At the weekend, The Sunday Times printed their Good University guide for 2016. This is a great resources for seeing how a university is performing overall. However, if the engineering department isn’t pumping out the next James Dyson it could make the future-carving graphics department look second rate too.
Before you get hung up on the stats, there are a number of ways to rank your options. When it comes to making your final three choices, the most important factors are those that are personal to you.
Look at past students work to get a feel for the style or direction it takes and go to open days for valuable insight to the facilities. Your careers service and lecturers are also a great source of advice as they know your direction and could give you some individual suggestions.
Entry requirements will be guided in part by your results but it is usually good to aim high if you can. Universities with higher expectations at the beginning are looking to work with the most dedicated so you should get a better lecture experience. You should get a more interesting array of people to work with on your projects and to help challenge you creatively.
Another important factor is lecturer/student ratio. This will mean more face time with the people that matter most. Not all rankings feature this as it is tricky to measure. When you have a shortlist, ask universities what the group size is in tutorials, that is the time you will have the most questions and be in need of support with skills and technology.
Hopefully, the main reason for going to university is to improve your employment opportunities at the end of it, the student lifestyle and socialising should remain an added benefit!
Although you should not get hung up on the stats, looking at employment rates for graduates and average earnings can help you create a that short list. These are based on the percentage of graduates in employment within 6 months of completing their course.
We have combined information from What Uni, Unistats and Which University to create this top 10 list, so in alphabetical order…
University of Hertfordshire
Location: West Midlands
Average Graduate Salary – £18k
Course details: Pathways in graphics or illustration, skills cover typography, print making and software, including interactive and motion graphics.