Good University Guide 2023

University of Bradford

National rank

Firsts / 2:1s
Completion rate

Key stats

Teaching quality
Student experience
Research quality
Graduate prospects
University of Bradford

Contact details


Richmond Road, Bradford, BD7 1DP,

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Bradford is seeking to decarbonise its campus and decolonise its curriculum so that equality is at the core of teaching and learning — giving impetus to the university’s wider aim to help to create fairer societies. It is already among the most socially inclusive universities in the UK (fifth). Bradford succeeds in recruiting the largest proportion of students from ethnic minority backgrounds (86.3 per cent) in the UK, the latest figures show. Our University of the Year for Social Inclusion in 2020, Bradford has the third-highest proportion of students who are the first in their family to attend university (67.4 per cent).

A successor to local technical college forerunners, Bradford became a university in the 1960s. It was awarded silver in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), praised for its “strategic and systematic commitment to diversity and social mobility that enables the majority of students, including a very high number from black, Asian and minority backgrounds, to achieve excellent outcomes”. The latest data on course completion gives Bradford a 14-place gain on this measure: its 6.6 per cent dropout rate is well below the expected level of 10.6 per cent based on the socioeconomic backgrounds of its intake and subject mix. 

The TEF panel also commended the curriculum for stretching students to achieve their full potential and acquire the knowledge, skills and understanding valued by employers, and for its work-based learning. The physiotherapy and sport rehabilitation team was singled out for recognition with a teaching excellence award from Advance HE in 2019.      

A degree in psychology and criminology welcomed its first students in September 2022, as did degrees in architectural technology and in architectural engineering. An option in pharmaceutical and cosmetic science begins in 2023. Bradford offers four degree apprenticeships: healthcare science practice; chemistry; nursing associate; and advanced clinical practice. 

Work experience or placements are offered within a wide range of degrees and many courses are designed with input from industry partners such as the BBC, the NHS, Jaguar Land Rover, Amazon, the Civil Service, Wm Morrison Supermarkets, PwC and Fujitsu. The helping hand from business has done graduate prospects no harm: Bradford is 49th in our analysis based on the Graduate Outcomes survey, recording the proportion of students who find highly skilled work or enrol in postgraduate study 15 months after finishing their degree. It is a rank far above Bradford's position in our main academic table table (95th). Advisory boards with industry input also contribute to course content.

Just minutes from the centre of Bradford, the university’s self-contained City Campus has facilities on site for accommodation, entertainment and sport as well as teaching and learning. To encourage biodiversity there are edible gardens and buildings made from hemp, while student beekeepers keep beehives.  

Among Bradford’s specialist developments is the purpose-built Digital Health Enterprise Zone, which hosted one of the first mass Covid-19 vaccine trials. The Lady Hale mock court opened in 2020, while the university’s Wolfson Centre for Applied Health Research opened at Bradford Royal Infirmary in 2019 in a partnership with the University of Leeds and Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. 

New facilities for students within the Faculties of Health and Life Science include clinical skills suites, CT, x-ray and virtual reality simulation facilities as well as world-class optometry resources. An Innovation Lab has been established to nurture entrepreneurs. 

Having fared better than most other universities in terms of student satisfaction during the pandemic, Bradford lost ground in the latest National Student Survey (NSS), published in summer 2022. Our NSS analysis reveals a 48-place fall for satisfaction with teaching quality (now 116th), and a 39-place descent for the wider undergraduate experience (83=). The prevalent teaching model from 2022 is in-person delivery — for lectures as well as smaller group sessions and practical work, with educational technologies deployed on a programme-by-programme basis to support and complement on-campus learning, the university says. 

Bradford’s new Space Centre for artificial intelligence is tasked with advancing the region’s capabilities within automation, advanced communications and sensing. Elsewhere, the world-renowned Peace Studies and International Development department has more than 40 years’ experience. It collaborates with the United Nations, the UK Ministry of Defence and development banks in Africa and China, and lately its expertise has been quoted in the media since the outbreak of war in Ukraine. 

The latest Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021) highlighted strengths in archaeology, engineering, accounting and allied health. Bradford increased the number of academics who contributed to the university's submission, compared with the previous national assessment in 2014, and 73 per cent of their work reached the top two categories, classified as world-leading or internationally excellent. However, against improvement across the sector, Bradford’s gains were not enough to prevent a 25-place drop to 87th in our research quality index. 

More than 3,000 cash bursaries are awarded to students with a household income below £30,000. Four in ten entrants in 2021 received a contextual offer — a high proportion that the university expects to remain similar in future admissions rounds in support of its widening participation agenda. Under the Bradford Progression scheme applicants qualify for a contextual offer eight Ucas points lower than the standard requirements if they meet one of a wide range of criteria — including adult learners, those from low-participation neighbourhoods, the children of armed forces families, refugees or asylum seekers, or those who have spent time in the care system — among others. If they come to an open day and progression scheme workshop these applicants earn an extra eight Ucas-point reduction, adding up to 16 in total.

Unique Fitness and Lifestyle on the City Centre campus has a swimming pool, climbing wall and squash courts. The campus also has a multi-use games area and 3G five-a-side pitch. Five minutes away on foot, there is a full-size football pitch at Bradford Sports Park, plus tennis courts and a conditioning suite. The Woodhall sports ground has more pitches, four miles from the city campus.

Accommodation at the Green, the student village on campus, is near the students’ union and library. It is allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

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Category Score Rank
Ranking - 95 (89=)
Teaching quality 70.6 116th
Student experience 70.2 83rd=
Research quality 29.9 87th
Ucas entry points 125 63rd=
Graduate prospects 76.8 49th
Firsts and 2:1s 83 35th
Completion rate 86.1 59th=
Student-staff ratio 19.1 106th=
World ranking - 701= (701=)

Vital statistics











Applications/places 12,465/2,575
Applications/places ratio 4.8:1
Overall offer rate 81.7%


Places in accommodation 1,002
Accommodation costs £75 - £102
Accommodation contact


UK/EU fees £9,250
Fees (placement year) £925 (10% of academic fee)
Fees (overseas year) £1,385 (15% of academic fee)
Fees (international) £16,895 - £20,843
Finance website
Graduate salaries £24,000


Sport points/rank 239.5, 79th
Sport website

Social inclusion and student mix

Social Inclusion Ranking 5
State schools (non-grammar) admissions 95%
Grammar school admissions 3.4%
Independent school admissions 1.6%
Ethnic minority students (all) 86.3%
Black achievement gap -9.5%
White working class males 1.9%
First generation students 67.4%
Low participation areas 10%
Working class dropout gap -1.7%
Mature 28.7%
EU students 3.3%
Other overseas students 8.8%

Student satisfaction with teaching quality

Physiotherapy 80.5%
Pharmacology and pharmacy 80.1%
Bioengineering and biomedical engineering 77.8%
Business, management and marketing 77.7%
Chemical engineering 75.2%
Civil engineering 74.4%
Mechanical engineering 74.4%
Subjects allied to medicine 74.3%
Archaeology and forensic science 74%
Computer science 72.8%
Chemistry 72.6%
Law 72.6%
Social work 68.2%
Psychology 67.9%
Criminology 67.5%
Politics 66.8%
Biological sciences 64.4%
Radiography 63.9%
Nursing 61.7%
Accounting and finance 57.1%