Sussex soars in the Guardian’s university rankings

A rise of 24 places in the Guardian University Guide 2016 puts Sussex among the UK’s top 20 universities.

The table, published today (26 May 2015), ranks Sussex at 19th

Vice-Chancellor Professor Michael Farthing attributed the University’s outstanding performance to a renewed  focus on student experience and graduate employability.

He said: “During the past couple of years we have looked very carefully at the areas in which we weren’t doing so well and have made some major improvements.

“In particularly, we have increased opportunities for studying abroad, for professional and industry placements and for internships.

“Giving our students these real-world experiences has contributed to our massive improvement.  Ninety six  per cent of our graduates are either in work or full time study six months after leaving, which is a stunning result.”

In addition, he said the University has made significant changes to enhance its students’ experience. These include improvements to assessments and feedback,  a 34 per cent increase in spending on academic services in the past two years - resulting in better library provision, IT services and careers services and e-learning support - and an investment in more academic staff to improve the ratio of students to staff.

“What’s important now is that we continue to give our students  the best opportunities, not just in terms of their experience while studying at Sussex, but for their careers and their personal development,” he said.

The university has performed exceptionally well in several subject areas.  Chemistry is ranked first and Drama is placed second. Seven other subjects are in the top ten:  Modern Languages (4th), Social Work (5th), American Studies (6th), English (8th),  Geography (8th),  Physics (9th), History of Art  (10th).

Subjects appearing in the top 25 are:  Anthropology (11th), Philosophy (12th),  Sociology (14th), Neuroscience (14th),  Medicine (15th), Music (15th), Media and Film Studies (16th), Mechanical Engineering (18th), History (20th), Law (20th), Mathematics (22), Biosciences (24th), Psychology (24th).

Professor Clare Mackie, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Teaching and Learning), said: “It is extremely pleasing to see nine of our subjects ranked in the top ten and many others in the top 25. It’s a testament to the high calibre of our faculty and our on-going efforts to make this a great place to study.”

The Guardian’s tables rank universities according to: spending per student; 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).

Sussex’s rise, up from 43rd last year, makes the University the highest climber in the top 50 of the 119 UK institutions measured by the Guardian


Notes for editors;

Link to Guardian University Guide

University of Sussex Press Office: Jacqui Bealing and James Hakner, T: 01273 678888, E:


By: Jacqui Bealing
Last updated: Tuesday, 26 May 2015