Abertay University is situated in the centre of Dundee. The campus buildings include the historic Old College buildings of Dundee Business School, the Bernard King Library, scenes of crime teaching facilities, specialist Ethical Hacking labs designed for research into computer hacking and misuse, and modern computer games labs in the UK Centre for Excellence in Computer Games Education.
The Bernard King Library in Bell Street opened to learners in February 1998 and was formally opened by Queen Elizabeth II on 30 June 1998. The library was voted best new building in Scotland in the 1998 Scottish Design Awards competition. The building has a stone rectangular 'spine' and a curved glass front mimicking an open book. The Library houses an English Language learning centre, a specialist Law library, and an EU funded IT suite. The library was designed with the digital age very much in mind, and although the traditional books still feature, the emphasis was and is very much on providing access to digital information through online subscriptions.
The Student Centre building in Bell Street opened in 2005 providing a home to the Students' Association as well as a trading centre with an art gallery (Hannah Maclure Centre), cinema, student bars, food, and retail trading outlets.
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:
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.