Unistats

About Unistats

About Unistats

Unistats is the official site that allows you to search for and compare data and information on university and college courses from across the UK.  It is owned and operated by the four UK higher education funding bodies:

The data on the site is drawn from national surveys of students and information collected from providers of higher education.  It includes:

  • Student views from the National Student Survey
  • Graduate destinations and salary from the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey
  • The percentage of students continuing on the course after a year
  • The tariff points held by students who have entered the course previously
  • Accreditation or professional recognition of the course

Each course has links to the pages on the university or college website where you can find detailed information on areas such as:

  • Course content
  • How the course is structured and taught
  • How the course is assessed
  • Costs (tuition fees and accommodation costs)

Back to top

How to use Unistats

Unistats is a course comparison website.  You can use it to search for and compare data about the courses you're interested in.

You can find out more about what you can do on Unistats by watching our video guide.

Understanding the information 

The information on Unistats is designed to give an indication of what it might be like on the course you choose and the outcomes for previous students.  It is important to bear in mind that the experience of each course will be different for each person, and could differ from year to year.  Also, the outcomes you experience might be different due to various factors, such as changes in the job market by the time you graduate.

When comparing survey data for courses, care should be taken especially where the difference in figures between courses is small.  To help you interpret the data, you can see the number of respondents to the survey for each course.  Differences of less than ten percentage points between two courses each with a small but similar number of respondents (e.g. 30), are unlikely to be statistically meaningful.

For some courses we need to group responses with those from the previous year (please see information about NSS 2017) or other courses in the same subject area at the institution.  This may be because the course has not run before, is small or we have received responses from less than half of the students to a survey.  There will be an icon with four bars where this has been necessary and you can hover over this to see more information.  In some cases, we still do not have enough data to publish even when it is grouped, so no data appears.  It is important to note that this is not a reflection on the quality of the course.

You can find out more about the National Student Survey (NSS) in the National Student Survey (NSS) section and more about the other data on the site in the About the data section.

National Student Survey (NSS)

The National Student Survey (NSS) 

The National Student Survey (NSS) is an annual survey which gives final year higher education students the opportunity to provide feedback about their experience on their course. The information gathered is intended to help future applicants to decide between courses and also to allow higher education providers to improve the learning experience in areas where feedback is less positive.

The survey is run by Ipsos MORI on behalf of the four UK Higher Education Funding Bodies:

  • The Department for the Economy Northern Ireland
  • The Higher Education Funding Council for England
  • The Higher Education Funding Council for Wales
  • The Scottish Funding Council

In the survey, students respond to statements using a five-point response scale from 'definitely disagree' to 'definitely agree'. The statements are grouped into the following sections:

  • The teaching on my course
  • Learning opportunities
  • Assessment and feedback
  • Academic support
  • Organisation and management
  • Learning resources
  • Learning community
  • Student voice

On Unistats we display the percentage of students who either responded 'definitely agree' or 'agree' to each statement.

For more information about the NSS, visit the National Student Survey website (Opens in a new window).

Publication of results

NSS data for the course can only be displayed on Unistats where at least 10 students have completed the survey and where we have responses from half of all the students surveyed on that course.

In the past we have grouped responses with those from the previous year to allow us to publish information for the course. If this did not result in more than 10 responses, we published responses for all courses in the same subject area.

NSS 2017

A new survey questionnaire was used for the NSS this year. This included some new question sections ('Learning opportunities', 'Learning community' and 'Student Voice') and revised wording for existing questions to bring them up to date and to make them clearer.

As the survey has changed substantially this year, we cannot group responses with those from the 2016 survey where we have had fewer than the 10 responses we need. We will still group data for courses in the same subject area to allow us to publish it where possible, but this year there may be more courses without data or with subject-level data. We also display subject-level data where a course has not been running long enough for data to be available or has not yet started. It is important to note that an absence of NSS data is not a reflection on the quality of the course.

Please note that, if you are viewing NSS data outside of Unistats, it is not valid to compare question level responses from 2017 with data from 2016 or previous years.

  

Back to top

About the Data

Information about the National Student Survey (NSS) can be found in the National Student survey (NSS) section.

Employment Data

The Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey.

The Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey asks those who have recently completed higher education courses about their current activity, which may be working, studying, looking for work or even travelling.

Those who are employed are asked for a description of their role and the type of employer they work for to allow their job to be categorised.  They are also asked how much they earn.

As well as providing information to prospective students about the destinations and earnings of those previously completing courses they are considering applying for, the data collected helps to give a picture of patterns of further study and how destinations differ across subjects.

Publicly-funded universities and private providers of higher education survey their students under direction from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), while Further Education Colleges (FECs) delivering higher education courses either run the survey themselves or use a contractor to do this.  Where a course is delivered in partnership with a university, the students are included in the university's DLHE survey data.

Students are surveyed roughly six months after completing their course and response rates are high, with around 80% of eligible graduates responding.  The information collected in the survey is self-reported by students, or by other people they have nominated to respond on their behalf.

A further survey, the Longitudinal DLHE, follows up a sample of these respondents three and a half years (40 months) later.  The response rate to this is about 40%.

Data from both surveys is displayed on Unistats, with the data for the Longitudinal DLHE being shown for all courses in the subject at a national level.  This is because only a sample of graduates are surveyed, whereas the earlier survey includes all eligible graduates.

In the DLHE survey, jobs that graduates report doing are classified using the Standard Occupational Classification 2010 (SOC2010) system. (Opens in a new window.) The SOC system has nine groupings.

  • Managers, directors and senior officials
  • Professional occupations
  • Associate professional and technical occupations
  • Administrative and secretarial occupations
  • Skilled trades occupations
  • Caring. leisure and other service occupations
  • Sales and customer service occupations
  • Process, plant and machine operatives
  • Elementary occupations

The first three groups are used to define "professional or managerial jobs" as shown on Unistats.

The funding bodies have worked with the Higher Education Careers Support Unit (HECSU) to develop a guide to understanding how the information from the DLHE survey is used and what the data can tell us.

Below the charts which show the information from the DLHE survey on the percentage of students who have gone on to work and/or study, there is a link to information about what support the university or college offers to students in terms of employability and transition into employment.

Back to top

Course Accreditation

All courses included on Unistats allow those who complete them successfully to gain recognised UK qualifications.  Some courses, or in some cases departments or whole universities and colleges, will have additional accreditation awarded to them by another body.

Sometimes, completing an accredited course is a requirement to allow you to join a particular profession; for example, doctors must complete courses accredited by the General Medical council.  In other cases, it may indicate that the course:

  • Allows graduates to join professional bodies, grants them chartered status, exempts them from professional examinations.
  • Prepares them to work in certain professions or meet the expectations of employers in particular sectors.

The statement describing the accreditation on Unistats will explain the benefit obtained by pursuing a course with that accreditation.  You can click on this statement to see a fuller explanation on the accrediting body's website.

Some accrediting bodies have statutory authority over a profession or group of professionals. For example, the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) provides standards, training and support of architecture and architects across the UK.  It monitors compliance with internationally recognised minimum standards in architectural education, and identifies courses and examinations which achieve these standards necessary to prepare students for professional practice.

Back to top

Entry Requirements

Each university or college has different entry requirements for their courses and qualifications accepted can vary. Universities and colleges express entry requirements in a variety of ways. An offer will often be expressed as a minimum grade, or set of grades, depending on the qualifications you are taking, or as a total number of  UCAS Tariff Points.

An offer may also include a minimum grade in a specific subject or qualification. Some institutions take additional information into consideration, such as contextual data about where you went to school or where you live, and may make you a different offer than the minimum specified on their website. A number of universities and colleges will also consider applications from potential students with no formal qualifications but who have experience that is relevant to the course.

In addition to academic and vocational qualifications, some courses have additional non-academic requirements that you will need to satisfy before you start your course, in order to enable you to follow your chosen career when you graduate.

The Unistats website shows the types of qualifications students who were previously enrolled on the course had achieved.

These are not necessarily the only qualifications that will be accepted for entry onto the course and you should check the information provided on the university or college website for full details.

Back to top

UCAS Tariff Points

The Unistats website shows the UCAS Tariff points held by the students who were previously enrolled on the course. These are not necessarily the current minimum entry requirements for the course and you should check the university or college website for full information.

The UCAS Tariff is the system for allocating points to qualifications used for entry to higher education. Universities and colleges can use the UCAS Tariff to make comparisons between applicants with different qualifications. Tariff points are often used in entry requirements, although other factors will often be taken into account by universities and colleges when deciding whether to offer you a place.

The UCAS Tariff changed for courses starting from September 2017. The new Tariff uses a different numeric scale to allow more qualifications to be added. We currently display entry data for students starting the course in 2014-16 and we map the old tariff points to the new tariff so that prospective students can compare with information about courses starting in 2018 which is expressed in the new tariff.

For further information on the UCAS Tariff, see the UCAS website. (Opens in a new window.)

Back to top

 

About Unistats

Answers to frequently asked questions about Unistats

Quality and Standards

Quality Assessment in Higher Education

Quality Assessment is the process the higher education funding bodies use to gain assurance about the quality of learning and teaching at a higher education provider. Quality is assessed at provider level and the quality system that the provider falls under depends on where it is located and what type of provider it is:

For publicly-funded universities and further education colleges delivering higher education in England and Northern Ireland, the core mechanism for assessing quality is the Annual Provider Review process, managed by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and the Department for the Economy in Northern Ireland (DfENI). The Annual Provider Review draws on existing data and information (such as National Student Survey data), and uses indicators and metrics in a rounded and contextualised way to form its judgement. It provides assurances about quality in these providers to students and to others with an interest in the secure operation of the higher education system. It provides confidence in high-quality provision and reliable degree standards for all students, and evidence that each provider is taking any necessary actions to improve the quality of the academic experience and outcomes for its own students. For recent entrants to the sector, the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) will also carry out a Quality Review Visit on behalf of HEFCE or DfENI.

For alternative providers in England, quality is assessed through an external quality assurance review carried out by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA).

For higher education providers in Scotland quality is assessed through an Enhancement-led Institutional Review carried out by QAA Scotland as part of the Quality Enhancement Framework.

For higher education providers in Wales quality is assessed through an external quality assurance review as part of the Quality Assessment Framework for Wales. The most recent QAA review acts as the external review for Welsh institutions.

Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF)

About the TEF

The UK has a world-class higher education sector, with rigorous systems in place to ensure high quality teaching. The Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) is a new scheme for recognising excellent teaching, in addition to existing national quality requirements for universities, colleges and other higher education providers. It provides information to help prospective students choose where to study.

The TEF is voluntary and each higher education provider decides whether or not they wish to take part.

The TEF was developed by the Department for Education in England. While higher education policy is a devolved matter, individual providers in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are also able to take part if they wish to.

Participating higher education providers receive a gold, silver or bronze award reflecting the excellence of their teaching, learning environment and student outcomes. The awards cover undergraduate teaching.

All Participating higher education providers and their TEF awards are listed here.

The government introduced the TEF in 2016 as a trial year, from which lessons will be learned for future years. The awards were published in June 2017. Providers are able to appeal their award and any resulting changes will be made in August 2017. 

The Government has previously indicated that universities and colleges in England that have a TEF award will be able to increase their tuition fees in line with inflation. The Department for Education will confirm the 2018-19 fee caps in due course.

Providers in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are able to take part in the TEF, with no direct impact on their tuition fees.

FAQs

Which higher education providers have TEF awards?

Higher education providers decide whether or not to take part in the TEF. Participating providers and their TEF awards are listed here.

What do the gold, silver and bronze awards mean?

A provider taking part in the TEF is awarded:

  • gold for delivering consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its students. It is of the highest quality found in the UK
  • silver for delivering high quality teaching, learning and outcomes for its students. It consistently exceeds rigorous national quality requirements for UK higher education
  • bronze for delivering teaching, learning and outcomes for its students that meet rigorous national quality requirements for UK higher education.

What do provisional awards mean?

The higher education provider meets rigorous national quality requirements for UK higher education, and is taking part in the TEF, but does not yet have sufficient data to be fully assessed. The provider may be fully assessed in future when it has sufficient data.

How are the TEF awards decided?

The awards are decided by an independent TEF Panel of experts including academics, students and employer representatives. Details are available here.

The provider's undergraduate teaching is assessed against ten criteria that cover the areas of teaching quality, learning environment and student outcomes.

The TEF Panel considers evidence from a set of metrics using national data as well as written evidence submitted by the provider. The metrics cover continuation rates, student satisfaction and employment outcomes. The metrics for each provider are benchmarked to take account of differences in its students' characteristics, entry qualifications and subjects studied.

The metrics and provider submissions can be viewed here.

Is there more information about a provider's TEF award?

A short statement by the TEF Panel explains each provider's award, available here.

What if a higher education provider doesn't have a TEF award?

All higher education providers in the UK must meet rigorous national quality requirements for higher education. The TEF measures excellence in addition to these requirements and is voluntary. If a provider has no TEF award it may have decided not to take part. You can find out more about the national quality requirements here:

To be eligible to take part a provider must meet national quality requirements and teach at undergraduate level.

How does the TEF affect tuition fees?

The Government has previously indicated that universities and colleges in England that have a TEF award will be able to increase their tuition fees in line with inflation. The Department for Education will confirm the 2018-19 fee caps in due course.

Providers in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are able to take part in the TEF, with no direct impact on their tuition fees.