Good University Guide 2023

York St John University

National rank

Firsts / 2:1s
Completion rate

Key stats

Teaching quality
Student experience
Research quality
Graduate prospects
York St John University

Contact details


Lord Mayor's Walk, York , YO31 7EX,

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Based at an 11-acre campus on Lord Mayor’s Walk near York city centre, students at York St John (YSJ) report consistently positive reviews of their university in the National Student Survey. Our analysis of the latest results, published in summer 2022, ranks YSJ 13th in the UK for satisfaction with teaching quality (up 18 places) and joint 25th for the wider experience (up 20 places). 

Lectures, seminars and workshops have returned to fact-to-face delivery for the 2022-23 academic year. For a university that markets itself on knowing its students by name, YSJ is likely to be delighted with the return to campus. The pandemic swivel to remote learning brought to light the importance of maintaining a sense of community — online as well as in real life, the university says. 

Such is the YSJ campus atmosphere that 2022’s 16 per cent increase in applications by the end of March is thought by the university to be driven by its reintroduction of in-person open days. 

There is a growing estate for prospective students to explore. A new Creative Centre opened in 2021 as a teaching base for drama, music, media production and computer science degrees. Geography facilities are next in line for an upgrade, while nursing and allied health facilities are being extended and refurbished. 

YSJ’s 2018-opened London campus caters for postgraduate courses. It has recently moved from a site in the Barbican to the Export building at East India Dock near Canary Wharf. 

The curriculum also continues to evolve at YSJ, which was founded in 1841 as a teacher training college. The first cybersecurity and forensic psychology students began courses in 2022 and from 2023 the university will welcome students of new degrees in music technology; sport journalism; and radiography. 

Low rates of graduate employment in high-skilled jobs contributed to a bronze rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework but the panel was impressed by a scheme that involves undergraduates in research and by the innovative measures to support vulnerable students, including those experiencing mental health difficulties.

Progression to high-skilled jobs continues to hold York St John back in our league table also. With just over two-thirds of graduates in high-skilled work or postgraduate study, the university drops outside the top 100 of our measure for graduate prospects, down eight places on last year. It does better on completion rates, with less students projected to drop out than the projected rate based on the social and academic mix. 

Psychology produced the best results in the 2014 research ratings, when the 30 per cent of research regarded as world-leading or internationally excellent represented a big improvement on the 2008 assessments. The research strategy promotes interdisciplinary research, building on current areas of expertise and targeting further improvement in the 2021 exercise.

YSJ expects to have about 850 learners on its seven degree apprenticeships by 2032, up from 560 apprentices at last count. The professional areas covered by the suite of degree apprenticeship programmes include senior leadership, data science, project management, healthcare science and policing.

Fifty-eight per cent of YSJ’s research submitted for the Research Excellence Framework 2021 was judged as world-leading (4*) or internationally excellent (3*), an increase on the REF in 2014, and the number of academic staff with significant responsibility for research submitted more than doubled. But against even bigger improvements elsewhere YSJ loses 14 places in our research quality ranking this year. Sport science; education; psychology; and music and performance were the university’s strongest areas. 

A revamped financial assistance package introduced for 2021 entry benefited 36 per cent of new students. Awards include £800 per year scholarships for students from low-income households, for those estranged from their families and for those who have left care. A scholarship of the same value for students from ethnic minorities is based on household incomes of up to £42,000. Once enrolled on courses students can apply for £500 funding to help with work experience, internship or volunteering opportunities. 

YSJ features in the lower half of UK universities in our social inclusion index overall (84th), although the proportion of students educated at non-selective state schools (96.7 per cent) is in 17th place in England and Wales. YSJ is 20th for recruitment of white working-class boys — the most underrepresented group in higher education — at 7.5 per cent. Helping to widen access, a contextual offers scheme makes 80 UCAS tariff point reductions to around a quarter of entrants. 

The students’ union (SU) hosts more than 50 clubs and societies, but if there’s nothing that suits, students are invited to start their own. Quiz nights, karaoke, live sport and live music are among the entertainments hosted at the SU campus venue

The Lord Mayor’s Walk campus has a sports hall, climbing wall, basketball, netball, indoor football and cricket nets, while a 15-minute walk brings students to the sports park’s extensive facilities.

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Category Score Rank
Ranking - 79 (83=)
Teaching quality 80 13th
Student experience 75.1 25th=
Research quality 19.6 115th
Ucas entry points 110 115th=
Graduate prospects 66.6 106th=
Firsts and 2:1s 76.5 75th=
Completion rate 85.1 70th
Student-staff ratio 18 95th=

Vital statistics











Applications/places 8,910/1,995
Applications/places ratio 4.5:1
Overall offer rate 90.8%


Places in accommodation 1,488
Accommodation costs £104 - £193
Accommodation contact


UK/EU fees £9,250
Fees (placement year) £1,385
Fees (overseas year) £1,385
Fees (international) £12,750
Finance website
Graduate salaries £21,000


Sport points/rank 100.5, 93rd
Sport website

Social inclusion and student mix

Social Inclusion Ranking 84
State schools (non-grammar) admissions 96.7%
Grammar school admissions 1.5%
Independent school admissions 1.7%
Ethnic minority students (all) 6.8%
Black achievement gap -35.5%
White working class males 7.5%
First generation students 47.2%
Low participation areas 17%
Working class dropout gap -5.7%
Mature 22.1%
EU students 1.5%
Other overseas students 2.9%

Student satisfaction with teaching quality

Biological sciences 90%
Sports science 89.5%
Creative writing 88.5%
Communication and media studies 88%
Subjects allied to medicine 86.2%
Geography and environmental science 84.5%
History 84.3%
Music 84.2%
Theology and religious studies 82.9%
Business, management and marketing 82.8%
English 82.6%
Art and design 81.9%
Hospitality, leisure, recreation and tourism 81.5%
Criminology 80.8%
Sociology 80.8%
Psychology 80.7%
Physiotherapy 80.3%
Drama, dance and cinematics 76.5%
Education 76.3%
Accounting and finance 76.2%
Computer science 72.9%
Linguistics 68.9%