Westminster’s best-known feature – its School of Media, Arts and Design – is tucked away out of the central London limelight in Harrow, northwest of the city. Its specialist facilities include studios for music, film and television, plus extensive, well-equipped creative arts spaces.
Art and design produced the university’s best results in the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021), keeping pace with many of the top institutions in the country. Westminster's research within business and management; and politics and international studies also did especially well, helping the university to maintain its position in the upper half of UK universities in our research quality index.
Westminster’s Marylebone campus, near Regent’s Park, houses teaching and learning in a wide range of subject areas including architecture, data science, tourism and accounting — and is also the site of the university’s central student support services. The nearby Cavendish campus is the focus of programmes including engineering, psychology and biological and biomedical sciences.
Student satisfaction with the wider undergraduate experience has improved this year – contributing to Westminster’s 14-place rise in our main academic league table to rank 115=. The university was third from bottom overall in 2021.
However, its students’ evaluation of the quality of their teaching remains a thornier issue – and Westminster slips one place to joint 118th on this measure. Most subjects are operating on a hybrid model of teaching delivery for 2022-23, which the university describes as “substantially in-person but with some online activity informing and advancing face-to-face teaching.” A shift towards “authentic assessments” at Westminster means that traditional exam assessments are being used only when required by professional bodies, or if they are the most appropriate method for the course.
The university is investing in modernising its estate, which should help to improve student satisfaction rates in future. In line for upgrades are the School of Computer Science and Engineering – which is gaining an innovation space and refurbished IT classrooms at the Cavendish campus. Psychology interview rooms are also being added at Cavendish. At the Harrow campus, a new broadcast newsroom is being added, while at Marylebone the Bloomberg suite is being extended and the ground floor remodelled. At Regent Street, the gym changing rooms are being refurbished. In another initiative to improve the student experience, Westminster has joined the Mental Health Charter, which brings together 32 universities to share good practice on mental wellbeing.
Westminster was rated bronze in the Teaching Excellence Framework, which takes account of the students' background at each institution. Assessors praised the consistent support for students at risk of dropping out and acknowledged a strategic approach and commitment to improving employment and entrepreneurship.
With 64.8 per cent of graduates in high-skilled jobs or postgraduate study 15 months on from their degrees, Westminster climbs seven places in our graduate prospects measure this year to rank 119= – still a relatively low position in our table. The new Centre for Employability and Enterprise may help: it has been designed to provide a focal point for employability and enterprise support at the university.
Westminster’s recently-expanded degree apprenticeship portfolio offers ten undergraduate programmes in areas including healthcare, property and project management. The university expects to have around 400 degree apprentices by September 2023.
With Britain's 16th-highest proportion of European Union students, Westminster maintains an international perspective. Its courses are taught in nine countries, from Sri Lanka to Uzbekistan, and UK students have the opportunity to gain experience abroad via Westminster’s exchange partnerships with more than 100 institutions in 26 countries. The Polylang programme offers a wide range of free language tuition, including Arabic, French and Chinese.
Westminster is 55th overall in our social inclusion index, just inside the top half of universities. More than seven in ten (73.1 per cent) of undergraduates are from ethnic minority backgrounds, ranking the university in the top ten on that measure. More than half are the first in their family to go to university. Among Westminster's initiatives to widen participation in higher education is the university’s tie-up with Sony Interactive Entertainment, which is funding scholarships for black students and those from underrepresented groups. The company also supports Westminster’s computer games design Saturday club.
Sports facilities include gyms at the Regent Street and Harrow campuses. By far its best sporting hub is Westminster’s Quintin Hogg 45-acre sports ground overlooking the River Thames in Chiswick, which has extensive grounds for football, rugby, hockey, lacrosse, cricket, tennis and netball. Across the road is the university’s boathouse.
Westminster does not offer an accommodation guarantee so new students are advised to apply early for places, allocated on a first come first served basis. Students who are disabled or who have a medical condition relevant to their need for housing are given priority. Care leavers and students estranged from their families may also be given priority.
The university’s halls of residence have their own vibes while the bright lights of London – named the world's best student city by QS in 2023 – are ripe for exploring.