City guides: Dundee
Welcome to Scotland's coastal UNESCO City of Design.
Dundee is a short distance north of Edinburgh on the east coast of Scotland and is the fourth largest city in Scotland. It’s also a university city, which is presumably why you’re here!
If you’re considering becoming a university of Dundee student, you’ll be in good company! It’s a trendy place to study, and has come first in the Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey. It’s been featured within the top 10 ever since – which should tell you all you need to know.
But in case it doesn’t…
Universities in Dundee
There are two universities in Dundee, the University of Dundee and Abertay University. There are also colleges, Dundee & Angus College, Al-Maktoum College of Higher Education and Scottish School of Contemporary Dance, but two ‘official’ universities. The University of Dundee has a campus in the city and also another in Kirkcaldy.
The university has multiple schools, including the School of Art and Design, School of Business, School of Dentistry, School of Education and Social Work, School of Humanities, School of Life Sciences, School of Medicine, School of Nursing and Health Sciences, School of Science and Engineering and School of Social Sciences.
Abertay University is based in the city centre and provides high-quality education across a wide range of subjects.
It is highly regarded for its courses on computer games, ethical hacking, cyber security and sport but offers many more subjects.
Living costs for students in Dundee
Like most northern and Scottish cities, with the exception of Edinburgh, Dundee offers a relatively low cost of living. As the city has seen a drop in employment over the past 30 years, property prices and rents are relatively low.
The cost of living is kept in check by limited resources, meaning transport, food, drink and a night out is more affordable here than in many other cities.
Plus, as the two universities bring in much-needed income to the city, a lot of the local culture here is built around delivering student accommodation, entertainment and services.
Eating out in Dundee as a student
Eating out in Dundee as a student is pretty good. The Liar at the Students Union offers decent food, so you don’t have to travel far if you don’t want to.
Otherwise, The Parlour, Sol y Sombra Tapas Bar, Gidi Grill, Collinsons Restaurant, The Camperdown Elm, Tahini, Rancho Pancho, Piccolo, Brasserie Ecosse, The Flame Tree Café, Gallery 48, Pacamara Food & Drink, The Milton Inn, Tickety Boo's, Porters Bar & Restaurant, The Old Anchor Inn, The Ship Inn & Waterfront Restaurant, Mexican Grill, The Royal Arch Bar & Bistro, Bombay Joe's, Rama Thai, The Bach and Ciao Sorrento to name just a few.
Nightlife in Dundee
Nightlife in Dundee is a student highlight. There’s everything from late-opening cafés to clubs and plenty of bars and pubs in between.
Highlights include The Old Bank Bar, The Tinsmith’s, the Art Bar, The Speedwell Bar, The West House, The Wine Press, Underground Dundee, the Dundee Rep Theatre, Reading Rooms, Club Tropicana, Beau Nightclub, Draffens, Jute Café Bar, Duke’s Corner and The King of Islington.
There are plenty of other options, but you get the idea.
Shopping as a student in Dundee
Shopping as a university of Dundee student is a real pleasure. Despite its modest size, the city has plenty of options for a little retail therapy.
Those options include Overgate Shopping Centre, The V&A Dundee shop, Dundee’s Farmer’s Market, Gallagher Retail Park, the Wellgate and the High Street.
Each option provides a range of stores including everything from vinyl record shops to upmarket boutiques. The usual selection of chains and big brands also have a presence around the city.
Student accommodation in Dundee
Thanks to a relatively low cost of living, accommodation in Dundee is one of the cheapest in the UK.
As a university of Dundee student, you will have decent quality university halls for your first year and then be let loose into the world. You’ll probably end up in the city centre or the West End, both of which have a selection of student accommodation at varying levels of quality.
Sanctuary Students has seven blocks of flats in Dundee, all within reach of the city centre and campus. All flats offer well-maintained accommodation within a safe environment. Many are en-suite and all offer fully inclusive rents. That means no bills – win, win!
Top places to visit as a student in Dundee
University of Dundee students have plenty to see and do while you’re here and that’s part of this city’s charm.
Your options include the Tay Rail Bridge, Discovery Point, HMS Unicorn, V&A Dundee, Glamis Castle, Verdant Works, The McManus, Dundee Old Town, Mills Observatory, Camperdown Wildlife Centre, Broughty Castle Museum, Dundee Science Centre, the House of Dun, Montrose Basin Nature Reserve, Scone Palace, Loch Tay, Dundee Contemporary Arts, Dundee Ice Arena and Caird Hall.
Just a few of the many things to see and do during your time here.
Getting around Dundee as a student
Getting around Dundee as a student is easy. The city has an airport, two rail stations and a decent bus service.
Dundee Airport is a domestic airport that links many cities in the UK. You’ll need to go to Edinburgh Airport if you want to travel further afield.
Dundee Station and Broughty Ferry Station are the two main railway stations. Both cover national and local lines, including intercity links. There are also three smaller stations that serve local lines.
Xplore Dundee and Stagecoach Strathtay run most local bus services out of The Seagate bus station, with National Express and Megabus offering journeys across the UK.
The main road in the area is the A90 which links to the M90 and the A92 which crosses the Tay Road Bridge. Driving locally is okay, with minor delays at peak times, otherwise, it’s easy to drive around.
Working as a student in Dundee
You may find it difficult to find work as a university of Dundee student. You may be okay working in bars, restaurants, shops and fast food joints, but employment in Dundee isn’t the best.
The lack of industry and limited employment options means competition is stiff for any work that comes up. Fortunately, this is countered by the lower cost of living, so you may find it much easier to live within your means in Dundee than in many other places.
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