The picturesque city of Dundee is a beautiful place to live and study. It is home to two internationally renowned universities and also to two historic football teams with stadiums just yards apart.
Dundee is a pleasant city that is compact and easy to walk around, and living at our comfortable Dundee student accommodation you’ll have access to fantastic amenities, some brilliant pubs, bars, clubs, restaurants and cafes, live events, live sport, great historical attractions, as well as public transport around the city and beyond to Aberdeen and the highlands of Scotland or Edinburgh, Glasgow and down south to England. Dundee is a city that is the perfect contrast between urban life and the gritty, rugged and beautiful Scottish landscape.
The University of Dundee was named the Scottish University of the Year in The Times in 2016, and Abertay University is also highly regarded.
Our student homes in Dundee have been designed to offer spacious studio living or communal apartments, all with en suite bathrooms, ample storage and study space and a comfortable place to unwind, recharge your batteries after a hard day of study, but also to have fun and make new friends.
There are two highly regarded universities in Dundee, with the University of Dundee named in 2016 as the Scottish University of the Year in The Times Good University Guide.
Founded in 1881, it has always been held in high esteem for its dedication to exceptional teaching in both undergraduate and postgraduate courses and aims to transform the lives of students through a carefully designed programme that takes both local and global applications and learning techniques to build and share knowledge. It has world-class facilities that continue to astound and push the boundaries of research, with the aim to help staff and students genuinely have a positive impact on the world. The collaborative approach to learning ensures that the campus is a close-knit one, with real friendships and working relationships established that stand students in good stead for a future career.
It is home to students from over 140 countries, and within the Students’ Union you’ll find clubs and societies including Islamic, Caribbean, and African, whilst the shops and restaurants certainly have an international flavour to help welcome students no matter where they have come from.
The main library at the University is open until 2.30am during semester, and during exams it can be used 24 hours a day by students looking to cram in some extra work and revision through one of the more than 750 computers on campus. Staff are extremely helpful (especially during exam time) and the library has plenty of study space, relaxation areas, creative spaces, and a café on-site.
The Dundee Plus Award is one of the many aspects of the university where help is available to students looking for future work. It is endorsed by employers on both a local and national level as well as by professional bodies, and recognises the value of extracurricular activities on a student’s CV.
JobShop and Placement Base help students to find internships and part-time jobs whilst studying, and the Centre of Entrepreneurship provides the basic business enterprise skills to help improve employability and life-long career skills. DUSA is the highly rated Students’ Union, and is home to bars, cafes, and a nightclub. There are over 190 student societies and clubs to choose from and DUSA has one of the strongest representations in Scotland.
The second university in Dundee, Abertay University provides a focus for high-specification career-oriented courses. If you have a specific job role in mind for your future Abertay University is the place to study in Dundee, helping students to maximise their potential for the modern economy. It is ambitious and at the vanguard of a modern approach to higher education where degree programmes are geared towards maximum employability. The university has a history of graduates going on to work for Apple, Google, BBC, Coca Cola, and Rockstar to name just a few high-end employers.
The recently refurbished Bernard King Library has over 126,000 books, and 32,000 e-journals and 175,000 e-books, with plenty of quiet study areas and computer laboratories to take advantage of. The career service is excellent, as you would expect from a university with degrees set out as they are. There is a range of workshops and placements available to help students build a solid CV, as well as regular chances to work within relevant industries and for potential employers.
Abertay is home to two bespoke crime scene areas as part of Forensic Science, as well as Food Innovation Centre at the cutting edge of the food-processing sector. It was the first university in the world to offer degrees in computer games and ethical hacking, and continues to implore its students to be empowered, to connect, to belong, and to thrive.
Living at our Dundee student accommodation you’re just a short walk away from any of the big name fast food brands that you know and love. So if you’re in the mood for a cheeky Nando’s you can get your chicken on, or if you want a sub on your lunch break you’ll find a Subway. KFC and McDonald’s complete the set of fast food brands that you can find in every city.
There is something quite comforting about that at times, and for new students it is important to learn how to cook for yourself and your flat mates too. You can find some cheap meat, fruit and vegetables at Lidl and other supermarkets in the city, learn how to cook for you and your friends and then sample the restaurants in the city as a treat every now and again.
If you are going out to eat as a student in Dundee the Nether Inn and the Tinsmith are both great, cheap student-friendly options for a nice pub meal in a busy environment. The Braes on Perth Road is also a nice student-friendly pub with good, affordable food. This is also a regular haunt for sports teams, and in some places you’ll find good student and sports teams discounts.
Other great places to grab a bite to eat in Dundee include Tailend Fish & Chips on Nethergate, as a high quality sit-in and takeaway fish restaurant, and The Bach, which offers a variety of food and craft coffee at The Old Flour Mill of Exchange Street. The Bach is a great place for gluten free and vegan options, and the name comes from the name given in New Zealand to a holiday home where you can eat great food and relax!).
Draffens is a speakeasy with no sign outside, adding to its mystical appeal. Although strictly speaking not a restaurant it does have a fantastic array of light bar snacks that we would be remiss not to mention. It can be found down a lane right next to Empire State Coffee. What you will find when living in Dundee is that the locals have a real sense of history and a pride in the food that has been created here.
Dundee lays solid claims to being the birthplace of marmalade and Dundee cake – you can see historical notes for both in the Keiller family archive. Keiller was a family confectionary that was rated above both Rowntree and Cadbury in the late 1800s.
Janet Keiller (the founder of the dynasty) was the first person to create all butter sultana cake and flavour it with candied orange peel, and top it with whole Spanish almonds in the late 19th century.
The bakers of modern-day Dundee are reviving the original Dundee cake recipe and attempting to secure EU Protected Geographical Indication for the fruit. You’ll find it at most bakeries in the city, as well as on menus in cafes and restaurants.
The vast majority of first and second year students at the University of Dundee will go out to the Students’ Union, which is home to two nightclubs and two bars. Every Tuesday night is ‘Skint’ night, where there is a plethora of discounted drinks and promotional offers.
If you buy a black card you can get into the Union all year round free of charge (without this it can cost between £5 to £10 depending on the night), so this will save you a lot of money in the long run. Every Wednesday night is the night where most of the sports clubs and societies have their nights out, starting at the Union and ending up at Club Tropicana & Venga, home to retro nights and cheesy music.
For non-Scottish students it can come as something of a shock to discover that you cannot buy alcohol in Scotland after 10pm at an off licence or supermarket, so if you are heading to a student party, or fancy a night in instead of spending money in pubs and clubs in town bear this in mind.
If you are planning on a pub-crawl, or finding a new local pub though you are in luck, there are some amazing old-fashioned real ale pubs alongside modern bars in the city. The Tinsmith and the Nether Inn are both student-friendly pubs where you can grab a bite to eat, watch sports on the big TV screens and have a laugh without breaking the bank. The Nether Inn also has a student card that gives you some excellent drink discounts. The Boozy Cow (on Roseangle) is another student favourite, with a good beer garden that becomes busy when the warmer months arrive.
DUSA is a fantastic venue in its own right, so it is no surprise that most students make it their go to night out, rather than a big night out in town. At the Student Crowd’s Student Union Awards in 2018 it was voted the best Students’ Union in Scotland and 3rd in the whole of the UK.
As a student at the University of Dundee you are automatically a Life Member and can sign-in guests when you have friends from home visiting. There are five floors with a games room, bars, clubs, and a late-night food service. Regular events include pub quizzes from different societies and plenty of famous guests.
Football is the biggest sport in Scotland and in Dundee if you’re a football fan you’ll know that the derby in the city is held between Dundee and Dundee United. Both currently play in the Scottish Championship, but the most interesting fact about football in this town is that United’s home of Tannadice Park is literally only yards away from Dundee’s home of Dens Park. This unique rivalry between the two teams began due to the grounds being the closest League grounds in the whole of the UK. It is relatively cheap to watch a match in the Scottish Championship with student tickets between £10-20.
The public transport links to the region and beyond in Scotland means that if you are interested in watching other football teams at both club and international level you can do so within an hour or two.
In terms of staying fit, healthy, and active whilst living at our Dundee student accommodation there is a real wealth of choice at the University in terms of sports clubs. Even if you have no experience in a sport but fancy giving it a go, joining a sports club is a fantastic way to make new friends and it has a brilliant and regular social life surrounding it.
The Institute of Sport and Exercise (ISE) is a top-notch sporting facility on campus at the University of Dundee. The ISE is designed to keep students on their toes, with a state-of-the-art gym, a personal training room, two exercise studios, competition standard squash courts, strength performance centre, dance studio, 25m swimming pool, all-weather tennis courts, and two large indoor multi-purpose sports halls. The outdoor facilities at the Riverside sports ground are no less impressive with floodlit artificial football and hockey pitches, and seven grass pitches (including two for Rugby Union). The emphasis is definitely on having fun and staying active, but there are also competitive events and you’ll be able to find every type of sport from football and rugby, to tennis, sailing, archery, and skydiving. It is a real mixed bag of fun and activity.
If you love cycling the surrounding area around Dundee is home to Sidlaw Hills, with cycling for all level of abilities, including mountain biking, duathlons, cyclo cross, time trials, road racing, and track cycling. The green circular is a fantastic 26-mile route that allows you to cycle around the city and see the sights whilst you are at it. Running is another popular pursuit and with the hills, the coastline and the countryside you have plenty of jogging routes to work out.
There are several friendly running clubs in the city that are open to students. Dundee and the surrounding areas is also a golfers paradise, with 2 municipal golf courses home to both 9 and 18 holes, and two members clubs that are held in high regard as some of the best inland courses in the UK. If you are after something to get the adrenaline really flowing, kayaking, water skiing, sailing, and wind surfing are all available through the Ancrum Outdoor Centre, and there are two skate parks in the city (at Factory and Dudhope) that provide a challenge to all levels of skaters.
As a student in a new city you are best advised to get to know the shopping as quickly as possible. As mentioned in the ‘Eating Out’ section, it is always advisable to find the more affordable supermarkets such as Lidl, to ensure you can buy staple food and grocery items without breaking the bank. The sooner you can do this, the better for your overall health and bank balance. You’ll be completely fine shopping in Dundee – it is an easily walkable city, with a city centre and surrounding areas reachable on foot or on bike without ever really needing public transport if you don’t need to. So, you can stroll around from your comfortable Dundee student accommodation whenever you need to go shopping, whether for groceries, clothes, or arts and crafts.
The city centre is mainly pedestrianised, and here you’ll find all of the main high street brands and shops that you can find in towns and cities all over the UK. This familiarity is important when you first move somewhere new as a student, especially if you’ve never lived away from home before or looked after yourself. The Overgate Shopping Centre, Wellgate Shopping Centre, and along Marketgate you’ll easily be able to walk along and find all of the big brand names and stores that you need.
There is more to Dundee than just the high street names and big brands however, there are also many independent boutiques and indie markets. Pop up Dundee markets usually take place in the city centre, with WASPS held at WASPS Artist Studios in Meadow Mill, a great alternative market from artists and craft makers in the city and region. Tea Green pop up markets appear at different locations throughout the city, whilst the Christmas market is always good fun.
For indie food shops look no further than Braithwaite’s, which is one of the most traditional coffee and tea merchants you’ll ever come across. Walking into the Castle Street store is like going back in time to the 19th century when the company first opened its doors, whilst The Cheesery on Exchange Street is home to some fantastic local and continental cheese.
And now for something completely different. At the Overgate Shopping Centre is the first vending machine that sells fresh fruit and vegetables, providing customers with a simple way of connecting with local produce.
For student events there are fantastic nights throughout the year at the University of Dundee Students’ Union. As we’ve mentioned, DUSA is highly rated as one of the best in the country and for the big events throughout the year (like St Patrick’s Day and Halloween) you’ll have to make sure you buy your tickets in advance.
Outside of the student union there is plenty to see and do in this blossoming and striking city. The city is located on the Tay estuary, providing it with miles of truly spectacular coastline to explore.
The beaches and the hills surrounding Dundee are a sight to behold, and in recent years it has been awarded the title of the ‘Coolest Little City in Britain’ (By GQ Magazine), and at number 5 on the ‘Worldwide Hot Destinations’ list by The Wall Street Journal in 2018. One of the greatest places to see is the Victoria & Albert Museum, which is the first design museum outside of London. It is an international centre for design that is located at the very heart of the rejuvenated waterfront, and can be found next to Discovery Points and RRS Discovery. At the V&A you’ll discover all about the rich heritage of Scottish design in its permanent galleries, alongside regular exhibitions such as the games exhibition that has been on in 2019.
Other cultural and historical sights include Verdant Works, which is a restored 19th century mill that tells the story of feminist and socialist history in the area, and Mills Observatory, which is the only full-time public observatory in the UK. It is home to an impressive Victorian-era retracting telescope and was gifted to the city by John Mills in 1935.
One of the most famous things to do in Dundee is to walk to the top of the Law. The 573-foot peak is the highest point in the city and definitely the most iconic and distinctive landmark around. It is a focal point for locals and students and you can’t say you’ve lived in Dundee without spending time at the top. There is a war memorial at the peak, which is lit on certain significant days. Another stunning part of the scenery is the Tay Rail and Road Bridges, completed in 1887 and sweeping across the estuary carrying rail traffic between Dundee and Fife.