Seven times Dundee was just like something out of Harry Potter

by | Jul 31, 2019 | Home page feature | 2 comments

If you’re a Harry Potter fan, and have always dreamed of the day you receive your Hogwarts acceptance letter, we think we have the next best thing – getting a place at the University of Dundee.

Why? Because Dundee is literally like something out of a Harry Potter book. Don’t believe us?

1 – We have buildings like Hogwarts

It’s true – Dundee has some pretty magical-looking buildings. Take the McManus, a neo-gothic museum and art gallery that sits in the heart of the city. With its turrets, sweeping staircases, and incredible stonework, it looks just like Hogwarts.

Top tip: when you’re in your robes on graduation day, get your photo taken there – bonus points if you can source an owl to pose on your shoulder…

2 –  We actively celebrate fantastic beasts

The unicorn is actually Scotland’s national animal (yes, really!) so it’s unsurprising that we’ve got more than a few nods to the creature throughout the city. When you get here, check out the plaques on the fountains in City Square, the monument outside the Overgate shopping centre, and, of course, HMS Unicorn – that’s right, we love these mythical creatures so much, we named a boat after them…

View this post on Instagram

The Unicorn, City Quay #uodautumn #dundee

A post shared by University of Dundee (@dundeeuni) on

3 – We’ve got the Harry Potter bridge pretty close by

A three-hour drive from Dundee along beautifully scenic roads will bring you to the Harry Potter bridge (or, as the locals call it, the Glenfinnan Viaduct). It’s a great place to go for a day trip if you can get hold of a car, however, if you fancy going full-on Potter, you can actually catch a steam train that goes over the bridge, just like the Hogwarts Express. They apparently even serve afternoon tea on the train. But, alas, no Bertie Botts’ Every Flavour Beans (we asked).

4 – We have a Professor Snape at the University

OK, not strictly a Professor Severus Snape, but Professor Divya Snape is pretty close, if you ask us! Professor Divya, who publishes under Jindal-Snape, is based in our School of Education and Social Work and is an expert in inclusion and educational and life transitions. If you end up in her class, we promise that she won’t act all weird for literally ALL of your studies before randomly revealing that she saved your life that one time when you were a baby…

5 – Our scientists are involved in actual magic

Some might just call it science, but if you’ve ever seen inside our labs, you’d be astonished by the incredible things our researchers are doing with… things. Behind the lab doors, cutting-edge research into cancer, diabetes, malaria, drug discovery, Parkinson’s and a whole host of other diseases and disorders takes place. But if you ask us, our favourite thing is when the magicians (ahem, scientists) from the Drug Discovery Unit do the trick (ahem, experiment) where they turn a clear liquid black.

Just. Like. Magic.

6 – We’ve got our very own Great Lake

Just like the giant water feature at Hogwarts, we’ve got our very own body of H2O on our doorstep. Our version of the Great Lake is the Firth of Tay – the bit where the North Sea starts to transform into the River Tay – and provides some stunning views, not only from the riverside, but from campus vantage points, too.

One other thing we love about our glorious river? Seals and dolphins can often be spotted splashing about in the water – a truly magical sight.

7 – We’ve got our own animal mascot

Each Hogwarts house has an animal emblem – Gryffindor has a lion, Slytherin’s is a snake, Ravenclaw’s mascot is an eagle, and Hufflepuff is represented by a badger – but did you know we have our very own spirit animal?

That’s right, the humble penguin has become something of Dundee’s unofficial mascot. We have penguin statues in our city centre (which get dressed up for every one of our graduations, FYI!) and our Sports’ Union mascot is a larger-than-life penguin named Piper. Some say that he’s just a man in a suit, but we don’t believe them. We are p-p-p-proud to be part of House Dundee.