The University of Southampton
About us

Reputation and rankings

We are a global centre for excellence in research and education and a founding member of the Russell Group. We have gained prestigious recognition for our successes and history of world-changing achievements.

League table rankings

We are measured and ranked as a university on a range of criteria. These criteria include: entry standards, student satisfaction, staff to student ratio, expenditure on facilities and resources, research quality and reputation amongst employers and academics from other institutions.

United Kingdom rankings

Our rankings by the three main UK university league tables.

Top 1% in the world*

Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF)

We received a Bronze award in the pilot year of the Teaching Excellence Framework. The TEF panel highlighted that students from all backgrounds achieve good outcomes at our University, a large number progress to highly skilled employment or further study, and our retention levels notably exceed the benchmarks of our peer universities.

They also praised:

 Our Vice-Chancellor, Sir Christopher Snowden, issued this statement regarding the result.

International rankings

With over 14,000 universities worldwide, the University of Southampton continues to feature in the upper echelons of the two main global rankings.

Student satisfaction

Our students report high levels of satisfaction with our courses. In the National Student Survey 2017:

Research excellence

We are a research-intensive university and a founding member of the Russell Group.

Our research grant income continues to grow year on year and in 2014/15 we received over £124m.

Funding from Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) exceeded £200m in 2015. This places us sixth in the UK for total value of grants.

Research Excellence Framework

The Research Excellence Framework 2014 ranked us eighth in the UK for research intensity. We are 11th in the UK based on volume and quality of our research. Over 96 per cent of our research environment is world-leading and internationally excellent.

8th in the UK for research intensity

Research awards and recognition

Royal Society awards

Our academics have been awarded prestigious Royal Society awards several times in recent years. These awards are for expertise in areas ranging from ultrasound technology to the chemistry of the oceans.

The 2011 Royal Society Brian Mercer Award for Innovation was presented to Professor Tim Leighton and Dr Peter Birkin for the development of an ultrasonic technology that could revolutionise deep cleaning, for example in manufacturing, healthcare or the food industry. Watch the video to find out more.

In 2013 Professor Jonathan Essex received a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award to help fund his research into multi-scale computational modelling of chemical and biological systems. Two of our academics received this award in 2014 - Professor Damon Teagle for his investigations into chemical exchange on the vast mid-ocean ridge flanks and Professor Bashir Al-Hashimi for his work on energy-efficient and reliable many-core computing systems.

Royal recognition

Southampton has twice won the coveted Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Further and Higher Education. In 2012 this was for our innovation and world-leading expertise in performance sports engineering; in 2005 for the work of our internationally renowned Institute of Sound and Vibration Research.

In June 2016, the University was awarded its second Regius Professorship as part of HRH The Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations. With the previous award in January 2013, the University now holds Regius Professorships in Ocean Science and Computer Science and recognises our exceptionally high-quality teaching and research in these fields.

In 2009, Professor Wendy Hall became a Dame Commander of the British Empire for services to computer science. She was honoured for her pioneering work in the field of computer science.

In 2013, Professor David Payne became a Knight Bachelor for services to photonics.

We won the Times Higher Education Awards for ICT Initiative of the Year two years in a row.

The 2012 award was for our Open Data Service (, which provides open access to University data to improve the life of the University community and our visitors and increase the transparency of our operations.

In 2011 it went to ‘Synote’, a web-based annotation tool which makes multimedia resources easier to access, search, manage, and exploit for learners, teachers, and other users.

Excellence in education

Discover life on campus and what makes us a global centre for excellence in education.

Find out more

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