Preston's University of Central Lancashire is highest climber in UK rankings

Lynne Livesey, UClan joint institutional lead
Lynne Livesey, UClan joint institutional lead
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The University of Central Lancashire has leapt 27 places in the new 2020 Complete University Guide league tables – making the regional top 10 and is the UKs biggest climber.

While Lancashire universities continue to dominate the regional tables, with Lancaster holding on to top spot, Preston-based UCLan has made a dramatic rise up both the regional and national rankings in the prestigious tables.

Edge Hill Vice-Chancellor Dr John Cater

Edge Hill Vice-Chancellor Dr John Cater


UCLan is 75th nationally, up from 102nd last year, makes 46 appearances in subject tables and is placed eighth in the regional tables.

Forensic science was ranked in the UK’s top 10 and top in the North West with further areas of study ranked in the UK’s top 20 including physiotherapy; general engineering, dentistry, linguistics and anthropology.

Liz Bromley, UCLan’s joint institutional lead, said: "We are absolutely delighted to be the UK’s biggest riser in the Complete University Guide 2020. The rise of 27 places is a great reward for the hard work everyone has put in to ensure we offer our students the very best experience.

"We have seen great improvements in our students’ employability prospects, where we are above the national average, and our retention initiatives are bearing fruit, meaning people irrespective of their backgrounds are fulfilling their potential and meeting their life and career goals.

Forensic science studies at UCLan are among the best in the UK

Forensic science studies at UCLan are among the best in the UK

Her counterpart Lynne Livesey added: “To be among the UK’s top 10 universities for forensic science is excellent and this comes on the back of our recent collaboration with Lancashire Constabulary which has seen the creation of the first-of-its-kind Lancashire Forensic Science Academy.

It is also very encouraging to have eight other subject areas ranked in the top 20, this is testament to work we are constantly doing to ensure our course portfolio meets the demands of students and employers."

Lancaster rose one place to achieve it's highest ever ranking of seventh nationally and vice-chancellor Professor Mark E. Smith said: “It is wonderful to see Lancaster University’s quality reflected time and time again with top 10 positions in all the major UK league tables.

"The University continues to build on a solid platform of success, which is entirely down to the commitment, excellence and hard work of our staff and students."


Edge Hill is four places behind Lancaster at fifth in the regional top-10 and 58th nationally up from joint 71st.

The University has also been ranked in the top three in the North West for student-staff ratio, and in the top four in the North West for student satisfaction, good honours and degree completion.

Vice chancellor Dr John Cater said: “The Complete University Guide is one of the key sources of advice and guidance for students considering entering university. Edge Hill has now risen over 50 places in the Guide in the past decade, an outstanding performance by any measure, and we are intent on continuing the upward trajectory in the years to come.”

Meanwhile, the University of Cumbria is 11th in the North West , up three places from last year to 120th.

In regional subject tables Lancaster appears in the top 10 for 19 subjects, teaching far fewer subjects than most other leaders (31) and UCLan in one. Only Lancaster is ranked first for a subject, topping the creative writing table, with UCLan rated in the top 20 in the same subject.

Nationally, graduate prospects continue to rise year-on-year, with the average score for the UK now at 75.5, up from 73.0 last year.

Universities in the North West score an average of 75.9, with Lancaster (89.2) scoring the highest in the region and third highest nationally.

Five other regional institutions are rated above average for graduate prospects with UCLan and and Edge Hill both 76.9.