Good University Guide 2023

Bangor University

National rank

Firsts / 2:1s
Completion rate

Key stats

Teaching quality
Student experience
Research quality
Graduate prospects
Bangor University

Contact details


College Road, Bangor , LL57 2DG,

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Bangor’s research profile is growing stronger. The university climbs nine places in our research quality ranking to reach the top 40 after 85 per cent of its submission to the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021) was assessed as world-leading or internationally excellent, the top two categories. Some of the best results were in sports sciences, earth systems and environmental science, and allied health professions.

The university’s highly rated School of Ocean Sciences has its own research vessel, the Prince Madog, while teaching and research at the School of Natural Sciences benefits from the university’s 18-hectare botanic gardens on the shores of the Menai Strait. The university has a research farm, animal care facilities, aquariums and greenhouses and a natural history museum holding items from all over the world. 

Bangor is also investing in research on low-carbon energy including nuclear, wind, solar and tidal sources — bringing opportunities for students to gain experience in the field. The university is based in Gwynedd, the county with more Welsh speakers than any other. It holds its own on teaching, as the only university in Wales to be rated gold in the Teaching Excellence Framework. Assessors commended its bilingual learning in Welsh and English as well as the personalised support for students and strategic approach to assessment, coupled with very good physical and virtual learning resources. 

No university has more students who study through the medium of Welsh. At Bangor, they can also opt for Welsh language modules alongside an English-medium degree.

Bangor enjoys a spectacular setting, with the mountains of Snowdonia on one side and the Menai Strait on the other. Originally located in an old coaching inn, it was established in 1884, funded by quarrymen and farmers who wanted higher education for local people. Now the university encompasses 14 academic schools across the arts, humanities and sciences. A campus-like atmosphere prevails, with university buildings located in a compact coastal hub. Radiography students and some nursing and midwifery students are based at the more urban Wrexham campus.

Rates of student satisfaction have returned to their usual high levels at Bangor in 2022, having dipped during the pandemic. In our analysis of the latest National Student Survey the university ranks 20= for satisfaction with teaching quality, leaping 48 places year-on-year, and 31= for the wider undergraduate experience, up 41 places. 

The prospects are improving for Bangor graduates, according to our analysis of the latest Graduate Outcomes survey, in which the university climbs 16 places to 74=. Students can choose to do a year’s work placement in an organisation relevant to their field of study at the end of their second year as part of almost all undergraduate degrees. Studying abroad or volunteering  options are also offered as part of a drive to boost employability and personal development. The Bangor Employability Award accredits activities that are valued by employers such as volunteering, learning a new language and part-time work. Graduates can take paid internships within the university’s academic schools and services. 

Bangor continues to expand its curriculum. New degrees lined up to begin in September 2023 include tourism management, marine science and conservation, pharmacology (with or without a foundation year), astudiaethau plentyndod ac leuenctid a Chymraeg (childhood and youth studies and Welsh), and drama, theatre and performance. The university offers an increasing range of joint honours degrees, too. Programmes combining philosophy, ethics and religion, modern languages and Cymraeg, film studies and production, and English literature and journalism are new for 2022.

Degree apprenticeships at Bangor cover cybersecurity, mechanical engineering, electrical/electronic engineering, data science and software engineering. So far they have attracted only small numbers — 38 at last count. The first part of the courses are delivered through Grŵp Llandrillo Menai, a group of local colleges. Links with further education partners across north Wales are considered a special strength by the university, helping to build new skills and applied learning across the region. 

Bangor University is central to the development of a proposed North Wales Medical School. For the time being, it is delivering the four-year MBBCh graduate entry to medicine programme, C21, in collaboration with Cardiff University’s School of Medicine. This enables students to undertake all of their Cardiff medical degree in north Wales. 

The university offers about 40 merit scholarships each year, worth up to £3,000 in the first year of study and awarded to entrants who excel in Bangor’s annual entrance scholarship exam. Sports scholarships — up to £3,000 a year — go to those who will represent the university in the British University and Colleges Sport (Bucs) competitions. 

Bangor remains in the middle reaches in our analysis of social inclusion measures (58th). A contextual admissions scheme reduces entry tariff requirements by up to 24 points (equal to three A-level grades) for eligible entrants, accounting for about 15 per cent of Bangor’s offers in 2021. Expanding eligibility criteria from 2023 should result in more contextual offers in future. Non-selective comprehensive state school students make up 94 per cent of the intake, with 8.8 per cent from ethnic minority backgrounds.

The sports centre at Ffriddoedd — Canolfan Brailsford (named after the cycling coach Sir Dave Brailsford, who grew up near by — has two sports halls, three gyms, a multi-route climbing wall, outdoor grass pitches and a floodlit synthetic pitch. There is also a fitness room at St Mary’s and gym membership is included in the fees for halls.

The Pontio arts and innovation centre houses the students’ union and links the university with the town. It has a cinema, theatre and lecture theatres plus places to eat and drink. Membership to all clubs and societies is free and there are about 200 sports and other activities to choose from.

Both student villages, St Mary’s and the larger Ffriddoedd, are within walking distance of university buildings. Accommodation is guaranteed for first-years who book by the July 31 deadline. A small city with a high proportion of students, Bangor has a lively atmosphere.

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Category Score Rank
Ranking - 45= (64)
Teaching quality 78.5 20th=
Student experience 74.5 31st=
Research quality 51.3 38th
Ucas entry points 123 72nd=
Graduate prospects 71 74th=
Firsts and 2:1s 75.3 85th
Completion rate 82.3 91st
Student-staff ratio 15.1 41st=
World ranking - 601= (601=)

Vital statistics











Applications/places 9,365/2,290
Applications/places ratio 4.1:1
Overall offer rate 85%


Places in accommodation 2,403
Accommodation costs £103 - £200
Accommodation contact


UK/EU fees £9,000
Fees (placement year) £1,350
Fees (overseas year) £1,350
Fees (international) £15,250 - £18,250
Finance website
Graduate salaries £22,000


Sport points/rank 397, 67th
Sport website

Social inclusion and student mix

Social Inclusion Ranking 58=
State schools (non-grammar) admissions 94%
Grammar school admissions 3.7%
Independent school admissions 2.2%
Ethnic minority students (all) 8.8%
Black achievement gap -27.4%
White working class males 7.5%
First generation students 44.3%
Low participation areas 13%
Mature 33.6%
EU students 4.6%
Other overseas students 10.2%

Student satisfaction with teaching quality

Accounting and finance 91.6%
Music 87.6%
Business, management and marketing 86.6%
Art and design 84.9%
Creative writing 84.8%
Celtic studies 83.9%
English 82.7%
History 82.4%
Psychology 82.4%
Philosophy 81.6%
Anatomy and physiology 80.3%
Subjects allied to medicine 80.3%
Electrical and electronic engineering 79.8%
Law 78.4%
Geography and environmental science 78.2%
Social policy 77.4%
Nursing 77.1%
Biological sciences 76.2%
Geology 75.2%
Computer science 74.6%
Linguistics 73.7%
Animal science 72.6%
Criminology 71.2%
Sociology 71.2%
Social work 70.7%
Sports science 70.6%
Education 66.3%
Radiography 60.9%