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Arts University Plymouth excels again in the National Student Survey 2023

Arts University Plymouth excels again in the National Student Survey 2023

Students have rated Arts University Plymouth above the national average in every category of the National Student Survey 2023, and as the highest scoring arts university in multiple categories

Students have rated Arts University Plymouth above the national benchmark in all categories of the National Student Survey (NSS) 2023.

This year, across the NSS 2023, Arts University Plymouth was the highest scoring arts university in the UK in five of the seven NSS categories: “teaching on my course”, “learning opportunities”, “assessment and feedback”, “learning resources” and “student voice”, when compared against the UK’s seven other well-respected arts universities (Arts University Bournemouth, Falmouth University, Leeds Arts University, Norwich University of the Arts, Ravensbourne University, University for the Creative Arts, and University of the Arts London). 

Professor Paul Fieldsend-Danks, Vice-Chancellor at Arts University Plymouth said: “We are delighted that our students have voted with confidence for their student experience, and we are pleased that our compelling offer has been recognised in the National Survey 2023. Once again we sit in excellent company amongst our peers, signalling the strength of the UK’s specialist arts higher education sector. We believe that Arts University Plymouth has a major part to play in creating opportunities for creative people of all ages, and we will continue to use the student voice and the importance of an excellent student experience to guide everything that we do.”

This result builds on other recent successes, with students voting Arts University Plymouth the top arts university in the UK for overall student satisfaction in the NSS 2022 and the university achieving Silver in the Small or Specialist Institution category of the Whatuni Student Choice Awards in 2023 and Gold in the same category in 2022. The university is currentlyalso ranked as a top 10 university in the  Arts, Drama & Music League Table 2024 in the Complete University Guide

Arts University Plymouth is now the highest scoring specialist arts university in the UK for the NSS category of Learning Resources, recognising the ease of access to world-leading facilities, equipment and subject-specific specialist resources such as Fab Lab Plymouth, Plymouth Arts Cinema, the Multimedia and Photography studios, Materials Lab (including hot glass and ceramics), Drawing Lab and Fashion and Textile studios.

Standout courses in the NSS 2023 included BA (Hons) Fine Art, with an overall positive response rate of 94%, BA (Hons) Illustration at 90%, and BA (Hons) Interior Decoration, Design & Styling at 90%.

Staff at the leading university were incredibly proud that 82%of Arts University Plymouth students completed the NSS this year, significantly above the national average of just 71.5%, demonstrating the high rate of engagement from Arts University Plymouth students despite the difficult period for students nationally preceding the survey, which measured the satisfaction of over 300,000 final year UK undergraduate students

What it’s like to be a student at Arts University Plymouth

Some of the comments from students who completed the 2023 National Student Survey include: “I honestly believe I picked the best arts university to go to. I went to so many open days across the UK and no one’s resources compare to Arts University Plymouth. The staff are so incredibly passionate and encouraging. There isn’t a bad word I could say about Arts University Plymouth.” Another student said that “I feel like being at Arts University Plymouth has definitely been the right decision in terms of teaching time, one-to-one teaching with my tutors, and how I have improved as a creative as a whole. The teaching as a whole has been superb!”

BA (Hons) Film & Screen Arts at Arts University Plymouth

One student remarked that “Arts University Plymouth allows for a comfortable yet very focused environment. There is plenty of access to an impressive amount of resources needed and I knew that when in need of support a lecturer or staff member would be there to help. I’ve only had positive experiences with the people I’ve met in my course and have gotten much inspiration from them. To me, it felt like the perfect environment to develop myself as an artist.”

91% of Arts University Plymouth students responded positively to the newest NSS question, “During your studies, how free did you feel to express your ideas, opinions and beliefs?”, demonstrating how hard academics at the arts university work to create a campus culture where all students thrive in an inclusive and supportive environment.

Arts University Plymouth’s Summer Shows

Emerging talent: Recent prize-winning graduates 

Arts University Plymouth’s successful recent graduates include BA (Hons) Craft & Material Practices graduate Tyrone Vera, who was selected as one of the Director’s Picks at New Designers, as well as winning the Habitat Loves award. BA (Hons) Craft & Material Practices alumni Harry Chadwick won Rising Stars 2023, a prestigious award for early career makers, won the Glass Sellers Student Award at the British Glass Biennale and won Runner Up in the Contemporary Glass Society’s New Graduate Review, while also showing his work alongside fellow alumni Bonnie Mustoe-Whitehill and Gail Stubbs at MAKING IT 2023, the South West’s leading showcase for emerging artists, makers and designers.

Tyrone Vera’s ‘Play + Work = Plork’

Recent graduates from the Class of 2023 have already landed roles assisting on costumes for the BBC, secured painting residencies at Royal Drawing School’s Dumfries House and with other organisations across the UK, won prizes in the International Photography Awards, secured work placements with Eden Project, worked with charities including the National Trust, been awarded placements with film production companies including TwoFour, and much more.

Other success stories from Arts University Plymouth’s Class of 2023 include BA (Hons) Fashion Communication graduate Harry Langford, who won the Styling & Creative Direction Award at the inaugural size?syllabus awards, as well as having his portfolio selected at Graduate Fashion Week 2023 to be reviewed by INDITEX, the multinational clothing company behind Zara, Bershka and Pull&Bear. BA (Hons) Fashion Design graduate Molly Adlington also had her collection included on the Graduate Fashion Week catwalk as part of the Talent of Tomorrow campaign, alongside being shortlisted for the Graduate Fashion Foundation’s Childrenswear award and included in Draper’s picks for Graduate Fashion Week 2023.

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