles which guide students from around the world on a wide range of topics. She has a bachelor's degree in English Literature and Creative Writing from Aberystwyth University and grew up in Staffordshire, UK. 

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