Happiest University Courses


Research reveals that university students studying to be a vet are the happiest and most satisfied with their degree.

Findings from Vita Student shows that Veterinary Medicine & Dentistry topped the list of happiest university degrees in 2021 with students scoring the course a whopping 92% satisfaction level in the National Student Survey.

Intellectual stimulation (98%) and the overall teaching quality (94%) were the two highest scoring factors that students valued in the course that meant it clinched the top spot.

Nutrition & Dietetics, Earth Sciences, Physiotherapy and Geography courses also ranked highly and made it into the top 10 happiest university degree courses in the UK in 2021:

  1. Veterinary Medicine & Dentistry (92.4%)
  2. Nutrition and Dietetics (84.8%)
  3. Earth Sciences (84.5%)
  4. Chemistry (84.1%)
  5. Statistics (83.0%)
  6. Medicine (82.7%)
  7. Geography (82.3%)
  8. Physiotherapy (82.2%)
  9. Dentistry (81.8%)
  10. Classics (81.7%)

*Top ten courses ranked by the extent to which each student feels satisfied with the quality of their course.

Surprisingly, there were many courses that rose dramatically in the happiness and satisfaction ranks through 2020 into 2021, despite the troubling effects the pandemic had on university studies and student life. Naval Architecture rose a massive 117 places during the period, while Food and Beverage Studies and Bioengineering, Medical and Biomedical Engineering also rose steeply through the rankings.

Microbiology and Cell Science also positioned highly, perhaps even more so now as microbiology has been pushed to the forefront of conversation due to COVID-19.

The data has been taken from the National Student Survey 2021 and has been carefully analysed by data experts at Vita Student, one of the leading luxury student accommodation providers in the UK with locations across the country. The survey gathers information from over 332,500 students across 397 universities, colleges and alternative providers.

Some historically less well-known courses that have scored highly on the satisfaction scale include Landscape Design, Welsh Studies, Forestry and Arboriculture, American & Australasian Studies and Cultural Studies.

Max Bielby, Chief Operating Officer at Vita Group said:

“Student happiness, satisfaction and wellbeing is a main priority for us, so looking deeper into the findings was something we were keen to do to gain a more in-depth understanding of students across the country. It doesn’t surprise us that working with animals came out on top in the results. Teaching quality and opportunities to learn are clearly hugely important elements that effect the experience so it’s something students should look at before choosing a course.

“We know the past few years have been tough for everyone, especially students, so it’s encouraging to see satisfaction levels are solid and it’s positive that there are courses on the rise. We now hope to see these stats rise year after year as students enjoy their higher-education.”

It’s not only the courses that effect a student’s happiness, but also the location. The research shows that of the major UK cities with multiple universities, the top 6 cities with the happiest students are:

  1. Aberdeen 85.8%
  2. Glasgow 82.8%
  3. York 81.2%
  4. Liverpool 80.0%
  5. Belfast 79.5%
  6. Leeds 79.0%

*Cities with more than 3 universities showing the extent to which students studying at providers in those cities feel satisfied with the quality of their course.