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Glasgow Caledonian University

2016 League Table Ranking 83
2016 Overall Score 590
View the 2016 league tables
Entry Standards 370 Help
Entry Standards
The average UCAS tariff score of new students entering the University.

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Student-Staff Ratio 21.2 Help
Student-Staff Ratio
The average staffing levels at the University.

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Research Quality 2.67 Help
Research Quality
A measure of the quality of the research undertaken in the University.

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Academic Services Spend 1,178 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 326 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 67.9 Help
Graduate Prospects
A guide to the employability of graduates on completion of their courses at the University.

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Degree Completion 83.2 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 70.1 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 67.8 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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  • GCU is a vibrant, modern university for the common good. Formed in 1993, its founding institutions date back to 1875.
  • It delivers academic excellence to 20,000 students at home and overseas with the support of 1600 staff and a distinct commitment to challenge social injustice at home and overseas.
  • GCU's Chancellor is Nobel Peace Prize Winner and global anti-poverty campaigner Professor Muhammad Yunus.
  • GCU’s London campus attracts postgraduate students from across the world. It is home to the GCU British School of Fashion, supported by leading academics and honorary professors, some of whom lead global fashion brands such as Ted Baker, Whistles Arcadia, ASOS and M&S.
  • The New York campus, another UK first for GCU, opened in Manhattan’s SoHo district in April 2014.
  • GCU’s award-winning Caledonian Club works with children and their families in Glasgow and London to inspire academic ambition.
  • The Glasgow campus is being transformed by a £30million redevelopment to create new social, learning and teaching facilities that will enhance the student and staff experience even further.
  • GCU has high employment rates with 95% of graduates in employment or continuing education six months after graduation (Destination of Leavers of Higher Education data).
  • GCU is a signatory to the UN Global Compact, the world’s largest voluntary corporate responsibility management programme. It is an Ashoka U Changemaker Campus in recognition of its leadership role in social innovation education.
  • GCU is the first university in Scotland to achieve accreditation by the Living Wage Foundation.
  • Students benefit from a range of volunteering and work placement opportunities at home and overseas.

Location and Transport

  • Campuses in Glasgow, London and New York.
  • The Glasgow campus has excellent travel links – 100 metres from Buchanan Bus Station and walking distance to Central and Queen Street rail stations. Close to Glasgow International Airport.
  • The London campus is in Spitalfields, with easy access to train, tube and bus services

Entry Standards

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

Student Mix

The 16,755 students enrolled in the academic year 2013/14 comprise:

Level of study
Mode of study
Full Time
Part Time
Student gender
  • Around 20,000 students worldwide (16,500 Glasgow and London campuses).

Course Flexibility

  • Tailored programmes for students completing qualifications at colleges. GCU has articulation agreements with 12 colleges across Scotland, governing 208 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

  • GCU aims to equip students with the key skills and attributes which employers require in a wide range of disciplines. A high number of programmes benefit from accreditation from professional bodies including, for example, the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers, the Institute of Operational Risk, the Institute of Mechanical Engineers, National Council for the Training of Journalists, Chartered Institution of Wastes Management, and the Health and Care Professions Council.
  • GCU hosts regular masterclasses by leading representatives from industry, business and health care organisations throughout the year.
  • Students, staff and members of the public can attend a range of Professorial Lectures, highlighting the research activities and knowledge of GCU academics.
  • GCU meets niche industry needs through programmes such as MA TV Fiction Writing, the first full-time university course in fiction writing for TV, which has widespread industry backing from many production companies and industry leaders, including Warner Bros Creative Talent and Shed.
  • STV Glasgow, the television channel for Glasgow delivered through a Glasgow Caledonian University/STV partnership, launched in June 2014. It offers MA Multimedia Journalism students access to work-experience opportunities for prime time broadcasts.
  • GCU creates bespoke education programmes and continuing professional development (CPD) programmes in response to business need, including the Howden Academy for engineers from across the world. In South Africa, GCU works with the University of Johannesburg and the UK’s Institution of Railway Operators to educate Transnet’s School of Rail employees in Railway Operations Management, up to BSc level.

Research Standards

  • GCU’s commitment to the Common Good is realised in its 2020 Research Strategy which addresses three major societal challenges, enabling communities in the UK and internationally to build inclusive societies and live healthy lives in sustainable environments.
  • Following the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 results, GCU is ranked in the top 20 in the UK for allied health research at world-leading and internationally excellent standards. Almost two-thirds of GCU’s social work and social policy research is rated world-leading and internationally excellent.
  • Top 20 in the UK for world-leading and internationally excellent research impact in the built environment. 80% of GCU’s history impact is world-leading and internationally excellent. 80% of GCU’s communication, cultural and media studies impact is world-leading and internationally excellent.
  • GCU is the best modern university in Scotland by research power.
  • Three research institutes develop cross-GCU and cross-disciplinary research networks. GCU is also home to the Yunus Centre for Social Business and Health.
  • 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 exchange services for the electric power industry.
  • GCU is a partner in five of the Scottish Government-funded collaborative Innovation Centres which will develop world-leading Scottish technology and life sciences.
  • GCU has worked successfully with business partners on Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP), including with ScotRail, Mahle Engine Systems, Scottish Canals, Highland Colour Coaters and SPT.

Academic Strengths

  • GCU has three Academic Schools representing its core strengths and areas of academic excellence: Engineering and Built Environment; Health and Life Sciences and the Glasgow School for Business and Society.
  • 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.
  • GCU’s Department of Nursing and Community Health brings together academics and clinical staff who have expertise and are passionate about nursing (adult; child; mental health and learning disability) public health, health education, social action and community health.
  • Strong industry and business networks – many undergraduate and postgraduate programmes are accredited by professional bodies.
  • The British School of Fashion at GCU London offers world-leading fashion business education in luxury brand marketing, luxury brand management, luxury retail management and international fashion marketing.

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.
  • The MUGA – GCU's outdoor activity area for sports including, tennis, football, volleyball and netball.
  • Nutrition and dietetics lab.
  • Simulated surgical theatre.
  • 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.
  • Free Wi-Fi.

Disability Services

  • GCU is committed to providing an inclusive experience, which offers all students the opportunity to achieve their full potential and participate in university life as equally and actively as possible.
  • GCU’s Disability Team provides advice, information and services to students and prospective students.
  • The team seeks to promote a learning environment which minimises the impact of disability on the student experience.
  • The GCU Positive Living App makes it easier for students and staff to engage with the Disability Team.
  • For more information on disability services at GCU, visit

Students' Union

  • All GCU students are automatically members of the Students' Association.
  • It provides a range of services from advice and representation to entertainment, sports clubs and societies.
  • The purpose-built Students’ Association building has a 24-hour computer lab, radio station, advice centre, social spaces and a bistro.
  • There are around 60 societies offering activities throughout the academic year. There are course-based, cultural and faith groups as well as social, interest and hobby-based societies. If students don't see a society that suits them, they can start their own.
  • It offers volunteering and fundraising opportunities to help students develop their employability skills and meet new people.


  • GCU’s sport and recreation centre, the Arc, provides students with access to the latest fitness equipment, classes and sports facilities.
  • The MUGA, GCU's outdoor activity area is for sports including, tennis, football, volleyball and netball.
  • There are around 35 sports clubs, organised by GCU student volunteers.
  • 31 GCU clubs participated in BUCS competitions during the 2013-14 season.
  • Students who compete at a high level in competitive sport while studying may apply for a place on the Sports Bursary programme.
  • The Caledonian Clinic offers physiotherapy services, including remedial and sports massage.

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 system (CHP) which will cut annual operating costs and create a greener future for GCU.

Availability of Part-Time Work

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

Careers Guidance

  • Careers information and guidance.
  • Employer events and vacancies.
  • Advice on work experience and volunteering.
  • 20% discount on postgraduate study at GCU.
  • GCU’s Careers Service for up to two years after graduation.

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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