Leeds Arts University knocks Dundee off top spot for best place to study design

The Northern institution, which was previously a college and was granted university status last year, has topped the Guardian’s league tables for 2019.

Leeds Arts University is the best place to study design and crafts in 2019, according to The Guardian’s latest league tables.

Every year, the national newspaper publishes a university guide, which ranks universities overall and across 54 subject areas based on several factors.

Student satisfaction

The Guardian University League Tables focuses on data surrounding students, such as satisfaction with course content, teaching and feedback, as well as student to staff ratio, spend per student and the percentage of first year students who carry on into second year rather than drop out.

It also looks at the average Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) scores of students on entry to university, what they are doing six months after graduation, and also compares their degree results to their entry qualifications.

This year, Leeds Arts University tops the chart for design and crafts, taking the top spot from Dundee University, which came first last year. Dundee now sits at spot 18.

Kingston and Goldsmiths follow

This year’s top 10 includes two London universities, with Kingston in second place, followed by Goldsmiths in third.

Others include Loughborough, Lincoln, Arts University Bournemouth, Staffordshire, Coventry, Nottingham Trent and Edinburgh.

Leeds Arts University topped the charts in student satisfaction, despite falling behind other leading universities on spend per student, and career prospects six months after graduating.

Previously a college

It was previously known as Leeds College of Art, and was officially recognised as a university only last year.

While colleges sometimes offer undergraduate degrees, they tend to offer a wider mix of non-degree courses than universities, such as further education courses, apprenticeships and diplomas. They also tend to be smaller in size than universities, with less of a focus on academia, according to Which? university guide.

Leeds Arts says it is now “the only specialist arts university in the North of England”, and offers a range of undergraduate degrees in subjects including animation, illustration, graphic design, textile design and visual communication.

It also offers masters degrees, and further education courses such as foundation diplomas in art and design, which act as precursors or alternatives to an undergraduate degree.

Former students include Barbara Hepworth and Damien Hirst

It was founded as Leeds School of Art in 1846 when the Leeds Mechanics’ Institute and the Literary Institute merged together. It changed its name to Leeds College of Art in the 1920s, and went on to grow its course offering to include furniture, graphic design, printmaking and more. Former students include sculptors Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth, contemporary artist Damien Hirst and fashion designer Omar Kashoura.

To see the top 75 universities to study design and crafts according to the Guardian University League Tables 2019, head here.

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  • Anthony Sully June 4, 2018 at 12:59 pm

    It is a real shame that with such elevated status it no longer runs an interior design course as it did when I was interviewed for the vice principal’s post in the early 1990’s. In fact 3D design is a minimal provision which to my mind reduces its status as a leading college of art and design. Of course 3D design is more expensive to run than 2D courses so there’s the rub.

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