Kingston University best place to study design in 2020

The Guardian has released its latest league tables, which shows that the South-West London institution has topped the charts for design and craft subjects.

Students at Kingston University, image courtesy of Kingston University

The Guardian’s league tables for 2020 have ranked London’s Kingston University as the best place to study design, knocking Leeds Arts from the top spot.

Every year, The Guardian releases its ranking, which analyses various factors to come up with an overall score out of 100 for every university in the UK.

This includes student satisfaction with course content, teaching and feedback from staff; student to staff ratio; spend per student; average entry UCAS scores of students; a comparison of students’ entry grades with their degree results to assess course effectiveness; and the number of students who are in professional jobs or further education within six months of graduation.

University for the Creative Arts best specialist uni

There is a main league table, which looks at the overall ranking of unis across all subjects, and smaller league tables for different subject areas. Design and craft are grouped into one subject area. Art is ranked separately, as is architecture.

University for the Creative Arts (UCA), which has campuses in Canterbury, Epsom, Farnham and Rochester, is the highest-ranked specialist creative university in the main league table, at 13th place.

It offers a range of courses in graphic design, advertising, animation, games, fashion, film, three-dimensional (3D) design, jewellery-making and more.

Kingston best for design and craft

The top 10 unis for studying design and craft are Kingston, Loughborough, Portsmouth, Edinburgh, Leeds Arts, Manchester Metropolitan, Trinity Saint David, Buckinghamshire New University, UCA and Northumbria.

Kingston has jumped up from second to first place this year, stealing the top title from Leeds Arts, while London’s Goldsmiths, Arts University Bournemouth, Lincoln, Staffordshire, Coventry and Nottingham Trent have been knocked out of the top 10 altogether.

New additions this year include Portsmouth, Manchester Met, Trinity Saint David, Bucks New University, UCA and Northumbria.

Kingston University, based in South-West London, offers a range of undergraduate and postgraduate design courses, including art and design foundation diplomas, graphic design, interior design, product and furniture design, game development, sustainable design, user experience design and illustration.

Art and architecture see more red bricks

While design and craft’s top 10 list includes a mix of specialist creative institutions, polytechnics and redbricks, art and architecture are dominated by red brick and ancient unis.

Ancient unis include the likes of Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh and St Andrews, and were founded between the 11th and 16th centuries. Red brick universities include Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester, Nottingham, Leeds and Bristol, and were founded in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

For art, the top 10 are University College London (UCL), Oxford, Newcastle, Goldsmiths, Oxford Brookes, Lancaster, London Metropolitan, Trinity Saint David, Kingston and Liverpool John Moores.

The front-runners for architecture are Cambridge, UCL, Sheffield, Bath, Coventry, University of the West of England (UWE) Bristol, Cardiff, Oxford Brookes, Northumbria and Manchester School of Architecture in joint ninth place, and Dundee.

See The Guardian’s university league tables 2020 in full here, and see Design Week’s analysis of last year’s results here.

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