Mock TEF: the best UK universities for completion rates

See the top UK universities for student completion rates, according to predictions for the teaching excellence framework
June 23 2016

Once you know which course you want to study, you might be wondering how well the course delivers on what you hope to get out of it.

The proportion of students who complete their desired degree qualification goes some way to showing how well the courses are meeting student expectations and supporting students through their degree.

As part of Times Higher Education’s predictions for the teaching excellent framework (TEF) – the UK government’s proposed method of evaluating teaching quality at universities – you can compare 120 institutions in the UK by how well they perform on completion rates (based on data drawn from Higher Education Statistics Agency performance indicators).


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Aston University and the University of Chichester jointly achieve the top spot in the degree completion table, based on scores that are benchmarked by subjects studied, entry requirements and students’ age. Although both institutions would rank lower on absolute performance, they overachieve when contextual factors that affect completion rates are taken into account. You can find the full mock TEF results and methodology here

Russell Group universities such as Cardiff University, the London School of Economics and the University of Oxford have very high completion rates in general, but nonetheless rank lower when the scores are squared against expected completion rates.

In line with the government’s plans, the ranking is sorted by benchmarked scores to avoid recognising only those universities that are good at selecting the type of students who would achieve their desired qualifications in any case.

Using this method, Oxford Brookes University ranks above the University of Oxford and Birmingham City University ranks above the University of Birmingham, despite the fact that the more prestigious institutions have higher projected completion rates.

Mock TEF: UK universities ranked by completion rate

Sorted by benchmarked scores

Benchmarked Rank

Short name

Completion (distance from benchmark)

Completion (absolute score)

=1

Aston University

6

94

=1

University of Chichester

6

89

3

Bishop Grosseteste University

5

90

=4

Loughborough University

4

95

=4

Oxford Brookes University

4

90

=4

University of Lincoln

4

89

=4

University of Kent

4

91

=4

Swansea University

4

90

=4

University of Northampton

4

86

=4

Birmingham City University

4

86

=11

University of East Anglia

3

92

=11

Royal Holloway, University of London

3

94

=11

De Montfort University

3

87

=11

Brunel University London

3

87

=11

Aberystwyth University

3

89

=11

University of Essex

3

88

=11

Northumbria University

3

88

=11

University of Surrey

3

92

=11

University of Gloucestershire

3

86

=20

University of Bath

2

96

=20

University of Winchester

2

89

=20

University of Bradford

2

84

=20

University of Exeter

2

96

=20

Queen's University Belfast

2

93

=20

Newcastle University

2

95

=20

Sheffield Hallam University

2

86

=20

University of Portsmouth

2

86

=20

University of Birmingham

2

95

=20

University of Greenwich

2

83

=20

University of South Wales

2

82

=20

Edge Hill University

2

85

=20

Leeds Trinity University

2

85

=33

Keele University

1

89

=33

University of Leeds

1

96

=33

Durham University

1

94

=33

University of Reading

1

92

=33

Cardiff University

1

99

=33

University of Cambridge

1

93

=33

Liverpool John Moores University

1

84

=33

Manchester Metropolitan University

1

84

=33

Coventry University

1

84

=33

University of Liverpool

1

92

=33

York St John University

1

87

=33

University of Sheffield

1

94

=33

London School of Economics and Political Science

1

98

=33

University of York

1

91

=33

University of Sussex

1

93

=33

University of Worcester

1

86

=33

Goldsmiths, University of London

1

84

=33

University College London

1

96

=33

Lancaster University

1

93

=33

University of Nottingham

1

94

=33

University of Cumbria

1

84

=33

University of Derby

1

82

=33

University of Manchester

1

93

=33

King's College London

1

94

=33

Nottingham Trent University

1

86

=33

University of Southampton

1

92

=33

Teesside University

1

81

=60

University of Oxford

0

98

=60

University of Brighton

0

84

=60

University of Leicester

0

92

=60

Kingston University

0

81

=60

Southampton Solent University

0

79

=60

Bath Spa University

0

87

=60

University of Warwick

0

95

=60

Cardiff Metropolitan University

0

82

=60

University of Hull

0

84

=60

University of Huddersfield

0

82

=60

University of St Mark & St John

0

82

=60

City University London

0

85

=60

Staffordshire University

0

77

=60

Bournemouth University

0

85

=60

University of Westminster

0

81

=60

Buckinghamshire New University

0

95

=60

University of Bristol

0

80

=60

Plymouth University

0

91

=60

Queen Mary University of London

0

85

=60

University of Salford

0

80

=80

University of St Andrews

-1

96

=80

Anglia Ruskin University

-1

81

=80

Imperial College London

-1

96

=80

University of the West of England

-1

83

=80

University of Hertfordshire

-1

82

=85

St Mary's University, Twickenham

-2

81

=85

Canterbury Christ Church University

-2

81

=85

University of Wales Trinity Saint David

-2

80

=85

Bangor University

-2

82

=85

University of Edinburgh

-2

91

=90

University of Dundee

-3

86

=90

University of East London

-3

73

=90

University of Glasgow

-3

88

=90

University of Sunderland

-3

80

=90

Ulster University

-3

81

=90

Newman University

-3

79

=90

Edinburgh Napier University

-3

83

=90

University of West London

-3

75

=98

University of Bedfordshire

-4

76

=98

University of Strathclyde

-4

87

=98

Glasgow Caledonian University

-4

83

=98

Heriot-Watt University

-4

84

=98

University Campus Suffolk

-4

76

=98

Leeds Beckett University

-4

79

=98

University of Chester

-4

80

=98

Liverpool Hope University

-4

80

=98

London South Bank University

-4

73

=98

Glyndwr University

-4

72

=98

University of Roehampton

-4

79

=109

University of Stirling

-5

83

=109

Soas, University of London

-5

84

=109

Middlesex University

-5

75

=109

University of Central Lancashire

-5

78

=109

University of Aberdeen

-5

84

=114

University of Wolverhampton

-6

74

=114

University of Bolton

-6

71

=114

University of the West of Scotland

-6

79

=114

Robert Gordon University

-6

82

=118

Queen Margaret University

-8

80

=118

London Metropolitan University

-8

71

120

Abertay University

-9

77

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