Good University Guide 2023

University of Liverpool

National rank

Firsts / 2:1s
Completion rate

Key stats

Teaching quality
Student experience
Research quality
Graduate prospects

Liverpool’s impressive results from the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021) have triggered a 16-place rise in our research quality index, where it has gone from 40th to 24th place. A founding member of the Russell Group of universities, the REF results reinforce Liverpool’s standing as a research-intensive institution. 

The university's submission in the national assessment spanned 23 subjects and 91 per cent of the work was rated world-leading or internationally excellent, the top two categories. The best results were in veterinary science; chemistry; psychology; and modern languages. 

Established in 1881 on the principles of “the advancement of learning and ennoblement of life”, Liverpool’s original Victoria Building inspired the “redbrick university” term. The city campus at the top of Brownlow Hill and Mount Pleasant is about five minutes on foot from the city centre, while students of the School of Veterinary Science also have a base at the Leahurst campus on the Wirral Peninsula — near the university’s 64-acre Ness Botanic Gardens. 

Investment in the city-centre campus has created developments including the DIF (Digital Innovation Factory), a 1,530 sq m building on the north side of the campus. Bringing together computer science, robotics and engineering research within a centre of excellence in simulation and virtual reality, the university forecasts that the DIF will create about 400 jobs over a decade and boost the region’s economy by £44.5 million. 

The Tung auditorium, Liverpool’s new teaching and performance centre, opened in 2021 within the Yoko Ono Lennon Centre, housing a 400-seat auditorium with space for a 70-piece orchestra. A concert hall as well as a teaching facility, it draws on the city’s arts heritage — providing space for  concerts, lectures and exhibitions.  

Extending its global opportunities, Liverpool offers the option for students to spend an academic year studying at one if its 26 partner universities around the world — from Austria to America — on the majority of courses. Unusually, the opportunity to go abroad is available in any year of study.  The university also has a campus in the Chinese city of Suzhou, run in partnership with Xi’an Jiaotong University, and offers joint courses with the Singapore Institute of Technology.

Liverpool was upgraded from bronze to silver in the Teaching Excellence Framework. Having been one of the better-performing Russell Group universities in terms of student satisfaction before and during the pandemic, outcomes of the latest National Student Survey (NSS), published in summer 202,2 revealed steep declines. Liverpool has fallen back in both of our NSS-derived measures, falling from joint 51st for student satisfaction with teaching quality in 2021 (and joint 62nd the year before) to 114th. For sections of the NSS relating to the wider undergraduate experience our analysis shows a 63-place year-on-year drop to 100=. 

All teaching had returned to in-person delivery by the start of the 2022-23 academic year, which should help to lift rates of student satisfaction to their former levels. 

A third successive year-on-year rise in the numbers of new students starting courses brought them to record levels in the 2021 admissions cycle. The curriculum continues to expand. After the introduction of a suite of design engineering courses; climate science; and environmental geoscience in 2022, Liverpool is launching another seven degrees, in communication, media and politics; English literature with drama studies; English with world literature; media and culture; media, data and society; and screen industries and entertainment. All life science disciplines are gaining new integrated master’s programmes. 

In our annual social inclusion index Liverpool’s strongest performance comes in recruitment of white working-class male students, the most underrepresented group (4.6 per cent) and of students from areas with low participation in higher education (9.1 per cent). In common with most of its Russell Group peers, however, Liverpool is near the bottom of our overal social inclusion ranking at 100=.

Long-term engagement with local disadvantaged schools and colleges underpins the university’s widening participation agenda. The two-year Liverpool Scholars programme boosts students’ academic skills and builds a sense of belonging. Passing it entitles scholars to an offer reduced by up to two A-level grades, or equivalent, for entry to an undergraduate course. The FastTrackers mentoring scheme for local Somali and Yemeni students was highlighted by the Office for Students for its good practice. A contextual offers scheme (benefiting those who meet widening participation criteria) accounted for more than 10 per cent of admissions in 2021, which Liverpool expects will rise to 15 per cent in 2023.

About a third of UK undergraduates receive Liverpool bursaries, worth £750 or £2,000 per year, depending on household incomes beneath a ceiling of £35,000. An £800 housing discount for those who receive the Liverpool bursary or other bursaries is a rare scheme among UK universities. It equates to about a quarter of students living in halls of residence receiving the saving, at a cost of about £920,000 to the university each year. Accommodation is guaranteed to first-years. 

Industry partnerships include close links with AstraZeneca, HSBC, IBM, the Civil Service Fast Stream and CISCO. Employer-connected events and experiences are designed to help students to develop networks for their future careers. An interns programme and graduate scheme offers exclusive paid internships, placements and graduate opportunities offered by employers in the Liverpool City Region. 

Graduate prospects for Liverpool students are in the top 40, measured by the proportion in highly skilled work or postgraduate study 15 months after finishing a degree.

The university has been investing significantly in its campus sport and fitness offering to enhance the free-to-use facilities. Students now have access to a half basketball court, 100m running track, campus running route, container gym and calisthenics gym. These join pre-existing facilities that include a swimming pool, two sports halls, a squash course, a bouldering wall and spin studios. Off campus at the Wyncote Sports Ground, the university has ten pitches for football and rugby, one for lacrosse, a floodlit all-weather pitch and 3G rugby facilities. 

When it comes to student life, Liverpool goes above and beyond. Renowned as one of the UK’s friendliest cities, it combines a booming and varied nightlife with relative affordability.

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Category Score Rank
Ranking - 33= (30=)
Teaching quality 71 114th
Student experience 69 100th=
Research quality 55.6 24th
Ucas entry points 141 42nd
Graduate prospects 78.8 38th
Firsts and 2:1s 81.8 39th
Completion rate 92.5 29th
Student-staff ratio 13.8 15th=
World ranking - 190= (189=)

Vital statistics











Applications/places 42,255/6,630
Applications/places ratio 6.4:1
Overall offer rate 72.3%


Places in accommodation 4,800
Accommodation costs £145 - £222
Catered costs £222 - £223
Accommodation contact


UK/EU fees £5,140 (Foundation at Carmel College / Birkenhead Sixth Form College) - £9,250
Fees (placement year) £1,850
Fees (overseas year) £1,385
Fees (international) £19,900 - £24,850
Fees (international, medical) £34,550
Finance website
Graduate salaries £24,900


Sport points/rank 1,580, 23rd
Sport website

Social inclusion and student mix

Social Inclusion Ranking 100=
State schools (non-grammar) admissions 74.8%
Grammar school admissions 12.6%
Independent school admissions 12.6%
Ethnic minority students (all) 16.4%
Black achievement gap -19.2%
White working class males 4.6%
First generation students 39.2%
Low participation areas 9.1%
Working class dropout gap -4.5%
Mature 8.7%
EU students 2.5%
Other overseas students 19.9%

Student satisfaction with teaching quality

Dentistry 87.1%
Architecture 85.8%
Veterinary medicine 85.5%
Accounting and finance 83.3%
Archaeology and forensic science 82%
Town and country planning and landscape 81.4%
Classics and ancient history 81.3%
Physiotherapy 81.3%
Music 80.3%
Electrical and electronic engineering 77.9%
German 77.3%
Geology 76.7%
Radiography 75.8%
Mechanical engineering 75.1%
English 74.8%
French 74.8%
Nursing 74.7%
Philosophy 74.5%
Economics 73.6%
Medicine 72.9%
Iberian languages 71.7%
History 71.3%
Computer science 70.4%
Anatomy and physiology 70.3%
Subjects allied to medicine 69.6%
Pharmacology and pharmacy 69.4%
Business, management and marketing 69.1%
Physics and astronomy 68.5%
Mathematics 68.3%
Civil engineering 68.1%
Biological sciences 67.3%
Politics 67%
Animal science 66.2%
Communication and media studies 65.9%
Geography and environmental science 65.8%
Aeronautical and manufacturing engineering 65.5%
Chemistry 63.5%
Psychology 61.7%
Law 59.8%
Criminology 51.1%
Sociology 51.1%