Facts and figures

At the University of Stirling, being the difference is in our DNA. That's why we're regularly recognised across the globe for research excellence in teaching, research and offering a world-class student experience.

Our rankings

Research, teaching and learning

Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021

REF 2021 results

  • 87% of the University's research has an outstanding or very considerable impact on society.
  • More than 80% of Stirling research is world leading or internationally excellent.
  • 4th in Scotland and 43rd in the UK for research impact (Times Higher Education REF 2021: Impact Scores rankings).
  • Research environment at Stirling commended for enabling excellence and delivering impact.

Key areas of strength

  • Agriculture, Veterinary and Food Science: ranked 1st in the UK for impact and 9th overall, with 100% of the University's Institute of Aquaculture research having outstanding impact, the highest possible rating. 100% of our research environment is world leading or internationally excellent.
  • Geography and Environmental Studies: 100% of our Geography and Environmental Sciences research is rated as having either outstanding or very considerable impact – ranking us 12th in the UK for Geography and Environmental Studies.
  • Social Work and Social Policy: ranked 3rd in Scotland and top 25 in the UK for Social Work and Social Policy – with 100% of our research environment and 88% of our research deemed world leading or internationally excellent.

Other highlights

  • Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy: 100% of our research environment, 80% of our research impact and 83% of our overall research in Allied Health Professions and Nursing is classed as world leading or internationally excellent.
  • Business and Management Studies: 80% of our research impact in Business and Management Studies is classed as world leading or internationally excellent.
  • Communication, Cultural and Media Studies, Library and Information: 2nd in Scotland overall. 100% of our research environment and 88% of our overall research in Communication, Cultural and Media Studies is classed as world leading or internationally excellent.
  • Education: top 20 in the UK for impact and research environment. 100% of our research impact and environment in Education is classed as world leading or internationally excellent.
  • English Language and Literature: 100% of our research environment in English Language and Literature is classed as world leading or internationally excellent.
  • History: top 15 in the UK for impact, 3rd in Scotland for outputs and impact. 83% of our research impact in History is classed as world leading or internationally excellent.
  • Sport and Exercise Sciences, Leisure and Tourism: 1st in Scotland for outputs. 80% of our research in Sport and Exercise Sciences is classed as world leading or internationally excellent.
  • Law: 100% of our research impact and 82% of our overall research in Law is classed as world leading or internationally excellent.
  • Philosophy: 1st in Scotland for impact. 100% of our research impact and environment in Philosophy is classed as world leading or internationally excellent.
  • Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience: 2nd in Scotland for impact. 100% of our research impact and environment, and 87% of our overall research in Psychology is classed as world leading or internationally excellent.

Sources:

Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2022

  • Top 100 in the world for SDG13: climate action.
  • Top 101-200 in the world for SDG14: life below water.
  • Top 201-300 in the world for SDG3: good health and well-being.

See the full Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2022

Complete University Guide 2023

The University of Stirling is ranked amongst the top 50 universities in the UK in the Complete University Guide 2023.

  • Communication and Media Studies – Top 5 in Scotland.
  • Economics – Top 5 in Scotland, Top 20 in the UK.
  • Education – 3rd in Scotland, Top 10 in the UK.
  • English – 3rd in Scotland, Top 20 in the UK
  • French – 3rd in Scotland.
  • Geography & Environmental Science – Top 5 in Scotland.
  • History – Top 5 in Scotland.
  • Iberian Languages – Top 5 in Scotland.
  • Law – 3rd in Scotland.
  • Marketing – 2nd in Scotland, Top 20 in the UK.
  • Mathematics – Top 5 in Scotland.
  • Nursing – Top 5 in Scotland.
  • Philosophy – Top 5 in Scotland.
  • Social Policy – Top 5 in Scotland, Top 20 in the UK.
  • Sociology – 3rd in Scotland.
  • Sports Science – 3rd in Scotland, Top 20 in the UK.
  • Theology and Religious Studies – Top 5 in Scotland.

The Guardian University Guide 2022

The University of Stirling is ranked overall 49th in the UK in the The Guardian University Guide 2022.

  • Business, Management and Marketing - Top 5 in Scotland.
  • Computer Science and Information Systems - Top 10 in the UK, 3rd in Scotland.
  • Criminology - 2nd in Scotland.
  • Economics - Top 5 in the UK, 2nd in Scotland.
  • Education - Top 5 in Scotland.
  • English and Creative Writing - Top 5 in Scotland.
  • Journalism, Publishing and Public Relations - Top 10 in UK, 3rd in Scotland.
  • Mathematics - Top 15 in the UK, Top 5 in Scotland.
  • Media and Film Studies - Top 20 in UK, 3rd in Scotland.
  • Nursing and Midwifery - Top 5 in Scotland.
  • Philosophy - Top 5 in Scotland.
  • Politics - Top 5 in Scotland.
  • Social Work - Top 5 in Scotland.

Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023

The University of Stirling is ranked in the top 40 UK universities in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022.

  • Communication and Media - Top 5 in the UK, 2nd in Scotland
  • English - 4th in the UK, 3rd in Scotland
  • French - Top 10 in the UK, 2nd in Scotland
  • History - Top 10 in Scotland
  • Iberian Languages - 3rd in the UK, 2nd in Scotland
  • Law - Top 10 in Scotland
  • Philosophy - Top 20 in the UK, 3rd in Scotland
  • Politics - Top 10 in Scotland
  • Nursing - Top 10 in Scotland
  • Sports Science - Top 10 in the UK, 3rd in Scotland
  • Biological Sciences - Top 10 in Scotland
  • Geography and Environmental Science - Top 5 in Scotland
  • Mathematics - Top 20 in the UK, top 5 in Scotland
  • Psychology - Top 10 in Scotland
  • Criminology - 4th in the UK, 1st in Scotland
  • Education - Top 5 in the UK, 3rd in Scotland
  • Social Policy - Top 10 in the UK, 4th in Scotland
  • Sociology - Top 20 in the UK, 3rd in Scotland
  • Accounting and Finance - Top 10 in Scotland
  • Business, Management and Marketing - Top 10 in Scotland
  • Economics - Top 5 in Scotland

QS World University Rankings 2022

The University of Stirling is ranked in the top 500 global universities in the QS World University Rankings 2022.

Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings by Subject 2021

  • Arts and Humanities - top 250 in the world
  • Business and Economics - top 250 in the world
  • Education - top 250 in the world
  • Life Sciences - top 200 in the world
  • Psychology - top 200 in the world
  • Social Sciences - top 250 in the world

QS Stars University Ratings 2021

The University of Stirling is rated 5 stars overall, and in each the following areas:

  • Teaching
  • Employability
  • Research
  • Internationalisation
  • Facilities
  • Inclusiveness

BA Hons Accountancy and Finance also achieved 5 stars in the specialist criteria category.

Student experience

National Student Survey 2022

The University of Stirling is ranked in the top 30 in the UK for overall student satisfaction in the National Student Survey 2022.

  • Tourism, Transport and Travel - 1st in the UK.
  • Mathematics - 3rd in the UK and 1st in Scotland.
  • Zoology - 2nd in the UK and 1st in Scotland.
  • Journalism - Top 5 in the UK and 3rd in Scotland.
  • History - 1st in Scotland.
  • Psychology - Top 10 in the UK and 2nd in Scotland.
  • Literature in English - 1st in Scotland.
  • Philosophy - 3rd in Scotland.
  • Marketing - 1st in Scotland.
  • Media studies - 3rd in Scotland.
  • Politics - Top 10 in the UK and 3rd in Scotland.
  • Iberian studies - Top 10 in the UK and 3rd in Scotland.
  • French studies - 2nd in Scotland.
  • Biology - 2nd in Scotland.
  • Sport and Exercise Sciences - 3rd in Scotland.
  • Social Policy - 3rd in Scotland.
  • Computing Science (Others in Computing) - Top 10 in the UK and 3rd in Scotland.

Rankings are based on institutions included within the Guardian University Guide.

Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES) 2021

  • Top 10 in the UK for Postgraduate Student Experience
  • Top 10 in the UK for Postgraduate Teaching and Learning
  • Top 20 in the UK for Postgraduate Student Support

Arts and Humanities

  • 86% overall student satisfaction for Arts and Humanities
  • 87% student satisfaction for Teaching and Learning in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities
  • 90% overall student satisfaction for Communications, Media and Culture
  • 100% overall student satisfaction for Digital Media and Communication
  • 100% Digital Media students think that their course has enhanced their employability
  • 100% overall student satisfaction for Factual Television
  • 94% overall student satisfaction for Human Rights and Diplomacy
  • 94% Human Rights and Humanities students think that their course has enhanced their employability
  • 89% overall student satisfaction for Language and Literature
  • 85% of the Language and Literature students felt their course has enhanced their employability
  • 92% overall student satisfaction for Law and Philosophy
  • 88% of the Law and Philosophy students felt their course has enhanced their employability
  • 91% overall student satisfaction for Media Management
  • 89% overall student satisfaction for Publishing Studies
  • 100% overall student satisfaction for Strategic Public Relations (Online)

Health Sciences and Sport

  • 91% overall student satisfaction for Health Sciences and Sport
  • 87% student satisfaction for Teaching and Learning for the Faculty of Health Sciences & Sport
  • 91% of health sciences students and 85% of sport students felt their course has enhanced their employability
  • 91% overall student satisfaction for Advancing Practice
  • 86% overall student satisfaction for Early Years Practice in Health Visiting
  • 100% overall student satisfaction for Health Research (Online)
  • 90% overall student satisfaction for Psychology of Sport
  • 100% overall student satisfaction for Public Health
  • 88% overall student satisfaction for Sport
  • 96% overall student satisfaction for Sport Performance Coaching

Natural Sciences

  • 85% overall student satisfaction for Biological and Environmental Sciences
  • 85% overall student satisfaction for Environmental Management
  • 90% overall student satisfaction for Psychological Therapy in Primary Care

Social Sciences

  • 92% overall student satisfaction for Social Sciences
  • 91% student satisfaction for Teaching and Learning for the Faculty of Social Sciences
  • 100% overall student satisfaction for Applied Professional Studies
  • 100% overall student satisfaction for Applied Social Research
  • 96% overall student satisfaction for Dementia Studies (online)
  • 98% overall student satisfaction for Education
  • 91% of Education students felt their course has enhanced their employability
  • 100% overall satisfaction for Global Ageing
  • 100% overall student satisfaction for Housing Studies
  • 100% overall student satisfaction for Professional Education and Leadership
  • 100% overall student satisfaction for TESOL
  • 96% overall student satisfaction for TQFE
  • 92% overall student satisfaction for Social Work Studies

Stirling Management School

  • 85% overall student satisfaction for Stirling Management School
  • 87% student satisfaction for Teaching and Learning in Stirling Management School
  • 89% overall student satisfaction for Accounting and Finance
  • 100% overall student satisfaction for Behavioural Science for Management
  • 100% of Behavioural Science for Management students felt the course had enhanced their employability
  • 91% overall student satisfaction for Business and Management

The International Student Barometer (ISB) 2018

  • 91% overall satisfaction rate
  • 1st in the UK and 5th in the World for campus environment (UK International Student Barometer (ISB) Benchmark and Global ISB Benchmark 2018)
  • 1st in Scotland, Top 5 in the UK and Top 15 in the World for careers services (UK International Student Barometer (ISB) Benchmark and Global ISB Benchmark 2018)
  • 2nd in Scotland and 5th in the UK for sports facilities (UK International Student Barometer Benchmark 2018)
  • Top 10 in the UK for clubs and societies (UK International Student Barometer Benchmark 2018)
  • 96% satisfaction rate for lecturer expertise
  • 94% satisfaction rate for English language support
  • 96% satisfaction rate for safety and security on campus
  • 97% satisfaction rate for library services

Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey 2018

  • Good environment on campus - 1st in Scotland, joint 2nd in the UK
  • Good sports facilities - 1st in Scotland, 4th in the UK
  • Good extra-curricular activities/societies - Joint 2nd in Scotland, top 25 in the UK
infographic: Sports University of the Year

Sports University of the Year

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020

infographic: 5 stars

5 stars

for Teaching, Employability, Research, Internationalisation, Facilities and Inclusiveness

QS Stars University Ratings 2021

Survey highlights

The University of Stirling regularly performs well in a wide array of global higher education surveys. Here are some of the accolades we’ve received.

Two students walking into the entrance of Stirling Castle

City of Stirling

  • The safest student city in the UK (Complete University Guide 2022)
  • The happiest place to live in Scotland (Rightmove Happy Home Index 2021)
Discover Stirling

Affiliations

Quality Assurance Agency (QAA)

The Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) is the independent body entrusted with monitoring and advising on standards and quality in UK higher education. Find out more about how our teaching quality is assessed.

Athena Swan

Athena SWAN is a charter established to advance the representation of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM). Find out about our Athena SWAN and wider equality work.

Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF)

The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework is the national credit transfer system for all levels of qualifications in Scotland. Find out more about the credit rating system for our qualifications.

QE-TNE Scheme

We participate in the sector-wide QE-TNE Scheme for the quality enhancement of UK transnational education. The scheme is a demonstration of our commitment to a high-quality UK-TNE experience. 

infographic: 5 faculties

5 faculties

conducting world-leading research

infographic: Scotland’s University

Scotland’s University

for Sporting Excellence

infographic: 100,000+ alumni

100,000+ alumni

in 170 countries

What our students said

Papoula Petri Romão
Papoula Petri Romão
Germany
BSc (Hons) Psychology
Studying at Stirling has been a defining time in my life. I now know what direction I want to take my career, I have made great friendships and built a strong connection to Scotland.
Read Papoula's story