UK University League Tables – 2019 paints a mixed picture for product design and engineering

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The annual Guardian University league tables have been published, and as ever product design courses are spread across the ‘Design and Craft’ and ‘Mechanical Engineering’ classes, making it a task to navigate.

Through our experience, each university has a very different means of teaching and qualifying their product design teachings [as well as somewhat stupidly giving the courses differing titles], and the annual graduate shows are an excellent way to get to see this close up.

Yet for many, this table acts as a starting point for many (including teachers tasked with advising students) and it throws up some interesting stats that are worth discussion.
With product design listed as part of the ‘Design and Craft’ field, Lincoln University ranks top – 5th for the course, and 22nd as a University overall – while when listed in the ‘Mechanical Engineering’ field, Leeds ranks 3rd for the course and 10th overall.

It’s a confusing table to try and get a handle on (we’ve no idea who sits as defecto first place for product design), but it still shows the established forces such as Brunel (15th for course, 58th overall), Loughborough (5th/4th), and Coventry (8th/13th) are in the upper echelons thanks to the number of students finding employment within six months of graduation, and healthy staff per student numbers.


Have a look through the results for Product Design courses here.


The mechanical engineering courses are much more clearcut, with Imperial College (1st/7th), Bath (2nd/6th), and Leeds (3rd/10th) rewarded with top spots, while Southampton should get an honorary mention for fielding 23 different postgraduate mechanical engineering courses and still placing highly with 6th/23rd.

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Have a look through the results for Mechanical Engineering courses here.


The full Guardian University Guide 2019 can be found online here.

Let us know your thoughts, and who you’d consider the top educator in the comments below or via Twitter