The standards of UK medical schools are incredibly high. In fact, out of a score of 100, graduate prospects at the top 15 med schools is 98 at its lowest. It goes without saying that succeeding at medical school is an enormous achievement. On the world stage, all UK medical schools are respected. There is no such thing as a ‘bad’ medical school! Such stringent testing and independent evaluation ensures that the standards are very, very high.
Still, there is still a means to rank medical schools based on certain criteria and this is especially important for extremely talented individuals who would like to secure themselves the best possible place at the best possible uni.
What is taken into account for a university rating?
There is no one ‘gold standard’ of ranking universities. Every major ranking authority has different methods. The Complete University Guide, The Guardian, The Times and UKUni all have varying rankings.
Some key criteria for ranking:
Student satisfaction - The proportion of students which gave good feedback in a number of independent reviews and questionnaires.
Research quality - The quality of research undertaken by the university as well as the number of staff involved in research. Some rankings also take into account how many citations are attributed to uni staff in research papers.
Graduate prospects - The employment prospects of graduates.
UK Universities on the World Stage
TopUniversities, a world authority on university rankings place Oxford and Cambridge after Harvard (in that order). 9th in the pecking-order is UCL. Imperial takes 11th place and King’s is at 21. Many UK universities sit in the top 50, though, which is still extremely good.
The Top 3 UK Unis For Student Satisfaction
(Scored out of 5)
Cambridge has lagged behind for student satisfaction whilst Oxford takes top spot.
Oxford (score: 4.63)
Brighton and Sussex (score: 4.46)
Keele (score: 4.45)
The Top 3 UK Unis for Research Quality
(Scored out of 4)
Very close here.
Swansea (Graduate course - 3.49)
The Top 3 UK Unis for Research Intensity - This measures how many staff are actually involved in research.
(Scored out of 1)
University College London (0.96)
Top 3 UK Unis for Teaching Satisfaction
(Scored out of 100)
Should you worry much about rankings?
Rankings change dramatically and often. It goes without saying that Oxbridge and other top unis like Imperial, King’s, UCL and Edinburgh are the targets for many but every medical schools offers something unique and none should be overlooked.
Some suggest that broadly speaking, things depend on your desire to get either into research or patient-facing hands-on work. The highly academic courses at Oxbridge are designed to produce graduates who have futures in cutting-edge medical research. Other universities may be better at equipping graduates for a range of more practical careers in medicine. It’s all very subjective so use rankings as a guidance, not as a gospel truth which guides your choices wholly!