Good University Guide 2023

Oxford Brookes University

National rank

Firsts / 2:1s
Completion rate

Key stats

Teaching quality
Student experience
Research quality
Graduate prospects
Oxford Brookes University

Contact details


Headington Campus, Oxford , OX3 0BP,

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Oxford Brookes is running a rolling programme of “future-think” projects until 2035 to prepare its students to flourish in an uncertain environment. There is already an extensive programme of work placements and students will be among the first to benefit from the government’s new Turing Scheme to provide opportunities to work and study abroad. The university won funding for up to 90 students — more than 30 per cent of them from disadvantaged backgrounds — to go to Japan under the Turing Scheme in 2022-23.

Oxford Brookes has also promised “personalisation” of the learning experience, which has mainly returned to campus since the lifting of Covid restrictions. However, our analysis of the latest National Student Survey, published in summer 2022, shows that satisfaction with teaching quality has yet to recover: the university ranks outside the top 100 on this measure. It ranks 88= for satisfaction with the wider undergraduate experience.

Although the university remains among the leading post-1992 institutions in our overall rankings, its progress up the table has stalled.

A 19-place drop in our research quality index to 76= is one factor holding the university back. More than 400 researchers in 15 subject areas were entered for the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021) — a 40 per cent increase on the previous national assessment in 2014 — and the proportion of work judged to be world-leading or internationally excellent grew from 60 per cent to 70 per cent. However, in our analysis, Oxford Brookes was left behind by greater improvement across the sector. 

Oxford Brookes has four campuses, although the engineering base at Wheatley, seven miles from Oxford, is to be redeveloped for housing. Courses are due to be transferred to the main campus in Headington, but the move has been delayed. Harcourt Hill, three miles from the city centre, houses education, English, communication, philosophy and sport students, while nursing is based in a business park in Swindon. The university also shares education, clinical practice and research in nursing, midwifery and allied health professions with two NHS trusts: Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust.

The degree system was streamlined during the pandemic, introducing more interdisciplinary courses favoured by employers, such as information technology for business. Partly as a result of the changes — and despite rising applications — in 2021 enrolments on undergraduate courses fell to their lowest level since 2012. Six new degrees are planned for 2023, three of them in hospitality and events management. The others will be in economics, digital marketing, and liberal arts.

Expansion is also under way in the degree apprenticeship programme at Oxford Brookes. Two new nursing programmes and one for chartered planners have been added in 2022-23 and by 2035 the university hopes to increase the number of “employer-led” students by 25 per cent.

Oxford Brookes is building its international profile. Since 2020 some of its courses have been delivered in Athens and Thessaloniki through a partnership with Metropolitan College Greece. The first 100 graduates emerged with a dual-award accountancy degree from Oxford Brookes and Chengdu University of Technology, in central China, that same year. A global partnership with the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants ensures that Oxford Brookes has far more students taking its qualifications in other countries (more than 200,000) than any other British university. The university’s long-term strategy calls for a 30 per cent increase in the numbers studying through partnerships at home and abroad.

On campus, Oxford Brookes has become the first British university to install an advanced geo-exchange heating system, predicted to reduce carbon emissions by 20 per cent. A £220 million investment programme, continuing until 2025, has already provided specialist computing equipment for the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences at Headington. 

A contextual admissions policy allows for offers up to three grades lower than the standard entry requirements to recognise educational disadvantage. The institution’s support for students from low-income households includes subsidised bus passes. Bursaries of up to £3,000 a year are available for students from low-income homes and there are £4,000 scholarships for undergraduates from the European Union.

The university is working with more than 120 schools in an outreach programme to widen participation, running summer schools and taster sessions. Yet Oxford Brookes still fares relatively poorly in our social inclusion index (104th). More than a third of its students come from independent or grammar schools — by far the biggest proportion among post-1992 universities — and only 35.8 per cent are the first in their family to go to university (91st). It is in the top 40 for its course completion figures, however: the dropout rate is below the level expected, given the institution’s course and student profile.

Applicants who make Oxford Brookes their firm or insurance choice are guaranteed one of the 4,376 rooms owned or endorsed by the university. All those who entered through Clearing have been given a hall place in recent years, although they are not covered by the guarantee. The university now has permission to add another 600 places to the 1,300 already available in its student village.

Impressive sports facilities include a 25m swimming pool and nine-hole golf course. Oxford Brookes is especially strong in rowing, while the cricketers join those from the “other” university in town in a Centre of Cricketing Excellence, which takes on county teams. The students’ union runs one of the biggest entertainment venues in Oxford. The city has plenty of student-oriented activities, although it can be expensive.

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Category Score Rank
Ranking - 57= (54)
Teaching quality 72.5 102nd
Student experience 70 88th=
Research quality 32.8 76th=
Ucas entry points 117 93rd=
Graduate prospects 74.6 57th=
Firsts and 2:1s 79.1 55th=
Completion rate 90.8 37th
Student-staff ratio 14 23rd
World ranking - 438= (429=)

Vital statistics











Applications/places 20,015/4,050
Applications/places ratio 4.9:1
Overall offer rate 79.5%


Places in accommodation 4,376
Accommodation costs £120 - £178
Accommodation contact


UK/EU fees £7,570 (Foundation) - £9,250
Fees (placement year) £1,500
Fees (overseas year) £1,380
Fees (international) £14,600 - £16,500
Fees (international, medical) £15,500
Finance website
Graduate salaries £24,900


Sport points/rank 1,065, 37th
Sport website

Social inclusion and student mix

Social Inclusion Ranking 104
State schools (non-grammar) admissions 65.6%
Grammar school admissions 4.6%
Independent school admissions 29.8%
Ethnic minority students (all) 17.1%
Black achievement gap -23.6%
White working class males 3.7%
First generation students 35.8%
Low participation areas 6.9%
Working class dropout gap -2.5%
Mature 17.9%
EU students 4.7%
Other overseas students 8.7%

Student satisfaction with teaching quality

Philosophy 86.1%
Food science 85.2%
Sports science 82.4%
Art and design 82.3%
English 82.2%
Psychology 81.4%
History of art, architecture and design 80.2%
History 77.2%
Architecture 77.1%
Drama, dance and cinematics 76.9%
Criminology 75.3%
Sociology 75.3%
Building 75%
East and South Asian studies 75%
Communication and media studies 74.3%
Accounting and finance 74.1%
Economics 73.2%
Nursing 72.1%
Animal science 70.7%
Biological sciences 70.6%
Business, management and marketing 70.4%
Geography and environmental science 70.4%
Politics 70%
Anthropology 69.7%
Town and country planning and landscape 69.5%
Hospitality, leisure, recreation and tourism 68.9%
Music 68.8%
Mechanical engineering 67.7%
Physiotherapy 67.1%
Computer science 65.7%
Subjects allied to medicine 65.6%
Education 65.3%
Social work 56%