Hodgkinson is a criminology student while Yee graduated from Leeds Beckett with a degree in sports and exercise science. He was also part of a contingent of 18 Team GB athletes at the Tokyo Olympic Games who had graduated or trained at the university.
Behind them all the way, helping them to achieve their personal best performances, was the university’s world-class Carnegie School of Sport, which hosts the Leeds Talent Hub — an elite programme run in partnership with British Athletics. Based at the Headingley campus, the school’s £45 million facility opened in 2020. It features a 60m covered rooftop sprint track for performance training and environmental chambers along with research laboratories and a teaching kitchen.
As well as nurturing top athletes, the university has partnerships with a wide range of clubs and associations including Leeds United Football Club, Leeds Rhinos rugby league contenders and Yorkshire County Cricket Club. Bronze played football for the university, which has three women’s and four men’s sides.
However, there is more to Leeds Beckett than sport. Development is continuing to upgrade the site at Headingley and Leeds Beckett’s City campus. The £80 million School of Arts building has 11 floors of specialist facilities for more than 2,500 students taking 40 courses in creative technologies, fashion marketing, film, music and sound, and the performing arts. Students have access to a 180-seat theatre, a 220-seat cinema, industry-standard film and green screen studios, a black box theatre, sound recording studios, acoustic labs and post-production suites.
The university has recently formed a School of Health, with a new clinical skills suite, by merging the School of Clinical and Applied Sciences and the School of Health and Community Studies. It has also launched an Obesity Institute – bringing together its expertise on obesity and weight management.
A biomedical sciences laboratory opened for the 2022 academic year and by January 2023 facilities for law will include a new courtroom, lecture theatre and social space within refurbished buildings. A virtual reality lab is joining the Carnegie School of Education.
Leeds Beckett has improved access to student support services at both campuses, upgrading reception and waiting facilities and creating a sensory space at Headingley. One-to-one interview rooms for confidential guidance and support have been installed as part of a drive to improve wellbeing services. The university’s multi-disciplinary wellbeing team works directly with students and with academic schools to identify problems early. Students can also self-refer for consultations.
Such efforts have yet to translate into better rates of student satisfaction, however, which took a hit in the pandemic and have fallen slightly further year-on-year. In our analysis of the outcomes of the latest National Student Survey, published in summer 2022, Leeds Beckett ranks 71= for satisfaction with teaching quality (falling seven places) and 77= for the wider experience (falling nine places). Just two years ago it ranked in the top 25 for how students feel about the wider experience.
A suite of new degrees in applied sports launched in September 2022 in five pathways: athletics, cricket, football, netball and rugby league.
A silver rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) brought commendation for Leeds Beckett’s employability strategies for students, who can learn real-world skills through live project briefs, case studies, practice-related assessments and placements. Students were stretched, the panel said, and developed transferable and personal skills.
External partnerships with more than 2,000 organisations support the university’s ambition to provide graduate talent to the local, regional and national labour markets. The School of Events, Tourism and Hospitality Management has opened its Jet2Suite, giving access to interactive seminars and a base for recruitment events for paid student and graduate roles. Our analysis of graduate prospects shows a four-place rise to 87= for the proportion in highly skilled work or postgraduate studies 15 months after the end of a degree.
From Leeds Beckett’s beginnings in its predecessor institutions — the Leeds Mechanics Institute (1824) and the City of Leeds Training College (1913) — the university has been known for widening access to higher education. A contextual offers scheme supports this mission today and in 2021 benefited 57 per cent of eligible entrants with offers reduced by between eight and 24 Ucas tariff points. However, the dropout rate is higher than the expected level, given the university’s course and student profile.
In the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021), sports sciences produced some of the university’s best results, while the allied health professions, dentistry, nursing and pharmacy and building also did well. Overall, 53 per cent of the university’s submission was rated world-leading or internationally excellent, the top two categories. Leeds Beckett edges into the top 100 in our research quality index, rising three places to 98th.
You don’t have to be an England Lioness, or an Olympian, to take part in sport at Leeds Beckett. The university’s fitness app allows students to manage bookings at the indoor and outdoor facilities while also tracking fitness and adding personal goals. The Athletic Union has 38 sports clubs with more than 80 teams, many of them offering the chance to compete in the British Universities and Colleges Sports (Bucs) league. Recreational and outdoor activities include tchoukball, sub-aqua and snow sports.
Leeds Beckett guarantees accommodation to all first-years who make the university their firm choice and apply by the deadline. Lively and relatively affordable, Leeds nightlife is a big draw for the city’s students.