University Course Search Engines and League Tables

How to use League Tables

League Tables can be a really hepful tool to consider when choosing a university or course as they can help you to compare your choices with others. However, there are lots of different ranking measures which you need to consider and league tables do not always tell the whole story: 

  • Just because an instution is rated the "best" does not mean they are the best place for a specific course
  •  ...likewise if an institution is ranked lower overall, they may still be outstanding for a particular course or programme. 
  • League Tables don't always say WHY an institution ranked higher or lower. Perhaps there was a "dud" year for a specific reason that is not specified in the score. 
  • Just because a place might be the "best" place, doesn't mean it's the best place for you! Likewise, somewhere might not have been the right choice for someone however it could be the best choice for you as everyone is different. 

1. Do students enjoy studying at the university?

All Graduates fill in a survey called the National Student Survey (NSS) which tells you whay they thought of the course and the university.  

2. What percentage of students gets a first class and second-class degree?

10% of students get a first class degree and around 50% get a 2:1.  If an institution have a higher than average number of students who get higher grades it suggests there is a high standard of teaching. 

3. How many research staff does the university have?

The government uses a system called RAE to decide who gets funding depending on the quality of their research, and the same information is used to look at the number of research staff and how many get published.

4. How hard is it to get in?

UCAS points tell you how well you have to do in your Level 3 qualifications in order to get into the university, so the higher the level of points, the better grades you have to get. This usually means the courses with higher points are very popular and harder to get into.

5. How many graduates find a job after they finish studying?

If a university if preparing you for employment successfully then there should be a high number of students in graduate employment soon after they've completed their course. 

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