Good University Guide 2023

University of Suffolk

National rank

Firsts / 2:1s
Completion rate

Key stats

Teaching quality
Student experience
Research quality
Graduate prospects
University of Suffolk

Contact details


Waterfront Building , 19 Neptune Quay, Ipswich , IP4 1QJ,

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Results of the latest Graduate Outcomes survey showed that 81 per cent of Suffolk’s graduates were in highly skilled work or further study 15 months after finishing their degrees — a top-30 performance nationally for one of the UK’s youngest universities. Founded in 2007 as University Campus Suffolk and a satellite of the University of East Anglia (UEA) and Essex University, Suffolk began awarding its own degrees in 2015.

Helping to pave the way from an undergraduate degree to a career is Suffolk’s Knowledge Exchange Academy. Students can try their hand at real-life project briefs and are guided towards internships, placements and graduate positions. The university has links with industry partners including BT, which collaborated with the university on its DigiTech Centre at BT’s Adastral Park, which opened in 2021.

At the Ipswich waterfront campus, ten minutes from the town centre, a new Health and Wellbeing building has opened, featuring clinical simulation facilities, a working radiography imaging suite and counselling and physiotherapy rooms designed for use by students, practice partners and the community. Students also have access to a recently renovated library. The Hold, Suffolk’s 2020-opened £20 million heritage research centre, houses the region’s historic treasures alongside learning spaces.     

Suffolk’s Integrated Care Academy is its latest venture. An alliance between the university, NHS Integrated Care System and Suffolk county council, it aims to provide co-ordinated and collaborative care to local communities, reducing health inequalities. 

Student numbers are growing. In the 2021 admissions round new student enrolments increased by 7 per cent, year on year. The university has far surpassed its 2020 goal of between 6,000 to 7,000 students and now reached more than 12,000. Just over a quarter of the 2021-22 intake entered their degrees via Clearing. An expanding curriculum launched seven new courses this term, among them physiotherapy; crime, justice and society; and a foundation degree in biomedical science. 

Two more foundation degrees are due to start in 2023: in web technologies; and network development and cybersecurity. Both will be delivered at University of Suffolk East Coast College, which is based in the coastal towns of Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft.  

Suffolk succeeds at recruiting around two in ten students from areas most under-represented in higher education and the proportion who are the first in their immediate family to go to university (57.8 per cent) is the 11th highest nationally. Such diversity in the student community often translates to student retention issues, as it does at Suffolk, where almost three in ten students are projected to drop out, significantly higher than the benchmark rate based on the academic and social mix of students and resulting in a bottom ten ranking for Suffolk on completion rates.     

The university is launching a suite of international scholarships for undergraduates enrolling in 2023-24, which will range in value from £1,0000 to £4,000 per year of study. About three in ten UK students will qualify for Suffolk’s means-tested bursary of £500 per year of study. A digital technology support fund is available to successful applicants, worth £300 towards IT equipment to support blended learning. 

The university made its first submission to the Research Excellence Framework in 2021. Although it only submitted work in social work and social policy, 68 per cent was rated world-leading or internationally excellent (the top two categories), and Suffolk ranks above 23 universities in our research quality index in its first year of entry. 

However, the university was awarded only bronze (the lowest level) in the Teaching Excellence Framework. Assessors said it was “substantially” below its benchmarks for student satisfaction and graduate employment, although they acknowledged the contribution of employers to course design and found a “developing approach to the creation of research and practice-based communities of staff enabling students to benefit by exposure to scholarship, research and professional practice”. 

Graduate employment rates are now buoyant, but student satisfaction has tumbled this year. In our analysis of the latest National Student Survey, Suffolk ranks 123rd for the wider undergraduate experience (down 40 places) and sits in joint 79th for teaching quality (a fall of 31 places). 

A hybrid teaching model of in-person and online content is the prevalent mode of delivery for this academic year. Degree programmes at Suffolk are taught via a “block” learning model, in which students study one module at a time or up to two modules side by side. Each block includes assessment completed in Brightspace (a virtual learning environment) where appropriate. The university tells us that students find this approach helps them to manage their time and focus on each topic individually, building their knowledge and confidence through later modules. 

Eight degree apprenticeships are offered in digital and technology; nursing; and social work. There were 384 student apprentices enrolled at the last count. 

There are plenty of sports facilities near the campus, though Suffolk does not have its own. The students’ union co-ordinates activities for fun and competition. Lots of students live at home and Suffolk’s 764 student rooms are usually enough to go around, although there is no formal accommodation guarantee.

The modern Waterfront development around Ipswich’s marina is a popular hub of bars and restaurants. For exploring the region students could take inspiration from local singer-songwriter (and honorary Suffolk graduate) Ed Sheeran, whose song Castle on the Hill about Framlingham Castle describes some of the county’s simple pleasures.

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Category Score Rank
Ranking - 115= (105)
Teaching quality 74.4 79th=
Student experience 66.2 123rd
Research quality 21.8 108th
Ucas entry points 113 106th=
Graduate prospects 81 30th
Firsts and 2:1s 70.3 116th
Completion rate 65.6 129th
Student-staff ratio 15 39th=

Vital statistics











Applications/places 3,925/3,265
Applications/places ratio 1.2:1
Overall offer rate 72.7%


Places in accommodation 756
Accommodation costs £95 - £189
Accommodation contact


UK/EU fees £8,220 (Foundation) - £9,250
Fees (placement year) £1,850
Fees (overseas year) £1,385
Fees (international) £13,992 - £17,768
Finance website
Graduate salaries £24,500


Social inclusion and student mix

Social Inclusion Ranking 11
State schools (non-grammar) admissions 97%
Grammar school admissions 2%
Independent school admissions 1%
Ethnic minority students (all) 18.6%
Black achievement gap -27.5%
White working class males 1.7%
First generation students 57.8%
Low participation areas 20.1%
Working class dropout gap 7%
Mature 86.6%
EU students 10.8%
Other overseas students 0.8%

Student satisfaction with teaching quality

Art and design 96.1%
History 92.6%
Criminology 84%
Psychology 81.7%
Sociology 80.3%
Social work 77%
Drama, dance and cinematics 76.8%
Computer science 73.1%
Business, management and marketing 71.8%
Radiography 71.1%
Nursing 67.9%
Education 64.1%
Sports science 63.4%
Subjects allied to medicine 54.5%