Student Experience Survey 2017: best UK universities for academic experience

The best universities in the UK for academic experience – as decided by current students – have been revealed

March 23 2017

Lecture hall

Lecture, boring, lecturer, students
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View the overall results of the 2017 Student Experience Survey

One of the first things that a prospective student will consider is the academic experience of a university. After all, a primary aim of most students is to come out of university feeling more educated than when they went in.

Participants in the 2017 Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey were asked to provide a rating between “strongly agree” and “strongly disagree” on whether their university has: 

  • High-quality staff / lectures
  • Helpful / interested staff
  • Well-structured courses
  • Good personal relationship with teaching staff
  • Tuition in small groups
  • Fair workload

These responses were then combined to give a table that reveals the top universities for “academic experience”. Harper Adams University topped the list this year, with the University of Oxford coming in second. 

Alannah Burns, a second-year philosophy and German student at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, says that although the workload at the university can be daunting at first, it becomes manageable over time as students adjust. She says that tutorials with lecturers help her to understand her work better and that the support from the university is excellent. You can read more of her thoughts here.

See the full academic experience results table below.

Rank University name Academic experience composite
1 Harper Adams University 85.9
2 University of Oxford 84.9
3 University of St Andrews 83.1
4 Keele University 83.0
5 Bangor University 82.8
6 University of Cambridge 82.5
7 Falmouth University 82.0
8 Royal Veterinary College 81.9
9 University of Chester 81.9
10 Norwich University of the Arts 81.7
11 Robert Gordon University 81.4
12 Newman  University 81.0
13 York St John University 80.7
14 University Campus Suffolk 80.6
15 University of Derby 80.5
16 University of York 80.5
17 University of Surrey 80.4
18 Soas, University of London 80.4
19 Queen’s University Belfast 80.3
20 Aberystwyth University 80.2
21 University of Wales Trinity Saint David 80.2
22 Liverpool Hope University 79.8
23 Coventry University 79.8
24 University of Gloucestershire 79.8
25 Loughborough University 79.6
26 University of East Anglia (UEA) 79.6
27 University of Worcester 79.5
28 Newcastle University 79.4
29 Edge Hill University 79.4
30 Ulster University 79.3
31 Swansea University 79.3
32 Heriot-Watt University 79.3
33 University of Stirling 79.2
34 University of Birmingham 79.0
35 St George’s, University of London 78.9
36 University of Portsmouth 78.8
37 Durham University 78.8
38 University of Aberdeen 78.7
39 University of Sheffield 78.7
40 University of Cumbria 78.6
41 University of Manchester 78.6
42 University of Salford 78.6
43 Lancaster University 78.6
44 University of Bristol 78.5
45 Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh 78.5
46 University of Leicester 78.2
47 University of Dundee 77.8
48 University of Winchester 77.8
49 University of Nottingham 77.8
50 Nottingham Trent University 77.6
51 University of Leeds 77.5
52 University of Bath 77.3
53 University of Glasgow 77.1
54 University of Exeter 76.8
55 University of Warwick 76.7
56 Manchester Metropolitan University 76.6
57 Cardiff Metropolitan University 76.6
58 Cardiff University 76.5
59 University of Reading 76.5
60 Oxford Brookes University 76.5
61 Royal Holloway, University of London 76.5
62 Goldsmiths, University of London 76.4
63 Teesside University 76.2
64 University of Wolverhampton 76.1
65 University of Central Lancashire 76.1
66 University of Huddersfield 75.9
67 Queen Mary University of London 75.8
68 Liverpool John Moores University 75.8
69 Imperial College London 75.8
70 University of Strathclyde 75.7
71 University of Sussex 75.7
72 University of Lincoln 75.6
73 Edinburgh Napier University 75.6
74 University of Hull 75.5
75 King’s College London 75.3
76 Sheffield Hallam University 75.3
77 Northumbria University 75.3
78 University of Southampton 75.2
79 University of Liverpool 75.2
80 University of the West of Scotland 75.2
81 University of Greenwich 75.1
82 Anglia Ruskin University 75.1
83 Aston University 75.1
84 De Montfort University 75.0
85 University of Kent 75.0
86 Bucks New University 74.9
87 University of Bedfordshire 74.8
88 University of the West of England 74.8
89 University of Edinburgh 74.7
90 Arts University Bournemouth 74.4
91 Canterbury Christ Church University 74.4
92 University of Essex 74.4
93 Plymouth University 74.3
94 University of East London 74.1
95 University for the Creative Arts 74.0
96 Leeds Beckett University 73.9
97 Bath Spa University 73.9
98 Staffordshire University 73.8
99 Southampton Solent University 73.6
100 Bournemouth University 73.6
101 University College London (UCL) 73.5
102 University of Bradford 73.5
103 University of South Wales 73.4
104 Middlesex University 72.8
105 University of Roehampton 72.6
106 Abertay University 72.5
107 University of Brighton 72.5
108 Brunel University London 72.2
109 City, University of London 72.1
110 Glasgow Caledonian University 71.8
111 University of Sunderland 71.8
112 University of West London 71.7
113 Birmingham City University 71.3
114 University of the Arts London 71.3
115 The Open University 71.2
116 University of Northampton 71.1
117 University of Hertfordshire 70.8
118 University of Westminster 70.5
119 Kingston University 70.3
120 London Metropolitan University 69.6
121 London South Bank University 66.8
122 London School of Economics and Political Science 65.3

Read more:

THE Student Experience Survey 2017 overall results
Student Experience Survey 2017: hear from students at the top institutions 

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