Good University Guide 2023

Teesside University

National rank

Firsts / 2:1s
Completion rate

Key stats

Teaching quality
Student experience
Research quality
Graduate prospects
Teesside University

Contact details


Middlesbrough , TS1 3BX,

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A 32-place leap up our league table returns Teesside resoundingly into the top 90 in 2022, where it last appeared two years ago. The university has improved on all but one of the measures included in our academic ranking — only the proportion of students attaining “good honours” of 2.1s and firsts is a non-mover. The university’s achievement is crowned by some of the biggest improvements in student satisfaction seen in 2022. In our analysis of the latest National Student Survey Teesside rises 79 places for teaching quality into a top-25 position. For the wider undergraduate experience, the Middlesbrough-based university ranks 38th this year — on the strength of an 80-place rise. 

Evidently, the challenges faced by Teesside students during the pandemic that triggered huge falls in student satisfaction last year have been consigned to history, as healthcare students have returned to work placements at hospitals and medical practices and the university’s hands-on learning facilities across academic departments have reopened. All teaching is on campus this year, while the university is also exploring the potential of hybrid learning models for the future. The university also launched Your Voice Matters, a feedback scheme for students to suggest improvements. 

Almost two-thirds of Teesside’s research submitted to the 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021) was classed as world-leading (4*) or internationally excellent (3*). The proportion of four-star world-leading work almost doubled compared with the university’s REF 2014 submission. The upswell in research excellence has boosted Teesside 16 places up our research index. 

Teesside’s campus masterplan, which has already turned £275 million investment into new developments, continues. A £13.1 million Net Zero Industry Innovation Centre is under way, tasked with increasing clean energy and sustainability when complete — thus delivering on the carbon neutral ambitions of the northeast region and UK more widely, while creating “hundreds” (the university tells us) of clean energy jobs. 

A £15 million Digital Life Building is next in Teesside’s sights, with plans already in place that will enhance facilities for the School of Computing, Engineering and Digital Technologies. The university is also spending £30 million on installing the latest in science laboratories. 

The university’s Future Facing Learning model was in place pre-pandemic and helped to earn Teesside the status of Adobe Creative Campus (the first to be designated in Europe) giving students and staff access to Adobe Creative Cloud apps. It has since been recognised as an Apple Distinguished School, for its innovative learning environment that engages students and provides tangible evidence of academic achievement. Addressing digital poverty during the pandemic, the university increased the range of equipment available to students through its Advance Scheme to include mobile data. 

Job-specific and vocational degree programmes help to keep Teesside’s graduate employment rates within the upper third of UK universities. Teesside was offering 32 higher and degree apprenticeships, at the last count, with more than 1,750 student apprentices enrolled on programmes in fields including engineering, forensic science and midwifery. Ten more options are joining the portfolio of courses over the coming two years. Broadening the curriculum further, a School of Law is being introduced by the university, which is working with partners to provide fresh opportunities for law students.

Our previous edition’s University of the Year for Social Inclusion, in honour of the outstanding role it plays in making higher education an option for teenagers in a region with the lowest participation rate in England, Teesside continues to succeed in our social inclusion index, placing third overall and with the highest proportion of students (31.1 per cent) drawn from deprived areas. The university also succeeds in recruiting the sixth-highest proportion (10 per cent) of white working-class boys – the most underrepresented group in higher education and its numbers from nonselective state schools (99 per cent) are the highest in the country. 

A high dropout rate is often the price to pay for such diversity in the student body, but Teesside’s students are strongly supported in their studies from the outset, so the dropout rate is almost on track with the expected level.

Foundation years are offered as a route into university for students who have grades significantly below the minimum tariff, while university outreach work in schools and colleges aims to raise aspirations and dispel myths about higher education. Levelling up is assisted by the Teesside University Advance scheme, which provides all students beginning a full-time undergraduate degree with a new iPad and separate keyboard, and up to £300 of credits to buy learning resources.

A strong culture of partnership with students was acclaimed by the Teaching Excellence Framework, which awarded Teesside silver. Assessors were also impressed by innovative and well-resourced support for developing employability. Our analysis of the latest Graduate Outcomes figures positions Teesside on the cusp of the top 40 in the UK for its proportion of students in high-skilled jobs or further study 15 months after completing their course.

Teesside has a programme of more than 200 internships each year and industry mentor schemes are a feature of initiatives such as Advantage Tees Valley, supporting students from disadvantaged backgrounds to get graduate-level jobs locally. The start-up centre Launchpad, which helps fledge entrepreneurs and businesses, includes games studios, business units and hot-desk space. 

Sports facilities are available on and off campus. The Olympia sports complex on campus incorporates a sports hall with capacity for 500 spectators, a climbing wall and gym. The Saltersgill Pavilion, two miles away, has four rugby union pitches, and the university is a stakeholder in the River Tees Watersports Centre offering waterskiing, rowing, kayaking, white water rafting and canoeing around the Tees barrage, four miles from campus.

The £21 million Cornell Quarter for student residences has opened its doors, housing 300 students in the 2021-22 academic year and increasing the university’s accommodation stock by nearly a third to about 1,300 places — an important step towards broadening Teesside’s appeal beyond the local region it serves so well.

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Category Score Rank
Ranking - 86 (118)
Teaching quality 78.3 23rd
Student experience 73.7 38th
Research quality 28 94th
Ucas entry points 117 93rd=
Graduate prospects 78.1 41st=
Firsts and 2:1s 73 99th
Completion rate 77.1 119th
Student-staff ratio 17.1 79th=

Vital statistics











Applications/places 12,215/3,460
Applications/places ratio 3.5:1
Overall offer rate 73.8%


Places in accommodation 1,300
Accommodation costs £65 - £125
Accommodation contact


UK/EU fees £6,150 (Foundation) - £9,250
Fees (placement year) £0
Fees (overseas year) £0
Fees (international) £9,750 - £14,000
Finance website
Graduate salaries £24,100


Sport points/rank 75, 105th
Sport website

Social inclusion and student mix

Social Inclusion Ranking 3
State schools (non-grammar) admissions 99%
Grammar school admissions 0.2%
Independent school admissions 0.8%
Ethnic minority students (all) 14.7%
Black achievement gap -14.6%
White working class males 10%
First generation students 57.3%
Low participation areas 31.1%
Working class dropout gap -2.6%
Mature 47.9%
EU students 1%
Other overseas students 4.3%

Student satisfaction with teaching quality

Mechanical engineering 98.3%
History 92.3%
Mathematics 91.1%
English 88.8%
Social work 86.9%
Aeronautical and manufacturing engineering 85.9%
Creative writing 85.9%
Sports science 85.6%
Archaeology and forensic science 85.1%
Education 85%
Drama, dance and cinematics 83.4%
Art and design 83.3%
Communication and media studies 83.2%
Computer science 82%
Chemical engineering 80.4%
Subjects allied to medicine 79.3%
Electrical and electronic engineering 78.8%
Law 78.7%
Biological sciences 77.2%
Psychology 75%
Criminology 74.1%
Sociology 74.1%
Civil engineering 70.5%
Nursing 70.1%
Accounting and finance 69.3%
Business, management and marketing 68.6%
Radiography 68%
Physiotherapy 59.5%