Find the best creative courses in the country in The Guardian University Guide 2021

The new guide, with supporting illustrations by Janne Iivonen, ranks institutions by subject and offers helpful information for prospective and current students.

8 September 2020
Reading Time
2 minute read

The Guardian has published its university guide for 2021, embellished with illustrations by the Finnish artist Janne Iivonen. The league table ranks UK universities overall, is also broken down into 54 subject areas and can be filtered by a specific course or institution.

The rankings are based on a score out of 100, which is in turn based on eight different criteria, including what students say about their teaching, feedback, and the course itself in the annual National Student Survey. The team at The Guardian also looks at the sizes of classes through the student-to-staff ratio, at how much universities spend on teaching per student, and at students’ A-level grades and whether their academic achievement improves at university (the value-added score).

With the job prospects for graduating students sadly more challenging in 2020 than in previous years, The Guardian has added a new piece of data to its criteria this year – namely, how many students get graduate jobs or go on to further study within 15 months of leaving university.

Looking down the list filtered by subject reveals some expected names and some perhaps slightly more surprising entries. For “design and crafts”, Kingston tops the ranking, followed by Loughborough and Trinity St David, with Dundee coming in at number four and Goldsmiths at five.

For fashion and textiles, Loughborough is at the top of the table, followed by Central Lancashire and Kingston, with UAL down in ninth position. Oxford comes top for Art, followed by UCL and then Goldsmiths, while Cambridge comes in first place for Architecture, with UCL and Bath completing the top three.

Edinburgh Napier comes out on top for film production and photography, followed closely by Bristol and Glasgow, while St Andrews, Loughborough and Warwick make up the top three (in that order) for media and film studies.

Read the full guide here.

GalleryThe Guardian: University Guide 2021, Illustrations by Janne Iivonen (Copyright © The Guardian, 2020)

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The Guardian: University Guide 2021, Illustrations by Janne Iivonen (Copyright © The Guardian, 2020)

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About the Author

Matt Alagiah

Matt joined It’s Nice That as editor in October 2018 and became editor-in-chief in September 2020. He was previously executive editor at Monocle magazine. Drop him a line with ideas and suggestions, or simply to say hello.

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