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Cambridge retains university rankings top spot … while Bartlett slides again

Cambridge School of Architecture
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The University of Cambridge has retained first place in The Guardian’s annual league table of the best UK architecture schools to apply for in 2018

However University College London’s Bartlett School of Architecture has dipped in the rankings again – falling from second to third place in the 2018 table, having been knocked off the top spot in the 2017 rankings by Cambridge.

The famous London school has been replaced in second position by the University of Bath’s Department of Architecture & Civil Engineering.

Responding to the new rankings, director of the Bartlett Bob Sheil said: ‘Positive changes to the curriculum are already in place, and we moved into a fabulous new building in 2017. We are aiming to see our ranking rise to its former place in the near future.’

The University of Huddersfield, the Kent School of Architecture, the University for the Creative Arts and the Welsh School of Architecture also remain in the top 10 architecture schools for the second year running.

And Sheffield School of Architecture has shot into the top 10, rising to fourth from 15th in the 2017 rankings. Nottingham and Queen’s Belfast also enter the top 10. 

As a result Manchester School of Architecture, UWE Bristol and Northumbria have all dropped out of the top 10. While Manchester and UWE Bristol have dropped moderately to 12th and 16th respectively, Northumbria slid down the rankings drastically – dropping from 10th to 30th.

Head of Sheffield School of Architecture Fionn Stevenson said: ‘Our students clearly recognise these efforts, and also play a major part in these rankings in terms of the excellent rapport they have with our staff.

‘We have consistently been in the top five for our teaching in other rankings and it is good to see this now happening in The Guardian’s league table as well.’

But, she added: ‘League tables are never something to rely on, as their relatively opaque formulas and criteria do not always represent the more nuanced realities of teaching architecture.

’Different schools are going through different challenges and successes at any one time, which may not be captured in these criteria. Far better for applicants to gain direct feedback is from current students by word of mouth, which is how reputations are really built up, and to visit the schools they are interested in.’

Coventry narrowly misses out on a place in the top 10, rising to 11th place from 13th the year before.

At the bottom of the rankings sits Kingston, which has dropped from 41 in the 2017 rankings to 49. 

The Guardian’s 2018 top 10 architecture schools

1. Cambridge (2017 ranking: 1)

2. Bath (3)

3. The Bartlett (2)

4. Sheffield (15) 

5. Nottingham (12)

6. Huddersfield (8)

7. Queen’s, Belfast (21) 

8. Welsh School of Architecture ( 4)

9. University for the Creative Arts (5)

10. Kent (7) 

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