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University of Aberdeen

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University of Aberdeen

Motto: Initium sapientiae timor domini
(The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom)

Established 1858 by the merger of King's College (established 1495) and Marischal College (established 1593)
Chancellor Lord Wilson of Tillyorn
Vice-Chancellor Prof C Duncan Rice
Location Aberdeen, UK
Enrolment 13,278(9,906 undergraduate; 3,012 postgraduate)
Faculty 717
Campus Urban

Logo © University of Aberdeen

The University of Aberdeen is a university in Aberdeen, Scotland, founded by William Elphinstone, Bishop of Aberdeen in 1495 as King's College. In April 1593 a second institute of higher learning in Aberdeen, Marischal College, was founded by George Keith, the fourth Earl Marischal. In 1858, the Universities of Scotland Act merged King's College and Marischal College. The Act also created a new medical school at Marischal. The University is Scotland's third oldest and the UK's fifth oldest University.



In 2000 - 2001, the number of full-time students at the Institution was 13,278, including 9,906 undergraduates and 3,012 postgraduates. The university has more than 630 different first degree programmes and more than 90 postgraduate taught programmes. Following reforms the university now hold 3 colleges(College of Arts and Social Sciences, College of Life Sciences and Medicine and College of Physical Sciences) rather than the 5 faculities it had before.

College of Arts and Social Sciences

School of Divinity, History and Philosophy, School of Education, School of Language & Literature, School of Law, School of Social Science, University of Aberdeen Business School

College of Life Sciences and Medicine

School of Biological Sciences, School of Medical Sciences, School of Medicine, School of Psychology, Graduate School

College of Physical Sciences

School of Engineering and Physical Sciences, School of Geosciences, Graduate School

Architecture & Buildings

The original buildings of both colleges are the glories of Aberdeen, though newer campus buildings are in largely modernist style.

King's College forms a quadrangle with interior court, two sides of which have been rebuilt, and a library wing has been added. The Crown Tower and the Chapel, the oldest parts, date from 1500. The former is surmounted by a structure about 40 ft (12 m) high, consisting of a six-sided lantern and royal crown, both sculptured, and resting on the intersections of two arched ornamental slips rising from the four corners of the top of the tower. The choir of the chapel still contains the original oak canopied stalls, miserere seats, and lofty open screens in the French flamboyant style, and of unique beauty of design and execution. Their preservation was due to the enlightened energy of the principal at the time of the Reformation, who armed his folk to save the building from the barons of the Mearns after they had robbed St Machar's of its bells and lead. Today, King's returns the favour by providing needed funds for the university as it fulfils its sometime occupation as corporate reception and exhibition area.

Marischal College is a stately modern building, having been rebuilt in 1836-1841, and greatly extended several years later at a cost of 100,000. The additions to the buildings opened by King Edward VII in 1906, form one of the most splendid examples of modern architecture in Great Britain; the architect, Alexander Marshall Mackenzie , a native of Aberdeen, having adapted his material, white granite, to the design of a noble building with the originality of genius. The beautiful Mitchell Tower is so named from the benefactor (Dr Charles Mitchell) who provided the splendid graduation hall. The opening of this tower in 1895 signalled the commemoration of the four hundredth anniversary of the foundation of the university. The University Library comprises nearly 100,000 books. A botanic garden was presented to the university in 1899.


Famous alumni of the University include:

Robert Gordon University is also located in Aberdeen.

Partner universities

External links

Last updated: 05-12-2005 17:22:17
Last updated: 05-13-2005 07:56:04