Good University Guide 2023

Staffordshire University

National rank

Firsts / 2:1s
Completion rate

Key stats

Teaching quality
Student experience
Research quality
Graduate prospects
Staffordshire University

Contact details


College Road, Stoke-on-Trent , ST4 2DE,

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In a busy year of developments, the Catalyst building has been added to Staffordshire’s main Stoke-on-Trent campus. The facility provides students with apprenticeship and skills training across four storeys of digitally enabled space — a boon for Staffordshire, which delivers more than 20 higher and degree apprenticeships with more than 200 employers, including the NHS, BT, Merlin Entertainments and Bentley Motors. The university expects to have 3,100 student apprentices by September 2023. A nursery and forest school has joined the facilities at Stoke too. 

At the Stafford campus there has been investment in simulation facilities at the new Centre for Health Innovation, used by students taking nursing and allied health degrees. Further south, the university has doubled the size of its Here East London campus near Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park with a £3.5 million extension catering for a growing course portfolio that encompasses gaming and esports, computer science, and cybersecurity. 

The upgrades and expansions are in keeping with Staffordshire’s ambition “to become the UK’s best modern university”. However, a 30-place decline in our main academic league table suggests room for improvement in some areas. 

The high rates of student satisfaction enjoyed at Staffordshire before the pandemic, when the university ranked 15th in the country for teaching quality in the National Student Survey (NSS), have yet to return — thus contributing to its league table tumble. The university falls 27 places for how students view the quality of their teaching (51st) and drops 38 places for satisfaction with the student experience, now ranking 90=. 

The prevalent teaching model for the present academic year is in-person across all locations (other than for distance learning degrees). A smaller proportion of lectures are being delivered online, which is an advantage for Staffordshire’s commuting students. The university’s modern facilities, such as The Catalyst, the London campus, and the Centre for Health Innovation, allow for more flexible and hybrid teaching across modules and courses. 

The university has strong links with employers such as the NHS, police forces, Airbus, Amazon and Bet365 and students are supported to access work placements and internships. However, Staffordshire has fallen outside the top 100 of our graduate places this year. A 26-place drop to 106= reflecting only two-thirds of students being in high-skilled jobs or further study 15 months on from their degrees. 

But when awarding Staffordshire the highest rating (gold) in the government’s Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), after an upgrade in 2019, assessors said students from all backgrounds achieve outstanding outcomes and complimented the university on high rates of progression to high-skilled employment or further study. The TEF panel also praised its strong commitment to supporting students’ personal and professional development and noted the effectiveness of initiatives that help students into university and support them during their studies, such as the Student Journey scheme — which was co-created by students and staff to address any areas of disadvantage. The Quiet Induction offers a calm, personalised registration and welcome experience for students on the autistic spectrum.

Staffordshire’s efforts to promote social mobility are demonstrating more success. White working-class boys (the most underrepresented group in UK higher education) represent more than one in ten of the student intake. Only two universities in England and Wales have more. Almost a quarter of students come from deprived areas and nearly seven in ten are the first in their family to go to university. Once enrolled, the university aims to further promote students’ social mobility by providing financial support to students for work or study placements, internships and study abroad opportunities via its Student Success Fund. 

Nevertheless, completion rates remain a sticking point, with 14.4 per cent of students projected to drop out of their degrees, almost a percentage point above the benchmark 13.5 per cent based on the academic and social mix. 

Sixty-eight per cent of Staffordshire’s submission to the 2021 Research Excellence Framework was rated world-leading or internationally excellent – a big leap from the 37 per cent that achieved these top standards in the previous 2014 REF. While the university increased the number of staff submitted to the 2021 exercise, it still entered just 109 academics. Against bigger improvements elsewhere it loses 30 places in our research quality index this year, to rank 85=. Art and design produced the best results. 

A new partnership with Wilkes Academy of Performing Arts in Swindon contributed to an 11 per cent rise in applications in the 2021 admissions cycle. Since then the university has ended another partnership (with Liverpool Media Academy) and noted an 8 per cent decline in applications by the end of March in the 2022 recruitment cycle. A growing curriculum gained six new degrees this term, among them honours degrees in working with children, young people and families; security and intelligence; forensic and criminological psychology; and a foundation degree in rehabilitation and manual therapies. 

The Sir Stanley Matthews sports centre on the Stoke campus is close to university accommodation and includes a gym, grass and synthetic pitches, a sports hall and a strength and conditioning suite. 

The Hanley area is known for clubbing and nearby Newcastle-under-Lyme for its pubs. On campus, students’ union venues offer drinks, club nights and eating options. The Stoke campus is close to the city and transport links, opening up the local area. Accommodation is guaranteed for students at the Stoke and Stafford campuses who meet the end of August deadline and other eligibility criteria, and who accept their offer of a room within three days.

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Category Score Rank
Ranking - 106 (76)
Teaching quality 76 51st
Student experience 69.9 90th=
Research quality 30 85th=
Ucas entry points 118 89th=
Graduate prospects 66.6 106th=
Firsts and 2:1s 74.8 88th
Completion rate 78.2 114th
Student-staff ratio 17.7 89th=

Vital statistics











Applications/places 13,390/3,730
Applications/places ratio 3.6:1
Overall offer rate 79.2%


Places in accommodation 1,000
Accommodation costs £3705 PER YEAR - £4952 PER YEAR
Accommodation contact


UK/EU fees £9,250
Fees (placement year) £1,850
Fees (overseas year) £1,385
Fees (international) £16,750 - £19,000
Finance website
Graduate salaries £23,000


Sport points/rank 187, 85th
Sport website

Social inclusion and student mix

Social Inclusion Ranking 9
State schools (non-grammar) admissions 96.3%
Grammar school admissions 1.8%
Independent school admissions 1.9%
Ethnic minority students (all) 16.5%
Black achievement gap -32.8%
White working class males 10.8%
First generation students 60.9%
Low participation areas 24.6%
Working class dropout gap -1.9%
Mature 39.1%
EU students 1.1%
Other overseas students 1.3%

Student satisfaction with teaching quality

Social policy 95.4%
Art and design 88.7%
Criminology 86.8%
Music 86.7%
Archaeology and forensic science 84%
Education 83.6%
Social work 80.9%
Communication and media studies 80.6%
Sociology 80.3%
Psychology 80.2%
Computer science 79.1%
Biological sciences 79%
Materials technology 78.4%
Drama, dance and cinematics 77%
Sports science 76.3%
Aeronautical and manufacturing engineering 76.2%
Subjects allied to medicine 74.5%
Accounting and finance 72.6%
Nursing 70.7%
Mechanical engineering 70.4%
Business, management and marketing 58.9%
Law 57.2%
Hospitality, leisure, recreation and tourism 55.8%