Cost of Living:
Shops & Banks:
The first year accommodation provided by the university has great variations. For those with a budget there is Tay Mills. Tay Mills is an old jute mill, which was converted into student residences. It is a rather old building, and though some may say it is a little bit run down, most would say that it has a nice character to it. In Tay Mills, students will live in a flat of between 3-5 people, and all flats contain 1 toilet and 1 shower room. The typical weekly price of Tay Mills is around £68.
For those who can afford it, the other student residences, namely Heathfield, Seabraes and Belmont, are much nicer. All of these buildings are very new or have been very recently renovated. Most rooms have an en-suite and each flat has a communal area, much bigger than the ones which you would find in tay mills. However, these luxuries come at a cost. The typical price for these halls is around £120 per week, so not cheap.
After the first year, most students tend to move into private accommodation, of which there is again a great variety, provided you look early enough, though the university is happy to consider applications to stay in the university residences for another year.
Cost of Living
Dundee is quite a small city, yet has a few large supermarkets and discount stores. Provided that you know where to shop, the cost of living is quite low, especially when compared to other Scottish cities such as Aberdeen or Edinburgh. Eating out can be very cheap as well, without necessarily lowering the quality of the food that you are eating.
Throughout the university, there are many IT suites, each with high speed internet connections and all of the basic programs that you would come to expect from a Windows computer, as well as having other premium programs in certain faculties of the university, such as Adobe Photoshop in the Art College.
The main library at Dundee University has been recently expanded, and as such now houses a cafe, numerous IT suites and many thousands of books, somewhat obviously. The system for finding your books is very easy to use, and the staff there are always very friendly and helpful. It is worth noting here that throughout the university computer system, there is a standard charge of 5p for each sheet of A4 printed, with varying costs for colour printing and different sized paper.
There is not just one sole library, there is the main library which is in the middle of the campus, but departmental libraries are also in place, with there being Law and Art libraries among others, each housed in their respective buildings.
Dundee isn't a large city, and as such has quite a low population, however, there is a large population of students, and this, to my mind, is the influencing factor in the city having a great variety of nightlife. It is one of the few cities where the student union is indeed one of the best places for a night out. In addition to the Union, there is Fat Sam's, which has won acclaim as Scotland's best nightclub, a Liquid/Envy, which has been recently opened as part of a national chain, and London, which is a relatively small club, but still can prove to be a great night out. These are only a selection of the places to go, with there being more clubs and plenty of pubs. Once you have been in the city a while, you know where to go on certain nights, so as to spend as little as possible and to have the best night possible.
Societies and Clubs
There are many societies within the university, and they tend to be showcased in the fresher's fair, which takes place during fresher's week in the student union building. I think that it is a good idea to join a society, as it means that you get to know more people, more quickly. Along with this, there really does seem to be something for everyone.
The university has recently opened their new gym complex, the ISE (Institute for Sport and Exercise). The gym has state of the art facilities and wide opening hours. the prices are also very reasonable, with use of the gym and the swimming pool coming in at around £70 per semester. The gym also runs exercise classes, and there is a gym membership which incorporates use of these classes within its price.
There are also indoor sports halls, which are available to rent for sports such as 5-a-side football, volleyball and badminton among others. There are also weekly tournaments for each of these sports, which are very competitive, but also great fun. Another thing that the university run is a Sunday Football League, which again is great fun and quite competitive. It is difficult to start your own team as a fresher, but many teams will advertise for players during fresher's week, so be on the lookout for that.
The University's Student Union is widely regarded as being excellent, and one of the leading unions in the UK. The union has 5 floors. On the top floor is Floor 5, which is a bar and is also often used for gigs. Every 2 weeks there is a dubstep concert there, and it is also home to the poker society every Tuesday night. It has many leather sofas, and is a nice place to chill out.
On the 4th floor is Air, which again, is a bar. However Air is open through the day and serves a mean sausage sandwich. In Air there are often comedians playing or some form of karaoke, which I tend to stay away from! As well as Air, on the 4th floor there are about 24 pool tables, and a late night takeaway (open 11pm-3am).
Go down to the 3rd floor and you find The Liar bar. the Liar is great for watching sports with many plasma screens as well as having very comfy sofas. On the 2nd floor is the main reception area of the Union, as well as the pool, which is used in connection with the ISE. There is also a branch of RBS here.
In the basement is Mono, the student nightclub. Mono is open Tuesday-Saturday. Wednesday is the student night, 'Skint', Thursday is the theme night, Friday is an RnB night and Saturday is the Indie/Dance night. Mono is well liked by students and is often heaving! However it is a good place to be as the atmosphere is always good. Throughout the union the drinks prices are very reasonable, and are a lot cheaper than most of the pubs in the city. The Union is really good and adds another element to student life in Dundee.
In terms of teaching Dundee is rated very highly, and from my experience within the Social Sciences department I have nothing but positives to say. One of the main things I appreciated was in the very first semester there were no exams, so as to break you in gently. I think this alone shows the manner in which the university try to help you through and they have a very personal approach, which I feel is of a great benefit.
I thoroughly recommend Dundee Uni, however before making any decisions, I strongly advise those making their choices to visit all of their chosen Unis, as it was doing this that made me choose Dundee, and I'm still very happy with that decision.
Written by geordiedave on 5th Jan 2009