Good University Guide 2023

University of Winchester

National rank

Firsts / 2:1s
Completion rate

Key stats

Teaching quality
Student experience
Research quality
Graduate prospects
University of Winchester

Contact details


Sparkford Road, Winchester, SO22 4NR,

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Vastly improved rates of student satisfaction at Winchester have prompted a 19-place rise for the university in our main academic league table to rank 87th. In our analysis of the latest National Student Survey results, Winchester is in the upper half of UK universities for satisfaction with teaching quality (up 33 places to 62=). For satisfaction with the wider undergraduate experience it has made even bigger gains, up from 108th in 2021 to joint 57th in 2022 and far outdoing its pre-pandemic performance on this measure.   

Teaching is now in-person only at Winchester. Its King Alfred campus occupies a wooded hillside overlooking the cathedral city, a ten-minute walk away. And while the university has extended its capacity for recording lectures, this does not replace the requirement for students to attend in real life. A useful development at Winchester, courtesy of the enforced pandemic pivot to remote learning, has been digital meetings becoming part of the culture. Everyone from academics to professional services staff have greater accessibility to meet with students virtually. 

The university’s new facilities may also play a part in the upturn in student satisfaction. Winchester’s flagship £50 million learning and teaching building, the West Downs Centre, opened in 2021 — housing computer and digital-related degrees and business and management programmes. Clinical skills training facilities opened in April 2022 at the centre too, thus bringing nursing (a fast-growing area for Winchester) on to campus. The striking building features a drum-shaped auditorium and won an architecture prize at the Civic Trust awards, whose judges said: “It enhances not just the university campus and teaching facilities but also the wider neighbourhood.”

A packaging-free, zero-waste shop on campus is among the university’s sustainability initiatives. A £3.1 million grant from the Public Sector Decarbonisation scheme should make further inroads towards Winchester’s goal of being one of the lowest carbon-emitting universities in the UK. Winchester’s first nutrition students started their courses in September 2022, as did those on new degrees in biomedical science and in educational technology. From 2023 the curriculum will also offer midwifery and architecture as it continues to broaden.

With a growing choice of study options, applications to Winchester rose by about 6 per cent in 2021, year-on-year, and were up by 5 per cent by the end of March 2022 too.

Winchester has a silver rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework. The panel was impressed by its “appropriate” contact hours, tutorials and buddy schemes that produce personalised learning and high levels of commitment from students. Most are stretched sufficiently to make progress, and acquire the knowledge, skills and understanding valued by employers, assessors added.

Winchester has improved its ranking in our graduate prospects measure for the second year running and now ranks inside the top 100, with 68.2 per cent of graduates in high-skilled jobs or postgraduate study 15 months after finishing their degrees, the latest Graduate Outcomes survey shows. 

The university has a Centre for Apprenticeships and offers 15 programmes (a big leap up from six in our previous edition). The subjects covered span business; social work; and nursing and Winchester expects to have more than 500 student apprentices on programmes by September 2023 (almost double the 227 it had at the last count). 

Winchester tripled the proportion of research rated 4* since the last REF in 2014. The volume of staff submitted also increased by 126 per cent. But overall, its 2021 performance did not hold up as well as in 2014 and the university drops 24 places in our research quality ranking, to 107th. Theology was among the strongest subjects submitted by Winchester, which was first established as a Church of England foundation for teacher training and known as King Alfred College until 2004.

Professor Sarah Green, the university’s vice-chancellor, took up her post in January 2022, and said she was “drawn to Winchester’s values and ethos and its rich heritage of educational excellence and inclusion.” The professor joins a university that sits comfortably among the top half of universities in our social inclusion ranking, its position boosted by having the tenth-highest proportion (12 per cent) of disabled students in England and Wales. Most students (93.3 per cent) went to nonselective state schools. 

Widening participation focuses on increasing low progression rates to higher education among local communities and increasing the diversity of the student body. To achieve these outcomes the university has links with more than 30 primary and secondary schools in north and mid-Hampshire, with which it delivers attainment-raising initiatives in literacy and English language. Targeted support packages are offered to care-leavers, estranged students, young adult carers, students seeking sanctuary and Gypsy, Roma, Traveller, Showman and Boaters (GTRSB), offering contextualised admissions, designated support staff, access to year-round housing, and financial help. 

About 40 per cent of entrants qualified for some form of financial support in September 2022, a proportion the university expects to remain the same for 2023 entry. Paid over three years, awards include income-based bursaries of up to £1,200, “Highfliers” academic achievement scholarships of up to £600 and music and sport excellence awards of up to £1,500. 

The two-floor university gym is at the heart of the £12 million Burma Road student village and offers daily classes at no extra charge to members. On campus there is also a fitness studio, a sports hall and a multi-use games area. The Winchester Sports Stadium near by is open to the public as well as students and has an athletics track and a floodlit all-weather pitch.

With 1,949 residential spaces, the university guarantees accommodation to all first-years who apply by the mid-June deadline. Students benefit from being able to get to know each other relatively quickly in compact, peaceful Winchester, home to Europe’s longest medieval cathedral.

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Category Score Rank
Ranking - 87 (106=)
Teaching quality 75.4 62nd=
Student experience 72.2 57th=
Research quality 22 107th
Ucas entry points 111 112th=
Graduate prospects 68.2 98th=
Firsts and 2:1s 74.6 89th
Completion rate 85.4 65th
Student-staff ratio 18.1 99th=

Vital statistics











Applications/places 10,730/2,455
Applications/places ratio 4.4:1
Overall offer rate 87.1%


Places in accommodation 1,949
Accommodation costs £122 - £165
Catered costs £173
Accommodation contact


UK/EU fees £9,250
Fees (placement year) £1,385 (15% of tuition)
Fees (overseas year) Full fees
Fees (international) £14,400 - £18,700
Finance website
Graduate salaries £22,000


Social inclusion and student mix

Social Inclusion Ranking 48
State schools (non-grammar) admissions 93.3%
Grammar school admissions 2.7%
Independent school admissions 4%
Ethnic minority students (all) 9.4%
Black achievement gap -23.4%
White working class males 6.6%
First generation students 49.1%
Low participation areas 14.2%
Working class dropout gap -0.8%
Mature 20.6%
EU students 1.7%
Other overseas students 3.4%

Student satisfaction with teaching quality

Music 85.2%
Archaeology and forensic science 83.5%
Education 82.6%
History 82.6%
Social work 81.4%
Drama, dance and cinematics 81%
English 79%
Geography and environmental science 77.9%
Creative writing 77.3%
Hospitality, leisure, recreation and tourism 76.4%
Psychology 73.8%
Politics 73.7%
Sports science 72.4%
Accounting and finance 69.8%
Law 69.3%
Business, management and marketing 66.3%
Criminology 66.2%
Sociology 66.2%
Communication and media studies 62.3%