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University of Glasgow

2016 League Table Ranking 30
2016 Overall Score 782
View the 2016 league tables
Entry Standards 465 Help
Entry Standards
The average UCAS tariff score of new students entering the University.

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Student-Staff Ratio 14.8 Help
Student-Staff Ratio
The average staffing levels at the University.

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Research Quality 3.10 Help
Research Quality
A measure of the quality of the research undertaken in the University.

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Academic Services Spend 1,545 Help
Academic Services Spend
A guide to how much the University spends on supporting services such as libraries and IT.

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Student Satisfaction 4.11 Help
Student Satisfaction
A guide to how satisfied students are with the quality of teaching they receive.

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Facilities Spend 511 Help
Facilities Spend
A guide to how much the University spends on supporting facilities such as the careers service, health and counselling services and sport facilities.

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Graduate Prospects 79.9 Help
Graduate Prospects
A guide to the employability of graduates on completion of their courses at the University.

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Degree Completion 88.4 Help
Degree Completion
The proportion of students expected to successfully complete their studies and gain a degree from the University.

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Good Honours 77.8 Help
Good Honours
The percentage of graduates achieving a first or upper second class honours degree – the class of degree achieved can impact a graduate’s employment prospects.

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Green Score 33.8 Help
Green Score
This environmental & ethical ranking of the University is provided courtesy of the People & Planet Green League - the only comprehensive and independent green ranking of every UK university. Choosing a greener university can reduce your carbon footprint and improve your job prospects in a global low-carbon economy.

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  • Founded in 1451, the University of Glasgow has dedicated more than 560 years to inspiring great minds, from economist Adam Smith and pioneer of television John Logie Baird, to the writer and producer of Doctor Who and Sherlock, Steven Moffat.
  • The University has inspired the talents of seven Nobel Laureates, one Prime Minister, Scotland's current First Minister and the country's first female medical graduates.
  • Glasgow’s beautiful, historical campus features more than 100 listed buildings.

Location and Transport

  • Scotland's biggest city, Glasgow hosts the largest student population in Scotland. Is the UK’s third largest city and one of the world’s top student cities.
  • It is the UK’s first UNESCO City of Music, host to around 130 music events every week.
  • Glasgow was the host to the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
  • The University’s location means that students can enjoy the combination of living in a compact campus-style environment while being part of a major city.
  • There are two campuses in Glasgow: Gilmorehill in the cosmopolitan and friendly West End; and Garscube, 6.5 km (4 miles) from the city. A third campus in Dumfries some 145 km (90 miles) to the south of Glasgow, is home to the University’s School of Interdisciplinary Studies.
  • Both city campuses have excellent transport into Glasgow’s centre via frequent buses and subway. Glasgow International Airport, Glasgow Prestwick International Airport and two city centre rail terminals offer easy connections with the rest of the UK and the world.
  • Glasgow a lively nightlife with more than 700 bars, pubs and nightclubs and seven cinemas, including the tallest in the world.
  • It is consistently voted as the top place to shop in the UK, outside London’s West End.
  • Home to over 90 parks and public gardens, and has more than 20 museums and art galleries including the Riverside Museum, which was voted European Museum of the Year 2013.

Entry Standards

Student Mix

The 27,390 students enrolled in the academic year 2013/14 comprise:

Level of study
Mode of study
Full Time
Part Time
Student gender

Course Flexibility

  • Undergraduate students can choose from more than 600 degree combinations.
  • The university's flexible degree system means that students don't have to restrict their choice of subjects when they begin studying.
  • As long as students are not studying for a professional degree, it is possible to wait until the end of second year before choosing honours subject(s), allowing time to try out up to four subjects at university level.

Teaching Standards

  • Teaching excellence at Glasgow is founded in the University’s world-leading research, which inspires respect from employers and satisfaction from students.
  • Many students have opportunities to study abroad, improve employability and take part in work placements as part of their degrees.
  • Glasgow is a founder member of Universitas 21, an international grouping of universities dedicated to setting worldwide standards for higher education.
  • Glasgow students report high levels of satisfaction with their degree programmes and undergraduate experience. Results from the National Student Survey 2014 ranked Glasgow as a top 10 institution for student satisfaction.

Research Standards

  • The University has a long-established reputation as a major research-led institution, not only in the UK, but internationally and has an ongoing focus on research excellence.
  • A member of the prestigious Russell Group of leading UK research universities, Glasgow is one of the UK’s top 10 earners for research, with more than 2,000 active researchers and total earnings for research of more than £181m per year.
  • The University is made up of four Colleges, each with its own Graduate School, which provides a focus for enhancing the postgraduate student experience and driving further development of a supportive and stimulating environment for research students.

Academic Strengths

  • Key areas include: synthetic biology, geography, quantum technologies, virus research and the UK’s only academic unit dedicated to the teaching and research of Scottish literature.
  • Recent developments include: the Boyd Orr Centre for Population and Ecosystem Health being awarded a Queen’s Anniversary prize in recognition of their work to address issues arising from the spread of infectious diseases of national and international importance; the announcement of more than £15M from the Scottish Funding Council to support the creation of two world-leading innovation centres at the University (one for stratified medicine and one for sensors and imaging); A £5M Frontier Engineering grant to develop synthetic biology solutions to help tackle growing problems with the world’s water supply; a three-year strategic immunology research collaboration with AstraZeneca; and the opening of the Robert Owen Centre for Educational Change (an educational policy centre which focuses on breaking the link between low educational achievement and poverty).
  • The Adam Smith Business School continues to build upon its reputation for excellence in both research and teaching.

Student Facilities

  • The library has one of the biggest collections in Europe providing access to 2 million books on 12 floors, access to c. 30,000 e-journal titles, excellent opening hours (18 hours daily), more than 600 computer workstations available for drop in use by all students and wireless enabled public areas.
  • Extensive computer clusters across campus are available for use outside classes. There are also more than 500 wireless hotspots.
  • The University’s programme of investment in equipment and academic support services has seen £7.5m spent on lecture theatres/seminar rooms since 2007, with plans to invest a further £3.5m by 2017.A new Welcome Point was opened in 2012 to help students and visitors with queries. The redevelopment saw the creation of a new waiting and information area equipped with information screens, iPad stations and an easily accessible reception desk manned by students. In addition the University is currently spending more than £10m on extending the current sports facilities which will open in late 2015.

Disability Services

Students' Union

  • The university has a choice of two unions, both with distinctive characteristics: Glasgow University Union (GUU) and Queen Margaret Union (QMU).
  • The QMU has an impressive reputation as a live music gig venue.
  • The GUU has held the world debating title and the Observer Mace more often than any other institution in the world. In 2011, 2012 and 2013 it has claimed the title of Student Union of the Year at the Club Mirror Awards.
  • The Student Representative Council represents students on all the main university committees and provides a range of student services.
  • The Glasgow University Sports Association (GUSA) represents the views or all students who are involved in health and fitness, recreational and competitive sport.


  • First-class sport facilities include two sports centres at convenient sites on university campuses with facilities including: 25m heated swimming pool; sauna and steam rooms; a range of fitness, cardiovascular and strength suites; large multi-purpose games hall; 2 all-weather synthetic pitches; 6 grass pitches, 3 tennis courts; a cricket oval.
  • In 2012, the University announced a £13.4m plan that will see an extension of the current sport facilities on its main campus alongside a redevelopment of one of the University’s two student unions. This is due for completion towards the end of 2015.
  • Additional services include chiropractic, physiotherapy and sports massage clinics and alternative therapies.
  • Sport & Recreation has more than 15,000 members and over 2,000 use their facilities daily, one of the highest participation rates within British Universities.
  • Student athletes can apply for sports bursary or golf scholarships, which can help them achieve academic and sporting success.
  • Glasgow was the host city for the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Recent/Prospective New Builds

  • Get details of current projects, competed work and future investment in Glasgow University's estate.
  • In the past decade around £300m has been invested into facilities across the university. Plans are in place to invest £160m more by 2015.
  • The University is planning large scale redevelopment in the coming years as a result of acquiring ownership of the site of the current Western Infirmary, which is due to close in 2015, when most services will be transferred to the new Glasgow South Hospitals campus. 
  • The extension of the current sport facilities on its main campus alongside a redevelopment of one of the University’s two student unions is due for completion towards the end of 2015.

Availability of Part-Time Work

  • The University's Careers Service offers all students access to a wide range of jobs: part-time, temporary and graduate. All students have free access to advice and guidance one to one with a careers adviser, on-line and in person workshops on career planning, CV development, interview skills and job hunting.
  • The Careers Service hosts hundreds of presentations from local and global recruiters, enabling students to connect with potential employers. Students are registered with an online career management system that alerts them to events, jobs and information relevant to their career interests, and a wide range of events, including recruitment fairs, job hunting workshops and sector-specific networking events.
  • The Careers Service’s Club 21 Internship Programme offers undergraduate students high-quality work experience opportunities with a diverse range of businesses and charities, in the UK and internationally.
  • The Glasgow Careers Alumni Network puts students in touch with alumni from all over the world, who can offer them advice to support their career planning.

Careers Guidance

  • The University work to incorporate the qualities and abilities that employers want into your experience at university, whether you’re studying, volunteering, playing sport of taking part in work placement programmes.
  • Our dedicated careers service offer one to one support from professionally trained advisers; access to thousands of potential employers for work experience, internships and jobs; training and coaching in job-hunting technique; and help to build your CV and job applications.
  • Our careers service can also provide opportunities to meet global recruiters on campus, links to postgraduate study in the UK and overseas, and an online career management system that alerts you to jobs relevant to your careers interests.
  • Further information can be found at

Notable Alumni

In the histories of the arts and the sciences, the names of Glasgow scholars occur frequently and prominently. Some of which include:

  • William Thomson, Lord Kelvin, began his studies at the University of Glasgow in 1834 at the age of 10. He returned at the age of 22 and took up the chair of Natural Philosophy (Physics), a post he held for 53 years. Arguably the pre-eminent scientist of the nineteenth century, he enjoyed an international reputation for theoretical and practical research across virtually the entire range of the physical sciences. Such is his standing in the scientific community, he was buried next to Sir Isaac Newton in Westminster Abbey.
  • Adam Smith, Economist, philosopher and author of Theory of Moral Sentiments and The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith was only 14 when he started as a student at Glasgow. In 1751 he returned as Professor of Logic, transferring to the Chair of Moral Philosophy shortly afterwards.
  • Chart topping singer/songwriter Emeli Sandé has been chosen as the University of Glasgow’s Young Alumnus of the Year for 2011.
  • Graduate Sir William Ramsay (1852-1916) received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1904 for his discovery of inert gases which established a new group in the periodic table.
  • Frederick Soddy (1857-1956) lectured at the University in the early 1920s. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1921 for his work on the origin and nature of isotopes.
  • Graduate John Boyd Orr (1880-1971) campaigned for an adequate diet for the people, starting during the First World War; his food plan produced a better nourished population than ever before. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1949 for his work with the United Nations.
  • Joseph Black (1728-1799) taught both chemistry and medicine in the eighteenth century and introduced a modern understanding of gases.
  • John Logie Baird (1888-1946) one of television's pioneers, was attending the University when the First World War intervened.
  • James Watt (1736-1819) conducted some of his early experiments with steam power while working at the University.
  • Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman (1836-1908), Prime Minister.
  • John Smith (1938-1994), former leader of the Labour Party.
  • Donald Dewar (1937-2000), first First Minister of the Scottish Parliament.
  • Nicola Sturgeon, MSP, First Minister of Scotland.

For further information

  • +44 (0)141 330 2000
  • University of Glasgow
    University Avenue
    G12 8QQ
UCAS Code G28

Content was accurate at the time of compilation.

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