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Ulster University has been named one of the top 30 universities in the UK by The Guardian University Guide for the first time, making it the highest UK ranking the university has achieved.

Northern Ireland’s largest university has been building on its recent success across UK rankings, climbing 10 places to 28th position and entering the top quartile of universities across the UK.

The Guardian’s University Guide ranks institutions by looking at measures from across the student journey, such as spending, student satisfaction, and career prospects.  In the 2024 institutional table, Ulster University is now joint second in the UK for ‘Value Added’, a score that compares students’ degree results with their entry qualifications – a reflection of the quality and impact of the teaching at Ulster University.

At course level, Ulster University is no. 1 across the UK for Nutrition and Food Sciences, and no. 2 across the UK for Biomedical Sciences, Hospitality, Events Management and Tourism, Pharmacy and Pharmacology courses. The university is also in the top 10 for Architecture, Psychology, Anatomy and Physiology.

Professor Paul Bartholomew, Vice-Chancellor, Ulster University said:

“Ulster University is delighted to be named among the top 30 UK universities in The Guardian University Guide for the first time, building on our success last year and climbing a further 10 places in just 12 months.

“In a year which saw us open our new, enhanced campus in Belfast, one of the largest higher education capital builds in Europe, and welcome President of the United States, Joseph R Biden, through our doors to deliver a historic address, it really has been a fantastic year for the University. This is now further augmented by news that we are continuing to enhance our offer to students who choose to study with us.

“When it comes to rankings, we genuinely, and quite proactively, don’t pursue league table results. We simply try to understand how well we do things (or not) and then try to invest time, effort and money in ways that make things better.

“Our significant progress here emerges from trying to do the right things - together.

“Enhancement starts with valuing people, looking behind the numbers and ensuring that leaders are assets for the staff they lead - by putting themselves at their reports’ disposal to unlock change.

“Having said that - we’ll take the result! It emerges from our culture, and is a recognition of the effectiveness, diligence, and passion of our staff.

“I offer my thanks to my colleagues across the whole University - not for this result per se, but for the work they do every day. As the largest university in Northern Ireland, it is crucial the student experience is consistent across campuses, this is largely only possible due to each and every staff member across Belfast, Coleraine and Derry~Londonderry, pulling together as a collective to support our students and make Ulster University the best it can be.”

The results from The Guardian University Guide build on Ulster University’s recent success across UK rankings, including being named by StudentCrowd as the top university in the UK for graduate employability and job prospects, as voted for by students. The University is also 3rd in the UK for value for money, 4th for careers service and 5th for course content in these rankings.

The Guardian University Guide is available online, where more information has been included on Ulster University’s performance and ranking.