Good University Guide 2023

University of Kent

National rank

Firsts / 2:1s
Completion rate

Key stats

Teaching quality
Student experience
Research quality
Graduate prospects
University of Kent

Contact details


The Registry, Canterbury, CT2 7NZ,

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Kent’s 300-acre Canterbury campus is benefiting from £1.148 million of funding from the Office for Students to upgrade facilities for its natural sciences division. Hi-spec teaching laboratories for computing are among the new developments. For forensic science students, new facilities include a taphonomy farm (for the examination of decomposition) along with a superglue fuming chamber for developing fingerprints, two cars for crime scene training and a comparison microscope for ballistic and trace evidence. 

Students on courses within the school of architecture and planning will also be able to use new facilities, thanks to more studio space in the Marlowe Building in line with Kent’s creation of a 21st-century studio culture. 

The Kent and Medway Medical School, a collaboration with Canterbury Christ Church University, opened in September 2020. The school’s Pears building provides undergraduates with a GP simulation suite, a 150-seat lecture theatre, seminar rooms and social spaces. 

A strong performance by Kent in the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021) has nudged it up a place to joint 32nd in our research quality index, holding its own against improving results sector-wide. The best results were in architecture, classics, history, law, philosophy, social work and social policy, theology, music, drama, dance performing arts, film and screen studies. 

Kent is one of a handful of UK universities to have a collegiate system. Every student is attached to a college, the epicentre of social life, especially in the first year, with academic as well as residential facilities. The Canterbury campus has six colleges and there is one at the university’s Medway campus on the old Chatham naval base, which is shared with Greenwich and Canterbury Christ Church universities. The £50 million School of Pharmacy and the purpose-built Centre for Music and Audio Technology are at Medway too, with the refurbished business school.

Kent's colleges drew praise in the Teaching Excellence Framework, which gave the university a gold rating. Assessors said the collegiate system was a vital element underpinning a “flexible and personalised” approach to academic support. They also commended Kent’s “outstanding” Student Success project, which identifies trends in results and completion rates, and acts to help those likely to fall behind.

In-person teaching returned as the default model in the 2022-23 academic year, supported by lecture capture technology which has been in place at Kent since 2018. The return to an on-campus experience may help to improve declining rates of student satisfaction at Kent. In our analysis of the results of the latest National Student Survey, published in summer 2022, Kent fell 33 places to rank 107= for satisfaction with teaching quality, and dropped 42 places to rank 97= for what students think of their wider experience. 

Kent has embraced degree apprenticeships. At last count it had about 1,250 learners on 17 programmes, studying for roles such as senior journalist; clinical trials specialist; social worker; chartered manager and operational research specialist. The university expects to expand the subject range (a fundraiser programmed launched in 2022) and predicts the number of degree apprentices to reach between 1,500 and 1,800 by September 2023. 

About 3,500 of 2021-22’s new students received some form of scholarship or bursary, an admissions year that welcomed 4,715 first-year students, according to Ucas figures. Among merit-based awards is the Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence — a single £2,000 payment that is not means-tested, awarded to new entrants with at least A*AA at A-level, or equivalent qualifications. 

Scholars may combine an academic award with the Kent Financial Support Package (KFSP), which is worth £1,500 in the first year of study and £1,000 annually in years two to five to state-educated students from households with incomes up to £30,000 and whose homes fall within areas of deprivation. Other means-tested bursaries are available too. 

A modern £3 million hub in the Park Wood student village on the Canterbury campus includes a shop, café/bar and dance studios. The Pavilion outdoor playing fields complex opposite is also the site of the cycle hub. All first-year undergraduates living in university accommodation get free access to sports facilities. The Sports Centre near the heart of the Canterbury campus has a fitness suite, strength and conditioning training area and three multipurpose sports halls among its facilities. The Medway Park Premier membership gives students access to local sports and leisure centre.

With 5,233 residential spaces at the Canterbury campus and a further 1,106 at Medway, Kent is one of the best-provided universities for accommodation and can guarantee a space to all first-years who apply by the deadline. Kent students have a compulsory “Expect Respect” module that covers sexual consent.  

Student-centric venues populate Canterbury’s cobbled streets and the charming seaside resorts of Whitstable and Margate are easily reached by public transport. During term time a free shuttle bus connects the campuses at Canterbury and Medway. 

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Category Score Rank
Ranking - 48 (46)
Teaching quality 71.9 107th=
Student experience 69.2 97th=
Research quality 52.9 32nd=
Ucas entry points 125 63rd=
Graduate prospects 74.2 60th
Firsts and 2:1s 81.1 43rd=
Completion rate 89.7 44th=
Student-staff ratio 17.7 89th=
World ranking - 375= (383=)

Vital statistics











Applications/places 21,440/4,715
Applications/places ratio 4.5:1
Overall offer rate 90.2%


Places in accommodation 6,339
Accommodation costs £129 - £220
Catered costs £151 - £279
Accommodation contact


UK/EU fees £9,250
Fees (placement year) £1,385
Fees (overseas year) £1,385
Fees (international) £17,400 - £21,200
Fees (international, medical) £48,200
Finance website
Graduate salaries £24,000


Sport points/rank 701, 47th
Sport website

Social inclusion and student mix

Social Inclusion Ranking 78
State schools (non-grammar) admissions 79.8%
Grammar school admissions 15.9%
Independent school admissions 4.3%
Ethnic minority students (all) 45.8%
Black achievement gap -15.7%
White working class males 5.2%
First generation students 46.6%
Low participation areas 11.5%
Working class dropout gap -2.2%
Mature 9.7%
EU students 5.6%
Other overseas students 9.9%

Student satisfaction with teaching quality

Theology and religious studies 90.3%
Philosophy 90.1%
Creative writing 86.1%
Archaeology and forensic science 83.4%
History 82.4%
Classics and ancient history 79.2%
French 78.1%
Drama, dance and cinematics 77.8%
Economics 76.7%
Physics and astronomy 76.2%
English 75.6%
Chemistry 73.9%
Mathematics 73.9%
Linguistics 73.7%
Sports science 73.7%
Business, management and marketing 73%
Social work 72.9%
Anthropology 72.8%
Computer science 71.9%
Art and design 71.7%
Law 71.5%
Architecture 71.2%
Biological sciences 71.2%
Accounting and finance 70.5%
Politics 70%
Pharmacology and pharmacy 69.4%
Criminology 68.2%
Sociology 68.2%
Social policy 63.5%
Music 60.1%
Communication and media studies 57.7%
Psychology 55.7%
Electrical and electronic engineering 54.1%