Best Universities for Teaching Quality 2021
Best Universities for Teaching Quality
Looking for the most recent results? Check out the 2022 winners here
The quality of the teaching you receive is central to your university experience. The UK university system is one of the best in the world, so you can guarantee world class teaching and learning from our top 20 league table institutions.
How are the Top 20 worked out?
We have run the numbers on 19,323 student reviews to find which universities are the best for teaching quality. Our list of top 20 universities for teaching quality is based 100% on student opinion. Students leaving university reviews about the quality of teaching at their university gives the best picture of what uni is really like.
What is Teaching Quality?
Our Teaching Quality league table reveals those universities where students are being taught by great lecturers, using fantastic facilities and getting the support they need to thrive. So whether it’s experts in their field or experienced practitioners, universities in our league table consistently deliver superior teaching quality!
The Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) is a measure of a university's teaching quality. If a university is ranked Gold, like Staffordshire University (#14), it's a guarantee that the university takes the quality of its teaching seriously.
Teaching in a COVID world
Without a doubt, teaching and learning has changed radically since the onset of COVID-19, with the majority of courses switching to online teaching. Many universities have had to innovate to ensure their students still develop those all-important practical skills. We especially liked Imperial College’s (# 6) virtual field trips and “Lab in a Box”, ensuring students could continue to learn practical skills remotely.
StudentCrowd has been tracking how universities have been responding to COVID-19 since May 2019. We have published a weekly update on teaching delivery since then. Read our University Response to COVID-19 to stay up-to-date.
Look up our league table for the Best Universities for Course Content to find out which universities deliver fantastic courses.
Our Best Universities for Campus and Facilities league table reveals the universities that students say deliver a world-class learning environment.
And find out about the rest of StudentCrowd’s Best University Awards 2021 here.
Published: 29th July 2021
University of Cambridge
"First class teaching and learning resource."
At Cambridge, teaching is delivered by both an academic department and as part of a Collegiate system. Lectures and practical lab-based work is typically run by the academic department, with smaller seminars and supervision provided by colleges. It is this smaller group teaching that really sets Cambridge apart, as students are required to come to sessions prepared to engage in debate and discussion.
Harper Adams University
"the lecturers and tutors always try their hardest to make you feel confident in the modules, the lectures themselves are interesting and useful."
Teaching at Harper Adams takes place on a 635-hectare campus, complete with farmland, laboratories, an invention hub, and a £4-million Innovation Centre, in partnership with Saputo Dairy UK. Many courses are project-based, with a blend of theoretical and practical content that’s delivered at an excellent standard and has been awarded Gold in the Teaching Excellence Framework. Assessments are varied, with work being graded through presentations, written reports and notes, oral exams and online assessments.
Norwich University of the Arts
"NUA is a great and helpful university full of tutors that are not only engaging but also passionate about the subjects they teach"
NUA’s unique approach of “learning through making” sets it apart as a creative, innovative and exciting learning opportunity with high quality teaching (Gold Teaching Excellence Framework rating). All the courses are practical and are focused on completing projects and developing students’ portfolios, with access to specialist studios and professional equipment used in industry, and with acclaimed guest speakers providing insight into the creative industry. There are no exams in sight; students are assessed on the creative work they produce throughout the course and the quality of their portfolio.
University of Warwick
"The quality of teaching at Warwick is very good"
With innovation and thinking at the heart of teaching strategies, immersive learning sees students take a lead in their own learning and development at Warwick. Study spaces are varied and well equipped, and students learn from academic staff who are experts in their fields. Teaching takes places through lectures in big groups and smaller scale seminars, tutorials and labs, and provides students with the best of internationally connected teaching.
"Fantastic campus and scenery with great teaching and support for you to reach your potential and graduate with the grade you aspire to attain"
Keele continues to invest; providing its students with innovative teaching and world-class facilities. These facilities give students access to analytical industry and research high-end grade laboratory equipment to use in their day-to-day studies, creating highly employable student graduates. Past students have described lecturers as “unfailingly knowledgeable”, and have benefitted from the creative thinking of staff, using ‘flipped classrooms’ to encourage students to develop independent learning and research skills.
Imperial College London
"It is a good college, I learn a lot from there, And every teacher(posdoc, lecturer, doctor or professor) there has a good scientific experience and they are very friendly. I learned a lot from here and experience with respect."
Imperial College uses interactive and varied teaching delivery methods, involving whole cohort lectures and tutorials and labs in smaller groups, and making the most of external content available on the internet, such as videos and podcasts. Students receive Gold standard (Teaching Excellence Framework) teaching that’s been adapted well in the COVID-19 pandemic, with Imperial developing virtual field trips and a “Lab in a Box” that was posted to students to ensure they could continue to learn practical skills.
University of St Andrews
"As an exchange student from Hong Kong in St. Andrews, I have to say the quality of teaching in classes are very high"
Students studying at St Andrews will be able to take advantage of a teaching delivery strategy designed to develop and extract the potential of everyone. Teaching is delivered through lectures, seminars, and labs/fieldwork. In addition to this, undergraduates will be offered audio-visual and computer assisted learning aides, research and reading skills lessons and mini-conferences aimed to inspire future research and academic practice. Receiving a TEF Gold certification, St Andrews delivers relatively small class sizes, directed towards a more personal teaching experience.
Royal Holloway, University of London
"Great uni with good modern facilities. Great teaching and support."
Combining one of the most beautiful campuses in the country with internationally recognised research and teaching, Royal Holloway provides an enriching and exciting learning experience. A focus of its committed teaching strategy is the inclusion of regular one-to-one tutor sessions, led by an academic staff member. Lecture and seminar content is research driven and contemporary, with assignments taking a variety of formats, including creating podcasts and mock research grant applications.
The University of Sheffield
"The University of Sheffield has very good facilities and the teaching staff are very professional and I have learned a lot here"
Sheffield’s ‘life after university’ blends lectures and real-world applications in an extensive, empowering, and effective teaching strategy. Sheffield’s cemented position in the research and industrywide sectors allows its students the chance to work alongside external organisations in addition to students studying different courses. Sustainable teaching practices are a pioneering quality of Sheffield, with every course soon to be implementing Education for Sustainable Development, equipping students with the knowledge and capabilities to react to environmental challenges.
University of Glasgow
"All the staff do all their best to help you accommodate and adapt to the university way of learning. The teaching is excellent and you get great support all the way through."
Split across lectures, seminars, labs/fieldwork and tutoring, students are offered the forefront of modern teaching, with the future holding exciting possibilities. The University of Glasgow is currently undergoing campus development like never before. With teaching excellence at its heart, the new 14-acre site offers flexible learning spaces and ‘technology-enabled teaching resources’, as well as allowing space for one-to-one skills tutoring.
University of Bath
"Really friendly atmosphere. Engaging and challenging lecturers and content. Good uni."
It is no wonder the University of Bath received Gold Teaching Excellence Framework certification. With a mixed medium teaching strategy of in-person lectures, seminars, and fieldwork/labs, integrated with progressive digital learning, Bath remains at the forefront of teaching delivery and support. In addition to this, Bath’s Centre for Learning & Technology helps support staff to continually develop and deliver the highest quality learning and teaching. This works to support both student and staff career development, as well as progressive curriculum transformation.
University of Liverpool
"Experienced professors, high-quality teaching and professors are willing to answer your questions."
The University of Liverpool has always attracted students for its beautiful and bustling setting, and its world leading teaching methods. Teaching consists of face-to-face sessions (seminars, tutorials and workshops) and online learning sessions (lectures). Considering the COVID-19 pandemic, Liverpool’s teaching resilience has become more evident than ever, allowing students the opportunity to continue to learn and develop with a blended teaching approach that continues to attract thousands of students each year.
University of Nottingham
"The school of chemistry at uon is excellent. Personal tutor is great, modern labs, and highly trained staff, including technicians and teaching staff"
The pedigree of the University of Nottingham can be traced back to its teaching and learning excellence. Recent developments such as the Educational Excellence site is helping develop these teaching qualities further. Teaching is delivered through lectures, seminars, labs/fieldwork, and tutorials. With several members of Nottingham’s staff receiving the Dearing Award for teaching excellence, it’s hard to dispute its TEF Gold certification. Student feedback is highlighted as a crucial component in the future development of the university, demonstrating its commitment to placing its students’ teaching and learning first.
"Great teaching and really funny lecturers who will always make sure you're doing alright. They're really good at teaching and give some good feedback on your work to improve"
It is easy to see why Staffordshire University was awarded Gold certification for its teaching (Teaching Excellence Framework). Under the knowledgeable expertise of Staffordshire’s teaching staff, students can expect a passionate mixed teaching approach, across a wide medium of learning environments, developing sought-after employability skills. With international industry connections and world leading research, students experience high standards in teaching, careers help and progression.
"Excellent teaching staff with lots of working experience in different industries"
Newcastle University’s Gold award from the Teaching Excellence Framework doesn’t come as a surprise when considering the content of their degree courses is developed alongside industry professionals, ensuring learning is contemporary and applicable to future careers. Teaching is delivered through a blended approach of face to face and online learning, with a rich variety of videos, quizzes, online and in-person discussions, and written work to develop knowledge and check understanding.
Nottingham Trent University (NTU)
"lecturers and tutors are friendly and supportive. Out of some of the teachers I've worked with, it's safe to say that they've been the most nurturing and caring for the students' success."
Nottingham Trent University is no stranger to recognition for its teaching, having been awarded Gold by the Teaching Excellence Framework, so it comes as no surprise to see them here. What sets NTU apart is its innovative teaching strategy, placing students at the forefront of ground-breaking research opportunities, and its focus on employability skills and experiences through its work placement schemes. This, coupled with the extensive industry and research backgrounds of lecturers, provides NTU students with the steppingstones to propel them beyond their time at university.
University of East Anglia
"Good teaching standards and friendly lecturers who care about you and your learning. I would feel comfortable approaching any of them with any problems."
Students studying at UEA can expect the latest in technology-based teaching methods. With recent infrastructure investment such as the building for Science and Engineering, UEA offers adaptable course delivery, alongside a new pioneering range of visual and audio support systems to facilitate all learning needs. With 130 dedicated teaching, seminar, and lecture spaces, UEA directs a dedicated teaching strategy aimed towards the enhancement of learning opportunities that's earned Gold certification from the Teaching Excellence Framework.
University of Exeter
"Good teaching... The content of the course is very interesting and you are provided with a weekly quiz to check if you are falling behind or not..."
Teaching at the University of Exeter is delivered by a range of exceptional lecturers and researchers. Pioneers in fields such as climate change, Exeter’s commitment to the inspiration of its students remains at the forefront of teaching. Students can expect a wide range of Gold standard (Teaching Excellence Framework) teaching delivery strategies, including campus lectures, seminars, and lab/fieldwork. Exeter’s international academic recognition allows a wide range of national and international placements. Recently Exeter’s commitment to developing remote learning strategies that continue to develop and inspire students have been recognised, with students praising their "committed" approach in StudentCrowd reviews.
King's College London
"I really love my course and have been very impressed with the level of teaching and the wide range of modules available for us to study."
With a strong background in research, King’s College provides teaching from knowledgeable staff who are actively involved in research in their field, meaning course content is contemporary and exciting. Implementing a ‘six stage’ strategy to expand students’ learning opportunities, KCL ensures all their students learn and develop crucial discipline-specific skills that equip them for their future careers. KCL has progressed in leaps and bounds when it comes to digital learning, through their Centre for Technology Enhanced Learning, which provides flexible digital learning opportunities to students.
"Love my course- so many interesting modules, great quality of teaching and good student support."
With their recent investment of £17million into a state-of-the-art STEMLab for students studying science and engineering courses, and their plans for a brand new ‘Student Learning Zone’, it’s no wonder students rate the teaching at Loughborough so highly.. Teaching takes place in lecture theatres, classrooms, studios and laboratories across the campus, and is enhanced by guest lectures and completing projects set by industry professionals.
Think your university deserves to be in the StudentCrowd top 20? Leave a review now for our 2022 University Awards!