Published on 07/09/2020
Female Enginnering student in lab
  • Aston University ranked 30th of UK universities overall, and 11th for Continuation and 24th for Value Added criteria
  • Engineering subjects perform strongly in the rankings, showing continued improvement
  • Health Professions subject area is ranked 10th in the UK.


Aston University has climbed six places to number 30 in the latest Guardian University Guide.

The Guardian league table focuses on the quality of teaching, student satisfaction and employability - issues which are vital to young people choosing where to study.

The guide ranks universities according to: spending per student; the student/staff ratio; graduate career prospects, what grades applicants need to get a place, a value added score that compares students' entry qualifications with their final degree results; and how satisfied final-year students are with their courses, based on results from the annual National Student Survey (NSS)1.

Aston University has performed particularly strongly in two criteria that make up the overall ranking: continuation and value added. Continuation measures the proportion of students staying in higher education beyond their first year and it is 11th in the UK for this measure. The value added score tracks students’ performance from enrolment to graduation and the University is ranked 24th.

Its strong rankings in these criteria demonstrate how the support it offers to students throughout their time at the University helps them to exceed expectations based on their entry requirements.

The overall Guardian league table is also accompanied by subject rankings, showing how universities perform across specific areas of study. Engineering subject areas at Aston University have seen continued improvement in this year’s ranking. It ranks 4th in the UK in the Building and Town and Country Planning subject area2, 3rd in the UK for Electrical Engineering and 7th for General Engineering.

The 2021 Guardian University Guide also highlights Aston University’s reputation for developing highly employable graduates. A number of subject areas are in the upper quartile of the ranking for graduate-level employment 15 months after graduation. These include:

  • Health and Life Sciences: Health Professions 10th and Biosciences 13th
  • Humanities and Social Sciences: English 6th and Sociology 17th
  • Aston Business School: Economics 13th and Business and Management and Marketing 20th
  • Engineering and Physical Sciences: Mathematics 16th and Computer Science 27th

Saskia Loer Hansen, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Engagement), said:

“I am delighted that The Guardian’s ranking recognises the quality of the experience and outcomes of our students and graduates. Our students come from a diverse range of backgrounds3 and we are committed to giving each and every one the support that they need during their time with us to achieve and realise their full potential.”


Notes to editors
  1. More information on the Guardian University Guide can be found here:
  2. In the Building and Town and Country Planning subject area, Aston University offers longstanding programmes in Quantity Surveying and Construction Project Management, as well as a recently relaunched Civil Engineering degree.
  3. Aston University is one of the UK’s most diverse universities. In 2017/18, 65.4% of the total student population came from an ethnic minority background, compared to a national average of 22%. This represents the diversity of Birmingham, where two thirds of the school age population are from Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds.


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Nicola Jones, Press and Communications Manager
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