Abertay University is one of two public universities in the city of Dundee, Scotland. In 1872, Sir David Baxter, 1st Baronet of Kilmaron, left a bequest for the establishment of a mechanics’ institute in Dundee and the Dundee Institute of Technology was formed in 1888. As early as 1902 it was recognised by the Scottish Education Department as an educational hub, and was one of the first to be designated a central institution, akin to an “industrial university”. Abertay gained University status in 1994.
Abertay launched the world’s first computer games degree in 1997 and in 2017 held a programme of events celebrating 20 Years of Games. Abertay was also the first to offer a degree in Ethical Hacking, starting in 2006.
Abertay is a small university that receives the majority of its funding for teaching rather than research. Nevertheless, according to the results of the Research Excellence Framework 2014 (REF2014) published on 18 December 2014, Abertay was the highest ranked modern university in Scotland for ‘research intensity’. The University submitted an increased proportion of staff in REF2014 compared to RAE2008 and achieved an average score of 2.15 – which in REF terms means ‘quality that is recognised internationally in terms of originality, significance, and rigour’. This was an improvement from the average score of 1.83, ‘national recognition’, achieved in RAE2008.
Submissions were made in:
- Unit 4 Psychology, Psychiatry and Neurosciences
- Unit 5 Biological Sciences
- Unit 7 Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences
- Unit 15 General Engineering
- Unit 20 Law
- Unit 23 Sociology
- Unit 26 Sport and Exercise Sciences, Leisure and Tourism
Abertay submitted 30% more staff in REF 2014 than in RAE 2008, in seven Units of Assessment (UoAs) compared to six in 2008. Abertay submitted to three Units of Assessment for the first time: Sports Science, Sociology, and Biological Sciences. Abertay scored a proportion of research as 4* in six of the seven UoAs in 2014, compared to only two out of the six units submitted in 2008. Abertay submitted 36% of its academic staff to the REF.
Abertay was the first university in the world to offer a “computer games” degree in 1997. In 2009 it established the UK’s first Centre for Excellence in Computer Games Education, and a business support programme. Abertay runs five of the 25 interactive and games degree courses accredited in the UK by Creative Skillset, the industry skills body for the creative sector, more than any other institution.