Plymouth University

2016 League Table Ranking 90
2016 Overall Score 560
View the 2016 league tables
Entry Standards 308 Help
Entry Standards
The average UCAS tariff score of new students entering the University.

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Student-Staff Ratio 17.7 Help
Student-Staff Ratio
The average staffing levels at the University.

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Research Quality 2.74 Help
Research Quality
A measure of the quality of the research undertaken in the University.

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Academic Services Spend 985 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 4.03 Help
Student Satisfaction
A guide to how satisfied students are with the quality of teaching they receive.

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Facilities Spend 358 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 57.4 Help
Graduate Prospects
A guide to the employability of graduates on completion of their courses at the University.

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Degree Completion 84.8 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 67.0 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 83.0 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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  • One of the UK's largest universities, with history dating back to 1862. Later became a polytechnic and received university status in 1992.
  • Plymouth is the first modern university to set up its own medical and dental school – the Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry – and is a partner in the Combined Universities in Cornwall.
  • Awarded a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in 2012 in respect of its marine and maritime work.
  • The first university in the world to receive a Social Enterprise Mark in recognition of its sustainability.

Location and Transport

  • Campus just a short stroll from the buzzing city centre, with shops, restaurants and nightlife, the scenic seafront and historic Barbican. Rugged Dartmoor and some of the best beaches in the UK are within easy travelling distance.
  • Rail station is just a five-minute walk from the campus, with services to London, South Wales, the Midlands, the North of England and Scotland.
  • There are regular coach services from most major cities to Plymouth, which is easily reached from the M5 motorway and the A38 Expressway via Exeter. It is about a three-and-a-half-hour journey from London to Plymouth.
  • Plymouth University’s Academic Partnerships provides a network of colleges throughout the South West, offering degree opportunities for people in locations close to home across Devon, Cornwall and the Channel Islands.

Entry Standards

  • Entry requirements are listed on the Plymouth University online course pages and in the University prospectus.

Student Mix

The 26,930 students enrolled in the academic year 2013/14 comprise:

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

Course Flexibility

  • Modular courses - single honours or combined.
  • Most courses offer an element of work-based experiential learning.
  • Some two-year fast-track degrees available.

Teaching Standards

  • Nationally acclaimed for teaching excellence.
  • Sixteen national teaching fellows as awarded by the Higher Education Academy, one of the highest number in the sector
  • Fifteen subject areas ranked excellent or equivalent in independent assessments by the Quality Assurance Agency.

Research Standards

  • Widely acknowledged as having one of the best research performances amongst the modern universities.
  • Nearly two-thirds of Plymouth University’s research has been graded as world-leading or of international quality, according to the Research Excellence Framework 2014.
  • From agriculture to art and design, clinical medicine to mathematics, earth sciences to education, the University improved its scores across the board in the REF.
  • Overall Plymouth had more than 63 per cent of its research graded at 3 and 4-stars – nearly double the score achieved in 2008, when the previous assessment exercise was conducted.
  • It means the University retains its place in the Research Fortnight Power League top 50. The results will be used by national funding bodies to allocate block-grant research funding to universities from 2015–16.

Academic Strengths

  • Wide variety including Marine and Environmental Sciences,  Robotics and Computer Science, Education, Psychology, Engineering, Architecture, Social Work, Hospitality and Tourism,Sustainability, and Business.
  • Strong focus on enterprise and employability, preparing students for entrepreneurial leadership and to be effective employees capable of making a valuable contribution in their chosen field.
  • Strong emphasis on sustainability, with 50% of courses on the curriculum containing sustainability elements. Currently ranked number one in the People and Planet Green League, and by far the overall best performing university over the past six years.

Student Facilities

  • Over £300-million recent and ongoing investment in new buildings, on-campus student accommodation and refurbished laboratories and library.
  • The Library is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week providing access to 500,000 books and multimedia resources, 22,000 journals and many international resources.
  • Employability centre at the heart of the campus.
  • Comprehensive IT network with 24-hour wireless access.
  • Cutting-edge 'immersive vision theatre' – the first at a UK university – gives students the opportunity to experience fieldwork conditions in advance using innovative technology.

Disability Services

  • Visit our website for information about the disability services at Plymouth or email the Disability Assist Services at

Students' Union

  • Award-winning Students’ Union, including Best Bar None: Gold; Health at Work Award: Platinum.
  • £3-million Students' Union building and eco garden opened in 2007.
  • Over 100 clubs and societies, ranging from Ultimate Frisbee to the DJ Society.
  • Plenty of opportunities for involvement in interesting and exciting voluntary projects, including the new Plymouth Award.


  • Sports centre with four-court sports hall and state-of-the-art fitness suite.
  • Watersports centre offering students the use of dinghies, yachts, power boats, canoes and other vessels.
  • Five grass pitches available for student use, plus use of astro turf pitches.
  • A city partner in the Plymouth Life Centre, which opened in 2012 and offers Olympic-standard swimming and diving facilities.

Recent/Prospective New Builds

  • New £7-million Performing Arts Centre – The House – opened in November 2014, containing 250-seat auditorium, research labs and box office.
  • New waterfront £5-million Marine Station opened in November 2014, housing wet labs, teaching space and diving centre.
  • £13-million research centre for the Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry in development.

Availability of Part-Time Work

  • Both Careers Service and Students' Union provide help in securing part-time paid and voluntary work.
  • Plymouth Award launched, which recognises student achievement outside the curriculum.
  • An online vacancy service is available as well as face-to-face support.
  • 12,000 students per year benefit from placements and work-based learning through Skills Plus policy.

Notable Alumni

  • Monty Halls – TV presenter and explorer.
  • Clare Nasir – ITV weather presenter.
  • Pamela St Clement – actress.

For further information

  • +44 (0)1752 585858
  • Plymouth University
    Drake Circus
    PL4 8AA
UCAS Code P60

Content was accurate at the time of compilation.

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