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Northumbria University

2016 League Table Ranking 60
2016 Overall Score 637
View the 2016 league tables
Entry Standards 360 Help
Entry Standards
The average UCAS tariff score of new students entering the University.

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Student-Staff Ratio 17.2 Help
Student-Staff Ratio
The average staffing levels at the University.

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Research Quality 2.71 Help
Research Quality
A measure of the quality of the research undertaken in the University.

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Academic Services Spend 1,016 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 4.01 Help
Student Satisfaction
A guide to how satisfied students are with the quality of teaching they receive.

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Facilities Spend 404 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 61.7 Help
Graduate Prospects
A guide to the employability of graduates on completion of their courses at the University.

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Degree Completion 87.6 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 67.6 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 54.0 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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  • Northumbria University’s origins trace back to 1871 when Dr John Rutherford established the Bath Lane Elementary School in Newcastle. This led to the opening of Rutherford College and in the decades that followed the merger of other dynamic institutions, eventually leading to the Northumbria University we know today.
  • Today, Northumbria University is a research-rich, business-focused, professional university with a global reputation for academic excellence. The results of the Research Excellence Framework in 2014 showed Northumbria was the biggest riser in the research power rankings since the previous exercise in 2008, and that its absolute gain in market share of research power was third highest in the sector.
  • Officially the University of Northumbria at Newcastle, the university is based in the best two cities for students in the UK, Newcastle and London. Northumbria is one of the largest universities in the UK, attracting more than 33,000 students from 135 countries.

Location and Transport

  • The University has two separate campuses in the North East of England. The largest, City Campus, is situated in the centre of Newcastle upon Tyne. Coach Lane Campus is situated 3 miles from City Campus and linked by the University's free bus service. Northumbria University’s campuses provide a high quality environment for students, with a vibrant and friendly atmosphere.
  • The newest section of City Campus has won over 20 awards for design and sustainability. As well as modern teaching, learning and research facilities students can access the library and IT resources 24/7. There is a wide choice of student accommodation, and the flagship Sport Central facility caters for everyone from performance athletes to students who just want to try a fitness class. Northumbria has won the national WhatUni Student Choice Award 2014 for the best city life of any university in the UK.
  • The nearby Coach Lane Campus is home to education, nursing, healthcare and social work students. It hosts the Clinical Skills Centre, cafes and sports facilities. The Students’ Union has its own presence at Coach Lane as well as at the City Centre Campus.
  • Northumbria opened its new London Campus in September 2014. The campus provides access at undergraduate and postgraduate level to professional, industry-based programmes. Based in the heart of London’s business and financial district, the campus creates new links and opportunities for students in the national and international business sector.
  • The quality of campus life is one of the reasons why Northumbria University has been rated 21st out of 111 UK Universities by the Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey 2014.
  • The University’s expanding global presence includes partnerships and collaborative ventures with high-quality institutions in Hong Kong, Indonesia, the Caribbean and many more countries, as well as offices in China, Malaysia, Thailand and India. Earlier this year Northumbria signed a new strategic partnership with BINUS International in Indonesia to create the BINUS-Northumbria School of Design.
  • Road travel, by coach or car, is particularly easy as Newcastle stands on the premier north-south route in the UK. Newcastle is also well connected with rail services operating from many cities including Edinburgh, London and Leeds and Newcastle also has its own international airport operating both domestic and international flights to cities including Birmingham, Belfast, Paris, Dubai, Barcelona and New York.
  • Newcastle is a very compact city so getting around is easy. It has one of the best integrated transport systems in the country, centred upon the Metro system, and the extensive bus networks.

Entry Standards

  • Northumbria University welcomes all applicants who are likely to benefit from and contribute to its challenging and stimulating learning environment. The aim is to select students who have the potential, ability and motivation to benefit from both the intended course of study and the wider experience of university life.
  • Northumbria has seen an increase in both volume and quality of applications year on year, which is testament to the University’s growing reputation and standing in the league tables. The selection process varies between courses. For some courses, a decision will be made on the application by an admissions selector. They will consider academic qualifications, potential achievement, work and life experience, and personal skills and qualities. For other courses, applicants may be required to attend an interview or submit a portfolio before the university can decide if an offer of a place can be made.
  • A full listing of entry conditions are on the University website, which will include any GCSE requirements, and an expectation of the UCAS tariff points the University would normally expect for entry to courses. These vary from course to course – please visit individual course pages for more details.

A-Level and GCSE Requirements

  • Northumbria welcomes candidates from a range of backgrounds and with a variety of qualifications. In terms of A-level and GCSE requirements, the standard requirements are detailed on individual course pages, including any subject specific requirements for courses. These are updated on a regular basis.

Student Mix

The 27,565 students enrolled in the academic year 2013/14 comprise:

Level of study
Mode of study
Full Time
Part Time
Student gender
  • With 33,000 students from more than 135 countries, Northumbria has a diverse, multicultural student population, giving its students a true global experience.

Course Flexibility

  • The content and structure of the courses, which are designed with students in mind and with input from academics, students and employers, reflect contemporary knowledge and practice and are informed by global perspectives.
  • The University holds accreditations from over 46 professional bodies at national and international level and work with hundreds of organisations in the realms of business, arts and science.
  • Placements in industry are a core element of many of Northumbria’s courses, as well as workplace projects and internships. These provide fresh perspectives that will enhance a student’s CV and add to the appeal of their job applications.
  • With an extensive network of partner organisations, Northumbria offers opportunities to study in countries across the globe from Spain to South Korea and China to Canada. The experience adds to a student’s CV, boosts self-confidence and enhances learning skills.
  • To develop skills and knowledge Northumbria makes widespread use of Technology Enabled Learning (TEL). Northumbria University, with around 33,000 students at any one time, has the size and resources to maintain a full-service virtual learning environment – the eLearning Online Portal.
  • The University’s friendly team are available 24/7 via online chat or phone. They also offer face-to-face help: technical advisors will help with connections or any other IT queries.

Teaching Standards

  • Northumbria University students learn from the best – inspirational academic staff with a genuine passion for their subject. Courses are at the forefront of current knowledge and practice and are shaped by world-leading and internationally excellent research.
  • Professional staff ensure the smooth delivery of the University’s activities. Their work contributes to an outstanding student experience, supports research and underpins successful partnerships and collaborative working with external organisations.
  • Students will interact with world leading and internationally renowned professors, innovative researchers, inspirational lecturers and well-known guest speakers, which will encourage them to challenge, analyse, debate and explore subjects and topics in depth.
  • Northumbria has now won the Student Nursing Times Award of Nurse Education Provider of the Year (Post-registration) three years running. They also scored 97% student satisfaction in the 2014 National Student Survey.
  • Northumbria is the only UK university to have had their teacher training courses rated as ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted for 12 years running.
  • Business and accounting programmes have each achieved accreditation from The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). This double accreditation places Newcastle Business School in an elite group – the top 1% of business schools worldwide and the only institution in Europe to achieve this.

Research Standards

  • Northumbria University is a research-rich organisation, with a strategic aim to increase both its research quality and volume. According to Times Higher Education, the University is in the top 50 of UK universities for research power, based on the results of the Research Excellence Framework 2014. The results of this exercise also showed that Northumbria was the biggest riser in the research power rankings since the previous exercise in 2008, and that its absolute gain in market share of research power was third highest in the sector.
  • The volume of research submitted by Northumbria was more than double that submitted in 2008, and a significant improvement in quality – greater than the average rise across the sector – was also achieved. The University almost tripled its share of research rated world-leading and internationally excellent, and world-leading research was identified in every area submitted for assessment.
  • Northumbria recorded strong results in Allied Health Professions, History, English, General Engineering, Art and Design, and Communication, Cultural & Media. In General Engineering, English and History, Northumbria recorded upper-quartile scores in the proportion of research outputs rated as world-leading.
  • In terms of impact bringing societal, cultural and economic benefit, 73% of the impact component of the submissions in Psychology was rated as outstanding. The impact was demonstrated through projects including breakfast clubs in partnership with Kellogg’s, and the design of health-related websites funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). A further study looking at early interventions to reduce harmful alcohol consumption has been adopted by medical practitioners and governments around the world. Strong performances for impact were also recorded in Allied Health Professions, Business & Management, and Library & Information Management.
  • Northumbria conducts ground-breaking research that is responsive to the science and technology, health and well-being, economic and social and arts and cultural needs of the communities. Research is at the core of their academic community; it informs all aspects of teaching, and keeps courses contemporary, relevant and cutting edge.
  • Northumbria’s multidisciplinary partnerships combine the very best of academic and professional knowledge. Examples include work in cold and paleo environments that forms part of a £6.6 million partnership involving the British Antarctic Survey and the National Oceanography Centre; the BxNU BALTIC partnership as a showcase for art that fundamentally challenges public understandings of clinical medicine and science and a range of high profile international collaborations that seek to build environmental, societal and personal resilience.

Academic Strengths

  • The value of a student’s degree relies on Northumbria University maintaining high-quality academic standards. It is these standards that will be recognised and appreciated by potential employers. Northumbria is transparent about their expectations and assessments and will work with students to meet the University’s standards and achieve the student’s ambitions. They embrace individuality and celebrate diversity. Northumbria provides an environment where students will be able to achieve their potential, both in an academic and personal sense.
  • Northumbria’s courses are highly rated. In the National Student Survey 2014, the University achieved above average satisfaction in over half of its subjects. More than 40 courses achieved satisfaction ratings of 90% or above, of which nine scored the top rating of 100% satisfaction.
  • The University works with students to develop their graduate level thinking, skills and independence. Through a mix of assessment tasks, projects, competitions, client briefs, presentations, dissertations and industry scenarios, students test their skills and knowledge and build confidence. Northumbria graduates are academically minded, research-skilled, practice-informed, innovative, ethical and globally aware. They are ambitious, motivated and ready for work and/or further study. These are just some of the character traits that make their graduates a must-see on recruitment lists.
  • They believe their outstanding learning and teaching, informed by innovative research and collaborative partnerships, is a powerful combination that is hard to beat.
  • Northumbria has a strong national and international reputation for academic quality. The Law Department’s Student Law Office was awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize, the highest form of national recognition open to a UK university. The Arts Department is one of only 18 in the country to receive funding for a Centre for Doctoral Training over the next five years.

Student Facilities

  • Whether it’s equipping classrooms and lecture theatres with the latest technology or ensuring students have the studio spaceace to be creative and the labs to test ideas, Northumbria want to provide the best possible learning environment.
  • For sport science students, the flagship Sport Central features a range of state-of-the-art labs including a biomechanics laboratory, a gait laboratory, a performance analysis suite, a nutrition laboratory and a physiology laboratory.
  • The design area holds 3D prototyping workshops, the latest in computer-numerically controlled machinery, CAD suites and sophisticated equipment for textiles and printing.
  • The University has its own mock hospital ward and mock courtroom. It also has a gallery for top-class exhibitions.
  • The Business School has its own trading room with Bloomberg Terminals that are used by top traders throughout the world. It’s all part of the professional learning that has helped enable the Business School to become the first in Europe to gain double accreditation in both business and accounting by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).
  • For students in the Engineering and Environment departments, the University not only offers excellent hands-on facilities but also the Zone, a large open access area ideal for projects and group work.
  • The 24/7 Library was rated joint 3rd in the country, alongside Cambridge University, in the Times Higher Education 2014 Student Experience Survey. It provides access to more than 570,000 books, 400,000 e-books and 50,000 print and electronic journals.
  • Northumbria’s student accommodation was voted Top 3 in the UK in the National Student Housing Survey 2014.
  • With over 4,500 beds available for all first year students in university accommodation, Northumbria has a wide variety of residences, from ensuite, top-of-the-range residences to traditional student housing.
  • This includes the University’s new accommodation at Trinity Square in Gateshead where almost 1,000 students live. It has breath-taking views across Newcastle-Gateshead and has been reported as being among the best student accommodation in the country.

Disability Services

  • Northumbria University is committed to enabling students to achieve their full potential. They work to ensure that the educational opportunities provided are inclusive for all students, including the many disabled students who make the choice to go and study there.
  • Disabilities Advisers provide advice, guidance and support, whether you are a student with dyslexia or dyspraxia, a long-term medical condition, a sensory impairment, a mobility impairment or an autism spectrum condition.

Depending on individual requirements, Northumbria University provide a range of services, such as:

  • An early visit to the campus for disabled students who are applying to study at Northumbria
  • A discussion with disabled students about study support requirements and individual study support strategies
  • Advice on applying for Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSA) to cover the costs of the disability support required during study
  • Arranging individual or modified exam arrangements
  • One-to-one specialist dyslexia tutorials or one-to-one specialist mentoring
  • Advice on adapted and accessible accommodation and on the physical accessibility of our buildings
  • The use of Support Worker Service for students who require one-to-one educational support, such as the services of a note taker in lectures or a personal assistant to assist with mobility around the campus
  • Advice on assistive technology

Students with a long-term mental health condition, can also access their disability support services by contacting the Counselling and Mental Health Support Team.

Students' Union

  • Northumbria’s Students’ Union was named the best in the UK by the National Union of Students in 2011.
  • A £7-million renovation of the Students’ Union building has created an impressive space for learning, recreation and support. It features three award-winning bars and club venues and a performing arts and live music centre.
  • The Students' Union is there to make sure students have the best experience possible at University. It is run by students for students to ensure students can have their say in what the Students' Union does and how it is run.
  • The five elected Sabb Team members are dedicated to enhancing the student experience and campaigning on behalf of students for changes that matter to them – whether that’s submitting work electronically, anonymous marking, 24 hour library opening, or quality entertainment all year round.
  • All students are automatically members of the Students’ Union and can benefit from the hundreds of opportunities to get involved.
  • Northumbria Students’ Union has over 100 clubs and societies as well as offering advice and representation and running a student rep scheme.
  • The Union provides welfare support for students as well as encouraging them to help others through its volunteering scheme and its annual RAG fundraising campaign. Last year, Northumbria students raised £33,000 for charity.
  • The Students’ Union contains several award winning venues for students to socialise in a safe environment, chiefly at Habita, Domain and Reds.


  • At City Campus Northumbria’s flagship £30 million Sport Central boasts state-of-the-art facilities including a six-lane 25m swimming pool, a running track, squash courts, sports halls and a fitness centre.
  • Northumbria were awarded a £329,000 grant – the third largest given to any education provider – to increase student participation in sport. This is already high at Northumbria, where they have 7,000 current students actively participating in sport.
  • Northumbria was voted as the most improved university for sport in the UK according to British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) 2014.
  • The University is ranked 8th for sport in the BUCS standings – it’s the first time Northumbria have been in the top 10 and six places higher than Newcastle University.

Recent/Prospective New Builds

  • Northumbria has made significant investments in its campus in recent years spending over £200 million on new and improved facilities since 2005.
  • Major campus developments include the award winning City Campus East (voted the 2nd most impressive Law School Building in the world according to the Law Society Gazette, 2014), the £30m flagship Sport Central boasting state-of-the-art facilities with a six lane pool, sprint track, squash courts, sports hall and climbing wall, £7-million renovation programmes in both its Library and Students’ Union and a brand new £1.5m purpose built 98-space nursery on the City Campus.
  • Last year saw the opening of 1,000 brand new student bedrooms in nearby Gateshead town centre, which is home to the world-class cultural attractions of the Sage Gateshead music centre and the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art. Overlooking the stunning Newcastle-Gateshead skyline and featuring fitness facilities, a multi-use games area and landscaped walkways, the new residence offers students some of the best facilities in the country as well as some of the best views of any student accommodation.
  • Planning work is currently underway to develop a new Estates Strategy which is likely to see continued investment in the estate to further improve the student experience at Northumbria.

Availability of Part-Time Work

  • A huge range of part-time work is available in Newcastle’s thriving city centre stores, bars, restaurants and contact centres on neighbouring business parks.
  • JobsOnline, the University’s online vacancies system, helps students and graduates to search for part-time work during term time and one-off or casual jobs, as well as full-time work during vacation periods; summer placements; volunteering opportunities and graduate vacancies and training contracts.
  • Many students can also find work on campus within the Students’ Union, Sport Central, events support and administrative roles in Faculties and central services.

Careers Guidance

Careers and Employment Service
  • From first year through to final year and beyond graduation, the Careers and Employment Service can help. Northumbria wants students to be able to achieve their ambitions and make the most of experiences, develop skills and manage their future careers. They will support students, helping them plan a route towards their goals.
Get 1-1 support
  • Careers Advisers and Information Coordinators offer confidential 1-1 support whatever stage students are at with their study or career plans. Whether students aren’t sure on what to do next, need more information about the options or are working towards application success, the team can help.
Find a job
  • Sign up to JobsOnline and discover part-time jobs and volunteer roles that build work experience and enhance employability. Search from thousands of opportunities, which include graduate jobs and internships.
Meet employers on campus
  • Meet potential employers at one of the many employer visits or fairs held throughout the year. Organisations targeting Northumbria students and graduates include Accenture, Hewlett-Packard, Procter & Gamble, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, the NHS and Ward Hadaway.
Get ahead with the tools for success
  • Enjoy exclusive access to resources helping to explore career choices, discover what’s involved in job roles and provide information on how to master applications and improve performance at interview.
  • • Placements in industry are a core element of many of Northumbria’s courses. When the length of a course is three/four years, it means there is an option to undertake a year-long placement between the second and third year. Placements are usually paid and they allow students to gain practical experience, develop workplace skills and increase awareness of current practices. They will give students a distinct edge in the job’s market when they graduate.
  • Shorter workplace projects and internships are also possible. These provide fresh perspectives that will enhance a CV and add to the appeal of job applications.
Discover more

Notable Alumni

Northumbria counts some inspirational figures amongst its most prominent alumni:

  • Sir Jonathan Ive – Apple’s Vice President of Industrial Design and designer of the iMac, iPod, iPhone and iPad.
  • Sting (Gordon Sumner CBE) – internationally renowned musician, songwriter and actor.
  • Peter Horbury – Vice President of Design at Volvo Cars.
  • Victoria Pendleton CBE – double gold-medal-winning Olympic cyclist.
  • Rob Law MBE – founder of Magmatic and designer of the children’s Trunki suitcases which sell in more than 60 countries.
  • Stephen Miller – three-time gold-medal-winning Paralympic athlete and captain of the Team GB athletic squad at the London 2012 Summer Paralympics.
  • Amanda Berry OBE – Chief Executive of BAFTA, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.
  • Tim Brown – Chief Executive Officer and President of IDEO USA, one of the world’s leading design companies.
  • Martin Corry MBE – former England Rugby Union captain and member of the 2003 Rugby World Cup winning squad.
  • Jonathan Marchbank – Chief Executive Officer of Virgin Mobile South Africa.
  • Kevin Whately – television actor, best known for his role as Lewis in Inspector Morse.
  • Steve Cram MBE – broadcaster and Olympic silver medallist, known as one of the world’s most successful middle distance athletes of all time.
  • Steven Appleby – author and illustrator for national broadsheet newspapers the Guardian, The Times and the Sunday Telegraph.
  • Tunde Baiyewu – vocalist, best known as the lead singer of the Lighthouse Family.
  • Arnab Basu MBE – Chief Executive Officer of Kromek Group, an Anglo-American technology company.
  • Zak Waters – award-winning editorial photographer.
  • Scott Henshall – fashion designer, known for creating the world’s most expensive dress.
  • Babiana Aido – Spain’s youngest ever minister, appointed to government at the age of 31.
  • Neil Marshall – film director, editor and screenwriter, best known for his work on Game of Thrones and Dog Soldiers.


For further information

  • +44 (0)191 232 6002
  • Northumbria University
    Ellison Building
    Newcastle upon Tyne
    NE1 8ST
UCAS Code N77

Content was accurate at the time of compilation.

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