Guardian University Guide

Guardian University Guide


The Guardian University Guide rates UK universities at a national level. It is one of the best known national university rankings in Great Britain. To learn more about United Kingdom and Europe, please visit localbusinessexplorer. The daily newspaper The Guardian publishes the ranking online every year.

The Guardian University Guide has a ranking of the entire institutions as well as individual rankings for most subjects offered in Great Britain. It is always worth taking a look at the individual subject tables. Because universities that do less well in the overall ranking can also be well placed there.

The Guardian University Guide’s overall ranking methodology

The basis of the calculation of the overall evaluation of a university are the results in the individual subject tables. The weighting of the individual subject evaluations is based on the number of students who are registered for the respective subject. The number of universities that were evaluated in a particular subject is also decisive for the influence of the subject tables on the evaluation of the university. In the overall ranking of the Guardian University Guide, only those universities are listed that appear in at least eight subject tables.

Extract from the current overall ranking of the Guardian University Guide

The top 10

  • 1st place: University of Cambridge
  • 2nd place: University of St Andrews
  • 3rd place: University of Oxford
  • 4th place: Loughborough University
  • 5th place: Durham University
  • 6th place: University of Bath
  • 7th place: Imperial College London
  • 8th place: Lancaster University
  • 9th place: University of Warwick
  • 10th place: University of Exeter

Our partner universities in the top 50

  • 15th place: Coventry University
  • 16th place: University of Birmingham
  • 17th place: University of Lincoln
  • 21st place: University of Portsmouth
  • 23rd place: University of Bristol
  • 35th place: Newcastle University
  • 45th place: University of Sheffield

Methodology in subject ranking in the Guardian University Guide

There are a total of eight indicators for evaluating each subject in the Guardian University Guide:

  • Quality of teaching (teaching): Based on four questions about teaching in the National Student Survey (10%)
  • Assessment and feedback (Assessment and Feedback): Based on five questions on this topic in the national student survey (National Student Survey) (10%)
  • Overall Student Satisfaction: Based on an overall satisfaction question in the National Student Survey (5%)
  • Increase (Value Added Scores): Comparison between the entry requirements and the final grades achieved. That is, universities with many outstanding graduates who started their studies with low qualifications achieve a high score (16.25%)
  • Ratio between teachers and students (student-staff ratio): Employees who work in teaching and employees who work in research and teaching are taken into account (16.25%)
  • Expenditure per student (Expenditure per student) (10%)
  • Average school-leaving grades of under 21-year-old students (entry scores) (16.25%)
  • Career prospects (Career Prospects): Percentage of graduates who take up to six months after graduation employment or further study start (16.25%)

In the subject rankings for human medicine, dentistry and veterinary medicine, the indicators are weighted differently.

Based on the indicators, a subject-specific ranking of the universities is created for each subject. This covers all universities in Great Britain that are missing no more than two indicators. In addition, at least 35 undergraduate students must be enrolled full-time for the subject.

Validity of the Guardian University Guide

The focus lies with the Guardian ranking on the subject-specific rankings. This is to be welcomed because the concentration of the assessment on a certain subject filters out all irrelevant data from other subjects and enables prospective students to obtain a more differentiated picture.

The Guardian University Guide’s ranking list is broken down into individual indicators. This allows a targeted look at the factors that are particularly important for the respective interested party.

Furthermore, it should be positively emphasized that the degree of satisfaction with a total of 25% is included in the overall evaluation of a subject. The results of the student survey allow conclusions to be drawn about the study situation on site, even if the results should not be overestimated. A good trend can certainly be seen in this way.

As with all university rankings, however, the following also applies to the Guardian University Guide: The results only provide clues about the actual situation on site. They should not be the sole basis of decision-making when choosing a university.

Guardian University Guide