The North East of Scotland

Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire are areas of exceptional beauty, culture and heritage. Whether you’re enjoying the unspoilt countryside and dramatic coastlines or busying yourself amidst the countless shops, bars, cafes and restaurants in Aberdeen City centre, there’s something to suit everyone.

Welcome to the North East

The region is widely renowned all over the world due in large part to its North Sea oil and gas, maritime and agricultural industries. Because of this, the North East has played a pivotal role in the economic advancement of Scotland and the UK as a whole, and acts as a key hub in the European petroleum industry. Impressively, Mercer’s global rankings Quality of Life Report consistently names Aberdeen as an ideal environment in which to live and work.


This prosperous region offers promising job prospects in a range of sectors, but is currently faced with new challenges after considerable recent changes in oil and gas. A wide range of initiatives are now in place to boost the region’s economy – for example the Aberdeen City Region Deal (which will see over of £504 million injected into the area over the next 5-10 years) and the development of Opportunity North East. We now see employers, educational establishments, local authorities and the Scottish Government working together to diversify key sectors, strengthen infrastructures, boost investment and create a strong, sustainable economic future for Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire. The College is an integral part of such work.

The College have numerous links with local employers, meaning that work experience and student placement opportunities are an important part of many of our courses. Employers welcome the chance to take on bright, intuitive and enthusiastic students and give them a chance to gain valuable, hands-on experience in their chosen vocation!

Value for money

It may be surprising, but the Aberdeen area is considerably cheaper to live in when compared to Edinburgh and Glasgow. If you want to secure a bit of part-time or holiday work in order to top up your finances however, there is ample opportunity to do so. The Press and Journal website has useful listings in its ‘Jobs’ section:

Aberdeen City

About Aberdeen

Aberdeen is the third largest city in Scotland, home to over 230,000 people. You may often hear it referred to as the Granite City because of the ancient and imposing granite architecture which very much defines it, acting as the perfect backdrop to such a strikingly vibrant city. Aberdeen is also globally connected, with excellent air, sea, rail and road links. The City offers a superb student lifestyle for those studying at the College or one of the universities.


Aberdeen is a major shopping destination with shopping centres and stores located within easy walking distance of each other. There are four main shopping centres in the heart of the city: the Trinity Centre, the Bon Accord Centre, the St. Nicholas Centre and the newest and largest centre Union Square, which boasts over 60 shops and restaurants, a 10 screen cinema and a hotel – all under one roof. The Merchant Quarter in the West End is also a popular spot, with unique retailers offering something a bit different to that of the High Street, and with countless places to eat and drink.


In the centre of Aberdeen you’ll find an eclectic mix of cafes, restaurants, bars and clubs, many of which offer great student deals. Movie lovers can visit one of Aberdeen’s four multi-screen cinemas, and for those interested in the Performing Arts there are venues such as the Music Hall, His Majesty’s Theatre and the Lemon Tree which all offer something different, depending on what you like. Eating out will never be a problem either, as there are over 300 restaurants to choose from!

Leisure and Culture

For those interested in the arts, there are numerous museums and art galleries for you to enjoy, and leisure lovers can make the most of the gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools available, one of the most impressive being Aberdeen Sports Village – the premier sport and exercise facility in Scotland. There is also the beautiful, sandy beach which acts as the city’s coastline and proves very popular with water sports enthusiasts and walkers.



Aberdeenshire is home to a beautiful combination of rugged coastlines, mountains and rolling fields and farmland. The towns and villages in the area are quaint and charming, and each with their own distinct attraction. You’ll find cosy restaurants serving fresh seafood, local pubs perfect for a pint and independent galleries and shops selling local arts and crafts. You’ll also find elements of the region’s extensive agricultural and maritime industries scattered throughout – for example, the UK’s largest white fish and pelagic port is based in Peterhead!

For those who want to explore the history and culture of the land, there’s plenty to do. Aberdeenshire is home to over 300 castles, which is more per acre than anywhere else in the UK. You will also find countless whisky distilleries, farmers markets, parks and gardens, as well as stunning woodland walks. If extreme sports and outdoor pursuits take your fancy, Aberdeenshire has fantastic areas for hill walking, skiing and various water sports. Glenshee Ski Centre and Lecht 2090 in the Eastern Cairngorms are very popular, as is the Nordic Outdoor Centre in Huntly – the only purpose built all-weather facility for cross-country skiing in the UK.

Education in the North East

North East Scotland College

North East Scotland College is the largest further Education College in the North East of Scotland, and came to being in November 2013 when two previously individual establishments – Aberdeen College and Banff & Buchan College – merged to become one. Our range of campuses offer access to courses for people across the North East, and our top of the range teaching and training facilities put us at the forefront of further education in Scotland.

Alongside North East Scotland College are the two universities: The University of Aberdeen and Robert Gordon University.

The University of Aberdeen is Scotland’s third oldest (founded in 1495) and the fifth oldest in the UK. It is ranked as one of the top 200 universities in the world by the Times Higher Educational Supplement and has produced three Nobel prize winners and shared a fourth. The University holds 400 single and multiple patents and in 2003, it produced 17% of all patents in Scotland.

North East Scotland College have an important relationship with Robert Gordon University (RGU) which, in the last decade, has consistently been one of the top universities in the UK for graduate employment. Our Degree Link programme in conjunction with RGU gives our students the chance to progress in to a university degree course there after two years at College.

NESCol also supports ABZ Works, a service available to Aberdeen residents who are looking for support to develop confidence, knowledge, skills or experience to work towards progression in employment, education or training.

Find out more

To find out more about Aberdeen City and Shire, the following websites have lots of helpful information: