Is Loughborough the UK’s best architecture school? New uni rankings revealed

The Guardian University Guide, published earlier this month, ranked the University of Cambridge as the top institution for the subject, based on metrics including student to staff ratio, money spent per student and proportion of students continuing into their second year of study.

It is the fourth year in a row Cambridge has taken the top spot.

The Good University Guide from The Times and The Sunday Times, published on Friday, rated Loughborough University in first place, ahead of second-placed Cambridge.

Its ranking is based on factors including teaching quality, student experience and research quality.

The Times noted in its overall assessment of Cambridge that it is launching a new degree in 2024 called Design Tripos – a merger of the study of arts and sciences underpinned by a drive to address global challenges, including climate change and poverty. It has been co-developed by its departments of architecture, engineering, and materials science and is also ‘an attempt to balance gender disparity in these fields’.

In a statement on its Times ranking – where it was ranked 10th across all universities – Loughborough said: ‘The university’s staff, students and alumni continue to make a real difference across the world […] research from the School of Architecture, Building and Civil and Engineering is helping to guide the country through the RAAC (Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete) crisis.’

For architecture, Cardiff University was second in The Guardian’s list and rated in third place by The Times.

Juliet Davis, head of school at the Welsh School of Architecture at Cardiff said the department had a significant refurbishment of its building, which was re-opened in March 2022. ‘As a result, the students have brand new facilities including newly equipped workshops, an exhibition hall and wider range of studios,’ she said.

‘We place a lot of emphasis on student experience and we’ve focussed a lot on getting our students back into our building post-pandemic and re-learning the benefits of working in a studio.

‘We’ve also got an incredible team of dedicated staff who work collectively and energetically to deliver excellence in all our courses.’

The controversy-hit Bartlett school of architecture at University College London (UCL) was ranked in third place by The Guardian for architecture but only 14th by The Times, despite being named as the overall best university by the latter.

The Guardian University Guide top 10 universities for architecture

  1. Cambridge
  2. Cardiff University
  3. UCL
  4. Loughborough University
  5. Ulster
  6. Edinburgh
  7. University of Sheffield
  8. University of Liverpool
  9. University of Nottingham
  10. UWE Bristol

The Good University Guide top 10 universities for architecture

  1. Loughborough University
  2. Cambridge
  3. Cardiff University
  4. University of Sheffield
  5. Bath
  6. Edinburgh
  7. Ulster
  8. Strathclyde
  9. University of Liverpool
  10. University of Nottingham