Good University Guide 2023

University of York

National rank

Firsts / 2:1s
Completion rate

Key stats

Teaching quality
Student experience
Research quality
Graduate prospects

York has risen eight places to rank ninth in our research quality index after an impressive performance in the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021). It occupies the same position among the 24 Russell Group universities. Overall, 93 per cent of York’s research was rated world-leading or internationally excellent (the top two categories) in the national assessment. Language and linguistics; education; philosophy; and sociology produced some of the university’s best results. 

The rise in its research rating has contributed to York's two-place rise in our elite top 20 in our main academic rankings. The university is moving its academic structure to a semester model in 2023-24 to better align with universities abroad, and streamline incoming and outgoing student exchanges. Each semester will consist of one week’s induction, 11 weeks of teaching and four weeks for assessments. There is some reshaping of academic areas too – with related departments being brought together under three schools, of Business and Society; of Digital Creativity and Performing Arts; and of Physics, Engineering and Technology. 

The new School of Business and Society (which encompasses York Management School, and social policy and social work) has a new home to match in the university’s recently completed Church Lane building, which has a modern, flexible working environment and outdoor social spaces. In step with its vision for a 21st-century campus the university’s investment in facilities at the original Heslington West campus and the linked Heslington East campus continues. The Hull York Medical School has been redesigned and has new clinical skills spaces nearby.

Pushing the boundaries of research towards innovations such as driverless cars, the £45 million York Institute for Safe Autonomy has opened, housing specialist laboratories and testing facilities for assuring the safety of robotics and connected autonomous systems. Another recent launch, the Eleanor and Guy Dodson building, provides cutting-edge research facilities for determining protein structure.

Occupying a 200-acre parkland campus, York is one of only a handful of UK universities to operate a collegiate system. These student communities  cross year groups and academic disciplines, and colleges are the bases for accommodation, social activities, sports competition and support networks. Anne Lister (York’s tenth college) opened in 2021 with 348 student bedrooms. Newer still is David Kato college, due to open in September 2022 on Campus East to host about 700 students. Applications to York increased by about 11 per cent in 2021 while enrolments rose by roughly half as much. 

Rates of student satisfaction held up well at York during the pandemic and have continued to do so in 2022. The university maintains a top-40 position for satisfaction with the wider undergraduate experience. It has lost some ground regarding its students' assessment of teaching quality but remains comfortably among the upper half of universities nationally.  

For the 2022-23 academic year, York is ensuring that all students have in-person teaching, while also using a mix of online and in-person activities for some programmes. The university was already using blended learning and flipped classroom methods before the pandemic. A podcasting approach to recorded lectures is a new development.

Career planning begins early for undergraduates via a number of employability initiatives. The York Strengths programme kicks off in the first year, providing opportunities for students to work out what careers suit them and to build confidence around communicating their strengths. Another initiative, Your Career Journey, highlights the opportunities available throughout university life and maps students’ progress by year of study. Students of all academic disciplines have the opportunity to take a placement year and host organisations have included Amazon, Warner Brothers and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office – as well as smaller digital and creative businesses.

Such efforts are paying off in high rates of graduate employment. The latest figures show that more than four in five (82 per cent) York graduates were in highly skilled jobs or further study 15 months after finishing their degree. The university's performance in the Graduate Outcomes survey earns joint 26th place in our graduate prospects ranking.

York’s efforts to develop employability skills and careers support were among the factors behind its upgrade to gold in the Teaching Excellence Framework in 2018. The panel found excellent academic support and a research-strong environment that engages students and provides outstanding levels of stretch.

York, founded in 1963, became a University of Sanctuary in 2020 to demonstrate its commitment to offering a safe place for refugees, asylum seekers and other forced migrants. The university ranks above all but four of its fellow Russell Group members in our social inclusion index and it was the first of its research-led peers to sign the Social Mobility Pledge — a coalition of businesses and universities that have vowed to put levelling-up at the heart of their operations. 

The proportion of students recruited from non-selective state schools is approaching three-quarters (73.9 per cent) and almost 10 per cent of students are drawn from deprived areas (ranking York in the top half of UK universities on this measure). At 5.3 per cent, York's proportion of white working-class boys – the most underrepresented group in higher education – is just outside the top 50 nationally. About a quarter of British undergraduates and about 5 per cent of undergraduates from the European Union qualify for some form of financial assistance.

The £9 million York Sport Village features a 25m pool, trainer pool, 120-station gym, 3G pitch and five-a-side pitches. The university has the only outdoor velodrome in Yorkshire, a 1km cycling track and an athletics track, as well as its own boathouse on the River Ouse.

Legend has it that York’s historic cobbled streets have a pub for every day of the year, while the city also has its share of student-friendly nightclubs. Leeds is within easy reach for bigger nights out.

First-years who apply by the deadline are guaranteed accommodation – much of it catered (breakfast and dinner, five days per week) depending on the college.








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Category Score Rank
Ranking - 17 (19)
Teaching quality 75.9 52nd=
Student experience 73.6 39th
Research quality 62.8 9th
Ucas entry points 149 30th=
Graduate prospects 82 26th=
Firsts and 2:1s 83.9 31st
Completion rate 93.9 17th=
Student-staff ratio 15.1 41st=
World ranking - 162 (151=)

Vital statistics











Applications/places 27,625/5,295
Applications/places ratio 5.2:1
Overall offer rate 83.6%


Places in accommodation 6,633
Accommodation costs £99 - £263
Catered costs £136 - £217
Accommodation contact


UK/EU fees £9,250
Fees (placement year) £1,850 (20% of tuition)
Fees (overseas year) £1,385 (15% of tuition)
Fees (international) £19,600 - £24,000
Fees (international, medical) £38,500
Finance website
Graduate salaries £25,000


Sport points/rank 1127.1, 35th
Sport website

Social inclusion and student mix

Social Inclusion Ranking 95
State schools (non-grammar) admissions 73.9%
Grammar school admissions 11.5%
Independent school admissions 14.6%
Ethnic minority students (all) 15.7%
Black achievement gap -17.8%
White working class males 5.3%
First generation students 31.6%
Low participation areas 9.8%
Working class dropout gap -2%
Mature 7.4%
EU students 3.9%
Other overseas students 10.8%

Student satisfaction with teaching quality

Psychology 85%
Natural sciences 83.8%
Archaeology and forensic science 83.2%
History 83.1%
English 82.1%
French 80.7%
Biological sciences 80.4%
Music 80.4%
Chemistry 80.2%
Linguistics 80.1%
Philosophy 79.8%
Iberian languages 79.4%
Geography and environmental science 78.7%
Mathematics 77.2%
Nursing 77.2%
Communication and media studies 75.1%
Law 75%
Physics and astronomy 73.2%
History of art, architecture and design 72.4%
Politics 72.2%
Criminology 71.4%
Sociology 71.4%
Business, management and marketing 70.5%
Social work 70.1%
Social policy 69.8%
Electrical and electronic engineering 69.4%
Economics 67.8%
Computer science 67.7%
Education 64.8%
Drama, dance and cinematics 63.2%