Good University Guide 2023

University of Lincoln

National rank

Firsts / 2:1s
Completion rate

Key stats

Teaching quality
Student experience
Research quality
Graduate prospects

The University of Lincoln has introduced flexible “bite-size” courses to give students the skills in demand from employers. The microcredential programme, run across Lincoln’s academic colleges, is delivered mostly online. Credits can be stacked up to lead to postgraduate qualifications — or simply add breadth and depth to a student’s CV.

The initiative is the latest curricular development at Lincoln, where a vastly broadened course offering has almost doubled student numbers in the past 13 years or so. Winner of our Modern University of the Year award in 2021, the university has kept up with the expanding register by investing more than £375 million in its contemporary Brayford Pool campus in the medieval cathedral city of Lincoln. 

A new home for the Lincoln Medical School is located at the heart of the campus. Its £21 million dedicated building houses lecture theatres, clinical skills and anatomy suites, laboratories and diagnostic tools among the specialised teaching and learning facilities. A biomedical and health sciences library and mock consultation rooms are on site, supported by the latest technologies.

Established in collaboration with the University of Nottingham, which confers the BMBS (Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery) degree on graduates, the Lincoln Medical School launched in 2018 and its first cohort of students started the following year. A foundation year widens access to the school, which was awarded an extra 20 places in its second year of operation. Grounded in the university’s civic role within England’s second-largest county, its graduates will be encouraged to complete their junior doctor training locally and apply for jobs in the region.

Lincoln achieved a gold rating in the government’s Teaching Excellence Framework. Assessors complimented the university on a strong approach to personalised learning through highly engaged personal tutors, with access to analytics to monitor students’ progress proactively. It found that students were involved in the design of courses, which enabled them to develop their independence, understanding and skills to reflect their full potential.

After years of buoyant rates of student satisfaction, Lincoln lost ground in last year’s pandemic-affected National Student Survey (NSS) — in common with most universities. It has yet to recover, according to our analysis of the latest survey published in the summer of 2022, ranking 54= for students’ assessment of teaching quality (down from 41= last year) and 40= for the wider undergraduate experience (down from 38th). Even so, Lincoln remains comfortably in the upper half of institutions nationally for student satisfaction. 

Teaching has returned to in-person delivery, with a small amount retained online and digital tools used within face-to-face settings to enhance teaching.  

The first biomedical engineering students started courses in September, as did those enrolled on new degrees in human geography and physical geography; and in education and digital learning. From September 2023 the curriculum gains another two options: robotics; and psychology (sport and exercise psychology).  

Lincoln’s stable of 13 degree apprenticeships had 465 learners on programmes at the last count. The earn-as-you-leanr roles range from social worker, nursing associate and food industry technical professional to manufacturing manager and cultural heritage conservator.  

More than three-quarters (79 per cent) of Lincoln’s research was judged to be internationally excellent or world-leading, the top two categories in the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021). History produced some of the best results, along with social policy, the allied health professions and computer science. 

Agricultural research was anaother strength. The university hosts the world’s first Centre for Doctoral Training for agri-food robotics and the National Centre for Food Manufacturing. A building for Lincoln’s Centre of Excellence in Agri-food Technology has been developed at the South Lincolnshire Food Enterprise Zone in Holbeach, its aim to act as an innovation hub to promote robotics and automation across the food supply chain.

Lincoln is heading one of the country’s first government-backed Institutes of Technology. Unified by a digital theme, it will specialise in agri-tech and food manufacturing, energy and engineering. Activities at the £20 million Lincoln Science and Innovation Park (a joint venture between the university and the Lincolnshire Co-Op) include pharmacy students honing their skills in the science park’s flagship laboratories, which feature a pharmacy clinical skills suite. 

Lincoln has risen 27 places to rank 38th for social inclusion overall in our analysis of the latest data. It succeeds in attracting 19.8 per cent of students from deprived areas — a proportion in the top 20. Its share of white working-class male students (9.3 per cent) — the most underrepresented group — places the university in the top ten. Efforts to widen participation, which focus on Lincolnshire’s higher education ‘‘cold spots’’, as defined by the Office for Students, are paying off, the results show. 

The university’s course completion rates are in the top 50. Lincoln’s dropout rate is lower than its benchmark figure, based on the background of its students and the subject mix. Graduate prospects have fallen nine places to 84= in our analysis of the numbers in highly skilled work or postgraduate studies within 15 months.

About half of new undergraduates qualify for some form of financial assistance, such as the University of Lincoln scholarship, worth £500 per year of study for up to three years, which is awarded automatically to full-time UK undergraduates with household incomes of up to £45,875. There are awards for international students too, and a range of scholarships in specific subject areas. 

The university manages more than 4,500 residential spaces across seven purpose-built accommodation developments. First years who apply by September 1 are guaranteed a spot and can request preferences such as room size, building location and flatmates. Residential wardens are on hand round-the-clock to support those living in student accommodation, and organise social activities. The Engine Shed, operated on campus by Lincoln’s students’ union, is the county’s largest music and entertainment venue.

A sports centre on campus includes a hall and outdoor pitches. There is a £6 million performing arts centre too, with a 450-seat theatre and three large studio spaces.

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Category Score Rank
Ranking - 53 (49)
Teaching quality 75.8 54th=
Student experience 73.5 40th=
Research quality 38.4 67th
Ucas entry points 120 81st=
Graduate prospects 70.2 84th=
Firsts and 2:1s 77.6 62nd=
Completion rate 88.8 49th
Student-staff ratio 16.1 62nd=
World ranking - 801= (801=)

Vital statistics











Applications/places 15,535/3,745
Applications/places ratio 4.1:1
Overall offer rate 84.5%


Places in accommodation 4,500
Accommodation costs £93 - £171
Accommodation contact


UK/EU fees £9,250
Fees (placement year) £Fees vary (£0 if not credit bearing)
Fees (overseas year) £Fees vary (£0 if not credit bearing)
Fees (international) £14,700 - £15,900
Fees (international, medical) £28,000 - £46,500
Finance website
Graduate salaries £21,829


Sport points/rank 394.5, 68th
Sport website

Social inclusion and student mix

Social Inclusion Ranking 38
State schools (non-grammar) admissions 93.3%
Grammar school admissions 4%
Independent school admissions 2.7%
Ethnic minority students (all) 11.1%
Black achievement gap -20.7%
White working class males 9.3%
First generation students 51.8%
Low participation areas 19.8%
Working class dropout gap -3.2%
Mature 12.2%
EU students 1.1%
Other overseas students 3.7%

Student satisfaction with teaching quality

Chemistry 91%
History 87.9%
Creative writing 86.3%
Geography and environmental science 84.8%
Pharmacology and pharmacy 84.3%
English 84.2%
Art and design 83.7%
Animal science 83.4%
Biological sciences 82.9%
Hospitality, leisure, recreation and tourism 82.5%
Education 82.4%
Mathematics 81.5%
Physics and astronomy 80%
Subjects allied to medicine 78.9%
Sports science 78.7%
Business, management and marketing 78%
Economics 76.8%
Archaeology and forensic science 76.6%
Social work 76.3%
Accounting and finance 75.9%
Politics 74.8%
Communication and media studies 74.6%
Drama, dance and cinematics 74.3%
Music 73.6%
Law 73.5%
Criminology 72.8%
Sociology 72.8%
Social policy 72.7%
Psychology 69.5%
Computer science 64.3%
Nursing 58.9%
Architecture 57.9%
Mechanical engineering 54.8%