UCL the best UK university for creatives


UCL the best UK university for creatives

A study has found that the best university for creative students can be found in the UK's capital. University College London can officially call itself the Crème de la crème of creative universities, thanks to the high ranking on the Complete University Guide, the number of registered creative businesses in the area and an average annual salary of £35,496.

This is unsurprising when we look at some of the visionary creatives the university has taught. Notable alumni include:

• Christopher Nolan - the triple Oscar-nominated writer and director. Films include The Dark Knight trilogy, Inception, and Interstellar to name a few.
• Anthony Gormley - the artist famous for sculpting the Angel of the North.
• Raymond Briggs - author and illustrator best known for The Snowman.

Data for the study was collated by template provider and creative resource Design Bundles. This measured university rankings against data from the Office for National Statistics, and Companies House to produce an index score. This ranked the best universities overall for creative students.

Oxford University, one of the most prestigious universities in the world, was ranked first by the Complete University Guide. However, the lack of creative businesses in the area, and the low average annual salary meant that the University was ranked third in this list. The University of Glasgow takes second place overall, with nearly triple the number of creative businesses in the area compared to UCL and Oxford.

Top Ten best Uk universities for creative students

Rank

University

Ranking on Complete University Guide 

Number of registered creative businesses in the area 

Average salary per area 

Index Score 

1

University College London (UCL) 

2

293

£35,496 

12

2

University of Glasgow 

5

996

£23,292 

17

3

University of Oxford 

1

238

£27,012 

18

4

University of Reading 

6

292

£27,804 

20

5

University of Leeds 

7

598

£23,304 

22

6

University of Edinburgh 

14

684

£25,584 

23

7

Newcastle University 

3

307

£22,236 

23

8

Heriot-Watt University 

15

684

£25,584 

26

9

Kingston University 

10

105

£29,856 

27

10

Goldsmiths, University of London 

9

96

£30,504 

30

 

As demonstrated by the table, there are a wealth of high-ranking universities that creative students can choose to attend. Undergraduate students have a breadth of choice, as exceptional creative learning can be found across England and Scotland.

Commenting on the study, a spokesperson for Design Bundles said: "A-Level results are at an all-time high so it is an exciting time for students heading to University. For creative students, it's essential to be surrounded by a creative environment which any of these top ten universities appear to provide."

While University College London topped the list as the best university for creative students, other UK universities also performed well and offer a great space for creatives. Let's take a look at them.

University of Glasgow
The University of Glasgow takes second place overall with a large choice of job opportunities in the creative field. However, the low annual average salary compared to other locations means that the university was pipped to the post by UCL.

The historical institution has been home to world-altering inventors such as; James Watt and John Logie Baird. Other members include:

• Gerard Butler - Actor most known for his lead roles in 300 as King Leonidas and Clyde Shelton in Law Abiding Citizen among others.
• Peter Mullan - Acclaimed actor from films such as; Braveheart, Trainspotting, and the Harry Potter Franchise.
• Emeli Sandé - Multiple Brit and MOBO award, winning singer-songwriter.

University of Oxford
Oxford - a world leader in higher education unsurprisingly takes first place on the CUG ranking. However, despite this, there are fewer opportunities for creatives (in terms of number of businesses in the area) than other university locations which brings the score to third overall. That said, the location did score an average salary of £27,012 per annum - one of the highest wages outside of London.

The university has produced a seemingly endless supply of famous former students, including:

• J. R. R. Tolkien - author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings
• Lewis Carroll - author of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
• T. S. Eliot - winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature

University of Reading
The University of Reading is fourth overall with a middling score for creative businesses and an annual average salary. This gives the university an index score of 20 not far behind Oxford at 18.

The educational institution has a number of notable former creative students. Including:

• Wilfred Owen - poet and writer most known for Dulce et Decorum est.
• Jamie Cullum - singer-songwriter, presenter, and multi-instrumental musician.
• Julian Barratt - comedian, actor, musician, and record producer. Most known for his appearance in the surrealist comedy TV show The Mighty Boosh.

University of Leeds
The University of Leeds completes the top five of the best universities for creative students list. Similar to the University of Glasgow, Leeds has a high number of registered creative businesses. However, the annual average salary as Leeds has one of the lowest in the top 10. Eminent alumni include:

• Chris Pine - actor best known for roles such as James T. Kirk and Jack Ryan.
• Mark Knopfler - Lead Guitarist and singer for Dire Straits
• Mark Gatiss - author, actor, comedian, screenwriter, director, and producer. Known for his works in The League of Gentlement, Dr Who and Dracula.

Other notable entries
The University of Edinburgh and Herriot-Watt University continue a trend of opportunity for creatives in Scotland. However, the study found that the average salaries for these areas tended to be at the lower end of the scale.

As to be expected of the nation's capital city, London has the most amount of universities in the top 10. Three of London's universities including; University College London (1), Kingston University (9), and Goldsmiths University of London (10), are recognised in the table. This coupled with UCL taking first place overall means a resounding success in London.

Not yet mentioned is Newcastle University at seventh place overall. The establishment takes an impressive third place when measured by the CUG. There are a high number of opportunities in the area but unfortunately, it also has the lowest annual salary of any area in the top ten. Bringing the overall score down.

Former students of note include:
• Rowan Atkinson - The writer, actor, and comedian is best known for his work as Mr Bean.
• Bryan Ferry - trend-setting singer-songwriter
• Princess Eugenie - 11th in line to the throne

Summary
Higher education in the United Kingdom continues to be a world leader in many subject areas. This includes some of the top universities in the world like Oxford. Creative-based institutions are thriving especially in London City. Areas of Scotland have many jobs opportunities for creative students leaving higher education. However, this comes with a lower average annual salary.

Rank

University

Ranking on Complete University Guide 

Number of registered creative businesses in the area 

Average salary per area 

Index Score 

1

University College London (UCL) 

2

293

£35,496 

12

2

University of Glasgow 

5

996

£23,292 

17

3

University of Oxford 

1

238

£27,012 

18

4

University of Reading 

6

292

£27,804 

20

5

University of Leeds 

7

598

£23,304 

22

6

University of Edinburgh 

14

684

£25,584 

23

7

Newcastle University 

3

307

£22,236 

23

8

Heriot-Watt University 

15

684

£25,584 

26

9

Kingston University 

10

105

£29,856 

27

10

Goldsmiths, University of London 

9

96

£30,504 

30

 


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