RGU’s Garthdee Campus

Whether it’s a stroll down the riverside or a study session on the top floor of the library, RGU’s Garthdee Campus has something for everyone. Learn more about our facilities, the history of our buildings and the must see places to visit on campus.

RGU’s campus is located in the south-west of the city and in recent years we have invested a lot into our stunning riverside campus on the banks of the River Dee. The campus has been specially designed with state-of-the-art facilities to enhance our students’ experience. There are a number of buildings on campus, however here is a list of some of the main buildings you are most likely to spend time in whilst studying at RGU:

RGU’s Garthdee Campus

The Sir Ian Wood Building

The Sir Ian Wood Building opened in 2013, then named the Riverside East Building. In 2015 it was officially opened by Princess Anne and named in honour of oil industry businessman and former chancellor of the University, Sir Ian Wood. The biggest building on campus houses the School of Engineering, The School of Computing , School of Pharmacy and Life Sciences, The Scott Sutherland School of Architecture and Built Environment and of course the University Library located in the green Library tower that overlooks the rest of the campus.

The building was designed by the British Architectural Firm Building Design Partnership and began construction in May 2011. Inside you can find the large open atrium and the amphitheatre which provides space for events but also lovely seating and views for students to relax and grab a coffee or some food from one of our many food outlets.

This building is home to a number of different facilities for the four schools. Here is a small taste of what to expect:

The Ishbel Gordon Building

This building opened in 2002 and was designed by architects Halliday Fraser Munro of Aberdeen, The Ishbel Gordon Building is a huge 13,500 square meters that houses the Schools of Applied Social Studies, School of Nursing, Midwifery and Paramedic Practice as well as The School of Health Sciences. The building is also home to some amazing learning facilities such as the Clinical Skills Centre, The Ward Area and much more. Find out about the health and science learning facilities housed in the Ishbel Gordon Building and the Sir Ian Wood Building

This building also serves as a hub for a number of student services, you will be able to find the university’s Student Help Point, Career Services, International Student Immigration Advice, Counselling & Wellbeing, Study Skills Team and Inclusion Centre which provides support for disability and dyslexia. On the bottom floor of the building you will be able to find a cafe where you can grab something to eat and have a place to relax between classes.


RGU SPORT is the university’s central hub for exercise and training. It was designed by architecture firm Thomson Craig & Donald and opened in 2005 with support from Sportscotland. It has incredible facilities for all your sport and exercise needs including multiple gyms, a 25 meter swimming pool, climbing wall, exercise studios and a giant sports hall suitable for a variety of indoor sports. RGU SPORT is offering students a free membership to get full use of their incredible facilities.

Riverside Building

The Riverside Building is a highlight of RGU’s Garthdee Campus. It was designed by architects Norman Foster and Partners who are associated with the development and advancement of high-tech architecture. The design of the building incorporates the sloping landscape of the riverside and won a Royal Institute of British Architects award for Architecture in 1999.

Today the building hosts The Aberdeen Business School, School of Cultural and Creative Business and The Law School. You can also find the Georgina Scott Sutherland Learning Centre which provides great space for group study, individual study or project meetings.

But, maybe most importantly, this is where you will find RGU Union. The Students’ Union is all about making your experience the best it can be. Their purpose is to support students by providing a number of different services and opportunities for you to get involved in. They also have student spaces in the building available without booking, with games consoles and gaming chairs, pool tables, arcade and board games and plenty of couches to hang out with your friends.

You will also find plenty of food options there, including Subway!


Looking for places to refuel on campus? We’ve got you covered! 🥪🥗 #rgu #aberdeen #unistudent

♬ original sound – Robert Gordon University

Garthdee House & Annexe

Garthdee House is the Victorian manor house which formed the core of the Garthdee estate. It was designed by William Smith who also designed Balmoral Castle.

The Garthdee House Annexe is an extension of Garthdee House that was formerly known as The Scott Sutherland Building and use to be the home of The School of Architecture and Built Environment until it moved in 2015. Now the building is used by some departments of the Gray’s School of Art as well as general purpose classrooms and lecture theatres.

Gray’s School of Art

The Gray’s School of Art building on campus opened in the 1960s. It was designed by Michael Shewan and is constructed entirely of steel and glass. The building was opened to allow the Gray’s School of Art to move and expand from its city centre building to the spacious Garthdee Campus. Inside the building the facilities include studios for painting, fashion and textiles, printmaking, photography, ceramics and glass, jewellery, 3D design, computer labs and much more. A full list of all our art and design facilities can be found on the RGU website.

There is also a selection of great catering services available and lovely surroundings to enjoy some down time with your lunch. You can also find the Gray’s Art Shop here too where the team of creative specialists can provide you with advice and guidance to help you find the products that are right for you. From brushes and paints, to sketchbooks and modelling materials, everything is stocked to encourage your next creative adventure.

River Dee

The buildings and facilities aren’t the only exciting part of our campus. Being right on the banks of the River Dee provides our students with incredible views no matter where they are on campus. The riverside provides a calm and serene area where students and staff can go for a walk along the water or sit and enjoy their lunch and look out onto the beautiful Aberdeen countryside.

Rainbow Steps

One of the latest and most popular additions to RGU’s Garthdee Campus is our newly painted rainbow stairs. In honour of Pride Month members of @rgulgbt , the Rainbow Network, and staff and student Equality Champions came together to paint a staircase in the Progressive Pride Flag colours.

For more information on the campus you can check out our Virtual Tour and follow us on Instagram for more stunning pics of our campus.

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