There is a very wide variation in the satisfaction of full-time final-year undergraduate students with the quality of the teaching of first degrees in theology and religious studies at UK universities.
This is according to results from the National Student Survey (NSS), which has been running annually since 2005, and whose 2010-11 data were published today. The survey is administered by Ipsos MORI on behalf of the higher education funding councils.
The percentage of students at each institution who said that they definitely or mostly agreed with the statement that ‘overall, I am satisfied with the quality of the course’ (question 22) is shown below.
The data relate to undergraduate courses in theology and religious studies except where an asterisk appears (denoting a course in philosophy, theology and religious studies). In some cases, the satisfaction scores are based on more than one year’s NSS results.
100% Durham University
100% University of Exeter
100% Liverpool Hope University
100% University of St Andrews
98% University of Cambridge
98% St Mary’s University College, Twickenham
97% University of Stirling*
96% University of Kent
96% University of Oxford
96% York St John University
94% University of Bristol
94% University of Chester
94% University of Glasgow*
94% University of Nottingham
93% University of Aberdeen
93% Heythrop College, University of London
90% University of Edinburgh
90% University of Manchester
89% Lancaster University
89% Oxford Brookes University*
89% Roehampton University
89% University of Winchester
88% University of Sheffield
87% Bangor University
86% King’s College London
86% University of Leeds
84% Anglia Ruskin University*
84% Cardiff University
83% Bath Spa University
81% Newman University College
81% Queen’s University Belfast
76% University of Birmingham
76% Canterbury Christ Church University
76% School of Oriental and African Studies
76% University of Wolverhampton
74% University of Hull
73% Middlesex University*
72% University of Gloucestershire
71% University of Wales, Trinity St David (formerly Lampeter)
The league table is in line with expectations in many respects, not least in the strong showing by such institutions as Durham University, the University of Cambridge and the University of Oxford.
But there are a number of surprises, especially in comparison with the assessment of the quality of research in theology, divinity and religious studies, as measured in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE).
For example, Liverpool Hope University, only 20% of whose research output in the field was judged 3* or 4* in 2008 (i.e. world-leading or internationally excellent) was joint top of the NSS table with 100%.
Towards the other end of the spectrum, the University of Birmingham achieved a 60% rating of its research at 3* and 4* but came well down the NSS list (in joint 32nd place, out of 39 institutions).
The NSS data can be searched and downloaded from:
The RAE results will be found at: