Student Experience Survey 2017: best UK universities for student social life

The best universities in the UK for societal experience – as decided by current students – have been revealed
March 23 2017

View the overall results of the 2017 Student Experience Survey

University is not solely about lectures and seminars. A big part of the university experience is determined by the social life a student leads through nights out and joining in extracurricular activities and societies. 

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: 

  • Good social life 
  • Good community atmosphere 
  • Good extracurricular activities / societies 
  • Good environment on campus / around university

The answers to these questions were then combined to give an overall rating of a university’s “societal experience”.  Some institutions, such as the University of Sheffield – which comes second in this list, just behind Loughborough University – are heavily investing in their students’ unions to provide students with more to do in between studying. These include time-out workshops for students to practise mindfulness and manage their stress and anxiety and the building of a study hub.

Anna Goldman, a first-year French and Hispanic studies student, says that the city felt like home from the beginning and that the multiple sports opportunities greatly improved her confidence. Here more from her here

See the full results for societal experience below.

Rank University name Societal Experience Composite
1 Loughborough University 88.5
2 University of Sheffield 88.3
3 Newcastle University 88.1
4 Harper Adams University 87.9
5 University of Leeds 87.9
6 University of St Andrews 86.4
7 University of Oxford 86.3
8 University of Birmingham 86.3
9 University of Reading 86.2
9 Durham University 86.2
11 Keele University 86.1
12 University of Nottingham 86.1
13 University of East Anglia (UEA) 86.0
14 Cardiff University 85.2
15 Falmouth University 84.9
16 University of Dundee 84.5
17 University of Bath 84.5
18 Lancaster University 84.4
19 University of Glasgow 84.2
20 Queen’s University Belfast 84.1
21 University of Surrey 84.1
22 University of Manchester 83.9
23 University of Bristol 83.9
24 Bangor University 83.8
25 University of Exeter 83.8
26 Swansea University 83.6
27 University of Stirling 83.6
28 University of Chester 83.4
29 University of York 83.3
30 Aberystwyth University 83.1
31 Nottingham Trent University 83.0
32 University of Liverpool 83.0
33 University of Southampton 82.8
34 York St John University 82.6
35 Edge Hill University 82.6
36 University of Lincoln 81.6
37 Royal Veterinary College 81.5
38 University of Portsmouth 81.5
39 Bournemouth University 81.3
40 University of Strathclyde 81.2
41 University of Warwick 81.1
42 University of Sussex 81.0
43 University of Edinburgh 80.7
44 University of Cambridge 80.6
45 Northumbria University 80.6
46 University of Leicester 80.5
47 University of Aberdeen 80.2
48 Heriot-Watt University 80.1
49 St George’s, University of London 79.9
50 Sheffield Hallam University 79.9
51 Robert Gordon University 79.8
52 University of Kent 79.7
53 Aston University 79.6
54 Brunel University London 79.3
55 University of Winchester 79.0
56 University of Worcester 79.0
57 University of Hull 78.9
58 University of the West of England 78.9
59 Plymouth University 78.6
60 De Montfort University 78.6
61 University of Essex 78.2
62 University of Central Lancashire 78.2
63 Coventry University 78.1
64 University of Gloucestershire 78.0
65 University of Derby 77.8
66 Manchester Metropolitan University 77.8
67 Queen Mary University of London 77.7
68 Bath Spa University 77.6
69 Cardiff Metropolitan University 77.4
70 Leeds Beckett University 77.3
71 Soas, University of London 77.3
72 Arts University Bournemouth 77.2
73 Oxford Brookes University 77.1
74 Teesside University 77.1
75 University College London (UCL) 76.8
76 Liverpool John Moores University 76.2
77 Liverpool Hope University 76.1
78 Canterbury Christ Church University 75.7
79 University of Huddersfield 75.7
80 Ulster University 75.6
81 Southampton Solent University 75.0
82 Royal Holloway, University of London 74.5
83 University of Salford 74.4
84 University of Brighton 74.0
85 Imperial College London 74.0
86 King’s College London 73.8
87 Glasgow Caledonian University 73.6
88 Goldsmiths, University of London 73.6
89 Edinburgh Napier University 73.2
89 University of Hertfordshire 73.2
91 Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh 73.2
92 University of Cumbria 72.6
93 Kingston University 72.6
94 Bucks New University 72.5
95 Newman  University 72.5
96 University of Bradford 72.4
97 Anglia Ruskin University 72.3
98 University of Roehampton 72.1
99 University of Northampton 70.3
100 University of Greenwich 70.2
101 University Campus Suffolk 70.2
102 University of Sunderland 70.1
103 Birmingham City University 70.0
104 Middlesex University 69.9
105 University of Wolverhampton 69.8
106 University of Wales Trinity Saint David 69.1
107 University of Bedfordshire 69.0
108 University of South Wales 68.5
109 Norwich University of the Arts 68.4
110 Abertay University 67.8
111 Staffordshire University 67.7
112 University of Westminster 67.6
113 University of East London 67.6
114 University of West London 66.1
115 University of the West of Scotland 65.5
116 London School of Economics and Political Science 64.2
117 University of the Arts London 63.5
118 London South Bank University 62.9
119 University for the Creative Arts 62.4
120 London Metropolitan University 62.4
121 City, University of London 61.7
122 The Open University 52.2

Read more:

THE Student Experience Survey 2017 results 

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