University achievement

GCU was named one of the world's leading universities for teaching and research

We were named one of the world's leading universities for teaching and research in our key subject areas in the 2021 Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings by subject. The subject-specific tables ranked us in the top 401-500 for social sciences, in the top 501-600 for both business and economics and clinical, pre-clinical and health subjects, and in the top 601-800 for engineering and technology. 

 Strong performance

Two of our subject fields ranked in the top 10 in the UK and first in Scotland in the Guardian University Guide. Social work was judged second of 74 universities evaluated, while tourism and events management placed fourth of 48 universities. Other subjects that performed strongly included social science/sociology, business, management and marketing, and subjects in the health professions. We moved up three places to 77th of 121 universities in the UK, building on an increase of 16 places last year.  

Our dedication to the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals was recognised when we were named the number one university in Scotland for promoting gender equality and economic growth – and second and third in the UK respectively – in the Times Higher Education University Impact Rankings. The University was ranked 43rd in the world in the rankings, which illustrate how the global higher education sector is working to meet the SDGs -17 goals adopted by the UN in 2015 as a blueprint for sustainable development.   

We were once again rated among the world’s top 200 young universities in Times Higher Education’s Young University Rankings. The rankings list the best universities aged 50 or under. GCU was ranked second in Scotland and is banded 151-200. The rankings focus on teaching, research, citations, international outlook and industry income and the 2020 ranking evaluated more than 400 universities.

Best positioned 

Times Higher Education recognised us as one of eight UK institutions best positioned to meet the challenges thrown up by the COVID-19 pandemic. We were one of just two Scottish institutions shortlisted for the DataPoints Merit Award in this year’s THE Awards. Every year THE’s data team delves into the mine of information that underpins the World University Rankings for fresh insights into the performance of UK universities to determine the winner of the award. This year, they explored which universities were best positioned to face the challenges of COVID-19. 

We climbed 21 places in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021, moving from 96th to 75th of 131 universities in the UK. The rise was down to improvements in the University's National Student Survey (NSS) scores on teaching quality and student experience, as well as degree completion and graduate prospects. Our subject areas ranking in the UK Top 10 included Sociology/Social Science; Hospitality, Leisure, Recreation and Tourism; Food Science; Radiography; Physiotherapy; and Town and Country Planning. Two - Hospitality, Leisure, Recreation and Tourism, and Town and Country Planning and Landscape subjects – were rated first in Scotland.

We joined academic and research institutions around the world to become a member of the United Nations Academic Impact. The UNAI - a network of students, academics, scientists, researchers, think tanks, and universities - has more than 1400 member institutions in 145 countries actively contributing to the realisation of UN goals and mandates including promoting and protecting human rights, access to education, sustainability and conflict resolution.