Studying here

Our teaching excellence: the TEF 

We are very proud to have been awarded a Gold rating in the first Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).

Our Gold rating takes into account our teaching, programmes, facilities, and our students’ success.

We have been particularly praised for

  • our outstanding commitment to ensuring positive outcomes for all students
  • our use of business, industry and professional experts in our teaching
  • our outstanding teaching environments
  • offering the highest quality support for independent study and research
  • having optimum levels of contact hours and class size 

This means we are now recognised for excellence in both our teaching and our research (98% of our research rated as of “international quality” in REF2014)

Given that we’re also top 5 in BUCS (British Universities and Colleges Sport), and 158th rated in the world by the international QS rankings, this is yet further proof that Exeter is one of the very best universities in the UK.

Find out more about our teaching excellence and what lead to our TEF Gold rating.

Academic excellence

The University of Exeter featured in the UK’s top 14 in the past 5 years (The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide) and the CWTS Leiden Ranking 2015 places us 34th in the world for involvement in scientific collaboration and impact. We are a member of the prestigious Russell Group of research intensive universities.

The quality of education and experience received at the University of Exeter means we rank 8th in the UK in the latest Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey.

According to the latest Higher Education Statistics Agency Data, we are placed 9th out of all UK universities for achievement: 84 per cent of our students graduate with either a First or 2:1.

Our students demand a lot of us and we of them – we aim to make our teaching inspirational and your learning exceptional.

Research-inspired teaching

The staff who teach you at the University of Exeter don't just give lectures; they also work on world-class research, creating new knowledge and expanding our understanding of the world and ourselves, conducting the experiments, writing the articles, and authoring the books that other people teach from. 98 per cent of our research is rated as world-leading or internationally recognised (Research Excellence Framework 2014). You will be taught by experts and be part of a culture that is inspired by research, discussing the very latest ideas in seminars and tutorials and may become an active member of a research team.

What our students say

Rebekah Cron, BA Philosophy

My lecturers were the most important and valued part of my time at Exeter. Whenever I needed help academically, or simply to have a chat, they were there to guide and advise me through my degree. I am very thankful for all they have done, and am inspired by the passion which they all have for their respective subjects.

Rebekah Cron, BA Philosophy

Harry Reeve, Students’ Guild Vice President Education

As the Students' Guild Vice President for Education I represent students in all matters relating to their academic studies and educational experience. I work to ensure that students’ views about teaching, feedback, library facilities and much more are represented to the University. I work very closely with the Students’ Guild’s team of more than 400 academic representatives to ensure that change happens where and when it needs to.

Harry Reeve, Students’ Guild Vice President Education

Josuha Garland, BA Politics and International Relations (Penryn Campus)

Before beginning my degree I struggled with my confidence. However, by being able to build a rapport with staff, I have been given the chance to assist a lecturer with their research through proof reading draft papers. This has made me feel as though my input is valued, encouraging me to continue pursuing my studies and giving me much of the confidence that I was previously lacking. The support I have been given by the department throughout my time as an undergraduate, both academic and pastoral, has been fantastic, and I now value my own work and contributions to seminars more than I ever did previously and know that I have a lot to offer any future employers as a result.

Josuha Garland, BA Politics and International Relations (Penryn Campus)

Ina Jha, BSc Business Economics

My personal tutor, Dr Rish Singhania, has helped me greatly by advising me on my module choices and helping me to decide to change from Management with Marketing to Business Economics. His advice to me was “take the hardest subjects you can stomach” and I am very grateful to him for that. He reminded me that I am here to learn new things and that I should take every opportunity to do so. I would certainly say his advice was some of the best that I have ever received and as a result, I am now happier with myself as a student and I feel I have learnt much more on my course, which will help me progress with my career.

Ina Jha, BSc Business Economics

Oli Steele, BSc Medical Sciences

I was drawn to the University of Exeter Medical School (UEMS) due to its innovative teaching approaches. The problem based learning (PBL) facilitated here provides not only the key knowledge, but also the problem solving skills required to be able to tackle real life scenarios both clinically and in a research environment. I feel this has benefitted hugely from Exeter’s involvement in the Russell Group, meaning the academics facilitating the PBL are often world-leading in their field. This means the information you are learning is cutting edge and relevant come graduation. The PBL here is facilitated in small structured groups allowing for a strong working relationship to be developed with those academics. I have been inspired by the teaching at UEMS, and hope to one day emulate this myself in a future career in research and academia.

Oli Steele, BSc Medical Sciences

The lecturers are all academics working on various projects, and their passion for their chosen area of study comes through in their teaching. We have practical sessions which relate directly to what we're learning, allowing us to see and understand how theories are put into practice. We also have tutorial sessions, which involve working through problems with your lecturer or a PhD student. It is an opportunity to ask questions, and discuss in more detail the content that you're covering in lectures.

Rianna Russell, BEng Materials Engineering

My tutors have always informed myself - and seminar groups - with clarity, fervour, and sensitivity. They have openly discussed their own work and work in progress, as well as the ways various fields and schools of thought have been sustained or are evolving. There's a sense that you're very much part of a shapeshifting international discussion. To feel like a contributor to a very live and active academic forum is a privilege.

Amy Matthews, BA English (Penryn)

For me, the best things about studying Mathematics at Exeter have been the high levels of support, flexibility and range of topics I have been able to study and specialise in. Lectures and tutorials can be social, allowing for discussion and the exchange of ideas; drop-in sessions and office hours provide an additional level of support for individual work. As you progress through the degree there are options to tailor your degree to what suits you best, if you prefer more abstract topics or if you prefer more applied mathematics there are lots of options to tailor your degree to your interests and aptitudes. I’ve certainly found my niche here!

Megan Maunder, MSci Mathematics (Geophysical and Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics)

Students are integral to research capability

Professor Geoff Nash discusses the important part research plays in our Natural Sciences programme.

The role of business within student learning

Dr Esther Reed explains how students get involved in her Theology & Business Ethics module.

Student led research projects

Professor Craig Williams explains how students are involved with leading research projects in Sport and Health Sciences.

Involving students in research

Dr Paul James explains the value of engaging students with research.