Complete University Guide (CUG) 2024

Complete University Guide (CUG) 2024

News about the University's performance in the Complete University Guide (CUG) 2024

Dear colleagues,

The University has climbed two places to 35th place in the UK in the Complete University Guide (CUG) which was published this morning.

The CUG is based on ten measures: Entry Standards, Student Satisfaction, Research Quality, Research Intensity, Graduate Prospects: Outcomes, Graduate Prospects: On Track, Student-Staff Ratio, Spend on Academic Services, Spend on Student Facilities, and Student Continuation.

Overall performance:

There has been an overall positive movement across the metrics with the University’s rank improving for five metrics, while two have seen a decline.

Following our excellent result in the National Student Survey in 2022, Student Satisfaction has risen ten places to 8th in the UK and 2nd in Scotland. The University continues its strong performance on Entry standards with a rise of one place to 10th in the UK.

Rank for the Graduate Prospects of our students, as measured by the Graduate Outcomes Survey 2022, has also seen a welcome rise. The University has risen eight places to 38th in the UK for Graduate Prospects: Outcomes, which measures the proportion of graduates in highly skilled employment or further study. We have also seen a rise of 26 places to 47th in the UK for Graduate Prospects: On Track, which considers whether graduates agree that their current activity fits with their plans. Work will continue to enhance the employability of all our students.

The University has ranked 47th in the UK for Spend on Academic Services, representing a rise of two places from last year, and now ranks 3rd in Scotland.

The Continuation metric, measuring how many entrants are still in HE the following year, is new to this ranking and has replaced the previous Completion metric which measured how many entrants achieved a degree. The University has been ranked 25th in the UK for Continuation.

Our performance on the two research measures, Research Quality, and Research Intensity which measures the proportion of staff involved in teaching who are also doing research, has not changed this year as it is based on the REF 2021 results, with the University retaining a rank of 59th and 7th respectively.

Our rank for Facilities Spend has declined, placing 58th in the UK (down 15 places), and our performance on the Student:Staff Ratio metric has similarly declined, with a drop of six places to 45th in the UK, although our rank in Scotland has improved by one place to 4th place.

Subject performance:

The subject rankings, which are based on six of the ten institutional metrics with a different weight distribution, have seen a strong upward trend. The University has seen an increase in rank for 28 of 37 subjects it was ranked for, with the addition of the new Student Continuation metric having a particularly positive effect.

The University has achieved a top quartile rank for 11 subjects, up from three last year, and five subjects have been ranked Top Ten in the UK, compared to only one subject last year:

Theology and Religious Studies – 3rd in the UK and top quartile

Biomedical Sciences – 5th and top quartile

Drama, dance & Cinematics – 6th and top quartile

Linguistics – 6th and top quartile

Anthropology – 10th and second quartile

While our overall institutional ranking in this ranking doesn’t yet match our top 20 ranking in both the Guardian (13th) and Times & Sunday Times rankings (19th) it is good to see upward movement, including across the majority of measures and many subjects. I want to thank everyone for all the excellent work across the whole University to enhance our performance and the University’s reputation.

You can access a detailed analysis of the CUG results on the Planning webpages at League Tables | StaffNet | The University of Aberdeen (

Best wishes


Karl Leydecker

Senior Vice-Principal