Glasgow Caledonian University

2015 League Table Ranking 72
2015 Overall Score 609
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Entry Standards 366 Help
Entry Standards
The average UCAS tariff score of new students entering the University.

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Student-Staff Ratio 20.9 Help
Student-Staff Ratio
The average staffing levels at the University.

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Research Assessment 2.01 Help
Research Assessment
The average quality of the research undertaken in the University.

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Academic Services Spend 1,197 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 3.93 Help
Student Satisfaction
A guide to how satisfied students are with the quality of teaching they receive.

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Facilities Spend 376 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 65.0 Help
Graduate Prospects
A guide to the employability of graduates on completion of their courses at the University.

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Degree Completion 80.9 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 68.5 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 41.0 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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  • Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) is a vibrant, modern university. Formed in 1993, its founding colleges date back to 1875.
  • GCU is the first Scottish university to open a campus in London and the first in the UK to establish a campus in New York.
  • GCU London delivers specialist postgraduate courses and CPD training programmes in banking, business, finance and risk, fashion, tourism and construction. Its programmes are underpinned by industry support from market leaders including Santander, Morgan Stanley, Marks & Spencer and House of Fraser.
  • GCU is home to the Advanced Higher Hub, the first initiative of its type to be opened at a Scottish university. It is attended by 100 senior pupils from 19 secondary schools and subjects being studied are English, Maths, History, Modern Studies, Chemistry, Biology and Business Management.
  • GCU London is home to the GCU British School of Fashion. Its programmes include the UK’s first MBA in Luxury Brand Marketing, MSc Brand Management, MSc Luxury Retail Management and MSc International Fashion Marketing.
  • GCU New York will offer executive education programmes and master classes in key areas of strength, including the business of fashion, luxury brand management, finance and risk management.
  • GCU has affiliations with an engineering college in Oman, a nursing college in Bangladesh and partnerships in China, India, USA and South America.
  • In 2012, Nobel Laureate and global anti-poverty campaigner Professor Muhammad Yunus was appointed Chancellor. Professor Yunus is one of only seven people to have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal.
  • GCU has forged links with international figures, including honorary graduates Kofi Annan, Dr Mary Robinson, the former President of Ireland, model and social entrepreneur Lily Cole and Sir Alex Ferguson,, former manager of Manchester United.
  • GCU directs its expertise and creativity to enhance the social, economic and cultural benefit the University brings to communities in Glasgow, Scotland and around the world.

Location and Transport

  • Set in the heart of Glasgow, one of Europe's most fashionable and lively cities.
  • Located on a modern city centre campus with excellent travel links ­– 100 metres from Buchanan Bus Station and walking distance to Central and Queen Street rail stations. Close to the M8 motorway and Glasgow International Airport.

Entry Standards

  • Entry requirements vary depending on course.
  • Flexible entry points included.

Student Mix

The 16755 students enrolled in the academic year 2013/14 comprise:

Level of Study
Mode of Study
Full Time
Part Time
Student Gender

Course Flexibility

  • Tailored programmes for students completing qualifications at FE colleges. GCU has 18 articulation agreements with eight colleges across Scotland, governing 179 routes into GCU programmes.
  • Second year entry to selected programmes for students with the required number of A-level/Advanced Higher qualifications.
  • INTO GCU offers international students professionally accredited programmes in a dedicated on-campus centre in preparation for undergraduate and postgraduate study in the UK.
  • GCU prides itself on equipping students with the real-world experience and skills to succeed as global graduates. Many students at GCU undertake placements, internships or take a year out to work in industry before completing their degree.

Teaching Standards

  • The Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) awarded GCU its highest confidence judgement following its most recent review. The QAA recognises GCU’s innovative approach to learning and teaching, and the creation of a flexible learning experience designed to fit a diverse student body.
  • GCU aims to equip students with the key skills and attributes which employers require in a wide range of disciplines. A high number of GCU courses benefit from accreditation from professional bodies including, for example, the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers, National Council for the Training of Journalists, UK Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists and the UK Health Professions Council.
  • GCU hosts regular master classes by leading representatives from industry, business and health throughout the year.
  • 55% of undergraduate programmes include work placement opportunities.
  • 96.2% of graduates are in employment or further study six months after graduation, according to Destination of Leavers of Higher Education data.
  • GCU’s Glasgow SchoolforBusiness and Society has its financial services suite accredited by two of the most influential banking and finance bodies – the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment and the Institute of Operational Risk.
  • By signing up to the United Nations PRME (Principles for Responsible Management Education) agreement in 2012, GCU pledged to ensure that social responsibility, sustainability and ethics are at the top of the agenda for all business and financial programmes and research.
  • GCU is the first Scottish university to become a signatory of the UN Global Compact, the largest voluntary corporate responsibility initiative in the world. The move builds upon the University’s commitment to the UN PRME initiative.
  • GCU meets niche industry needs with the creation of programmes such as its MA TV Fiction Writing, the first full-time university course in fiction writing for TV. Established in collaboration with Shed, the production company behind some of television’s most popular dramas including Waterloo Road, the MA has widespread industry backing, with many production companies and industry leaders, including Warner Bros Creative Talent, supporting scholarships. To find out more, visit
  • Through its Business Academies, GCU creates bespoke CPD programmes in response to business needs, such as a work-based Masters in Citizenship and Human Rights in partnership with the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations and the award-winning Howden Academy for engineers from across the world. GCU’s Scottish Ambulance Academy is the only education establishment in the UK to be formally endorsed by the College of Paramedics and certified by the Health Professions Council.

Research Standards

  • GCU was ranked first in Scotland and in the top 10 in the UK for its allied health research in the latest UK Research Assessment Exercise. More than 70% of staff submitted in the RAE were categorised as producing research that is internationally recognised. In the area of rehabilitative health sciences, GCU was rated the top research unit in the UK. GCU ranked first in Scotland and in the UK top 20 for research in the built and natural environment.
  • Research strengths in health, the environment, vision sciences, business, social justice, gender equality, and in government budgeting.
  • Three institutes develop cross-school research networks: the Institute for Applied Health Research, the Institute for Society and Social Justice Research and the Institute for Sustainable Engineering and Technology Research. In July 2010 Nobel Prize winner Professor Muhammad Yunus opened the Yunus Centre for Social Business and Health.
  • The A-FOOTPRINT project, funded by the European Commission, developed novel, highly-personalised ankle-foot and foot orthoses, exploiting new capabilities with 3D printing technologies.
  • Applied research partnerships include the creation of the £1.2m Doble Innovation Centre for On-Line Systems at GCU, working on diagnostic test instruments and expert consulting and knowledge services for the electric power industry.
  • GCU is a partner in two new Scottish Government-funded collaborative Innovation Centres which will develop world-leading Scottish technology and life sciences: the Sensor and Imaging Systems Innovation Centre (CENSIS) and the Digital Health Institute.
  • A new Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) collaboration between ScotRail and GCU is set to further enhance the reliability and efficiency of Scotland’s rail network by creating a cost-effective maintenance strategy. The KTP programme is the UK's leading knowledge transfer scheme, helping businesses to access the knowledge and skills that reside within universities to improve competitiveness and productivity.
  • GCU researchers have also received funding from ScottishPower to map the maze of abandoned tunnels which exist beneath the city and to identify underground reservoirs of water which have the potential to heat homes and potentially to power under street heating.
  • GCU’s partner PAWSitively Natural was awarded the Innovation of the Year award at the Interface Excellence Awards 2013. The company used the University’s UKAS-accredited food laboratory – the only one of its kind in the UK – for nutritional analysis.

Academic Strengths

  • GCU has three Schools representing its core strengths and areas of academic excellence: Engineering and Built Environment; Health and Life Sciences and the Glasgow SchoolforBusiness and Society.
  • One in five nurses and healthcare professionals educated in Scotland graduated from GCU.
  • GCU’s School of Engineering and Built Environment is committed to delivering the most modern, innovative and exciting programmes in the built and natural environment.
  • GCU is the only Scottish provider of Ophthalmic Dispensing and Optometry degrees. Students benefit from studying in a recognised centre of excellence in Vision Sciences, which has developed strong links with its related professions. Its partnership approach enables GCU to innovate in delivering for the NHS, including through the provision of eye clinics for the local community.
  • 63% of undergraduate and 35% of postgraduate programmes are professionally connected through professional body accreditation and strong links within industry and the public sector. 
  • The British School of Fashion, launched at GCU London in 2013, offers world-leading fashion business education in luxury brand marketing, luxury brand management, luxury retail management and international fashion marketing.
  • The British School of Fashion is supported by industry leaders, including Marks and Spencer who have a design studio on the premises and have launched a scholarship programme for talented students.
  • Fashion business leaders who collaborate with GCU include honorary graduates Ian Grabiner, Chief Executive of the Arcadia Group; Brian Duffy, former President of Ralph Lauren Europe; and Don McCarthy, Chairman of House of Fraser. 
  • Honorary professors include Steven Sharp, Creative Director of Marks and Spencer; Patrick Grant, CEO of Norton and Sons of Savile Row and presenter of BBC’s The Great Sewing Bee; Nick Robertson, Chief Executive of Asos; Vanessa Friedman, Fashion Editor at the Financial Times New York and Christos Angelidos, Group Product Director of Next PLC.
  • The School of Health and Life Sciences is home to the Scottish Ambulance Academy, which offers clinical skills training and professional development for ambulance staff, it is the only education establishment in the UK to be formally endorsed by the College of Paramedics and certified by the Health Professions Council.

Student Facilities

  • Saltire Centre – a multi award-winning, modern learning environment that is the hub of campus. Home to the university library and student services mall.
  • 1,800 study places.
  • 2,135 computer workstations in library, social study spaces and halls of residence.
  • 24-hour computer lab.
  • Industry-leading eMotion lab, fashion factory, HD TV and radio studios, state-of-the-art eye clinic and accommodation.
  • Scotland’s first inter-professional clinical simulation centre for use by nursing students (opened 2012).
  • The MUGA – GCU's outdoor activity area for sports including, tennis, football, volleyball and netball.
  • Newly refurbished nutrition and dietetics lab (opened 2012).
  • Simulated surgical theatre (opened 2012).
  • Flexible space for group and individual work.
  • The latest in virtual-learning environments.
  • The Arc, GCU’s on campus sport and recreation centre.
  • Students’ Association bistro.

Disability Services

  • GCU’s Positive Living and Disability Service can provide information and advice to students, so that they are able to access additional services and facilities to their programme of study and participate in university life as equally and actively as possible.
  • Get more information on the full range of disability services at GCU on our website.

Students' Union

  • The Students’ Association provides a variety of services from advice and representation to entertainment, sports clubs and societies.
  • It has its own purpose built premises, containing the 24-hour computer lab, radio station, social spaces and bistro.
  • Recent activities include the 2013–14 Fresher’s Address featuring guest speaker, actress, social entrepreneur and GCU honorary graduate Lily Cole, who used the opportunity to announce the Scottish launch of her social media giving site, to GCU students.


  • The Arc, GCU’s sport and recreation centre, provides students with access to the latest fitness equipment, classes and sports facilities.
  • Climbing wall (opened 2012).
  • Students who want to train and compete at a high level in competitive sport while studying may apply for a place on the Sports Bursary programme. This is designed to help successful applicants combine their academic work with their chosen sport.
  • The MUGA - GCU's outdoor activity area for sports including, tennis, football, volleyball and netball (opened 2013).

Recent/Prospective New Builds

  • GCU has embarked on a £30-million campus redevelopment which will incorporate state-of-the-art teaching, learning and research facilities, inspiring social spaces, a teaching and conference facility with a 500-seat flexible lecture theatre and a new restaurant space.
  • The University has invested £4.9million in a Combined Heat and Power engine (CHP) which will cut annual operating costs and create a greener future for GCU.
  • In 2012, GCU launched its FMC Technologies Optoelectronics laboratory.
  • Development of the £1.2-million Doble Innovation Centre for On-line Systems at GCU is under way, which will create new research and student placement opportunities in the engineering sector.
  • In 2012, GCU also unveiled its new operating theatre simulation lab, complete with state of the art medical equipment and the latest in simulation technology, a newly refurbished nutrition and dietetics laboratory, and Scotland’s first inter-professional clinical simulation centre, which opened after a £500,000 upgrade of existing facilities.
  • In 2013, the on campus Advanced Higher Hub opened to S6 pupils from schools across Glasgow. The £950,000 project is part of GCU’s commitment to widening participation. As well as specialist teaching, pupils will have access to GCU’s facilities and will be offered support to better prepare them for university life and all it has to offer.

Availability of Part-Time Work

  • The Student Careers Service posts a huge range of vacancies, part-time jobs and voluntary opportunities.

Notable Alumni

  • Rhona Martin MBE – Scottish curler who skipped the gold medal-winning Team GB at the Olympic Winter Games in 2002.
  • Khalid Abdulrahim – CEO and Chairman of construction company, Cebarco Bahrain which has an order book of over US$1 Billion and over 4,500 staff.
  • Dr Lena Wilson – Chief Executive of Scottish Enterprise.
  • Laura Bartlett – member of Team GB hockey squad who won a bronze medal at the 2012 Olympics.
  • Gary Lewis – actor, Billy Elliot, My Name is Joe, Mo, True North, Ae Fond Kiss, and Gangs of New York.
  • Professor David Gartry – first to perform laser eye surgery for short-sightedness in the UK.
  • David Sibbald OBE – Prior to founding Sumerian and Aridhia, David co founded Atlantech Technologies, which was sold to Cisco systems in March 2000 for $180milion. David is also a Vice-President of UK UNICEF, the United Nations children’s fund. 
  • Professor Ian Deary – Professor of Differential Psychology at the University of Edinburgh and internationally renowned for his work on human cognitive ageing and cognitive abilities.
  • Ian McLeod – former Chief Executive of Celtic Football Club, now CEO of multimillion dollar supermarket chain Coles in Australia.
  • Drew McIntyre – WWE superstar.
  • Gordon Smithis – former Rangers football player, former BBC pundit and former Chief Executive of the Scottish Football Association.
  • Phyllida Law – acclaimed actress and writer.

For further information

  • +44 (0)141 331 3000
  • Glasgow Caledonian University
    Cowcaddens Road
    G4 0BA
UCAS Code G42

Content was accurate at the time of compilation.

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