Rankings and other information

On this page we consider some of the other information that you might come across or be interested in when choosing your course, including league tables and rankings.

If you search the web for ‘best university for xxxx’, your search results will probably include some university rankings, or league tables.

League tables can seem like an easy way of finding the best places to study, but you should think about what is important to you when you are making your decision and look at other information as well.  

They use different pieces of information to come up with an overall ranking and some may weight the things that are important to you more highly than others. It is worth checking what they use and what is given greatest importance when arriving at the final scoring. That way you can decide which ones are likely to be useful to you.

Some tables give research quite high significance, which may not be as relevant to you as student satisfaction, for example. Some give weight to tariff entry points, which are not an indicator of successful learning, teaching and student support, and can reflect inequalities in relation to access to higher education.

Employers aren’t just interested in whether you went to a university or college that is high in the league tables. They’ll be considering the relevance of the qualification you have and the skills and experience you have gained.

Some examples of league tables are:

The Complete University Guide university league tables

The Guardian university league tables

The Times and The Sunday Times also publish university rankings in their Good University Guide. You need to subscribe to access this.

Most universities and colleges will operate a system of degree classification, which is like a grading system with First class being the highest that you can achieve. These classifications typically include:

  • First class
  • Second class (split into upper and lower second class)
  • Third class
  • Ordinary degrees (where the requirements for an Honours degree are not met).

We do not publish information about the degree classifications students who previously completed the course gained. This is because we do not consider it to be a reflection of course quality.

You can find information about patterns of degree classification on the Higher Education Statistics Agency website.

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