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TSR Wiki > University > Choosing a University > University Guides > University of Dundee

The University of Dundee is the main University in the city of Dundee. Dundee itself has a population of around 160,000 and the Uni is a medium sized one with 18,000 students. For the more airy-fairy information, see the Real wikipedia page on the Uni. This, however, is for fairly relevant student related stuff.

The Uni was founded in the 19th century as a college of the University of St Andrews (be prepared to be known as its aborted love child...) called University-College, Dundee or Queen's College depending on era. It's expanded quite a bit recently.

It also has the Duncan of Jordanstone School of Art attached, which is apparently one of the best in Britain.


One railing was photographed in the making of this picture


There is one Central Library, in the main campus. It has everything you could realistically want: books and, well, books. There's an open study area on the 2nd level, which has a fair number of computers but can get quite busy at peak times, and has study areas and group-study tables etc. On level 3 is the silent study area - there is a computer room here also, however it is a quiet study zone so if you speak prepare to be hated.

The library has recently been extended and renovated and it looks very modern, it has also been kitted out with extra computers and power points as well as mobile phone charging units which are useful! At the moment, the opening hours are very reasonable during term time and can be found on the Library's website. There is a cafe on the ground floor which houses a coffee machine, snack bar and vending machines, computers are also present here.

There are a lot of subject and specialist libraries too, eg the Medical library at Ninewells, or the Duncan of Jordanstone Art School library. The one I know most about is the Law Library, and it's top notch - it's main hall is an open study area (this is quite recent, us old ones used to get thrown out of it for whispering) and there is a Lower Reading Room and a Senior Reading Room, which are silent. It's big and spacious. It also has its own IT suite, which is a bit on the stuffy side.

Dundee also has reciprocal borrowing (and obviously usage) rights with the libraries of the University of St Andrews and the University of Abertay Dundee

IT and Computing

A good number of IT suites, you'll never go short of a PC, but some are in basements and side-rooms which aren't particularly airy.

If you can find out the secret number to get into the Postgrad computing centre, do that...

There's Wi-Fi around the university too, and plenty of areas to set up with your laptop. The library is full of plug sockets etc for this purpose.

General Information
1881; became independent (from St Andrews Uni) in 1967
Dundee, Scotland, UK
University of Dundee,
01382 383 000
SU/Guild website:
UCAS Code:

Total students:
Typical offers:
Applicants per place:


Impressive new sports centre, which opened in the 2007/08 term. The Uni swimming pool is located in the Students' Union. It is complete with pool winter covers during the cold season.

Plenty of sports clubs. Fairly good social life - most of them go out for a huge piss up at the Union on Wednesday nights. Oh, and Wednesday afternoons are free for all undergrads (as far as I know) to partake in sporting pursuits etc.

There's a Blues and Colours Ball too for the extra socialness.


Um, yeah, union officials are probably quite approachable. Or something like that.


There is a student counselling service which offers up to eight free sessions per student per academic year, I've heard good things about them.

Aside from that, at the Freshers' Fayre the local health centres tend to set out a stall to get you to sign up to them.


Fairly standard British high street etc. Expanding well. Shopping centres and such too. Nothing to complain about.


A few good ones, but nothing compared to Glasgow and Edinburgh, unfortunately. Dundee unfortunately lacks diversity when it comes to food, however other cities are only short drives away!


Plenty about. An RBS on the campus, and a Clydesdale, Halifax-Bank of Scotland and Natwest within easy walking distance.


Buses work. Train link, obviously. **** airport (although there is a four-times daily service to London) - if you live in Ireland or somewhere non-Londonish in England, you'll probably have to get the bus or train down to Edinburgh Airport.

There's a free university bus service to cart students between Ninewells, West Park, the Main Campus and so on.

Careers service

Yeah, one exists. I've yet to bother with it.

Part-time jobs

Being a student orientated city, there are a lot of part time job opportunities in Dundee. There are a lot of pubs on the perth road, it's worth sending in CVs to all of them. There are more pubs in the city centre, again hand in a CV.

The main three nightclubs, Cubic, Fat Sams and Liquid, all recruit for bar staff regularly, pop in and enquire to see if there are any vacancies. There are other clubs, Deja Vu, mono, Out etc.

Dundee has a lot of call centres, so it could be possible to get a job in one. The most flexible are probably the BT customer service centre, and the HBOS telebanking centre (which is in the town centre, convienently).

There are plenty of bookmakers in and around the city centre, despite the bad reputation, these jobs are great for students, offering flexible hours, better than average pay, and transfers for summer.

Religious facilities

A chaplaincy centre in the main campus. Unfortunately lacking an actual, nice, historic chapel of any description; just a modern one, which is OK I suppose. There are Catholic, Anglican, C of S, Jewish, Muslim chaplains - and perhaps some I'm forgetting.

Official uni services are held either in St Mary's Church (C of S) or St Paul's Cathedral (Anglican). There's a few churches nearby that cater to students - and a Roman Catholic Cathedral just down the road which holds the Sunday service for university Catholics. There's a Christian Union, and at times there's a small society of Episcopalians who associate with St Paul's.

Dundee has several Mosques with the central mosque being about a 2-3 minute walk from Campus and a decent-sized Muslim community. There's also a Sikh temple up in the East End, and apparently an orthodox synagogue somewhere...

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Good. Friendly students. Plenty of school nights out and stuff. Fairly active community.

Bars, Pubs and clubs

Dundee does quite well on this front. There's an excellent variety of pubs and bars in the West End.

Clubs are fairly good for a city of Dundee's size. The main ones are: Fat Sams which is very good and fairly pleasant, the default clubbing location, a range of music; Cubic, the dance or r'n'b club - their draught beer tastes terrible though; the Reading Rooms, a bit far away, but good for your slightly more underground Indie, drum and bass, the occasional gig etc - slightly odd entry policy, has a few strange folk lingering about the garden (yes, a club with a garden - quite cool) who will check out you're 'of their type' from behind a big metal gate.

The Union is also there too, and it's a fairly solid night out. Two clubs: Mono, the main one, in the basement; and Floor 5, smaller and used for more alternative nights. Two bars: Air and the Liar. Plenty of pool tables.

Underground nightclub is also decent on a Thursday evening for Urban music.


Freshers' Ball etc, Department Balls, all that sort of thing.

Freshers' Week is usually quite an event, as is Refreshers' Week after the Xmas holidays.

A lot of the schools organise their own events, the Law Ball etc. Some also follow similar 'Gaudie' traditions to St Andrews, with academic parents and so forth: mainly the more traditional ones like Law and Medicine.

Clubs and societies

Plenty. Freshers' Fayre in the first week to showcase them. All the usual you'd expect. The non-sports ones can sometimes be a bit small, making it all feel quite insular.

Things to Know

A small list of fairly insignificant facts that you should probably know before coming:

  • People actually give directions by compass-point as due to certain big hills and a big river, it's very easy to tell north from south etc.
  • The Union gets pretty busy during live sporting events, especially big Champions League games.
  • On that note, the Union is not the be-all and end-all of social events in Dundee.
  • I have spent three years here and have (somewhat disappointingly) failed to hear anyone say 'peh'.
  • The 24 hour bakery (don't worry, you'll hear about it...) is located on Annfield Street north west of the Union.
  • The STD (dialing) code for Dundee is 01382. Locals somehow expect you to know this. Popular numbers to phone are 01382 203020 or 505050 (taxis); 201301 (Pizza Hut).
  • Dundee is literally a ghost town during summer when the students have left, you should know this if you plan on spending summers there for some odd reason.


All of the University accommodation is now self-catering.

Accommodation policy

  • shrug*

Edit: but they have more than enough to go around. First years are guaranteed a space, recently they've started letting older students stay in them.


All fairly good now, except for Tay Mills.

All rooms are fitted with a link to the Uni network and the internet except in Tay Mills - although the website points out that they will let you get private broadband installed there.

Since the smoking ban was introduced in Scotland, you cannot smoke in Uni halls - even in your own bedroom. I have no idea how strongly this is enforced.


Main Article: Dundee Accommodation

Shamelessly nicked from Wikipedia:

A typical Dundee kitchen - this one is from Belmont Hall. The breakfast bars are specifically designed to look like the set from 'Cheers'.*

*May be lies.

The University has a number of student residences spaced around the city. There is at present an attempt to move some of these halls of residence closer to the main campus. With the closure and re-building of West Park Hall in 2005, all of the halls are now self catered.

At present, there exists the following university residences:

  • Belmont Hall (including Balfour Flats) - Based in the main campus and consisting of three main sections: Belmont Tower, a 1950s construction; the Balfour Flats, a long and low building connected to the tower, and; the new halls of residence, completed in 2006.
  • Heathfield Hall- A new (2006) hall of residence. Major construction work finished in December 2006. All students who were accepted to it for the 2006/2007 session have since moved in. It is located on Old Hawkhill, immediately across from Belmont Flats.
  • Seabraes - A number of buildings comprised of flats, with a new hall identical in style to the new Heathfield and Belmont Halls being build at the foot of the complex. Located near to the south side of the main campus on Roseangle.
  • Tay Mills - A number of flats in a converted mill (which is shared with private student accommodation) to the east of the campus and on the edge of the city centre. The flats are beginning to look rather dated.
  • West Park - Located some distance to the west of the main campus, these halls were traditionally popular with medicine students due to their proximity to Ninewells Hospital. Consists of a relatively new complex known as West Park Villas, which are essentially student flats. The old hall (separate from the Villas) was largely torn-down in 2005 (leaving behind only the listed parts of the building) and the new complex (generally known as 'West Park Flats' by the University) is currently coming close to completion.

/shameless theft

So, to give you an idea of location: Heathfield and Belmont are on the main campus, Seabraes is about a five minute or less walk away, Tay Mills is more like five to ten minutes and West Park is about twenty to thirty minutes away.

This website has photos of some of the halls. Note that the new section of Seabraes, West Park Hall/Flats and Heathfield all look pretty much identical to the new Belmont (which has photos).

Tay Mills is very dated, not very airy in the least and a bit horrible. Its only redeeming quality is that the banter is allegedly rather good. It is, however, cheaper than the rest.

Private sector

It's easy and relatively cheap to get a flat in Dundee. There's also a Unite place, and The Hub, providing fairly up-market student-designed flats.

Student union

Centred around the Union building on the Western side of the campus. Within easy staggering distance of most of the central halls.

The building was very soulless once it was renovated over summer 2004. It's been improved though, although it can sometimes feel a bit empty in the main bar (The Liar - named after former Rector Stephen Fry's book) because of the high ceiling and enormous windows. They've thankfully done away with the IKEAish furniture in the most part.

There is a new cafe area being opened on the 4th floor for the start of 2010-2011 term.

Not very laid back either - unlike many unions, people seem to get a bit dressed up.


Good, I'll give them that.

Pint of Deuchars for £1.50. Vodka & Dash often £1. Sometimes £1 a pint for Tennants, but rising up to £1.30 depending on the current economic climate.


Dundee has improved a lot since the 80s. It's now a very attractive small city. The West End is nice and relaxed too. Oh, and it has a fairly large per capita population of students - largest of any city in Scotland perhaps (?)


Geddes Quadrangle. People go here to nap during sunny afternoons as it is more sparsely populated than the greens that face onto Perth Road.

The city's architecture is often lacking in places outside of the centre or West End. A lot of Dundee was rebuilt in the 70s and they made a bit of an arse of it. There's lots of work going on though, including huge plans for the waterfront.

The university itself has some buildings which one would probably say are charming and quite idyllic. Take the Geddes Quadrangle for example. There are a few blots on the landscape - I personally don't like the Art School (although some do) and I'm not sure about the Tower Building - but I suppose we needed the extra space.

I'm sounding a bit down on this front, but it's certainly by no means terrible.

Local area

Dundee - like I say, small city, becoming very much more interesting (bit of a buzz about it these days). The West End (where the uni is) is laid back. Some parts of the East End are a bit rough, as in any city, but you can easily go four years without ever seeing them. Safe, low crime rate, good police.

West End has plenty of pleasant features: theatre, the DCA (Dundee Contemporary Arts - two cinemas for slightly more obscure films, general home of arty stuff etc), the occasional late-night takeaway (oh, not to mention the 24hr bakery - where students go to die at 5am)

Surroundings are nice. Plenty of little towns in Angus, Perthshire or Fife to explore. Not much nearby, but it's quite easy to jump on the bus/train and get down to Edinburgh quickly if you want to go shopping or just for a change of scenery. Dundee has a beach (!) at Broughty Ferry. St Andrews is also close - more students! Plenty of touristy tat. Oh yes, and we have more golf courses around here than you can shake a stick at.

Teaching quality

Rated number one for teaching in the UK by The Times in 2005.

Applying to Dundee

Thinking of applying to University of Dundee? Why not read some Personal Statements which were used for applying here?

Other Dundee Articles

Why not read these other University of Dundee Articles?


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