Good University Guide 2023

City, University of London

National rank

Firsts / 2:1s
Completion rate

Key stats

Teaching quality
Student experience
Research quality
Graduate prospects

City has restructured its academic departments to reflect its distinctive specialisms and longstanding commitment to business and the professions. 

There are now six schools: the School of Policy and Global Affairs; Bayes Business School; the School of Communication and Creativity; the School of Health and Psychological Sciences; the School of Science and Technology; and the City Law School. 

Rooted in the heart of the capital since its foundation more than 125 years ago, the university has invested more than £140 million in developing its sites since 2012. Most of it has gone on improvements to the main campus at Northampton Square in Clerkenwell where resources include a 240-seat lecture theatre, students’ union facilities, a cafeteria and multifaith area. A coffee shop, seating areas and exhibition space feature in the main entrance area. 

The City Law School’s new home is also at Northampton Square. The future-facing hub of legal knowledge has brought together all academic and professional law programmes under one roof. A technology-led mock courtroom is among the facilities, along with a law library and a legal advice clinic. Elsewhere, journalism students have access to a dedicated learning space, modelled on a broadcast newsroom designed for multiple channels, and with radio studios and digital newsrooms.

The Bayes Business School’s site on Bunhill Row is the latest facility to benefit from redevelopment in summer 2022 to enhance the teaching and learning experience. This follows the refurbishment of the school’s newest building on Finsbury Square in the heart of the City of London, where contemporary educational and social spaces occupy seven floors. The MBA from Bayes — formerly known as Cass Business School — is ranked sixth in the UK by the Financial Times and attracts high-profile visiting lecturers. 

City was rated silver in the Teaching Excellence Framework, thanks to strong engagement with students and the students’ union, as well as the university’s excellent assessment and feedback. This is evident in the university’s continuing consultation with students in developing its new strategy. 

However, outcomes of the latest National Student Survey (NSS) fell short. In our NSS analysis, City is down three places to 127th for student satisfaction with teaching quality (fourth from bottom in our table). The university is 116= (down from 88th) for how students rate their wider undergraduate experience. The low rates of student satisfaction have contributed to a 13-place fall for City in our main academic rankings this year (now 68th).

Teaching includes a mixed model of blended learning in the 2022-23 academic year, with in-person teaching prioritised in small group settings and supplemented by online synchronous and asynchronous learning. Some lectures and other larger group teaching is also taking person in-person.

Graduate prospects remain one of City’s strongest suits in our league table, although the university has slipped out of the top 25 to rank 45= in our analysis of the proportion of graduates in highly skilled work or postgraduate study within 15 months. The university’s mentoring service connects students with experienced industry professionals and creates about 400 such pairings per year. For emerging entrepreneurs the university’s CityVentures Team and Launch Lab run a three-month accelerator programme to kickstart student and graduate start-ups. They receive resources such as mentoring, free desk space, workshops and wi-fi for up to two years. The incubator has created more than 1,000 jobs and secured £13 million in investment to date.

There was good news for City in the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021). Eighty-six per cent of the university’s research was rated as world-leading or internationally excellent (the top two categories) in the national exercise — an improvement on REF 2014, triggering a 14-place rise to 37th in our research quality rating. 

Applications and enrolments increased for the fourth consecutive year in 2021, in which 28 per cent of new entrants gained their places through Clearing. Applications were up by 8 per cent by the end of March 2022 compared with the same point the year before. A suite of eight engineering-based degrees join the curriculum from September 2023, among them aerospace engineering; energy and sustainability engineering; and biomedical and healthcare engineering. The portfolio of degree apprenticeships is also gaining two programmes in 2023, which will make seven in total with about 800 student apprentices. 

The university introduced a contextual offers scheme for the first time in 2022-23, in which eligibility is based on two criteria: being the first in the family to attend university and having been in care. City is already one of the more socially inclusive institutions within the University of London, ranking 71st in our analysis. It has the fourth highest proportion of UK-domiciled students drawn from ethnic minorities (81.3 per cent) and is in the top ten for the proportion of students who are the first in their family to go to university (58.5 per cent).

City nurtures its students to stick with their courses, rising into the top 40 for its course completion rate. The dropout rate (4.1 per cent) is comfortably below the expected level (7.1 per cent) when the students’ background and the university’s mix of subjects is taken into account. 

Financial help includes the newly launched Bayes Undergraduate Scholarship for Black British students, a means-tested award that covers home-level tuition fees and pays a £6,000 annual stipend for three years of study to ten students per year. Up to 50 Lord Mayor of London scholarships are awarded annually, worth £4,625 to first-years who outdo their conditional offer entry grades. 

Students get discounted access to the CitySport gym, which has more than 120 stations, and to the Saddlers sports hall, which seats 400 spectators. 

New entrants who accept an offer by the end of June are guaranteed a space in student accommodation. Some of London’s most fashionable and fun neighbourhoods surround City, making it easy for students to explore the delights of Old Street, Islington, Clerkenwell and beyond.

show more


Category Score Rank
Ranking - 69 (55)
Teaching quality 67.5 127th
Student experience 66.7 116th=
Research quality 51.5 37th
Ucas entry points 132 52nd
Graduate prospects 77.6 45th=
Firsts and 2:1s 80.5 46th
Completion rate 90.2 40th
Student-staff ratio 19.4 110th=
World ranking - 355= (330=)

Vital statistics











Applications/places 26,625/4,265
Applications/places ratio 6.2:1
Overall offer rate 53.7%


Places in accommodation 999
Accommodation costs £165 - £232
Catered costs £216 - £306
Accommodation contact


UK/EU fees £9,250
Fees (placement year) £1,850
Fees (overseas year) £1,060
Fees (international) £15,460 - £26,010
Finance website
Graduate salaries £26,000


Sport points/rank 309, 73rd
Sport website

Social inclusion and student mix

Social Inclusion Ranking 71
State schools (non-grammar) admissions 88.7%
Grammar school admissions 4.5%
Independent school admissions 6.8%
Ethnic minority students (all) 81.3%
Black achievement gap -13.4%
White working class males 1.8%
First generation students 58.5%
Low participation areas 2.9%
Working class dropout gap n/a
Mature 12.8%
EU students 7.8%
Other overseas students 18.8%

Student satisfaction with teaching quality

English 90%
History 84.5%
Subjects allied to medicine 78.8%
Accounting and finance 76.6%
Politics 73.3%
Psychology 73.3%
Communication and media studies 71.2%
Radiography 69.8%
Business, management and marketing 68.6%
Music 67.5%
Law 66.2%
Computer science 64.3%
Mathematics 63.7%
Nursing 63.7%
Criminology 60.6%
Sociology 60.6%
Electrical and electronic engineering 58.2%
Mechanical engineering 53.2%
Civil engineering 52.5%
Aeronautical and manufacturing engineering 50.2%
Economics 49.7%
Bioengineering and biomedical engineering 41%