How to find out the size of departments / courses?

(12 Posts)
JoHarrison Thu 09-Jan-20 22:52:21

Does anyone know where I can find out the number of students / intake on a particular course? Or even the size of a department overall.

OP’s posts: |
Ginfordinner Thu 09-Jan-20 22:59:18

If it isn't on the university website you may need to contact the university. We were given information about intake sizes at open days. The number varied significantly between universities from 50 at one to over 400 at another.

HugoSpritz Fri 10-Jan-20 09:07:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Ginfordinner Fri 10-Jan-20 09:46:57

Admissions officers are usually really friendly and helpful and respond quickly generally to emails and phone calls.

That has been my experience as well

Phphion Fri 10-Jan-20 10:01:18

You can find some information from HESA data. It's not exactly what you are looking for, but this table, for example, gives some numbers about each university broken down by various levels of JACS code:

If you choose science or non-science it then breaks it down by subject, but may combine several courses under one subject code.

MillicentMartha Fri 10-Jan-20 10:25:18

That's a really useful website. Thanks Phphion.

MillicentMartha Fri 10-Jan-20 10:31:18

Just remember to divide by around 3 to get one year's intake.


JoHarrison Fri 10-Jan-20 17:48:13

@Phphion, that is fan-bloody-tastic. Thank you so much. Has completely answered my question. All I wanted to see was relative size of intakes.

OP’s posts: |
BubblesBuddy Fri 10-Jan-20 23:46:46

Many courses say exactly how many places they have on the individual web site. Size, or lack of, doesn’t denote quality though.

MillicentMartha Sat 11-Jan-20 00:00:19

I don’t think it’s a case of quality. Some students might prefer a more personal, big fish/small pond experience, others might be looking for a busier, big town feel, etc.

barberousbarbara Sat 11-Jan-20 12:57:39

It's also worth bearing in mind that a course intake doesn't necessarily indicate class size, particularly in 1st and 2nd year. My biochemistry course intake was 30 but we shared many 1st and 2nd year core modules with other courses, including chemistry, biology, microbiology and biomedical science, so some of the classes were up to 120 students.

Dolorabelle Sat 11-Jan-20 13:31:05

This is also information which is usually given in, say, a Head of Department talk at Open Days.

You can make a rough guess by looking at the Department's website to see how many academic staff they have: full-time & permanent (not "Honorary" or Post-doc researchers). If you then multiply that by around 20 (a fairly average staff-student ratio) you'll be able to make a very rough estimate (I stress "rough") of student numbers overall.

Intake each year may vary, depending on other factors, which are often beyond a Department's control. My department is one of the larger in the discipline (in the research-led group of universities aka mostly Russell Group), but in post-92 Departments in the same discipline, there are larger groupings and larger intakes.

Best to ask this question at an Open Day, as that will give you the information that is most current - at Open Days, departments will have more idea about their targets and their quotas for the next couple of years, as we have to participate in planning processes at least 18 months before each annual intake - we're generally working 18-24 months ahead in terms of planning.

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