Why come to Dundee?

Dundee’s idyllic natural setting is the envy of its peers; nestled along the banks of the Tay Estuary, the fresh air, sunshine and proximity we have to the sea is hard to beat. Architecture strikes a perfect balance between Victorian grandeur and cutting edge modernity. But what really makes Dundee stand out, is the variety and quality of history and culture. From magnificent ships to hip galleries, spacious parks to exquisite cuisine, what Dundee has to offer has never been better.

The 4th largest city in Scotland, with a population of 140,000. For many international students, this may seem very small, but Scotland only has a total population of 5 million.

dundee panorama

Located between Aberdeen and Edinburgh, Dundee has one of the most beautiful settings in Scotland. To the South West are the picturesque Sidlaws, to the south the river itself with views of the rolling hills of Fife beyond. Rail and road bridges link Dundee with the capital of Scotland, Edinburgh, and motorways lead to Glasgow, Scotland’s biggest city, to the south.  Dundee itself is a vibrant student city – and has three Higher Education institutions, Dundee University, University of Abertay Dundee and Dundee and Angus College – catering for around 40,000 students.  

science strip

The region of Tayside is rich in history and culture from the whaling industry which provided employment in the 19th and early 20th century; ships brought in raw jute from Bangladesh and India, to be processed in big mills in Dundee. Nowadays, Dundee is better known for cutting-edge industries such as groundbreaking medical and Biotechnology (with globally renowned cancer research facilities based here) and Creative Industries including the development of computer games, a fledging tech industry which paved the way for the Grand Theft Auto video game. With iconic comics like The Beano there is no denying the city has a flair for creative ingenuity. It is not at all surprising then that Dundee has been hailed by the United Nations as the UNESCO City of Design, the first of its kind in the UK.

tourism strip

To quote Stephen Fry, a setting as ‘about as ideal – ludicrously ideal – as any setting could be’ and it’s hard to argue with that! We’ve got a beautiful waterfront overlooking the Firth of Tay – the new home of the eagerly awaited V&A Museum of Design Dundee – a plethora of tranquil parks, gardens and green spaces, and some of the finest heritage attractions Scotland has to offer; these are just some of the things that make Dundee so special. The ‘Cultural Quarter’ with theatres, galleries and an ever-growing number acclaimed restaurants, independent cafés and bars enhance the already cosmopolitan vibe of our bustling university town atmosphere. We have magnificent mountain scenery and world-famous lochs within very quick reach outside the city so it is well worth exploring at weekends. Why not try a new activity like skiing, mountain biking, walking on the many beaches or munro hiking?

FInd out about some of Dundee's landmark attractions.

Dundonians have long prided themselves on a strong social culture and sense of community. As well as many chic bars and restaurants where you can eat out or have a drink or two, the high student population can be seen enjoying the vibrant nightlife, with top-quality night spots competing to offer the best entertainment in the country. Throughout the year we have innovative events that can’t be missed such as Dundee Literary Festival, Oktoberfest, Science Festival, Broughty Ferry Gala Week, Neon Digital Arts, Jazz Festival, and Dundee Flower and Food to name but a few!

It is easy to see why so many people have already chosen to study in Dundee.