Good University Guide 2023

Hartpury University

National rank

Firsts / 2:1s
Completion rate

Key stats

Teaching quality
Student experience
Research quality
Graduate prospects
Hartpury University

Contact details


Gloucestershire, GL19 3BE,

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Founded in 1948 as an agricultural institute, Hartpury makes its second appearance in our academic league table. University life centres around a Gloucestershire farming business based at five sites spanning 360 hectares. The main Home Farm on campus occupies 72 hectares while the other four are near by. Students learn how to farm cows, calves, sheep and arable land and the business supplies Sainsbury’s, Müller and Glencore among others.

As well as offering a broad land-based selection of courses, the curriculum has grown to encompass animal, equine, sport and veterinary nursing degrees.  

Hartpury was awarded gold in the Teaching Excellence Framework in 2018, just before gaining university status. The panel praised the institution for course design and assessment practices that provided a high level of stretch and challenge. It also highlighted the “inquiry-based” approach to teaching and learning and its “optimum contact hours, which secure high levels of engagement and commitment to learning and study from students”.

Students receive 15 hours per week of teaching contact time, and the university pledges that no more than two hours will be online. Most degrees include a work placement and many students have the option of an integrated placement year as part of their studies — compulsory on some courses.

The university has been ploughing plenty of investment into facilities. Equine students have access to a new £500,000 water treadmill facility, with fresh teaching and stabling resources, as well as the new equine and animal assisted activity area — a £730,000 arena for equine and canine research and training. The arena also hosts Hartpury’s international horse trial and dressage events — among them the FEI (Fédération Equestre Internationale ) Dressage and Eventing European Championships for Young Riders and Juniors. There is stabling for 230 horses — used by students for their learning and by equestrian athletes in training. 

Students can even bring their own horse to university (not many places can say that). Hartpury also has a rider performance centre and equine therapy centre among provision. 

Facilities for bovine studies include a dairy bull-beef rearing unit and a 296-cubicle dairy unit. An advanced dairy parlour on campus reduces milking times and improves hygiene and welfare for its 250-strong award-winning herd, while also providing hands-on experience for students. A herd of 50 pedigree Guernsey cattle are a recent addition and allow students to carry out research into the breed within an applied, commercial setting. 

As part of a ten-year vision to turn its commercial Home Farm into an agri-tech pioneer, the university launched a dedicated Agri-Tech Centre in 2019 and has more recently opened the first of its Tech Box Park workshops for local agri-tech businesses, which also provide collaborative opportunities for students. 

A strong record in student satisfaction has been re-established after a wobble last year as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic — understandable given the practical courseload. In our analysis of the latest National Student Survey (NSS), Hartpury ranks sixth for student satisfaction with teaching quality and 14th for the wider undergraduate experience.

Partnerships with more than 3,000 employers across agriculture, animal, equine, sport and veterinary nursing provide opportunities for students to benefit from field trips, careers events, work placements and live briefs. Two hundred events take place on campus too, from a qualifying dog agility competition to agricultural community events — offering opportunities for students to volunteer and get behind-the-scenes insights. 

Nine out of every ten students come from a non-selective state school. Nearly half (45.3 per cent) are the first in their immediate family to go to university and 6.8 per cent have an ethnic minority background.

On campus the £9.8 million Graze student centre is a hub for food and drink outlets, social spaces and flexible learning areas. The ULH (University Learning Hub) opens in the 2023-24 academic year and will bring group work pods, open-plan social areas and quiet study zones as well as being the base for the library and careers services. 

A £10 million sports academy opened in the centre of campus in 2019, and houses biomechanics and human performance laboratories, an anti-gravity treadmill, an altitude chamber, and high-speed cameras and digital mirrors to map body movement. There are also medical and physiotherapy rooms, a rehabilitation suite and a large multi-sports hall. A new performance gym opened in 2022. The sports academy is surrounded by eight grass and two rubber crumb pitches, while a golf driving range is by the entrance to campus. Hartpury University RFC recruits many students as players.  

Most student bedrooms are on site and Hartpury endeavours to allocate student accommodation for first-years and international students, but does not offer a guarantee.

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Category Score Rank
Ranking - 105 (112=)
Teaching quality 82.2 6th
Student experience 76.9 14th
Research quality 15.8 120th
Ucas entry points 121 77th=
Graduate prospects 66.2 111th
Firsts and 2:1s 62.5 131st
Student-staff ratio 23.6 126th

Vital statistics











Applications/places 3,480/875
Applications/places ratio 4:1


Places in accommodation 1,202
Accommodation costs £136 - £155
Catered costs £136 - £153
Accommodation contact


UK/EU fees £9,250
Fees (placement year) £925 (£1,850 for Vet Nursing Science)
Fees (overseas year) £925
Fees (international) £13,000
Finance website
Graduate salaries £20,000

Social inclusion and student mix

Social Inclusion Ranking 68
State schools (non-grammar) admissions 90.9%
Grammar school admissions 2.9%
Independent school admissions 6.3%
Ethnic minority students (all) 6.8%
Black achievement gap n/a
White working class males 7.2%
First generation students 45.3%
Low participation areas 14%
Working class dropout gap -4%
Mature 17.9%
EU students 4.1%
Other overseas students 3.8%

Student satisfaction with teaching quality

Animal science 81.6%
Sports science 81.4%